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.

Monday, November 23, 2015

White & Wishfully Working

OI!! I am loving my companion and new area.  Everyone is still calling me Sister Potter and everyone stares at me like I'm from outer space (because I'm an American)..haha it's great. Santiago is a great city! We have been studying the Book of Mormon in English and Portuguese and it is a blast helping my companion learn. We laugh a ton and get along really well. This week was tough. The people here are either of the Evangelica or Espirita churches and don't want to listen to us. We talk to everyone and anyone. Trying to find the elect children of God that are prepared and ready, but man, these people are tough cookies. We laugh so hard at how we seem to find the psycho people that don't make any sense and try to preach to us. My companion always says "What the? What is the matter with these people?" haha We have had so many weird experiences this week. People don't want to hear from us when they know we are the Mormon's but it's all good and it's all part of the work. It was really funny this week making contact with people in the street. I always talk to everyone, and naturally assume they aren't members and haven't heard from the missionaries. Wrong! It was so embarrassing this week making contact with members and not knowing that they were already haha. I started talking to someone in the street....: "Hi, how are you? Sorry to interrupt, but we are missionaries from the church...." and my companion: "Hi Brother N." ya embarrassing haha. We laughed so hard. Happened to me about 3 times this week.
Caught in the rain! 

Another funny thing that happened. A lady thought that I had a sickness and was looking at my eyes and face and then said;"No, you're just white" and compared me to the refrigerator. hahaha How awful! I'm so white and I don't know why. 
Our zone

We are working with amazing people. A. P. is an investigator of gold! She loves the lessons and we are so excited to help her and her family. D. is a really special man. He always is at church and loves the sisters. He even bought us lawn chairs so we can teach him outside his house haha. He is this cute old man that really wants to get baptized but can't because of a crime he committed a long time ago. He shot and killed a man. But he has changed through the atonement and is such a powerful example of faith. President Parrella sent a letter to President Monson to ask permission so that he can be baptized, but we dont think he will accept because he willfully killed the man in defense of his life and it's been about a year and a half. We are keeping faith and are excited for the day he will be baptized. This week we were teaching a man about the Plan of Happiness when his wife came in and started yelling at us and asking us a ton of questions. She was arguing with us and was trying to prove us wrong. She was treating us like dirt. It was a horrible feeling. Normally the people here are so welcoming or just reject with respect, but this woman had no respect and was slapping us in the face with her unkind words. I was completely shocked. We left, of course, but I have been thinking a lot about this experience. I've thought of how much more our Savior went through! How many people treated him poorly! My heart hurt hearing her words, but I was reminded that Christ's life wasn't easy and that He was more than rejected. I am so grateful for his sacrifice and love. I can't imagine how He felt. I love you all!
Sister Porter
Shoe shots -Above two pairs died this week and someone lost their teeth in the road. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hello from Santiago!!! I am loving my new area and my cute new companion. 

Sister Da Silva: has 3 months in the mission, is from Brasília, is my same age, loves speaking in English (its' so cute with her accent), is a recent convert of 4 years (got baptized at age 16) and is the only member in her family. She is a powerful missionary and is ready to work. I love her already. We live with 2 other sisters, Sister Magallanes from Buenos Aires, Argentina and Sister Vera from Cusco, Perú. they are the funnest. I love Hispanics :) We live in an apartment in the middle of the city. It's in a huge building and it's so fun. It's gunna take some time for me to get used to sharing one bathroom with 3 other sisters after 4 1/2 months only having sister Romero. We are serving in the branch and the other sisters have the ward. We are serving with 4 other elders too. The people are so sweet here. I'm so excited to work. I love it already.
This week was awesome! We had a baptism on Saturday of an investigator named I.. And let me tell you, he changed my life already.  
He is a living witness that the atonement is real. He is17 years old and started smoking, using drugs, and drinking heavily when he was 11. Because he started so young, it was hard for him to stop, but the sisters found him last week and taught him about the Restoration and he was completely changed. He stopped immediately with his bad addictions and said he wanted to be baptized. He has damaged so much of his body, it is so sad. He cant breathe very well and has a hard time speaking. But he is the most amazing young man. He has been through so much in his life and completely changed through the gospel. The sisters taught him the Restoration and about the Book of Mormon last week, and this week, sister Da silva and I taught him the rest of the lessons. It was powerful hearing his testimony and seeing his faith. He has read the bible through and reads the scriptures constantly. Not kidding, we show up at his house and he is holding the scriptures and a pencil to mark. I love it. His baptism was amazing. So powerful. He was teary eyed the entire time. I loved being a part of his journey. The atonement is so real and so powerful.
I loved seeing the smile on his face and tears in his eyes when we told him that he could become a new person and leave his old self behind. This gospel truly is perfect and brings such a happiness into the lives of the people who follow it. I love being a missionary. I love sharing this gospel with these Brazilians. We get rejected daily, but I know that we walk with Christ. He is our guide and our teacher. Sometimes there are days when we feel that we can't do any more. That we have lost all of our energy. That we can't walk one more step. But I know that our Heavenly Father lifts us and helps us to fulfill his work and bless his children. This is his true and wonderful work to bring the world the happiness He has to offer. 
Sister Porter 
The baptismal font was nasty from all of the rain, 
but we cleaned it, don't worry haha
Me, my cute comp, I., and L..

