Monday, November 24, 2014

WHOOO Mary tiene un fecha de bautismal!!!

This week has been really good! We started doing those little lessons on the porch with Mary, and she now has a baptismal date for January 2. She is such a solid member and we have had some super spiritual and awesome lessons with her! She is the reason that I want to stay in South Bend, because I want to watch her progress even more! She told us this week that she is torn between JW and us because she likes both of them. She has been a JW for 5 years and hasn’t been baptized. We asked her why she hasn’t, and she said its because she feels like there is something more. So.... I decided to be super bold and tell her that this is the "more" that she is looking for. We showed her how the Bible and the Book of Mormon work together and she got super excited! She is one of those golden investigators who believes everything right when you tell her.

So our member Elba's son moved into her house because he has some things he needs to work out, and he has a Burmese python that is less than 2 years old and is already 9 feet long and almost 100 pounds. And I got to hold it!! So sick!!!
While we were at Elba's, a close family friend came over named Benny (his English name) and we have talked with him before. He talks super fast and with a super thick Puerto Rican accent (Puerto Ricans are super hard to understand) but he told me that my Spanish has improved since last time he saw us, which was nice to hear :)

We also ran into this white man named Mark. We helped him move some things out of his basement, then he asked us about our beliefs. He is a weird dude who is only interested in religion because he thinks people are dumb for believing it, so he pretty much likes to study peoples stupidity. We were able to help correct some of the false doctrine that he had, so even though he wasn’t interested in the slightest, we were still able to do good.

Had a lesson with Jose and Maria, and it wasn’t super good. They don’t have a ton of interest, and we were afraid that they were going to drop us during the lesson. So hopefully we can turn things around with them, but they are pretty strong Catholics.

We were able to teach Juan twice this week, and he still hasn’t prayed, so super disappointing. But we took our super awesome members the Diaz's yesterday, and boy I love members. I said one sentence, and Elder Thurston shared a scripture, other than that Hno. Diaz taught the whole lesson. I feel like it was what Juan needed, to hear from people who have had similar life experiences as him. So I don’t think he will be baptized in December, but I think he will get there eventually.

Not a ton happened this week, but what did happen was awesome!! 


Elder Porter
playing with my food . . . oh well

Me and the Burmese Python

Monday, November 17, 2014

HACE MUCHO FRIO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This week has been COLD!!!! At this moment it is snowing pretty hard outside! I love warm libraries!!!

Learned something really interesting from one of our members this week. So he is a regular laborer in a factory. He told us that he makes as much as someone who has 2+ college degrees in Mexico. Now it makes so much more sense why Hispanics want to come up here, because as a person with no education, they can make as much or more working in a factory than they could if they went to college for YEARS in Mexico!

We have finally been able to contact Juan our investigator with a baptismal date. We have a lesson with him this week. I don’t know if he will be ready on Dec. 13 because we would have to meet with him 2 or 3 times a week, and he works a lot. But I’m keeping my hopes high.

We are also going to try something different to teach Mary Rios because her husband is never home. So instead of doing like a 30-40 min lesson we are going to just stop by every day and teach maybe one or two points from a pamphlet on the front porch. Hopefully we can get her progressing to baptism. She is so solid and would be an awesome member!

Super cool experience this week: There is a couple, Jose and Maria (surprise) that the English sisters ran into down in Lafayette and they live up here in South Bend. We have been trying to get a lesson with them for almost a whole transfer, and we were finally able to teach them this week. The night before I felt like they needed to be told about families. So the next day we figured out a lesson in like 10 min, and it was really cool and spirit led. So we go in and they didn’t seem super interested. Then the conversation kind of moved over and we were able to leave a Family Proclamation with them and they totally opened up. Super cool because that is what they needed. So we have a lesson with them again this week too!

Also same day as Jose and Maria we went over to Elba’s to teach her son Jose and we were guided by the spirit to prepare a lesson about temple ordinances for the dead and the spirit world and stuff. He said that he wants to go to the temple and be baptized for his dad and stuff! So hopefully we can get him on track. But he will have a lot of work to do. But then on Thursday we took him to addiction recovery in the middle of a blizzard and then no one showed up to the class. So he was pissed and said that he doesn’t want to go back because no one cared enough to show up for him. I hope we can get him to go again. I don’t want to be transferred out of this area because I feel like I’ve got a connection to some of these people and I want to help them, even though this area is really hard at the same time. 

I am very happy to say this but I feel like my Spanish is improving now! I am getting more and more (not much by all means yet) but I am definitely understanding more! Super pumped!!! Sometimes I catch myself thinking a sentence or two to myself in Spanish too :)

Love you!

Elder Porter

In letter to mom:
I love your food! I have been spoiled by being able to have everything homemade. So....yes I would like some!! And I am being better about letting snacks and candy last me a long time too :) haven’t even opened the trail mix yet, because I want to have snacks for a long time :)

Things are going good. I’m really glad dad sent me that book because I think that it is what I need to do, to learn how to handle things better. Thanks for the CD too! Spanish music is awesome!! Maybe I will send you one of my favorite songs that I have found out here someday :) 

Ya there are challenges to every mission, no matter where you go. . . . Ours is finding people. Just work through them the best you can. 

