Monday, June 20, 2016

Final Mission Post. Heart is FULL.

"And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that He hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember His merciful arm which extended towards me." Alma 29:9-10
"Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice; for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of His great power, and long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." Alma 26:16

These scriptures express my feelings so well. My joy is full. My Heavenly Father heard my prayers and helped me through it all. I loved being His missionary and witness this past year and a half. There are no words to fully describe the feelings of gratitude that pass through the mind of a missionary that is about to finish a mission. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for the opportunity that I had to be His missionary. I loved serving in Detroit, Michigan and in Santa Maria, Brazil. These places will always be sacred and special to me. What an amazing blessing it was for me to be able to find the people that my Heavenly Father wanted me to find. He truly is aware of all of His children and their needs. My mission was so perfect for me.

He helped me to do things that I never imagined myself doing. I stepped way out of my comfort zone. But I knew that my Heavenly Father needed me to serve and that He would help me to serve and do His will. Through the mission, I have seen how much He has changed me. When we give ourselves, ALL of ourselves to him, He molds us, shapes us, and transforms us into what He wants us to be. We need to have complete faith and trust in him and His plan for us. I left the old me in Arizona and I let Him use me in whatever way He needed. And with this, He has made my weaknesses strong points. I am not the same and I will never be the same because of my mission.

I will never forget the sopping wet walks in the pouring rain, learning a new language, feeling the spirit guide my words, singing hymns with my companions in the street, people yelling at us, doors slamming in our faces, the amazing spirit that overtakes the room during a lesson, people running away when they see us, the funny glares we get, laughing at the crazy moments and the psychos we meet, sweating all day, the glow on the peoples faces when they understand, giant holes in my shoes and socks, not knowing what I'm saying and learning from what I said, taking bucket showers, sleeping on the ground....on the winter, snoring companions, cows/horses/chickens and you name it in the middle of the street like it's normal, walking a million miles a day, eating armadillo and chicken heart/ liver, but most of all, I will miss looking down at my name tag and knowing that I am a representative of my Savior. Every time someone treated us badly or when I felt alone, I recieved comfort in looking at my name tag and remembering the one who suffered it all.

I grew and learned so much on the mission. I loved serving the sisters and elders of the mission and giving training in the meetings and conferences. I have a new love for teaching. I love the gaúcho people, the culture, and their way of living a simple, humble life.

On my mission, I came to know my Savior more personally. He is so real and comforted me many times during the trials that came. I have never felt so alone in my entire life, but I have never felt so loved than on the mission. There were so many times when I thought to myself, 'This is so hard' or 'I am completely alone'...or 'I don't know what to do'. But always, ALWAYS, my Savior comforted me and let me know He was there. I felt His presence many times. He is very real to me. I felt the love that He has for me and His children. He gave me the strength I needed. I will forever be grateful for the close relationship I have with Him and my Father in Heaven. I love them with all of my heart.

My heart hurts knowing that the mission ends. I would love to stay here in Brazil forever. I wouldnt trade my mission and the experiences I had for anything. I changed completely. He strengthened me and molded me into someone so much better than I could have imagined. He knows what we are capable of becoming. I am a living witness that when we put our complete faith in Him, He makes all things possible.

I love the gospel and being a missionary. I have never felt more myself than being a missionary. I know without any doubts that the Church of Jesus Christ is once again on the Earth. This is our time to share the truth with all! I know that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus the Christ. I know that the priesthood power is real and is sent from God to bless all of His children. I know that missionaries are called of God to be a light in this lost world. I know the gift of tongues is real and that the spirit really does speak to us in our mind and hearts to let us know what to do and say. Our Savior lives. I am a witness of His reality. I am so excited for the day when I will be able to see him face to face and thank Him for all he has done for me. The least I could do for Him was serve a mission. What an honor and privilege it was. I know He is always with us whether we see him or not. He is my best friend, my King, and my Master. I will serve Him forever. I know these things are true and I cannot deny it. I am forever going to be grateful for this precious time I had to serve as His missionary.
<3 Sister Alena Jane Porter

