Returning Home!

Monday, September 29, 2014

[No Subject]

First off, I like birthdays on the mission! I got a card from my friend Dean in Germany and then a package from my family! Best package ever!!!! :) THANKS!!!!!!!!!!! I feel loved :) To celebrate today, we went and did laundry (boy do I feel like an adult), ate cupcakes with the Fedors, and now we're emailing. The Capeners are making me Cafe Rio tonight! And then we have a few teaching appointments. Fun day! 

So this week! What happened... LOTS!! First, we had a blitz with the hermana training leaders. Hermana Arancibia went home, so now it's Hermana Binks and Hermana Graham. I LOVE HERMANA GRAHAM!!! She is AWESOME! I am SO glad we had the exchange that we had together! She and I are going to be BFFs after the mish (hiking, photo shoots, etc). She is the BEST example and so great at missionary work. She answered a lot of the questions and concerns I've been having lately without me even asking. She is so in tune with the spirit and a go-getter. She knows how to do missionary work! I just LOVED working with her! I want to be someone like that. We talked to tons of people that day and had a great time. 

In the spirit of what I learned that day, I determined that we needed to be contacting more. I haven't put an emphasis on contacting at all during my mission, but Hermana Graham told me something that got me pumped about it. The promise is that if we talk to 20 people a day (among other things) our baptisms will double. We need that here in Owensboro right now! This last week we almost got 80 contacts. We're still working on getting 20 a day obviously, but that's the most I've gotten so far on my mission. We're on our way up! Exact obedience yall! 

Then we had interviews on Thursday with President Brough. He's amazing! I walked into the room with him, and he explained how our entire life is an upward climb, and although we may have steep drops now and then, we always end up higher on the climb than when we started. Then he said, looking right at me, "Hermana Porter, you will not be perfect in this life." We went on to talk about perfection and how we have this entire life to become better. He knew exactly what I needed...

The Gospel is true!!

OH! And guess what WE got to watch this week!! MEET THE MORMONS!! Just sayin, you all need to go see it when it comes out. We got to see it earlier since we as missionaries will not be allowed to go to the theatre when it's released (IF it's released in our area). It's AMAZING. I started off laughing at the beginning and bawling at the end end.

P.S. You missionary moms may want to wait to see it. Or at least take your tissues for the end because the last person in the movie is a mom sending her son on a mission. You'll cry :) 

Women's Conference was great! And I'm excited for General Conference too! We've been challenging everyone in the branch to create a list of questions you may have before Conference, and then as you listen to Conference, you will find answers to a lot of the questions you have. It works! I challenge you all to do it! Will you commit to making a list of questions/concerns you may have for General Conference? GREAT! :) I promise you will receive answers/inspiration!

That's my busy week! Our investigators are doing well. We're finding a lot of new people. We just need to get them progressing....what's hard about this area is that we are in an English branch, so as soon as we invite an investigator to church and they find out it's English, they don't want to go. I translate in Church, and I tell them that, but we've had a hard time getting people there lately. We're working hard! 

Lots of work to do everywhere!!!! Let's hasten the work!!! 

OH! AND! I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish today! I love that book. Truest book there is. Those prophets and people of God did exactly what I want to do: proclaim the truth to everyone I meet! Let's all do it! 


Hermana Porter 

Monday, September 22, 2014

[No Subject]

Another week here in Owensboro, Kentucky! 

Lots happened this week...... for one, I locked the car keys in our trunk one night before a dinner appointment. We had to call a bunch of different members to figure out what to do. We eventually got our branch president to call his AAA, and they came and saved us. Funny enough, our dinner appt. was with him and his wife. haha. I'm such a ditz. First the tow truck/mud incident, and now this. 

One day this week we got our 20 contacts! (Meaning, we talked to 20 random people on the street.) That's the general daily standard for the entire mission, but it's rare that we ever get all 20, but we did on Wednesday, and it turned out to be our best day of the week! We got a lot done that day. We've been going to town finding new investigators and talking to people. Lots of potentials!

