Monday, December 30, 2013

New Years

Dad, read Matthew 16:2-3, it made me laugh.  Red sky and night, sailors delight!
 
Well, it was really really good to talk/see y'all!  I didn't see Sarah, Abby told me why but I didn't hear it, so...Hey Sarah!  Merry Christmas.  There, now I got everybody:)
 
On Christmas Eve our car broke down in the Chruch parking lot.  When we popped the hood we quickly found that our battery was corrodid (sp?) like crap.  We called the guy in charge of the cars for the misson and he told us to get a jump and go buy a new one, but we needed to be quick because the shop was gonna close real soon.  We called President Michie and asked him to jump us, but he was in a little town 100 miles away talking to some of our members, and none of our investigators were in town!  So we biked to the shop and bought the battery.  We had to use our own money since the car credit card we have doesn't work for purchases more than $100.  Then we had to bike back to the car with the 30 lbs. battery!  It was an adventure haha.  In reality, it was an answer to our prayers though cause we were really praying hard that we would have something to fill our time that day haha.  We got TONS of food from a lot of members and a few investigators though, after the car fun, so it was a pretty good day!
 
On Christmas we woke up at 6:30 and opened presents, that's the latest I've ever woken up for Christmas!!  I cherrish sleep way too much now a days to get up any earlier!  I had a really REALLY good time talking to everybody.  It's just really nice to see everyone!  I was so pumped to see Infinity too...who would of thought I'd miss a little rat like her haha.  We ate some real good food at the Michie's and hung out and played games.  I did work against the other missionaries at the Book of Mormon Trivia game we played.  I was humble about it to...hahahah.  The Michies keep real good care of me, Mom, and since you have Sister Michie's number now I think it would be really cool if you called her and thanked her.  She got a call from one of the other missionaries moms and it made her feel really good.  Just a thought though!
 
The rest of the week was Slooooww!!  The people were extremely rude, which is something I'm not used to out here in Texas!!  The members say its because they are all on a hangover...I think its true!  We talked to a lot a lot of drunk people and a lot a lot of half naked people, I don't know what is wrong with people haha.  It was a pretty fun week though, we stayed busy!  One of our investigators that we have been working with for a long time, Troy and Nichole, came to our appartment the day after Christmas and gave us some chocolates and then said "Remember, you are never away from family!".  It was really sweet.  The people here are so amazing, even when most of them are drunk and rude, there is so much good.  It's a huge honor to be trusted with the message that will bring them so much peace and joy.  I love it a lot. 
 
Thank you all so so so much for your various Christmas cards/presents/  I love hearing from ya!  I'm saving up all the money I've been getting to buy some real life cowboy boots.  We went to the Feed Store today to look at them and man...they are SO SICK!  I cant wait to rep those around town!!
 
LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!:)
 
Elder Caleb Hyrum Porter







Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas

This week, I cant remember what day it was because they all blend together, I got attacked by a real life PitBull.  It was HILARIOUS!  Elder Nelson and I were biking around, just looking for some poor, inocent people to baptize.  Things were going good, we decided to go into "Little Mexico", that is the scary part of town, we didn't care.  We were riding by the rail road tracks and we see a guy walking his dog, when we got a little closer we see the dog start running at us! The owner holding the leash got pulled down by the brute strength of the dog.  We FREAKED out.  I turned my bike around and have never biked so hard!!  I look back to see that this MONSTER of a dog was right next to me and growling like he hadn't eaten for years.  He got a hold of my pant leg and almost pulled me off my bike, to my ultimate demise.  Luckily I had an extreme boost of adrenalin and I kicked the dog in the face and biked harder than I have ever biked in my life.  I had to have been going like 50 mps hahaha.  I survived though!  Just a hole in my pants!
 
We had a Christmas party in Midland on Thursday, I remember that day.  It was a dream.  We woke up real early and drove out to McCamey to pick up those other two Elders.  Of course we had to stop at the donut shop....it was TASTE!   When we got up to Midland there were a billion other missionaries and President Augustin was dressed up like Santa.  We did a lot of random, missionary appropriate, party things, it was pretty fun!  Stu and Tom weren't there though, they are still in the upper half of the mission, so they had a different party.  I got my PACKAGE though!!!:)  I still don't know what is in it...cause it says not to open in:(  I also got a package from Sister O'Brien full of lots of little fun presents.  THANK YOU SECOND MOM!! (Sister O'Brien)  YOU ARE THE SECOND BEST! (Mom, you are the real best).  Breaks are real nice.
 
Our plans for this week are pretty sweet.  Tomorrow, Christmas Eve, we are gonna go work till 6, that is gonna be really long and hard, but I'm over it already.  Then the party starts.  We bought some sparkling grape juice and some martini glasses to drink.  AND we are planning to read from Luke 1&2 and ACT OUT THE NATIVITY!!  Just like at home:)  It is only gonna be Elder Nelson and me but...it's gonna be a DREAM!
 
On Christmas Day we are going to the Michie's house, they are the senior couple.  They are gonna make us a real good meal and have some festivities there because they miss their kids.  I'll either call or Skype or FaceTime, I'm not really sure which one yet.  I might have sister Michie text you right before I call to figure it out haha:)  I get 45 minutes to talk to Y'all (mom and dad and whoever is at their house).  I don't know what time I will call, probably between 2 and 6 Texas time...but I really have no idea.  I'm really really excited to talk to you though!!:):)
 
Thanks for your fasting and prayers on my behalf!  I really wish y'all wouldn't freak out so much, but I appreciate it.  I'm fine and dandy, and HAPPY!  Love y'all very much!  Be safe and HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!  :)  P.S. Joseph Smith's birthday is today, so happy birthday big guy. 
 
