Returning Home!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Don't Step in the Snow!

I thought I knew cold when I moved to Provo. 

And then I moved to Kentucky. 


We had quite the week with weather! On Monday, we were lucky and got to email because our apartment complex has a computer. But most missionaries didn't get to email until Thursday or Friday because of all the crazy weather we got. It snowed ALL DAY Monday (10 inches!) and then again all day Wednesday...and we had to drive in it! Luckily my companion drove...because I'm from Arizona and don't know how. :p We had a meeting 30 minutes from where we live that we had to give a training at, and it took us a good hour and 15 minutes to get there Wednesday morning because of the snow. 

To make matters worse, it got up to 40 degrees on Saturday, so everything started to melt, and then it started to rain. Everything turned to pure slush, and I got to learn it the hard way! We were knocking doors on 10th Street, and I started walking into this yard, but as soon as I stepped into the snow, it turned into a deep pit of black water up to the middle of the calf. And I kept walking into it, thinking "I'll hit the sidewalk any second now!" BUT NO! There's nothing colder than soaking wet boots and 10 degree weather friends. BRRRRRRRRRR!!!!! 

Aside from all the "fun" weather problems, we had a pretty good week. Gave a training at Zone Meeting, had an exchange with the Corydon hermanas, got lost driving in Louisville again, and saw a couple of cool miracles. We also pushed a few cars out of the snow and cleaned windshields for people. Monday night we had to go work without a car, so we were walking around trying to talk to people, but there was literally no one outside...except for some gym buffs trying to dig their way into the gym on Main St. That was an interesting conversation. 

ANYWAY! Kentucky is great! I have to tell myself, "I'm from Alaska! I love the snow! I love the cold! I loooove it!" everyday when I go outside...and it kind of works!'s my final week with Hermana Graham. She's going home in a week! :( I'm going to miss her! I don't know who my new companion will be, but I'll know by next Monday! AH! Then it's my last transfer....... just push it under the rug, I don't need to think about it yet! 

Keep on truckin' yall, and keep us in your prayers! I'll do the same! Love you!!!!

Hermana Porter

Monday, February 16, 2015

[No Subject]

What a day! It's been snowing all morning, and we're supposed to be getting 8-12 inches by the end of tonight. President Brough restricted the whole mission from using our cars until 12:00 tomorrow, so we're stuck inside until then. Luckily our apartment complex has a computer in the office, so we get to email for a bit. We're going to trek over to Goodwill after this. Luckily it's right across the street.

Before I get started talking about the conference with Elder Christofferson and Elder Soares, I have to tell you a really funny story! It's probably the funniest thing that's happened on my mission so far. I was in Lexington on an exchange the other day, and Hermana Arnoldsen and I were walking around a neighborhood talking to random people. We got to talking to this nice black lady, and about 3-4 minutes into our conversation a bird pooped right on her face! I had the hardest time not laughing. I awkwardly looked up and said, "Oh, it's a bird" and hooked her up with a tissue and hand sanitizer. It was so embarrassing. Luckily we didn't laugh until later, but man, self-control was a virtue in that moment!

Saturday morning, Elder Christofferson of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy came to speak to our entire mission. It began at 9:00 am. It was so cool to watch him walk in -- he was shorter than I expected -- and to feel the Spirit rush into the room. Elder Soares spoke first, then his wife, then Elder Christofferson's wife spoke, and finally Elder Christofferson. He did just a question and answer session, and there were a lot of good questions posed, such as:

- How can I be the best companion I can be?
- What is the significance/symbolism of the laying on of hands?
- How can I help my less-active family members and friends from out here?
- What is the term 'Heaven' intended to describe?

I just have to tell you: I learned a lot from his responses, but I learned a lot more by just observing him -- observing the way he talked, responded, moved, etc. He was so peaceful. He was not rushed. He was real. He was professional. He was so Christlike. In the end, he left us with his testimony. He said, "Above all else, I want you to remember and know that I said to you in person, that I know that Christ lives. I know He is our Savior."

Brothers and Sisters! We have prophets in the land today! This Church is lead by Christ Himself, not by man! I have listened to and seen an apostle of the Lord in person, and I can't deny the things the Spirit testified to me: that he is one called of God to be his special witness; that Christ lives; that God loves us and knows us; that this Church is the Church of Jesus Christ. Above all, I want the peace the Spirit brings. I want to emulate Christ. I want to have the Spirit with me always. I don't want to jeopardize that one bit by doing something against God's will and commandments. No matter how hard the circumstance or difficulty in keeping a certain commandment, do it anyway. There is no sin that's worth losing the Spirit. Use the gift you've been given. Be worthy of it always. It's so precious! A testimony is so precious!