The Lord has definitely blessed us for our effort this week. We've been struggling lately because all of our main investigators have been floundering and falling off the face of the earth. But the Lord blessed us last night with a pretty golden investigator. We knocked on the door of a less active, but a different guy answered, and we ended up teaching him all of Lesson 1 (The Restoration) and setting a baptism date for November 8th! It was great! I'm looking forward to teaching him and seeing him progress! He was the most solid investigator I've seen yet here in Owensboro. :) I'm hoping he turns into another Josue (from my first area!).... ok, not exactly like Josue, but you know what I mean! He was solid! :) 

We also received the BEST compliment this last week! So, the Saturday before last, we dropped in to visit Karen, our less active who quit smoking (Day 22!!!) with the 15 Step Program, and she ended up having 4-5 seizures while we were there. Her two sons showed up, and we stayed with her for a while even after they showed up and all was well. We just wanted to make sure she was ok. Anyway, a few days later we went by to see her again and she said, "You really impressed my son Kurt. He told me, 'Mom, those two sister missionaries really love you. They stayed with you even after Jimmy and I showed up. They really believe in what they're doing. And they're just as beautiful inside as they are outside!'" I just LOVED hearing that! It made me realize that we're doing what we can as imperfect human beings to be examples of Christ. I didn't think much of it as we sat there with her that Saturday, but apparently it made a big impression on her son. 

Then, as we were about to leave after that visit, I said something along the lines of, "Well, Heavenly Father loves them (meaning, her sons) too." And she told me, "Yeah, but I don't think they really believed it until they met you two." :D 

There are lots of miracles happening daily in the mission field all over the world. I can't believe I've been given this privilege of being a missionary at this time in the history of the world. I have a front row seat to this marvelous work the Lord is performing! My mind is expanding daily. As I read the scriptures and learn from others, I'm always given a confirmation of the truth of it all by the Holy Ghost. I know as we continue to read our scriptures, learn, and pray about the things we are learning, the Spirit will always be there to tell us what is right and what is wrong. 

I can't believe I am a missionary! I can believe it, but at the same time I can't believe the Lord would grant me such a sacred privilege. The Plan of Salvation makes more sense with every passing day as I work and study. Heavenly Father really knows what He's doing! He has a plan for each and every one of us. This morning I was reading in Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage, and I read an interesting thought: Heavenly Father knows the disposition and personality of each and every one of His children because of careful observation through infinite time in the premortal life. He knows us. He has a plan for each and every single one of us. He knows what we need, what we will most likely do in a given situation because of our weaknesses or strengths, what we want.... He knows everything! And He has a plan. Learn about it. Grow closer to Heavenly Father. Learn of Him and His Son, Jesus Christ through prayer and scripture study. 

I could just write forever! I love the Gospel! I love this work! It really is a "marvelous work and a wonder." I stand in awe at how amazing it all is. I know it's all true! 

Love, Hermana Porter

Monday, September 15, 2014


Buenos dias todos!!!!

So it looks like I'm here in Owensboro for at least another 6 weeks! The only thing changing here is that Elder Holt is leaving -- sad! I enjoy Owensboro. Fun stuff! 

It's been a pretty normal week for us here. Karen is on Day 15 of no smoking! :) She's doing great! We also found a new girl, Anayeli, who we're really excited about. Jenny's bap date got moved closer, so hopefully that all goes well! But the saddest thing of my life happened this week... Martin dropped us. Or rather, we had to drop him. We had the most amazing lesson with him Thursday night. We read 2 Nefi 33 and basically gave him his last chance, and he ultimately gave it all up. He said, "It's like you're trying to throw water on a dead tree, trying to revive it." I cried most of the way home that night. The Spirit was so strong in that lesson. :( I hope he gets it someday. I can't do justice to what all happened that night.... Sad :( 

Brother Fedor, our Branch Mission Leader, told us a bunch of mission stories last night, and he taught us how to teach Lesson 1 (The Restoration) using a timeline of information. WOW. I can't wait to show you all when I get home cause it blows your mind. I just gotta tell ya -- the Church is true! 

Funny story of the week: I'm going to title this one "Only in Kentucky..."

