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Monday, September 26, 2016

Mi Primero Semana En El Campo

Hey Everyone!

So I’ve been out in the mission field for just under a week now, it’s very hot and humid here in Louisiana and I think that my shirts will very soon be yellow instead of white... I guess I’ll have to figure out what to do about that so if anyone has good ideas on keeping shirts white let me know. 

So anyways I’ve got a new comp now named Elder Barron (The one in the pic where we are standing in front of a car very awkwardly since I didn’t know who he was at that point, but now everything is good). He is an awesome guy who has been on the mission for about 15 months and I’m amazed at how good he is with Spanish! It makes me super excited for when I get to that point. I’m serving in an area called Metairie which is just outside New Orleans. We have about 5 progressing investigators as of now and I haven’t been able to meet some of them yet since this week has been crazy with the new transfers and also for the investigators too. So one I have met is Miguel who is a 13-year old kid who is on the road to baptism as of now and so we just have to get him ready for that. We taught him and his family on my very first day in the field but it was nice since he prefers English over Spanish, but his mom is 100% Spanish so it was a juggling performance with talking to him in English and then trying to listen and talk with her in Spanish at the same time. But it went well and they were super nice. Right now we are not sure exactly what is going to happen with him though since his dad is very against him getting baptized and they actually fell of the map for a couple days when the father got home from his work. So we will see if he lets them keep coming to church, I really hope all goes well cuz Miguel is a great kid and really wants to become a member.

The second day in the field was better since I got to go 100% Spanish with our investigator Carla, she is an 18-year old who is probably around 4 feet tall but she is very sassy and hilarious. I could actually understand her Spanish too which was way nice.  It was awesome to bring her to church yesterday since she shared her testimony in one of our meetings and it was super awesome! We even had some members tell us "that girl needs to be baptized." Elder Barron and I both agree that we have to challenge her to baptism this week!

One last story is that we had a baptism in our district on Thursday of this last week which was really cool, but when Elder Barron and I rolled in one of the sisters in our ward ran into the hallway we were walking down and yelled, "Fuego, Fuego!" which means FIRE, FIRE. so we chase after her into the kitchen of the church where apparently someone had put full boxes of pizza into the oven to keep them warm and one had caught on fire; and so the sister had put it out. But the entire kitchen was full of smoke so she wasn’t sure if all was well. So Elder Barron and I ran around to make sure everything was ok and fanned the smoke out of the room with our suit coats. After it was all done we all started laughing because of how crazy we had all looked running around.  So we missed seeing the actual baptism but we made a good memory from it.

I Love you all and hope y’all have a great week this week.
With the Mission President and Wife

MTC comp - Elder Stoddard

New Comp - Elder Barron

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Ready or Not Here I Come

Hey everyone!

This is the last time I will be emailing you all while I am in the CCM, it is crazy how fast it has gone by. It seems like I’ve been away from home forever but at the same time it doesn’t feel like I should actually be leaving to the field yet. It is truly amazing that only six weeks ago I came to the CCM and I didn’t know any Spanish, I didn’t know how to make a lesson for investigators, and I didn’t know many scriptures that could be used to bless lives; and now I have/can do all three! I know I didn’t get there alone and that God has been guiding me and sending angels to help me grow in the ways I needed to properly serve him in my mission.

So an update on who is now in the CCM; there are quite a few kids from Davis here and one from Layton I know and one from Viewmont. The Davis guys are Erick Thompson, Conner Child, Josh Day, and Lancen Lappin. The Layton one is Austin White, and the Viewmont one is Brixton Call. All of them are doing super well from what I’ve talked to them about and are having a good time in the CCM.

So this week has been pretty dang good. On Sunday we heard from Elder Ballard and it was a very good talk. He started out by telling us that he had not prepared a talk because he wanted the Lord to guide him in what he said. It was super cool because he mentioned that we have to be uncomfortable to grow as missionaries; which was awesome because just a few hours before we were in our District Meeting and we started discussing how we all need to keep pushing out of our comfort zones so we can keep progressing as quickly as we were at the beginning of the CCM. As he talked I could tell that what he was saying applied to me and my goals almost exactly, which was a huge blessing and a testimony builder that we do have modern day prophets who guide us and receive revelation from God that will help us to live more like God would like us to live. That is one of the major blessings of the Gospel.

Sorry for such a short email, I’m sure the next one will be pretty long since Louisiana is going to throw things at me to make me grow even more in testimony and closeness to God.

I hope all of you are well and having success in all you do. I pray for all of you every night.

Love you all!!

Elder Porter
Elder Brady's Birthday Celebration

Sunday, September 11, 2016

La Iglesia es Verdad

Hey everyone,

Everything is great down here in Mexico, the sky is always blue except to for the once a day massive rain storm. This last week has been fairly normal with daily lessons and language study. There were a few bumps in the road at the beginning of the week because the district had a little argument; but we were all able to work it out and everything is awesome now. The language is getting easier and easier to understand; even though when I talk to natives they talk really fast and it’s hard to catch everything they say. The weeks are starting to fly by even though the days themselves seem super long. It’s crazy to think that I only email one more time and then I am out in the field! All I know is I’m super prepared to play basketball when I get out there (cuz apparently that’s all we do on p-day in the field and in the CCM) but maybe not quite ready to teach native Spanish speakers.

A great quote that I heard this week from one of the Elders is, "Christ never gave up on you so don’t you dare give up on him." It’s a very direct and powerful statement because Christ never did and never will give up on us, so we need to be sure that we live every day with a remembrance of what he did for us. We always need to live like he would want us to live even, actually especially, when the times are hard because that is when we show our true colors and if we will follow him or give into the adversary.

So my favorite experience from this week happened only last nigh,t and it is why I titled this email, "The church is true". So to start off I have to tell you all about what Elder Stoddard and I discussed yesterday morning. We were going over how our companionship was going and how well we were teaching. We both thought we were doing pretty well and that we were pretty good at bringing the spirit into lessons, but we also agreed that we hadn’t had a super spiritual lesson yet and we should try to have one. So later on that night we taught one of our new investigators named Ryan. Before the lesson we said a companionship prayer for help and I asked for us to be guided by the spirit in what we said and taught. We entered the lesson with the plan to ask what he had questions about with the church, and to answer to the best of our ability. He started asking about some things he had heard about Joseph Smith. What he had been told was that Joseph was just a crazy man who decided to start a church just so he could get people to follow him and that he was not really a prophet of the Lord. So we started to answer these things, but by the end he still was a little uncertain and thought the church was a little odd. I answered that the church did seem strange because it holds some truths that no other churches have, one of which was the idea that you will live forever with our family, sealed for all eternity. The spirit was definitely guiding the lesson and it prompted me to ask if he had ever lost someone close to him. He replied that he had lost is grandpa and that he would love to live with him as a family again. I was again prompted by the spirit to tell him the story of how I lost my aunt Cyndi a few years ago. I testified that I knew that I would see her again because I had prayed and gotten that confirmation. The spirit was so strong that I started crying a bit, which was crazy cuz I don’t usually cry. Ryan was crying a bit too and I know what I said was what he needed. Then to bring it full circle I was prompted to make the statement, "If Joseph Smith is not a prophet then the church is not true, and if the church is not true then there is not hope on this earth that your family with be sealed to live together forever; which is a thing I know is true, I know that we will live with our families forever." I know that this church is true, I know that if we are faithful and follow the commandments that God has given us we will live with him, and with our families forever. 

I love all of you and I am so grateful I have such awesome people in my life that prepared me in different ways to share the gospel. You are all awesome and I love hearing from you.


Elder Porter