Monday, June 20, 2016

Final Mission Post. Heart is FULL.

"And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that He hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember His merciful arm which extended towards me." Alma 29:9-10
"Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice; for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of His great power, and long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." Alma 26:16

These scriptures express my feelings so well. My joy is full. My Heavenly Father heard my prayers and helped me through it all. I loved being His missionary and witness this past year and a half. There are no words to fully describe the feelings of gratitude that pass through the mind of a missionary that is about to finish a mission. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for the opportunity that I had to be His missionary. I loved serving in Detroit, Michigan and in Santa Maria, Brazil. These places will always be sacred and special to me. What an amazing blessing it was for me to be able to find the people that my Heavenly Father wanted me to find. He truly is aware of all of His children and their needs. My mission was so perfect for me.

He helped me to do things that I never imagined myself doing. I stepped way out of my comfort zone. But I knew that my Heavenly Father needed me to serve and that He would help me to serve and do His will. Through the mission, I have seen how much He has changed me. When we give ourselves, ALL of ourselves to him, He molds us, shapes us, and transforms us into what He wants us to be. We need to have complete faith and trust in him and His plan for us. I left the old me in Arizona and I let Him use me in whatever way He needed. And with this, He has made my weaknesses strong points. I am not the same and I will never be the same because of my mission.

I will never forget the sopping wet walks in the pouring rain, learning a new language, feeling the spirit guide my words, singing hymns with my companions in the street, people yelling at us, doors slamming in our faces, the amazing spirit that overtakes the room during a lesson, people running away when they see us, the funny glares we get, laughing at the crazy moments and the psychos we meet, sweating all day, the glow on the peoples faces when they understand, giant holes in my shoes and socks, not knowing what I'm saying and learning from what I said, taking bucket showers, sleeping on the ground....on the winter, snoring companions, cows/horses/chickens and you name it in the middle of the street like it's normal, walking a million miles a day, eating armadillo and chicken heart/ liver, but most of all, I will miss looking down at my name tag and knowing that I am a representative of my Savior. Every time someone treated us badly or when I felt alone, I recieved comfort in looking at my name tag and remembering the one who suffered it all.

I grew and learned so much on the mission. I loved serving the sisters and elders of the mission and giving training in the meetings and conferences. I have a new love for teaching. I love the gaúcho people, the culture, and their way of living a simple, humble life.

On my mission, I came to know my Savior more personally. He is so real and comforted me many times during the trials that came. I have never felt so alone in my entire life, but I have never felt so loved than on the mission. There were so many times when I thought to myself, 'This is so hard' or 'I am completely alone'...or 'I don't know what to do'. But always, ALWAYS, my Savior comforted me and let me know He was there. I felt His presence many times. He is very real to me. I felt the love that He has for me and His children. He gave me the strength I needed. I will forever be grateful for the close relationship I have with Him and my Father in Heaven. I love them with all of my heart.

My heart hurts knowing that the mission ends. I would love to stay here in Brazil forever. I wouldnt trade my mission and the experiences I had for anything. I changed completely. He strengthened me and molded me into someone so much better than I could have imagined. He knows what we are capable of becoming. I am a living witness that when we put our complete faith in Him, He makes all things possible.

I love the gospel and being a missionary. I have never felt more myself than being a missionary. I know without any doubts that the Church of Jesus Christ is once again on the Earth. This is our time to share the truth with all! I know that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus the Christ. I know that the priesthood power is real and is sent from God to bless all of His children. I know that missionaries are called of God to be a light in this lost world. I know the gift of tongues is real and that the spirit really does speak to us in our mind and hearts to let us know what to do and say. Our Savior lives. I am a witness of His reality. I am so excited for the day when I will be able to see him face to face and thank Him for all he has done for me. The least I could do for Him was serve a mission. What an honor and privilege it was. I know He is always with us whether we see him or not. He is my best friend, my King, and my Master. I will serve Him forever. I know these things are true and I cannot deny it. I am forever going to be grateful for this precious time I had to serve as His missionary.
<3 Sister Alena Jane Porter

I'm coming home! Got my flight plans and my bus ticket to Santa Maria.
The moon was so cool looking yesterday...the pic doesn't do justice, but it was cool haha

Look at our before and after!!! WOW, we change a lot in 6 months, huh? haha

Sister da Silva saw my 'daughter' at zone conference & they took this picture for me making a heart
Sister da Silva was the companion of Sister Cruz Souza too, 
so it was special 