We were visiting a family that's been going less-active lately, and we were just talking to their 15 year old daughter about her baptism a couple years ago, and as we were talking I was kind of looking around her house at all the pictures and books and whatnot, and lo and behold, what do I see sitting there on the ground? A DEAD SQUIRREL. I did a double take and said, "Uhhh, is that a dead squirrel?" And she just looked at it, shrugged like it was nothing out of the ordinary and said, "Yeah, sometimes the cats will bring those or dead birds in the house" and then just resumed talking like normal. I was freaking out!!! A dead SQUIRREL! Ughhhh. Too funny. 

This transfer I set up a contacting challenge between us 3 companionships here in Owensboro. Our contacting has sucked this last month, so we're going to step it up and have a competition. WOO! 

Overall this last week was just having to learn a lot more patience, tolerance, diligence, hard work .... all the Christlike attributes outlines in Ch. 6 of PMG. :) I'm learning slowly but surely. I sure hope Heavenly Father continues to have patience with me. I sure need it. 

I hope all is well at home still! Keep me updated on all yalls lives! LOVE YOU!

Hermana Porter

Monday, September 8, 2014

[No Subject]

First off, I am SO excited for David & Melissa!!!! Yay for a new baby!!!! :D I also heard this morning that Kate Middleton and Prince William are having another baby too!! WOO!!!!

This last week was a LOT better than the one before. I started Thursday off by receiving a phone call from the mission president. He just said he wanted to make sure I was ok and offered some comfort/help. He told me of a time on his mission in England that he felt the same exact way I felt. I really needed to hear what he told me. I'm so grateful for mission presidents! Especially for President Brough. Mission presidents are great men.

The biggest miracle that happened this last week was that Karen, a less active lady we have been working with for months, QUIT SMOKING!!! We did the 15 Step Stop Smoking program with her on Wednesday and she hasn't smoked since! (She actually hasn't smoked since the Sunday before, so it's been over a week now!) She's staying strong and telling all her friends about it! We even hung up little signs all over her apartment and on her door, and people actually stop in and ask her what they're all about. They want us to teach a seminar at the activities center there in the retirement home. haha. We're going back on Tuesday (tomorrow) to teach one of her friends now! :D AND! Turns out that friend is another less active lady we didn't know about! Karen is amazing. She tells me to tell my family every week "Thank you" for letting me be here. She is a sweet heart. I'm glad we can help her get one step closer to making it back to Heavenly Father without any addictions. :) I love this work!

As for the work of teaching and finding new investigators, we found a lot of great people this last week, both for us and for the elders. We've had some great people put in our path. The only problem is, we find these people, teach them the Restauracion and then never can find them again. It's kind of a bummer! But we're still working hard and talking to everyone. I feel a lot better now this week. Although I'm still working on overcoming some problems, it's getting better. I love the mission. I wonder sometimes why Heavenly Father blesses me so much when I obviously am not the most perfect child. He teaches me how to be a better trainer.

Unfortunately, we lost all of our main investigators except for Jenny. Erasmo came to Owensboro this weekend and totally ditched out on church and now won't answer his phone. We're giving him a break for a while. We're also dropping Martin this week, and Gerardo is moving to a different state to work today. UGH! Sometimes it's so frustrating working with Hispanics who are only here to work, but I have to remember that we need to at least plant the seed whenever we get the opportunity. We're always finding new people.

I have been so blessed to know and meet the people here in Owensboro. I love the Capener family. They really take care of us! Sister Capener is the best example -- so loving and giving! And Brother Capener gives us free adjustments. He fixed my legs this week. (My black walking shoes weren't as wonderful as they advertised to be >:( grrr.) And I also love Karen, Sister Trego, Paula, the Inmans, the Wilsons.... I love them all! This area is full of wonderful people that I couldn't imagine living life without. :)

This week has been full of tender mercies. Lots of them that I can't even begin to list them. I feel everyone's prayers, and I thank you a million times over. Prayer is powerful. God is so aware of each and every one of us and our circumstances. Although we may doubt it or forget it sometimes, He is always there. And as is repeated in the Book of Mormon many times, His arm of mercy is always extended towards us if we will only repent and come to Him. More often than not, we keep ourselves from Him, not the other way around. Be repentant, humble and willing to do as He asks, and He will guide you for good.

