Thursday, December 31, 2015


Wow, I can't believe that its gunna be 2016! I finished reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese and English today!! Yay! My goal was accomplished :) What an amazing book!.. and it's even more awesome in Portuguese haha.
I am loving my new area here on the border of Argentina. The people are so loving and amazing and we are planning on having a lot of baptisms here soon. We are working so much and loving every minute. My companion is an amazing missionary and we are loving serving the sisters here in the mission together. We eat churrassco almost every day (1st area like this) and man it's good!! I'm literally in heaven. Our apartment is what my dad would call "a complete dive" haha. It is sooo small and broken down, but it's fun cause we laugh about it. It is super hot and humid right now in Brazil too. We literally are sweating all day haha. It's about the same temperature as the summers in Arizona, but with humidity and no air conditioning. So ya, we are sweating like none other haha. When we take a shower we immediately start sweating again when we are done. It's all for nothing haha. My companion always says, "Welcome to the jungle, sister!" haha. Ya gotta love being a missionary! :) Here below is my journal entry!! 
Well, I cannot believe this year is coming to an end. What an amazing year it has been. This year, I dedicated to my Heavenly Father. It was the hardest, most incredible year of my entire life. What an amazing blessing it has been to be a missionary this year and represent my Savior all day, every day! This year was one of much growth and change. As I look back at what I accomplished this year, I can see how truly I did nothing without the help of my Heavenly Father, my companion Jesus Christ, and the Spirit guiding me every word and every move. I am truly nothing without them. I have seen how much our Heavenly Father pushes His children to do hard things so that they can grow, be strengthened, and help His other children return to Him. His plan for our lives is so much better than our own plans. Sometimes it isn't easy to do what He asks, but it's always better and always leads to happiness and blessings. This year I have changed completely. I am a new person and never will be the same. This year I left my family to serve a mission. I began in the Provo MTC and then was reassigned to serve in the Michigan, Detroit Michigan. I served there for a month and a half and absolutely loved it. Received my visa for Brazil, learned Portuguese, and conquered so many of my fears, insecurities, and weaknesses. I cannot begin to express how much I have learned and grown. Every experience, every area, every companion, every investigator have changed my life and left me with something that I will hold dear for the rest of my life. I have seen so many miracles that have left me no doubt that the church is true. There is no way I would have thought I would be where I'm at right now a year ago. I had such a struggle accepting the fact that I was sick when I first got here to Brazil. I truly learned to have full faith and trust in the Lord and his timing. I knew he knew my desire to serve and I knew he called me here for a purpose. So I held on and never doubted and what did He do? He healed me in his own timing and taught me many lessons. He has made me in to someone better than I was. He truly knows best. He is my strength. I am so grateful for the special relationship I have with my Heavenly Father. He has always been my closest friend and He has become even closer on the mission. I owe everything to Him. He truly knows us personally. This week has been amazing! I loved talking to my family on Christmas day through Skype and being here in Brazil spreading the good news of the Savior. An amazing miracle happened on Monday, December 29. We found a name in the area book and we decided we needed to visit him. While we were looking for his home, I saw a man sitting outside his home and my companion and I stopped in the middle of the road, walk towards his home, and saw that it was the man we were looking for. He immediately let us in and we sat and talked with him on his front porch. He began to tell us that he had surgery a couple weeks ago and almost died. He expressed to us that he feels God has a purpose for him. He told us that he saw us walking down the street and thought we would not stop and talk to him, but that he knew our church was true when we did. He expressed to us that he wants to attend our church and that he feels the need to be baptized and choose a path. We were both in complete shock. We taught him about the restored gospel and he accepted and loved it all. He accepted to be baptized on January 16. He told us it wasn't by chance that we stopped there and that now it's time for him. What a tender mercy and miracle! God knows his children and he prepared him to hear us and accept the Gospel. We are teaching a woman who also loves the church and will be married and baptized. Also, we are teaching a couple who have also accepted to be married and baptized. They have a love of the gospel already and we are so excited to help them start their eternal family. N. and M. also have baptismal dates and we are so excited for them too. The work is going great here and we are so happy. Uruguaiana... it is a perfect area. I am so grateful for this time I have to help others come unto Christ. My testimony has grown so much on the mission. I look back a year ago and see a completely different person. However, Heavenly Father truly prepared me for this time in my life. I am eternally grateful for this opportunity I had to leave as a missionary at the age of 19. This is truly where I needed to be at this time. I love Brazil with a passion. I love these people. I love their culture, and their sweet spirits, and their loving personalities. I love being a missionary. I know Christ lives. He is my everything. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father. He is my king and master and I will serve him forever. There are no words to describe the feelings a missionary has in being his instrument. I'm so excited to see what this new year holds.

