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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Peaches, Root Canals, and Pancakes

What a week! (I say that every week, don't I?) 

Lots of things have happened this week. First of all, an update on the M&MTC: not a lot of people came this last week unfortunately. We had a class about the Book of Mormon. It wasn't our best class, but on Sunday we were invited to branch council, and the entire meeting was focused on missionary work. So they're learning something! We were so excited. People even brought friends to church! :D We're working working working to get everyone going, and I think they're starting to get excited. We're working on a branch mission plan together, and we also made a Focus 15 list for the members to go visit. I love it when branch councils take initiative and the missionaries don't have to be naggy. haha. I love these people though. :) 

Second off, I went to the dentist in Huntingburgh on Thursday. The senior couple in our district (The Fullmers are AMAZING!!! I love senior couples!) drove us out there. The dentist told me that I didn't have a cavity, but he thinks it is a root canal.... UGH! I brush my teeth every daaaay... I don't really know what to do now! He told me to keep an eye on it these next couple of weeks, and if it gets worse, he says to come right in and get it fixed. But man, root canals are expensive! I feel bad! I don't really know what to do. It definitely is a root canal, I can feel it. We'll see. Maybe by magic it'll turn into a perfect, glorified, resurrected tooth and I'll never have problems with it ever again. 

We also had exchanges this week. We actually do blitzes with the STLs out here since we're so far away from Shelbyville/Louisville, so all four of us were working here in one day. We got a LOT done. Hermana Arancibia is awesome. She gets work done! I love it! She emailed me today to tell me "You'll be taking over this part of the Lord's vineyard soon, that's for sure." Yikes. Don't tell me that! Let me train first and then we'll worry about that! 

I did feel bad though because we asked the STLs to bring their bikes...and then Hermana Arancibia's got stolen! Hermana Luke and Hermana Binks strapped their bikes onto the back of our car, and someone STOLE it off the bike rack! They broke our bike rack and everything. But some guy that they contacted came up to them and GAVE them his $300 bike that had a flat tire. How awesome!! So at least she has a bike! :) 

We had a big Pioneer Day celebration in the park on Saturday with the branch. It was a pancake breakfast. "Grandpa" brought his band with him, so that was fun. They sang a lot of Johnny Cash haha. We invited 3 random people who were walking around the pavilion to join us! They were so cool! One was Tom, and he sang in the band for a bit! Then Joan kept riding around in her motorized wheelchair to invite even more people to the party. Talk about being a good missionary! And she's not even a member yet! The elders got their numbers and are going to see them. Unfortunately none of them were Mexican so we didn't get any new investigators. Oh well! 

I gave a talk in Church yesterday about pioneers. I think it went pretty well, except I was running on 2 hours of sleep. The night before, Hermana Luke decided to tell me the worst story in the world about an experience the elders next door had a transfer ago.... I really don't want to repeat it because I want to keep the Spirit in this email. But needless to say, I was up all night and didn't fall asleep until 4:30 am. So you can imagine how lovely I looked/felt on Sunday. :) 

Also. I had the BEST peach cream pie in the WORLD this week. SO GOOD. I'll make it for yall someday! 

So that was my week! Just learning, working and building my testimony. Whenever I feel like I'm plateauing in my learning, the Lord throws me a curve ball that helps me get back on the upward climb. I love the mission, I really do. I can't wait to see what happens these next few months. Transfer calls are on Saturday! Wonder what'll happen!! 

I love you all! Thank you for your support and love! Write me!!!

Hermana Porter

Monday, July 21, 2014

[No Subject]

Hellllooooooo everyone!

Guess what! Hump week is OVER! Now I'm just going to work work work and pretend like I still have another 18 months ahead of me. (I WISH.)

This last week was pretty eventful. We had another M&MTC class, and it was really inspiring and spiritual. I really hope these members are getting excited about missionary work. I've been flipping through "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" by Clayton M. Christensen on p-days (we do laundry at our branch mission leader's house, and they have a copy of it), which is the book that our class is based on. I am convinced that every member needs to read this book and apply it. It's AMAZING. Tells us exactly how we can be every day missionaries. We're going over the principles taught in it, and I feel like it's working. I just want these people to catch the vision about missionary work. It's amazing!

We also had interviews with our mission president this last Thursday. That was fun. The training by the APs was....weird. But I liked my interview with President Brough! He's so enthusiastic and full of energy about this work! He's great! Our interview was short, but I really needed to hear what he told me. He said I was meant to be here in Owensboro for a reason and that there are people here who are waiting to meet me, people that no other missionaries could reach for whatever reason. He says there are people here that I will baptize and help. I really needed to hear that!

