Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Survives the Tornadoes

My Address is ::::::
Sister Samantha Porter
1604 Blue Danube St #2061
Arlington TX 76015
FAMIY! How are you all?? I miss you lots! I have sent you a couple of letters... Have you gotten any? I have officially been in texas for two weeks now and LOVE IT! :) On my first night here there were tornadoes.  The sirens were going off and it was so scary!! a tornado hit like a mile from our apartment.  I have gotten one letter... haha And it was from dus and steph!! so sweet :) haha The work has been awesome! Yesterday was a holiday so all the libraries were closed so we got to email today! The YSA ward is amazing! I have seen so many people that I know! Sister Earl was like "I have been here for three months and you still know more people than me!" haha Its such a blessing to be here and doing this work.  There is A LOT to be done! so I am super excited about that! We have a baptism next week for those two African American girls I told you about.  Its so cool to see this! Ill have to send you pictures of when it all goes down :) We have lots of new investigators so hopefully lots of new baptismal dates!!!  The other day we were tracting and having no luck. So we said a quick prayer that we would be guided to someone whom the lord had prepared for us.  The next door we went to an older man named Andrew opened.  He let us in and we started to teach him the first lesson.  During the lesson he stopped us and said "Sisters I just want to tell you that I never open the door. But something inspired me to and I think it was because you were suppose to share this message with me today."  me and sister Earl looked at each other and told him that we were inspired to come to his house.  When one door closes another one opens.  The work is amazing.  When I give my self to the lord I see miracles happen. 
Tell me what you guys have been up to!? Is Kylee done with school now? Do you guys have any fun plans for the summer? Wow... that sounds so weird asking you that.
I'm so excited for Ivan he is going to be an amazing missionary! Send him my luck!
I love you guys!!! Hope you guys are getting my letters!
The gospel is true!
-Sister Porter
Ps. the most bizzare thing happened the other day!! We were driving down to Mansfield on the highway and out of now were this huge bird hits our windshield!!! it was so freaky it! it like literally came out of no where!! And it hit so hard it left like a print of it body on the windshield!! I'm surprised it didn't crack it! The lord blessed him missionaries that's for sure!



Oh my goodness I miss you all so much.  I almost started crying because I could not email you guy back.  I hardly have any time to write.  Our P-day are on Mondays and they are jam packed.  I got called to the Mansfield/Arlington YSA Ward.  Isn't that just so crazy!  Back to my old stomping grounds!  Texas is wonderful!  It is so beautiful here!  and HOT!  I already have a tan line from my watch.  My new companion is so fun.  Her name is sister Earl and she is from Salt Lake City.  She has been a really good transfer.  So our apartment is right by the Target off of Cooper.  I am guessing you guys kind of know where that is.  So part of our area is Mansfield so like my third day here we drove down there and I almost started crying.  I saw CiCis Pizza and that Chick fila A that we went to.  And Rose Park and everything.  I sent you a picture of cha chas---can you please sent that to the boys>?  Can you tell them to write to me.  I REALLY would love letters from everyone.  I had 8 emails left that I didn't have time to read....can you please tell Kodi and Kylee to write and not email me.  Tell everyone that they need to write me cause email isn't working and I would rather just email you guys anyway.  So we get a car and a phone.  It is so weird having the phone but so nice.  We can contact people much faster that way.  But in my next area I need a bike.  You guys need to call my mission President and ask him what we should do about that like what would be easier.
This work has been amazing.  Super tiring but totally worth it I have never been so  happy teaching the gospel!  Two of our investigators Nikia and Porsha, are black and they are getting baptized next Saturday.  I am so excited for them to begin a new life.  Porsha is pregnant and so cute.
So being the missionaries of the singles ward we have to try and find investigators who are 18-30 years of age.  We can still teach families but it won't be "our" baptism because they won't be part of our ward.  Me and Sister Earl were tracting the other day and we knocked on this guy's door who 's name is Axel.  We shared with him our message and he proclaimed that we had answered his prayers.  He said he was looking for something more in his life.  So we wet up an appointment with him for the next day.  He is 22 so he is like "golden" investigator.  So when we went back to teach him the first lesson, we really felt the spirit!  It was such an amazing feeling to help him.  He has such a desire to change and he committed to getting baptized on June 8th.  So cross your fingers for my!
I am glad you guys had fun in Arizona.  I am happy for Rhett.  Happy belated mother's dad Mom.  I hope you had an amazing day.  I love you so much!  Kylee I love you girl.  How is school going don't you finish this week.  Holy that is just so crazy.
Bishop Pepper is my Bishop.  Way Crazy!  I saw tons of people Jennifer Anderson, Heidi Starr, Zack Hayes, Joe Pennock and Logan!  When he saw me he called me mamfas!  I almost started crying it made me miss you guys and I get his fiancĂ©.  She is really super cute.  It has been fun stuff seeing everyone and being here in Texas.  I love this work it is awesome.  Missing you guys!  I wish I could just call you and talk.  I have so much to say and so little time.  But I love hearing from you guys so send lots of letters.  Sister Porter
PS Oh and tell Seth Cory Carol says "I'll see you next Christmas!!"  ha!ha!  Please don't forget to tell him.