Love,
The Mormon Guy

Monday, December 16, 2013

WEek

This week was pretty much the same as every week!!  Haha I know I say that every week...it's just the truth!  I've gotten into the daily grind of missionary work and most things are normal now haha.  We spend a whole lot of time finding people to teach, which means biking.  We bike around and talk to every person we see.  Yesterday we talked to 21 people...it was so nice to finally see some success with finding.  Usually we talk to two or three, but things are warming up so its getting a little bit better:)  Yesterday, while we were biking my chain was making a weird noise.  So I stopped and figured it out and fixed it, problem solved.  Not.  We stopped at an intersection waiting for a green light, when it turned green we took off, trying to accelerate as fast as we could so we didn't disrupt traffic.  Well...half way though the intersection, in the middle of the road, I hear a really weird noise and then I was all of a sudden on the ground hahahaha.  My back tire fell off WHILE I WAS RIDING IT!!  I hopped up and grabbed all the parts and sprinted across the road.  Elder Nelson and I were laughing SO HARD!  It was pretty embarrassing, but I'm over it haha.  The bike fixed up fine, I'm not sure what happend, but it was comedy GOLD!
 
The babtism went really well!!  We only ended up baptising Jennifer because Ricky didn't pass the interview for question number 4 (Kam, I think you'll probably be the only one who knows what that means haha).  He's scheduled for later in January so that is still good.  But it was way cool for Jennifer!  I got to baptize her and Elder Nelson did the confirmation on Sunday.  The other Elders in my district, Moyer and Oler, who are serving in McCamey had a baptism as well, so we got to do two in one!  Levi, thier guy, is HUGE so it took two people to baptize him haha.  It was a really spiritual experience and we even had an investigator come!  I love it when things like that happen.  The Church is true. 
 
Mom sent me a Christmas package that is the sickest thing ever.  She has a present for every day with a scripture on it.  We are supposed to read the scripture and then guess what the present is.  It is the best part of our Comp Study every day haha.  Yesterday we looked at the scripture clue and it was from D$C Section 89, which is the Word of Wisdom section.  Before reading the verse I guessed that it was tea hahaha.  It was some tasty GRAIN granola bars instead, so I was pleased:)  Thank you so so much Mom!!  Elder Nelson says thanks too:) 
 
Christmas time is a dream.  Everyone is more happy and loving and willing to hear our message that is centered in the Savior.  We spend a lot of time testifying of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and sometimes it's easy to forget the SAVIOR is the most important part!!  Christmas is a sweet time to REMEMBER!  It is all about Jesucristo!  He is our Savior and Redeemer, the Prince of Peace!  Without his help we are nothing.  Through is grace ALL MEN ARE SAVED (and judged according to our works...some information Born Again's could use) and ALL can find peace.  I love it!  God set up such a perfect plan for us to be apart of!  I love everything about it, it is amazing!  So lets spend this CHRISTmas remembering Him:)
 
I love you all so so so much and CANT WAIT to talk to you on Christmas day.  Be safe! 
 
ELDER Caleb Porter


Jennifer's baptism

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New kid

3:41 PM (15 hours ago)
to me
Only one of my kids ended up showing up.  The other one had a last minute change and stayed in Lubbock, so its just me and Elder Nelson now!  He's a pretty cool guy, we get along really well so far.  He's from Latin Utah and just barely graduated from Northridge High School.  He loves Betos just like I did so...I doubt we'll have many problems haha.  I feel really blessed to have him as my trainee cause he works super super hard and is always willing to try and do new things. He is learning real fast and each day my job gets easier and easier.  It's a little rough when we have to teach a Spanish lesson though, since neither of us are very good or experienced haha.  We manage though!
 
Training is a lot of fun.  I really enjoy the added responsibility and the trust I get.  President Augustin said that there was only like 10 new missionaries this transfer, so it really is an honor to get to train, especially right after I finished!  The 12 week training program (the program we use to train) is the stupidest thing ever.  I don't even know why they send us to the MTC since we redo every single thing in the real life field, but its whatever.  It just means we get to have an extra hour for comp study to practice for lessons.  I've realized that as a trainer I can make up rules and Elder Nelson just automatically assumes they are mission rules...I haven't done anything with that power yet...but I willl! 
 
It was another cold cold week up here.  It didn't snow, but it rained and then froze 2 or 3 times.  No one comes outside on cold days, I don't know how they do it.  It seems to me like they have to come out sometime to get groceries or something...but it doesn't happen!  Haha oh well, we made due.  Hopefully this week is a little warmer cause we are pretty much out of investigators, only two are progressing so we need to find some new ones!!  It's super Christmasy everywhere though.  I LOVE IT!  Every house is decked out with so so so many lights...its almost as good as driving past Bastion's house in the rich neighborhood. 
 
We have two baptisms scheduled for this Saturday!  Jennifer, the JW, and Ricky, the guy who showed up to church last week.  I'm really excited for it!  Ricky has read all the way up to 3 Nephi in a week and just eats up everything we say and Jennifer knows every lesson like the back of her hand.  It is so cool to see people gain testimonies and see ther lives CHANGE!  Ricky, 4 months ago, was trash.  He practically lived on the street and was just a druggie hardcore...but things have changed so much for him and finally he will be making the best change of ALL!  BAPTISM!  I love love  love it.  Elder Nelson is a lucky guy to get two baptisms on his first week out...there are a lot of missionaries from this mission who only get like 3 baptisms total.  We got this text from Ricky this week...its hilarious..."I just had the weirdest tribulation today, I just saw Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ, and the Virgin Mary standing right behind me."  Hahahahahahhaha.  He's a crazy crazy guy.
 
