Monday, December 29, 2014

Puras Krizmas

Well.  Let me start off this email with the statement:   I'm an idiot.  Hahah.  Last week I wrote a zillion emails and letters and I realized on Christmas day that I spelled "Merry Christmas" wrong in all of them!  Hahaha I wrote "Marry".  At least I think I did.  Just know that I wasn't commanding you to marry Christmas, such an act would be dumb.  I was simply wishing you a merry, or happy, time haha.

Christmas was awesome.  It was so neat to be able to Skype with y'all!  I keep saying that time flies on the mission, and that is true, but no time flies faster than that hour of Skype.  It starts and ends all in the same instant.  I love y'all a whole lot!  After the call we played a really fun game with the Stromberg family called "The King of Tokyo". It was about being a monster and trying to be the first to kill Tokyo, sorry Betsy.  It reminded me of being home with y'all and playing games.  A good way to spend Christmas day.  At night we went over to our ward mission leader's house and ate some real good Carne Asada.  There was a HUGE crowed of people there.  It felt like the entire city of El Paso was crammed into that trailer.  Needless to say it was a blast.  I love Mexican culture haha.  They do Christmas a little weird, too.  They stay up on Christmas eve and then open presents at midnight.  I guess Santa must hit all the Mexican houses first cause my gifts never came until at least 5 AM.

Elder Gillette and I bought Brother Kelly a puzzle for Christmas.  It's 2000 pieces and has 2 giant kittens on it!  He loves it.  As soon as he gets back from his trip we're gonna put it together with him.  he's in Provo, actually, so keep an eye out for him!  I love that man.  He got us a whole ton of European candy and flavored popcorn for our present, he's a good guy.

The day after Christmmas we taught a guy named Carlos.  Carlos is legit.  He's been dating a member of the church for forever and finally on Christmas he woke up and decided he was ready for baptism.  They had just arrived in Odessa the week before so they figured out our number and gave us a call!  Thiers is a weird relationship..  He's from El Salvador and speaks pretty broken English, she's from Arizona and speaks no Spanish at all, but they still love each other I guess!  We teach him in 100% Spanglish.  The best, most fluent Spanglish that has ever left my lips. It's so fun.  I imagine I'll speak something like that when I get home.  He'll be baptized on the 10th of January.  Oh yeah, and for church they are gonna go to the last 2 hours of the second ward and then the first two hours of the Spanish branch.  That way they can both be nourished by the good word!

Wulp. It's new years time!  AKA time to set some real good resolutions and goals!!  There is a neat article about goals in this months Ensign that I studied yesterday. As far as I'm concerned the key to success in life and to accomplishing goals is to have the goal be a God Centered Goal. For example: if someone had the goal of graduating college in the top of the class, that is a really good goal, that shows what they believe they can achieve, but they don't have the very best perspective yet.  Why do they want to graduate at the top of the class? So they can get a better job.  Why do they want a better job?  So they can support their family, or have a flexible schedule, or whatever it may be.  Now if the person dedicates their goal to their future family, or dedicates that extra time to helping their family and God it becomes a God Centered Goal.  When you have a GCG you are fully entitled to have God's help in achieving the goal!  Neatk.  What are y'all's resolutions?

I love y'all so so much!  Have a really good week and stay warm and safe:)

Elder Caleb Porter

Monday, December 22, 2014


First off....I SAW A HAWAII LICENCE PLATE!!!  I have now seen all 50 states here in Odessa!  haha.

This week we had a ton of progress with one of our investigators named Francisco.  He's so cool.  He came to Church again this week, the only one this time, but that's still really good. AT church he met and talked to a lot of the members and he fits in like a charm!  The members already invited him to go play soccer with them and he's just a champ.  We set a baptismal date for the 3 of January.  Pack and I started teaching him about 4 months ago, but the only thing we had taught him was the Restoration and Plan of Salvation and the rest of the visits were just reading with him. He's going to California for this week so we thought it was important to teach him the Word of Wisdom.  We went over there, with Brother  Amorim, a member with a killer testimony on the WoW, and taught a real real good lesson.  At the end we asked him if he had any trouble with any of the stuff.  He told us that he probably should be eating healthier.  So we asked him if he had problems specifically about the 5 no-nos. He told us that he quit drinking beer right when we started meeting with him 4 months ago because it felt right, he stopped drinking Coffee and tea a few months ago after we said that we didn't drink coffee, and that the only think he thinks he'd like to change is to stop drinking caffeinated soda.  CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!?! Talk about prepared.  Gosh. Then he asked us if he could just give us his tithing...before he even talked about  What a guy.  The church is true!  I know God prepares people to accept this message. 

On Friday (my 18 month mark) we had a branch Christmas party.  It was so so so much fun.  I love the branch so much!  The primary kids got together and acted out a nativity.  All the shepherds had marker beards and the star was just a tin-foil ball on a PVC pipe hahaha. Brother Celso FLorez, the big guy from the picture I sent home last week, dressed up like santa and came and talked to us all.  Even Santa knows Spanish.   We ate menudo, it was like m y4th or 5th time eating it and It's not even bad anymore.  I'm basically a Mexican.  I showed a lot of the members a picture of my mullet back home and they loved it.  There is a member here who has a better one than I did.  All in all it was a KILLER night.  So much fun.  

