Monday, April 25, 2016


I'm here in Rosário do Sul and I'm loving it here!!! I'm located super close to São Gabriel and the people are super gaucho. I love it!  I got a "Maintain the Spirit" packet this week....
This is a packet of papers that our mission president gives to the missionaries when they are finishing their missions to help them make goals and keep the same spirit that they had in the mission. I kinda freaked out.
I wanted to send you my journal to tell you how my week has been. I love you so much!!! -Sister Porter

Sunday, April 17, 2016
Today was my last Sunday/day in Uruguaiana. Man, it was tough leaving. All of the people that I love teaching, and getting to know, came to church today. We about died when V. and V. showed up at the church. They always told us that they would come to church, but never did until today! It was so hard saying goodbye. It always is.I learned so much in this area. Uruguiana will always have a special place in my heart. I learned how to be more confident and to be an example to others. I love going on divisions with the sisters and learning from them. I love teaching at zone conferences and district meetings. Heavenly Father knows what we need to do to become what He wants. The mission is so amazing and full of learning experiences. We grow so much.
The woman who made me a dress

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Today I traveled to Santa Maria with the other sister, sister Bahmad. She will also be training. There are four missionaries who arrived today from the MTC. -Two elders, and two sisters. We don't know who our new companions are, but we are so anxious. We saw the names on the hotel list and I can only remember one - Sister Vicente. I have a feeling like she will be my new companion, but we shall see. It is way fun knowing that I arrived here in Brazil one year ago and now I'm going to be training instead of being the trainee. We change so much. What a blessing this is for me.

Sister Bahmad and I on the bus -
(feeling super tired) heading to Santa Maria. 
It was hilarious cause the man turned the lights on 
and we both woke up and looked at each other with this facial expression hahaha

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Today we received our new missionaries! One Peruvian, and a Brazilian, arrived and I had no idea who my new companion would be. We had a meeting with President Parella before we found out and he let us know things we need to do as trainers. It was so neat to hear how much he appreciates our efforts as missionaries and how the "Lord chooses the best missionaries to train".  His words were so loving towards us. We then went into the other room to meet the new missionaries. They were talking to Sister Parella about health. I immediately knew who my companion would be. Just looking at her, I could feel it. President Parella called the sisters to the front and started with me. He said, "Sister Porter will be opening an area in Rosarío do Sul. She will be serving with…" (he paused for a long time)... It nearly killed me! I was dying to know. I could almost hear him saying her name, and what do you know, he said it! "Sister Vicente!" I knew it! I was beyond thrilled! We both hugged each other and she whispered to me, "I knew it was you."
We both could feel it before he even said it. I was so happy. She's so cute and sweet. Her name is R. S. Vicente and is from the northeast part of Brazil. She has a super cool accent and I love her already. She's a little shy and is such a sweetheart. She is a convert to the church. She found the church with her family when she was 11 years old. She's 21 now and has such a strong testimony. We laugh a lot. I'm so excited and grateful to be her trainer. 

We arrived in our area to find that the elders didn't use the area book properly and didn't work how they were supposed to be in the area, so we are starting with nothing. I know Heavenly Father will guide us to the people who are ready for us. We are living in the home of the couple missionaries. 
It is such a nice home, we are so lucky. I feel like in Uruguaiana I was living in the jungle and camping out every day. Now, our house is super nice and modern. It's by far the nicest, cleanest, and biggest house in the mission. I'm feeling so blessed. I think I will finish my mission here with Sister Vicente. I'm so excited to work like crazy and talk to everyone. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016
Our mission leader from the branch, along with his wife, drove us around the area to meet the members and to familiarize ourselves with the area. I couldn't believe how much he was willing to help us. We got addresses and some references from the members and I couldn't have felt more blessed to have our mission leader, who dropped everything he was doing, help us. It was such a comfort to me with all of the stress that I was feeling in opening an area, training someone, and not knowing anyone or anything about the city. The area is so beautiful with tons of cows and horses and wide open fields of grass. I'm so grateful for this opportunity to grow and learn by doing difficult things.