We got a call this morning at 1 AM from a less active member.  She said that her bestfriend, and one of our investigators, just got in a really really bad car accident and was in the hospital.  She wanted a blessing before they sent her up to Odessa. So we got dressed up and went into the Emergency Room and I gave her a blessing at 1 AM.  It was a really really cool experience for me.  I love that kind of service.   She's up in Odessa getting some kind of surgery right now, but they think she'll be ok.  It was sweet though.
 
That is about it!  I love you so so so much!!  Stay warm and healthy! 
Love,
~Elder Caleb
 
P.s. Mom, I didn't get the package yet, but I'm sure it will come soon.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Transfers

Thanksgiving was good!  We had original plans to eat a Spanish family named the Zambrano's, but there was gonna be heavy drinking cause their family was in town haha, so we changed to the Hinkson Family.  Brother Hinkson is from OREM UTAH!  He served his mission here in Lubbock 8 years ago and now works for border patrole.  We were excited.  On Wednesday we got called to the Hospital to give him a blessing...his apendix exploded...typical.  So we went back to the Zambrano's!  They were real nice and had a second meal for us, without cervesa. :)  It was really good food!  We ate ribs.  And E. Greenman and I made pumpkin pie...no derby pie though :(
We got transfer calls on Saturday night.  Usually we get the call after 12 AM by and AP, but our phone rang at 10 and it was from President Augustin himself.  He told me that Elder Greenman had done a fantastic job training me and that in his mind we were some of the most obedient and hard working missionaries (HECK YEAH!).  Then he asked if I would accept the opportunity to train...ME!  I just finished training myself hahaha.  Of course I said yes though.  Later when the APs called I found out that I will be training TWO brand new Elders here in Ft. Stockton (so same address).  Elder Bakus and Nelson.  I'm so pumped...and so so nervous hahah. Oh well, I know it will be good!  I'm gonna learn and grow a whole bunch!  Elder Greenman is being moved to a city called Comanche...its near Abeline.  He's been a dream of a comp.  I learn so much from him every day.  No doubt he's my favorit companion so far (duh hahahah).  So I'll miss him, but I'm already over it haha.
Some random kid showed up to church yesterday, someone that Elder Moyer and Greenman talked to before I got out here.  He said he woke up and just felt like he needed to go to church.  So we taught him during Gospel Principles and gave him a Book of Mormon.  He called us last night and asked if we could answer some questions for him...he was already in 2 Nephi haha.  We taught him again and now he's planning on being baptized this month.  I sure hope things work out!  Jennifer, that JW we started teaching in October, is progressing pretty far as well.  She wants to be baptized, but she doesn't have a testimony yet, so we're working on that.  But it is an exciting time to be here in Fort Stockton!  I'm glad I get to stay. 
I wanted to ask Dad if you would send me  some copies of pages from your missionary journal, anybody who served a mission is welcome to send some, actually.  I'm interested to see how things have changed and what kind of things you learned and did each day.  Each person and each mission and each timeframe has its own missionary experience, so I'm sure it's a lot different than me...but I'm interested to see!
I absolutly love my time here.  Each day I learn so so so much. I'm begining to find out what it means to love my neighbor and to trust in the Lord.  The more I learn and the more I apply, the happier I become and therefore the easier everything is!  I love this opportunity a lot!  I miss y'all a lot though, especially during holiday time!  Be safe and happy.  I love you so much.  Below are Elders Greenman, Oler, Moyer and Myself.  Not in that order.  Below that, the Zambrano's for Thanksgiving.





Monday, November 25, 2013

Snow

I would just like to start out by saying THANK YOU DAD!!!  I got a pakage this week from Dad, it was full of thermal underware and gloves...warm things like that.  I laughed to myself and though "Oh Dad...doesn't he know I'm serving in TEXAS and that I don't get cold??".  The next day was the coldest day of my life!  It was raining all day and there was heavy humidity, so it just hurt to be outside haha.  The next day was EVEN WORSE!  So Elder Greenman and I had to go to the store to buy some more warm things.  I got some sick boots for only $8 and a beany to keep my ears warm.  I have been wearing Dad's supplies every day since then haha.  So thank you so much!
 
Missionary work is pretty hard in the cold and dark.  No one goes outside and no one opens thier doors.  If they do open the door its just wide enough for them to say "I'm not interted thank you".  It makes for some long nights!!  We even started singing at people's doors to see if it would help at all...like Christmas Caroling but in November and with church hymns.  It was really really really funny and so awkward if the person did answer haha.  It make the night interesting, but I don't think I will ever use that method again!!  We just finally started having language study at 8 pm insead of in the morning, that way we could be home earlier.  Its been hard, but a lot of fun!!
 
It got so cold and icey on Saturday night that the Zone Leaders called us and told us to go back in.  They cancled Church in Odessa and Midland and we were told not to go out at all on Sunday (yesterday) due to unsafe conditions.  We got special permission to walk to church though, cause we were close and it wasn't cancled for us!  It's crazy how a little ice and snow can shut the entire town down for a little while in a place like Texas!  We were gonna be able to go and play some 'Turkey Bowl' on Thanksgiving, but I'm pretty sure all games will be cancled because its cold. Booooo!!  I was so excited.
 