Friday, May 24, 2013

So Samantha called me from the airport on her way to Texas.  We only visited for maybe 5 minutes because there were 15 other sister and elders waiting to use the phone.  She was hoarse from being sick but sounded happy.  So this was Tuesday May 14th.  The next day we heard on the news that tornadoes had touched down in Granbury and Cleburne (which is just south of Arlington).  Zach Hayes a long time friend of Seths texted Seth to tell him that he and Joe Pennock (other friend of Seths who is the YSA mission leader) had taken the Sister in their ward and her new companion along with the elders to dinner-------surprised when the new sister introduced herself as Sister Porter.  Then they took them to none other than Chicken Express a favorite of the Porter family.  That in and of itself was amazing.  Then later that night when we heard about the tornadoes and were freaking out a bit Bishop Pepper called and told Matt that Samantha was assigned to his ward and that he would look out of her and make sure she had a great mission.  What a blessing to have people that already know and love her.  We so love all of the people from Texas they were always so good to our family.  Then this week Matt got a facebook message from President Spitzer (the current Arlington Stake President who Matt served on the high council with him at one time) that Samantha has been assigned to their area and that they are excited to have her.  It is nice to hear from everyone that she is there----because we still had not heard any more from Samantha than the below message.  Attached are pictures of Samantha and her new companion.  It is nice to sit back a little and watch the fruits of our hard labor.
First email from Texas and it was not enough information for her parents!!!
Family!! I have so much to tell you! But I only have nine minutes left on the computer so I have to write you all!! Sorry :( You all need to send me letters! Because I got on and had twenty five new emails from people so it already took me like forty minutes to read through them all and so I only had like fifteen minutes to reply so it kind of hard :( So write my Texas address!! ALSO! I explain more in my letter but I need a bike! haha
oaky love all here are some pictures ill write you and have everyone write me!
-Sister porter  

This is Logan Williams-----he is a good friend that Seth and Dustin grew up with and is basically part of the family.  We love the Williams family!!!!   Logan is serving as the Elder's Quorum President in the singles ward where Samantha serving.  
This is sooo funny!!!  Samantha took a picture of one of our favorite Mexican food placed in Mansfield.  Chas Chas.  Only the Porter children would go around and take pictures of food places.  Good memories I guess.

