Friday, October 9, 2009

Thoughts from the "Mom" :)

Just wanted to add a couple of facts and experiences of my own!
(Sorry Carly - that's what happens when you turn your blog over to your mom!)

So - Last week Steve and I had the opportunity to travel to Utah for Conference weekend. We helped Mark Mabry set up his 2nd Reflections of Christ exhibit in the JSMB - AND it gave us a good excuse to go to conference AND to go and meet Pres. & Sis. Holmes - Carly's mission president. Ohhh - what fun!! Next to some amazing conference talks - It was definitely the highlight of my weekend. We just wanted to briefly introduce ourselves - but they insisted that we sit and visit with them. We are so grateful for the time they gave us - telling us all about the in's and the out's and the up's and the down's of the Temple Square mission - I thought I would share.
- Temple Square has between 4.5 and 5 million visitors a year
- 200 Sister's serve at the Temple Square mission which includes - the Beehive House, Welfare Square and the Humanitarian Center. About 30 Couple missionaries serve also but that is on the decline because the overall couple missionaries in the church is on a decline.
- The sister's on temple square are usually on their feet from 9am to 9pm everyday, and giving 15-16 tour's a day.
- T. S. has a very high security system with camera's and security guards always watching the Sister missionaries.
- T. S. Sister's will also serve an "outbound" mission about half way through their mission. It is treated like their first call - going through the church's missionary committee. They serve for 2-3 transfers and can get called to anywhere in the U.S.
Their call comes just like any other transfer, but instead of moving to a different apartment they pack their bags and head out. They find out on a Monday and leave on Wednesday.
That is a taste of the information we were so lucky to receive. Pres. Holmes told us that these girls work so so hard - and Sis. Holmes told us that they are treated like royalty and have so much fun!!!
It was so fun - and I know so rare for us to meet our missionaries Mission Pres. before our missionary did! :) Carly will absolutely LOVE the Holmes and I know that they will LOVE Carly Jo! How lucky for her!!!
While visiting with the Holmes we did commit to them that if we visit T.S. again in the next 18 months that it would strictly be to spy :) and no official greetings to our missionary! They were happy to hear that committment!

THANKS Mikki for joining us! It was a treat to have you there!

News from the MTC - no one is even allowed to shake hands anymore due to flu and cold season!!

Carly's update as of Oct. 9th, it was entitled - Happy, Happy, Joy Joy!

Happy -
Hey family!This week was incredible! I have been fighting a really stupid cough but that hasn't at all kept been from staying happy and learning like crazy! I get these random coughing fits at the worst times, like when teaching or in the middle of class, hah but it's been ok. I have been asked to sing at the Relief Society meeting for the MTC on Sunday so I am praying that it will go away by then!

Happy -
So was conference not the most incredible thing ever! The power that I felt while sitting in there with 2400 missionaries was beyond explanation! It was seriously so overwhelmingly great. The spirit just filled my heart with so much gladness. I just kept thinking how in the world have I deserved to be so blessed? I loved many of the talks but Richard G. Scott's, Elder Bednars, and of COURSE Elder Hollands I think were my favorites! I loved that the message of God's love for his people was emphasized over and over again! How can we show love for his children in our lives every day? I know that sometimes it is very hard to love people who may not be on our good side, but if we ask for the Lord to help us love others, we can totally receive help and strength!

Joy -
Alright so visitor center training started a few days ago. It has been a lot of fun so far! Hah well atleast I think it is a lot of fun. Some of the other girls are really stressing out trying to figure out how in the world they are going to memorize everything and become like the best tour guides ever! haha I just keep laughing and thinking that hello we must rely completely upon the Lord. It is going to be really difficult to understand everything right away. But just like learning a language it will take us months to get it down. I am SOOOOOOOOOO excited to go to temple square! We had a practice teaching appointment last night and got a feel for what it is going to be like. It was a little bit hard trying to identify the persons' needs and teach them a good lesson in only about 15-20 minutes. That is going to be our challenge at temple square. We have to meet their needs and send them away with something they can change or help in their lives. I cannot wait to share my testimony with people from all over the world. What an incredible blessing that will be! I have felt the spirit witness to me several times while here at the MTC that there are people being prepared for me RIGHT NOW, that I will soon have the opportunity to teach. What a blessing. I know that I must rely completely on the Lord. MY knowledge of the doctrine and of the scriptures is not what will touch their hearts, it will be my pure and simple testimony.

Joy -
The Atonement is and should be the center of our lives. It is through the atonement that we can learn to love others, repent of our sins, overcome sadness, get through any sort of trial, come to know our savior, feel the spirit, and return to live with our Heavenly Father! It literally is everything. I KNOW that our Savior knows us specifically. When we are going through a difficult trial we must trust him in knowing that the trial is absoulutely necessary for our growth and that through it we will only become closer to him. I hope that you all know that trials are blessings, not burdens. WE have to have trials to help us continue to progress. Alma 7:11-14 are scriptures I have been referring to a lot while teaching. It is through our Saviors Atonement that we can and will find happiness!

