Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy Birthday Samantha

Dear Family,
I'm sitting in the library, just thinking about how to start this letter. There is just so much to say I don't even know where to begin! What a wonderful week for me and sister Nelson. The rest of our Christmas was truly great :) After I was done talking with yall (which was so awesome! I miss you guys like crazy.....) we made our way over to the Jacobsens to have Christmas dinner. LOTS of yummy food :) and they gave us cute scarfs and candy. After we ate and mingled for a little we spent the rest of the night at sister Riehers house (a less active) playing Joker and opening her gifts for her. haha The rest of that day was kind of hard for me because all I wanted was to be at home playing donkey kong with you guys! :) haha but I'm all better now so its okay.
The next day (my birthday) we had interviews with President Ames. He was really sweet to wish me a happy birthday :) But after our interviews and trainings at the church it was just like a regular missionary day! It was actually really nice to just continue serving the Lord!
On the weekend we picked up the elders and drove down the Mcgregor to help some members move!! It feels good to get out of the dress for a day and just do some work! :)
What did yall do when Seth and Bay got in? Have any fun plans for this week? Just relaxing? I'm SOO excited that Steph is pregnant!!! What wonderful news:) AND yes I got a birthday card from grandma B and M. and from yall! THANK YOU SO MUCH :) I love that card it made me laugh because its so true!! When a missionary gets mail it brightens their whole day!! its wonderful :)
Sorry this email is so short. Next week Ill bring my journal so I can tell you more details from the week :)
-Sister Porter


MERRRRRYYYY CCCHHHRRRIIISSTTMMMAASSS!!! :) What a wonderful time of the year!! :) Cant believe it's two days away!! Looks like y'all have already done all the fun stuff ;) We are doing a district meeting on Christmas this year and I am super excitied about so we can see all the other missionaries! Me and sister Nelson are singing a special musical number for it. We combined Oh Come All Ye Faithful and For the Beauty of the Earth. It should be really cool--I'm excitited :) After disrict meeting we are watching a christmas movie and doing a white elephant exchange! Then the Jacobsens are going to have us over for dinner and what not :) It should be a fun day.
 This year will be such a different celebration for me. Being away from family and friends is very different for anyone. This week will be very sacred. With not being involved with all the hustle and bustle of christmas I have been able to ponder and study the birth of the Savior. What a wonderful day!! Our Savior was brought into the world so he could teach his people, die for them, and live again so we could have the opportunity to inherit the Kingdom of God!! This is great tidings of joy to my soul! A child is born and his name shall be WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR, THE MIGHT GOD, THE ETERNAL FATHER AND PRINCE OF PEACE :) :) Have a Verry Merry Christmas my dear family. Let us remember the importance of this day and make it special.
LOVE Y'ALL! LOVE Sister Porter :)
PS. So durning the time that the missionaries will be watching the movie is when we can call. And that will be from NOON until TWO. probabaly around one ish is my guess but that will be when I call :) I am so very excited to hear from me sweet family love and miss you all so much. And no we don't get to skype :( Just a call from our cell phones.
That is just so sweet of Dorothy to send that to y'all!! She is the sweetest old lady ever!! We have been seeing her for a while. haha She calls me sweet pea and sister tuck jelly bean its so cute :) I guess she will have to come up with a nickname for sister nelson :)


Sunday, December 22, 2013

An unexpected Christmas Card

This past week we received this letter  in a Christmas card from a Dorothy  Brown from Lorena, Texas:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Porter,

My name is Dorothy Brown---I am a 69 year old great grandmother who lives in Lorena, Texas.  Over the years, as a parent, I have wondered how other adults perceived my children---if they remembered their manners--if they were respectful---things like that.  That is why I am writing.  I have met your daughter and she is a ray of sunshine!  She and her co-worker have been in my home several times.  They've had dinner with me once.  And hopefully will again.  She has been loving and very kind.  I also see an inner strength in her that she may not recognize yet.  I enjoy both the girls whenever they come and will do my best to help if she ever needs it.  I do have a confession--I have nicknamed your daughter Sweet Pea.  Thank you for sharing her with me.  Dorothy Brown.

