Wednesday, August 28, 2013


August 28, 2013
Great news!  Just less than a fortnight left in the MTC!  I'm so excited to be a real missionary!  On Tuesday night after devotional it was pouring rain, so we got to walk back in the rain.  It was A DREAM!  I have waited my whole life to be a missionary, reppin a suit, and walking through the rain.  I love it.  Kinda weird though, I've only been a missionary for just over a fortnight, I feel like it's been much longer than that!  (In Australia a fortnight it a unit of measurement they use all the time, I assume all ya'll know it means 2 weeks.)

Now, I have come up with a list of things I have learned from the MTC:
1. Ranch tastes good on everything.  Every main meal needs something more to it and, for me, that thing is ranch dressing.  I love it. 
2. You can not expect to maintain your weight when adding ranch to everything you eat.  I work out pretty hard, but I'm still gaining weight.  It's whatever though, I don't care.
3. There are some outstanding similarities between the MTC and Spirit Prison read through D&C 138 and see if you can find more than the list I am about to share.
  • There is a lot of learning.  So so so much learning.  But no progression.  We are all stuck here.
  • There are missionaries everywhere.  In our case there are only missionaries, but its still similar.
  • When thinking about leaving the people rejoice.  I still have a fortnight left and I can barley even control my joy.
4. Disney songs can cure every sad emotion and enhance every happy one.  Ab, that's why I needed A Whole New World.  We actually spend most of our free time making new lyrics to the songs to make them be about baptism.  So like...Abby?  Or someone else...will you send me the lyrics to a few more songs?  I was thinking Make a Man Out of You from Mulan and some Tarzan ones.  Thanks!:)
5. Every stereotype I have formed in my head about black men is true.  Elder Collins is the perfect black man.  Dad, Kam, and Joe, if you wanna see the future of BYU running backs look up DINO COLLINS HIGHLIGHTS.  He's from Wyoming, if that helps you find it.  He said he's talked to the BYU coaches a few times and he's planning on walking on there post mission.  
That is pretty much the extent of what I have learned here!

Every day someone tells me that I need to shave and every time it happens I get PUMPED because I shave every single day.  That means I'm finally growing up, mom!  I'm planning on doing "The Summer of the Nazarene" when I get home.  Growing out the beard and hair until I have to return to school.  I'm looking forward to that so much.

Once a week we do this thing called TRC.  It's where we teach a member of the church a short, spiritual message.  In Spanish of course. This week, instead of teaching somebody here at the MTC we Skyped with someone from a different country.  Elder Lammi and myself taught some lady from Ecuador (Hogie's mission). We got in the lesson and it was going pretty well, then I asked her if she had had any experiences where the Book of Mormon has helped her find answers and if she'd be willing to share.  She just started to haul.  Talking faster than should be legal.  I honestly don't know what she said.  So when she finished me and Elder Lammi just looked at each other and I said "uhh....bueno" and carried on with the lesson hahah.  She just kinda laughed and carried on.  In reality I am learning so much.  I guarantee I could write a letter and it would be perfect as far as grammar is concerned.  But I can't think fast enough to speak it.  I imagine that will come with time and practice though, so I'm not too worried.  

Elder Neil L. Anderson spoke at devotional yesterday.  It was so so good.  He said some things that were really exactly what I needed to hear.  First, he said that if we are good boys and girls, the Lord will bless us.  I just really like to hear that cause it means I don't have to be perfect, just be as good as I can.  Then he told a story about when he was a mission president.  He said the advice he would give to the missionaries was to forget the word I!  If a missionary was sad, or homesick, or real sick, or in pain, or had a bad day, or whatever, he would tell them to forget yourself.  Stop thinking of yourself and thing of your Father in Heaven, your Savior Jesus Christ, and your brothers and sisters you are serving.  That is something I have really been trying to do while I've been here, just focus on serving the Lord.  I know that i fI focus the Lord will have my back, in every sense of that phrase.  I'm happy to have learned that:)

Anyway, thank you all so much again for your prayers and fastings and letters!  I have definitely felt the blessings from it.  
I love you all so so very much!!
Elder Porter

PS to Dad

I missed that memo as well!  Thank's for keeping me updated though, I love it!  I don't remember all the questions you asked, so I'm just gonna answer what I imagine you asked.
I really really like my district.  They are such a fun group of guys.  I play volley ball every day for gym and it so much fun!  A good work out too.  We have service at 5:55 on Wednesday that is the worst thing ever.  We have to get up an hour early to do service, on P-day and our branch president doesn't allow naps.  I really enjoy being ZL, but it doesn't really mean much for now.  Just more meetings.  Anyway, I love you so much!!