Friday, April 22, 2016
Present Parella called and said that no one knows how to play the piano and that the stake needs someone to play for stake conference on Sunday and for a meeting on Saturday in Sao Gabriel. He said he designated me as a pianist. Man, I felt super stressed and explained to him that I haven't practiced in a long time (like a year ago) and that it wouldn't be very good. But, I am the only person who knows how to play and so I was assigned to play for all of the sessions and for the stake choir. Talk about nerves and stress! But I know my Heavenly Father will help me. I have been super stressed with everything. 

The elders didn't do anything in this new area and we didn't have anyone to teach. It just made our work harder. But, we talk to everyone today and clapped a ton of doors. We found a family that had been looking for the true church and we saw the hand of God helping and guiding us. My companion is so sweet. She gets all nervous when we teach and talk to people in the street. I remember being the same way. She gets so nervous during the lessons too. After our first lesson together, she was so sweet and cute. She got all happy and said, "Wow! Sister Porter! That lesson was amazing! The spirit was so strong. You should make the District videos or something!" Haha it was so funny. As missionaries, we get used to the spirit guiding our words and actions to the point that it's normal when a lesson goes well. After every contact I made in the street, she would look at me like I was from another planet and say, "Wow, that was perfect! You got to teach me how you do that!" Haha. 
She is so ready to learn. I love her soooo much. I know we are going to get along super well. She is like the Brazilian Brianne - super sweet, gentle, and fun.

Saturday, April 23, 2016
Today we drove to Sao Gabriel for stake conference. Ahh! I was dying because I love the city so much. I served there for 4 1/2 months and couldn't wait to see all of the members again. I played the piano at the meetings and saw a E. and R. afterwards. I totally got emotional hugging her again. She was married, baptized, is strong in the church (attends every Sunday), works in the primary, bore her testimony in Sacrament meeting, gave a talk, and is preparing to be sealed with her family in December.  My happiness could not have been more complete. Everyone was dying that I returned and it was pure joy hugging them all again. 
We slept at the sisters home… On the ground! It was quite an experience. They didn't have mattresses for us, so we just slept on the floor. It wasn't cool. My back is killing me and I feel like I'm 90 years old. But it was a funny experience all the same.

Sunday, April 24, 2016
I played the piano at stake conference! I definitely came out of my comfort zone on this one. Everything went well because of the many prayers I said. Through our Savior, all things are possible. I know He blessed me to be able to play for these people. I'm learning so much.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Ola!  I am going to be training a new sister!!! Yayyy!!! I am so excited!! I always wanted to train a newbie. I will meet her on Wednesday morning. I dont know who she is yet. I am also opening the area for sisters, so we will be starting from scratch! It will be so fun to talk to everyone and use the members to find the people prepared for us. I am so stoked!!
My District
I will be heading to Santa Maria tomorrow afternoon and will have a training meeting there with Presidente Parrela, and then on Wednesday, we meet our companions and will be heading out to our areas. I will arrive in Rosario around 4:30 on Wednesday. It is so funny because I arrived here in Brazil one year ago and was being trained and now I am the one training. So crazy how much we grow and learn.  I don't know who my comp is yet but I did hear there is an American arriving. I don't know if I will get her or the other sister who also will be training. I hope I get her so I can help her.

I hope you are all doing well. Although I thought I was going to be getting transferred it is exciting but at the same time so sad. This will be my last area of the mission! The elders called on Friday and I about died. I had been talking with my companion about what I would like to have happen with the transfers, and exactly what I desired occurred. I thought the elders were joking.

I will be heading to serve in Rosarío do Sul, which is right next to Sao Gabrielle where I served for four and a half months. It is a small city with people that are humble and super gaucho. I will be opening the area for sisters. It had only elders before, along with couple missionaries.  I have been called to train a new missionary! Ahhh! I am so EXCITED!!!
I always wanted to train someone new to the mission, open an area, and serve in a hard place. I will be serving in a branch. I'm so pumped to work like crazy! I love this work. I'm so excited to help teach a newbie the things she needs to know - help her gain the confidence I've gained, and to love this time in her life. I can hardly wait!
Every day this week was full of miracles.
*We found so many people that were prepared to hear us.
*The weather was perfect.
*We visited a lot with the members.
*People rejected us a ton, but we always saw the Lord's hand guiding us.
*We got transfer calls and I'm beyond excited for the next two transfers of my mission.
*It was hard saying goodbye to everyone, but was amazing seeing how The spirit used me to testify of the truth and how the people were changed.

