Monday, January 26, 2015


Well.  I ran out of clever ways to tell y'all that I'm staying in Odessa for another I'll just tell y'all normal this time.  I'm staying in Odessa for another 6 weeks with Elder Gillette!  Haha I was really really surprised, but so happy:)  I heart it here.  I'll have 10.5 months here by the end of the transfer, y'all might as well just send my records to this branch. 
Let me start out by telling you that Francisco's name is actually Frank.  He was born in Mexico and really bummed that his parents gave him an American name, real embarrassed. So when we met him 5 months ago he told us his name was Francisco to avoid further embarrassment hahaha.  Anyway.  Frank showed up in a suit yesterday.  He loves church and wants to look the part, so he bought a suit. He also got interviewed by President Muniz and then got the Aaronic Priesthood!!  The next set of missionaries (if I ever leave) wont even be able to tell that he's a recent convert. I am really grateful for the opportunity to have taught Frank. He's a real good guy and the Gospel has made a really positive change in his life.  I guess that's what the Gospel is for! 
We recently started working with 4 less active families.  They are all the same, ever less active I have ever taught is the same...they are all less active because they got offended.  Oh my heck, I feel bad, but I have no patience for that kind of crap!  80% of the time the offence was nothing grave, just a really senstitive person on the other end.  Just man up!!  Sorry if I offended anyone with that comment, haha.  There is this one family here who has been active for 15 years, they even did home/visiting teaching, but got offended last week and decided not to come back.  They know the Church is true, they know it's vital to come to church, but they are "surrounded by too many hypocrites". We just found out about it yesterday.  That makes me SO SAD!  I love love love this family, they've fed us a few times and I love them a lot!!  I don't understand how Satan can get into people's hearts so easily.  Offended is my least favorite adjective.  No one is perfect...but you know what is?  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is perfect.  Not the leaders, but the Gospel, OK?!?!
This week we had to drop a few investigators.  We've basically been teaching the same people for like 4 months and no one does anything.  It's so frustrating when someone is a real good person and wants to change their life but wont ever pick up the freaking Book of Mormon, haha.  ( Don't be fooled by this email.  I just realized it sounds like I'm all mad and had a terrible week.  I am happy and had a real good week, ok? haha)  So we just had a lesson that explained the importance of reading and coming to church and told them to call us when they had read one chapter....we still haven't got a single call haha.  NO worries, I'm sure one day they'll figure it out!  We got 2 new investigators as well, so that is good! 
Recently I have been studying a whole ton about humility.  One of my favorite verses in the whole scriptures in Alma 26:12.  Ammon is talking to his bro Aaron about how he (Ammon) is nothing and really weak, but how with the Lord's strength he had do anything.  It's nuts to me that I can put 100% of my effort into completing a task and still fail, but the second I put 100% of my effort into trusting and relying on the Lord I can fulfill that task and anything else.  How neat is that?!  One phrase that I learned from George Lopez (the TV show) is "I cant do nothing around here!"  I actually hear that exact phrase like 15 times a week here in Odessa haha.  It is a true principle, though. I really cant do nothing ( don't think about the grammar or else it will take away from the message!), nothing by myself at least.  I can't love the people, I cant develop patince with my companions, I cant walk around all day, I cant wake up at 6:30 each day, I cant memorize scriptures, I cant teach, I cant speak Spanish, I cant do nothing by myself.  God literally does it all for us.  I love that He loves me cause I'd be nothing without Him.

I love y'all a whole bunch!!  Have a real good week and be safe!  Don't forget to smile:)
Elder Caleb Porter