I have actually not done your cooking tips because on p-days we go to the church and hang out with all the other elders. Have actually slept at other elder’s houses for two nights now. It’s a party actually! 

We have been invited for Thanksgiving with one of our members. The mission doesn’t do anything for Thanksgiving, but they do a whole mission conference for Christmas.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Esta semana fue mas o menos bien

This week was an ok week. Lots of our lessons we had set up last week canceled which was a bummer. 

We did have a chance to teach Juan, the guy who we ran into in Target, and he said that he would be baptized if he knew our church was true and we also set a date with him for Dec. 13th, so I hope and pray that he gets baptized then! He is a really cool guy.

We were able to get in contact with Mary again, and it was cool because she and her husband had both talked to each other and asked when we were going to come over again! When the spirit touches hearts, hearts are changed. We set up a lesson for yesterday, but her husband’s work schedule is crazy and he wasn’t home, so we couldn’t teach her; which is super sad. 

We were able to give a blessing to Ichy, the girlfriend of Ivan, our member Elba’s son. Ichy knows the church is true, but can’t stop smoking, so she stopped investigating the church. But she lost 2 or more pints of blood because she had been bleeding for a whole month. She had to get a transfusion. We gave her a blessing as well, and it was super cool because I think she might have cried just a little. So hopefully the spirit she felt will work within her and make her want to investigate again.

We were also able to meet with the less active lady, Cynthia Ortiz, again. She is super nice! She has one daughter named Renatta and is pregnant. Her husband is kind of JW and so she hasn’t been able to come to church, but we are hoping she will be able too soon!

The man Margarito who we tracted into and he said he believed what we told him had to reschedule his lesson, which is super sad, but it shows that he is super solid because he cared enough to call us to reschedule. 

Picture is of my district last transfer, just barely got it.

Love you all!


Elder Porter

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Muy bien semana esta semana!!

This week has been awesome!! After Wednesday we were on fire! We taught 11 lessons this week and we found 6 new investigators! This is up a ton from the 4 lessons and 0 new investigators we had last week. I love it!! 

On Monday it was one of our members less active sons birthday.  We went there to give him a little cake to say happy birthday. When we were there he pointed right at me and said, "I will go to addiction recovery at the church if you go with me, because I like you. We are friends." He has a hard life, he is disabled because he muscular dystrophy. This and other things have made his life difficult so he has turned to drinking and smoking to escape. But he wants to change and I was so excited when he told me this! 

The same day we stopped by Mary’s again because we haven’t been able to teach her because of her husbands work schedule. We talked for a little on the front porch for a while. We were talking and she said that she has been explaining the stuff she has learned, from reading the stuff we give her, to her husband, Juan. We asked if he was interested at all because he doesn’t seem like he is to us. She said that he actually is and likes to hear the stuff she tells him about what we teach, unlike the stuff she tries to share about the stuff at her church (she is a Jehovah’s Witness).  It is super cool that she told us this because we were thinking of giving her to the English elders, but he is more interested because he knows we understand Spanish. Super cool!

On Tuesday we went tracting. The first door that opened was a lady named Cythia from Mexico. She had talked to the missionaries before and remembered the things they had taught. So Elder Thurston asked if she was baptized and she said yes. She moved here and couldn’t find the church for a while and then it was too far away when she did find it. So we found an inactive member! Gonna try to hook her up with our member Elba to get to church. And we are going to try and teach her husband. Super cool!

Same day, Tuesday we were still tracting and knocked this door. The guy’s name who answered is Juan. We were talking and he said he had Mormon friends and stuff and we set a return appt. Then we were talking and he said that he doesn’t know if we remember but we talked to him in Target. Story behind that is like 2 weeks since I had been in Indiana Elder Thurston had to exchange something at Target that his sister sent. While he was in the dressing room I saw a man and his son sitting by the dressing rooms. Started talking to them in my broken Spanish and they said that they knew that missionaries were cool and if we were ever by their house to let them know and they would talk to us. Totally forgot his address and everything, but then we tracted into him again! Taught him a lesson on Saturday and it was a super solid lesson! Then he gave us a ride home too because we have to share the car now and it was like an hour and a half walk away. Super sick!!

Wednesday we went on exchanges and my district leader came to my area with me. We taught 7 lessons in one day! Blew our record out of the water for lessons in one week, in one day!! Found two new investigators too!

Halloween was very lame here. Had to be in by six. And I didn’t even see one trick-or-treater! But on Friday we taught a former investigator and he seems super solid too! AND IT SNOWED!! Here comes a super nasty winter everyone says.

Saturday we went tracting before the lesson with Juan, and we found two new awesome people!! One of them is named Elizabeth and we couldn’t teach her but she seems super solid! But her next-door neighbor named Maragrito is super solid! He let us in and we taught the restoration up to Joseph Smith. He said what we say makes sense and he believes it, unlike the stuff his JW neighbor tries to tell him that doesn’t make any sense. SUPER SOLID!!! 

I don’t like daylight savings. We can’t go tracting if it is dark outside, so if we don’t have any lessons we have to go home. LAME! Oh well whatever.

Love you all!

Elder Porter

Selfie with a snake