Monday, January 26, 2015

January 26, 2015

Dear family and friends, This week has been a great week, yesterday I burned a tie to mark 6 months, I know I've been out for 7 months, but to mark the 6 months in the field. haha. It was pretty fun! This week I'm leader of the zone with Elder Gonzalez and Elder Lemus, they are great companions and we all get along very well! I don't know if I'll be going to Chahuites or not, they told my that I might stay with them, but who knows. haha. We'll have to see next week. I have been learning so much this week! Being leader of the zone really keeps you busy but it's all good. I felt like a new missionary because I'm in my second area and its the first time I've moved. But I've been able to pick up on things very fast. The language is getting better every week. No, its definitely not perfect and I still have a hard time explaining things in Spanish, but I can pretty much understand it and talk to people. It's amazing and such a wonderful blessing! I love speaking it so much! The only thing that's annoying is that I'm forgetting English! hahaha My companions ask me what words are in English and I just don't remember!!!! It's really  fun! (: Well on Tuesday we spent literally half the day at the bus station to make sure that all the missionaries got on their buses on time and were able to get to their areas, it was a bit sad to say goodbye to Elder De Jesus but I will still write him, haha. My companion from the MTC, Elder Rowland is going to open an area and be companions with another gringo that has only 3 months in the mission wow! Good luck to him haha (; I love him alot!  On Wednesday we had our first zone meeting, I was really nervous and didn't say much but it's all good, I'm still learning.  My ward that I'm in is soo small! There were only 70 people that attended! And pretty much all the members have a calling! haha but they are all united really well! Also it's really weird but they don't have a bishop? Only counselors and the secretary. haha I guess every ward has there personal problems. Our ward missionary leader doesn't know how to read or write and its been a bit of a challenge but when you tell him what to do he does it. He is very loving and kind. haha Well I always forget to write things.  I know there's more to write but this is all I have for now. I'll try to do better with writing things down throughout the week. I love you all(:
Elder Portlock
Good Bye Elder De Jesus

Good Bye Elder Howell and say Hello to your family for me (:

Waiting at the bus station all day

Elder Gonzales and Elder Lemus.  Elder Gonzales is from San Salvador, he is such a great missionary and really knows how to bring the spirit!!  He will be going home in 3 months.  Elder Lemus is also incredible.  He has 7 more months left.  He is the same height as me and is such a great example.  He is from the state of Mexico and is also called the jefe.  They are amazing zone leaders and we work a lot.  (:

Running in the morning with our awesome Chiapas jerseys!

The pictures of the missionaries.

Weird tree but very usefull.  Haha

A picture from my balcony.  I forgot to take pictures of my apartment, I will take pictures though.  But I have SUCH a great house!  It has a water furnace that we have to prepare every morning so we can take warm showers.  Haha.  It's great.

Elder Gonzales

Fotos de mi nueva area.  My area is called Paraiso.  It's not too far from Aguilas.  I can actually see my last area from here, we are like 10 - 15 minutes apart.

Haha!  The big buff man!

The talking bird, haha (:  In this house, you can't see the man but we were teaching a menos activo and he was telling us a story, or course I didn't understand anything, and Elder Lemus turns over to me and tells me in English, "Do you understand him?  Cause I don't."  haha.  He told me that this Spanish is the worst Spanish that he has ever heard!!!!! haha.  It was funny that my comp asked ME if I understood him.  Haha but the bird is cool (:

I thought Emily would like this.  (:

Walking on a bridge

Haha, need water???

Burning my tie, for the 6 months in the FIELD


Monday, January 19, 2015


January 19, 2015

Well Family and friends its Monday again and I have the chance to write home and share the the news from this past week. First to start of is that my mom asked me if there have been any earthquakes. and yes there have haha, I have felt 2 earthquakes in the night, they weren't very big but it sure woke Elder De Jesus and I up! the windows were rattling pretty hard and the ground was shaking, the beds were rattling and we started saying, "elder! elder! whats happening! wow! its a earthquake! well if it gets any bigger we need to leave the house!" well it passed after about 10 to 15 seconds, i don't remember exactly but we went back to sleep! it was really neat because I have never felt a earthquake before! wow cant wait to feel more!
               Well this week for exchanges wow! I'm literally paralyzed haha but very exited! My companion elder De Jesus finished his training and will now be district leader and is going to train. I will be leaving my area Aguilas and will be heading to the zone Tuxtla Mexico for 2 weeks to be zone leader. after the 2 weeks I will be going to the state of Oaxaca in the area of Chahuites to be zone leader! haha wow! words cannot explain! I'm a bit nervous but at the same time very exited! the language is coming pretty slow so ill be training and teaching mostly by example. I have a goal to be exactly obedient and do everything I can be worthy of the spirit. I cannot do it without God and it is true.
     "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."  Alma 26:12