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


This week was nasty sick (that means really really good)!  Wanna hear about it?  Well oooohh kay!
We had a big ol fireside on Sunday night for all three congregations of Odessa, the Spanish Branch and both English wards.  The purpose was to get people pumped for the missionary efforts of 2015.  It all honesty the fireside sucked mostly hahaha.  Only like 50 people total showed up, but it was still a good time.  Some guy from Midland, Brother Taylor, came and showed us slides from his mission 40 years ago in Mexico.  He served in the Yucatan Peninsula and has way cool stories.  They literally baptized 1000s.  His stories were ight...but the real neat stuff were the stories he told about his mission president.  Holy crap they were insane!  I wish I had more time to write some of them out...but I don' just read Alma 17 about Ammon's mission instead.  Right after his talk and stories everybody went into the gym where we, the missionaries, had set up 4 real neat booths about 4 basics of missionary work. Only like 15 people went to that part hahaha, but it was still really fun to set up and teach and stuff.  I was the Spanish missionary in charge of the scriptures booth.  I spent 2 personal studies making a list of comparison scriptures between the Bible and the Book of Mormon.  It was SUCH A FUN STUDY!!  For the booth I just showed people the list or I would ask them their favorite scripture then show them one very similar in the opposite book of scripture. It was a lot of fun!
We had interview on Wednesday with President Heap.  I love that man so much.  He calls me "son".  He calls all the elders son, actually, and we all love it. I can wait till I'm old enough to call 20 year olds son, that's gonna be neat haha.  He challenged me to read Preach My Gospel 20 minutes each day. He made some real real neat promises that would come if I did that, so I am really happy.  Already I've seen my personal testimony and knowledge of the lesson grow. That man truly is inspired from God!
Fracisco got baptized!!  It was real good.  I forgot my camera today, so I'll send y'all a picture next week.  He's just a real humble guy who does some real good stuff.  The branch loves him and things are going real well.  The water in the font was real cold this time, I don't know why.  I felt like I was in some third world country.  Hahaha just kidding.  I'm so spoiled to be here in Texas! Francisco even went and bought a white shirt and tie at Salvation Army! Now that is dedication haha.
Well, obviously the highlight of my week was on Friday when we got to drive up to Lubbock and be instructed by Elder Bednar all day!  IT was SO GOOD!  Holy crap, it was good. Incredible.  He's just a real life human being, who woulda thought?  He was funny and everything.  He taught us in a really interesting way in that he didn't really teach us.  He gave us homework to read before, just three talks, and then when we got there he asked us to tell him what we learned.  He then would ask a follow up question and testify and teach a little bit more on whatever the subject was.  He focused so hard on not having him teach us, but letting the spirit teach us.  He demanded that we took 0 notes on anything he said but took thorough notes on the things the spirit said to our hearts.  It blew my mind. I had so many questions answered by the spirit in that meeting, so many.  It's so nuts to me that we really don't need to hear an apostle or a Prophet speak to have these big questions answered, all we need is the spirit!  The same spirit can be there with President Monson as there can be with some random guy in the sacrament, it just depends on our personal preparations and our personal worthiness.  Neat. Another cool thing is that Elder Bednar has perfect hair. Not a single strand out of place.  It's like a lego guy's hair.  I love it.

ANyway.  I love y'all a whole bunch!  BE safe and warm this week:)  I'll email again in 6 days tehe.  Love you a million.
Elder Caleb Porter

10 of hearts

Well, this week was cold again! Nothing as bad as last week.  Texas weather is insane.  From real real cold and rainy one day, to hot and sunny the next day, then back to cold haha.  Gotta love it.
Do you remember the guy I told you about, Carlos?  He's the one we met the day after Christmas who was ashoein (i don't actually know what that phrase is or how to spell it) for baptism. Well, he's not quite as legit as we thought haha.  This has happened a lot in my mission where we'll teach someone and he seems way legit and then each following visit they get less and less good until we stop visiting them all together.  The more I talk to Carlos the more I'm convinced that he is insane haha.  We found out he has a smoking and coffee problem, then we found out he has a chastity problem, then we found out he has a potential gang violence problem....I'm scared to go see him again to find out what other problem he might have haha.  For real though, he is a really good guy with the best intentions, it's just gonna take a little bit longer to get he prepared for baptism.  That's the news with him. 
Fancisco, on the other hand, is still as legit as ever.  Even more so than before.  I think I told y'all about the Word of Wisdom lesson we had with him and when we asked him if he had any problems with any of it he told us he wants to stop drinking caffeinated soda but that he was already living all the real parts, haha, that was a real good lesson.  He came to church yesterday and payed tithing...he's not even a member yet AND he doesn't have a steady job, always looking for work and money, but he still payed.  When we were talking about his Baptismal service for this Saturday we asked him if he'd have work and he said if he did he'd just quite.  This guy is so cool.  He's got a rock solid testimony that if you put God first in your life He will bless you.  He's a really good example to me in all honesty.  I am excited to be part of teaching him, it's been a real blessing.  It's always feels so nice to bring a normal person who really does love God to the church.  Usually we just bring really weird people haha. He's already buddy buddy with a lot of the branch, too!!
On Tuesday we had a surprise trio for the day. Look up Van Horn, Texas.  It's this little itty baby town in our mission about 2 hours away from El Paso.  There are like 2100 people there and the missionaries live in a crappy trailer.  Those missionaries were getting a new car, so on Tuesday they spent the day in Odessa, we had Elder Hilton with us.  Elder Hilton is way cool.  He served 6 months in Paraguay but had to go home because of medical problems, he was at home for like another 6 months and then got sent out here!  It's so weird to hear him speak Spanish because its like the complete opposite of Tex-Mex.  I like Tex-Mex way better. He just told us way cool stories the whole day about the work they do in Van Horn.  It sounds like a different country.  I forgot how neat it is to serve in small towns.  They only talk to like 2 new people a week and spend most of their time doing service for the community.  They do practically every volunteer work there is to do. It sounds like half the town has adopted them as their own kids and they get so pampered by all the old women.  No one really takes any time to learn about the Gospel, but they sure do love those Mormon boys.  Can you blame them?  I mean, just look at us?
We talked to some guy who was part of some Hebrew migration church, or something like that.  He just lives the law of Moses basically.  As best they can at least.  He was a little upset because there was no Temple, Prophet, or Priesthood so they couldn't follow the law perfectly.  Huh.  Thats weird.  I coulda sworn we had all those things...Oh that's right WE do:)  He wasn't interested in it.  I did ask him if he believe in personal revelation though.  He said he sure does...they call it a "heavy reavy"  I think that is the funniest term ever.  I encourage all y'all to use it oft.  HAaha. 
I love y'all a whole bunch!!  Be safe and I'll talk to you later!