For New Year celebration the Brazilians eat lentil soup over rice and pork. It's so good! We will be eating with the same family we went to for Christmas.


Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas in Uruguaiana


Feliz Natal (Merry Christmas) guacho style!!!! 

Oi!!! I am here in Uruguaiana and LOVING it!!! Seriously! We live in a little apartment with two other sisters. It is a tiny place, but I love this place. I have truly learned how to live with very little. My companion is amazing and we are loving serving together. Her name is Sister Coelho dos Santos and is from Pará, Brasil. 
      My companheira. (My companion)

My companheira é O. 
I love serving with her.

Sister Coelho dos Santos is from an area next to the Amazon river (way up north) and talks with the accent from Rio de Janeiro and Portugal. It is sweeet haha. It's a ton of "sh" sounds. I wrote about my week in my journal and just took a Picture. I will send them all to you. I will be calling you all in about an hour and a half!!!!  Hope your all going to be there!!! Presidente Parrela let us write today!!! Wahoooo!!! 

So, I am here in Uruguaiana, Brasil. I have been learning lots already. We shared the ward with the elders - Elder Magalhanes (Brasil) and Elder Poulson (American Fork). The members are amazing. The bishop is amazing. The leader of the mission is incredible, and our area has people that actually want to listen. We have already seen so many miracles. It was raining really hard this week and we didn't have umbrellas, but God doesn't stop his work. It started pouring rain and I saw a woman smoking on the side of the road. The spirit told me to talk to her. Tons of people don't have a full set of teeth. It's sad. This lady only had one tooth and it was so hard to understand what she was saying. Another day it started pouring too and so we went under a tree in front of someone's house. A young woman let us in and her uncle was there sitting on the porch with us. I began talking to him and we came to find that he is a less active member. It was amazing talking to him realizing that God led us to him and was giving him another chance to return to church. The spirit truly testified to my heart that God led us there. He is in charge of this work. I'm so grateful he is using me as an instrument to bless his children. There are no words to describe the amazing feeling that comes to a missionary when they receive a witness that the spirit is guiding their words and actions. We are teaching a cute couple of 22 years of age that are expecting a baby. They are super interested in the Gospel and came to church on Sunday with us. They both accepted baptism and marriage and are loving the lessons. It is so fun teaching them because we can see the desire they have to be able to be an eternal family. They are willing to do anything to make it to the temple to be sealed. They are elect children of God that I know we were meant to find. We are teaching so many amazing people. I love Uruguaiana. Us sisters joke that Santiago was a test, and if you pass the test, you get to make it to Uruguaiana.  

Leaving Santiago

Santiago was amazing, but it's hard. The people here are so open and willing to listen to us, it's awesome! Today was Christmas and we ate churrasco in the house of a member. It was so GOOD!? They had potato salad, beef and pork churrasco (I wanted to cry it was so good), fruit salad and rice. So amazing. 

I loved having Christmas here with these amazing guachos . There is no place I'd rather be right now, and no other thing I'd rather be doing right now in my life, than being a missionary here in Brasil. I feel so blessed to be a missionary at this time. The news of the Church of Jesus Christ is one of happiness. I know He lives. I know He loves us. I'm so grateful for the love that God had in sending his perfect Son to earth to give us an example and to save us all. Through him, we can overcome anything and live again with God, our families, and our Savior in complete happiness forever.

Conferência de Natal!!! (Christmas conference). 

I am so excited because in a couple weeks I will be going on divisions with the sisters in Alegrete and I will be serving with my sweet companion Sister Hansen again!!!

Minha companheira
(My companion)
 The elders I served with in Santa Maria! It was so fun to see them because I've changed so much.

The rain entered our house through the window and got my companions bed wet!! She slept on the ground.
We came home soaked!!!!! It was hilarious. We used huge plastic bags to keep our stuff dry.The weather here is bipolar. It looks like it won't rain and then it rains haha and sometimes it's super hot and boots don't work with the immense heat.

My shoes are getting killed!

The rain was horrible this week!!! We walked in a literal lake all day with a broken umbrela that a member let us borrow haha
The chickens here are half dinosaur!!! haha jk
It is an ostrich egg.
These two are the CUTEST old couple that we visit. They are less active and are stinkin' adorable and totally gaúcho. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Peruvian, American, Brazilian, and Argentinian 
working in Santiago together.        
Báh tchê.(looked it up. Is Brazilian slang for -"too ridiculous for words"). I don't even know where to begin with this week. I received the Christmas packages from my F. grandparents and my mom and absolutely LOVED them!!!   
I was dying at everything I received. Thank you so much for everything it was perfect!!!
This week was full of teaching, running from appointment to appointment, sweating like crazy all day because of the heat, insane humidity, and seeing miracles.  
Popsicles in the heat. 