I'm coming home! Got my flight plans and my bus ticket to Santa Maria.
The moon was so cool looking yesterday...the pic doesn't do justice, but it was cool haha

Look at our before and after!!! WOW, we change a lot in 6 months, huh? haha

Sister da Silva saw my 'daughter' at zone conference & they took this picture for me making a heart
Sister da Silva was the companion of Sister Cruz Souza too, 
so it was special 

Monday, June 13, 2016


I'm gaúcha!!! ;) In my dreams....haha

Ola todos! What a week! Santo Angelo is quite the place. This week we talked like crazy and literally invited EVERYONE to be hear our message. It was awesome! We reached all of our goals and even exceeded them this week. We were amazed at how many people we taught and how many people we visited. This week was incredible! We both have got fire in our bones and are working great together. I love my companion. She is so calm, sweet, and fun. We are going to make these next two weeks ones to remember.
We are seriously teaching so many people. Santo Angelo is an area that can be tough too but missionaries, sadly, get used to rejection. We're teaching a very special family, E., N., Z., and her daughter. They are Catholic but when we talked about the Restoration, and the Book of Mormon, they completely changed. They understand now why there are so many different churches and they want to know more. It was such a spiritual lesson talking with them about the Book of Mormon. We really are blessed to have another book of scripture that clarifies so many things that were lost. A fun experience that happened this week was we taught a missionary from another church. We were planning on teaching an investigator, A., but she had a missionary there from some other Christian church. So, we taught them both! Haha. The lady looked like the typical preacher evangelical people with the long skirt and a bun in her hair. She was really old and kept looking at us like we were crazy. The people here that go to the other churches pay tithing so that a missionary can show up at their house to help them through their difficulties. We started talking with them and the missionary told us how she is a prophet and talks with God and that He reveals the future of others to her. We shared about the Restoration with her and Ana and challenged them to pray and know the truth from God. It was so neat seeing how she could feel the spirit. She clearly had no interest in praying to know, but she couldn't say someday, when she is in the presence of our Heavenly Father, that we didn't share the truth with her. It was an interesting experience to say the least.
She prophesied that I would travel across the world to share the gospel… Ha ha, Yep! I will be going back to the U. S.!  Haha We are also teaching a man named J.. He is so special and came to church yesterday! He loved the meetings and will be baptized on the 25th. Some cool things that happened this week:
*The sister that gave us lunch stopped me as we were about to leave to go work. She started to cry and thanked me for my testimony last Sunday. She said, "You answered my prayers and my fast. Wow! What a neat thing. We all need to share our testimonies no matter what because we don't know who may need it.
*We clapped The doors of rich people! So much fun haha and we use the intercoms on the huge buildings at night to get addresses because no one is outside in the cold. It's so fun.
*Jose & Elair, our investigators, came to church and loved it!
*I played the piano in Sacrament meeting because no one else knows how to play.
*The bishop announced that I would be giving a talk… Totally didn't know it, but I winged it and it went better than I thought.
*We found many new investigators.
*On Sunday, we have stake conference here in Santo Angelo and I will be able to see my sweet companion, Sister Da Silva (It's been about six months) and the people I taught in Santiago. My comp will also be receiving her patriarchal blessing so I will be able to experience that with her during the interval.
This time is so special. I love everything about being a missionary. The highs, lows, and in between moments are what makes us grow. So excited to work with all my strength these next two weeks and use my all to help my brothers and sisters here in Brazil. I love you all! 
Sister Porter

My cute companion and I on our way to church in the freezing cold.

Monday, June 6, 2016


Ola! What a crazy week. So much has happened this past week that I don't even know where to begin. On Tuesday morning I left Rosarío do Sul because of transfers. Wow… It was tougher than I thought saying goodbye to my "daughter", Sister Vicente. 