Not a ton more things happened this week, We only taught a few lessons and not really anyone is progressing, so I don't have much more to report!  Sorry!  For Thanksgiving this Thursday we are going to a Less Active families house with an investigator as well.  It's gonna be straight spanish the entire night...so that is sick!  My Spanish is getting worse and worse because we never really get to use it.  I'm in Mosiah in my Spanish Book of Mormon though...so I'm PUMPED!!
 
Anywasy, sorry this wasn't longer...hopfully more next week.  I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!  Stay safe and warm and have a happy Thanksgiving:)
 
Thanks for the granola Mom, it was pure taste:)  And thank you again Dad! 
 
I love you very much!  I'll be talking to you in a month!!!  Yipppeee:)
 
Love,
Elder CHP

Monday, November 18, 2013

green smoothies

I drink a green smoothy every day...its the worst thing ever! Hahaha.
 
We had Zone Conference this week up in Midland (that is a "big" city connected to Odessa).  It's about 2 hours away from home, but its a nice drive.  I really really don't ever want to live in a biger city because driving is so stressful!!  No traffic is where I belong...no roads bigger thatn State Street would be nice:) haha.  President Augustin made a few changes to the way we work, mainly concerning Member Present Lessons.  We aren't even supposed to keep track of non-member present lessons now.  The whole point of this is to get more Members out and more investigators fellowshiped!  It doesn't work well in a town with only 5 active families hahaha.  Aidee (Adrian) came out with us a few times this last week, it was really cool to hear her teach and bear witness!!  That's what it is all about!  We still only get like 3 or 4 member lessons a week though haha.
 
I decided the best thing about my mission so far is just the chance to talk to people!  I love talking to random people on the street, it is literally a dream!!  Missionaries in big cities have problems deciding who they should talk to...that must be rough!  Here in the Texas Lubbock mission we talk to EVERY SINGLE PERSON WE SEE, if we aren't going somewhere or anything like that.  I meet cool people every day!  People's beliefs and their habbits facinate me and i LOVE to hear some of the stories they tell.  It ranges from prison stories to sports stories to gospel stories to miracles.  I LOVE IT.  Wet a lady who just got over Breast Cancer, she wrote a book called "I Survived the Attack of the Killer Boobie" hahaha.  She said to tell you to read it, well Mom only cause no one else has had breast cancer.  It looked really funny, I have no idea though cause I'm not allowed to read anything but scriptures!
 
I want to learn so bad!  I told you about how I want to go to prison last week...and now I still do!  Or just a place where I could go and not worry about anything, just learn, for like a month or two.  It's frustrating sometimes because as a missionary we are prohibited from learning anything but scripture and social science things, that is really really fun stuff to learn about, but I crave MORE!  Hahaha, I don't know what has gotten into me!  I even want to read books!  Hahaha.  I <3 learning.
 
I splurged today at WalMart and bought some Brats, some good ol' Johnsonville stadium Brats, just like at home.  I cooked them up for lunch on our neighbor's grill.  Man...they were SO GOOD!  I really missed the football season this year I guess!  They were the same brats, but they taste better when you make them, Dad.  It's ok, I'll be back in time for some good Saturday grillin in 2015 haha.  I also cut my hair today, all by myself.  It actually my second time doing it, I just forgot to tell y'all last time.  I buzzed it and it feels so nice.  Last time I cut a Euro (a missionary appropriate one) and it was a lot of work.
 
I was wondering if you could maybe nd me some granola, Mom? :)  Just next time you send a package or whatever, Elder Greenman has been trying to make some on his own and it is crap hahaha.  Also, where was the Rookie filmed?  I think I passed through the town on  the way to Midland! 
 
I love you!  AND.  I miss you!  Have such a good week:)
 
Love
Elder Caleb Hyrum Porter

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Baptism

I was gonna start explaining about why I didn't write yesterday (because every American Holiday is on a Monday, something I have always complained about during school.  I HATE it now haha) but Dad was already aware that I would probably be delayed...so good on ya Dad!  We got to eat dinner at the Michies again yesterday (the Missionary Branch President and his wife).  They showed us how to cook some tasty Mexican food.  It was so good and so spicy....today I am suffering from serious indigestion and heart burn hahahaha.  I'm still a Utah boy inside. Outside though?  I'm already used to Texas!  Its been like 50 degrees and night and I almost die because I shiver so much I forget to breathe.  HAHA!  I'm sure it hasn't been that hot in Utah for a couple of weeks!  I'm just a tenderfoot, that's all.
 
The baptism went well!!!  Things went just as planned.  :):)  Elder Greenman baptised her on Saturday and I was able to Confirm her on Sunday!  We invited everyone we teach and that we talked to to the service because its a super spiritual experience and people who attend a baptismal service are much more likely to have one of their own.  Not a single person showed up (other that a few branch members) but MAN...it blew my mind how strong I felt the spirit!  After I confirmed heron Sunday she bore her testimony to the Branch.  It was unreal.  She told us about how she had been praying for guidance in her life, she was going through a lot of hard times and wanted help for her and her 4 kids.  The next day we showed up at her door...  The Gospel appeals to honest seekers of truth, those are the ones who will listen and progress.  After she finished talking about that stuff she thanked me and Elder Greenman, I really wasn't expecting that.  She was so sincere and loving and SO SO grateful for what we had done for her.  It kinda set me back.  I realized how truly amazing this Gospel is...It literally changed Adrian's life...and I brought it to her.  Wow.  Missionary work really is SO important.  There are so many people out there who are honest seekers, just wanting some Peace and love in their life!!  It truly is SUCH an honor to be trusted by our Heavenly Father to find and teach those people as a full time job!!!  It blows my mind apart!!!  Haha.  Anyway, needless to say we are working a little bit harder since that little reminder.
 