PS to Mom

Hey mom!
Everything is going pretty well so far.  My back hasn't been bugging my as much this week, so no complaints there!  I really enjoy being Zone Leader, I don't really do anything.  Since it's in the MTC is pretty much just means more meetings on Sundays.  We didn't get any new missionaries in our zone this week, so I don't even have to do anything.  
I just saw Tom and Stu, I'm so pumped about it.  Tom is in the West Campus so I wont see him till the plane to Texas, but Stu is here, so hopefully I'll see him around.  I've been getting lots of letters from the family, so I still know kinda what's going on haha.  I really like to hear from everybody.  Getting letters is a dream.  
Thank you so much for the letter you sent me.  I really felt the spirit and your love for me when I read it.  So for real, thank you so much.  I love you.
Also, thanks for all the packages!  I get more mail than everybody else in the district, but they don't complain because I share my food with them.    I am happy to hear your eyes are doing well too!  That is so good.  With minimal pain too?  What a dream.
Anyway, I love you so much!
Elder Caleb

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Suck it Satan!

Wednesday, August 21

First off, THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for all the letters and stuff.  You have no idea how grateful I am to have such an amazing and faithful family.  Let me kinda run things down for ya.  I got a letter from Mom that pretty much says "suck it up. everyone will hate you if you come home.  sorry.", Dad gave me drugs, Hannah and Bets both sent solid Doctrine to cheer me up, Abby said "Its whatever", Grandpa says "take a chill pill, you don't have to be the best at EVERYTHING", Sarah said "I'm not gonna bug you about it" and Andy sent a few encouraging words.  Surprisingly though,  Mom's letter is the one that made me feel the best.  The stripling warriors pretty much knew what was up when they talked about their mothers knew everything (Alma 56:48). Seriously though, they all helped so much.  My family is a dream team.
My back still hurts a lot, the only thing the drugs are good for is helping me sleep at night, but I decided y'all are probably right and I just have anxiety!  So I'm sucking it up.  I know the Lord will bless me in the end, so its whatever.  I'm just excited to get out to Texas and see how things work out.  
My Spanish is coming along.  I can learn MUCH easier in this class, it's more my speed.  Hogie got here on Wednesday and since he's already fluent in spanish he's been teaching my class a lot of things.  It's way cool to see him around!  We teach 3 lessons a day and each time I learn to say something new, I get pumped about it.  
One of the Elders in my district was way too good at spanish to be in the beginning class so they moved him up.  So i got changed companions, to eliminate the trio.  My new companion is Elder Lammi, he's a brute. Huge guy.  The best part? He's from Australia.  So I'm learning all kinds of things about the English language as well.  From now on instead of saying cool say "Fair Dincom"  all the cool kids in 'Straya are saying it.  His Spanish is pretty good for never speaking a word of it before.  He always has great scriptures to share.  
I got made Zone Leader last night.  In the MTC it really doesn't mean much, but it's whatever.  I have to go to a few more meetings and I get to show the new missionaries around.  I'm excited to see what else comes from it.  It's crazy to me cause I've only been here for a week and a half! 
On Sunday Vai Sikihema spoke at devotional. He played football at BYU and says our parents probably remember him, was he very good dad?  I guess he played in the NFL as well.  He talked about how even though he did all these great things in his life, according to the world, his mission was the very best thing thing he's ever done.  He went to South Dakota. He talked about how those two years honestly changed his life so much.  I want that to be like it is for me.  
I love you all so so so so much.  Thank's again for everything.  Especially you, Mom! I love you so much.  
Elder Porter

P.S. I would love a few things:
A family picture, like the one we took last year.  
Everyone make a thing.  I have time to look at those every day and Hannah is the only one who has one!!  
Send me a picture of the kid from Herculies who says "Geepers mister, you're strong." (Probably you Abby)
Send me the lyrics to A Whole New World

Please and Thank you! Love you.

PS make sure Abby put my address on facebook?  I love you!  I hope everything is going well with your eyes. And I for sure hope it is easier for you than it was last time.  Love ya.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pretty much the same...


