Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Deja Vu

Hey everyone. So, Surprise..... I got transferred in the middle of the week....and my new sector is.....Papeete 2....the sector I was literally just in. Elder Barlow, my old comp, and i just switched places. Everyone is kind of surprised because getting transferred back to an old sector here is super rare. President called me and said he just had a feeling that I was suppose to be in Papeete for my last month, so here I am! I am literally right back where I was a few months ago, Same area, same Ward, same house (back living with the AP's). The only thing new is my comp, Elder Langomazino. 

I was able to say goodbye to the members of the Orofero Ward before I left so I was happy about that. 

All of the Papeete members were really surprised and happy to see me yesterday at Church. The ward has been doing awesome since I left. They are already at a total of 30 convert baptisms for the year which is the highest in the mission. The work is going really well here! The ward leaders and members are highly motivated and are working hard. Its awesome to see their dedication. 

We have some cool investigators that I didn't know before and we have a good week planned ahead of us. 

I have 30 days left!! I got my travel itinerary. I fly out of Tahiti on August 18 @11:00pm and then I arrive in Phoenix on August 19th @4:30pm

Thats about it. I've only been here a day so I don't have any stories yet. I'm sure to have some next week though! I love you all!! have a good week!!!

Elder Cole Porter

Me and my new comp Elder Langomazino.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Vive La France!

Hey everyone! So this week was good. We had some cool experiences and we saw some progress with a couple of our investigators.

So it looks like I'm going to get transferred. I thought I would be in Paea for the rest of my mission but President Bize told me he's transferring me to one of the islands. He told me I could pick which one I go to, but I told him I would leave it up to him. So I find out later today. I'm thinking it might be Bora Bora, but We'll see.

So, first off, France lost to Portugal in the EuroCup so that was disappointing. However, swag to them that they got that far....I mean they destroyed Germany in the semifinals so that in itself was an accomplishment. VIVE LA FRANCE!!

We finished off the week yesterday with a total of 8 investigators that came to church. It was awesome! There were a lot of people we didn't even know so we got some solid contacts. 

Christophe came to church finally!! It was cool to see him there! He left halfway through sacrament meeting...but still....progress.....!

We had Leadership Council on Thursday. The whole gang was there. All my buddies from the MTC. It was really awesome to have Elder Heno there too. Elder Heno is from France and he was my comp last year. I loved serving with him. So we had leadership council with President Bize and it was funny because all the elders from France were receiving updates during the meeting because the France/Germany game was at the same time. If France scored all the French elders reacted, especially Elder Heno! I was dying laughing. 

I got sick on Saturday...I think I ate some bad curry and I couldn't leave the house (for reasons I shall not name. Haha.) It was horrible...luckily the Tahitian prescription for stomach problems is warm Coca Cola, so that was nice...and funnily enough, it worked...I was actually astonished....!

Anyways thats about it for this week!!! I love you all!! have a good week!!! See y'all soon!!
Elder Cole Porter

Leadership council pic
The view from papi Tepa's house.
The Tahitian prescription for stomach issues.

French/Tahitian Parade. Oh Yeah!!!

Hey everyone!! Hows it going? This week was super fun! We had some cool experiences. 

First OFF!!! HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!! Being in a foreign country has really helped me appreciate the awesomeness of AMERICA!! Happy birthday Liberty!

Wednesday, we got to participate in the big Tahitian parade. Tahiti was celebrating "Fete de l'autonomie", It's like their independence day. The lds missionaries were asked to participate and Wallin the parade. We had to stand out in the sun for like 3 hours just to walk for like 5 seconds....but it was cool. It gave the missionaries good exposure. President Bize was very happy with it. That's pretty much all we did on Wednesday.

So Monday night, we did a lesson with a new investigator. It's a lady and Her boyfriend got baptized last year and they separated when he did. They got back together and he convinced her to take the lessons but she doesn't seem that happy about it. They apparently have lots of problems and fights and she blames it on the church. She's actually very angry and bitter. We invited her to pray but she won't. She's allowed her bitterness and anger to cut her off from God and Christ, the only people who can heal and help her. We are trying to help her open up and pray but it's going to take a while. 