I was shocked at how many people cried because I was leaving. The spirit truly changes people and touches lives when He guides us as missionaries.
*So many people are ready to be baptized soon and even though I won't get to witness them being baptized, I am eternally grateful for the change the gospel made in their lives.

The mission is so amazing. I loved Uruguaina with all of my heart.

I will always remember the time I passed here and how much I've grown and changed because of the amazing members and people.

My heart breaks saying goodbye, but I know I fulfilled what my Heavenly Father wanted me to do here.

I'm so excited to get these last two transfers my all. I feel like I'm running track again and I am hitting the final laps. I need to push harder, run faster, and give it my all! This time is so precious. I'm so grateful my Heavenly Father allowed me to serve Him and His Brazilian children here in Rio Grande do Sul. I could not be more happy.
Sister Porter

We had lunch with our investigator, M., and his family. His mom literally cried and wouldn't let me leave it was so cute.

V.and V.came to church!!! YAY! It was like I won the lottery when the arrived. haha They will be baptized soon.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Ola Minha familia! Como voces estao? Thank you for the emails, you are great. I'm so excited to be an aunt! What a blessing! I am so excited to talk to you all on Mother's Day in a few weeks. The time is surely passing fast. We will be receiving our transfer call this week on Thursday or Friday. I'm super anxious to know where I'll go and who my companion will be. If I leave this area, I will probably end my mission in this next area because I only have only two transfers left. So crazy. Anything could happen, but I feel like I will be leaving Uruguaina. It will be sooo sad to leave here, but we can't stay forever. I'm excited to see where Heavenly Father needs me next. This week was way stressful, rainy, cold, & full of learning experiences and miracles. 
We had a cool experience – a man called us during our morning studies and said, "Hello Sister Porter?" My companion replied "No this is Sister G. Who's speaking? " she put the phone on speaker phone and he said "Sister Porter gave me a little book about the gospel of Jesus Christ and I've been reading it. I'm on page 13 reading about the sacrament and I think this all is very interesting. What do I need to do to be baptized in this church?" Ahhhh!!! We both about died and thought it was a joke. Then I remembered who he was. I was on divisions with Sister S. (the American sister from Arizona) and a car with two men stopped us the middle of the road. He asked us the name of her road and then asked if we were missionaries, what church we attended, and what we do. We explained everything, and then we asked if we could visit him and his family to share a message about Jesus Christ. He said he works a lot and doesn't remember his home address because he had moved into the area a little bit ago. So, I wrote down our names on the pamphlet that talks about The gospel of Jesus Christ and invited him to read it and call if he had any questions. I was so shocked that he actually read and called. What an amazing miracle! Heavenly Father really does prepare his children to accept His gospel. I'm so grateful that I was placed in this man's path and that Heavenly Father trusted me to share with him the Gospel. I felt that I needed to write our names and our number down on that specific pamphlet that day for him. Heavenly Father really does guide this work. One simple invite can change lives.
M./N. - they are so special and will be baptized for sure! M. came to church yesterday and said he wants to follow the church and wants to serve a mission!
C./children – the kids will be baptized in May! Yay! Their dad… I don't like to talk about him because it's sad. He uses the money they receive to buy beer and drugs. He abuses/beats the kids and C.. He doesn't want to listen to us, we already tried. :-( It's way sad.
B. – she will be baptized too! Yay! We went invited to her restaurant to eat lunch.  It was so much fun. 
V./V. - they both were tough to teach, but want to be baptized now. It is amazing how Heavenly Father prepares missionaries to help certain people. They have been taught by many missionaries, but now are accepting the gospel :-)
 I love seeing miracles and being an instrument in Gods hands here in Brazil. I am so grateful He gave me this time to serve Him. I love you all and hope you have a great week! 
Sister Porter

A photo that Sis. R. sent to me. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Ola minha familia!  Wasn't conference just amazing?! I bet you all ate moms crepes, huh? :-) I absolutely adored conference. It was amazing in every way. I about died with how many times they mentioned Brazil. Especially when Elder Neal L. Anderson mentioned Alegrete, Brazil.  I am 2 1/2 hours away from there and worked with the sisters there this week… Ha ha! So cool. 
I went on a division with the sisters there on Tuesday and Wednesday. I worked with Sister de Oliviera from Sao Paulo and Sister Soares de Silva from Paraiba.  

