Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Odessa


Odessa is a dream!!  I love it so so so much!  This past week has been the best week of my mission.  I have so much fun.  Elder Heaps, my comp, is the funniest guy around.  He and I would be real good friends back in high school, if he didn't live in Toole. He reminds me A LOT of Kendell (I have no idea if I spelled it right.  My Brother In Law.)  He's like 6 3 and drinks out of giant cups and tells a ton of funny stories.  We work real well together.  There is a ton of Spanish here in Odessa, but the city is HUGE!!  I don't know if I'll ever learn the streets, haha.  The Oil field is booming though, so the Spanish is way up.  It is gonna be a great transfer.

We live with a member named Brother Kelly.  This guy is the funniest/weirdest/coolest guy ever.  He buys us a ton of stuff and is just so nice.  We aren't separated from him at all, like we eat dinner with him and things like that.  He has only been a member for 12 years or so, but his testimony is astounding.  He usually just sits there and pretends we aren't there, apparently most of the missionaries in the past have never really talked to him much, but that is no so with me!  I ask him questions constantly.  He showed me his giant stamp collection and got me pumped to look forward to the new stamps next month, haha.  He is a passionate scouter...I don't have the heart to tell him I detest scouting, I'm pretty good at faking interest in that though.  Two nights in a row we have stayed up till about 11:30 have a real good doctrinal discussion.  I have already learned SO much.  I am absolutely blessed to have made this new friend.

ELDER TOM WHATCOTT is here in Odessa!  Every morning at 6:15 we play some kind of sport because there are so many companionships here, so I get to see him EVERYDAY!!!  It is so nice.  I love that kid so much.  He's a killer missionary.  Gah, I am just excited about this transfer.

PS.  My address is:  4215 E. Everglade.  Odessa, TX 79762.

It rained a ton this last week and Odessa has TERRIBLE streets, especially the one we live on.  It created a river in almost every street.  It is was real fun to walk though, haha. 

We have 0 investigators right now, so I get to apply what I know best!  Finding.  Elder Heaps is down to go hard finding, so that's about all we do.  We set specific goals for each day and each hour and report them to our DL.  So far it has improved our effectiveness ten fold and we are already beginning to see miracles.  The work here will explode shortly, it always does:)

I am so happy about this new change.  I hope y'all are doing well and having fun.  I love you so so so so much!! 

Love,

Caleb Porter

(This is Kathy.  There are pictures but I can't figure out hoe to post them with my iPad from Maine so I will add them to next weeks post.  Sorry)

Monday, May 19, 2014

New

I am being transferred!!  I'm released as a Zone Leader and going to Odessa to serve in the Spanish Branch there with Elder Heaps!  YAY!  I'm so excited.  I don't want to leave though, things just finally started to pick up!  Odessa will be fun though:)
 
This week we taught a depressed 13 year old kid.  His whole family hates him, basically, and that is why he's depressed.  His parents and g-parents are Less Active members, but they didn't talk to us at all, just him.  It was such a sweet lesson!  We just read Enos 1, the first few verses, he was pretty confused about what it meant so I just explained it in my own words and asked some questions and got him PUMPED about prayer.  He didn't really understand why prayer is important, but now he does!  He asked us what to pray for and we told him to pray to ask God to show him a special gift or talent that he has, then to open up the scriptures and read a page.  We promised him that if he did that every day for a week he would know for sure that he is a son of God and that he has a special, God-given gift.  It was a really fun lesson to teach/
 
We get referrals from time to time from some of the other missionaries in Hobbs, just people who don't speak English, but seem eager to learn.  The sisters sent us to some lady named Lorena.  When we went to contact her we couldn't find the house because of faulty directions, of course, but after a few calls we figured it out.  We went up and contacted this lady and it turns out that she is SUPER PREPARED!  She's just been searching her face off to find truth. At first she though we were JW and she still talked to us...you know it must be an honest search if they are willin to talk to JWs.  After all was said and done it turned out to be the WRONG HOUSE AND THE WRONG WOMAN!!  That is a testimony to me that God has a real perfect plan.  No coincidence.  She'll be baptized soon enough, no doubt.
 
Our branch president called us on Tuesday and asked us to prepare a talk for sunday.  It was just gonna be back up, in case the members didn't show up. That is Spanish culture for ya, members don't show up the day of a talk, it happens all the time.  So anyway, we didn't prepare one....  Come Sunday and the member WASN'T THERE!  We had 3 minutes while the youth speaker spoke to prepare.  We each gave 15 minute talks, with 3 minutes to prepare, IN SPANISH!  Man, it was a miracle.
 
We are teaching a Part Member family right now, well 3 families actually.  One of them is this life long member named Denisse and her husband.  They have been married for only like 2 years, but he has never shown interest.  Finally he agreed to meet with us.  The lesson was killer and then on sunday she basically sprinted up to us and told us that he had been reading and seemed real interested.  She is SO happy and SO excited.  Easily that is one of the most rewarding things I have done on my mission.  We've only taught him once, but already she has so much joy and hope!  We truly are workers of salvation!:) 
 
Anyway, I love y'all so much!  I hope this week goes real good and that y'all are happy:)
 
Love,
Elder Caleb Porter

Monday, May 12, 2014

Hindsight is 20/20

Wow!  It was really really good to see y'all and talk to you for a little bit yesterday!  Easily the fastest 45 minutes of my entire life.  I love you all so much!!!   In the excitement of things I forgot to write a rough draft for this email, so it's gonna be a short and messy one:)
 
