Monday, May 25, 2015

Fugu

Hey Everybody! Hows it going? Everything's good here in Rangiroa! This week was busy and crazy fun! Elder Palombo and I worked really hard and we were able to fix 3 baptisms. We had an awesome week!
 
We had a lesson with one investigator and he wants to get baptized but he needs to get married first. Him and his girlfriend were hesitant at first and wanted to get married next year. We told him that he needs to get married as soon as possible so he can receive the blessings of baptism. He felt the Spirit really strong and decided that he wanted to get married on August 14, his sons birthday. It's amazing how the spirit can move you to action.
 
We had a lesson with Teanuanua, an 18 year old soccer player. We had our first lesson with him 2 weeks ago. He immediately knew it was true and when we met with him for another lesson yesterday, he told us he read the book of mormon every morning and night since the first lesson. He also told us he quit drinking beer. We hadn't even discussed the word of wisdom with him yet,  but he decided on his own that he wanted to quit so he did!!! And he agreed to baptism yesterday! such a cool investigator!
 
Friday we were at the other part of Rangiroa and we ran into a German tourist. He started talking to us about things to see here on the island and then he asked us about our Church. He said he's been traveling for two years and that he lived in Bolivia for awhile so he speaks Spanish. He told us that he tried to take the missionary lessons there in Bolivia but the missionaries couldn't come to his house. The whole time we were talking to him we were talking in English. It was so difficult. I haven't spoke English in 6 months. I said "like" like a billion times. I could just imagine President Pugmire standing there and shaking his head every time I said it. He was very curious and he said that he was going to look up Mormon.organd take lessons when he returned to Germany. It was a super cool experience.

I had a phone interview with president Bize last night and he said I'll probably stay on Rangiroa until September. Partly because the work is going so great here on this tiny island and because our two investigators asked me to baptize them in August. AND partly because our two little branches need me to play piano for them every Sunday. YES, my mom was right! I can't tell you how many times I'd  start to complain about practicing piano and she'd say "Honey...someday when you're on your mission you'll be grateful you know how to play". Thanks mom!

Remember a few weeks ago how I told you one of our investigators promised to make us Fugu (blowfish) for dinner? It's a poisonous fish, but they have a secret family recipe. Well, they made it for us. It was delicious!!! Here's the before and after pictures....
Fugu before it's cooked.
Fugu after. It doesn't look pretty but it was delicious!!

Love you all!
Elder Porter

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Transfers

Hey everybody! Hows it goin! Its goin good here in paradise! 
 
Elder White left yesterday for Papeete. He'll be home in Provo by Wednesday. My new comp is Elder Palombo from Spansih Fork Utah. He's awesome and he will be finishing in August and then going home. This week was awesome! We taught a good amount of lessons and we have some really cool investigators! 
 
Firstly, we had Manutea's baptism Saturday. It was amazing! The Spirit was really strong and his family is interested in the lessons now. They said is was so much better than the baptisms they've gone to before for people of other  religions. Elder White got to baptize him in the ocean. Lucky dog! 
 
We fixed a baptism with Moerava one of our other investigators. She's getting married in july so her baptism will be in august. She's become a really smart and hardworking investigator. She reads everything she can get a hold of on the gospel Library app. She even read a little bit of Preach My Gospel. 
 
Everything's going really good here. It's really cool to see people recognize the different spirit and atmosphere of this Church. Its sometimes hard for us to recognize the Spirit cause we are so used to it but people who have rarely felt it get hit with extreme amounts of joy and peace. It testifys to them that this is the true Church. 