I want to go to prison.  For real.  For like a month or something.  Lots of people we talk to are ex-convicts and prison sounds like A DREAM!  1.  You get to learn about and attend ANY religion you want.  2.  You can learn about SO MANY different jobs and learn the skills for that.  3.  You can get JACKED.  4.  You get to meet so many cool people with cool stories.  5.  The only thing you have to worry about is getting shanked.  That isn't even bad!  100% of your time is focused on LEARNING.  That would be so cool...  I have such a desire to learn about everything, now that I no longer have access to books or Internet to do so.  Learn something new today..Okay?  For me.  Hahaha.
 
That is about it for this week for me!  Mom, you better be doing ok.  I've been praying for you and will continue to do so!!  I hope they can find the source of the pain and can get rid of it quick!!!  I love you all a whole lot.  Stay warm and Safe!  Love you lots:)
 
Elder Porter



Monday, November 4, 2013

The Temple Was a Dream

The Temple was a dream. It blows my mind how much more I understand and how much more I realize I don't understand...I'm pumped to go again sometime next year and then all the time in 2. The drive to Lubbock though? Worthless. It was like 5 hours cause we had to drive throught McCamey to pick up the other Elders in the district. I drive, I don't know if I told you that. Elder Greenman isn't allowed to cause he toatalled a car early on in his mission. We have a 2010 Malibu...easily the worst car ever invented. I want to die every time I sit down in it because it isn't even close to the quality I'm used to driving. Old Toyotas for life. The road was straight for the entire time, I only had to turn 5 times total. So I think I probably could have slept the whole time and we would have been fine. Way fun trip though. There are a lot of Jehova's Witnesses here. At least it seams like it to us. A lot of people we talk to say they already study with the Kingdom Hall people (JWs) and that they don't feel right talking to us...haha whatever. We end up trying to talk to a lot of the JWs too, they always try to tell us how wrong we are. There is a pretty solid steriotype to tell if someone is a JW...if its a middle aged, clean, bald man he's probably one OR if its an old Mexican lady. On Friday morning someone knocked on our door, when I opened it it was 2 old mexican ladies. They looked at each other and laughed a little. She said "hablan espanol?" as the other one started to walk away, thinking they got out of talking to us. Imagin their suprise when I replyed that I am learning spanish and am a missionary myself...they looked so upset and just walked away. Golden. I love it when that happens. No one thinks we can speak, so to get away from us they talk to us in spanish...in the end we usually know more spanish than they do hahaha. A lot of the members have been feeding us recently. No complaints at all. I've gotten some UNREAL Mexican food from a couple of the Less Actives. Mom....I even ate green peppers and LOVED them. You just have to fry them with meat and some kind of tasty bean recipie. We have a fridge full of taste right now, so shopping today I just bought crap. Like Chocolate Milk...something my buddies out side of the USA cant do! Suckers. Its all about WalMart pride. Adrian, that lady I told you about a few weeks ago, is getting baptized on Saturday!! We are all really excited cause it will be the first baptism Fort Stockton has seen in over 3 years haha. Adrian is the definition of Golden Investigator. She was so unbelievabley prepared. When we taught her about the Law of Chastity she just started to bawl because she had decided to do all those things a week before we taught it, just because it felt right. And when we taught Word of Wisdom she told us the only think she had ever done against that was drink tea...but she stopped that almost a year ago because she didn't feel like it was healthy for her body. The third time we taught her she was already in Mosiah. Seriously just a dream. It has been really good to teach her. Its kinda nice to have a little output for all our input! I'm loving missionary life...obviously. Its not like anything has changed. I love and miss you all so much! Go be a missionary somewhere because it is a dream. :) Be safe. Be well. I love y'all! (I really do say y'all all the time now, its so efficient!) LOVE ELDER PORTAL (that is what some of the mexicans call me hahah)
Temple. It looks just like my tie!
Typical Texas...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween

Thank you so much for the mini bible and case, it is exactly what I needed! I don't like to put a ton of things in my back pack because my back always hurts by the end of the day, the mini's have made a huge difference already though!:) I use giant scriptures when I study, the real big print, to help my focus I guess hahah. One thing about Texas is that everyone knows their Bible! Its a little frustrating at times, but I am pumped about it too. I have had to learn a lot of Bible Scriptures and stories...way more than someone serving outside of the Bible-belt. I'm pleased with it! Fort Stockton changed Halloween to October 26 to "keep the children safe" I don't even know why changing the date would do anything. We had to stay inside after 6 though, so we didn't bug anyone too much I guess. At 6 pm we heard a real loud siren (I really have no Idea how to spell that) and another one at 9. We are pretty sure they were the signs for tricker treaters to know when to start and stop. We didn't see any trick or treaters though, they avoid our part of town because its dark, dirty, and dangerous at night hahah. Whatever though, we were prepared to give them pass-along cards! While we were inside I found a way sweet book that had a bunch of codes in it so now I'm re learning Morse Code! I bet you didn't know I learned it once...tehe. I have recently been studying about Caleb, in the Bible. He is so SICK! I really really love my name, so thanks mom and dad:) He had so much faith in what he could do with the Lord's help. In Numbers 13:30 he just power house's the people and says "We can overcome it" and then in 14:24 (the one Ben wrote on my tie) he just gets rewarded. I LOVE that kind of faith. Abby told me that Caleb means something about courage in hard times, or something like that. Its so cake to have courage when you know that Heavenly Father is on your side! Everything is easy. This week we met a sick black guy named Caleb. I asked if he knew about Caleb in the Bible, he didn't. As I told him I felt prompted to promise him a similar promise as in 14:24...that if he had faith, if he could get the different spirit and keep it with him (through talking to us and coming to church) he'd be able to overcome whatever trials he had at that time. It was a pretty powerful moment! He wants to meet with us and come to church, but he's under house arrest for the next month...hahahhaha. We keep in daily contact though, so we will see how that goes! WE GET TO GO TO THE TEMPLE!! None of the missionaries have ever been able to go to the temple before, there are just too many of us. But it is finally happening! Our district gets to head up to Lubbock on Wednesday night to go to the 6:00 PM session. I am so pumoed, I LOVE THE TEMPLE! I went at least once a week all summer long, but its been about 9 weeks since I've been last so I'm pumped. I can finally show off my tie!! That night we are gonna sleep in President Augustin's house and come back Thursday morning...I am so happy:) This week was Homecoming at the high school. No one would meet with us on Thursday night because there was a parade. So we went to the parade! It was HUGE! Every single person in the town was there. A real mad house. I loved it though. AND we talked to like 40 new people and set up 20 lessons. So it was a VERY fruitful night. Right after the parade they had a bon fire. I stack of pallets like 40 feet high covered in gassoline. It was a DREAM! I love fire haha. Anyway. I love all y'all so much and miss ya lots! I love to show off our giant family picture and I talk about y'all all the time! Be safe trick or treating. Have fun at school or work. That was the sickest costume ever Joe and Andy...unreal. Haha. I love you!!! Elder Cae

Monday, October 21, 2013

Chivitos

That is a pretty solid subject line.  It means little goats.  One of the less actives we have been meeting with a lot is a mexican farmer and his chivo had 3 babies on Thursday.  He called us and was super pumped about it, so of course that night we had to go look at them!  He named them Jorgina, Alexandria, and Nathan...Nathan is a white goat so he named it a white name haha.  Just a funny story from this week!
 
Every week before I write y'all I make an out line, so I can utilize my time effectivley.  I really had no idea what to say at first!  I thought of some stuff later on but it didn't make the outline.  So sorry if this is a little unorganized!!  I hope all is well at home, I'm sure they are.  Hannah is moving..boo.  I have a couple friends serving in North Carolina so invite the missionaries over and feed them :).  Dad, you said in your email that you try to have 30 lessons a week (as in your missionaries)?!?!  That would be a dream.  We have like 8 a week some weeks haha, goood stuff!  I guess member missionary work really does help things out!  We wouldn't know out here since we only have 1 member who will ever help us out with anything hahah.
 
The work is going well though, I'm still loving every second of it!  We are teaching a lady named Jennifer, she is a full blown Jehovah's Witness, the first one who didn't tell us we were just digging our own way down to Hell haha.  She knows so so so much about the Bible, but is surprisingly willing to learn about the BOM!  We teach her twice a week and she comes to church, but her mom is getting furious about it.  I guess that is what you get when you still live at home at 33.  We met a budding family this week and began teaching.  Brent and Adrian with their 4 kids.  The lesson we had went so so well, the Spirit was just bearing pure witness all day long.  This is what she texted us that night "Oh my gosh guys, that book you gave me is so AWESOME!  I have been reading it all day.  I also looked up some history about the Mormons, they went through some really hard stuff.  I started to pray and ask God how anyone could go through so much trouble and I knew the answer before I finished asking...its TRUE!"  So like....that is a pretty unheard of experience. 
 We spend a lot of time at this one Apartment, it is absolutely trash.  Everyone who lives there is in an out of jail or has CPS called on them every other day, but there is also a lot of humility, so we teach quite a bit there.  Every time I walk up to them I get stormed by little kids.  There are like 20 kids from 2-7 who just attack me because I always give them pass-along cards.  I really love it!  Haha.  Makes me miss y'all though.
 
When transfers come we have to stay up and wait for the AP's to call us and let us know.  The calls came at 12:48 on Saturday night..booo.  Elder Greenman and myself are staying here in FT. ST. but Elder Moyer got transferred to a little baby town called Mccamey. He's gonna be living in a trailer!!   I think that would be a dream.  This transfer went pretty well, I'll send mom a letter that has all my progress recorded.  I FINISHED 1 NEPHI IN SPANISH! hahaha.  It took me an entire transfer.  At this rate I'll be done in May so...that is pretty sweet!
 
Anyway, I better head.  I love you all A LOT.  And I miss you all a lot too.  For real.  But I'm surviving, hope you are too:)  LOVE YOU!
 
The Church Guy
 
P.S.  Mom...I have some requests:)  If you can find my mini scripture case (the brown one) and my mini bible (KJV)  I would really REALLY appreciate it if you could send me that.  Also I would love a picture of my back x-rays (since its almost been a year!).  I love love love you so much.

P-day adventures.
The usual.
It was freezing this week.
 
Love ya!




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Columbus Day Made me Late!

