Monday, October 26, 2015

"Ohhhhh we´re half way there!!!!.....ohhhhh!! Livin´on a prayer!" haha I'm sure all of you started singing the song, huh? ;) I'm kinda freaking out at how fast the time is flying. I'm almost at the top of the mountain now. I will hit my half way mark on Wednesday! I entered the mission field 9 months ago and now have 9 months to go. Crazy. I don't know how I feel.

This week was a crazy one. And I mean crazy. Full of stress, let downs, miracles, blessings, and tons experiences. Basically the typical life of a missionary.
First off, my prayers were answered and my dreams are coming true. E and R. will be married on November 7th and E. will be baptized immediately after. AHHH!! My heart couldn't be more overjoyed!!! We challenged them to pray to know if November 7 was the day they needed to be married and for her to be baptized, and they said it was!!! Ahh I cried....and couldn't sleep that night...haha but seriously, there are no words to describe the feelings I have knowing that God used us as his servants to help a family receive the gospel. I have seen them completely change through the gospel. R. is now very active in the church and E. LOVES everything about the gospel and church. I love their willingness and desires to do the will of God. They are so humble. I cannot wait for the day they will be sealed to their children. my heart is overflowing with a joy that cannot be described with words.
Wednesday we worked in João de Barro and gave tea to people who want to stop smoking. It was hilarious. We made tea out of the tobacco they smoke, and when they sip just a little bit, they wont want to smoke more. It was so funny showing them how awful smoking really is. But it rained super hard that day. We didn't know it was gunna rain so we didn't bring umbrellas and we were about 40 min walking distance from our home. So yep, we walked in the pouring rain all the way home in the mud. But hey, we found a turtle in the street! :)
Thursday morning sister Romero handed me the phone and I heard a voice I recognized. Sister  S.!!! Ahhh my mom (trainer) of the mission! I was dying. The sister training leaders were doing divisions with her and let her call me! So special to talk to her. She changed my life and had such an impact on me. My companions will forever be close to my heart. 
Also this week we watched a transmission from the MTC in São Paulo. Elder Massagardi, and others, talked to the missionaries there and we got to watch it yesterday! It was so powerful to watch and such a testimony builder to see the missionaries and be reminded of the sacred calling we have.
My zone! This was yesterday at the transmition!!! 
I love being a missionary.

This is such a special time for us to spread the gospel to all the earth. We have the cure that can bring all happiness! I love my Savior and know He is at the head of His church. I know He loves us and hears our prayers. I love you all! Boa semana para vocês!
Sister Porter

Monday, October 19, 2015

Without HIM we are nothing.. 

Vamos viver nossos sonhos! (let us live our dreams)