But I wanna share what happened this week with transfers.
So, normally we get transfer calls on Thursdays instead of Friday because President P. receives revelation super fast but on Wednesday this week, while I was getting ready for the day, we received a phone call. I saw that it was from the Assistants to the President. I immediately thought, we didn't do anything wrong, did we?' haha   So I answered the phone and the elder started to speak. "Sister Porter, President Parrella wanted me to talk with you. "You have now been called to serve as a sister training leader."....ahhh my heart was beating so fast!! I about died. He then continued to explain the role of this new calling and what I need to do as a leader of the sister missionaries. I literally panicked. I feel so inadequate and am still new to the mission but I have learned that in the mission, Heavenly Father calls us to do hard things because he knows we can do it. I feel so humbled to have received this calling. I completely didn't see it coming. Sometimes when we don't feel ready for greater things, our Heavenly Father gives us challenges to make us grow and be stronger. I am so excited to help the sisters here in this mission. I have already passed through a ton of things while on the mission. Things that have helped me grow, learn, overcome my fears and weaknesses, and change who I am personally as a daughter of God and as a missionary. I have completely changed while on the mission.  
I am so grateful for the confidence God has in me to lead the sisters here in the mission to be better and work harder. On Sunday we went to Santo Angelo for stake conference. and guess who was there? Presidente Parrella! ahh I went up to shake his hand and he said "Congratulations, Sister Porter. Heavenly Father trusts in you. You will be a great leader." I about died. I didn't have any words but receiving this calling has made me really grateful for the opportunity I have to share the things I have learned with other sisters so that this work can go better. 

Our zone

I will be heading out for the city of Uruguainana tomorrow afternoon to be the companion of Sister Coelho of Brazil. I am so excited! I am going to be on the border of Argentina! and my comp, Sister da Silva will go to São Gabriel to finish training a sister. My city! haha I feel so immensely blessed. I cannot describe the love I have for the gospel and this amazing work. We are so lucky as members. God is real. Christ lives. This is the truth!!
Sister Porter
PS: I wont have P-day next week because Christmas will be our P-day but I will be calling on the 25th. I cannot wait to see you!!!
The next time I will talk to you will be through Skype in Uruguaiana!! So excited! xoxoxox

Our district
Ward Council

Less active family we visited

Monday, December 7, 2015

Olá! The first thing I see on the computer is that my dear Uncle S. died. What sad news. He will be missed. I am so excited to be able to speak face to face with you all in 3 weeks! I want to hear how you are all doing and tell you about Brazil. This time of year is crazy. This week we will have transfer calls. De novo!(again) and transfers are next week with our Christmas conference that same week. Time is flying. I am trying my best to make my emails better, but as a missionary we really don't have time to write everything. After writing the president, punching in the weekly numbers, and seeing who wrote, we don't have any time. A couple weeks ago the timer started beeping that I only had 10 seconds left and I needed to send something to you all, so i just said "love you all" and sent it off. It's tough with the time we have. Any missionary would know. Honestly, I am having a hard time writing in English. I think I want to just write in Portuguese and you can use Google Translate. It would be a lot easier for me :-).
Andando na chuva! estávamos molhadas(Walking the rain. We are soaked!)

Funny things that happened this week:- Whacked my face into a wet tree branch with a ton of people in the street. My companion couldn't breathe she was laughing so hard.
This week was literally a miracle. Every single day had a miracle in it. 

-Visited a less active and talked to her about her family and then I questioned "Sister Magali, "Have you already been working on your tree?" (family history)....she says, "No, she needs help"...comes back with her Christmas tree....hahahaha

T. - she's 14 years old and we've been teaching her for a while now. She reads the Book of Mormon and prays, but won't come to church. We planned on cutting her and moving on so that we don't waste time with someone that doesn't really want to change. But, when we got there we asked her one last time if she had prayed about these things and to our surprise, she said she had prayed and felt a calm feeling that was so powerful that she cried. Wow what a response it was an amazing lesson all of Friday was just a huge miracle

J. - she is so sweet and has such a cute little family. We planned on teaching her about the word of wisdom, but in the middle of the opening prayer the spirit told us that she needs to hear about temples and about eternal families. She told us she wants to be baptized and she received an answer. Miracle.
Happy in the street after witnessing a miracle 

L. - we are now as missionaries sharing a Christmas video called "Nacio el Salvador" the whole world is using and we were wondering what to do one day after all of our lessons fell through. So we started tracting and I felt the need to talk to a lady sitting with her dog. We were weren't instantly accepted, but she let us in. We shared a video with her and she said she felt something different. She prayed for us by calling us angels and thanked us a ton. Miracle.

