Monday, January 25, 2016


Esta semana foi ótimo!!! We had a baptism, I got my hair cut....(Oops), we are going to Livramento this week and will be able to cross the border into Uruguay!!, and transfers will happen this week. My companion is going home next week and so we are gunna be working like crazy this week in Livramento. We are so excited!! I love you all!!!

Journal Entries ~
Monday, January 18, 2016
Today was the craziest P – day of my entire mission! My companion planned the whole day out and what did we do? Shop! She's leaving soon and wanted to buy a ton of gaucho stuff. It was fun looking at all of the cool stuff, but took up our whole P day. I remembered all of the times I would go shopping with my mom and just look at stuff and goof off. It brought back so many memories. It was so fun. After she shopped all day, we went to a less actives salon to trim my hair. It had been a long time (about a year and a half) since I last cut or trimmed my hair and I felt it would be good. But no, I was wrong! She started clipping away at my hair! I was horrified. My hair was destroyed. I didn't know what to do or say. We left her salon and went out to teach. Even though she cut my hair for free, it looked like a little kid cut it. We got to N."s House and she cut my hair to make it even I was dying having another person cutting my hair who doesn't know how, but she fixed it! Hallelujah! My hair is so much shorter (about 6") but I'm grateful it will grow back and that it's all one length. Got to have a crazy haircut story from your mission!
Haircut ~ BEFORE, when it got ruined.......
                    and AFTER, fixed by investigator)!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Today we watched a satellite transmission for the missionaries throughout the world. It was so cool hearing the apostles and learning what we need to do better as missionaries. The whole time I kept thinking about how the Savior truly is returning. The apostles taught us that we need to focus more on our purpose of inviting all the world to repent and be baptized. What an amazing feeling it is to know you are a missionary and an instrument in Gods hands to change hearts and lives. While we were walking to an appointment, President Parella called telling us that while we are in Livramento next week, we can cross the border into Uruguay and buy things and talk to the people there! What an experience and privilege! Sisters are not serving there, but we get to go to Livramento and Uruguay. What a blessing! I love President. He is so loving and understanding. He is giving us 50 real's to buy things in Uruguay. I hope I can see my cousin, Lexa, who is serving there too. We found an elect, M. L. We found her clapping doors and she immediately let us in. We are so excited to teach her. The Lord is truly guiding us and helping us find his children. 
Porto Alegre and a pineapple that an Elder gave me cause I don't eat anything that has milk 
 He feels bad cause he always brings treats for everyone and I can't have any. 

Friday, January 22, 2016
N. was baptized today! Ahhhhh! Que felicidade! :-)
BATISMO!!!! so amazing.

The church was having a soccer game on Saturday and for Brazilians, soccer is super important, so we moved the baptism to Friday. What an amazing, spiritual experience it was! N. didn't believe in God when we met her and has changed completely and such a short period of time. Her husband, E., has been inactive for years and now holds the priesthood. He is working towards being sealed to N. They were already at the church building when we got there an hour before the meeting.  E. told us, "Sisters, I can't baptize her. I am going to forget the words and it would be better if an elder did it."  He went on and on about how he didn't want to. It was clear that he was nervous. Sister Coelho and I sang a special musical number for her in Portuguese and a small part in English. It was so special. She was glowing with happiness as she left the water.  E. did baptize her and he said, and did, everything perfectly. Everything about it was perfect. I couldn't hold back my tears of pure joy. E. bore testimony after she was baptized and it was so powerful. It was so amazing seeing the change they went through and how now E. will baptize their future children and have an eternal family. My testimony grew so much as we have been teaching them. The gospel is perfect and truly is the only way we can have true happiness. I love E. and N. I know God knew we needed to find each other. They went through so much to be strong members of the church. Living God's plan never is easy, but it is so worth it. Words cannot describe the happiness I felt watching her being baptized. Being a missionary truly is the most incredible honor.

