Monday, June 1, 2015


Wow is pretty much all I can say right now!!  I can't believe 2 years is already up.  This has been a crazy little experience for me and now it's time to start the next stage!  As I have been reflecting on my missionary service for the past couple of days I feel a whole lot of peace.  I know that I have worked my hardest and gave my very best for two whole years. I don't regret anything.  It's weird because I have definitely done some things I have regretted on my mission, just little things here and there, but as I look back on what I have done I don't regret a single thing.  I know that God is pleased with what I have done and has and will continue to bless me for it. I really hope I feel like this come judgment day.
Serving a mission has changed me.  I used to always think about how much of a sacrifice it is to serve a mission, to put your whole life on hold for 2 years, but I now know that that isn't the best way to put it.  The price I have paid, or the sacrifice I have made, to become acquainted with God and the Savior and His Atonement is nothing less than a blessing.  I don't feel like I can call it a sacrifice because of how much God has paid me.  He hasn't paid me in money or in food or anything like that, in fact, it's really hard to describe how He's paid me, but I know that He has. There is nothing about me that hasn't been bettered or completely changed though my missionary service. God is good. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve Him.
I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the same exact church that Jesus Christ established when he was on the earth 2000 years ago.  I know that He still leads and guides this Church and that the Prophets and Apostles are called of God and inspired of Him to help us in our lives. I know that if we follow their counsel, coupled with the counsel we receive from the Word of God we will come off conquerors of all.  I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior of the World. I know that He lived a perfect life to show us that it really is possible, the perfect example, and I know that He died for us to make the goal of living with God and our families forever in happiness an obtainable glory. Each trial we have in life is just another stepping stone to getting us there, if we can just trust in the Savior.  He's experienced all things and He will ALWAYS be there with His hand outstretched NO MATTER WHAT.  All we gotta do is reach out and take hold. It is never too late and no one is ever too lost to become acquainted with the Savior and His love, and as we do so we will change for the better. Don't y'all ever EVER forget any of this, OK?!?!  If you ever struggle then just come talk to me, haha. I leaned on my parent's and my siblings' testimonies for 18 years or so, but now I can finally say for sure that I know these things are true. So if you ever just need a little crutch, use mine.
Thanks to all y'all for your love and your prayers and your support. I am really excited to see and talk to y'all real soon!  I love you so much!!
May God Bless Y'all!
Elder Caleb Porter

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Elk Whistle

Holy crap I don't even know what to do!!  I go home in 8 days.  AH!  I am really really really excited to see y'all, but I am also real sad to be done. It's ok because I know that I have served my hardest for 2 years and not it's just time to go, I don't have any regrets. That is a good feeling, for sure.
Yesterday was SUCH a fun day! The Lubbock Stake (that's the one I'm part off) had a fun run for memorial day and we got permission to go if we could get a member to give us a ride. So what did we do? We got up at 5:15 and piled into Josh Gandy's tiny truck and rode to Lubbock.  Dress code for the Elders was: white shirt and tie and tag with basketball shorts. It was SO funny. It was pouring rain the entire time we were driving up there and we kept joking about it getting canceled, when we finally got to Lubbock it was still raining really hard but the park was SO full of Mormons ready to run the race! I was so pumped! Then it started to ended up getting canceled hahaha. Too bad. President Heap told all the missionaries to wait for the members to clear out before we left and by that time the lightning had stopped and so he yelled "the Willy and Martin handcart companies didn't quit because it was cold outside!! We can't just not run this race!!  It's in our heritage!" haha and so we ran a 5k in the pouring rain. Man, it was SO fun. I had a real great time.  I was hoping I would lose 10 pounds during the race, that didn't happen, but I still did really well. I am so sore today though, that is for sure.
This last week was some good work. I am finishing working my butt off and having a real great time doing it! Miracles are happening all over the place. One of the little miracles we saw is that we finally are making and keeping contact with a less active family called the Ibarras.  Another miralcesito is that Ivonne is their prima and loves them so much, so she's been helping A TON!  It is just so cool to see how things work out for our good. I love the Church and I love my mission!
I have been pondering Alma 25:35-37 quite a bit. It gives me a lot of peace.  I think it's my favorite scripture right now.  Just take a gander at it...God is good. He loves us so much. Don't forget that.  We have a really really really big reason to be happy, we have really big potential, so we better be happy and reach that potential!
35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all powerall‍ wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful‍ Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.
 36 Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my lightmy joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch‍ of the tree of Israel, and has been lost‍ from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers‍ in a strange land.
 37 Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful‍ of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.
I love you all so much. Sorry this email is kind of crappy. I'll just come home and tell you all the good stuff next week, ok?!  Be happy and safe!
ELDER Porter  