We had a super cool lesson with our investigator Phillipe yesterday. He read Alma 7 but didn't really understand. We had an awesome discussion of the Atonement and repentance and baptism. He understood and I know he felt something. He's slowly melting and I'm sure sometime in the future he'll be baptized. I'm just not sure when. He is progressing though. 

We had our last missionary concert yesterday in Papeari. It was a bit sad because it was Sister Caldwells last concert and all the missionaries wrote her letters to thank her. Sister Caldwell and her husband are here serving as a "couple missionary", but their time is done. They have been so wonderful and the mission will be less fun and awesome without them. 

This week I read a lot in the "Teaching of the Presidents" book. I read the biography of every single prophet and I learned so many great lessons. Their stories and examples have inspired me a lot. I was most touched by their devotion and their humility so my goal this week is to be more humble and devoted. We'll see how that goes.

I love you all!!!! Have an awesome week!!
Elder Cole Porter

Pics of the parade.

What a week

Hey everyone, hows it going?! I'm doing well. I'm going to write a short email because not a lot happened this week. 

It rained a bunch!! Like every day!! Rain kind of kills missionary work here so the work was slow. Also I got kind of sick so that slowed us down a bit too. 

Not a lot happened lesson wise. We were able to go on visits with a brother in the ward named Brother Tarano. He's super nice and we were able to visit a couple of inactive families with him. On Saturday there was a sport activity for all the priesthood brethren. We went with the elders of Vaiatu who live in the house with us. When we showed up there was only the elders quorum prez, the High Priest group leader, and his assistant (who happens to be Brother Tarano)! After a bit, Bishop showed up too. So it was pretty funny! There were just 4 young missionaries and 60 year old men playing soccer against each other. I was laughing a lot! 

We had a lesson with Phillipe yesterday after church. We read Alma 40 with him to discuss the resurrection. It was a cool lesson and he enjoyed it a lot. We are starting to see him progress little by little. He even said he might come to church after he gets back from vacation. YES!!!! 

We had the concert at Mahina last night. I saw a bunch of people from my first area of Faaripo! It was awesome!! I also got to see some good missionary friends that I haven't seen in awhile like Elder Heno, Elder Reese, and Elder Paxman! It was a good concert! At the end, of the concert a super sweet Mami (grandma) I knew from Faaripo came up to me and said she had a gift for me. She then handed me a brand new, beautiful, handmade Ukulele!!! It's super cool! I thanked her profusely! Tahitians are some of the most charitable people I know! 

Anyways! Thats about it. We have some cool lessons fixed for this week so I'm sure to have some stories next week. I love you all!!! Have a good week!!! 
-- elder Cole Porter

My awesome new Ukulele.
The Paea Zone.

My typical breakfast, lunch and dinner for the past two years! Cooked fish and Raw fish! Delicious!!

Rain, anyone????
Elder Goodwin, Me, Elder McClelland, and Elder Swartz

Another missionary concert

Hey everyone,
So this week went by pretty fast. We had to work on finding a lot of new investigators, which meant lots of door to door. We didn't do too bad. We ended up finding a couple people who were interested. 

There was not a lot that happened this week. We did a lesson with Phillipe yesterday. We showed up and I asked him if he had any questions. He asked us if we existed before we were born. We ended up having a very nice discussion about the Plan of salvation. He's progressing little by little. 

Last night, we had the missionary concert at Papeete, my old stake. I got to see a bunch of members and old "new" converts. It was awesome to see them there, still active in the church! It was an awesome concert too! Lots of people came!

SO, something interesting that happened this week. Friday, when we were doing some tracting, Elder Swartz saw a dude standing in his yard. For those of you who don't remember, we don't knock on doors here, we yell at the house and someone either yells back that we can come in or they come out and greet us. So...we see this guy and His house was pretty far away from his gate so Elder Swartz had to yell, (louder than normal) to get his attention. He came over and asked us, kind of rudely I might add, what we wanted? Elder Swartz asked if we could have a cup of water. I was dying....this guy was not at all happy to see us and we are asking him for some water. The guy looks at Elder Swartz, smiles a bit, and says wait. He goes and brings back a bottle of juice with some plastic cups. We thought, maybe his heart was softened and he was going to talk with us. Nope. He told us he was too busy to talk so we left. Super weird experience...but I guess if it works it least he'll be blessed for giving the missionaries a drink. Maybe we were just suppose to meet him real quick and then come back. We'll see. 