Sunday, January 24, 2016
I am so grateful for faithful member missionaries. P. and D. Martin's always help us with our investigators. They are a couple that talk to, give rides to, and support the people we are teaching. E. and M. too. I am so impressed at how much they do as members. One of our investigators came to church and when I asked her how she got there, she said, "Brother E. picked me up." .... The members give rides to our investigators for church without us even asking! I hope to be like these amazing members. They teach me so much. N. received the gift of the Holy Ghost in Sacrament meeting. What an amazing moment it was too experienced and witnessed a joyful expression of peace on her face as she realize she was a member now of Christ church. I gave her the biggest hug afterwards. 
N. after she received the Holy Ghost!!!  I love her!
What an incredible woman she has become.  I. came to church with us to and will be baptized on Saturday this week. God is so good. This is such a special time. We meet so many amazing people that have changed me forever. I will always cherish the moments I've had to witness the change the gospel of Jesus Christ has made in the lives of these people. N. and E. will forever be a part of my heart. What a blessing it was to see her transformation and witness the light and happiness that is now a part of her countenance. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Heavenly Father has truly blessed me more than I could have ever imagined. This week I hit my year mark. One year ago I was heading out to the MTC in Provo to start the most incredible journey of my life. 
ONE YEAR DOWN!!! ahhhhh
Our dirty burnt feet hahaha
As I reflect on this past year, my heart is full. This past year has been by far the most difficult, spiritual, amazing, and most rewarding time of my life. As we drove to the airport on January 28, 2015, I didn't have any uneasy feelings. I felt completely calm. I was sad to be leaving my family, but so excited to do what I knew have my Heavenly Father called me to do before this life. I knew I was doing his will and the right thing. Even though I felt nervous and scared, he gave me strength. He led me through it all. Throughout my mission I have learned to completely trust and have faith in him and his timing. He has transformed me into someone I never thought I could be. I've gained a testimony and witness of his reality. He changes us to become what He wants us to be when we allow him to take control over our lives. He loves us with such a special and personal love. He knows our fears, doubts, insecurities, dreams, and potential. He sees us for who we truly are. I love him. He is my strength. Gives me courage. He changes me and guides me. I know He is real. I cannot thank him enough for what he does for me and for this time he has given me to be his witness. The church is true. Sister Porter. 

A cup that a recent convert had in her home....
um ya, no one speaks English correctly hahahaha!
Açai ice cream! I almost cried it was so good.
My cute little girls and their "Frozen" birthday party.

Monday, January 18, 2016

I want to thank everyone for the emails I got last week and for all of the birthday wishes I got too. It is crazy how the time flies! 
This week was amazing and full of miracles and tender mercies. Every day I see the hand of God in some way. I have decided to write more in my journal because I don't want to forget anything, especially the miracles. On Tuesday, after district meeting, I headed for the bus stop and traveled to the city of Alegrete to do divisions with the sisters there.  It is about two hours away from Uruguaiana by bus.

I still feel weird sitting alone on the bus without my companion, but the scenery is amazing. 
 My bus ride to Alegrete was awesome. I loved it!
I love to travel and see new places. The whole time I kept thinking about how I am so grateful that my parents took us kids to see other countries and cultures throughout my life. I am a different person because of the things I've learned from each culture, the people, and their way of living. I'm especially grateful for the opportunity I had to go to Ecuador all alone to help those sweet orphans a couple summers ago. I went all alone and I didn't fully understand why I felt so strongly that I needed to go, but it was an experience that has changed me and helped me so much in preparation for my mission. God really knows all things and knows us so personally. I was so excited to be serving with my old companion again, Sister Hanson. It was a little strange knowing that she basically trained me on the mission and that I was there to train and help her. She is heading home in February and so it was sad knowing I wouldn't see her again for a long time. The division went well and the spirit was so strong. Her companion is still being trained and it was so cute seeing that she was nervous that I was there and remembering how I used to be nervous when the sister training leaders to divisions with us. I loved helping them out and learning from them. Her companion, Sister de Oliviera really opened up to me with all of her fears during our feedback after the division.  I loved being able to help her know what to do with these fears that I too once had. Sister Hanson cried so much, it was so neat sharing our testimonies. I love this calling already. I'm learning so much from the sisters.