I've never cried so much leaving a companion before. We both had a hard time saying goodbye, but I know that we will always be great friends forever. I absolutely loved being able to train/help her. It was such an amazing experience that I'll hold close to me forever. 

My companion made this for me. She's so cute.  

It reads (I love you. I was trained by the best, Sister Porter)


Santo Angelo is on the other side of the mission. I left Rosarío at 8:50 AM on the bus, and got to Santo Angelo at 6 PM. It was one of the longest days of my life, ha ha. But I loved riding the bus because we drive through the wide open fields in the middle of nowhere. It's fun. 

My new companion, Sister Cruz Souza is from Garca, Sao Paulo, and is such a sweet person. She is so special.

She has lost over 40 kg on the mission (around 80lbs) and is such an inspiration. I love her already. The city is beautiful here. There are many Catholics, tons of Ford trucks (makes me miss the truck I first drove, ha ha), everyone calls me "Sister Potter" again, ha ha, and the members still sing at the top of their lungs. I trick people saying that I'm Brazilian and they sometimes believe it ha ha. Our apartment is great and we walk a ton. Life couldn't be sweeter! 

We had a zone conference in Santa Maria this past week. It was my last conference and President & Sister Parella's last conference too.
It was strange knowing that I wouldn't be seeing some sisters and elders ever again. 

 Zone conference with my buddies from the MTC
I love Sister Soares da Silva

"There is safety in obedience" 

with Sister Gregatto & Sister Cornick

This whole  week I wondered why I needed to leave my last area and be with this new sister, but President Parella let me know why when we greeted them at the beginning of the conference. He said to me,"Sister Porter, you need to help this sister. She has wonderful and has great potential and you need to help her to become the missionary that you are. The Lord trusts you and knows you can do it." I didn't even ask him why, but he knew he needed to let me know. I felt such love from my Heavenly Father when he said that, knowing that He had reasons why He needed me to be with her at this time. He knows all things. Present Parella asked all of the missionaries that were leaving in the next group to share their testimonies. I cannot believe how strange it was knowing that that was me. I got a little emotional, but shared my testimony. The mission really has changed me in my life.

Sister Vera from Peru
The spirit was so strong as we song the mission hymn. The conference really was amazing. I am seeing every day more and more why I was called to serve here in Santo Angelo with Sister Cruz Souza. The other day she said to me, "Sister Porter, no one has ever told me, or said, that I am a good missionary… But you tell me all the time that I'm doing great and only see the positive in me. Thank you, sister. Thank you." I literally almost cried as she said that. All of her comps had treated her less than she is. What an amazing privilege it is for me to be able to see her happy and getting excited about the work.
We have a good time together and are working hard. There are so many Catholics and hard situations in this area, but we are doing our best and are having fun with the silly experiences we have daily.
  I know Heavenly Father is helping us and is preparing people to hear us.

Yesterday was my last fast and testimony meeting as a missionary in Brazil, and in Portuguese. How sad! :-( So, of course I shared my testimony. I feel like I can share my feelings and testimony better in Portuguese so it was neat for me to be able to do that one more time. I LOVE being a missionary. I'm getting pretty sad as the time seems to be flying by. I often get emotional knowing that I will have to leave these people and the country I love so much. I love this work. But for now, I'm giving these last few weeks my all! This is the truth. We need to share it! We are on the earth for this very purpose. Let's all do our part and open our mouths and reach out to our brothers and sisters who are lost! I love you all and hope your week goes well!
Sister Porter

We didnt have any food in the house- Only a little bit of popcorn, a little bit of oatmeal, and 4 tangerines.....with 4 hungry sisters....BUT we found jello and this is how we cooled it off hahahahahaha it was quite the funny experience.

