Monday, October 27, 2014

Estoy intentando pensar en español

Kind of a slow week. But I have learned a lot about faith and acting on it.

We got a new district leader this week and I was asking him about Spanish cuz his Spanish is really good. And he told me that I need to stop thinking in English and think in Spanish. That is so hard to do! But I am trying. So no more translating in my head what people say, just listening to them and trusting on the spirit to let me know the general message they are trying to tell me. It’s really scary actually because I care so much about these people and I want to help them, and yet I don’t feel like I can communicate with them at all.

Something I thought I would share. Whenever our door gets knocked on, I get scared. Yep #weliveintheghetto

Saturday was a very interesting day. We had a lesson planned for the new investigator we had named Juan. When we met Juan we couldn’t tell if he was black, white, or Hispanic, or a boy or a girl, or how old he was, and that maybe he was gay. But then we figured he was a boy because his name is Juan. But anyways we texted him to make sure it was still on. And he said that he had to go into work. Then he asked if he could ask a personal question. I said go for it. Then he asked what the Mormon stance was on homosexuality. We told him to go to and then explained that the desire wasn’t wrong but acting on it was. Then he said ok thanks and that was it. We asked if there was a time that we could come and talk to him more. He said that he didn’t want to waste our time because he didn’t agree on the view of homosexuality.

Interesting thing I thought of yesterday during church. We were in gospel principles and were talking about the temple. I then thought that we only really get to do each saving ordinance for ourselves once. But then we go to the temple all the time to become better people and closer to Heavenly Father. But when we go to the temple we are doing it for other people. So the only way we can be closer to our Father in Heaven and grow spiritually is if we serve others. Just like Christ said in Matthew 25:40, “Inasmuch as ye have done this unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Also I figured out why so many missionaries gain weight on their missions. It’s because they eat fast food so much! I have never eaten out so much before and it drives me nuts! Why waste money that we could use for more food on something that makes you fat. 

We had our primary program this week. There were a whole 12 kids in the primary. But they did a very good job. And Hispanic children are super cute!

We made food this week and we didn’t have a cheese grater. So spatulas actually work ok as cheese graters ;)


Elder Porter

Spatulas work as cheese graters!

First dog I pet here in Indiana- his name is Smoky.
Make sure to read the next post - it's His talk he gave in Sacrament last week!
He did a great job!

Talk Drew gave in Sacrament meeting last week!

My mom wrote me a letter this week, and in it she said, “I’m going to start praying for missionary experiences.  I’ve been afraid to because I know THAT prayer will be answered.”  I pray too that my mom will receive many opportunities to have missionary experiences, because they are awesome!  But something my mom said caught my attention.  “I’ve been afraid to.”  As a still pretty inexperienced missionary I can totally relate to what my mom is feeling because I feel scared a lot.  Not because I don’t want to help people better their lives, but it’s because I want to help them so much that I’m scared that I won’t do a good job or that I won’t be able to understand what they are saying to understand how to help them.  In the past two weeks I have learned that this fear that I have is actually hindering me from progressing.  Today I would like to talk about how we can overcome our fear of sharing the Gospel with faith.  Faith that enables us to do great things, and to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord in bringing his precious souls unto him.

Alma 32 talks about faith beginning as a desire.  Then this desire works within you.  In James 2:17 it says, “even so faith, if it hath not works is dead, being alone.”  So if we have this desire within us to share the Gospel, but then we don’t do anything about it, then we really don’t have any faith at all.  In the pamphlet “The Gospel of Jesus Christ” that we use in teaching investigators it says, “It [faith] means believing that Christ is the Son of God and that he suffered for your sins, afflictions, and infirmities.” 

Faith is believing that Christ has gone through it all, every pain, sickness, fear, and trial, so we don’t have to do it alone.  Christ has already gone through everything!  He did it so He could be there to help and guide us in our moments of distress.   The moment when you start to bring up the Gospel., I know how hard it is sometimes, but Christ is right here helping you.  Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”  There is a promise in Moses 6:32, “Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance.”

So if there are so many promises of help from the Lord, why are we still scared?  We discussed this in the last Zone meeting that we had and I found it very interesting. We are fearful because we are focusing on “ME.”  We are scared of looking dumb, or having the door slammed in our face, or the million other reasons we have fear.  But when we understand that it is not about us, that it is about the people, our brothers and sisters, who God loves with his whole heart.  When we realize that important point it doesn’t seem to matter as much that we may stumble on our words, because “With God nothing shall be impossible.” 

Brothers and sisters I challenge you to pray for opportunities to open your mouth and to have it filled with the wonderful message that each of us has to share.  If you do this having faith in the power of Jesus Christ, you will not stand alone, that the angels of Heaven will be there to lift and guide you in your efforts to bring others unto Christ.  Remember, “The worth of souls is great in the sight of God.”

Monday, October 20, 2014

Semana Siete in el campo misional

Been a pretty good week. I have officially completed my first transfer! This last six weeks have gone by so much faster than the CCM!

Went on exchanges again this week and during them I got my first flat tire on my bike, stupid people throwing beer bottles out the window. But luckily I knew how to change out the tube so I didn’t have too much of a hassle.

This week we have taught the most lessons we have taught in this area. We taught a total of 6 lessons, which is low overall but really high for us. 

We were able to find our first new investigator this week! We knocked on a door and we had a successful door contact that led us to being able to teach a 5 min lesson about the restoration. His name is Juan. We have a return appointment Saturday because he works every other day.

We also had a really cool lesson with this guy we found named Rafiel. It was super spiritual and we were able to teach him about where his brother who is dead is. I thought for sure that since the spirit was so strong that he would let us come back, but sadly he said he was happy where he was at. I hope the spirit he felt works within him and makes him more receptive next time.