  Well, I'm here again!  And guess what...I freaking love it again.  As soon as you dropped me off two Elders came and took me to my room and class and stuff.  I am in a trio.  One of my companions, Elder Roberts is going to Lubbock as well, he's from Canada, that's why he is here and not in Mexico.  My other companion, Elder Collins is black so...'nuff said.  Most of my district is going to Argentina.  This level of Spanish is a dream for me, it isn't nearly as fast paced and I am one of the best in the class.  So I am pretty pumped about that, the stress level is MUCH LOWER.  
     My district and my zone are pretty rowdy and I love that, but they have a hard time working hard when it comes time to work hard.  I have been trying to change that slowly by example.  In our weekly planning sessions I suggested that we all bear our testimony to a few missionaries each day, that way we can practice Spanish and be more in tune with the Spirit.  We've only done it for two days ( I guess that's as long as I have been here ) but it has already made a really big difference.
    I've seen a lot of my friends here again, the ones who were here when I left.  They are so pumped to see me again.  I kid you not, I just really enjoy being here.
    We teach twice a day and that is by far my favorite part.  The spirit is always so strong and my Spanish is unreal (at least compared to normal).  Elder Roberts is pretty bad at Spanish, he only knew a few words when he got here, but during the lessons he has the best things to say.  He just starts talking, hoping things will happen.  It is always a struggle, but he ends up getting it out and the Spirit is seriously strong.  
     I have a little bad news though!!  My back hurts again...haha like I said its pretty much the same.  It started to hurt just a few hours after I got here and it does get worse and worse everyday.  So I'm thinking it could be a few things.  It's either hurting from stress or anxiety, if that is the case then I'm just gonna get over it.  I don't ever feel stressed and I love this so much that I doubt its anxiety, but those are still possibilities. It could be just simply a trial of my faith, in that case I'm just gonna get over it and push on and eventually I will start receiving the blessings and get better.  Or it could be that the Lord just had a better plan for me, I really hope it's not this one, if this is the case then I'll come home again and work on following His plan.  
    I was pretty discouraged when it started to hurt so I have been praying pretty hard for some guidance or peace in what it is.  It's one of those times where I haven't gotten an answer yet.  So I started to pray that if I was gonna maybe have to go home again that I could at least have a good missionary experience here.  I figured if I can invite a few missionaries to come closer to Christ that that will affect hundreds of souls while they were in their mission.  I am very grateful to say that this prayer came true.  Elder Roberts and I were doing some studying in our own room, so we could be in quietness, and he started to share with me some doubts he had about being here.  He had a rough past and had to wait a couple years till he could get out here, he's 21.  Now that he is here is doubting it really hard and has already started working on getting home.  I was able to bear my testimony to him that being home sucks (sorry) and that this really is where he is supposed to be.  I told him how I though I might need to go home again and I made him promise me that if that happens he would work twice as hard in Lubbock to make up for what I couldn't do.  Since then he has been a different missionary.  He is positive all the time, he is the most obedient member of our district, and he works so hard.  I love to see the change he has made already. 
     Elder Scott spoke at devotional last night about prayer.  It was a really really really good talk.  He shared a few scriptures I needed to hear and I began to feel comfort in my situation.  After that devotional, for whatever reason, I started to write down "My Missionary Experience".  It is just kinda my story about getting out here.  It starts with back surgery and then goes into the trial I had with receiving my call.  After I wrote about that I changed the title to "My Conversion Story".  I continued to talk about getting in the MTC and having all the blessings I did and then having to go home.  After writing about being at home and working so hard and spending time with family and stuff I changed the title again, this time to "How I Found Peace".   I was pretty much crying the entire time I was writing and I'm crying again now just thinking about it haha.  I realized that I am SO INCREDIBLY BLESSED!!!  I know better than most people that the Lord has his own plan for me, it has changed my path so many times and I have hated it.  But now I realize that I have grown so much closer to my Savior because of it.  He really has turned into my best friend.  I have found peace through the scriptures and through my prayers so many times, and I know that I can do that every time.  One of my favorite scriptures is John 16:33.  It talks about how I can always find peace through my Savior Jesus Christ.
     So here I am, I am in a predicament with my back.  My plan for now is to wait a week, if it is any worse by next Wednesday I will talk to the doctors again.  I hate the idea of having to go home again, but I already know that if I do I will be so blessed.  Yo se que Dios y Sus Hijo, Jesucristo me ama.  I know that God and His Son. Jesus Christ loves me.  I know that there is a plan for me.  I know that if I follow that plan that I will ALWAYS have peace.  I guess peace has kind of always been my drive.  
      When I came home I got letters from Abby and Sarah and Hannah, each of their letters had some story about how they found comfort and peace through the Savior.  Thank you so much for those letters, I guess this is kinda my version.  I want to challenge all of you to build up your relationship with Christ.  We all have trials every day but we have been given the amazing gift of peace.  
      I love this Gospel.  I love being a missionary.  I don't think that I'm ever gonna stop being one, no matter what happens.  Elder Porter has been branded on my heart.  I'll talk to yall later, hopefully mom and dad let you know of my address.  
                                                  I love you all so much,
                                                     Elder Sea-Port

Elder Caleb Porter
2011 North 900 East Unit 281
Provo, Utah 84602

About Me

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