December 16, 2013 New Companion

I wanted to start off this letter by just letting y'all know  how much I appreciate and love you guys! Just been thinking about all of you a lot these past week with Christmas coming up and what not. I sent a Christmas package so keep your eye out for it :) How have things been going at the porters resident?? My understanding is that Loir Gray and Kodi came up to drop Kodi off at the MTC? How fun. Are they staying after she leaves or going home?? So exciting for her :) OKAY so......I might have seen a commercial for a movie called FROZEN! OH goodness It looks so cute and wonderful!! Are y'all seeing that for Christmas eve?? Man do I wanna see it! looks so good :) you will have to tell me how it is. Ive heard its pretty dang good.
So I might have reunited with an old high school buddy!! My new companion, Sister Nelson, went to jr high and high school with me!! How crazy is that! And she was just serving in the Mansfield ward.....what a small world. But I love her so much we get along very well and the work has been great!!
One thing that me and sister nelson have set as some goals for this transfer was to whenever we became stressed or discouraged we would drop what we were doing and go find someone to help! "Forget ourselves and go to work" is this not something god wanted to do while here on this earth? He wanted us to serve our brothers and sister. With out one another I don't know if we could pass this test. Its like a volleyball game, with out the passer the ball wouldn't be given to the setter to set a spike, and without the setter there would be no set for the outside hitter or middle blocker to smash the ball on the other court. With out the server the game wouldn't start. We all need one another to full fill our purposes here on earth. And god is like the referee, he makes the calls and tells us weather we are doing something wrong or not. He keeps order and peace on the "court" or earth. SO even here on missions I think about how this concept is so important. Investigators not only need us to bring them the gospel but we NEED THEM to come help us. WE ALL NEED ONE ANOTHER to build up our fathers kingdom! So thank you for being apart of my progression in this life. I need my family to help build my testimony in this gospel and become the person I am today!!  So remember we may think that others need us to bring them the gospel but in reality we need them to help us return to live with god again. What a wonderful gift from god.
I had the opportunity to watch the Christmas devotional last Sunday and I loved \rose Mary Nixon's talk. She was telling the story of Christ's birth to some young boys at a boy scouts retreat. Then one of the boys with wide eyed curiosity looked at her and asked "what happened next?" She then went on to explain the saviors life and all the he did. He then again said "what happened next?" she talked about his great sacrifice for us and how he rose three days later and lived!  He then looked at her with tears in his eyes and asked once more "WHAT HAPPENS NEXT." .....What does happen next?? Our life here on earth. We are a gift from god and THAT is what happens next :) us wanting to return to live with him again :) what a wonderful message. let us keep the spirit of Christ in our heart this Christmas season.

LOTS OF LOVE!! :) sorry...no pics this week I forgot my camera :(

-Sister Porter

December 6, 2013 Babe it is cold outside

HAPPY 2nd WEEK OF DECEMBER! :) Y'all getting excited for Christmas yet?? Everything is happening so fast!! Kylee is half way through her senior year......she's rocking the basketball court!! (tell that girl I haven't heard from her in a while and that I miss her) Kodi goes into the MTC next week!! so so exciting :) Seth and Bay had a baby, And Christmas is right around the corner.......kind of makes me sad to think how fast the time is going :( Sounds like the missionary work in the ward is progressing like crazy!! That is some pretty great news! How's work? When do you get out for Christmas break?
Okay you probably already know BUT......It was freezing cold this past week!! Oh it was awful! the Texas cold is a lot worse than the Utah cold!! the humidity bits through your skin!! sssoooooo crazy!
So here is a more intense outline of me and sister tucks "typical" week of MISSIONARY adventure! :)
           MONDAY: this day is P day :) its a lovely day that we wake up and do the regular routine. Work out, get ready eat breakfast and study for two hours, One is personal where I get to study my scriptures and all that fun stuff. And one is companion where we get together and figure out different things that we will be teaching that day and what not. FUN STUFF! Then we get all of our laundry together and take it over to a members house to do. (super nice so we don't have to pay for it)  we have a car and I am currently designated driver. Then we pick up the elders and go to the library to email our president and our families and friends! :) After we wash the car and do some grocery shopping! Then we have the rest of the time (our p day is from 10-6) to do whatever. Clean the apartment, write letters, nap (I like that one) or sometimes we go to P-Day activity which involves all the missionaries in our area getting together and playing volleyball, basketball or card games. haha We love it. Then that night we shared some scriptures with a lady named Deloris. She is super sweet. Every Monday night at eight we go to sister Riehers house (a less active) to share a message and play Joker. its kind of like sorry. But I love it I'm actually pretty good! ;)
TUESDAY: This day we usually go to district meeting. We pick up the elders and drive to the stake center where all the missionaries in the area will meet for their district meeting. I love this meeting :) I learn so much and its fun to be with all of the elders! Then we all go to lunch afterwards. We had dinner with some members, knocked some doors and ended the night with an awesome lesson with our investigators Aylinn. She is so funny. She loves the show dr. who. Never have heard of it but it sounds like its pretty big. PS. it was around 80 degrees this day! Texas is really bipolar.
WEDNESDAY: An older lady named Mildred had us over for lunch today. She fed us a thanksgiving feast!! I was so full after I could barely walk back to our car. Then we drove out to Mcgregor (about 30 mins away) to help a member clean up her house. She's getting ready to move so they need to help getting things in order! Okay so....she has two baby kittens that are just too cute!! Maybe when I get home we can convince dad in getting another baby kitty.......we will see.
THURSDAY: Thursdays are kind of long for me. We are in the apartment for a long time planning everything for the next week. I love being outside working not in the apartment lounging around....feels weird. BUT it has to be done in order to have a successful week! There is a lot of planning and organizing that goes into missionary work. I would have never guessed....So when we finished planning, we got ready to go out and work. BUT once we stepped outside we ran right back in crying of pain because it was so cold!! Time to rack out the tights, boots, scarfs, and jackets!! Finally after we got all together we went out and knocked some doors. and MAN was it just so miserable! We would be out for about.... 15 mins and have to run back to the car and warm back up! Poor elders on bikes.....so thankful for the car.
FRIDAY: Today was when Sister Barton had to come rescue us! We had an appointment with Ricardo at the new church building at ten. And we asked her to come help teach and so we were planning on just meeting her there. BUT to our surprise, everything was totally iced over! We couldn't even get into our car. And we had nothing to scrap it all of with. SO......Sister Tuck grabbed a metal spoon and I grabbed one of our frying pans and we went to work!! Didn't get to far before Jill pulled up and saved us!! Love that women :) She offered her house to teach the lesson and it was wonderful :) After we did some less active work around the area and then headed to down town Waco to have dinner with Erica and Charels Bolden! We love them lots :) she is so funny makes me laugh so hard.  Anyway, then we headed to bruiseville to work for the night. We picked up Morgan a young women in the ward so that she could help us teach. John and his family are some people we are seeing. We taught the first lesson to them and it was sooo cool the way they interacted! There was a part though when sister tuck was telling them about joseph smith when me and morgan happen to see a mouse run across the room!! YUCK!! oh I was going to barf. We both looked at each other and started freaking out. haha.
SATURDAY: Today we went and helped Sister Rieher set up Christmas decorations. Makes me all excited for the holidays. After we went to the church and helped clean the nursery toys. Even inside the church it was freezing! There was this little piano toy that played a couple of songs.....so while we would clean we would listen to them over and over again haha :) we missionaries can entertain ourselves so easily.....
SUNDAY: CHURCH WAS CANCLED TODAY!! soooooo weird not to have church as a missionary. We were shocked ....didn't know what to do!! the roads were so bad we had to stay inside for most of the day. SO BORING!! but we didn't have time to make our ginger bread houses so that was fun! :) Every night after me and sister Tuck plan for the next day, we get in our pjs and read our Christmas story for the night! I love it :)
Transfers are this week!! Sister Tuck is leaving :( I understand though she has been here in Waco her whole mission! Crazy. My new comps name is Sister Nelson......Exciting! Hope everything goes well I will have to let you know how it goes!
Thank you for all the love! I feel it daily! I love you all more than you can imagine! Hope you have a wonderful week :)
-Sister Porter

