Monday, October 27, 2014

ipads

Just kidding...there aren't any iPads yet haha. 
This week is...HALLOWEEN!! I really really REALLY like Halloween.  Not as much as Ben does, but I still like it a lot.  As a missionary, we cant dress up  BUT Elder Davis and I are gonna switch name tags and I'm gonna wear my tie all goofy like he does.  Being Elder Davis for Halloween is real scary stuff!  Brother Kelly will be on call on Halloween night, so he asked us if we could pass out candy for him.  We have to go in at 6 anyway, so we happily complied.  He bought over $900 worth of candy....for reals.  I counted it out and there is enough candy for a person to eat a full size piece of candy and a handful of little candies everyday for more 7.34 years.  HOLY CRAP!  How insane is that hahah.  He plans on there being a ton left over...I'm gonna get HUGE!  Tom and Elder Harris are gonna come over that night and we're gonna make waffles. I got a recipe for Applesauce and Applesauce Pancakes, so I'm gonna do that as well. Fun stuff going on this Friday

I was able to be part of a neat miracle this past week.  Some lady who is investigating the Church in Midland called the West Elders and asked if they could go give a blessing to her mom at the hospital here in Odessa.  Of course they were willing.  The mom only speaks Spanish though, so they picked me up so I could give her the blessing.  When we got there she was on life-support and they didn't expect her to live much longer.  A lot of her family was there and we needed to explain what the blessing was before they'd let us do it.  As I blessed her, though, I felt inspired to tell her that based on faith of her family she could be healed.  It was a neat blessing.  Then, a few days later we got a call to go back there and give another blessing.  This time the same woman was up and walking around, just a few hours from being discharged.  He family was amazed by the miracle and asked it we would give another blessing.  We did, of course.  This time as I blessed her I told her that God has a very special plan for her and she still needed time to get it all done.  It was so so neat to feel those words come to me.  I know that in both instances they weren't my words.  I'd be way to scared to make promises like that without some guidance!  Anyway, she's investigating the church now as well and her daughter who called us is getting baptized this Saturday.  It's cool to be able to be part of things like that.  Missionary work is neat.

This Thursday we have a mission tour.  It's just like a giant Zone Conference except with 5 zones.  One of the members of the 70 will be coming down to instruct us.  I am real excited.  Last time we had a gereneral authoruity it was Elder Walker and he inspired me a lot.  They asked me to lead the music.  I have no idea why they asked me...there are a lot more qualified people, but I gladly accepted the invitation!  I guess all those times leading the music in Priesthood opening exercise was worth it! 

Transfer calls are on Saturday. I can't believe how fast this transfer went!  It still feels like yesterday that Davis got here. I'm scared.  I've been in Odessa for 6 months almost and I don't want to leave!  I want to stay one more at least...and I want Tom to stay as well. I know I'm not in charge of the transfer board, that's the Lord's job, so I'll be happy and willing with whatever call comes. 

I love y'all so much.  Have a lot of fun this Halloween and be safe!!  DOn't forget to pray!