Elder Porter

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Wanton Eyes (Do you think Caleb just comes up with random things for a title?)

Well this week was a doozy!!!  Out of nowhere the weather turned into Godzilla and massacred the whole city of Odessa.  On Tuesday it was really cold in the morning, I bundled up in 2 pairs of thermal dundies, a sweater, and my giant coat with a hat and gloves, of course.  At like 3 or 4 oclock we were walking around and it was misting little drops of rain, but the rain would freeze like the second it hit things.  So by the end of that hour Elder Gillette and I had a 1/4 inch layer of ice on the outside of our coats!  We were all crusty, it was awesome.  If I had a beard it would have been full of ice.  On Wednesday it was SO icy.  Easily the worst roads I have ever driven on.  Last year when it was real icy we were told to stay inside, but not this year!  I never went above 12 MPH but even that was probably too fast.  The Chevy Cruz we drive has bad tires so I couldn't accelerate or brake without sliding all over the place.  It was nuts!  The news paper said there were over 250 accidents reported that day, how nuts is that?!?!?  Luckily #Godwaswithme and I didn't crash ni una vez. Thursday was slightly better.  On Friday it rained all day and was a little bit warmer.  There were HUGE puddles on ever street cause Odessa doesn't know how to irrigate.  The combination of the rain plus the melting roads made ever street a river.  I'm pretty sure our car floated a few times haha. On Saturday it was hot again and everything melted and today there is no evidence it even happened. I love it here.
The West Odessa elders live here in the city but their area to work is really far west, it's basically everything between Odessa and Monahans. They weren't allowed to go to their area because the roads were so bad out there so on Thursday they came and blitzed our area!  A "blitz"  is just like an exchange except both companionships work in the same area.  I spent the day with Elder Berta, he's a brand new greeny from New Jersey.  We got so lucky.  Usually on a blitz you just end up spending all day walking around outside because there isn't enough work for 2 companionships, but that's not what happened to us!  We were walking around and found a less active guy I've been looking f or for 8 months and taught a killer lesson to him AND his 2 friends, it was neat. Then we got to teach a killer lesson to Cody, Yocelin, and Jesus. We read Alma 17 with them about Ammon cutting off arms and connected it to missionary work.  I challenged them all to pray about a mission.  Jesus is going to serve, I know it.  I love that kid so much.  THEN at night we got to teach another LA family.  We taught them about tithing and challenged them to get to the temple this year.  IT was a good good day.
On Sunday morning we got a call from our Zone Leaders informing us that the Chapel in Odessa was broken!  IT couldn't handle the cold.  The heater broke and some of the pipes burst, so it was a real big mess.  They told us we could drive up to midland and go there.  There are 2 churches in midland and I only know where on of them is. Well, the Spanish branch meets at the other one.  I was given an Address and nothing more, we don't have a map of midland and I know almost nothing about the city.  I drove straight to it without a problem.  I don't know if that sounds as awesome to you as it does to me.  It was a miracle!!  God really wanted us to be on time to church, haha.  Elder Heaps, one of my old companions is serving in Midland Spanish, so I got to see him, I was real happy:)

Anyway. I  love y'all a whole ton!! Thanks for all your prayers and love!!
Elder Caleb

About Me

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