 To all my friends back home I love you all so much! I'm also very happy to see that many of you have decided to serve missions. That's so amazing! I cant believe that I have been here for so long! I still feel like I've only been here for a few months! wow its really crazy! well this week we had a conference with Elder Valenzuela of the 70, he is the president over Mexico, He gave such an amazing talk and I have learned a lot of things!  He talked about the plan for Mexico, working with the ward a lot and how we can have a lot of progress, we made a lot of goals. Also this Friday we planned to go to the temple with a recent convert, we planned to have a lesson in the temple and after do baptisms. 30 minutes before we went we received a phone call, he told us that he doesn't feel prepared to go. we told him ok and hung up. Elder De Jesus and i immediately said we need to go with him right now!!! so we showed up to his house and taught him for one hour!!! we did EVERYTHING we could, we said EVERY possible words we could say to get him exited for the temple. and he still declined and said he doesn't feel prepared and that he will think about it in a few weeks, we left the hose very sad and disappointed, I literally gave it my all to teach him, said everything I could. And I learned a lot, We need to act and do EVERYthing we can for all the people to invite them to partake of the Gospel and the fruit of life. Sometimes they decline but we are missionaries and we are called to this people as disciples of Christ. I also learned that the Temple is very sacred. and some people just don't feel ready and we need to respect that because the temple is holy and no unclean thing can enter it. It's better if he goes when he feels ready because I don't know his thoughts and maybe he wants to repent of something before he goes. Wow! I learned a lot that day, well Elder De Jesus and I still went, De Jesus found two family names that he wanted to baptize so we did that, and after we entered another session in the temple, wow I love the temple so much! I can't explain the feelings I have for it and the things that I learn inside of it.
            Haha I don't know what more to say so I will wrap this week up and write more the next week. thank you for your prayers I love you all!

Catholic Cathedral in the center of Tuxtla

My district

I got to see Elder Rowland at the conference.  He was my companion in the MTC

Changing the house for the Hermanas.  Yes I hair looks horrible.  Haha

Members I will miss

Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015

Well Family and friends this week was amazing.  Unfortunately I was in the house Monday and Tuesday finishing up my sickness.  Its so boring to be in the house! I'm glad I had the experience though. On Wednesday we started to work, and boy this week was great! Each day we had a lot of success. We are teaching this one girl that we found in a contact. All of the family is Adventists and so we had a bit of nervousness of teaching. but they were really nice and let us start teaching. None of them wanted to hear more except this girl. She really believes about Joseph smith and wants to make a change in her life, She didn't want to pray for two lessons because she was really nervous, but she finally prayed and she started to cry, she has attended church this week and she is already in the young women programs. Another family we started teaching are of the religion of Christians. They were very respective, after teaching lesson one we watched the video the restoration. during it they all cried, and bore there testimonies about prayer and faith. I think with some more time and fellow shipping they will attend church and progress. Wow its so great to be a missionary. We give many blessings a week to people who have faith to be healed. There are so many more experiences that I have but I just don't have time to wright all of them. But I will get around to most of them haha. This week I have really learned a lot! As I have been praying for help on how I could be a better man, person and a better missionary , I received revelation on what I have already learned and been taught! Being clean and organized! I really took this to thought and practice this week. And I learned that when you are always cleaning and making an effort to always be organized you always feel good and motivated because you are always changing something. I made a new motto haha, ¨Live as you clean, Clean as you live¨ wow its so simple, but its the only way to live, and you have the spirit with you more often. D&C 88:119. Well I've just been learning so much this week. I've been in the same area for 6 months now! Wow! It's crazy to think that I only have 1 year and a half left of my mission... haha, Transfers are in one week so well see how things turn out(: I really want to go to Tapachula but we'll see. The weather here has been perfect this month! Its not hot at all and not to cold at all, its just... perfect haha! but only here, closer to the coast is a oven they say! I really love this area and I just love the people here, I'm really gonna miss all of them. I have been thinking so much about the scout law this week. It's truly powerful, Dad. Teach it as much as you can!  Family, I love you all and I have so much to  say haha! Take care and have a great time. I love you all(:

Love, Elder Portlock



Col. Epseranza

Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015

Hey family and friends, well this week hasn't been the best week. I've still been a bit sick and I'm hoping to be better for next week. I would go into much details, but I have a bacteria that isn't too bad. I should get over it in a few days. But it has affected a bit of the week, we spent most of the week in the house which isn't fun because its SO BORING haha, but things are doing ok. Well hopefully I'll be able to send a few pictures(: I don't have too much to say this week sorry, but have a good week and  Feliz año nuevo (:

I love the fruit here.  This is a star shaped fruit, it's pretty rare here in Chiapas.

Our Christmas Tree

Calling Home

The Bananas are my favorite.

Doing the studies for the bacteria.  From the picture you can guess what I did, and no, it's not pee.

Eating for the New Year's dinner.

Feliz ano neuvo!