Sunday, December 27, 2015

MTC (week 6)

Merry Christmas to everyone. So,  Monday was Monday (as in nothing really happened), Tuesday was Tuesday (I cant even remember what happened that day), Wednesday I think I remember a native-Spanish speaking missionary from across the hall laughing at me as I tried to speak spanish, but I can't remember exactly because I feel like the native-spanish speakers are always laughing at us! Thursday was Christmas eve and that day my fellow zone members and I gave some presents to our teachers. We created some binders for them with our testimonies and thoughts written down. As I wrote down my testimony I realized how truly helpful they were for me, and how much I'll miss them. We gave them the presents and Hermana Imbler was crying (haha whoops) she really liked it I guess. Hermano Savio was tearing up a little bit too, which was nice to see. Hermana Imbler also shared with us a spiritual thought that I'll share with you later in this email (because you got to end these things with a good note). So then friday was Christmas, bets were placed by some of the guys in my zone as to who would come and talk to us. We narrowed it down to Elder Bednar, Holland or Christoffersen. The verdict ended up being Elder Bednar, which I learned everyone was super excited about because apparently no teenager can handle remaining mature and keeping there YEEHAS and WHOOPS to themselves. It was totally obnoxious to me though! But anyway, he shared a great talk. He is a great speaker and his wife shared something that really helped me with my goals. Elder bendar also made it kind of seem like he's read the Book of Mormon a lot.... like a lot, a lot. He  gave some advice that might come in handy... he said that when he wants to work on a Christlike attribute or if he has a question then he takes a cheap paperback book of mormon and and he reads the whole thing, marking up, as he goes, all the parts that deal with that single idea or question he had. Then after he is done reading he reviews all that he read and all his notes and then writes a one page summary about what he learned. Then, on the spine of that Book of Mormon, he'll write what that one taught him. For example, he might write... "patience 1" Or "qualities of God" and then puts it on a shelf so that he can go back and read it again if he needs too. This was really amazing to me. 

Then we all got 20-30 minutes to call home. I loved talking to my family. I miss them so much. I got to share my testimony with them. My parents asked me what I've learned that will help me the most as a missionary. I feel like the most important thing I've learned is how much our Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of His us. Every time I'm teaching an investigator I feel such an overwhelming feeling of love and concern for them and all I want to do is help them. I'm positive that my feeling of love is just a tiny spark compared to our Saviors love for us. I've also learned that because of that love, Heavenly Father inspires His missionaries to teach and say the things His children need to hear. This has been a great testimony builder for me. I also got to tell my dad that EVERYONE around me is sick, but not me!!! Ha! My dad sent me with every vitamin and herbal remedy and drug he could think of to help me stay well. My roommates are constantly making fun of me every morning as I pull out about 20 pills and take them one by one! But I'm healthy and they're sick, so.....

Later that day we went back for another devotional but they tricked us and it was actually David Archuletta who came and sang for us. I wish I was a bigger fan girl or something because that would have totally been awesome and I can imagine it would be kind of fun to freak out like some sort of super fan nerd. was whatever, you know? He was a really good singer though and he's kind of funny too. Sadly, that was like the closest thing I've ever come to seeing a concert, haha. So my first concert was me, sitting in my church suit, with a passive face, and clapping when appropriate. He did  share his testimony, which was great by the way. 

Okay, so I know I already shared this thought that my teacher Hermana Imbler shared with the class, but it was so impactful to me that I want to share it again with more detail. It's something she learned in one of her college institute classes. She warned that this is not necessarily doctrine, but when she shared this I felt the spirit so strongly that I'm inclined to believe. So she was saying that in Isaiah 53 it talks about Jesus Christ with some great imagery about the things he went through for us. Verse ten says "Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seedhe shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand." Two Parts are really important, the first part is "He shall see his seed" and "He shall prolong his days". From this we can form a thought that speaks this to our heart and soul. God being the Master of time and space, could've prolonged the life of His son Jesus Christ while he was atoning for our sins, and that when it says He shall see his seed, it means that He not only saw our faces but saw our lives. The thought is that, though it had only been hours for the apostles, the Savior Jesus Christ was in the garden of Gethsemane for billions of years, living each and every one of our lives, so that He could perfectly help us in our trials and weakness and know with exactness, how to comfort us or strengthen us. I love this personally because before,  I always imagined that the atonement was just a mass pile up of everyone's sins, sorrow and pain. But if you imagine it the other way, the atonement becomes exceptionally personal. I'm trying my best to articulate this perfectly so that you can understand and feel what I feel about this and I hope you did feel something. I know that the atonement did happen. It was the single most important event ever accomplished in the history of time. And now, as I imagine my Savior in the garden for billions of years, living each of our lives, I can see and feel more clearly the significance of Jesus's pain and I'm excessively grateful for his sacrifice.  

