Monday, December 29, 2014

Primera Navidad en el campo misional

This week was very good. First Christmas away from home. It was very different but really good at the same time.

Christmas Eve we were with members all day. Had a lunch thingy with Carlos and Elizabeth. Then went over to the English members (The Kerby’s) and helped them clean and made cookies. Then we went to another English members house (The Christians’) and had a very yummy dinner. Then ran up to Columbus and hung out at our members house (The Mijango’s) and played games all night. It was a really fun day! Then Christmas we opened presents, Skyped our families, and had a wonderful meal at the Kerby’s (duck).

We have had a couple lessons this week but with Christmas and all, the schedule got all messed up.

We had a really good lesson with Louis though. We are still teaching him the restoration and we were going through it and then he turns to me and Elder Wright and asked, "Why are you guys in the church, how did you start?" and we talked about how our parents were members and stuff. But then I realized that he meant why is this the church you chose to join. So in Spanish that definitely wasn’t my own, I was able to explain how we can pray about the message, about Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon and receive an answer that it is the fullness of the gospel, and that is exactly what Joseph did, he prayed and got an answer from God about what to do. He was soaking it all in and said "I’m going to pray tonight" Super cool! We have an appointment today to meet with him again and hopefully he has prayed. He also has a friend who he wants us to go over and teach, which has never happened to me before.

Our less actives here are refusing to meet with us. We see them come and look through the peephole, and then walk away. It’s really kind of frustrating. But we will keep trying.

Not too much else exciting other than Christmas and Louis. But it was a good week still :)

Hope everyone had a good Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

Love

Elder Porter
Our outfit for the game we played with the members because the game box didn't have enough headbands

Monday, December 22, 2014

Esta semana fue maravilloso!

This week has been really, really cool! We taught 17 lesson this week, 13 of them being people we contacted. And we have a few return appointments that they are willing to let us in and teach them.

We also had Christmas conference this week with the whole mission. It was super cool. We got to see Santa and have a mission talent show; which was actually pretty funny. It is crazy the spirit that is there when there are a whole bunch of missionaries gathered together, a reunion of the army of God.

We were able to meet with Bertin, a man from Guatemala that was the only investigator in the area when we got here. He works so much that we can’t really teach him, and he has got some doubts about Joseph smith and the Book of Mormon, but if we could only teach him we could resolve these concerns. I keep praying that we will be able to meet with him.

Other than being able to teach a lot of the people we tracted into, we had one of the coolest experiences me or Elder Wright have had on our missions. It happened on Saturday. We were walking down a street in a trailer park and there was a Hispanic, named Louis, talking on the phone on the other side. I said hi and he said hi back. Then he said, "church people?" we responded yes. Then he talked on the phone about how he wants to go to church and change his life. We told him after he got off the phone that we could do that for him. He used to drink a lot and do drugs. We asked if we could meet with him later that day and he said yes but he didn’t want to do it in his trailer because his friends in there drank and stuff. So we told him about our recent convert Carlos who lives around the corner. He wanted to go talk to him. We worked it out so we could teach him later that day at Carlos' house. Carlos was super excited to have an opportunity to teach with us. The lesson went really well and Carlos told Louis that he would take him to church the next day. Yesterday Louis was at church with Carlos and his wife and son. Then after church we had a lesson with him and Carlos again. He doesn’t know much about Christ or anything, but he has the two same questions as Joseph, "why are there so many churches" and "why does everyone interpret the bible differently" It has been a really cool 2 days. He wants to learn so badly that when he doesn’t understand something fully he says "poco a poco" which means "little by little"

Doesn’t sound like we did a lot this week, but there was a lot of work that we accomplished by tracting. Trailer parks are just chalk full of Hispanics! So that’s where we are going to be concentrating our efforts.

Love
Elder Porter


Pic: Us and the Sisters at an English members house helping them decorate the tree after dinner. Super fun. Guy at the bottom is a super funny and interesting guy who has lots of crazy stories.



Pres Cleveland on Santa's lap!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Semana 2 en Seymour

This week has been slow lessons wise, but we have been organizing and getting the area set up on paper so the work can go as smoothly as possible here in Seymour. We got huge maps and whatnot that we put up on the wall.

We have been meeting with the recent convert Carlos and he is so cool! Before he met with the missionaries he knew nothing, absolutely nothing about Christ or God or anything, but now he is progressing so much. He is working towards receiving the Aaronic Priesthood.

We finally made contact with the only other investigator in the area book named Bertin. He is from Guatemala and is a full-blooded Native American. Spanish is his 5th language; his native language is called Chu, and is a dialect of Mayan. He just got new job and so he told us the only time he is free to meet is at 1 in the morning. So I keep praying that his schedule changes so we can meet with him and not kill ourselves by waking up so early.