N. will be baptized this Friday and E., her husband, was interviewed today and was counted worthy of the Aaronic priesthood.  So, he will be baptizing her! I will never forget the beam and happiness in his eyes. He's been inactive for so long and now is strong and is working towards his eternal family. We were fasting one day and this couple offered us food and we explained to them why we couldn't eat and we refreshed his memory about fasting. He was shocked. A couple days later he said, "Sisters, I fasted! We were in shock. He said he fasted for 24 hours to find a job that would let him take off work on Sundays and within hours of completing his fast, his boss called him saying he doesn't want him to work Sundays anymore. He was so happy and his testimony grew. But what was more amazing, was that N. didn't believe that God existed, and gained a testimony of the reality of God through this experience too. Just because of a simple fast that we did, E. reconfirmed his testimony and faith, N. believes in God, E. received the priesthood and is strong in the church, he will baptize his wife this week, and they will be sealed in the temple in one year. Talk about "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass!" We are overjoyed as missionaries. God really does bless the obedient. We are teaching so many people, clapping many houses, and talking to everyone. I. didn't come to church because she went out of town and so she will now be baptized on the 30th. I love my companion. She is so funny and we have a good time together. She's a powerful missionary and I truly feel like she is one of my good friends. On Friday, after lunch, we received a phone call from President Parella. He spoke with us about how Livramento (a city nearby) built a new chapel after it had been burned to the ground last year. He told us that the members, less actives, and all of the people in the city, need to know about the chapel and go to the open house. The area only has elders and so he called us to go to help these elder spread the word.! I am so excited! When the chapel got burned last year, the only part of the building that didn't catch fire was the family history room and the room that holds all of the church records and documents. So we will be using these records to find the less active members to come back to church. Everyone wants to work there in this mission because it is on the border of Uruguay. Things are super cheap there, and the people are so receptive. Sisters haven't worked there for over a year now and we are beyond excited to be working there. We are heading out by bus next Monday and get back Friday. We are feeling pretty lucky and blessed to be serving there. We are truly seeing God's hand in all that we do. Right now it is super humid and hot in Brazil and we get worn out and tired super easily, but God is giving us strength to press on with his work. We laugh, because we both try so hard not to fall asleep in the lessons. We were teaching a less active after lunch in the heat, and after we had walked for miles, it was hilarious seeing how we could hardly sing a hymn for her. Every time we would switch speaking, the other companion tried so hard not to doze off ha ha. But really, there is no way we could do this without the Lords help. Sometimes we feel like we don't have the energy or strength to take one more step, but the Lord carries us through. Being a missionary is tough, but really the most amazing thing ever.
Love you,
Sis. Porter

Muddy shoes...wahhooo! 

New shoes!

Family night with N. and E.!