On Monday we had big plans to go to the racquetball court and play a few hours of some good ball.  I got excited and remembered when me and my buddies got up at 5:30 every Tuesday before my surgery to play, that was good times.  There were no computers available in the computer lab and then the other Elders needed a haircut, so it didn't happen....maybe today. I got a hair cut as well, I cut it myself, as always. It looks real good, I imagine Adolf Hitler would be proud of it.  I don't know if you could tell via facetime, but I was reppin Nazi style:)
 
On Tuesday we went down to Carlsbad to move the east elders.  Their new apartment is AMAZING!  It has two stories, like ours, but is a lot bigger.  That isn't even the best part though.  They are RIGHT on the Pecos River.  Now, in Ft. Stockton the Pecos was just a dirt place, but that is not so in Carlsbad.  IT looked like Lake Powell.  Huge.  All I wanted to do was jump in!  It's a good think I don't live there. I guess it's truth when we're told that we wont be tempted above what we can handle, cause if I lived there I would swim so...   The move went real good though, it felt good to do physical labor.  Carlsbad is a beautiful place.  They even have 2 wards and a Spanish Branch!!
 
Wednesday was a surprise Zone Training.  I taught about the Power and Authority of the priesthood.  I used 22 scriptures and all 4 standard works.  It was so sweet!  I felt the Spirit guide my words and thoughts, no doubt.  I focused on how each of us, especially as missionaries, even the sisters, have so much divine potential with the Priesthood power we have access to.  We can do all the Savior did, as far as miracles, and even more. It just takes faith and diligence and a bunch of other stuff, I guess.  We had a really good discussion about it all and each companionship has commented about the excitement it gave them for the work.  Excitement is what I was hoping to instill, it's something that is so crucial in missionary work, yet it is something that it so hard to maintain!!  It went well though, got me pumped, that's for sure.
 
Thursday was Temple day and boy, was that amazing.  Go to the temple all the time, it's the best thing ever. 
 
Friday was normal and so was Saturday.  Then on Sunday I talked to y'all!
I don't really have much else to say for this week, sorry!  I love you all so much and I really was so happy to see you.  I cant believe how different things are in just a year!  It's exciting to think about what one more year will bring:) 
 
LOVE YOU!
 
P.S. Good work Ab!  Congrats:)  Redd is real neat.  I'm his favorite uncle.

 Elder England (I think)(Kinda Looks like the FBI.. Moms comment)


Elder Martin

Pecos River behind the Elders' house in Carlsbad

Wildeyed at training meeting

Monday, May 5, 2014

Darkies are Gay

I had to say that ^ in honor of the Kentucky Derby.  I didn't win:(  I picked Dance With Fate, who got third, so I'm told. I didn't get to watch it, which is probably a good thing.  But I had a member tell me the second the race was over.  I was so excited all day!!
 
Picture this:  You're a young Donny Osmond, 14 or so.  You walk out on stage, microphone in hand, and the ladies begin to SCREAM!  "We love you Donny!!!" You reach into your back pocket and grab a comb, brush through your hair a couple times and the ladies go even more wild.  Then the music starts, you take a big breath in and begin to sing.  "and they call it.....PUPPY CHOW"
 
That was the end of that visual.  Elder Martin made puppy chow this last week and that was all I could think of.  I know the real words are puppy love, but that isn't fun at all.  Elder Martin's puppy chow sucks compared to ours.  He uses half the amount of everything, except for Chex.  There aren't any goopy clumps and you don't even feel sick after eating a few.  Oh well, I'll take what I can get:)
 
Did you know Brian Urlacher grew up in Lovington NM?!  That is 20 minutes away from hobbs and we do a lot of work up there...pretty cool!
 
We had MLC again this past week and it was a lot better than last time.  We had some pretty sweet instruction, it was President's second to last time in MLC, so it was tender for him.  He taught about the Priesthood and Humility, it was killer, real strong spirit.  Then we learned how to find people using FAMILY HISTORY.  It is so fun!  So far it works pretty well too.  Everyone loves their family, so duh!!  Anyway, now I get to teach Zone Training again, second time this transfer, on Wednesday.  I am real excited.  I've been shining my shoes up real good recently too, so I'm always happy to show them off hahahah.
 
My watch broke, well the battery died, early on in the week.  I cherish the tan-line I have on my wrist though, so I didn't take it off.  I've just had a blank watch for a week and it is so frustrating sometimes hahaha.  I'll buy a battery today though:)
 
I got to go on exchanges with the Elder who trained Tom Whattcot.  The kid is real quiet, but a powerful teacher.  I enjoyed talking about all the funny things Tom does too.  At the end of the night we listed off all 151 original Pok√©mon. IT was hard, but a real fun night haha.
 
We taught a couple killer lessons this week too.  We found this guy named Carlos who calls us his homies, even during his prayers.  When we taught him the spirit was powerful and at the end of the lesson he gave us the last of his marijuana...he wants the gospel a lot more than he wants to be high!!  It was a cool experience. We even set a Bap Date!!  We had to pass him off to the other elders though, cause he doesn't speak Spanish. It's ok though, I am still really happy to have got to teach him that one time!  He'll do great. 
 
I finished El Libro De Mormon this week!!  It felt so good!!  Now I need to read it again and actually try to understand it all hahaha.
 
This next week is jam packed.  We are going down to move some Carlsbad Elders on Tuesday.  On Wednesday we have Zone Training.  Then on Thursdaywe get to go to the TEMPLE!! YAY!  THen to top it off I get to Skype home on SUNDAY!  Yippeee!!
 
Anyway,  I love you so much.  Keep doing good work and be happy!:)
 
Love,
Elder Porter

About Me

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