Missionary Life -
MTC life is great! I have loved every minute here. We are going to Temple Square tomorrow to get put with sisters and exeperience what it is going to be like. We are all so excited to go and meet our mission President and all the sister's! I leave for Temple Square on Wednesday! YAY! I really cannont wait to go. This month here has gone by so fast and I have learned so much. The most stressful thing has been trying to learn and remember all of these scriptures that I love. They are great teaching tools so I am studying so hard so that I can use them while teaching. The church is true! After listening to Elder Hollands talk I don't feel that anyone of us could deny the power of the Book of Mormon and of this Gospel! SHARE your testimony! We are members of the church not only to progress ourselves but to bring our light unto others! I know that as you pray for missionary opportunities they WILL come! The Lord would not keep that blessing from us if we are seeking for it!

Love you all! smiles- Sister Carly Jo Porter

p.s. live every day to the fullest. live in the now, right now. The future will happen, but today is already happening :)

Sis. Porter & Sis. Ketterfeld

This is Carly's letter from last week - Oct. 1st -
We were at conference when it came and I am finally getting around to post it along with some fun pictures she mailed us - enjoy!

Funny Story -
Hi Friends and family!Alright funny story. Yesterday a ton of new missionaries came into the MTC. I was walking back from lunch and saw a ton of Elder's with luggage in a big long line. I looked down the line and yelled "Welcome Elder's!" Really loudly.. they yelled back, "We have been here for like 9 weeks!!!" Hahaha turns out they were the hosts just carrying the luggage. Ya. embarassing!
Spiritual thought -
Spiritual thought of the day. Prayer. why do we need prayer? Nephi teaches us that we must "not perform anything unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ" (2 Nephi 32:8-9). I love this scripture. I have been learning how much our Heavenly Father wants us to pray to him and how we should pray to him. Our AM prayers must be full of gratitude and joy! We have to ask for the Holy Ghost to be with us, until we ask for him, he is on the sidelines just waiting. I am learning how to tell the Lord exactly what it is that I need and want for the day. He is willing to help me out, if I ask him! Then at at night, we must return and report to him in how our day went. We are able to counsel with the Lord and commit to doing even better the next day. 3 Nephi 19 is a great chapter on prayer. I encourage you all to read and study it, and of course to always carry a prayer in your heart!
Tight Schedule & Devotional -
So this is what my schedule is like everyday. 6-630 workout630-7 get ready7- study730 eat breakfast8- study9-12 teaching appointments and companionship studyLUNCHGYM TIME- woo hoo! 2:30-5 class with districtDinner6-9 MDT time. Teaching, referral center, Meetings, evaluations, and more class! 9 planning9:30-10:30 ready for bed, read, and write in journal.
So it varies everyday but they keep us crazy busy . I love it though! The days are just flying by, it is so great! Every night I struggle to have enough time to write out the experiences that I have been having. The devotional this last Tuesday was amazing! Stephan Nadauld and his wife came and spoke to us. I took tons of notes. He mostly spoke about losing ourselves in the work, being bold and forward, and testifying always! He emphasized always having the spirit with us when we teach. That is the only way this message can be carried into the hearts of those who we are teaching. It was so cool though.. while I was listening to the devotional I noticed that I was writing down a lot of things that were not being said. The Holy Ghost was helping me to understand the exact things that I needed to hear, what a blessing! If we are living worthy of it the Spirit will always give us revelation on things that we can change and fix. Where would I be without the direction? Who knows.. probably lost or something :)
Study Journal - getting organized - loving my companion!
I started a study journal that I LOVE! It's a cute little black binder with tabs. I separate them into sections for personal study, class, notes, meetings, and others. It is so nice though to have everything organized and actually be able to use my notes later on. It is so important to take notes always! I hope you all take notes in your church meetings! That is how the Lord can speak to us! When we are willing and ready to write impressions down, of course he will help us and give us council!
YES! My companion and I are doing well. Sometimes it is difficult because she is still going through a culture shock. Sometimes she uses words or terms that are bad here but okay in Austrailia. I try to tell her as kindly as possible that she should probably not say those things. Then she thinks that she has offended me or something. haha it is just funny. She is a complete control person and always in charge when teaching. It's hard for me to give some input sometimes, but I am for sure learning how to be submissive. Luckily she is a great teacher and knows a ton about the scriptures, so it is ok for me to just let her take control I guess. If I try to change things then I have to deal with moodiness. But as long as I am patient we do just fine together. She really is a great girl with a HUGE testimony. We have a lot of fun together. I am learning how to be more quiet, and just follow along :) funny.
Temple Square -
I am used to the crazy schedule and trying to take everything in that I can. We leave for Temple Square 2 weeks from yesterday. So we start visitor center training next week, so exciting! There are 35 sisters in the visitor center group, some of them though are going to the San Diego Temple mission. I met a sister going to TS yesterday from Cambodia and one from Uganda! They are just so beautiful and I can't wait to get to the know them better. Alright everyone I LOVE you all! Keep being reading your scriptures and trying to be missionaries yourselves. Preach my Gospel is for EVERY member of the church. I encourage you all to study it when you get the chance. FEAST upon the words of Christ and your EYES will be opened! I love this work and I am so excited to be a missionary at Temple Square! Being at the MTC is so spiritual in many ways but I must admit that I am excited to go to another wonderfully spiritual place. Temple Square! YAY! -

Sister Carly Jo Porter
p.s. I receive dearelder letters the same day if they are sent before noon. I love getting them and it is so good to hear news and good things from home! loves!