Monday, May 18, 2015


Wowzers, another week gone. Y'all will only get 2 more emails from me as a missionary....ahhhh. That is straight nuts. I don't even know how to react to that!
For the past few weeks we have been doing service at an old folks home, but not just any old folks home, we have been working at one that is specifically for old people who have alztymers. Yeah, I know I spelled that wrong, but spell check wont even correct it so I'm giving up on it. Anyway. It is really sad to see all these old ladies and men just be insane, but it is also really funny sometimes.  We go once a week and all we do is play bingo and sing hymns. It's a blast! They love us!  There is this one lady named Miss Ruby who just loves us to death. She is the very best at bingo.  She calls us the boys from her church and says that she knew us when we were just little bitty boys.  I'm happy I allowed her to make that false memory because it brings her joy. She always asks us about how our families are doing and she is just a good lover. One thing I think is awesome is that when we sing hymns a lot of the people know the words!  That is cool because 1, I didn't realize how many of our hymns aren't even specific to our hymn book and 2, it's sweet that even though they cant remember anything else they can remember their faith and the words of songs that has helped them in their life.  I think that is a cool piece of evidence that you cant get through life with out some kind of faith in Jesus Christ to get you through it. Even though these people cant remember much else, they always remember to pray and to thank the Lord in all they do and I really think they are blessed for it. I never want to have Alztihmers (another guess), but I hope I can have faith like that for forever like them!
Jose Francisco got baptized!  Yipee!  This guy is so legit. He read the whole BOM in 3 weeks and is almost done with it a second time. He also has read the Gospel Principles book and is working though the Priesthood manual. He just eats up the truth. The only reason it has taken him so long to get baptized is because he just feels so unworthy. The whole time I've been here we've been trying to help he realize that because he is unworthy he NEEDS to be baptized. It finally clicked! It was way sweet because President Reber and he have made a really good connection so President Reber did the baptism and the confirmation. You just gotta smile when the investigator picks a member to baptize them cause you know the fellow ship goal was met. Yay! At the baptism almost everything went wrong...hahah. Everybody showed up late, the people forgot to prepare their talks, and programs didn't show up till after the service, but it was still really good. No complaints at all. Jose will make a really good addition to the Hobbs Spanish Family.
Yesterday night we ate dinner with the Diaz family. They are so cool and they feed us like twice a week.  When we got there Hermana Diaz was obviously really upset about something, she had real red and watery eyes like she had been crying and was pretty quiet during dinner. Elder Heaps and I recognized it and really tried hard to be funny and make the whole family laugh to lighten the mood. They fed us Ceviche and elder Farley hated it, hahahaha, so he spent the whole time trying to figure out how to avoid eating it. At the end of the lesson I felt promped to share a scripture on prayer and to talk about that for al little while. Man, it was a good lesson. The spirit worked on them all and took over the teaching. They have been having some hard times and really needed a reminder of prayer. Sister Diaz bawled and bore her testimony to us about the power of prayer and how she was grateful for the reminder. It was so sweet. That lesson made me realize 2 things. The first is that prayer is awesome and the spirit is real, and the second is that I really really like being a missionary with the called and responsibility to teach and bless lives with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every once in a while it will randomly hit me that I am going home in a few weeks and for the most part I am so pumped, but in lessons like that it makes me really sad to have to leave this amazing work and go to a different work.  Obviously it's not the end of missionary work for me, but it's the end of full time, 100% dedicated service.  I love my mission. Is has changed me so much.  I'm sure y'all'll hear more about this in the next few weeks, but just know that I know the Church is true and that Jesus is the Christ! 
Love y'all so much. Don't forget to pray. Don't forget to read the scriptures. There is a lot of peace that can be found in the Word of God. And don't forget to smile!
Elder Porter

This is in response to my letter telling him that Roxann Jarvis, my wonderful long time friend, died.