The APs also inspired us when they said that the work here in Owensboro is going to explode. They told us that President Woodbury had a dream that the Owensboro branch would one day become a "thriving" ward -- the biggest one in the state of Kentucky. I got chills when I heard that. Let's get to work!!

In other news, I have a cavity! But there is a wonderful Bishop in Jasper who's a dentist, and he said he would fix the filling for free. I was so happy when I heard that. I'm so grateful! Tender mercies all over the place.

ALSO. We're supposed to be getting iPads in the next few months. I'm not sure when my mission is going to get them, but they did say we would have to pay for them ourselves. They're $400. Shnikes.

We had a really frustrating lesson this week with a guy. He told us we were wrong, and that he feels sad whenever he sees/hears people preaching false things, and he feels it's his place to tell them the truth. He also said he believes the Bible is 100% correct and all we need to know to get to Heaven is in there. He even said if he died tomorrow, he knows he's going to heaven. (I thought Jesus and Heavenly Father were the ones that decided that??) He was just super belittling and trying to be nice about it. He said he read the first few pages of the Book of Mormon and says everything in it contradicts what the Bible says. We were just blown away. We testified of the Book of Mormon being the word of God along with the Bible and that this Church was true. Then, after he'd been talking for like 5-10 minutes straight, my companion goes, "Well, that's of the devil." and we said a prayer and left. I DIED. She is so funny! But yeah. Keep frustration out of the work.

We did have a great lesson with Erasmo last night though. He told us he feels unworthy for Church and baptism and is afraid of getting baptized because he thinks he's going to fall afterward. It was a tender experience. We testified to him of the Atonement and the power of forgiveness. I love the Spirit. He gives us the sweetest feeling ever and testified of truth. Erasmo's going to be just fine. He's got some things to fix, but he's willing and ready to go. We're going to baptize him on September 6th.

Well, that is it my friends! The work continues! I love you all and thank you for your prayers and support and love. Also, thank you LaRue Heaton for your letter! I really needed it! I have been reading the notes over and over all week and sharing them with other missionaries. It's been a good week.


Hermana Porter

Monday, July 14, 2014

Unhappy Hump Week

Humph :( I am being reminded from all sides (even from my own mother!) that this week is my hump week. This is terrible news! I'm having a hard time even thinking about it. Last night at the mission fireside, one of the elders going home in a couple weeks started crying, and I felt like crying with him. This is rough. I can't believe it's half over. I feel like I have so much more to do! :(

Lots of big things happened this week! First off, our first M&MTC went great! The Spirit was SO strong, and we had 10 members show up! Even though it was a small number, I know everyone felt the Spirit, and our goal is to have them invite even more members this week. Keep praying for us! This is the key to helping out our branch. The help we get from members isn't exactly the best (that's putting it nicely), and we're really trying to get them pumped. We're just having a hard time getting them to be more welcoming to the zillion inactives we already have and to get pumped about inviting more people. They aren't the most welcoming/warm branch.... But we're working on it! I am LOVING my life!!

President Woodbury had big hopes for our branch. We're pushing to become a ward, but the only way that's going to happen is if we get more people attending. Out of the 300+ on our roster, only 100 come every week, if that. We really need to get these less-actives back! But anyway, President Woodbury told President Cole (our branch president) that he would help the Owensboro branch become a ward. That's why we have 6 missionaries assigned to it. I feel honored to work here. :) We'll call this "How the Owensboro Branch Became a Ward." Woo!

ALSO! We met the Broughs this week, and they are AWESOME!! I love the Broughs!! They are SO funny and PUMPED about the work! And President Brough has SO much energy. He's amazing!! I am SO SO excited to be working with them! They've got the vision. :D

haha wanna hear a funny story? There's a Relief Society teacher in our branch who's really old and....well, she likes to prove people wrong by how much she knows. And she hates the sister missionaries for some reason. So yesterday she was teaching the lesson and asked a question, and Hermana Luke answered it, and the lady goes, "Hmm.... nope. You have a veil over your mind." RUDE! We're still laughing about it. That's basically a "nice" way of saying, "You don't know anything Sister." Ay ay ay.