Oi!! This week was crazy and passed so fast. First off, I recieved a package from grandpa and grandma Porter for Halloween and it was awesome! Thank you :)
I also received a letter from a man I talked to at the MCC (Missionary Training Center). I shared the gospel with him (haha like always) and it was neat to receive a letter from him not knowing that I had made an impact on him. I also received a "dearelder" letter from a soon to be sister missionary who will be serving in the Brasil Santa Maria mission who lives in Queen Creek.  It was so sweet seeing that the blog that my mom posts my emails on is helping girls prepare to serve here. 
This week was weird. In Brazil they change the hours every once in awhile, so on Saturday the whole country switched the clock an hour ahead. So ya, we lost an hour haha. It was so funny because Sister R. and I were dying that it was 8 oclock at night with the sun still out haah. 
Funny things this week:
-People keep asking me what my real name is and when I say ´Alena´they all look at me like I'm lying or something and say ´No, your name in English´haha. Makes me grateful for my name, but its hilarious
-A song was playing in the street in Spanish and it was so funny because Sister R. and I knew the song word for word, and she looked at me like ´What the?! How do you know it?!´haha Thanks Alec for always playing your spanish songs in your car haha
-When we ask people to pray and they say they can't and start coughing like they are all of a sudden sick or something...haha
This week was amazing. absolutely difficult, but so amazing. We had district conference with three branches and Presidente P. came and spoke. It was so neat. The whole building was full of people and we had so many investigators there too. President P. made all of us missionaries come up to the front and sing the mission song and everyone cried. It was amazing. 
We had divisions with the sister training leaders and sister B. and I found an elect!
Her name is C. and we started teaching her about the plan of salvation and she burst into tears and told us that her grandpa was a member of the church and died not too long ago. She told us that she wants to be baptized and follow his life of goodness. I was dying. The spirit is real. Members have been giving us so many references and we have been working a ton. E. and R. received their wedding papers!!! They want to wait until November 29th to get married, but she needs to get baptized now. Last night we taught them about the Lords timing and challenged them to pray about a date. We prayed all day yesterday and know that God wants her to baptized on Nov. 7th. So we challenged her to pray with R. about this day and we are praying tons that they will know that it is what God wants and that they need to be sealed in a year. a friend of E. and they want to get baptized on the same day. Um, ya I'm dying with joy! We had a family night this week about the Light of Christ. I have been thinking a lot about how he has truly done everything for us. Without Him we are nothing...but with Him, we are everything. This week I've been thinking a lot about how blessed I've been. I feel I need to share this with you all today. When I first came here to Brazil I was so frustrated. I couldnt speak and had such a desire to share the gospel with everyone but couldn't do so in the way I did in the US.,I was soooo sick with migraines that made me feel like my head was going to explode every day, and I honestly didn't know what to do. I felt abandoned. Through this time of difficulty I came to know my Savior more than I ever had before. I know him. I learned to completely rely on him. Have complete faith and trust in His plan. Know that He is in control. that He can do all things. That he has all power and all knowlege. I learned through this that when we press forward with faith, knowing that we are doing His will, He will always help us. Always. He loves us. He hears our prayers. He knows our struggles, our desires, and our hearts. Trust in him always. Trust in HIS plan for you. It isn't the easy plan, but it's the best plan. I love him and am so grateful that he healed me and is changing me, teaching me, and using me to bless his children here in Brazil. Always remember Him and all things will work for your good. :) 
Sister Porter

Monday, October 12, 2015


So today is another holiday! Day of the kids and of some saint that I don't remember the name of! haha So I'm at a members house writing you. Sorry for the delay mom. This week was super stressful, full of rain, and prayer. Seriously it rained every single day this week. Without fail. It was literally pouring rain. 
People think we are crazy for still working in it. We got some funny looks.
We have 6 families we are working with that need to get married in order to be baptized. It has been quite the experience dealing with less actives and seeing how they are destroying their eternal families and living for the things of the world. 
Cool things about this week- 
-Played the piano at a baptism. Couldn't help but think about how my family gave our piano away and how I would drive to the church building to practice. haha 
-My skirt ripped on the train tracks! ahhh I freaked out! haha I tried jumping over some mud, but of course my skirt ripped instead.
It was hilarious walking through town with a hair tie as the only thing keeping it together haha. (mom-my comp let me borrow her boots because mine were wet. nothing dries here)
M.- she is a investigator that is married to a less active member. He smokes and drinks a ton, and she wants to get baptized. It's so tough. She is so strong. but I know that the atonement will help cure this.
A.- we are teaching her family. her 'husband' V. smokes and drinks too but wants to stop. We had a lesson with them that was so powerful about the Book of Mormon and it was so neat to see his desire to read in order to gain power to stop these bad habits. 
L.- something happened. She doesn't show up to church or answer our phone calls. We talked to her boyfriend and he said that she is still going to get baptized this month but during sacrament meeting, her boyfriend was released as the young mens president and his dad is the president of the branch. When his dad released him, he started to cry and couldn't speak. It wasn't good. He got up and left crying and his dad continued. The whole family was bawling all through sacrament meeting. Something happened for sure :( but we are keeping our hopes up and praying tons.
E. -they will get their papers for marriage this week! wahhooo! So excited. Yesterday she didn't show up at church, so we went to visit her right after. When we walked in, she started crying and said that she had been praying that we would come. She told us that her daughter was sick and that she needed some comfort. We taught about prayer and I asked her how she received her testimony. she said, "I was looking for the right path, the right church, and never found it. I had attended the church many times and didn't think much but when you, Sister Porter, came and taught us, I felt different. You speak with a certain peace and calmness that gave me feelings of peace in a time when I didn't have it. I can feel that this is the right path because of the feelings of calmness that I feel now." Um ya, I cried my eyes out. She truly is so special. She listens to the hymns and watches Mormon videos all day every day with her kids. She is my heart.