Love,
Elder Caleb Porter

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ebola is real

Don't worry.  I don't have Ebola despite the recent outbreaks in Dallas.  I live.
This week was neat.
I got to do an exchange on Wednesday.  I was pumped to be in Tom's district cause that meant I got to do an exchange with him.  That wasn't the case though ;( .  Elder Davis has been real upset and stressed with Spanish and our lack of teaching lessons, so Tom took him for the day in their area and I got Elder Harris, Tom's comp. No worries though cause I love Elder Harris.  Harris is cool cause he doesn't have a large intestine...they took it out.  Needless to say he poops all the time and they are really loud poops haha. The exchange kinda ended in disaster cause both Tom and Elder Harris got sick and we ended up inside at 8 trying to figure out what it was.  I had a lot of fun though.  Tom got a Salavary Stone, yikes, and Harris got the flu.  It was neat because the next day as they laid inside all helpless and stuff we cooked them dinner and brought it over to them!  Just call me the Relief Society President. The day after that Harris was still sick, but they had to teach a lesson to some guy, so we got to do a little mini exchange and Tom and I went and taught the lesson together.  It was so much fun.  He is a really good teacher. 
In the past Brother Kelly has had other members staying at his house as well.  I felt jipped cause the other members are always way cooler than Brother Kelly haha.  Recently I've been dying at home because both Brother Kelly and Elder Davis are so weird I just have no one to talk to and nothing to say. BUT it all changed cause a member moved in for the rest of the transfer!  He's a black man from Mosambeak, how neat is that?!  His name is Juaqine (Jew-alking) and he is so cool.  He served his mission in Portugal and he's just the bees knees. I cant wait to get to know him better, he just got in last night so we haven't talked much.  BENDICIONES
For my birthday Brother Kelly took us out to a sweet dinner at a japanese restaurant. He payed for us, himself, and 2 other companionships, it ended up being like $200.  It was one of those restaurants that the chairs are all around the grill and the guy cooks in the middle of y'all and does cool tricks.  It was taste.  Elder Davis got a sushi plate and afterwards was complaining about how hot the tuna roll was.  It really caused some damage to him.  I asked him about it later and it turns out he just ate a giant glob of wasabe cause he thought it was  a roll....hahahahaha.  Poor kid.
I really feel blessed now a days.  Things just are going my way.  President Heap called me a few times just to teach me something about the scriptures, I thought it was awesome.  He's a ggreat example of Christ-like love.  We have the best members here.  It's hard to get them to come out, but they are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure we get fed and are happy, I love them so much.  Odessa Spanish is the best area in the world.  It's been almost 3 weeks since we've taught a lesson, but our hopes and heads are still high (weed).  Just kidding about that last word hahaha. When you ask someone how they are doing out on the street they always reply "FIne, just blessed, absolutely blessed, and you?" That's how I feel.  How are y'all?
I love you so much and thanks again for all your love and prayers. 
Love,
Elder Porter

Monday, October 13, 2014

Is mayonnaise an instrument?

This week was killer, man week was all I hoped it would be, haha. Thank all y'all for the birthday wishes and letters and presents and stuff!  I am a spoiled kid, no doubt the favorite child ;)

This week we got to use all 10 hours of our allotted service time!  It was so neat!!  On Thursday we (all the missionaries in Odessa) got together and helped paint a house!  Elder Whatcott and I spent most of our time on the roof painting the chimney and stuff, it was sweet!  From there we went straight to the Boys and Girls Club to help the little kids paint the bowls we made last week!  I helped out these two black girls that had AT^TITUDE!  As soon as I could I dumped them off to someone else and helped this kid named Jaden paint.  He's in 6th grade.  We just talked about SpongeBob hahaha.  At one point he yelled "SCRAPS!  I forgot my library book!" and ran out the door.  I thought it was cool that he said scraps and didn't cuss.  When he got back I asked about why he said that and he told me about how much his parents cuss and drink and smoke and all that stuff and how he is determined to be different.  What a cool 11 year old. The book he had forgotten ended up being Captain Underpants so...that's what we talked about next.  Probably the best book ever written.  While his bowl was drying I helped him do his math homework.  Jaden is my bud.

This week was insane and we had only one real day of work. 
Monday we had P-day (my favorite holiday)
Tuesday was interviews with President Heap.  It's real nice cause he does them every transfer even though it means a lot more work for him.  He does really well  showing love and respect.  He has really helped me out a lot!
Wednesday was Zone Training which is like Zone Conference without the APs and President.
Thursday was service day.
Friday was weekly planning with a little more house painting.
Saturday was normal.
Sunday was church!
I love weeks like that!  It keeps life interesting and the hours we do get to use for proselyting are much more focused and dedicated.  