 It was so neat to learn and help there. I love it here. I love being able to meet and work with so many incredible missionaries from all over the world. 
We have been teaching a new young man, M.. He is elect! Man, I've never seen such an amazing young man like him. So prepared to receive the gospel. He and his mom, N., are so special and are excited to learn more. We marked their baptismal date for the 16th. They came to General Conference and are progressing really well. We are pretty excited. Gauchos are a tough crowd to teach and baptize, but we are seeing God's hand in everything. I have been learning a lot this past couple of transfers. It's not been easy at all… But, I have seen how our Heavenly Father never abandons us when we need Him most. We cannot do anything without Him. He knows what people, and situations, we need to grow and become what He wants. Faith, patience, love, charity, and trust are the key to dealing with a lot of hard times. 

General conference -What a powerful message they all shared with us! We watched the transmission at the stake center here and brought some investigators to watch with us. Everyone got so excited hearing that there will be another temple here in Brazil!! Wahoo!!! Brazil, Belem! I loved Elder Magazzardi's  talk too. I got excited to hear him speak in Portuguese with us, but was even more impressed that he speaks English too. He so cool.
I also freaked out when I saw my friend, Layla, from high school singing in the choir. She lives in our home stake too. So neat! The music was so beautiful, like always. I totally cried when they sang "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing".  It is such a powerful song! Even these Brazilians were crying and tearing up without even knowing what was being said. I loved it all, but some highlights for me were:
M. Russell Ballard – Family councils. So grateful for my family always having family councils and F.H.E. I love my dad too for always having interviews with us and always being there to listen to our concerns and help us. I will always cherish the many times he comforted me and helped me through many difficult times in my life - just listening and counseling with me. I hope I can marry a man someday like him. I'm so grateful for him and his example.
Dallin H. Oaks - Love how he explained who Satan is and how we need to always have a firm testimony and faith. 
D. Todd Christopherson – Man, he made me miss my dad. I thought it was interesting how many talks were towards fathers, but I loved it because really dads make all the difference. I've never doubted that my dad loves me. He's so loving and basically perfect. I'm so grateful for his faithfulness in the Gospel and the priesthood he holds. He's amazing and I love him.
Robert D. Hales – He answered my prayers. His talk was just for me. I had some questions that he answered with the exact words I needed to hear. I love how God always, ALWAYS, answers our prayers. His words were inspired. I loved how he explained how we can receive answers as to what God wants us to do, by making our plans and asking God through prayer if it is his will, and he will answer by the spirit. I was reminded of how I made the decision to go on a mission. How I just asked Heavenly Father to tell me through the Spirit if I was doing the right thing or not.  And when I opened  my call, an overwhelming sense of happiness and peace came over me. The spirit was so strong and testified to me that Brazil needed me at that time. But what was special to me, was how completely calm and at peace I felt as I was on my way to the MTC. Heavenly Father truly uses the spirit to let us know what we need to do. I love it! The spirit is such a priceless gift. I love being a missionary here in Brazil. Every day has challenges, but there is no feeling greater than being able to change lives, and see the change that people make, firsthand. Heavenly Father is real. He knows us and loves us immensely. This is His work. I love him. I KNOW that this church is true. I hope you all loved conference and are praying every day and reading your scriptures! I love you all! 
Sister Alena Porter
 Socks from my sister and xis (Brazilian hamburgers)  

P.S.It is super cold and rainy in Brazil right now. A cute sister missionary, that I work with, is from Peru and she gave me a Book of Mormon in Spanish.  I started reading it and I am on chapter 3 already!!! I don't know how to speak it, but I understand it.