This week I have been learning a lot of things but mainly patience. There are so many nights, especially this week, where I have a hard time sleeping because I'm thinking about all of our investigators, their problems, how we need to help them, and what lessons and words they need to hear. Missionary work isn't easy but I have learned that this work is not mine. This work is the work of the one who knows all. He knows the people. He knows their needs. He knows everything. Patience in His plan and timing is everything. I know that He is real and loves us. He knows us by name and in a personal way. i love him. I am so grateful for all of the things he teaches me. Turn to him. Have faith in his plan and his timing, and everything will work out. 
Com amor,
Sister Porter

Monday, October 5, 2015

Oi!! Wow, wasnt this week awesome!! S. got her mission call!!! Ahhh I'm so happy for her. Guess what? Remember A.? The woman who I taught, and who got baptized in Michigan? Yep, shes from Kentucky. She is gunna LOVE it there. The people are amazing. So happy for her and her decision. The mission is the best. Wouldn't trade this experience for anything.
General conference. Can I just say, for missionaries it is like Christmas is coming. haha We were dying of excitement. It was such a neat experience hearing conference in Portuguese for the first time. It was a tuffy though for my brain being able to understand the translator and the person speaking. My brain went back and forth a ton with the different languages. How awesome that we have new apostles! I can't even imagine the nerves being called to that calling and then having to speak after the profeta.
This week was full of conferences and revelations! We had a zone conference in Alegrete on Thursday, and man it was fun. 
Zone conference in Alegrete! 
I loved seeing all of my friends and talking about who got baptized and seeing how everyone is doing. It was so fun seeing my friends from Santa Maria, all of them were so shocked at how much I've changed. It is crazy how a mission changes you in just months. 
My friend I served with in Santa Maria. He is from Ecuador, 
swe chat a lot about his city (Guayaquil) where I served before the mission in the orphanages. 
I learned so much at the conference and Presidente P. responded to a ton of my questions. 
Presidente P.! We love him.
E.-she will receive her papers for marriage any day now and I'm dying with excitement for their marriage and her baptism. She is so so so special to me. She's one of those special people that I know I was meant to teach and bring the gospel to. 
L.-texted from her phone that she set a baptism date. We keep nagging her to set a date and pray to know what day because she has nothing in her way, but she always says "I'm still praying. I dont know what day yet" and when we try to set a day she doesn't follow through. So we were so happy that she said she had a response! She will now be baptized on the 31st of this month!! Ahhh! Answered prayers!! Happy Halloween for sure ;)
K.- we are working with a woman who was baptized by water, but not by the spirit. After her baptism, she went home and smoked…um, ya...can't do that. haha So we are teaching her and set a date for the 24th of this month and she accepted! We are so excited.

I want to share a few thoughts that I had from conference. First off, the music was so powerful. I got teary eyed listening to the children singing my favorite primary song, "I feel my Saviors Love." It was so powerful. I loved how the messages were focused on families, the sacrament/atonement, and also women. I have been thinking a lot about these things lately. As a missionary, I see how Satan is literally trying everything to destroy families. He is very real, but that is why God gave us the gospel. A map, so that we can know how to ignore Satan and follow His guide. I am so grateful that we can make promises with Him and how He allows us to work towards becoming like Him, and someday receive the peace and happiness that He has in store for us. He wants to give us all! I have been thinking a lot about the influence of our parents and how our mothers impact our lives. The missionary age change wasn't by chance. God is preparing more mothers to be more strong in their faith and preparing them to teach the gospel more powerfully to their children. The Savior is coming soon. We need to prepare. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have right now to be serving and learning so much. May we all remember our covenants and strive to be stronger for our Heavenly Father! I love you all!!!

Sister Porter
Reunited at last with my buds from the MTC and my dear Sister Hansen