December 2, 2013 The Work of Salvation

I hope this email finds my wonderful family doing awesome! :) Sounds like Thanksgiving was a good turn out this year. Makes me happy to hear y'all having good times! Thanksgiving here was just as any other normal missionary day!! The Jacobsens in our ward had us over which was very sweet of them. They had some family over and feed us lots of yummy food! It cool to see how other families celebrate their holidays together! After we finsihed they all went out to play volleyabll......We unfortentually couldn't play with :( Sad day for Sister Porter. BUT that is alright :) It was a wonderful day of missionary work! Actually my mission president said something to us in our zone conference that I really liked he stated that it is not missionary work, its the WORK OF SALVATION! I loved that :)
Let us give thanksgiving daily. We don't need to wait all year for thankgiving to roll around so that we can be thankful for what we have on that day. We should be thankful for what we have EVERY DAY :) We should seek for our blessing by doing good and then stepping back and looking at the bigger picture. What has Heavenly Father blessed me with today? How can I still seek his blessing and then being appreciative of them? Thank you, for being such an amazing family. Family truly is the most important social unit for time and all eternity and god has placed us in our families for a special reason. I know that reason I was placed in my family was because he knew that with us being together we could strengthen one another and come closer to him. Thankful we can all live together forever! I guess I love you guys that much that I would live with you forever ;)
I want to be a better cook! mother....me and you are gonna be doing a lot when I come home :) Me and Sister Tuck did a lot of cooking, helping a lot of the members get ready for Thanksgiving! ALSO we might have set up like .....5 trees this weekend haha. People love to get ready for christmas so soon!!!!
This past friday me and Sister Tuck had a lesson set up with one of our investigators. On our way there, she texted us and told us she wouldn't be able to meet that night. We became very sad and didn't understand why we couldnt just meet with her. BUT we decided that instead of dwelling on the negative of the night we decided to go to work. So we began knoking on doors. A young lady answered one of the doors, said she wasn't interested, but reffered us to a house up the street. With excitment we ran down the street and knocked on the door. To our surprise a man answered the door and immediatly let us in. Him and his wife sat us down and listened intently to the first lesson. How neat! We set up a return appoinment and told us they wanted to come to church! :)  Apparently they knew a lot of people from the ward and were really impressed with them. :)
When we said our goodbyes and went back to our car for the night we skipped for joy and thanked God for that awesome experience! We then realized that even though our plans did not work out the first time, he knew what needed to happen. His plan is much greater than ours and once we see that, we can find joy in the days to come. Trust in the Lord, he will guide us to where we should be. One door closes, another one is opened! :)
PICTURE ONE: This tree was in the moody library :)
PICTURE TWO: I just want y'all to know that I totally decorated this journal all by myself! I feel so crafty :) haha