Ah dang, mom.  That is really hard. I am real sorry to hear that. I loved Rox a lot. Don't forget that God has a plan, though.  She has something important she needs to do over there in spirit paradise, some other souls to uplift and help out.  Also don't forget that Christ knows how it is.  President Hughes counseled me that there will be times where I will be prompted to pray and pour out my soul to God to find solace, solace that can only come through Him. I know that that is a true principle. As you pray to God and seek peace and solace He will give it to you!  Don't forget that, ok Mom?  I love you a whole lot! 
I am happy to talk on the 24, whatever works best for y'all.
Love you so much!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Abuleita de Batman

This week was a real good one, duh. It was a little longer than what it's been in the past, I don't know whether I should be grateful or sad, haha.
So for the past 6 weeks or so we have been doing service at Salvation Army once a week for about 2 hours. It has always been really fun service, I love it a lot. The lady who is in charge, Cenia, ablsolutly loves us. At the end of every service she gives us a lot of food to tie us over for the week. We try to tell her that we cant take it and she just says "oh shush!  If my baby was out doing work like y'all I would want someone to take care of her too! So I'm just watchin out for y'all." She is awesome. This week we brought the other companionship in the city with us and we threw bread into a van and then unloaded it at the warehouse. Then Cenia asked us if there is any chance we could help later on in the day form 1 to 4 because she the other volunteers wouldn't be able to come, of course we said yes! So we went back and took carts of food to old people's cars to help out. We had a lot of down time so we were able to talk to Cenia a lot about the Church. She is pretty interested in it! I think it is so cool to see how many little ways you can spread the Gospel. Things like service make ALL the difference and really big impacts! I really love doing the service, too!
Mexicans are like my favorite people ever. I think I explained it before, but they just have a party for every thing possible. They just love to party. And there is no such thing as a small party.  This week alone we went to 3 parties in the branch to eat and had BBQ at like 2 other parties from just random people. I love it!  The Ormsby family's little son just turned what did they do? They cooked 30 lbs of carne asada and 100 hamburgers and hot dogs. We ate like champs and then they gave us some to take home:)  Then The Morales family's little son Levi just turned 4, so we went to the church for his piƱata and ate Nachos and hotdogs there. They gave us cake to take home. THEN the branch had a mother's day activity at the church so we ate REALLY good there and they gave us more to take home. There is this one song that they sing for every festivity called Mananitas. I  don't know why, but it is so awesome. At the mother's day thing they had all the men, us included, go up and sing this song to all the moms. It was SO funny. I was laughing for days. I cant wait to learn the words and sing it at every birthday party from now on. In short, this week was a party and I probably gained weight. #yay!
We had a Zone Conference this week, it was my very last one. It was so good. I just love the way that President Heap teaches. He has made a real good impact on my life. Right before the conference he pulled me into his office and we just chatted for a little bit about what I can do to help out Elder Farley and to still be going 100% in my other missionary duties. I was really appreciative of it.  Anyway, at the conference we learned more about planning and goal setting. It was cool because that stuff will still apply to me even when I am home, so I paid real good attention. The spirit taught me some stuff I can do.   For lunch we ate some real good BBQ...surprise, haha. But then after lunch came the real surprise... Sometimes in our mission we do this thing called "departing testimonies" that's where the missionaries who are about to go home give their testimony for the zone. It's pretty hit or miss on weather or not the zone conference will have it. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Well this one they sure did and me and 5 other missionaries had to give our departing testimonies. It was so nuts. I never thought I would be there. I cant believe how time flew. Gah. Anyway, it was really good and there were some powerful testimonies born.
I only have 3 more weeks. Holy crap.  I'm gonna keeping working really hard and hopefully I'll be able to help change a few more lives before I'm done! I love y'all so much! Have a good week and be happy and work hard!!
Elder Porter