Temple Time during MTC

May 13, 2013
Dearest Family

How are things holding up at the Porter household?  Anything new or exciting I should know about?  I have loved the thinks you guys have been sending to me.  It feels good to get one has my MTC address though so I have only gotten your packages.  I did get your Dear Elder dad.  Those are nice because they come the day you send them cause they just print them off.  So today is P-day and I got to go to the temple with my district so that pretty cool.  I just love the temple.  I did some laundry and emailed which by the way did you get my pictures?  I also got in a 30 minute nap which felt AMAZING!   Apparently Sister Gunson loves taking long naps as well which is good.  Did I tell you she went to BYU-I too?!  So we always have lots to talk about.  Today all the new missionaries came.  It was so exciting.  Crazy to think that was me a week ago.  I got to say "welcome to the MTC!" Oh! so I got called as the sister trainer for the new district coming in tonight.  I get to teach them and be their helper.  I am basically in charge of them which is pretty awesome.  So me and Sister Gunson's new investigator's name is Alania.  She is a Hawaiian girl who I just love.  Our first time meeting with her was amazing.  We asked her if living with her Heavenly Father and family again was important.  She said yes.  So we explained to her that no unclean thing can live with Heavenly Father and that is why it is so important to get baptized and so we said and asked "will you follow the example of Christ and be baptized by someone who holds the priesthood authority of God?"  When we said that she was a little hesitant, but then I said "If we kept coming back and taught you the lessons to prepare you for baptism would you want that?  A big smile grew on her face and she said yes!  WooHoo!!! so exciting.  Another really cool story the second time we met with her she followed up reading the first chapter in the Book of Mormon and prayed.  Way awesome!!! So we started teaching the first lesson to her and out of nowhere she throws her head back laughing and says "Sister Porter, why do you smile so much?"  We all started to laugh but then I got quiet because I got very teary eyed.  I replied "Because Christ loves you!"  As soon as I said that Alania started to cry.  I have never felt the spirit sooooo much!  It really touched my heart.  I know I have only been here a week but it feels like forever.  My eyes have been really opened to so many new things and I love it!!!  I have to go now but the gospel is true and I love you guys!  Love, Sister Porter 

First Letter From MTC----Excitement

We just got one letter from the MTC and then she was off to Texas.  No Mother's Day call because there are just too many missionaries.
Dear Family!!
I miss you guy soo much, but I have been very very busy!  What have you all been up to?  Anything new?  When you told me that Kylee wears my baseball T-shirt to bed every night I started crying!!  KYLEE:  How is school going and still super motivated about your future?  I miss you and hope your doing great!  So the MTC has been quite the roller coaster ride.  Everything is very up tight.  We get up at six so that our district can be in our classroom by 6:50 so not a whole lot of "getting ready" time.  Then all day we study!! We have personal study, companion study, classroom instruction, zone teaching, more classroom instruction and daily planning.  I am so tired!  We go from 6:00 am to 9:30 pm everyday with no breaks.  I have learned so much it is crazy!  Dustin was right about the food----you can get as much as you want and its really good.  Don't worry I have been eating healthy.  We get gym time twice a week for 50 minutes.  There is a couple of leaders and sisters in my district that love playing volleyball so its awesome.  Every morning when I get up and place my name tag on my shirt, I get an overwhelming feeling of joy!  I am so grateful to be a representative of Christ.  I am not going to lie, this is probably one of the hardest things I have done in my life and I am tired.  We have no breaks and we are constantly working hard, but I wouldn't take it back for the world.  I have truly come unto Christ and feel his love.  This work is true and I am so excited to get out to the field and put this work to the test.  I am ready to proclaim and build up the kingdom of Christ.  I love my district!!  The elders are awesome and I have grown to love my companion, Sister Gunson, so very much.  We work very well together.  I can always feels the spirit when we are doing role play.  She is so excited about life and I love it.  I remember one time we were teaching a lesson to a fake investigator and there was a moment when she was teaching and she froze up and didn't know what to say.  She looked at me with great concern and so I turned and just started to teach.  It become very quiet and we all knew that the spirit was there and that it was very strong.  As soon as we finished the lesson I honestly did not remember one thing that I said.  I knew I spoke through the spirit.  Later that day Sister Gunson pulled me aside and started crying.  She was so thankful that I had her back and was inspired with the words I spoke.  I have seen the Lord's hand help me a lot while I have been here at the MTC.  "If you work easy on your mission it will be hard!  If you work hard on your mission it will be east!"  This is my motto and goal.  I know that with the Lord's help I can achieve anything!  So you better believe that I am going to be working hard everyday so I can help people come until Christ.  I can testify that he lives and he loves us so very much!  He has a plan for us and we must always be striving to become like him so we can fulfill that plan.  I love you guys so much!  I'll talk to you soon?  Love,  Sister Porter   PS I fly out on the 14th.  So 8 more days!