O. - we planned to visit a less active, but he wasn't home. This means God has other plans for us. We started walking down the street and thought of O.. She is the mother of I., the boy who was baptized. We walked by her house and it looked like she had visitors, so we stopped and prayed to know what to do. Immediately, we both had the impression that we needed to visit her. It started raining and so we hurried in to her home. She welcomed us in and we saw she didn't have visitors. Immediately after we entered her home, the rain stopped. God really was leading us to her home. We did not know what to share with her, but a scripture came into my mind – D.&C. 121:7–8. As I flipped to the page, my companion gasped with the look of shock on her face, she said, "I was thinking about the same scripture." We talked about trials and with tears in her eyes she expressed her gratitude for us. Told us she wants to go to church every Sunday, and that she feels calm\alleviated when we visit her. She shared with us the feelings and her heart and the things she is struggling with. We just listened. Didn't say much. But the spirit taught her.

M. – we have been working a ton with her. She believes in everything but doesn't fulfill commitments. But randomly, we felt we needed to stop by her home. We shared a message about Joseph Smith and just as we were about to say the closing prayer, she says, "Sisters, I have been praying a ton and I'm trying to receive answers. The other day I received an answer that this church is true. I miss the church and the feelings I have there and your visits. I have been feeling like something has been missing, and I know it is the church. I want to be baptized, but not yet. I want to go to church every Sunday and soon be baptized." Miracle.

This Sunday was the best Sunday. M. came to church with all of her kids. Two less actives we were teaching came and bore their testimony. We bore our testimonies. I. bore testimony, and shared his conversion story. Everyone was moved. A woman in our area came to church we had never met her but she just felt to come to church and came alone. It was so amazing.
Nossa cappella (our chapel)
A cute little girl that dressed up for us hahaha We love her so much!

I love this work. I love these Gauchos more than anything. We are working so much and seeing the spirit work within us to bless those children here in Santiago. Every week when our district leader calls us he is in shock at our numbers and how many amazing experiences we have. Truly this is God's work. He uses his children, who don't know much and blesses lives. I could not be more grateful for the many experiences we have daily, the blessings God gives us as missionaries and members, and for the priceless time I have personally to be a witness of Him. As I look back to when I first came into the mission, I can see how much God changes us and mold us into who He wants us to be. I know He lives. I know His plan is so much greater than we can ever imagine. His gospel and love for us is perfect. Ever since I was a little girl, I always wanted to be a missionary and share with others the knowledge that we have. I can't believe I'm here actually doing what I've always dreamed of. I love Brazil. I love my Savior. This church is true. Remember Him always and He will direct you to what you need to do. I love you all!
Ten um a boa semana! Sister Porter
Bus station on my way to Santiago, it's a way old pic but I thought you'd like.   

 Our view walking to lunch.   

Monday, November 30, 2015

Wanna Be a Ward!

I'm freaking is December already  What the?! The time is flying!! This week "trabalhmos até o pó!" (we worked to the dust). It was so fun. I love serving with Sister Da Silva.
We have a great time and truly want to change this area together. We are in a branch, and so we are trying to help them become a ward. They only need 2 more men with the Melchizedek priesthood to become a ward. So we are trying to find those men. We have been trying to find new investigators and man its been rough. I don't even want to know how many doors we´ve clapped and how many people we´ve talked to. A ton! Many rejections, but it's all good work and we are trying our best.
It is so sad knowing they are rejecting Christ and his church though.  But someday they will know and they can't say that we didn't try to tell them of the happiness that we have. We had another lady yell at us this week and it was tough. She was talking so horribly at us that my companion started to cry. We have been learning a ton together. There have been some tough experiences that we´ve had here together but I know that this church is true. I know it because of experience. I received an answer and I cannot deny it.
The atonement is so real. We have been feeling A LITTLE bit of the rejection that Christ must have felt and man how much more of a love I have for Him. He is our ultimate example.
We found elect children of God this week too. It was pouring rain, and there was no one in the street, but I saw a man and I immediately felt/thought "I know him from somewhere. I've seen him before!" and the spirit told me to talk to him. So I did and he began to tell us that he had been searching for the true church.  We taught him about the restoration. The spirit was so strong the entire time. He accepted everything and believed in everything. We challenged him to be baptized and he accepted. It was an amazing experience. I know the spirit guides us and tells us what to say and when to say it. He is so real.
I. received the priesthood and blessed the sacrament yesterday! It was so wonderful and special to see a young man who was doing drugs and horrible things a year ago , blessing the sacrament now. I love this work. The gospel changes people.
I love being a missionary. This is such an amazing time!!! I love these Brazilians. I love their culture. I love the hard days and the good days. I love teaching the gospel. I love the people we teach everyday and the things I learn from them. I love my Savior.