Sorry I couldn't email you yesterday.  The Library was closed for Columbus Day! #americanmissionaryprobs.
It was my birthday!  I had such a great day, easily one of my favorite birthdays ever!  Thank you all so so much for the letters or emails!  It really made my whole week special since they were all coming at different times!:)  And Ab...that Pirate Telescope is a dream.  I read scriptures from across the room now!  I started off the day down in Alpine (I'll tell you more about that) and taught some sweet lessons with Elder Carlile, another Elder in the District.  We biked 7 miles in the heat to get to one of the lessons, it was so sick.  Then we (Elder Moyer and Greenman and I) headed back up to FT. St.  We had a lesson with a Less Active family, the Hernandez family.  They have 3 little kids who are SO cool and I just love talking to them!  After we had a short lesson about the Temple they turned off all the lights and brought out a big ol cake for me.  It was such a suprise haha.  It is a Mexican tradition to smash the person's face into the cake on their birthday.  Even though I am a missionary they didn't want to bread tradition...:)  Yesterday we went to the Michie's house.  They are Senior Missionaries here, acting as Branch President.  They cooked us Lobster and some other pretty ellegant stuff and then we played games!  It felt just like home with the family, except more quiet haha.  So all and all...it was an AMAZING birthweek!  AND I"M 19!  WOW.
We had "exchanges"  this week.  So I went up and spent a day with Elder Carlile in Alpine and his two companions took my place in Fort Stockton.  Alpine is actually kinda pretty!  It reminds me of that tiny town Grampa Zeigler lives in haha.  It has mountains and stuff, but they still are dry and ugly looking, and it is a tiny town as well!  There is a Texas State College out there, Sul Ross, the students there make up most of the population.  It was actually a really really nice looking college as well.  We spent most of our time out there knocking on people's doors!  We dont do that much in FT. St because every house has been knocked a million times.  I had a great time!  I think it is so fun to just talk to random people and maybe even getting to speak some Spanish!:)
This week, as far as numbers go, was the worst week EVER!  Haha.  We were working so so hard all week but we only taught 1 lesson, 0 member presents, and 2 less actives visited.  It was pretty bad and we were confused casue we were working like warhourses!  It all pays off though!  On Sunday we had 6 investigators at church and 2 less actives.  It was a dream.  And then that night we met a girl who accepted a challenge for baptism.  HARD WORK PAYS OFF!  I think that is easily something I have learned a lot of out here.  The Lord blesses us for our work.  It is found all over in the scriptures (I have been studying it a lot).  Whenever a new group breakes out in the BOM, like when Nephi seperates from his brothers after they get out here, the first thing they do is become "industrious".  I think it is pretty cool that so many blessings come just from working hard.
I love love love it out here still!  MY first transfer ends on Saturday and that is when we will see if anything is gonna change.  Since I'm still being trained I doubt anything will, but after the NEXT transfer (6 weeks)  it might! Thank you all so so much again for the birthday stuff and for just being my family!  I think about ya'll so much and I miss you a ton.  So I guess thanks for just being there.  You make me happy:)
I love you so much and will talk to you in ~6~ days:)
Love,
ELDER CALEB HYRUM PORTER

family pictures *(Sarah's gift for me was moustaches)
Cake face
HAPPY BIRTHDAY 
Love you mom!


Monday, October 7, 2013

I eat fruit too, Mom! Even though they are so expensive...

Hello All!!
 
How about that General Conference huh?!  So so SO good!  I have soem great news about that...it was my first GC ever watched where I actually stayed up for the whole thing!! Hahaha.  It was still so hard.  I doubt I'll ever make it through another one after my mission.  Of course every time the choir was singing I was looking for Tyler, cause I feel famous when I find him.  Usually it's pretty easy because he's the only bald one.  But this year...THERE ARE SO MANY BALD MEN!  I laughed to myself and wondered if Dad noticed the same thing haha.  Don't worry though, I did find him several times:)  Also I realized how much of a family event conference is to me!  It felt so weird not to be with ya'll!  I missed the Conference Salad after the Saturday morning session and I ABSOLUTLY missed going to Priesthood with Dad (even though they had ice cream after out here).  It's just not the same without family!
 
We teach all of our investigators to bring a question to conference and we promise that it will be answered.  I know this is true, it's a Prophet of God talking, how could he not answer your question?!  But I have never done it...duh.  So I decided to this time!  My question was "How can I be successful"  I was hoping for like a formula or something.  I've been studying about it a lot.  People say its hard work, but I don't believe it after seeing all the poor and sad oil workers out here.  So that was my question.  IT WAS ANSWERED!  Kinda.  I came away with a contract I wrote myself about putting my family first.  My mind is still being blown by all of my thoughts and stuff, but I decided that my family is way way WAY more important than success.  Obviously!!  So...yeah.  You are all #1!  Tell my wife and kids that too whenever that starts to happen...
 
NOW.  Here is the whole point of this letter.  But first.  Sorry mom and dad, I'm sure you dont want to hear about this story, but just know I am ok!  Hahah.  On Thursday we were biking around, as usual.  Elder Greenman's tire popped so we were walking home.  It was around 8:30 PM by this time.  We had had a way great day so I was pretty happy and excited.  Obviously all this excitement lead to us trying to do wheelies!!!  I started to get it down.  I had it to where I could go like 50 feet on just my back tire!  It was all good and I was pumped and then...I got hit by a car.  Hahahahhahahha.  Well, kinda.  I was going and a member saw us and was driving up to say hello,  she saw me on my back wheel and she was suprised, so she accelerated a little bit  (I guess that is what you do when you get supprised).  Our front tires crashed into eachother.  She stopped and I flew forward and slid across the car's hood.  It was the sickest thing I have ever done.  I'm sure that to anyone watching they would have though I was the next Jason Bourn.  All is good though, I wasn't hurt at all and her car is fine!  My front tire was a little bent, but luckily I have my brother;s and dad's blood in me!  I fixed it up real good.:)  I thought it was awesome though, so I told ya!
 
