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.  

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