Monday, May 30, 2016



I cannot believe it is Monday again. The time flies by so quickly! This past week a ton of things happened. First off, we received transfer calls this week and both my companion and I were dying to see what would happen being as I will be leaving to come home in the middle of a transfer.  Every transfer is a complete surprise for me....Annnnd, what do you know? Yep, I was transferred! Ahhh!!! I couldn't believe it. Heavenly Father once again surprised me. I knew another sister would need to finish my comps 12 weeks of training in whatever circumstance, but it makes me sad leaving her now with four weeks left. But, I have been called to serve in the city of Santo Angelo with Sister Cruz Souza.
I have already met her once before in a zone conference and I'm excited to serve with her for a little bit. I know Heavenly Father needs me there at this time. I also know there is someone waiting for me there and He wants me to help this sister. I'm really going to miss Rosarío do Sul, 
my comp, 

and all the amazing people I've met here.

Opening an area, and training, wasn't the sea of roses I thought it would be, but it was so much fun. I loved helping my sweet companion learn how to be a missionary and being able to see Heavenly Father's hand in the many spiritual experiences we shared together serving.

The time here was amazing and will always be a part of my heart. My companion has cried for the past three days (Not even kidding) haha. She really is so sweet and has been by far my easiest companion. I love her so much. She keeps saying, "But my new comp won't do this like you do" or "I'm going to die if she doesn't do this like you did."haha So cute. I remember The scary feeling of leaving my trainer too. I'm so grateful for the blessing it was for me to be able to have helped her. Heavenly Father is so aware of each of us -it's amazing.
We have been teaching some incredible people.
W. is the brother-in-law of R., an investigator. We began teaching him and he has so much interest in the Gospel. He is one of the people I know I was supposed to find and teach on my mission. He accepted and wants to be baptized. I'm grateful for the opportunity that I had to teach him. We have been working with some less actives and have had some incredible experience helping them too. A. hasn't been to church for a while because he fell into depression and started doing drugs. But, when we went to visit him, he remembered the times when he would teach with the missionaries. He came on visits with us, is now dating a cute member, and he is so happy. They're planning on getting married and sealed in the temple. So I am beyond happy about that! We also visited A., who stopped going to church because of gossip he heard about himself from the Quorum president. When A. was born, the doctors didn't give his mom a C-section when she needed it, and so they broke some of his bones leaving him deformed. He has many challenges because he thinks normally but is impaired in many ways. He is an inspiration. He didn't need to be baptized, but he understood that in order to go to the temple he needed to be baptized. So he was, and has performed many baptisms in the temple. We visited him a few times, and I was so amazed. 
One day all of our lessons fell through and we didn't know what to do, but I kept thinking of his name. So we stopped by and asked him if he knew someone we could visit. He took my planner and wrote down 7 names with their addresses (with #'s and all). We couldn't believe it! The spirit knew he would help us. He kept telling us that he would never go back to church but that he knows it's true. Alma 5:26 came into my head.  I quickly flipped there and as I read the verse to him, (And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?). he began to sob. He cried so hard. He looked at me and said, "You burnt me, sister." He is difficult to understand when he speaks, but I knew the spirit helped him to realize what he needs to do. He then said, "I will go to church tomorrow. I will." My companion and I about died knowing how the spirit totally helped him to change. I love being His tool.

The mission life is tough, but so amazing. I love everything about being here. I've learned so much through it all. At times I don't understand why Heavenly Father does certain things. "And I said unto him: I know not. – 1 Nephi 13:22. But, He knows all and what is best. I'm excited for another adventure! I love you all!
Sister Porter 

Monday, May 23, 2016


Hey everyone! 
(I didnt' take any pics 
this week because I was a 
little sick. So I took a selfie 
to send something 
to my mom haha )