yo se' que el evangelio es verdad y la expia'cion de jesucristo fue por mi vida personalamente y por las vidas of todos personas en el mundo. yo se' que Padre Celestial es real y nostros somos hijos de E'l. God cares about us, that is why he sent His son. En el nombre de jesucristo amen.

I fly to Argentina tomorrow morning. I'm a little freaked out, but I'm also excited. Talk to you all from Buenos Aires next week.

Elder Ren Porter

Here's a bunch of group photos.....I'm pretty much standing in the back of all the pics, so you'll have to look closely.

MTC (week 5)

okay, so my flight plans came in today and the verdict is............I'm flying to Atlanta georgia and then straight to buenos aires Argentina on December 28th!!! I know I know its totally dont need to tell me. haha. My entire district has been waiting to look over our flight plans. I almost cried because I was so happy and sad that I was about to start my mission but that I was probably never going to see any of these guys again. AGGHHHHH!! I hate goodbyes!! I've bonded with these people so much. They are like my brothers and sisters now (at least to me). I don't want to say good bye. Luckily, there's lots of candy in my zone so I can just eat my feelings or something. Anyway, besides that I had a good week. We got new people in our zone and they're nice guys so I kind of have the best zone ever. Also elder udall's mom sent me and udall yoyo's. So we pretty much use the crap out of those things and I realized how much I love yoyo's!!! Everyone in the entire zone is jealous of our yoyo's though, so everyone is having there mom send them a yoyo too!!!! We started an epidemic pretty much. It is super cold here! My face and hands are purple alot. I look like the grim reaper walking around in my big jacket, but, at the same time I make the reaper look good. Everyone thinks its crazy that I've never seen snow fall before but I just laugh and say "dude I'm from the valley of the sun". 

The food here is really helpful.....helpful like laxative. The hermanas in our classroom hate being in there with us because it either smells like boys or like farts. I pray for them at night to have patience with us elders. 

So lots of really cool stuff happened this week and I learned alot. The experiences I'm about to share are really sacred to me. I won't go in to detail but I will tell you the general jist of them and I hope you will still feel the spirit. 

Experience and elder udall taught this last thursday to a member sister over skype in Mexico. We planned what we wanted to do and we hoped that God would help us to help her, and Heavenly Father did help her. Heavenly father was able to use me and my companion, the yoyo duo, to help this sister become closer to Jesus. I don't even know how, but Heavenly Father knew how and it worked. 

Experience number two happened on tuesday, we went in to help this guy get baptized and through Christ's help, and the guidance of the sprirt. He was able to read a scripture that had great impact on his life and that definitely helped him grow closer to God. 

Experience number three.  This happened last Saturday. This one was possibly the most important experience of my mission so far. Without going into to much detail, what happened was that this young women came in for us to teach. The people that come in are volunteers who act like an investigator. They usually follow a script and we practice teaching them. The young women that we taught last Saturday brought in her own personal deep feelings to the lesson and not the usual actor feelings they usually do. Because of that, me and my companion's original lesson derailed and we addressed her personal problems instead. The spirit taught her so powerfully, and it gave her solice and comfort. I feel so blessed and privileged that I was able to be an instrument to deliver the message that the Lord wanted her to hear. We didn't find out until later that they were her own personal feelings and not part of the script. Now why is this my most important experience? It was my most important experience because I was a witness to the reality of the Spirit. I Felt the Love that God had for this person. I knew then that when Jesus said, in D&C 84, that He would be on our right and on our left, that that was true. I have no doubt that my Older Brother was there with this, His little sister. Consoling her and telling us missionaries what to tell her for Him. I now know that I have no need to fear, because God knows and cares about each of His Children and I care about His Children and now I'm really excited to help more people in Argentina through His Loving guidance. I know now that we elders and sisters of the church do recieve revelation for members and non-members alike. yo lo se es verdad.