I've still been working with Cody and Yocelin.  They are so legit.  We had a lesson where we set goals for the temple and things like that.  He set his own goal by himself to read the Book of Mormon by a certain date and has been studying every day.  We went over to the Rodriguez' house for dinner (Yocelin's family) and found out that they all love SpongeBob,  Mom, I'd  just like to point out that that is 2 spongebob connections in one week...it was inspired that I watched that show all the time!  "You na├»ve cube!" -Plankton hahaha.  Anyway.  I really do know that Cody and Yocelin are a huge reason for why I am here in Odessa at this time.  I connect with them really really well, better than most missionaries would.  I am happy to know that the Lord really is in charge of the transfer board and the timing of life and everything.  Just think, I might not have been here right now if I didn't end up going home for that little bit! 

We had branch conference and I loved it.  All the Stake leaders came and we had a meeting to talk about the Less Active's in the branch.  None of the Stake leaders speak Spanish, but they tried.  Our Stake President, President Vore, even gave a talk in sacrament meeting in Spanish.  Very very simple, and poorly structured Spanish.  His Spanish testimony touched my heart in a way his English one couldn't have done.  He testified of God's love for us, and of the Saviors hand and help in our life. President Vore and the other stake leaders are prime examples of Christ-like love.  They love the Spanish Branch so much that they tried to speak their language and humbly bore testimony so they could fully understand.  I know that the church is true even in Odessa Texas. 

I love y'all so much and I will talk to y'all later!  Enjoy fall weather:)

Love,
Elder Caleb




Monday, October 6, 2014

Welcome to: Man WEEK

Well well well.  The time has FINALLY arrived.  Caleb Porter, you know, that kid y'all used to know?  He was a pretty cool kid.  Average at a lot of things, but fun to hang around with.  A good kid.  NOT ANYMORE!!!  Now (on friday) he's a good MAN!  Hahaha.  For some reason I feel like when I'm 20 people will think I'm a man.  I still look 17, but inside I feel like a man.  Heck, I've got 2 decades on my belt!  It's not really that big of a deal haha, I'm just happy for my birthday:) 
On Wednesday we had a Zone Conference.  It was a real neat one.  When we have a ZC they combine 2 Zones together, so we had to drive up to Midland for the meeting.  We got there and something was off because the Zone Leaders weren't leading anything...they were just sitting in the back of the gym eating pop corn.  President and Sister Heap walked in and announced that for ZC we would be watching...THE AVENGERS!!  Just kidding.  We did watch Meet the Mormons, though.  Man, it is SUCH A GOOD MOVIE.  It was funny, actiony (at the football parts), and real spiritual.  I went from laughing to crying real quick.  It's pretty neat cause they don't teach any unique doctrine in the movie, it's central focus is to show that Mormons are normal.  I think it will be an AMAZING help to the work.  I just wanted to go be friends with every Mormon I saw.  Who woulda thought that the First Presidency would ever produce a movie?!  Go watch it!  It comes out on the 10th.  So good. Tell all your non member friends to watch it...and strangers:)
We got to do some killer service this week, too!  We worked at the Humane Society again.  We're regulars there now.  They love us.  It's so sweet to be able to help out and just be a pal.  We don't proselyte one little bit during service, just help. Another project that we got to help with is called the Empty Bowl Project.  We went to the Boys and Girls Club, a place for under-privileged children to spend their day.  It was SO COOL.  We helped them BUILD clay bowls.  There were 9 of us and 50 little kids from 4 to 12.  I loved every second of it!  It's just so fun doing projects like that with kids.  I helped one kid name Adolfo build a bowl that had Santa in the inside, it was awesome.  When this week we are gonna help them glaze the bows, then paint, and eventually sell them.  Each bowl is $10.  I could be the ugliest or the prettiest bowl, but its all $10.  100% of the proceeds go to the Food Bank and the Food Bank, with that money, will feed the children and the Boys and Girls Club.  SO we are teaching the kids the value of working for your food and money and having fun at the same time.  I cant wait to go back.  I'll try to get some pictures of it this next week.
Conference was amazing. I loved it.  I am pleased to say that I didn't fall asleep one time!  I loved that they talked so much about the importance of personal revelation and charity and caring for the poor. Charity prevents a multitude of sins and every day growth will keep you from falling off the path!  It's a real simple idea, but real hard to put into practice, so I am grateful for the steps and advice the inspired apostles and prophet gave to us!!  D. Todd Christofferson had my favorite one liner.."Devine aid can be with us in every hour of every day no matter where we are in the path of obedience."  I think that's neat.  That gives me a lot of hope.
Anyway.  I love y'all so much!  Have an amazing day and I'll talk to you next week.