Lunch with a cute member in the ward

A brother in the ward sees us walking in the sun all day and told us he had a present for us and gave us sunblock! haha it was hilarious.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Some cool and funny things about this week:
-Every day my companion says in a cute Brazilian accent "I'm sweating my butt off" hahahaha I don't know where she learned that phrase.
-We had THE MOST AMAZING churrassco yesterday. I almost cried the bbq was so good. Be jealous dad. ;)
-I made rice pudding for the first time and it was so good. I'm learning how to cook, amazing huh? haha
-I am going to be going on divisions with my old companion this week in Alegrete! wahoooo!
-I showed the sisters a photo of me when I left for the mission and asked them if I have changed and they just said, "You look the just have a tired face now..." hahaha how sad! The mission is working me to the limit.
This cutie braided my hair
Below is my journal entry! Hope you have a great week everybody!!! 
Tuesday, January 5, 2015. 
Today was my 20th birthday! Wow, the time flies. I feel like I turned 16 yesterday. The sisters, Sister Carriel (São Paulo), Sister Saaveda (Peru), and my companion, Sister Coelho dos Santos (Para) made me breakfast – fruit salad. Then they sang Happy Birthday to me in Portuguese, English, and Spanish.  It was super cute. I love them. We then had district meeting and it was hilarious practicing on an elder and being hard investigators for him. The whole district sang happy birthday too and it was great. The day was normal and I forgot it was my birthday many times until Sister Parella (mission Pres. wife) called me. It was such a sweet phone call that I will never forget. She asked me what traditions my family do for birthdays and I told her my mom always makes our favorite meal and she sings and hugs/kisses us like crazy when we wake up. She made me cry telling me happy birthday like my mom would if she was here. Every word she said was exactly what I needed to hear and made me feel so loved and special. She shared with me that I chose to serve this mission before this life and was so excited to come to earth for this specific time in my life. To be a missionary in Brazil and find and teach these people. She expressed how proud and impressed she is with how strong I am, having gone through serious illnesses and other struggles and continuing pressing forward with faith and determination on the mission. She said not many missionaries would have continued. This brought me to tears hearing someone whom I love understanding how hard it was for me to pass through so many difficulties on the mission. She told me how impressed she is now that I am doing well and have overcome so much, grown so much, and now helping other sisters as a sister training leader. She was so cute and sweet telling me that this mission will bless my life forever and that I'll teach my children someday the gospel and strengthen my future family with the testimony and experiences I've gained. She made me feel so special telling me that I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing in my life and fullfilling exactly what I told Heavenly Father I would do. It was such an amazing conversation. I truly felt like I was talking to my mom. I love being here in Brazil. Sure, there are some tough days, but really this experience is amazing. Once in a lifetime experience that has changed me forever. Sister Parella made me realize how important my birthday really is and how because I was born, many people will change. I never thought of a birthday in this way, but it is so true that each person influences so many people. I am so grateful I came to earth 20 years ago and that I have the opportunity to share the gospel with my brothers and sisters. What a special honor! I love the Gospel. I love being on earth with the church already restored. We have so much to enjoy! I love being Christ's witness. I love being a missionary.
Sunday, January 10, 2016
This week was crazy. It started off with my 20th birthday and ended with an awesome sacrament meeting. What a weird feeling knowing I've officially left my teenage years and I am an adult. The time literally flies. Wednesday and Thursday this week we did divisions with the sisters in our zone.
Divisions in the mud. It smelled so bad!