Monday, June 13, 2016


I'm gaúcha!!! ;) In my dreams....haha

Ola todos! What a week! Santo Angelo is quite the place. This week we talked like crazy and literally invited EVERYONE to be hear our message. It was awesome! We reached all of our goals and even exceeded them this week. We were amazed at how many people we taught and how many people we visited. This week was incredible! We both have got fire in our bones and are working great together. I love my companion. She is so calm, sweet, and fun. We are going to make these next two weeks ones to remember.
We are seriously teaching so many people. Santo Angelo is an area that can be tough too but missionaries, sadly, get used to rejection. We're teaching a very special family, E., N., Z., and her daughter. They are Catholic but when we talked about the Restoration, and the Book of Mormon, they completely changed. They understand now why there are so many different churches and they want to know more. It was such a spiritual lesson talking with them about the Book of Mormon. We really are blessed to have another book of scripture that clarifies so many things that were lost. A fun experience that happened this week was we taught a missionary from another church. We were planning on teaching an investigator, A., but she had a missionary there from some other Christian church. So, we taught them both! Haha. The lady looked like the typical preacher evangelical people with the long skirt and a bun in her hair. She was really old and kept looking at us like we were crazy. The people here that go to the other churches pay tithing so that a missionary can show up at their house to help them through their difficulties. We started talking with them and the missionary told us how she is a prophet and talks with God and that He reveals the future of others to her. We shared about the Restoration with her and Ana and challenged them to pray and know the truth from God. It was so neat seeing how she could feel the spirit. She clearly had no interest in praying to know, but she couldn't say someday, when she is in the presence of our Heavenly Father, that we didn't share the truth with her. It was an interesting experience to say the least.
She prophesied that I would travel across the world to share the gospel… Ha ha, Yep! I will be going back to the U. S.!  Haha We are also teaching a man named J.. He is so special and came to church yesterday! He loved the meetings and will be baptized on the 25th. Some cool things that happened this week:
*The sister that gave us lunch stopped me as we were about to leave to go work. She started to cry and thanked me for my testimony last Sunday. She said, "You answered my prayers and my fast. Wow! What a neat thing. We all need to share our testimonies no matter what because we don't know who may need it.
*We clapped The doors of rich people! So much fun haha and we use the intercoms on the huge buildings at night to get addresses because no one is outside in the cold. It's so fun.
*Jose & Elair, our investigators, came to church and loved it!
*I played the piano in Sacrament meeting because no one else knows how to play.
*The bishop announced that I would be giving a talk… Totally didn't know it, but I winged it and it went better than I thought.
*We found many new investigators.
*On Sunday, we have stake conference here in Santo Angelo and I will be able to see my sweet companion, Sister Da Silva (It's been about six months) and the people I taught in Santiago. My comp will also be receiving her patriarchal blessing so I will be able to experience that with her during the interval.
This time is so special. I love everything about being a missionary. The highs, lows, and in between moments are what makes us grow. So excited to work with all my strength these next two weeks and use my all to help my brothers and sisters here in Brazil. I love you all! 
Sister Porter

My cute companion and I on our way to church in the freezing cold.

Monday, June 6, 2016


Ola! What a crazy week. So much has happened this past week that I don't even know where to begin. On Tuesday morning I left Rosarío do Sul because of transfers. Wow… It was tougher than I thought saying goodbye to my "daughter", Sister Vicente. 

I've never cried so much leaving a companion before. We both had a hard time saying goodbye, but I know that we will always be great friends forever. I absolutely loved being able to train/help her. It was such an amazing experience that I'll hold close to me forever. 

My companion made this for me. She's so cute.  

It reads (I love you. I was trained by the best, Sister Porter)


Santo Angelo is on the other side of the mission. I left Rosarío at 8:50 AM on the bus, and got to Santo Angelo at 6 PM. It was one of the longest days of my life, ha ha. But I loved riding the bus because we drive through the wide open fields in the middle of nowhere. It's fun. 

My new companion, Sister Cruz Souza is from Garca, Sao Paulo, and is such a sweet person. She is so special.

She has lost over 40 kg on the mission (around 80lbs) and is such an inspiration. I love her already. The city is beautiful here. There are many Catholics, tons of Ford trucks (makes me miss the truck I first drove, ha ha), everyone calls me "Sister Potter" again, ha ha, and the members still sing at the top of their lungs. I trick people saying that I'm Brazilian and they sometimes believe it ha ha. Our apartment is great and we walk a ton. Life couldn't be sweeter! 

We had a zone conference in Santa Maria this past week. It was my last conference and President & Sister Parella's last conference too.
It was strange knowing that I wouldn't be seeing some sisters and elders ever again. 

 Zone conference with my buddies from the MTC
I love Sister Soares da Silva

"There is safety in obedience" 

with Sister Gregatto & Sister Cornick

This whole  week I wondered why I needed to leave my last area and be with this new sister, but President Parella let me know why when we greeted them at the beginning of the conference. He said to me,"Sister Porter, you need to help this sister. She has wonderful and has great potential and you need to help her to become the missionary that you are. The Lord trusts you and knows you can do it." I didn't even ask him why, but he knew he needed to let me know. I felt such love from my Heavenly Father when he said that, knowing that He had reasons why He needed me to be with her at this time. He knows all things. Present Parella asked all of the missionaries that were leaving in the next group to share their testimonies. I cannot believe how strange it was knowing that that was me. I got a little emotional, but shared my testimony. The mission really has changed me in my life.

Sister Vera from Peru
The spirit was so strong as we song the mission hymn. The conference really was amazing. I am seeing every day more and more why I was called to serve here in Santo Angelo with Sister Cruz Souza. The other day she said to me, "Sister Porter, no one has ever told me, or said, that I am a good missionary… But you tell me all the time that I'm doing great and only see the positive in me. Thank you, sister. Thank you." I literally almost cried as she said that. All of her comps had treated her less than she is. What an amazing privilege it is for me to be able to see her happy and getting excited about the work.
We have a good time together and are working hard. There are so many Catholics and hard situations in this area, but we are doing our best and are having fun with the silly experiences we have daily.
  I know Heavenly Father is helping us and is preparing people to hear us.

Yesterday was my last fast and testimony meeting as a missionary in Brazil, and in Portuguese. How sad! :-( So, of course I shared my testimony. I feel like I can share my feelings and testimony better in Portuguese so it was neat for me to be able to do that one more time. I LOVE being a missionary. I'm getting pretty sad as the time seems to be flying by. I often get emotional knowing that I will have to leave these people and the country I love so much. I love this work. But for now, I'm giving these last few weeks my all! This is the truth. We need to share it! We are on the earth for this very purpose. Let's all do our part and open our mouths and reach out to our brothers and sisters who are lost! I love you all and hope your week goes well!
Sister Porter

We didnt have any food in the house- Only a little bit of popcorn, a little bit of oatmeal, and 4 tangerines.....with 4 hungry sisters....BUT we found jello and this is how we cooled it off hahahahahaha it was quite the funny experience.