I love you all!!!! Have a great semana! :)

Hermana Porter

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Patience & Perfection

Training has to be the most trying part of my mission. It's trying me in so many ways: in my patience, in my charity, in my ability to follow the Spirit, you name it. In some ways I love it, but I've found myself getting extremely overwhelmed this last week. My greenie is great in the fact that she is willing to work, obedient, and wants to help. But then you throw in me -- you know, Hermana Porter who wants to be in charge of everything and be the best and have it done her way -- and it's a recipe for disaster. I've found myself down on my knees dozens of times this week praying for patience, charity, and willingness to let go. It's hard! It's hard being patient and getting down to the level of a new missionary when all you want to do is just make them figure it out and do what you've always done. But I'm learning every day that it doesn't work like that.

They were right when they said the mission is training for real life. This has to be my biggest obstacle in the mission, having patience that is. My greenie has so many personality traits that conflict with mine, but it's funny because they're all traits that I have in myself that I can't stand. So now I'm having to get over all of them, both in myself and in her. I feel like I've developed so many new traits and habits and learn so many lessons on the mission, but the one it keeps coming back to is having charity and patience. I've read tons of articles, talks, scriptures, stuff in Preach My Gospel, etc. about patience, humility, charity (Christlike Attributes, Ch. 6), and yet it all comes down to me. It's my choice whether or not I want to develop them.

And that where I'm failing! I can't figure out how to do it! I know it starts with me, but I'm also learning that I can't do it without the Savior and His Atonement. We were in a role play yesterday at Zone Conference where we were getting "interviewed" by our "Stake Presidents" at the end of our missions. As I was being interviewed, I was asked questions that I had never even thought of being asked at the end:

1. How have you changed?
2. What is your relationship with Heavenly Father like?
3. How have you used the Atonement?

As I answered those questions, it hit me: I'm trying to better. I'm terrible at it, I feel like, but that is what the Atonement is for. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know we are not perfect, and they know we will never be perfect in this life. But we succeed when we try. When we try to change and put forth an effort to be better, then the Lord can take over and do the rest. We have to keep trying OUR hardest, but in the end it all comes down to the Lord. He is the only one who can truly change us 100%. I still have so much changing and improving to go both on the mission and in life, but I'm getting there.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk "Forget Me Not" has been my focus this last week. The first "Forget Me Not" point is "Forget Not To Be Patient With Yourself." He said, "I want to tell you something that hope you will take in the right way: God is fully aware that youand are not perfect.
Let me add: God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not.
And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others—usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. Thisdrives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As result, we never celebrate our good efforts because theyseem to be less than what someone else does.
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.
It’s wonderful that you have strengths.
And it is part of your mortal experience that you do have weaknesses.
God wants to help us to eventually turn all of our weaknesses into strengths,1‍ but He knows that this is long-term goal. He wants us tobecome perfect,2‍ and if we stay on the path of discipleship, one day we will. It’s OK that you’re not quite there yet. Keep working on it,but stop punishing yourself.
Dear sisters, many of you are endlessly compassionate and patient with the weaknesses of others. Please remember also to becompassionate and patient with yourself.
In the meantime, be thankful for all the small successes in your home, your family relationships, your education and livelihood, yourChurch participation and personal improvement. Like the forget-me-nots, these successes may seem tiny to you and they may gounnoticed by others, but God notices them and they are not small to Him. If you consider success to be only the most perfect rose ordazzling orchid, you may miss some of life’s sweetest experiences."
That is what I've been trying to learn this week and what I will be continuing to learn throughout the rest of the mission and life. God knows we are not perfect nor will we ever be in this life. But He promises to make us perfect someday as we put forth our best effort every day from now on. Let the Atonement carry you. He is there.
Hermana Porter
P.S. We also had Craig A. Cardon come to tour the mission last week. It was great! If you want to see pictures, here is the mission blog:

Monday, September 1, 2014


It's been kind of a rough week for everyone it sounds like! I know it was here. This whole training business is intense. My trainer always said that training makes you more aware of all your weaknesses because you're trying to teach your greenie to be the best. But you realize you need to step up on a few things. I realized patience is a virtue I will be trying to develop my entire life. Patience not only with myself but with others' imperfections or habits. 