Sister training leaders go on divisions (or splits) with the other sisters in the mission to make sure everything is going Ok. They check to see if they are teaching/working how they should be, to show them/help them know what they can do better, and then set goals with them and give them feedback and report to the assistants  and the mission president how it went. Let me tell you, I learned tons of things! On Wednesday I went to work with Sis. S. from San Diego, California in her area. It was so much fun serving with an American again. We saw so many miracles, had some funny experiences, and learned a lot together. I love learning things from other sisters. She only has a couple weeks left of her mission, so it was neat learning from her. On Thursday, I left with Sister C. whom I arrived with here in the mission in Brazil. I remembered how she was when I met her in the Sao Paulo airport. She is from Sau Paulo and so I tried practicing Portuguese with her in the airport and she just looked at me like I was speaking Chinese or something and didn't talk to me at all. Ha ha but it was neat to see how much we've both changed. She kept saying, "Wow, you can speak!" ha ha and she's a whole lot nicer. It was so cool teaching with her and learning together. I'm loving this new calling. I'm learning that we really only see half of what the problems are that people really have. Some sisters have been fighting, not doing what they are supposed to be doing, disobeying rules, and are staying at home when they should be out working. I was shocked at how much I was blinded to the many problems some missionaries have. It was cool being able to sit down at the end of the division and talk with them about what they did well and how they can set goals to be better. I love helping the sisters. I am so not perfect and feel so inadequate to be their leader, but God knows all and knows there are sisters who need my help. I'm going to do my best that I can. This week we saw miracles. Really, we see miracles every day, but God has been blessing my companion and I a ton. N. is a woman who married a less active, E. She was invited to attend church by her member friend and so they both attended. Her friend taught her about temples and eternal families and she immediately wanted to learn more and E. wanted to become active again. We have been visiting them and they love the Gospel. They give us a treat and drive us home every time we visit. She has accepted the 23rd of January as her baptismal date and is so excited. E. is working towards baptizing her. They both drank and smoked a lot and started to fight because of the beer but are now stopping their bad habits together. They're such a special couple. E. even fasted to get a job that doesn't make him work on Sundays and he found one. God is so good. We also found another woman, I., by talking to her in the street. She had told us that the elders already visited her a couple of years ago, but we went and visited her. We talked her about the restoration and man it was an amazing lesson. She was asking questions and commenting the whole time. But, the spirit was so powerful. Words were flowing out of our mouths. She could feel it. We challenged her to be baptized on the 23rd too and with shock in her eyes she said yes!! Ahhhh!!! It was so awesome! The spirit is so real and so powerful. On Sunday, we walked by her house to pick her up for church. When we got there, she was all dressed up and ready to go with a huge smile on her face. What happiness! She told us she could hardly wait and woke up super early to prepare lunch so that she could return home after and rest and eat. She also had visitors, but left them to come to church with us. She loved the meetings and we are so excited for her baptism. Some of our baptismal dates fell through, but we still have hope that someday they will be baptized. We are still waiting on the marriage of S. and K.. S. wants to get married, but her husband doesn't want to because he knows she wants to be baptized. We are also teaching her granddaughters. They are so cute. K. and A. are going to have a baby soon and want to be married when it's born, so we are working on that. I feel like I'm going to know a lot of things about marriages, family relationships, and how to solve a lot of problems by the time I finish this mission. Ha ha but things are going great here in Uruguaiana. I love this area and the people here. The work is going great, we are working a ton. I love this special time in my life. Being a missionary of Jesus Christ really is the most amazing feeling, honor, and privilege.
Sister Porter

Monday, January 4, 2016


Happy New Year! This week was amazing!! We had churrasco again at a members house, and man it was good! The people here sure do know how to BBQ well! We had a good time listening to the crazy people outside letting off bombs and fireworks for the New Year. Brazil goes crazy, and I mean CRAZY with fireworks and the little kids throw bombs everywhere that scare people but not much has happened since I last talked to you all on Thursday. We have taught a ton of lessons and found so many new investigators. The people here are a lot more receptive. It's awesome! We are preparing 2 couples for marriage and baptism and we have lots of people with a baptismal date. The only tough part is when they don't come to church and the date falls through. But we are working hard and seeing miracles. My companion is super fun and a powerful teacher. We are loving serving together. She is learning English, so its been fun to help and teach her. She is leaving Feb. 2 for home, so this is her last transfer as a missionary. So sad, but we are making the time amazing for her ;)
We have planned our divisions with the sisters for this month and I'm way excited to serve with lots of diferente sisters in lots of diferente places. I will be going on divisions with my old companion, Sister Hansen, for a day!!!! I'm so excited to work with her again and help her in her área. Funny thing that happened this week- on Saturday our lunch fell through and so we didn't have anywhere to eat and were far from our apartment. So what did we do? We bought what was cheap and close -fruit at the market.
We didn't have anywhere to eat, so we sat on the bus stop bench and ate while some sheep and an old man stared at us strangely. Missionary life. hahaha good times.

I am loving this new área, my companion, and the people. This is the best time to be a missionary! I love the gospel and sharing this happy message with the people here in Brazil. There is no place I'd rather be than here right now. I know the gift of tongues is real. I know God hears our prayers. I know He leads his missionaries to people who are prepared to receive us. I know He loves us. I know His Son is our Savior. This is the truth and brings so much peace and happiness. I love you all and hope you have set goals for this year!!! :)
Sister Porter
Your 20 year old missionary!

 PS. My transfer home is on July 12th. We got the calendar for the year today.