So the other day we were in the dollar store and we ran into this lady who recognized us as "Mormons" because we are "cookie cutters" we talked to her for a while and as soon as it turned to religion she shut us down and walked away. Then she comes running back and says "are you wearing your special underwear?!" I replied, "Yes" she goes, "Can I see it?" and here I didn’t know what to do, I literally went blank. But luckily Elder Wright jumped in and said it just looks like a white t-shirt. Really awkward for me.

Tuesday we were driving up to Columbus for branch council and we kept getting these texts asking for me, and saying that they wanted me to come back up north. I was really kind of worried that there was some girl that was being all weird from the branch in Elkhart. So we couldn’t figure it out and so I called the number. And it was Elba, my favorite member from my last area! I was so excited to hear from her! She said that she wants me to come back up north. She also asked if I had found a "adopted mom" to replace her while I was down here. She is so sweet. I feel like she is my grandma sometimes.

So yesterday I had to give a talk in sacrament. I prepared the talk and had scriptures and stories to share so I wouldn’t go over. I ended up talking for 20-25 minutes, and elder wright only had 5 minutes to talk. I guess I don’t need to worry about going under anymore.

Not much to report. Things are going to start picking up I hope.


So we don’t have a washer and dryer, so we decided to wash our clothes by hand because the laundromat is gross apparently. So we woke up on Tuesday and elder wrights towel was still sopping wet. So he turned the oven on and the burners and rigged up his bike stand so he could put his towel in front of it to dry. I thought we were going to catch something on fire!


Elder Porter



Monday, December 8, 2014

Estoy en el sur de Indiana, en la cuidad de Seymour, con Elder Wright

I have been transferred as south as I can go as a Spanish-speaking missionary. I went from the most northern, to the most southern area.

We are in Seymour Indiana, It is in the Columbus 3rd branch. The branch here is mostly white people who are called to the branch because they went on a speaking mission. There aren’t many Hispanics in the branch, which is sad.


We have a recent convert who just got baptized last Saturday. His name is Carlos and he is super cool and nice.  Before the missionaries taught him he knew nothing about Christ, God, or religion, other than the fact that he believed God existed. Now he reads for an hour each day when he can out of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. He is married to Elizabeth, who is white and speaks no Spanish. She was baptized in October. They have a 6 month old.

This area has been closed for a couple years now. It opened up 2 transfers ago, but then last transfer it was hard because there was a trio of missionaries that was covering two areas. So basically everything went downhill. We are pretty much starting from scratch opening up the area. We are doing a lot of map work and paperwork, which I’m sick of being inside, but I know that it is good to do because everything needs to be recorded and easy to use for when another set of missionaries come in.

I am with Elder Wright. He has been out 2 transfers more than me. I am really excited to be with him. He is from Springville, Utah.

Not much to report this week but the ball will get rolling here :)

Love

Elder Porter

My beautiful nativity :)

Companion wanted to take a picture of me and my "drogas"
(Don't worry -- they are really just herbs!!)

Me and my new Companion, Elder Wright

Monday, December 1, 2014

Me pongo triste porque estoy saliendo esta area

Super sad. They are closing my area. I was actually a little mad when I found out. We found out on Tuesday because the zone leaders told us. So this week has been a bunch of goodbyes and such.

We haven’t gone finding because it is pointless to find new investigators because the nearest Spanish missionaries are 15 miles, 30 minute drive or longer, away. That for you guys in Utah is like the nearest missionaries are in the area between Bountiful and Salt Lake, depending on how fast you drive. That is one of the reasons that I was mad because I know that the people here will most likely not have contact with the missionaries that they can understand. There are English missionaries, but most people don’t understand enough English to be effectively taught.

We did visit Mary yesterday to say goodbye. She told us that she has received an answer and she has decided to be BAPTIZED!!! She is going to Mexico for 3 weeks in December, so she is going to be baptized the beginning of January. I am so excited that she has decided to be baptized!! The picture is of me and Mary (she is happy, Hispanics don’t smile)

So when we told Juan that we would be leaving, he pretty much dropped us anyways, and told us that he felt like he was good where he was right now. I was super sad when he said that!!

For thanksgiving we spent the whole day with the Diaz family. They took us to lunch at Ihop and then we helped them make dinner and had dinner with a few of the members of their family. They are such great people, and I am going to miss them! And our other member Elba too.

On Saturday I got to go to the Chicago temple with Diana and Xavier, two members of our branch who are getting married this month. Got to do initiatories in Spanish, which was cool, and then got to go though a session with them. It was a super long drive to Chicago! Had to wake up at 4 in the morning to get there in time. But I’m glad I did :)

Don’t know where I’m being transferred to, but my district leader thinks I might go to Goshen, a city that is in our same branch right, so I would be ok with that :)

Love

Elder Porter


Check out more pictures - see link at the right