Anyways, thats about it for this week. I highly recommend, to everyone, Elder Bednar's message in the Liahona for June. It talks about how members can help missionaries. Please read it and apply it! I love you all!! Have a good week!!!!

Elder Cole Porter

Pics of the missionary concerts...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

59 days left.

I have 59 days left here in Tahiti!! I can't believe it. I get home on August 19th and then I start school at BYU on August 24 or 26th!! I got my schedule already from BYU. I'm a little bummed because I wanted to major in Medical Laboratory Sciences and minor in French and Biblical Hebrew, but they won't let me take two languages!! My mom says I should do French because I know it so well now, but I like the challenge of Biblical Hebrew. Any opinions??? 

It's rainy again here in always. This week was pretty interesting.

On Friday, we had a mission conference with some general authorities. Elder Pearson of the First Quorum of the Seventy, Sis Reeves and Sis McConkie from the Relief Society and Primary general boards and their spouses. They gave some pretty cool messages. I learned a lot. 

On Friday, I went on a split in Papara with Elder Chion Hock. He's from the Reunion Islands. There was some baptismal interviews in Papara that I had to do. They were for a mother and her 12 yr old son. I was very touched while talking with them because I realized that Heavenly Father really does prepare people. They met the missionaries, accepted the lessons, and changed their lives in about 2 months. They have strong testimonies and strong desires to obey. 

Later, During the split, we went to go eat with a part member family who were super nice. The food was very good but we ran into a little problem as were leaving. Our truck got stuck in the mud, on a steep incline! It took a lot of pushing from the other men and very skillful driving on my part to get us out of there. The other elder Chion Hock and the ward member we had brought with us enjoyed themselves very much!!! They've never been quadding or off-roading, so this was the closest thing to it for them!! Haha. It was a fun little adventure. 

We found a cool new investigator this week. His name is Puahea. We found him one day as we were tracting. We gave him a brochure and he read it. He has a lot of good questions and he understands very well. He's a Sanito (member of the RLDS religion) but doesn't know much about his own church, nor of Joseph Smith. I'm very excited to see how he progresses this week. 

Anyways, thats about it. I love you all! Have a good week! 
Elder Cole Porter

Rain anyone??

Scripture Power

Hey Everyone, 

So this week was interesting. Monday was as stressful as always, seeing as I'm kind of a chauffeur now for whenever a missionary needs a ride. But I don't mind. 

So we had some cool experiences this week. We've been teaching a inactive brother whose wife is the Primary president in the ward. He's a convert and he's been inactive for a while. His big problem is cigarettes. He's tried stopping before but he hasn't been able to. We started teaching him because he's kind of been put aside in the ward because everyone already knows him and everyone assumes that he's not going to be able to change. We had a very cool lesson with him and we came up with a cool idea to help him stop smoking. We made plastic pill bottles filled with rolled up pieces up paper with scriptural passages written on them. Every time he's tempted to smoke he has to take one out and read it. Picture is attached....

Thursday night, we had to go all the way over to Mataiea to get Elder Temake. He had a flight to Apataki early in the morning and he had to be at Faa'a that night so the zone leaders could drop him off in the morning. It was fun! 

Saturday, Elder Swartz and I went to Tautira which is the farthest sector away on Tahiti, for a baptism. Elder Swartz got permission from President Bize to stay the night there so he could confirm another investigator the next day. So I took Elder Ateo home with me. He's waiting for his visa to go to Auckland on his mission. 

Yesterday was Mother's Day for France so Sacrament meeting was themed around mothers. All the men sung in a choir and it was awesome. 

The missionary concert yesterday was at Punauuia, and it was awesome. There were a lot of investigators there! The stake president gave a really good message afterwards. It was well organized! 

Anyways, thats about it for this week!!! I love you all!! See you soon!

Elder Cole Porter

At the missionary concert.

Me and elder Swartz 

The courtyard of our ward building....not to shabby.

The "scriptural medicine" we made for our investigator.

Me and elder hill (he was my companion the whole 12 weeks were in the MTC) I love that guy!!!