Oh! And last night we got to go all the way to Louisville to the Charla! The car ride there was miserable because our investigator, Erasmo, drove us in his van that doesn't have any AC. I basically felt like a rag dropped into a bucket of water to dry. It's SO humid, plus it was 93 outside. Woof. But we made it to Louisville, and my heart was SO happy. I got to see Josue AND William! William bore his testimony and thanked me, Hermana Lawrence and Hermana Wilkinson for helping him. I also got to see HERMANA CARNAHAN and our investigator Dario!! I was so happy to see him! He's such a timid person, but he came! It's so good to see people I used to work with doing so well. :) Hermana Carnahan is doing great too! We miss each other so much! I love that girl!

The Charla itself was wonderful. Elder Blauer, who is one of our Spanish Zone Leaders (he's comps with my old District Leader, Elder Skousen, in Louisville right now) was bearing his testimony at the end, and he said, "My mom hung up a sign in my room that says, 'You could help so many people if you went on a mission'. I've tried to give 100% of myself to this work, but for some reason I always receive more." And he talked about seeing all the people who've touched his life and who he's helped over the years.

It's so true. I was on cloud 9 last night seeing all of the people who make me who I am. That's why leaving the mission -- or thinking about leaving! -- is so hard. I can't imagine leaving all of these people behind -- Josue, William, Dario, Jose, Hermana Carnahan, Hermana Lawrence, the people of the Rama Quinta, Corydon, Owensboro -- and going home to a life I don't even remember. These people have changed me. They make me who I am. I never knew I could love people this much. It hurts. That's why I don't even want to think of it being my halfway point in the mission. If I'm going to meet and love as many people as I did my first half.... it's going to hurt twice as much to leave. Ugh. Help!

I just wish I could relate to you all about how much my mission means to me. I can't thank Heavenly Father enough for this opportunity to serve Him 100%. I don't know what I did to deserve this chance to be here, but I'm going to thank Him every day for the rest of my life for it. This Church is the Church of Jesus Christ, and this is His Gospel. We are doing His work. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. It's the word of God. I want everyone to know it!

"Today is the day I will open my mouth. I'll shout from the rooftops! The words will come out. And I'm sharing my soul in the words that I speak and the love that has made me this way. Yes, today is the day I'll proclaim what I believe!"

Hermana Porter

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tender Mercies

Hola yall!

This week was a good week. Even though we were busy with a lot of things and didn't get to proselyte as much as I wanted, we still experienced several miracles and received lots of tender mercies from Heavenly Father.

First, I have to tell you about Karen. She's a less active that we visit every week. Every time we ask her to say the prayer, she always thanks Heavenly Father and our families for letting us hermanas be here so she can love us and be blessed by us. So, just know that there is one person out here who is grateful for your sacrifice. :) Thank YOU for letting me be out here! I am SO blessed to be on a mission. I don't want to know what my life would be like had I missed out on this experience. AH. Don't even want to think about it!

The Lord blessed us with two tender mercies this week. Two new, young families moved into the branch this week from Utah and California, and both the dads speak Spanish! That means we have more members to help us in our work! It was an amazing, very tender blessing. We helped the second family move in over the weekend (they moved into a Parade of Homes house.... yeah. WOW), but both families offered their help to us hermanas right away. :) How great! We needed it!

We have some very sweet members here. Several are trying to learn a bit of Spanish so they can come out with us to teach. (For example, Sister Kathy Trego. Did you get her letter?) We have an enthusiastic branch president, and guess what! We're starting the M&MTC (Member MTC) this week! I'm nervous but excited! I definitely thinks it's one of the reasons why I'm here in Owensboro. We're going to see success from this class, I know it! It's designed to help members get excited and informed about how to do missionary work. Pray for us please!

I'm also translating in every meeting at Church. I LOVE IT. I thought I would hate it since I've been in Spanish branches my entire mission, but now I have to pay attention and make sure my investigators are understanding it all too. Plus, my Spanish is getting a lot better. The mission is 10x better when you can speak the language fluently. :) I LOVE SPANISH! I LOVE THE MISSION!

Overall, this was a good week. I'm still trying to figure out Owensboro and the work here, but I'm finding that President Hinckley was right when he said, "The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best medicine for despair is service. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired."

I wish I could bottle up Corydon, Hikes and Owensboro for you all and let you experience everything I'm experiencing and feeling and learning on the mission. There's no way to properly express my gratitude, my enthusiasm, my sad moments, the wonder I feel as I witness miracles out here. I understand 100% why RMs have such a hard time coming back down. We're on cloud nine out here! The work brings more satisfaction in life than I've ever felt before. I could do this forever!

I love you all! Thank you for your support and encouragement and especially for your prayers! They are needed. :) LOVE YOU!

Hermana Porter