I'm also having to learn that I can't do it all on my own. This last week was spent searching for people, but nobody would answer their doors. Then the appointments we did have either got cancelled or they weren't there. There was more than one night this week that I came home feeling like nothing got accomplished. Not for lack of trying though! We have been knocking, talking to people, setting appointments, teaching lessons.... but nothing's biting the bait! I've come home almost every night this week frustrated with myself, wondering why this didn't go well or why that didn't go through. I'm trying to give my greenie hope and opportunities to teach and learn, but for some reason the adversary has been working hard on the people here. That just means we have to fight harder, right?

Thank you for your prayers though. I'm going to need lots of them in the coming months as we try to turn this area around. Our goal is to get the area's first baptism. We were planning Erasmo's for Sept. 6, but he's been out of town this last week and we won't be able to teach him until Sunday, and he hasn't been accomplishing his goals.... Won't go into detail, but the good news is he still wants to get baptized! It'll just be pushed back a bit. Maybe to my birthday weekend! Pray for Erasmo! 

Aside from all the negative stuff that's been getting us down, we did have some tender mercies and neat experiences happen this week. Let's list them! 

1. Erasmo called US after Church and asked us how church was and apologized that he was out of town, but he said he'd be there next week for sure. Awh! 

2. Karen, a less-active lady who's confined to a nursing home, quit smoking all on her own last week!!! She's been trying for a while, but she finally kicked it! She threw out all her cigarettes and ash trays and stopped! She said she broke down and had one after 5 days, but that it tasted disgusting and now she doesn't have the urge anymore. WOO! That's the power of the Book of Mormon!!! We have been reading it all the way through with her, and she just finished it last week! She says it's changed her life. I LOVE KAREN!

3. The Capeners are seriously the BEST. Sister Capener is just the best example of everything! Kindness, patience, selflessness, service, wonderfulness. I am SO glad they moved here. She helps me out a lot and encourages me when I'm down. And she feeds us ALL the TIME. And her husband is a chiropractor, so he gives us free adjustments whenever! Her kids are wonderful too! Her oldest daughter and I are practically twins. She LOVES horses and plans for how to buy one someday. And she wants to be a vet or a pro horse rider. :) So cute! 

Oh. We did have one experience this week that made me angry. There's this guy, let's call him Poohbear (his name is pronounced Oo-bear, but the elders think it's Poohbear), that we saw a lot of potential in. Well, we called to schedule something with him and he goes, "I have a question for you. What is this 'message' you go around preaching?" I told him, "It's a message about Jesus Christ." Then he proceeded to ask me questions about how we baptize, etc. He was quoting Bible references and saying this and that, and when I agreed with what he was saying, he would go, "Oh.... Well, I have another question for you." Then he went and asked me, "So, after your mission, you said you go back to school right?" I told him yes, and he replied, "Do you wear pants?" I said, "....yes. Why?" And he proceeded to say how wearing pants is against the Bible, that it says that women shouldn't look like men and vice versa. I almost said to him, "Excuse me, I saw your wife wearing pants the other day" but I didn't. I just let him talk and when he finished I said, "Look, do you want us to come by or no?" And he said, "...I'll call you when I have time." GRRR!!! Come to find out, he attends this one Pentecostal Church here that a lot of hispanics attend, and they all say/do the same things. They try throwing Bible references out, and when we agree with what they're saying, they get kind of taken back and try something else. It's ridiculous!! 

Pray for us here in Owensboro por favor! I'll do the same for you all! I hope everyone's weeks get better. Remember to find hope in the Atonement and to let Him change you! Without His help, we can do nothing. We can't become the people we want to become without Him because He is ultimately who we want to become like. Stay strong! LOVE YOU!!!

Hermana Porter