Christ lives! I am so grateful to be a missionary so I can declare that to the world right now! I love this Church. I love my Father in Heaven. If you still don't have a testimony of the Church or of the Prophet or of Christ, ask God. Do what it takes. I know He will give it to you.

I love you all!!!!!

Hermana Porter

Monday, February 9, 2015

[No Subject]

There are some weeks on the mission that just plain exhaust you. Like this week! But it was lovely!

Hermana Graham and I went to Churchill Downs on Monday after emailing. It was marvelous! I love it! We need to come back and see it after my mission and actually go to the Derby! We also learned lots of fun-facts about horses, the Kentucky Derby, and jockeys. Oh, and we learned how to throw our very own derby party. It's gonna happen!

Monday night we had our STL sleepover in the mission home. Tuesday we had our MLC all day, and then on Wednesday we had our Zone Conference. Then right after Zone Conference we went on an exchange, and then Friday was weekly planning, and Saturday we had another exchange. Then last night we drove to Louisville for a Spanish mission home fireside. I'm exhausted! But it was so fun! I love the mission!

And guess what!!!! D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON is coming to speak to us on Saturday for 2 hours!!!!! I am SO stoked!!! I will give you more details next week! Maybe I can get a selfie with him.....doubt it, but eh, here's to trying!

I work with some pretty amazing individuals out here. I'm grateful to be an STL because I get to learn from some awesome people and serve them. I got to go on an exchange with my old companion Hermana Wilkinson. I'm so grateful that exchange happened because I learned a whole lot from her. She's amazing. The mission is sweet!

Last night we had our Spanish fireside in Louisville, and I got to see tons of the members from Corydon. Made my heart happy. We have so many amazing members in this mission, especially Hispanics. It was so cool to see them taking notes, writing down their testimonies, asking us if they could go up and share their stories/testimonies, etc. They are some pretty elect and wonderful people. I love this all so much. It made it hard to imagine having to leave it. Luckily I still have two more "charlas" (firesides) to go to before I'm out.

Life is sweet. Missionary work is sweet. Keep on keepin' on yall. Love ya!

Hermana Porter

Monday, February 2, 2015

[No Subject]

First off, the Terry family is in my prayers. It just breaks my heart to hear that. My companion and I will pray for them. :( You are in my thoughts and prayers Terrys!!!! Love from Kentucky!

We had quite a fantastic week this week. On Tuesday we went to the temple. It's amazing the power you get from going to the temple regularly. I hate that we don't get to go often as missionaries, but I cherish the few times I've been able to go. Just when I feel like I'm floundering, we get to go to the temple and receive that added strength and drive. It's amazing. The Spirit you feel in the temple is so strong. It's incomparable! I'm so grateful for the temple and the things we learn there about the Plan of Salvation. What comfort it brings to know we have a Savior who has made it possible for us to repent and return to our Heavenly Father. What sweet peace that brings.

This last week we went to Evansville and...OWENSBORO!!!! And I saw the Capeners!!!!!!!!! It was like coming home. :) I just love them soooo much! It was a surprise for the girls, so they got all excited when they saw me. Then Sister C made Café Rio for dinner. Mmm mmm! <3

My Owensboro exchange was eventful and wonderful. I got to drive a new 2014 Toyota Corolla....I think my life has changed. haha. Anyway, I got to go with Hermana Bennett, my last companion. It was so good to work with her again. She is passing through some difficult trials right now that I don't need to include in here, but we were able to talk about things and feel the Spirit. She's amazing, and it breaks my heart to watch her go through what she's going through. I hope I helped in some way. That's what I love about being an STL: I get to work with so many amazing hermanas with different stories, situations, struggles and strengths. And I get to help them in whatever way I can. I can see now how the Lord has prepared me throughout my mission with certain experiences to help me be able to help others. What a blessing!

It brings comfort to my soul to know 1. that God has a plan, and 2. God is aware of each and every one of us. He knows our situations. He knows our hearts, our struggles, our pains and worries. Since He knows those things, He provided us with a Savior:

"And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled whichsaith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him deaththat he may loose the bandsof death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to theflesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."

He did what He did so He could know how to help us when we struggle, when we have heartbreak, when we worry and cry. I am seeing just an inkling of that love and mercy and gratitude as I serve as an STL. I will happily experience what God would have me experience if it means I can help others. I just pray I can handle it gracefully and faithfully.

I love you all. Keep on truckin' and stay positive. The Lord is on your side!
Hermana Porter