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 

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