On Saturday we got to go to the Temple AGAIN for the Amorim's sealing.  Man.  It was the coolest experience ever.  Brother Amorim is my favorite person I have met out here on my mission.  He grew up less active in Brazil, then came to America, got some girl from Columbia pregnant, so he learned Spanish and married her.  They lived in Houston Texas and were dirt poor and she was really sick.  One day he drove past one of our Church Buildings and the Spirit hit him real strong and ever since that point that family has been blessed.  He got active, she got baptized, they moved to Odessa, got a real nice job, had a healthy baby boy, moved into a big house and finally this week they got sealed as a family for time and all eternity.  They know their purpose as members and help us out so much.  I love them to death and I was so happy to be there at the temple with them.   On Sunday their faces were so bright and happy.  The light of Christ illuminated them just like in 3 Nephi 19.  

Cody went and did Baptisms for the dead that day as well, so it was a success!

I'M excited to call home on Christmas!  I love y'all so so much. Be safe and happy and have a really good Christmas!

Elder CAleb 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

17 Milagros

Ok.  I'm sure there actually were 17 miracles in my week, but I cant remember them so I'm only gonna talk about 3 or so. But I still wanted to title the email 17 miracles because of the neat movie haha.  

Miracle #1:  On Saturday we were extremly blessed to have been able to go to the Lubbock Temple to watch the Florez family get sealed for time and all eternity!  I love the Florez' so much.  They are just always so happy and a huge help to the work.  They have been trying for about 3 years to get worthy and active and all the paper work done to be able to go to the temple and it finally happened!  I felt the spirit really strong and I was so overjoyed to have been part of helping them get there.  Celso Florez, the father of the house, is so humble and was so happy to finally be there.  You could just see it in their eyes how much it meant for them to be a family!  I love that that is a principle of the Gospel. Families really can be together forever.  This Saturday we get to go AGAIN to watch my favorite member family, the Amorims, get sealed! How blessed am I?!

Miracle #2:  We had 4 investigators to church yesterday!!!  That is UNREAL!!  I think it's funny to read letters from missionaries in other missions cause they always talk about being sad they only had 10 investigators at church haha. 4 is a miracle and we were pum
ped!  Tania and Nadia, the daughters of a recent convert came for the first time.  I don't t think they enjoyed it very much haha, but it's alright.  We'll make it happen next time.  AN investigator named Caridad came for the first time, she is really really weird and I don't think she enjoyed it either. It was a disaster with her cause she told us she needed to be home by 12 but I thought she said 2, that dang Cuban accent kills me!!  She was pretty stressed about getting home, so I doubt the spirit touched here very much. THe best one though was that Fanscisco came.  He's an investigator that I've been teaching for like 5 months now.  WE had a killer lesson with him on Saturdayabout how Christ can heal him and he actually showed up the next day! He fits in perfectly with the members and they even got a job for him.  How neat is that!  He loved church and is planning on coming again.  Not too long from now and we'll get him a Bap Date. 4 investigators was really overwhelming, but way nice to end on that note.  Good good way to end a transfer. 

Miracle #3:  I'M STAYING IN ODESSA ANOTHER 6 WEEKS!!!  Can you believe it?!!?!  I am so happy.  That will make 9 months.  I know God answers prayers because He is letting me stay some more.  This is gonna  be a really good Christmas for me:)  I'll be staying here with Elder Gillette still as well.  I'm hoping to keep this progression happening and getting some good stuff to come.

One sad thing though, a non-miracle I guess, is that Tom is being transferred to Lubbock. It was such a blessing to have served around him for the past 7.5 months.  I love that kid so much.  He was easily the best district leader I've had, too.  He helped me out a lot in these last 2 transfers.  They were really hard ones, but he made it alright!!  He's also inspired me to change.  His example is killer.  I cant wait to see him again, all my friends a live Alma 17:2-3 for real.  It's neat to all be out here at the same time changing and growing so much.  It's gonna be cool to see how we all are in the end.

I love y'all so much!! Have a happy and safe week:)

Elder Caleb Porter 

The Florez family

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Night Stand

Well, this week was eventful!  Just kidding, not really eventful haha, basically just the same. But I still loved it!  
Elder Gillette has been having a really difficult time adjusting to missionary life.  He's just really sad all the time, that is a brutal attitude to have!  So this week we went on another exchange with Tom and his companion.  I got to be with Elder Harris again!  I love that kid so much!  I'd say between the three 24 hour exchanges we've had and all the time's I've giving him a ride and eatin with him in the last 4.5 months that we've spent and entire transfer's worth of hours together. He is so funny.  His family just moved to Saint George from Washington so guess we can actually be freinds when we get home! Yay!! He goes home 6 weeks before me and y'all can meet him real soon after that! He'll go crap in our bathroom cause he has to do that every 3 hours since his large intestine is MIA.  

