Porter flag

Porter flag

Monday, November 28, 2016

Is it Christmas yet?

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving this past week. Not being in America during Thanksgiving is so different. Since of course it isn't celebrated here in the Philippines, I bought a little Thanksgiving myself and I decided to cook all the best Thanksgiving tradition foods for my comp and I. Since we don't have an oven or microwave it was a little more difficult to cook. The food wasn't quite the same in texture and taste, but it still felt like I was back home. After dinner Elder Tagal and I put up a Christmas tree. Actually we bought one of the like 6 inch Christmas trees at one of the stores and decorated that, so now we have some Christmas spirit in our apartment. 

Sounds like it's been pretty cold out there. I am not going to lie I wouldn't mind seeing a little snow or feeling a cold breeze right about now. I am just sweating as I type this email ;) The BYU game sounds like a good time. It's hard to even picture being at a football game now. It's been so long since last season.  Also, thank you for the Christmas boxes. It has taken all my effort not to open them and see what Santa has for me ;) and p.s my comp was beside himself when he realized that one of the boxes was for him. He has never been able to open a present before on Christmas, which is sad but know that you have made him so happy. He says how much he can't wait till Christmas. I'm not sure who's more excited, him or me. 

Everything here is going quite well. Rowena is figuring out her marriage issues right now, so she should be ready for baptism on Dec. 10th I am beyond happy for this because Rowena has been the first person I feel like I have personally touched in my mission. Everyone says that their are certain people you will meet on your mission for a reason, and I know she is one of those for me. Nothing has made me happier than seeing her and her family progress in this gospel. There is a certain joy you feel when you help someone rekindle the light of Christ inside them. 

I love and miss you all. Hope everyone has a great week and a good start to December.

Elder Porter Richards

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from the Philippines

How is everyone doing? Quick congrats to all my Bingham boys, to my cousin AO your still my idol!!

My comp for the week Elder Miller was gone was Elder Lorenzo. He is as we say in Tagalog "estig". We did a lot of great things the week we were together. He is really great with members so I definitely took note of that and how it can improve me as a missionary. 

My new companion is Elder Tagal. He is from Cagayan Valley, which is somewhere in the Philippines, but I couldn't really tell you where. He is a great person in general. His best characteristic is he has a desire to work hard which I love. He is also very giving and loving which I can always learn from. He always wants to be serving me and others, so I know that he is an instrument in the Lord's hands. He struggles with English, but that's alright because my Tagalog has improved since being with him just for a week. Even though there are times where are communication is difficult. I have learned that if you smile and enjoy where you are at and who you are with the language barrier doesn't matter. Elder Tagal tells me stories all the time that I don't know what he's truly saying, but I just enjoy laughing at them any way. It makes the time we have together more great.  I honestly love this guy to death. I know these next few transfers will be challenging but I know I will learn a lot from him.

I had my first baptismal interview that I was conducting. I don't know who was more nervous, the 9 year old I was interviewing or myself. All said in done though I survived. The kid was quite smart and knew every answer to my questions.

Our work here in Hagonoy is doing alright at the moment. We have been getting punted a lot lately which is okay. It can wear on you a little bit when it is 3 o'clock and you are sweating, but smiling is always the trick. Smiling is the cure to all trials in life. 

Rowena has some struggles with obtaining her marriage license, but everything happens for a reason so maybe Dec 10 isn't the timing for her, but I do know that one day, she will be baptized. 

Love and miss you all. Have a good one. 

Lastly, Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Elder Porter Richards

Monday, November 14, 2016

Tears of Joy for Vaughn and Mikko

How is everyone doing now? So I hear Trump is the new President? What is happening in America? I guess that could be good too.

Well were do I begin for the week. Elder Miller left and that was hard but I am happy for him to get home to his family. I had a new companion for one week named Elder Lorenzo. He is such a nice guy. I have enjoyed being with him. He is as we say in Tagalog "estig". We did a lot of great things during week we were together. He is really great with members so I definitely took note of that and how it can improve me as a missionary. 

Friday was another good day until I got a call from the Zone Leaders telling me that I was going to be a trainer. As soon as I heard those words a little bit of a panic attack happened. I know I have so many inadequacies and am not ready for the responsibility. I do not think I have ever prayed so hard in my life after receiving that news. Personally I just don't know if I am ready, but I do know that I can be strengthened with the faith I have. 

On Saturday I had the opportunity to baptize 2 of our investigators. Vaughn and Mikko. After the ordinance while we were all changing in the bathroom we were standing there in complete silence. All you could hear was the weeping that was taking place. The Spirit was there with us and you could feel it. I remember just looking at these 2, thinking to myself, these 2 are children of God. And all the hard work that just wears me down day after day is worth it. It's for moments like those, where you can look someone in the eyes, and know that the Spirit has touched that makes me continue to work so hard.

On Monday we had transfer announcements. I already knew I was going to become a trainer so I wasn't really expecting to much, but as the ZL's were reading what was going on in the mission they got to my name and said congratulations Elder Richards, you are training and you have been asked to do one more calling, you are the new District Leader of your zone. I already knew and felt all the pressure I was under for training and I thought that hearing this news would put me over the edge, but something came into me and reassured that everything will be alright and I was called for a reason by an inspired Mission President. I look forward to the opportunity to become close with my District members and for all the experience that I will gain from this. 

Please keep praying for our White Christmas here in the Quezon City North Mission on December 10th. Your prays are heard and are helping so much.

Hope everyone has a more than good week. Love and miss you all.
On our way to an appointment.

Elder Richards

Baptism of Vaughn and Mikko
Elder Lorenzo
Our District.

Monday, November 7, 2016

4 months down!

Hello to all! 

How was everyone's week? Everyone survive? 

Well there's another week that has come and gone. It's crazy how fast time goes by sometimes. In the moment it feels never ending, but then I think back, and woaah, 4 months has gone by.
This week was primarily spent visiting a lot of people because it was Elder Miller's last week. So teaching wasn't much, but it was still nice to visit members and be able to build relationships with them. 

Elder Miller leaves tomorrow which blows my mind. I feel like yesterday I was walking off the Jeepnie for the first time in Hagonoy and seeing Elder Miller. I truly will miss that guy. 

2 of our investigators, Mikko and Vaughn (they are brothers), had their baptismal interview on Saturday. It should have gone all smooth but when only Mikko showed up Elder Miller and I looked at each other and were like what the heck? Mikko said Vaughn was still sleeping at their house. I have never truly been so upset at someone as I was in that moment. Elder Miller and I decided to walk to Vaughn's house and go wake him up. As we were walking and I was just so frustrated, I thought to myself, nothing good will come from being mad. So in that moment I tried with all my might to smile. We finally reached Vaughn's house, and the lock was on the door. SO no one was home. I sat there in devastation, but with a smile on my face. Elder Miller and I made the walk back to the church, only to learn that Vaughn was there and in his interview. Oh how those words brought a true smile to my face. I learned from that if we smile in times of trial, God will always help us out. Because times of despair have not come to last, they have to come to pass. If you always see the good in what is going on in life, God will help you and bless you more. 

I would love your prayers over the next month. We have what is called a White Christmas coming on December 10 which is a mission wide day were everyone should have a baptism. Thanks in advance.

Love and miss you all. Hope everyone has a good week.

Elder Porter Richards