I love you all! Have a wonderful Christmas!
Elder Ren Porter
Email address-

Me and Elder Udall with our TRC investigator.
The two elders on each end are headed to Mesa, az for their mission. And us four in the middle are all from AZ, but headed to Argentina. I told them that Pete's fish and chips is a must!!!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

MTC (week 4)

hey mom, my week was really cool. I got a lot done and I learned alot of new stuff about how to be a better missionary. Also everyone loves the beef jerky you sent up. I joined the MTC choir, the music director is a really cool guy. I whistle all the time here and my teacher, Savio, wants me to teach him how to do it. My comp tells me to shut up every now and  then but it's subconscious. I don't even realize I'm doing it until someone tells me to stop. (If any of you reading this have never heard Ren whistle, you're missing out. It's the most beautiful and odd talent he has). The spanish is coming along, its improving but super slow. I'm still getting along with my comp, his personality is like a mix between drexton and bridger, so I love being his comp! And we're not able to call home on christmas. and yes I'll send some more pics today. 

That's awesome that dad is taking piano lessons. Tell him he better be as good as me and cole when i get back!

Elder Porter 

My first haircut in the MTC AND my first haircut ever from anyone besides my mom....
Guys in my zone being weird....
A bunch of districts going to Argentina...
Random, weird pic...

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The MTC (week 3)

So, last week was really good. One of my teachers is super cool and he always pumps us up and makes us feel motivated to learn, which is awesome. My Spanish is coming along. I set a bunch of goals for myself to learn it so hopefully I can stick with it. My comp, elder Udall is great. He's doing awesome with his Spanish, considering he's never taken Spanish before. He's been sick lately so that's not good. And he's constantly getting mad at me because I take to long to shower and get ready in the morning, the same thing you'd always get mad about mom (haha) but I can't help it, I'm just slow!!
This week my teacher showed us this video to get us pumped to learn and to teach us how to keep going even if we are tired. It helped alot and I'm glad he showed it to us. At then end of every day we have personal study, companion study and language study and it gets pretty hard to stay concentrated and awake at that point. So, one of the things that impressed me in the video was a quote from President Eyring. He said "whenever I feel like giving in to my laziness or when I feel tired I just need to remember Him and His atonement. That He was never weary to do good but always did what was good and right unto the end, even after He died he went to the spirit world and taught the people there and ministered unto them" and because He did this I can stay awake those three hours at the end of the day and learn the gospel and Spanish and not do it grudgingly!! 

My other teacher shared a thought that I really loved. She said that when she imagined the Atonement usually she imagined it being a couple of hours but then she read in the scriptures about how God did prolong the days of Jesus, since God is the master of time as well. So then she tried to imagine it like Jesus was in the garden for billions of years, living every single life of every person on the earth who ever lived and seeing each of our faces as He did so. I could feel the spirit very strong when she was sharing this thought and I really like that point of view. It makes the Atonement feel so much more personal in that way. I'm grateful that she shared that thought with us. Yo se que los profetas son verdad y el evangelio is en el mundo y yu se que Dios es nuestro amoroso padre celestial. En el nombre de Jesucristo amen.

Love you,
Elder Ren Porter

Elder Atwood, Elder Meyers, Elder Udall and me, in front of the Provo temple. There's also a random dude photo bombing us in the background. Do you see him? He's got a giant red beard and hat on!
Lunch time.
Me doing a selfie with Elder Hyer, who looks and acts just like my brother Cole (who's on a mission in Tahiti right now)
Four missionaries from Arizona, all headed to Argentina.