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Monday, February 24, 2014

Tuna Helper

Hola todos!
Okie Dokie. Well, this week wasn't that great. It started off awesome because 1. YOU SENT ME CHOKIS!!! :D and 2. We started doing a lot more contacting and got some great referrals for the English Elders. We were getting a lot of work done.

But then Thursday came around.

I made Tuna Helper for dinner on Wednesday, and when I was on the phone with our District Leader later that evening, I started feeling sicker, so he told me, "Go throw up! That makes everything better." ... So that's what I did at 4:30 am. I was sick all day Thursday, and I'm blaming the Tuna Helper. I felt bad for my companion because she had to find things to do to entertain herself all day while I laid in bed trying not to die. We didn't get any work done. :( She told our District Leader that I took his advice seriously, so he offered to give me a blessing if I went to District Meeting.

So I got up and got semi-ready, thinking we were only going to get a blessing and come home, but we stayed the entire two hours. To make it worse, we had to do introductions because it's the beginning of a new transfer and we have new elders in our district. I looked like trash and almost threw up five times while we were there. Hermana Porter is great at first impressions :) Eventually I got the blessing, bought some saltines and 7Up, and slept all day. I did wake up for a minute when I heard the tornado warning, but I just kind of ignored and went back to bed. haha. I should probably take those things more seriously...
But hey I'm still alive! We had a few good experiences to end our week after my little sick-day. We went tracting in Lanesville and ended up talking to this lady who took a Book of Mormon, saying, "I love to disprove things." She had a big problem with Joseph Smith and was just being really... like, sweetly sarcastic. We just testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and that Joseph Smith really was a prophet and went to the next house. We're hoping she reads it like she said she would and that she finds the truth for herself. It was a good experience for me to be able to feel the Spirit testify to me that Joseph Smith really was a prophet, that we have the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth today, and that the Book of Mormon is where we can find it. Though things might be hard and someone might be bashing your faith right in front of you, God is right there standing by you, and the Spirit is testifying the truth of what you know all over again.
The end of this week was kind of rough for me. We didn't work on Thursday because I was sick, and then I felt like trash all weekend because I felt like I wasn't understanding the language again and didn't know what I was even doing to help the work progress here. I'm trying, but I felt like I was failing. But Hermana Lawrence reassured me that I'm fulfilling my purpose out here and that God called me to speak a different language for a reason. The members and our investigators are patient and know that I'm trying to learn. Of course there are things I need to get better at, but they come with time. I'm just having a hard time being patient with myself, most of all. Sometimes I get caught up in the fact that I have so much to improve, and I think I have to do it all at once, and you know how that goes for me. High standards. Might be too high.
We ended the weekend with a branch Valentine's Day party. That was really fun :) Lots of good food and fun company. I hung out with the kids and the Van Uiterts (they were the only white people at the party besides Hna. Lawrence and I haha).
So that's my life! I'm just glad I'm not sick anymore. Lots of work to be done out here! Thank you all who wrote me last week :) I LOVE YOU!!!
Hermana Porter

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ay Chamacos!

Hola hola hola y'all!
What a fun week! So, we had Zone Meeting last Wednesday. It was like Zone Conference, just without President or the APs. We had a few trainings from the Zone Leaders, Elder Whitehead and Elder Loser, and we had lunch and an activity where we were assigned to teach one of the five lessons in seven minutes. It was rough going because I have never practiced it in English. We never got all the way through (we had to teach it like seven times), but it was good! Learned a lot! I love meetings!
Thursday I was on an exchange in Shelbyville, KY with one of the Hermana Training Leaders. Her name is Hermana Marsden, and she's actually cousins with my friend Shelby Marsden!! How funny! We had a good day. She's really good at talking to everyone she sees. There was this guy was running down the street, and she decided we needed to contact him. We stopped him and started talking to him in English (he looked white!) but quickly found out he only spoke Spanish. We talked to him for a minute and found out his sister is a member down in Mexico! Woohoo! :) We also helped this other couple plan their wedding for the next day. That was weird but good. Yay for marriage and not breaking the Law of Chastity!
Friday.... haha. We were at Walmart getting stuff for a dinner that we were going to make that night (more about that in a minute), and I saw a middle-aged lady in a Dale Jr. jacket. I see people with NASCAR jackets on all the time, but I decided to ask her if she was a Jr. fan that time, and as soon as I said it she got all giddy like a schoolgirl about it. It was so cute and funny. She loooooved Jr.