Missionary Training Center

Samantha's farewell was Sunday, April 28, 2013.  Her cousin Kodi (BFF) flew up and surprised her for the weekend.  It was a great weekend.  Samantha gave a wondering talk and of course her dad could not keep it together in making the few comments before the end of the meeting.  Brother Thompson made an interesting comment when he closed the meeting.  He said that Samantha at stated in the beginning of her talk that she is a crier and she should be forgiven of this because she is a girl......when really he stated that we all know where she gets her emotion--------from her father.  It was very emotional for Matt but he did a good job----one of the perks to being the bishop.  After we had open house at the house with of course her favorite CafĂ© Rio chicken.  It was packed.  Bishop Pepper and his wife Terri and their son Matt came as they were all here for Matt's graduation from BYU.  It was fun to visit with friends and family on that day.  The next Wednesday was the big day.  She had to be at the MTC at 1:30.  So off we went to Brick Oven of course with Stephanie and Dustin as well.  Good byes are always hard but made easier with a good meal and conversation.  The we dropped her off.  It was a very emotional experience seeing all of the hundreds of young men and women getting ready to serve the Lord.  This is a huge wave to flood the earth.  We know that he is coming and so look forward to it.  Samantha will be missed but what a great adventure she will have.
First letter from MTC May 1, 2013.
So your getting this letter because we were encourage to write you on the first night to inform you that I am still ALIVE!!!!  I am alive and loving every second of today!! When I received my name tag I almost started crying because I was so happy!  All the new missionaries got these little orange dots on their name tags, so when other missionaries walked by they would call out "Welcome to the MTC Sister"  It was awesome!  So my companion is Sister Guduson and is a very spunky girl!  SH\he is from California and is very out going.  She has quite the personality, but I love her to pieces.  I wish I could tell you all about today but lights out at 10:30.  I miss you all and cannot wait to hear from you!  My p-days are on Wednesday so I can't email you until then.  Also I was told to tell you to send mail through Dear Elder??? IDK?  Ask about it.  The gospel is TRUE!  I know without a doubt!  I will talk to you next week.  With all my love,  Sister Porter


Edowments at the Timpanogos Temple

Samantha received her endowments at the Timpanogos Temple on April 16, 2013.  She was so excited that as soon as she got her mission call she went to her single's ward bishop and asked when she could go through the temple.  His reply was that she needed to take the temple prep class to which she responded I already have.  He advised that it be closer to her mission date.  So she waited.  A week before she was down to Spanish Fork and we went to get some garments to make sure that they would fit.  We purchased a pair that was just right.  The next week I went and purchased 8 more pair.  Little did I know that I had purchase the mid-calf size.  She and I drove along on that morning and it was still dark and quite.  We had a good visit and then listed to church music.  She was soooo excited.  We went into the temple and she went her way and I went mine.  When we joined back together she said to me "I did not realize that we had to wear difference garments in the temple"  I said "we don't".  Then she told me that I had bought the mid-calf and that she just had to hike them was a good laugh.  She also had a very spiritual experience regarding Grandpa Ballard which I will not write about here but know that she had written about it in her journal.  The day was glorious surrounded by family.  

Called to Serve in Texas Fort Worth Mission

And so the adventure begins.  I will attempt to attach the
video of Samantha opening her mission call
here.  After listening to President Monson announce
in the October General Conference 2012 she called
us right away and stated that she wanted to serve
a mission.  Up until this point she had really not
talked about serving a mission so it was quite
a surprise for dad and I.  She said that she would
let us know after watching all of General
Conference and reading her patriarchal blessing
again.  The next night when she call she had already
set up an appointment to be meet with the bishop
the next week.  She came home for the Christmas break
from BYU Idaho and put in her papers.  She received her call
in the mail on January 17th in Idaho but waited to open it
with family and friend on January 19, 2013.
Forth Worth Texas Mission.  The exact mission that she
was born in and lived for 12 years.  We were a little
surprised but thought for sure she would serve in different
areas as the mission is quite big------little did we know.
Samantha took out her endowments on Saturday, March 16, 2013.