I hope you all are happy and well. I bet you didn't believe the news (of the earlier return date) I got last week, Huh? It is still so crazy to me. The time will go by way faster now. It's insane! The mission is so great....Hard, but so great. I loved seeing all of the pics of the week last week from home. You all look so happy. This week was a tough one here on the mission. Opening an area is super tough. But we are working hard and meeting so many people. It's like a never ending cycle of searching, serving, teaching, and dropping/or continuing as a missionary to search for the ones prepared to make covenants with God and change their lives.  We divide the work in the branch with the elders. So, they have one side of the city and we have the other half. The city is small, but it's just how I like it :-). We saw some miracles this week. We were contacting the addresses that we had written down and we passed by a house that we already tried before. The woman who live there told us to come back another day and so we tried again. Her daughter answered the door this time and let us in. She is a 23 year old mom and was super welcoming. Her name is F. We started talking to her about what we do as missionaries and began to speak about the Restoration of the Gospel. She was so interested in everything. Her mother showed up, and her younger brother too, and we got to teach all of them. The lesson went so well. The spirit was so strong. They were interested in how there are living prophets and apostles on the earth today. We truly are so blessed to have this blessing. We challenged them all to be baptized and they all accepted. It was so cute because my companion gets so nervous teaching and about died when I give her the look, "It's your turn to invite them to be baptized."haha But she is such a powerful missionary and is so sweet with her words. What made the lesson so incredible was how the mom already has been going to a different church and was planning on being baptized there, but changed her mind as we helped her to understand more. The family has been looking for the truth for years. Especially F. who has so many questions and doubts. It was a very neat experience to see how Heavenly Father knew we needed to find them.
We had another neat experience with an investigator named R.  She is a young mom who suffers from depression really badly. She has a huge desire to be baptized, but needs to get married first. Literally no one gets married nowadays, it's sad… And makes the work so much more difficult. Satan really loves attacking the family in so many ways. But she is so amazing and meets with us every day to learn more. My companion and I arrived there this week on Wednesday and she told us that she had been thinking about killing herself. My companion got wide-eyed ...poor girl. But I loved being able to talk to her, and for some reason, the words just came into my mouth. It was so neat to see how this truly is the work of the Lord. He guides us, and helps us to know when and where we need to be. He is in charge. I know I say this a lot, but I LOVE being a missionary. Yes, I am beyond tired. Yes, this is the hardest thing I've ever done and yes, sometimes we feel alone or discouraged. But, it is the most amazing work in the world. It gives us missionaries an indescribable happiness that will stay with us forever. I'm trying to give my all these last couple of weeks working as a missionary and to do all that my Heavenly Father wants of me. How grateful I am for all he has done for me. May we all remember to do our best and give Him the time and service that He deserves from us who have everything because of Him. His love is truly real and for us all.  
Vai com Deus! 
Sister Alena Porter

Hahaa we were eating lunch &
 were dying laughing because....
 the Teddy Bear has FEET!!!! 