Anywho, that night we made dinner for Josue, Emmanuel, and Lizbet. That was intimidating. Mexicans are such good cooks. We wanted to make them something good because they always cook for us, and it was Valentine's Day (day of friendship and love in Spanish), so we made them food. They didn't die! Speaking of Josue, he's doing ok. Just trying to get him to make a decision about his baptism!
Thhheeeennnnn Saturday was the dreaded transfer call day. President calls you in the morning if you're training or being put into a leadership position, then in the afternoon he calls you if you're being transferred. Luckily we didn't get any calls, but Elder Johnson is leaving Corydon! It was a huge shock to us! He's in the middle of training his greenie, and he's getting switched somewhere else to finish training another greenie. Then Elder Edwards, our District Leader, is training. It's so crazy! I'm staying in Cordyon with my mom for another 6 weeks. I'm all done with my training! Woo! It feels weird to be a normal missionary now.
The language is coming more now. I can understand everything that's being said now (except sometimes I can't get a few of the words and I miss the whole meaning of what's being said....) and can basically express myself. This whole gift of tongues is neat. I never imagined how it would work, but it's coming! I can answer the phone now and talk to people. I just need a little more time to get where I can be 100% comfortable in it. Hermana Lawrence says that'll happen around my 6 month mark -- which, by the way, I hit my 4 months last Sunday!
Crazy how time is flying!

So yep yep yep! All is well! Just teaching and preaching and learning. There's always so much to learn. I was telling Hermana Marsden last week that the mission has taught me, if anything, how the rest of my life is going to go. I'm seeing more of the world and how I want my life to be. I'm learning how to rely on the Lord and be obedient, and I'm definitely learning how I want to raise my family in the future. Life's not what it used to be for me, I feel like. I can't unsee it the way I'm seeing it now. I can't imagine not being a missionary.... I don't want to think about it! You may need to bring up the RMTC idea to the First Presidency for me....
Anywho. I love you all! Keep on keepin' on!
Hermana Porter

Monday, February 10, 2014

[No Subject]

So. You know how last week I said Easterner's are too dramatic about the weather out here? Right after I finished emailing last week, it started snowing....then raining....then sleeting and freezing. So.... I'm not allowed to judge anymore.
We've been getting snow on and off this week, but it's manageable. We don't know if it's going to be snowing or raining or sunny the next day, but we go with it. I'm just grateful we aren't on bikes right now. Nothing would get done.
We've been exploring surrounding towns lately, doing a lot of tracting and offering a lot of prayers with people. We've met a lot of nice Methodists. :) I hope we happen upon some Mexicans out in the middle of nowhere soon.
This week I've really had to kick it up a notch. I feel like it's the whole good-better-best concept. I've been doing better, but I haven't been doing my best. So I'm being braver and contacting more and tracting more, and I feel happier and more confident because I'm doing what the Lord is asking me to do. I feel a lot better. There's always something to improve on, that's for sure.

I was thinking about that as I was putting on my nametag this morning, and I just thought, "I don't ever want to take this off." And then it made me realize that I don't ever want to not be a missionary. I'm dreading the day that my stake president releases me and tells me to take off my nametag. I'm getting teary just thinking about it. You will only get to see me as Hermana Porter for that short drive home from St. George. I only have 14 more months to be a missionary, and there's so much for me to learn and grow in. I can't believe the time is flying so fast. I don't ever want it to end. I mean, of course I want to see yall again....but can't I just be like the Book of Mormon people who were on missions for 14 years? It's scary how fast time flies. We have so much to learn in this life before we return to our Heavenly Father, and I just wish I had more time to learn it all.
3 of the 8-yr-old boys in our branch got baptized this weekend. We took Josue. It was an awesome experience. They sang "I Am A Child of God" in Spanish and I just died because it was the sweetest thing ever. Hermana Lawrence and I were joking that we should have Josue sing at his baptism. hahahahaha. He's so monotone when he sings, and he's a 27 year old man. Ah. Baptism is GREAT. Everyone should just get baptized. It's the best.
Oh funny quote! We do district drawings every transfer, which is just a drawing of our district with a certain theme (for example, Harry Potter themed, winter themed, villain themed), and our District Leader was saying how he wanted to do celebrities. So we were talking about who we all could be (they said Keira Knightley for me), and he tells Hermana Lawrence, "You could be Demi Lovato." And she was like, "No, she's TOO pretty!" And he replied, "She's not that pretty." OUCH. We died hahaha. We decided that next transfer's theme is going to be "High School." They said I'm the foreign exchange student. hahaha. 

