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Monday, November 24, 2014

Tender Mercies & Deer Meat

What a week!

I'm so grateful for good leaders. I'm so grateful to be a missionary. I'm so grateful for the Gospel!!! 

This last week was full of tender mercies for me. I was struggling a lot at the beginning of the week, especially Wednesday. I was feeling really sad and depressed again, so when the Sister Training Leaders came in for exchanges, I was so grateful to be able to talk to Hermana Graham about it all. She helped me out a TON. She and I relate in so many ways. She let me cry it all out and helped me realize I wasn't being a bad missionary for feeling sad. She helped me get working again to take my mind off of things. We found tons of great new investigators and had some fantastic lessons with some less-active members. She's one of the reasons I am grateful for good leaders!

Other tender mercies from this last week: 

- We had Zone Conference in Evansville this last Friday. Guess who was there? The grief counselors/mental health advisers I've been talking to for the last month or so. They came in all the way from Georgia to be at our Zone Conference. I got to have a nice little chat with them. It was nice to put a face to the voice! President and Sister Brough also took extra time to see how I was doing and really made me feel loved. Again, I'm SO grateful for good leaders who really love me. (The Conference itself was awesome too. Except I forgot we had to inspect our car beforehand and clean it. Our dark gray car didn't get washed last week because it had been snowing/raining all week. You can imagine how pretty it looked haha.) 

- Brother Fedor, our branch mission leader, tipped us off to the need of a less-active member named Misty earlier in the week. He said she had texted his wife, saying she was having a rough day and needed prayers. He called us and asked us to go over and see her. We ran home, grabbed a plate of cupcakes I had made just that morning, and went to see her. She let us in, and we started cleaning her apartment for her. I did the dishes while Hermana Bennett swept the floor. Misty was so grateful. She was really overwhelmed. She has 3 kids all under the age of 3 right now. One was just born a month ago. She thanked us so much for helping her with something as small as doing the dishes. 

- Also, our branch mission leader's youngest daughter Joni just got home from her mission in Chile this last week! She's been coming with us to lessons to help us teach, and what a blessing it is! She speaks awesome Spanish and really knows how to teach the lessons. She's going to be a big help for us!

I am grateful for so much in my life, and not just because it's Thanksgiving week! The Lord really has shown me His love day after day, and I couldn't ask for more. Just when I think I've hit the bottom, He sends help and strength. I hope you all are noticing blessings in your lives as well. 'Tis the season! Count your blessings and give all you can give to show your gratitude. I'm so grateful for all y'all taking care of my family back home. Just know you are in every single one of my prayers! 

I thought I'd end this email on kind of a funny note. We went to see a new investigator on Saturday afternoon, and when we walked in, she was at the kitchen sink ripping apart a deer. We about died. She had a trash bag full of deer guts and then offered us some. We couldn't say no, so she loaded us up with a nice bag of deer meat. She was picking the hair off of it as she put in the bag. We ended up calling Elder Fleener (Elder "Alaska" who eats caribou and moose!!!) to come and take it since he likes that kind of stuff. haha. #onlyinkentucky

Anywho, keep being awesome!!! Let me know if there is anything I can do for yall! P.S. Transfers are on December 9th, and I think I'll be getting transferred. Probs don't write any letters to my Owensboro address after the 3rd. :) LOVE YOU!!!!!

Hermana Porter

Monday, November 17, 2014

snow here, snow there, snow everywhere!

IT SNOWED. Ahhhhhhhh. We got 4 inches last night. -.- It's been a pretty cold week anyway, but someone told us there was a winter storm warning yesterday, and sure enough I woke up and looked out the window, and what did I see? NOT popcorn popping on the apricot tree! Spring did NOT bring me such a nice surprise!!! I don't like snow. I really don't want to crash...I hate driving in bad weather! Pray that I'll be able to remember Ambria's snow-driving training...haha

This week was quite the adventure. Turns out we do have a heater in the apartment that I didn't know about. One of my last comps said it completely did not work....but it does. So we have heat! We're not freezing at night anymore!

We had Zone Meeting last week, and that was pretty good. I got to share my testimony about the Atonement in front of the zone, so that was fun. I can't believe I'm about to hit my 5 year baptism mark! Time fliiiies. Plus I hit my 13 month mark yesterday. :( The Fedors, a family in our branch, have their youngest daughter coming home from her mission tomorrow, so they have family in town and they're getting all excited. It's a sweet feeling being in their home. So fun!

We found some great families this week, which I'm excited about. We have only been able to find single older men here, which are hard to teach because they hit on us most of the time, so I'm super excited to be teaching some solid families. :D We've had some great lessons this last week with people, and we even got more members out with us. :) We had a few small successes this week, but I think they'll turn into big successes later on. "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass."

Karen, our less-active lady who quit smoking a couple months ago, had to go to the hospital last night. We didn't know, but we happened to be driving by her son's house where she's staying now, and we saw an ambulance right in front of their house, so we went to the hospital to see her. She had fallen and had a small fracture in her arm. It was hard to go see her there in the hospital because they were giving her a lot of the same breathing treatments that they used to give dad, plus I haven't been in a hospital in a while....but it's ok. She's doing ok now. She's home and healing. I love Karen so much! 