On Tuesday we had a meeting for all the new missionaries and their trainers. I love being able to be taught instead of teaching sometimes. But it was super nice to be able to see all the people that I came out with. There is truly a bond in mission work.

Funny experience this week. So I was on exchanges so I was in the city of Elkhart,which is east of us. We were riding our bikes and the Elder I was with, Elder Labrum, stopped to talk to this Hispanic. I started the contact and found out he had family so I started going off of that and trying to peak his interest. But then Elder Labrum told me that this was a guy they had been teaching for a while, and he was their landlord. Kind of awkward/not awkward at the same time :)

Sadly the lady, Mary, we have been teaching that is really progressing canceled this week. But we were able to stop by and boy is it awesome to see the progression of people. She has been reading the talk of President Monson on the Sunday morning session of conference. I hope she gets baptized. I’m hoping we can get her started in family history work because her husband still works but she doesn’t anymore, so she is home alone most days.

I was able to go to a baptism of one of the English sisters investigators. It was super neat to see! He had been investigating for 2 years! He bore his testimony and it was so strong! I love feeling the spirit like that! And I get to a lot on my mission.

Had to give a talk in church on Sunday. Wrote it in English first then had my companion help me translate. It took 3 hours to translate. Geez! But I think it went well.....don’t really know all the words I said ;) But it was a good experience.

Not much this week but it has been a good week


Elder Porter

The leaves are getting all pretty like :)

That's how I read my scriptures every day ;)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Esta semana fue muy bien para mi:) (This week has been great for me :))

This week has actually been really good for me! I have learned a lot about having faith in God and if I do, he will help me a ton!

One thing that I am wishing I did in school before coming out here attention in English class. I never thought learning about direct and indirect objects would ever be useful in my life. But when you are learning another language, it kind of helps.

And I thought it would be hard to learn an Asian language because the way you say a word changes the meaning, well Spanish is the same too. Take the word for ingles, if you put the emphasis on the "e" it means English but if you put it on the "i" it means groins. Not a fun word to mess up!

Another thing I realized, why Latinos usually have really messy and crappy houses. It’s because they are in America! And no matter how crappy it seems to us, it is usually a lot better than what they had in their home countries, which is also sad to think about.

A sad fact, subway in Indiana doesn’t do points, so I brought my subway card for nothing :(

The beginning of this week was hard for me. I was just frustrated in myself for not learning as fast as I would like. It is actually the first and only time I have cried on my mission. I don’t want to do it again because crying is awful. But I think it was on Wednesday I was eating lunch and I sat down and said a prayer on the food and then I just said that I needed help. Then after lunch I laid down on the couch and it turned into a really good conversation with God. I got the feeling that everything would be ok, and the rest of the week has been awesome! 

On Wednesday we had an awesome lesson with Mary, and we brought a member named Elba who is from Puerto Rico. She is a super solid member but has some cool experiences, but that wouldn’t be the best to share to a new investigator. So we were super worried about having her come, but we did anyways. We went into the lesson and started teaching the first half of the Plan of Salvation. Elba was so in tune with the spirit that it was like having another missionary there! Mary prayed and knows the Book of Mormon is true and says she will be baptized. But then she wanted to go to her Jehovah’s Witness church on Sunday. I don’t know why because I was like "you just said the Book of Mormon is true, so your church obviously isn’t right" but go figure. She will come around. 

Friday was zone meeting, and I realized that I need to stop being afraid to speak in Spanish because that doesn’t allow God to help me, because I am not exercising my faith and allowing him to work through me. So it was exchanges after that meeting. I was with my District leader Elder Wolverton (who incidentally I met his dad in 4th grade because he came to my class and signed a book that I have) and I just opened my mouth and trusted in God. I understood more that day than I have ever before. It was awesome! It made me realize that I need the spirit always to do this work, so I have been trying to do every little thing to have the spirit and not do any little thing that would drive it away, because I am wholly reliant on Him. 

While on exchanges there was a cool experience with this guy who kind of wanted to Bible bash with us, but he was just confused about what we believe and didn’t say anything really that contradicted what we believe. But at the end we asked if we could leave him with a prayer and he said he wanted to say it. He is this little short man with a red beard and scraggly hair. He reaches up and puts his hands on our shoulders, and begins to pray. I thought he was going to ask God to like kill us or something, but it was really cool because he asked God to bless us and help us in our studies and in our daily work. It was actually a really powerful prayer and I could feel the spirit really strong!

Another thing we went to contact this guy who Elder Wolverton had contacted previously, and we go and knock and a young guy answers and says that the guy we are looking for isn’t there. We start walking back to our bikes and he comes back out of the house and says that he is actually a member and was baptized in Honduras and then could find the church here. So we gave him the address and stuff, but sadly he wasn’t there on Sunday. But it was still a cool experience.

On Saturday there was an emergency preparedness fair and a blood drive. I was going to donate blood. I sat in the chair and they stick me with the needle and stuff. It felt normal for a second because I always feel a little weird at first. But them my vision started going silvery, and my hearing was like I was on an airplane, and I was freezing/burning at the same time! I said a quick prayer and then called for help. They tilted me back, had me cough, which was weird, and put a fan on me and I felt a lot better. After I was done I went back with the other missionaries there and they all said that when they had me cough they thought I was going straight to the celestial kingdom. They said I looked way bad in the chair, and I was super pale when I went to the bathroom after. But I’m still alive. :)

Super good week and I hope this next week is awesome too!

Love you all!

Elder Porter

His mom bought us matching ties!

Outside Notre Dame Stadium