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Olá!!! I loved getting wedding invites yesterday! I'm so happy for Makayla and Amanda. So fun. I still can't believe it's November. The time flies waaayyy too fast.
Ok, so yep,I got transferred to SANTIAGO!!! Wahooo! I'm so excited!! I leave tomorrow morning.I totally knew I would be transferred. I could feel it. My new companion is a Brazilian, Sister Da Silva, and she only has 3 months in the mission (2 transfers). She is finishing training right now so she's a newbie! Yay! I'm so excited! I was a little shocked at the transfer call though, like usual. It will be an amazing experience and one of growth for sure being her senior companion. Normally Americans in this mission aren't the senior companions until they have at least a year or so in Brazil (the language is tough) but I only have 6 months here.
Elder Monhan & I were transferred! 
Was so funny that the Americans were the ones leaving haha

The best district ever. These elders were so fun. Gunna miss them. 
I don't understand fully the reasons why things happen in my life, but I know that God has confidence in me and feels I'm ready even when I feel inadequate.
Guess what else happened? The wedding and baptism didn't go through. Yep, I pretty much died on Friday. We were way far working in João de Barro (35 min away walking) and R. called saying that they were missing a paper for the marriage!!! Ahhhh! they had everything ready, the papers and everything, but what we didn't know is that the church needed one more paper to finalize the marriage and make sure it would be recorded. Brazilian laws are crazy. So they have to wait 15 days to get this paper. It was awful hearing this. My heart literally broke into a million pieces knowing that I wouldn't be there for their special day but I know that they will get married and I know that E. will be baptized. She is so special to me. Parrella and ask him if I could come to their wedding and baptism. It was so sad but I am eternally grateful to my Heavenly Father for guiding us to them and for the words the spirit gave us so that they could receive the gospel. They will be sealed and bless generations. I'm so grateful that I played a part in their conversion. 
 I know that I was meant to find her and teach her. She is truly my sister. I am so excited to see their pictures. They were so sad hearing that I was leaving that they offered to call President Parrella and ask him if I could come to their wedding and baptism. It was so sad but I am eternally grateful to my Heavenly Father for guiding us to them and for the words the spirit gave us so that they could receive the gospel. They will be sealed and bless generations. I'm so grateful that I played a part in their conversion.

This week was tons of running around, teaching, stressing out, and saying goodbyes. 

Sacrament meeting yesterday was so sad. I heard my name and was asked to bare my testimony. Man, it was hard. I changed so much here. I am such a stronger missionary and person because of the experiences I've had here. These gaúchos have touched my life forever. These past 4 months here were for sure difficult, but so amazing.
 I will forever remember the people I met and the experiences I had here. I feel so blessed to be a part of this amazing work. I love it. This gospel is the cure to all. Gods plan is always better than ours. I love how He knows what we need to stretch to become better and stronger. He is our guide! Let him guide you. I love you all and hope you have a great week! Vá com Deus!

Sister Porter

P.S.  I will travel by bus tomorrow, 4 hours to Santa Maria, stop there for an hour and then 4 hours to Santiago. 8 hours on a bus!! ahhh

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Day of the Dead

OI!!! First off, I just have to say that my cousins have the coolest costumes for Halloween!!! Parabéns! and I cant believe it's November...this month flew by. We have transfers this week, and I'm pretty sure I am going to be transferred. I can feel it. It makes me sad every time there is a transfer. The people here in São Gabriel are amazing. I love these Gaúchos.
This week was crazy with wedding and baptism planning. It is so much work! Running from place to place, making invites, and talking with the members to figure out what to do and how to do it. Man, it was rough but this Saturday is going to be one of the happiest moments of my life! E.and R. are going to get married and immediately after she will be baptized. She is dying to go to the temple and the ward is planning a trip in December! This is such a happy time for everyone. I seriously don't have words to describe how happy I feel as a missionary. I can't wait for Saturday!

This week was tough with a ton of people dealing with problems with the law of chastity. They get into relationships way too fast, and for the wrong reasons, and fall. It is so interesting as a missionary because I have seen that I can see when a person looses light and when they have light. People have a glow about them when they have the spirit and are doing the right things and I have learned to recognize it in people on the mission. We taught a teenager of about 16 years and he explained to us that he had killed someone to defend another, how he sold drugs at school, and how now he can't attend school because he's been to prison too much. Um ya I was dying inside...haha but it was so neat to hear him explaining how he wants to change his life. It was so powerful to see the reaction on his face when we explained to him the power of the atonement and that he can change.
We are working with C. and she is still wanting to be baptized, but not yet. She attends church every Sunday and is practically a member already, She just doesn't know it yet ;)
Yesterday was "day of the dead" here in Brazil and so we went to the cemetery to talk to the people there about the plan of salvation!
It was STINKIN' AWESOME. I loved it! Seriously, it was so fun. We talked to so many people and taught so many lessons. We had so many funny experiences. I started talking to an old man and turned out that he is the pastor of the biggest church here in Brazil. haha There were so many Catholics, and people crying and praying. It was quite the experience but I loved finding the people who were all alone that really needed to hear that their family can be eternal. Such a powerful knowledge that we have.
I am so grateful for the plan of happiness. It is perfect! God loves us so much. We have a purpose. He wants to give us all that He has. All we have to do is live what he says. I know families are forever. I love this gospel. I love being a missionary and sharing this message with everyone. The church is so true! I love you all and hope you have a great week!!! :)
Sister Porter

P.S. Oh I forgot to tell you that I ate chicken liver and chicken heart this ya it was nasty...didnt like it, but I have to try it because I'm Brazilian ;)  But don't worry, I'm not going to eat it any more.  I did it just to say I tried it and didn't like it to the members haha - it was nasty. I put TONS of ketchup all over to cover up the taste!