Love,
Elder Caleb Porter

Saturday, October 4, 2014

en medio de la nada

Oh gah-lee.  I told y'all about the change in rules about eating at member's houses, right?  Well the members hopped on that real quick and I had a meal every day last week and have on scheduled every day for the entire transfer.  HOLY CRAP!!  It's official...I need to find myself a Mexican wife that can cook like these members do.  The food is out of this world. I have never been so happy while eating in my entire life, haha. Gorditas, Tostadas, floutas, aroz y frijoles, fajitas, carne asada, chile colorado, chicken y todo.  Man it is so good. I have also gained a deep love for spicy salsa.  "If the food doesn't sting, then it's not food!" - Hermano Carrion.  I am gonna be HUGE in just a few more weeks, haha.  Tom made a work out plan for me and I'm gonna start going hard in the mornings. I LOVE IT HERE IN ODESSA! 
The members are amazing.  The Odessa 3rd Branch is as close and family like as it gets.  They do everything they can to make us feel at home.  Everyone just loves each other and serves selflessly all day long!  It's still hard to get them to come to lessons, but man, they are SO kind when it comes to other members.  I was real scared that after Pack left our relationship with the members would crash.  He is perfect at Spanish, so all the members loved talking to him, but with him gone I thought they would go back to being disappointed with the level of Spanish from the Elders.  BUT NO!!  They still show so much love and support for us.  They are real patient and helpful.  I have absolutely experienced the gift of tongues in the past week.  We have been trying to clean off the branch roster, so we have been meeting a lot of less active members.  EVEN THE LAs ARE AMAZING!  We have a lot of new people to work with and I am as content as can be.  I know without a doubt that the Lord is with us here in this branch.  There is a lot of potential and I am happy to be able to say that I spent time working here.
I got to go on a little exchange on Tuesday cause Pack left and Davis didn't get here till Wednesday, so I spent the day with Elder Hastings.  Now, y'all don't know Elder Hastings, but maybe you know his alias GRAND MASTER Z.  Just kidding, you don't know him either, haha.  Hastings is a real cool guy, very different, pretty nerdy in all honesty, but he raps.  Yes, you read that right, he RAPS!  That's where Grand Master Z comes in.  He's gota rap about all the lessons we teach and all the finding techniques, it is so funny.  I spent the day walking the streets and listening to his magic.  It was so fun.
Elder Davis is my boy.  He's so cool.  No doubt he is different, but there aren't really many problems I foresee.  We work really well together y todo.  He's got a different sense of humor, but I can adapt that no problem! In all reality it will be a really big blessing to have him.  With my last companions, pretty much all my companions, I have been real good friends with right away.  We had lot's to talk about and related really well, so that's what we did.  But with Elder Davis we have 0 similarities and not really much to talk about, so what do we do?  Well, we just go twice as hard at the missionary work!  Sure, it's not as much fun, but we are getting so much done.  I am SO HAPPY with what we are doing and I know I will come to love Elder Davis, this work, and the Lord so much more throghout this transfer!
Love,
Caleb!
P.S.  I'm almost 20.  Can you believe that?!

About Me

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