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 Tahiti....like 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!!!

Jesus is the Christ.

Hey Everyone! How's it going?! I'm doing well. 

This week passed by very quickly. We had a pretty fun week. We finished off the week yesterday with the missionary concert here at Paea. There was a pretty good turnout. The singing wasn't the best we've done so far, but the Spirit was there anyways. 

We had normal lessons this week. We had a lesson with Hina, a teenage girl. Someone gave her a "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet. We discussed it because she had a couple of questions. At the end, she accepted the need for rules and said she'd follow them....even the modesty rules! AHHH yeah!

On saturday we had a cool experience. I was doing a split with Elder Chion Hock, who's from the Reunion Islands. We had a couple lessons in the morning and then went to a contacting activity for the sisters of Temarua. Elder Chion Hock and I found a couple of references for the sisters. We both felt as if we should go back down the road and talk to this one drunk guy we saw. We found out that he was a member and that he lived with his brother who's also inactive. We went to go visit his brother but couldn't find him. SO we asked these two kids who were standing by and asked if they had seen the guy. They said no but then directed our attention to the members' 2 kids who were walking up the road. We went to talk to his kids. Turns out, neither of them are baptized and they are interested in taking lessons. SWEET!! We gave the golden reference to the sisters and hopefully we should see a baptism here pretty soon for them! 

We had a very interesting sacrament meeting yesterday. Members used time meant to bear sincere simple testimony to talk about their problems with other members and to let everyone else know that they were offended. And then other people told stories for like 15 min that had no doctrine or testimony in it. That was our sacrament meeting. Luckily our bishop and stake president were there to correct some errors. I wanted to get up and just read Spencer W Kimball's message found in this months Liahona/Ensign about testimonies. Testimonies should be brief, heartfelt statements about what someone believes or knows. The Spirit only testifies, if we testify. If we don't testify, the Spirit will not be there and no one will be edified or taught. 

I would just like to testify that I know Jesus is the Christ. That he is Jehovah, the Son Of God, and the Savior of the world. I know he loves us and I know he hears our prayers. This is the true church of God upon the earth. 

I love you all! Have a great week!!!
Elder Cole Porter

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 works....at 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...

Brightly Beams Our Fathers Mercy

Hey Everyone,

SO this week went by pretty good. My comp and good buddy, Elder Fuller, got transferred to Fakavara. Fakavara is one of the Tuamotua islands. I'm excited for him because he hasn't had a chance to serve on one of the Tuamotua islands yet, but I'm sad because we only got to serve together for a short time. He was in the MTC with me too. But, on a happy note my new comp, Elder Swartz, is also one of my friends that was in the MTC with me. This should be a fun couple of weeks. 

So some things that happened this week. Elder Tokalolo from Vanuatu finished his mission this week. Elder Fuller and I got to drop him off at the airport for his flight...it was pretty early in the morning but it was fun. 

On Thursday we had Leadership Council for all the zone leaders. Elder Sinjoux, an area seventy, and also the former Tahiti mission president, talked to us and it was really nice. Sister Bize gave a training about fear which was super interesting. There was really good food and then President Bize talked about spiritual power. I learned a lot.

Friday, I dropped Elder Fuller off at the airport. I say "dropped off" because it was I that drove. It's the first time on my whole mission that I've had a car. Our car is a 2014 Toyota Hilux. It's not the best handling thing ever, but its cool. I now officially know how to drive a manual car. I have not stalled yet. It was sad to see him go. Then I had to take Elder Souday to the doctors for his back, so that took awhile. Then we had to stop by the Mission Office because Elder Souday had to have an interview with President Bize and then we went to airport to pick up Elder Meyer who's going to be replacing Elder Souday in the area of Papehue. Elder Meyer funnily enough, is from Blanding, Utah. Blanding is where my Grandpa Porter is from and also a place of some very fond family reunion memories. We had a nice little talk about Blanding. I'm apparently the first person he's met here at Tahiti who actually knows where Blanding is. 

Saturday, we were able to do a couple of lessons. We met with our investigator we found the other week. It's the Catholic man from the Marquesian islands that I mentioned last week. So we had a really cool discussion with him on Thursday night. We showed up and they had made us carpaccio, which is raw fish cut very thinly an then covered in olive oil and other spices. IT was super GOOOD!!! WOW! It was good! Anyways, at the end of the lesson we asked if we could come back to talk again. He said, even though he enjoyed talking with us, we couldn't come back. However, I gently insisted. He said no to basically every idea I threw at him. I asked for Sunday and he said "no no definitely not!" He would not say yes to any idea or suggestion I asked. Normally at this point, I would have given up and said " fine whatever" but I didn't want to let this guy go! SO I asked for Sunday one more time, he paused, looked at me, and said, " What time?" and I said whatever time you want. So we fixed a lesson for 10 a.m. YES!! Totally won! 

However, the story is not over yet. SO we went back yesterday and discovered that he had prepared breakfast for us. We had hot chocolate, toast, doughnuts, poisson cru (raw fish) and some juice. We talked about the Book of Mormon. He seemed very interested and he said he'd read a little bit. SO at the end, I asked when we could come back, and do you know what he said..." whenever you guys want"! What!!!!????? We fixed a lesson for next Sunday! I was super pumped! 

Anyways that just goes to show that the Spirit is capable of changing peoples hearts and minds! hehehehe...this should be an interesting week.

One more thing. So the missionary concerts have started. Its where all the missionaries of the island of Tahiti get together and sing some songs. We are going to visit all the stakes here. Its a concert tour! So last night was at FAA'A. It was awesome! The stake center was filled! I don't have any special parts except I'm sort of in a Quartet but with like 9 elders.....so not really a "quartet" at all, but they keep calling us a quartet, so I'm just going with it. We sang "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy" (which happens to be my mom's favorite song right now! She mentioned it in her email three weeks ago and asked me to read the words of all three verses.) We sang in all 3 languages; french, tahitian, and english. It was really cool! 

Anyways!! I love you all!! Have a good day!!!

Elder Cole Porter

Elder Temake, Moi, Elder Kokona, Elder Hill (He was my comp the whole 12 weeks at the MTC)

Flashback to me and Elder Hill at the MTC (we're modeling our crazy socks)

Another "Flashback" and "Flashforward" moment. The top two pictures are me and some of my buddies in the MTC. The bottom pic is some of my MTC buddies at the leadership training meeting this week.