So yep! That's me! :) Just working working working. Transfers are next Tuesday, so we find out this Saturday if we're getting transferred at all..... scary. One of the Elders in my district told me he thinks I'm getting transferred. WHAT. I finish my 12-week-training this week, so it's all up in the air after this week. Who knows! I will let you know next week. I have a feeling I'll leave after this coming transfer, like in April. Who knows.
Until next week! :)
Hermana Porter

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

[No Subject]

Hola y'all!
This last week I went to my first Zone Conference. It was awesome! President and Sister Woodbury both spoke along with our Stake President, President Porter (everyone thinks we're related somehow). The Assistants also gave a great training on the Atonement of Jesus Christ that really hit home.
We had 12 missionaries in our group, and after we watched the Mormon Message "Your Potential, Your Privileges" ( ), they asked our District Leader, Elder Edwards, to do something for them. Each of us were given a donut one at a time, but in order for us to have the donut, Elder Edwards had to do 20 push-ups. Even if we didn't want the donut, he still had to do 20 push-ups. Hermana Lawrence and I were sitting at the very end, and I just hated watching it because he was struggling hard by the end, but he kept going. He didn't even say no or complain. He just did. I didn't want to make him keep going, but we had no choice. It was representative of the Savior and his Atonement. Even though it was more than He thought He could take, He kept moving forward and suffered everything for us, even if we didn't want it. The fact is, our Savior has atoned for our sins. Who are we not to partake of it? After He has done everything for us, how ungrateful are we not to respect it and humble ourselves before Him and do what He asks?
The rest of Conference was great. Funny story: we were trying to wipe down the inside of our car that morning before we had to go, but the cleaner was freezing to the inside of the door as we were spraying. So cleaning was an adventure! I really really really regret not listening to Bradon or Dad about car stuff before the mission. I mean, I know how to clean a car, but I am going to take much better care of my car after the mish. I am going to take care of it like Bradon does. haha. You can hold me to that Bradon.
This week has been pretty chilly. I am learning just how dramatic Easterners are about weather. We got like a million calls and texts from our members this morning about how it's going to snow or sleet tonight. Then yesterday the library closed again because it snowed a bit on Sunday. Meh. But now I'm here! :)
Oh, another funny story: the other night I woke up with a huge gasp and yelled, "IT'S 12:45!" And my companion just stared at me for a sec and rolled over, and a few minutes later she turned over again and I was staring at the clock just completely dumb-founded and confused. I guess I stared at it for like 10 minutes and just went back to sleep. I just remember feeling really really confused and baffled that it was 12:45.... Don't ask.
We had a great Work of Salvation broadcast from Knoxville, TN this last Saturday. Elder L. Tom Perry, Elder Zwick, and Elder Ronald A. Rasband were there. They broadcast it all over our mission and the Knoxville mission. It was just a leadership training, which I loved. I love hearing what we can do better and how we can move this work along together as missionaries and members. Members really are the driving force of this work. Without our members, this work will not go forward. People are more willing to listen to us if we have members involved. I will not be the same member after I get home. Get involved and help the missionaries!! Offer to have a lesson in your home, feed them, go out with them to lessons, do what you can to help move this work forward! Por favor :) Ok thanks!! Oh one other thing about that broadcast: The mission president and his wife of the Knoxville Mission got up at one point during the Q&A session, and it just took me off guard because his wife looks just like my mom. Not exactly, like she's blonde, but she just looks like my mom. I was tearing up for a sec! Threw me off guard!
Anywhoooo, the hermanas in Clarksville had a baptism on Saturday night, so we got to go with Josue and a bunch of our members. It was awesome. It wasn't a very reverent service, but we're glad Josue got to see how a baptismal service goes down. Baptismal services are SO important for investigators. 80% of investigators who attend a baptismal service get baptized themselves. Josue's got a good chance then! We moved his baptism date to March 1 because of some issues.... but here's another cool story!
We had a mission-wide fast this weekend, and something AWESOME happened at church. We teach the Gospel Principles class, and when we got there, William, Frankie (he had to leave after class because he got stabbed in the leg the night before and had to go to the hospital...) and Josue were there, then some other investigator (not ours) from Clarksville was there, and then after class we saw Emanuel! And then one of our 10-year-old "investigators" (his family is less-active) Steven was there too! We had a total of FIVE investigators there!! It was AWESOME! Good day at church :) I like our branch. We have almost 100% attendance every week by our members.
You remember that family I told you about a few weeks ago that we tracted into? I was feeling super sick that Sunday and didn't want to go, but we went anyway and a girl came out of her trailer and started talking to us? Well, the Elders here in Corydon have been teaching their family, and they have a baptism date for March 22! They've been coming to Church, and the dad said on Sunday that they are "definitely getting baptized". How great!!! I have a huge testimony of tracting when you feel like throwing up.
Anywho! That's my week! Learning and improving each day :) Sorry this email is so long. I just have a lot to say allllll the tiiiiiime. I can't wait to share all my stories with you all when I get home! Time is just flying. I'm almost 4 months old. I'm almost not a baby anymore! It's insane. My Spanish is getting better. I feel better about it now. It's just understanding it that I'm having a hard time with. I'll get there :)
Hermana Porter