In other news: 
I have only used chop-sticks for the past week.  No spoons or forks.  It has been hilarous and I have loved it quite a bit.  My hand is getting stronger and pretty soon I'll be catching flys just like in Karate Kid. 
Today at walmart the cashier called my a smart shopper.  So..you raised me well mom.
Dad asked some questions, and I finally remembered to bring them, so I will answer.  I eat really good, despite what mom thinks.  I get the healthiest choise of everything there is and I eat a lot of fruit.  I get $135 a month and so far its been more than sufficient.  We can drive 1100 miles each month, but we only use around 500.  No iPads:(  We email at the library, yes.  I have pleanty in my bank account at home.  I think mom know my info but if not...I think I know it too haha.Spanish study every day for an hour!  Real missionary life is a bagiahkillion times better than the MTC.  And Mosiah14:24 is my favorite scripture!  I'm pretty sure that is all for now.
 
I love you so  much!
 
P.S. Hannah, those books you sent me?  Wow.  Pretty much changed my life haha.  I love them so much!  Exactly what I wanted (even though I didn't know it).  So thank you so much!
 
And I got the package from you mom, I don't know what's in it cause its in the car, but thanks for that too;)  I love it!  haha. 
 
I miss you and will talk to ya next week! 
 
~Elder (almost 19 year old) Porter



Me.  alive and eating with the sicks. 
The sky right before I got pinned by the car.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Subject lines are the worst....I don't know what to put...

How are ya'll doing at the start of another week?  Does time go really fast back in real life too?  Cause it sure does here!  Thank you so much California and Eagle Mountain Porters for your letters!  That picture Mia drew was priceless.  Each letter and picture is hanging up on my wall, so thank you so so much!  And thank you Mom and Dad for the articles on the stars, the CANDY and for the tie!!  I have been craving some chocolate so that hit the spot real well, and that tie is SO cool.  So thank you all:)  Oh and guess what...one of the Less-Active families in the branch had us over for dinner and they gave us MALTA!!!  I was so pumped.  Thanks for getting me used to that stuff Kendell, you're a life savor. 
 
Winston just went into the MTC on Wednesday, that means the very last of us is out!  It is so cool to think that all my good pals are doing the same stuff as me!  I have been so blessed to have such amazing family and friends to keep me in order.  We (the guys and I) started emailing pictures of stuff to each other.  Mine always are of a desert scene or a sun set...Jake's are of amazing castles and crap.  Boooo!  Deserts for LIFE!
 
There isn't a ton to do around here, there is only one "fun" thing to do and its closed most of the time.  So for a fun time the people down here drink beer. Lots and lots of beer.  I love talking to drunk people too, it is so funny.  There are a few positives about all the beer, one of them is that its funny, but an even better one is the bottle caps.  I started collecting beer bottle caps 2 weeks ago.  By last week I had 50 different kinds.  Now I just pick up 5 or so from every house we go to.  I'm gonna make a giant Texas flag out of them.  A real work of art:)
 
Mom, this paragraph is mostly for you.  I cook my own thing every night.  I haven't had Ramen even once!!!  I'm all about the noodle combos.  I have yet to be disapointed.  We can only eat at members house's 3 times a week, but it usually ends up being 1.  I don't care though cause I enjoy cooking!  (WEIRD)  Also, I do the dishes.  Hand wash, every meal.  Not just mine but my companions too.  I don't understand why dish washers were even invented.  It is so much faster to hand wash!!  Sorry if you disagree all the moms who read this.  :)
 
One of the things I have learned while being here is that the Lord always has a back up, but its actually his first choice...if that even makes sense.  Every night we plan for the next day and we come up with 2 or 3 back ups for each appointment.  A lot of times we can get in to one of those, but sometimes nothing works.  But we always ALWAYS find someone outside one of the houses, and they are always at least a little interested.  One example of this is a man named Adam.  We had just tried our 3rd back up, no one was home, but as we walked back to our car we saw a neighbor taking out the trash.  We started to talk to him, his name is Adam and he had already talked to missionaries a little bit in the past.  He was extremely negative about our views.  I don't know how it happened (actually I do, the Spirit) but we ended up talking him for about an hour.  We had found him on day 2 of his quest to quit being a Pot Head.  He was struggling.  We told him that the next day we had a Addiction Recovery Program at our church...he went!  Afterwards, we dropped by his house and he was talking about how that couldn't be a couincidenc (I have no idea how to spell that and this comp wont correct me!!).  Then he was expressing some doubts about our modern day prophit and wanted to hear him..."Well actually, next Saturday you can.."  Mind blown.  Needless to say he is pumped about the way God is trying to help his life.  I hope all works out!!
 
Well, I end every letter like this but...I LOVE IT.  Every second is so amazing.  So yeah...I still love it!:)
 
I love and miss you all so much!  Be safe and I'll talk to you next week!
 
~Elder Porter~
 
P.S.  Mom, for my birthday I don't want anything special.  BUT could you do me this one favor?  Get a CD and put Clair De Lune on it 10 times haha.  For real.  You can get the song off my iTunes or download it for free from the internet.  I have been craving that song so much!  Anyway, I love you:) 



About Me

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