On a different note, some of the things my family was asking about when we skyped on Mother's Day were: 
Where do you live on the island? 
We live in a little house on the more populated side of the island. We don't have air conditioning and we have to keep all the doors and windows shut tight because people like to look into our home and for security reasons. It makes our home extremely hot and humid inside! We don't have a shower inside the home so we shower outside with a hose. There's and old Chinese man that watches us, but whatever! 
How big are the branches on the island?
There are two branches, the Avatoru branch and the Tiputa branch. We have to take a boat to the Tiputa part of the island everytime we go over there. The Avatoru branch has about 100 members, but only 40 attend church. The Tiputa branch has about 20 members and 10 attend church. When we're at the Tiputa branch it's like the "LDS elders show". We bless and pass the sacrament and then we give the talks in sacrament. Oh, and I also play the piano for all the hymns. We're going to ask President Bize to send some "senior couple missionaries" to that branch to help build up the priesthood leadership.
Are you always sweaty?
YES! We are constantly wet and sweaty!! There's no avoiding it. It rains everyday and it's hot and we're in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. 
What language do you speak the most of on the island of Rangiroa?
We mostly speak French, but we also speak Tahitian to a few people. The younger generation of French Polynesia doesn't know how to speak Tahitian as well as the older generation. What you'll find in a family is that the children only speak French, the parents speak mostly French, but also Tahitian, and the grandparents mostly (or only) speak Tahitian, with a little French. 

Those are just a few of the questions I've been asked. 
 
I love you all! Talk to you next week!!!

Love,
Elder Porter

   Me and Elder White at the airport saying goodbye as Elder White flies home to Utah!



Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day

Hey everybody! This week went by super fast! We got Standards of Excellence again, but barely. It took all Saturday to find one more new investigator. We had a lot of really cool lessons this week. We have a fixed baptism for this saturday and he's doing awesome. During a lesson this week he asked us if he could come with us to lessons and bear his  testimony to the other investigators. How cool is that!! He's not even baptized yet and he already wants to share the gospel. We met another investigator who was super interested in the Bible and Book of Mormon! We gave him a Book of Mormon and some brochures and he's been reading alot. People are rarely this excited for the Book Of Mormon. A lot of our investigators are doing awesome and its cool to see how much the gospel changes people!
 
So I didn't have any super spiritual exp√©riences to share this week, but since its Mother's Day I'll try to be emotional instead, since I know my mom likes that. I rarely cry during lessons, however, it has happened before. The only time I really tear up is when we talk about the sealing power of the temple. I have a strong testimony of that. When we teach about the temple I usually start off by telling the investigators about how my two little sisters are adopted and how I got to go to the temple to watch them be sealed to my parents. The spirit witnesses to me, and hopefully those I teach, that these things are true and I tear up when I express my gratitude for the temple. And for the blessing of being sealed to my sisters and family forever. Happy Mother's Day Mom. This is the best present I could think of. 

Love, 
Elder Porter

    My sisters.



Monday, May 4, 2015

Standards of excellence.....with lots of hard work!

So this week was killer! We got Standards of Excellence again.....with a lot of hard work of course! Our ami (investigator) with a fixed baptism had his interview yesterday and he's good to go! He's progressed so much! He went from doubting prophets and the book of Mormon to testifying of them to other investigators! His baptism is the 16 of May. We are so excited! We also found a new investigator yesterday. His name is Teanuanua. He accepted the lessons readily and within the first five minutes he looked at our badges, saw the name of Jesus Christ and then told us that the Mormon church is the true church because its the only church that bears Christs name!!!! How cool this that? He knew just by the name that this is the true church. 

The other day we met a lady who worked in a boutique store. She's a Sanito or member of the Reorganized church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She told us she went to BYU Hawaii for college and has had all the missionary lessons! She was super nice and wants us to teach her boyfriend. So cool! 

We had a faatamaaraa, or meal, with a member family. It was really good fish and he told us that his family has a secret way to prepare and cook Fugu or blowfish. Its really hard to prepare because of the poisonous sack in the stomach but his family are the masters of preparing and cooking Fugu and he promised to make us some!!! 

Yesterday we met some tourists from my home town of Mesa! They were on a cruise. The husband taught Seminary at Gilbert High School. I think his name was Brother Welsh or Welch. They were really nice but it was weird and difficult to speak English. 

Love you All!!! Talk to you soon!!!!
Elder Porter

Me and our investigator Noarii at the marina right after a lesson.