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ft. Soy

This week was way good! I loved each minute of it. I dont know how, but each day goes faster. Another thing that keeps on progressing in my mission is how tired I am in the mornings, haha. Each day I am a little bit more tired than I was the day before. It's been going like that since day one. I feel like I should be dead by now, hahahah. I just shower first thing in the morning and then work out and after that I am fine. Weird though.
So as y'all know, Saturday was the kentucky Derby.  Well we all had a really good time picking horses and hearing about the winner, American Pharoah, but I'd say the very best Derby festivity we did was...IVONNE'S BAPTISM!  Haha it went so good. She invited a bazillion friends and family and a lot of our branch came as well. There were more people there than there is on a normal sunday!  Most of them were non-members too! Both talks that were givin were really really good and applied to her real well. The best part was the actual baptism, though. She was way nervous right as she was getting into the water, and was shaking a little bit during the baptismal prayer, but as she came out of the water she was BEAMING.  I have never seen her smile that big and happy. We keep teaching her about her "light" about how even though her family doesn't really want to get into the church at all, that she will be an amazing example and light to everyone.  Man, let me tell you, as soon as she got out of the water she was practically glowing. It was so cool. It was like a completely different person. She is gonna be a killer member for the rest of her life.
We had Stake conference this week as well, so as soon as we finished Ivonne's baptism we headed up to Lubbock.  Holy crap, it was a really good conference. The saturday night was all about the power of council within the family and the church, it was powerful. They also made the announcement that the transmitting stuff was broken so they weren't gonna be able to transmit it to Hobbs for the Sunday part. So we just stayed the night with the missionaries there in Lubbock!! I sure love missionary sleep overs, haha. It is a lot of fun. So anyway,on sunday the talks were all focused on 2 Nephi 4 and about the power of the Atonement.  President Shumway, the stake president, is notorious for speaking as if he were a southern baptist preacher, or in other words he just yells at the pulpit and is SO POWERFUL!   Then right after I went and participated in Josh Gandy's Melchizedek Priesthood ordination and President Shumway gave one of the coolest blessings I have ever heard. He just testified of the truthfulness of the promise that our body will be renewed as we use our priesthood righteously. It was so sweet. Church is true out here in the Lubbock Stake.
President Heap gave me and everyone else who goes home this transfer an assignment titled "My Plan". He said that the brethren are starting up something just like it, but we're just a little bit ahead of the rest.  He as asked us to study and prepare and make plans for home. He's given us a lot of topics to study and think about, it is way sweet. He asked me about it on Sunday and I told him it was making it a little bit hard to stay focused on the work and he just smiled and said "that is exactly what I intended".  I know that man is called of God and I know he is inspired in this, so I am really really excited to see the blessings that come from it.  
Anyway, I love y'all so so so much! Be safe and have a really good week. I get to Skype this week, so I'm pumped out of my mind. I will talk to a lot of y'all then.  
Elder Porter 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Is that a Football?

Well, this week was a dream.  I don't know, once again, how it ended soo fast. The weeks and days just get faster and faster. I can't even believe it.
Last Monday, just after emailing we went and played some basketball. I have never really been that good of a ball player, but I love it so much so I always play and have a great ol time. This week for some reason I was on fire, just making ever shot I took.  That doesn't really have that much to do with my story, I just wanted y'all to know that I did good, haha. Well this one time, I was playing defense and I don't know what happened, but Elder Banner, a little tiny twig guy, hit me in the eye with his elbow that is as sharp as Cutco (trust me, I would know since I worked as a cutco salesman for 3 days) and made my eyebrow rip open and start to pour blood. It was awesome. 7 stitches later it was still awesome. It looked so gnarley.  On Tuesday my eye was swollen shut. It was so funny. I wish I had my cord to send you a picture of it, but it's lost in the apartment somewhere, so I'll just show y'all in a few weeks.  It was so crazy though. In all honesty I think it helped the missionary work out cause everyone listened to us cause they wanted to hear the story about what happened haha. Earlier today elder Checketts pulled out the stitches with fingernail clippers, it was awesome.  One little 4 year old kid was staring at my stitches on like Thursday and just says "is that a football?". I laughed so hard.
On a more spiritual note, though, let me tell y'all about Ivonne. Ivonne has been meeting with missionary for about a year. She is 18 and way cool. She reads and prays and comes to church and everything, she just hasn't recognized an answer and she's scared her catholic family will disown her.  On Friday's weekly planning we said a special prayer to help us know what we could teach her to make her ready. I had the distinct impression to teach all about the Celestial Kingdom.  So we did. It was a KILLER LESSON.  SO GOOD. The spirit guided everything so much. At the end of the lesson I extended a bap date invitation for May 2 and she agreed!  Then we decided to do a fast, us and her, so that she would feel ready and that her parents would have soften hearts. So we fasted that day and the next day we went over and it her opening prayer she thanked God for finally giving her an answer.  IT WAS AMAZING!!  Ivonne is finally getting baptized this Saturday. I am so pumped. She told her parents and they weren't happy, but they didn't disown her either!  We taught her about how her light will grow and shine and eventually she will be able to help them accept the Gospel as well. Ah man, God is good. I know that He answers prayers and really does want to bless us and help us out. So that's that.  Pray that Ivonne's parents will be more submissive and that everything will go well!
For dinner on Saturday we got invited to one of the guys in the branches birthday party. It was a dream.  Mexicans have this way that they all goes like this:
  • Banda (that is a type of Mexican music) blasting
  • BBQ
  • Beans
  • A billion people
  • Everyone is related somehow
  • Usually there is beer too :(
This time there wasn't beer though cause they were all active members of the church, haha. It was SO MUCH FUN!  I love the Mexican culture so much.  Dad told me, as his advice before my mission, to love the culture and let me tell you, I succeeded in that. I hope there are Mexican hangouts in Provo that will let me join it, haha.
Anyway, I love y'all so much! Have a good week and don't get stitches in your eye!
Don't forget to pray and to smile!
Elder Porter 