Although it's freeeeezing outside, the work must continue! I'm going to have to push myself hard to talk to everyone these next few months, but we'll do it! Where's there's a will and a commandment, there's a way! 1 Nefi 3:7. Time to test my faith! Here we go! 

Hermana Porter

Monday, November 10, 2014

[No Subject]


This last week wasn't very eventful, but we did see some miracles. :) We taught two more less-active members the 15 Step Stop-Smoking program, so now we have 3 new non-smokers in the Church. It's a good feeling. I feel like a lot of my purpose here in Owensboro was to help reactivate a few women here, specifically to get them to quit smoking. So far Karen is as active as can be and is going on week 12 of no-smoking. Liz is in the midst of quitting, and she's doing amazing. We also taught another woman, Cynthia, and I think she's doing great. Even though I couldn't teach it to Dad, I could teach it to a few people out here and see them have success and feel the Spirit more in their lives. 

My companion and I get along so well! She's SO talented! She can draw, paint, sing, play four different instruments, and is just all-around wonderful. Makes me want to develop my talents even more when I go home. :) 

Yesterday we had a big missionary program in sacrament meeting. I was the first speaker. I spoke about home and visiting teaching. I didn't want to throw-down on anyone, especially since that'd drive away the Spirit. Instead, I tried to inspire and focus on why we do home and visiting teaching and the importance of it. I got several compliments after, and Brother Fedor even told me I "hit the nail right on the head" with it. Yay! One of the elders spoke after me...he took a very bad approach to it. He basically told the branch they were terrible members. :/ Then my comp and two elders sang "Because I Have Been Given Much", and then the final elder spoke and saved the day. His talk was on conversion. It was so good!!! Overall it was a nice program. I really enjoy speaking! 

The temperature is getting cooler, all the leaves are changing color and falling off, and all my winter clothes are now out. Our apartment is FREEZING. We have a little space heater that we turn on for an hour before we go to bed, but by morning the temperature is back down to 60 degrees in the house. BRRRR. But we're surviving. :) Happy are we!

I'm learning more and more in this area that my purpose perhaps wasn't to baptize anyone. We have found some amazing people, and they are progressing slowly but surely, but I'm sure the fruit will be harvested from my work here in the coming transfers. I'm ok with that. I feel I have done the work I needed to do here (and will be doing more these next few weeks!), and I'm grateful the Lord put me here in Owensboro. He's put people into my life that I needed at this time in my mission to comfort me, teach me, help me and serve me. In turn, I'm forever grateful I've been able to learn, teach, and watch people change. I am excited to apply all this in my life when I get home. I want to be the member who uplifts, inspires, serves and changes lives. I want to be of service wherever I am. I want to follow the Savior and be His hands here. What a privilege it is to be called of God and to use up our lives in His service. 

Lots of love!

Hermana Porter

P.S. Some guy told me he liked my Spanish yesterday. He said I have a good accent. YAY! #13monthsinthemaking

Monday, November 3, 2014

[No Subject]

It was a pretty good week in contrast to the one before!

So we went to transfers on Tuesday. That was so fun!!! I got 2 packages and a bit of mail in the office, and then I got to see old companions and other missionary buddies. So refreshing!! Hermana Gamett got to reopen my last area of Hikes!!! Which is so awesome because I love Hikes! She's there with another greenie who just got done with training. Hopefully they can manage alright with talking to the Cubans! 

My new comp is Hermana Bennett from Idaho Falls, Idaho! She is awesome! We get along so well! We have lots of the same interests. It's pretty easy to talk to her :) She just got done with her training in Lexington, so she's still pretty new to the mission. But she's great! We're doing a lot of great work together! :) I love her!

Anyway! On our way home from transfers, we stopped in Corydon to eat lunch, and we saw a couple of members there!!! I was so excited! It was Isidro & Roselia. They updated me on how everything and everyone is doing in my first area. They also told me they're having another baby! My face hurt from smiling so much that day. :D 

We've been super busy this week! We've been talking to everyone and have been having tons of awesome lessons...and some not-so-awesome. Some of our main, awesome, solid investigators up and moved to Georgia. :( They called us this morning, asking us to translate what their boss was saying to them in English. I talked to her for about 5 minutes, and turns out she was talking to them about how the need to accept Jesus and God to come live in their hearts or something like that.... It was bizarre. Is it bad I didn't translate all of what she said? haha. I told them to send me their address so we can send missionaries there. hehe ;) 

It's interesting how when you start working harder and being even more obedient, Satan starts working harder too. We've had a lot of people give us pretty weird answers to questions we ask them. It's weird. But it's a learning experience. It's nice to be able to answer most of their questions. I'm just a little frustrated though because nobody will commit, or after we explain it all to them and are very thorough about it all, they STILL don't seem to get it... I don't know what to do! We're explaining it the best we can! It just seems we never can find them after the first visit to follow up with them.... and it seems like all the hispanics here are being like that. :/ Bah. We're working on it! 

Otherwise life is good! It's been a good week! I love my new companion, the work is moving along, and although we have little setbacks here and there, we're learning and growing and loving every minute of it! :) I've been very thankful that I've been able to refocus on the work with this new companion. Although things have been pretty rough with Dad and everything, I feel like Heavenly Father's giving me a gift by letting me be focused on the work and doing my best. There's still so much more to do these next 5 months, and I'm excited to work!! :) 

LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!

Hermana Porter