ALSO I got to do ANOTHER exchange this week with one of our Zone Leaders, Elder Hansen.  Now that was a good time.  I have so much respect for that guy.  He's a way better ZL than I was, haha.  I can tell that he really just has such a sincere desire to help us out.  He loves us and in exchange we love him!  I also noticed how much inspiration zls actually get. He's was a pretty good missionary before, but now he is exceptional.  I know that God is helping him out so he can fulfill his calling to the best of his abilities.  I think it was the same for me.  When I was a zl I was much more effective and powerful.  Elder Hansen and I talked a lot about the work in the Zone and things we could do to make things work out or go more smoothly.  We talked a lot about Elder Gillette and what we could do for him.  All in all is was a day full of the spirit and revelation!  We even got to set up Brother Kelly's Christmas tree and help some random guy witth christmas lights.  It was a goood time.  At 7 we were going to an appointment we had and the mainest street in the city was shut down.  We tried to drive around it, but there were cars parked EVERYWHERE blocking all the other streets.  We parked and got out and it was dead silent.  I though for sure there was some kind of Zombie apocalypse going on, it was just like on I am Legend.  Anyway,we got out and walked a little bit and found out there was a Christmas parade and the whole town shut down to watch it!  So we walked in it and gave out a few cards haha.  It was a good time.  

Oh my word, how good was the Christmas devotional last night?!  I became a little girl and wept at every story.  I just love to hear about good people being good!! I want to be a good person and help out a lot of people.  I cant believe how selfish I have been.  I want to share more of what I have with those around me.  Thank y'all for your good example of being good and sharing love!  Y'alll have made a real big impact on my life and I hope I can be a good example of good for those who around me!!  I love you so much!!
Have a good and safe day! BE HAPPY!!
Elder Caleb 

PS>  Sorry this is a little shorter! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

turkey bowl

This week was Thanksgiving, as y'all already know, and it was real REAL fun.
Our Branch President and his wife had us over for dinner, the Muniz family.  I love them both so much! President Muniz is a really busy guy.  He is a salesman/installer of some random part in the oil field, he makes real good money, but is EXTREMELY busy all the time.  I have no idea how he manages work, family, and his calling.  It was one of the only times I've had to sit down with him and chat for a while.  They had a full house!  The Pena family, another family from the branch, and a couple other families form the 1st ward came as well.  It was so much fun and noisy!  It was just like I was eating with y'all except none of you were basically the only similarity was the amount of people and the noise level.  I loved it.  I was hoping we'd eat a real mexican thanksgiving dinner, but it was just normal except with salsa on top of everything.  Everyone here eats Pecan Pie....I love that stuff.  It rivals Derby Pie.  At my Thanksgivings from now on I'll just make sure they have both haha.
The best part about thanksgiving, though, was the Turkey Bowl.  Easily the Turkey Bowl is my favorite even of the entire year.  This year was the first year I've played in 2 years so it was a real great time!  Gillette really didn't want to go at all, but he was extremely nice and decided to put up with it so I could go, I was real grateful for that. WE combined the first ward and the branch so there were enough to have two games going on at a time.  The Spanish Branch had 15 non-members there...CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!  It was so successful that they decided to play football every Saturday and we're invited and allowed to go:)  YAY!  My team went undefeated just how it should be. I accidentally tackled the Stake President on the last drive to secure the win.  In all reality he just tripped and I was near him, but everyone blamed me for it so they could move up 25 yard for the penalty haha.  All in all it was a really really good time. 
We also had a Zone Training this week that was really good.  Easily the best Zone training I have been a part of. THe sister training leaders taught us about the importance and power of using the book of mormon in everything.  THey showed us a neat technique to using it during our finds.  I have since applied that teaching and have seen HUGE success.  THere really is so much power in the word of God, especially the word of God that is unique to our church haha. The Zone leaders just lead a really good discussion about a few rules and stuff.  I am a really opinionated guy, I always have been, so whenever there is a conversation like that I always fight my point of view real hard. I had a hand in changing some of the rules and stopping some potential new rules, thank heavens haha. The best part, though, is that the Spirit was there and so powerful!  Even though we were debating in a sense, the spirit still testified to our hearts what needed to happen.  I felt extremely edified.  We all received a lot of revelation for the work in our specific areas.
Yesterday we picked up a new investigator names Lin.  Lin is straight from Cuba.  Let me just tell you this right now, Cuban should be it's own language.  Thank heavens we had a native member there with us for the lesson, because I could barely understand anything she said!  I like Tex-Mex a lot better haha.  She is very humble, though, and has a lot of potential.  I am excited to keep teaching her!
I love y'all so much! Be careful in the snow!  I don't have snow yet...but I bet y'all do!  
Elder Caleb Porter

 I decorated Tom's tree for him.  I went ALL OUT.
Thanksgiving, bad picture.

About Me

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