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Wrestle

First off in this email I feel the need to explain to y'all some mission lingo.  I don't know if you have ever heard it before so I will teach you as if you only have 4 years of age (sorry I sounded like an idiot when I said that, I just read Winston's letter and he always makes me lose a few IQ points).
When a missionary first starts his mission he is "born" in an area and his trainer is his "dad".  At the end of the mission and you think about home you are "trunky", hopefully y'all already knew that.  If a missionary is disobedient he is "apostate" and if something is against the rules it is "un-legit".  Lastly, and perhaps the most important one for this email, when a missionary finishes his mission he "dies" and his last companions "killed him". I believe you are ready for the rest of this email.

I'm gonna die in Hobbs!  We got our transfer calls and the Lord has called me to finish it out in Hobbs, that isn't the exciting news, though. Both Elder Whitesides and Bradshaw are leaving me, which isn't the exciting part either, and I'm getting....Elder HEAPS!! Do y'all remember Elder Heaps?  I served with him in Odessa exactly one year ago. I love the kid so much. He's easily one of my favorite companions ever.  It almost never happens that you get to serve with one of your old companions again OR that you serve in one of your old areas again and I'm doing BOTH!!  Yay.  I will still be in a trio. Our other companion's name is Elder Farley.  Now, y'all know that my title on my mission has basically been "babysitter"  (sorry, that's another lingo I forgot to mention. "Babysitter" means that you have an apostate companion or you have a companion that is struggling a lot with his mission and you need to help him out)  most of my companion since I left Hobbs last year have had troubles with their mission and President and God assigned me to serve with them to help out a lot.  I used to be so bugged by it, I always would dream of having a hard working, experienced, and obedient companion, but that just hasn't happened.   This transfer it hit me though that it is SUCH a huge sign of trust from both President Heap and also from God.  They are trusting another person's mission, which means the salvation of many souls, to me for 6 weeks.  Babysitting changed from a chore to an honor.  Well.  Elder Farley has been having a rough go on his mission. I  don't know any details, but I do know that my assignment for these next 6 weeks is to "save this boy". As soon as the AP told me that it all just clicked to an even deeper level.  I remember that when I was set apart as a missionary the first time President Hughes said that the mission president would trust me after a short time to take on sensitive or fragile assignments. I have seen that.  He also talked a lot about how he feels one of the purposes on his mission was to bless the life of one of his companions. I think if I look back on it I feel that way too. I think the whole timing thing with me not being able to come out, then getting a call anyway, then going home, then coming back after just one transfer, was so I could serve with who I have served with, not as much as so I could teach certain people in my areas. I feel like God has used me as a tool mostly for my companions.  That's not to say that I am the perfect companion at all, I'm sure a few of them have had problems for sure, but I know that I have some God given gifts that has helped me connect with my companions and help them make the changes they need to in their lives and in their missionary work.  Sorry this paragraph is a little crazy...I got most of that revelation as I was writing it, haha. Anyway.  I am pumped out of my mind for the next 6 weeks of my life and the last 6 weeks of my mission.

We also went to the Temple this week.  It was gnarly. We went with Josh Gandy, the recent convert from Lovington I told y'all about a few weeks ago. I met a guy there at the temple who is a professor at Texas Tech.  He knows Dad cause he used to work at BYU, but I forgot his name, sorry!  Anyway, we had a nice little chat and he taught me how to be a student again.  Pretty much he just told me to keep doing all my missionary stuff minus proselyting. It was sweet. I like the Temple, and I love Josh, and I like talking to random guys.

You know, that is about it.  I was gonna write y'all about Enos 1 and his "wrestle" that he has with God and then compare it to some of the things our investigators have been doing recently, but I ran out of time and ganas.  Sorry!!  SO anyway. Just know that the church is true and our investigators are progressing.

I love y'all a bazillion.  Have a really good and happy week!

Elder Porter

About Me

Elder Caleb Porter is currently serving in the Texas, Lubbock Mission. Read his letters and see his pictures here!