Monday, May 16, 2016


May 16th, 2016
OK, I have some HUGE news! I've been dying ALL WEEK to tell you!!!  President Parella called me on Tuesday morning on a conference call with another missionary. He said he was sorry to call so late, but he had some important news. President and Sister Parella will be finishing up their three years as mission presidents on July 1st and the new mission president will be arriving soon thereafter. He said that he did not want to overload the new mission president by having him give us our last interviews (being as he doesn't know us) and he wants to finish with this group. He also said, that some missionaries in our group have expired visas and need to leave sooner. So, due to these and other things, our return date changed. We will be finishing our missions with President and Sister Parella on JUNE 28! Ahhh!! I couldn't believe it.
My mouth flew wide-open and I cried. Not tears of happiness, ha ha, but of sadness. I'm getting gypped two weeks! Sooo not fair. I am really going to miss being a missionary and teaching these amazing people. I love everything about Brazil. It was truly heartbreaking news. I love, and am excited to see my family, but man, how I love the mission! So yep, I will see you all in six weeks at the airport. It takes a while to get there, and so I think I will be leaving here on the 28th and arriving home on the 29th (in the afternoon-ish). ALL who would like to come to the airport to see me are welcome. 
This week was difficult with me being 50% sick and trying to battle a cold. But, we are working our hardest. Tons of people are catching the flu really badly and so everywhere we go, someone is sick. Brazil is super humid, and the south is cold and wet. So it's not a good blend. We are teaching a woman, M., who has a lot of potential. We are just waiting on her answer to be baptized. We had a family night with her and some members this week and it was so fun. She's getting to know the members, and it's great. The members here are already like family to me. They are true-blue Latter Day Saints. We are reactivating some amazing people – A., F., and G. It is been quite the experience to be able to help them remember the feelings they used to have when they were attending church and how they can feel that same way again. It really is interesting seeing how Satan works with people and how he lies to them. The atonement is so real, and so powerful. Our Savior can cure anything. It is never too late. We taught so many people this week. It is so neat to be a missionary and see firsthand how amazing the church is. Even the less-actives can't deny that the church is true. We had a lot of lessons this week that were planned to visit people but when they didn't work we ended up at other places that perfect time and situation to teach someone else. It is amazing how the Lord works. He uses his servants to help those who are ready and He knows where they will be and how we can find them. Everything is going great here in Rosario. The members, the work, my companion - everything is wonderful. I'm trying to take in every moment and work my hardest while I still can. The mission has taught me so many things and has changed me in so many ways. I love teaching. I love bearing testimony. I love feeling the spirit working through me to help God's children. This truly is the best time to spread the gospel. I couldn't be more grateful for this time my life. I'm so happy! I love you all and hope you have a great week! We will all be together soon! 
Your missionary,
Sister Alena Jane Porter

P.S. It's so crazy I literally only have 6 weeks left. I'm gunna go get em´!
My boots didn't last a whole year and a half....:
(they got a huge hole in them & because we are getto on the mission,) 
I used tape for a whole day to cover it up hahaha 
I bought new replacement boots...dont worry.

My companion laughed soooo hard when I came to study like this one morning. She is African-Brazilian and so she uses this to wrap her hair every night to make it stay straight. hahahahahaha I said, "Look sister! I'm Brazilian like you!!"....She cried, she laughed so hard.

I love the horses that are in the middle of the street.

Monday, May 9, 2016


Oi! Sorry it took so long today to write, we had a lot to do today. I loved being able to see you all yesterday on Skype! You all look so great and I was so happy to hear all about the things that are happening at home. I loved being able to see my brother open his mission call.   What a special moment it was for me to witness. He will bless so many lives with his humor and powerful spirit. I feel so lucky that I will be able to see him off and help him prepare for the temple and mission. I was hoping I could. It's gunna be awesome to spend time with him before he leaves! I love you G.B. and Happy Birthday tomorrow! I will always be so grateful that Heavenly Father sent me my cute little brother 18 years ago. You are so special to me. 
This week started off amazing with us finding and teaching new people. We see miracles every day and it's been super fun opening the area together. I love my companion. She really is the best companion I've ever had. But the week ended with me being super sick with the flu and a high fever....which wasn't fun at all. I could hardly move I was in so much pain. But like all trials, I learned so much. Patience in the Lords timing is so key to our lives being what He wants them to be. But all is well now. (Sorry I didn't take any pics this week as you can imagine). But the week ended so well with me getting to call you all and with a phone call that I got from the zone leader. He said "Sister Porter, I have some news for you.....your area in Uruguaiana is going to be baptizing 5 people this Saturday!!" I about died. He continued, "I asked the zone leader there how this happened and he mentioned you and how you taught a family. Well,,, they are going to be baptized on Saturday! Congrats for the work you did there Sister Porter!" Ahhh I literally burst into tears. The family of C. were baptized on Saturday and I couldn't be more happy. The kids needed to go to church for 3 months straight in order to be baptized (it's mission rules) and they were strong and always came! This work is really amazing. I know that the spirit lead us to that family. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father allowed us to find them and teach them. There are no words to describe the happiness that comes to my heart when families are baptized. Generations change!! It's so amazing. I know this is His work. I love him. He is my master. I know that through Him all things are possible. 
Sister Porter

Singing Happy Birthday to mom!