Wow!! that is so exciting that Denver and Camilla are engaged! CONGRATS!! I screamed with excitement here in the library, haha whoops. Really though Denver and Camilla I could not be more happy or excited for you! I am a little sad that I can't talk with you on the phone or be there to give you big hugs! I think about family every single day here on my mission, I miss you guys like crazy. I didn't realized before my mission how hard it would be for me to have so little contact with you guys. But know that I love you and pray for you every single day.
So how fun will this Christmas be for you all? Denver engaged and Drew married! I really cannot believe it! I never thought it would happen.... hah jk. Now I'm next I guess. hmm give me 2 years.. :)
So this last week was so wonderful once again. We are on the sqaure every day all day long, just walking around and inviting everyone we see to hear more about the Gospel. I finished reading the book Our Heritage yesterday and it was so amazing. Being a missionary is not easy at all, but as I read from this book every day I really came to understand the sacrifice that so many before me have gone through. We tell people every day about the faith and sacrifice of the Pioneers, it is so real! I can literally feel that amazing spirit of faith and hard work here at temple square.
Yesterday I was explaining to a family how strong their faith was. I told them that they did not walk over 1300 miles for no reason. They MUST have believed in this Gospel so strongly that their faith is what pulled them along.
This is a wonderful story. The story is of Nellie Puccell who was 10 years old. Both of her parents died on their way here to the valley. As the weather got colder her and her sister one day collapsed and thought to die right there. A man placed Nellie in the wagon and her sister Maggie walked along the side of it. When they arrived in the valley they removed Nellies shoes and stockings and her skin came off with them. They had to amputate both of her feet and she walked on her knees for the rest of her life. She lived to marry and have 6 children. Isn't that incredible? I love the stories of the pioneers. They really helped me this week!
It is starting to get really really cold here and it snowed a few times last week. Some times I didn't want to keep walking in the cold in circles around the square looking for people. But then these incredible stories would come to mind and I would realize that I have nothing to ever complain about! Many missionaries in these days serve in other countries with absoulutely nothing! They completely put their trust in the Lord, so that is what I will do also! I know that it is only through our extremities that we come to know the nature of God. We learn of his love for all his children and how ready he is to take us into his arms! I feel that the world fogs our eternal perspective constantly. There are many things in the world that offer to bring us happiness, but that happiness does not compare to that of our Heavenly Father's plan for us. Amid all our trials and hard times we find answers in the scriptures and in the words of our living prophet! I'm excited for this time on my mission to learn, change, and become something. The lord teaches us "line upon line, precept upon precept". No matter where we are in life right now, there is always more to learn! There is always something we can do better! I have met so many interesting people here every day. Actually almost every single day I have a group of adults come from Boston, crazy huh? Yesterday I gave three Book of Mormons to some friends from China! Yay!!
I also talked with a family who is of the Nazarrene faith, which I had never heard of before. They were very very nice but the father was kind of funny. He believes completely in God but has wierd beliefs. At the end of our time with them, he looked me boldly in the face and said, " there is no true church or one true church on the earth today, and that's that". He said it in a way that stirred my heart. I wish I could have proved to him somehow that there IS a true church! But I knew I could only look at him with a smile and share my belief that this is the true church. Only through sincere study and prayer can we know that for ourselves.
I also had wonderful experiences in the RC (referral center) today. It was really neat to talk with people all over the country with different and unique circumstances. I talked with an amazing woman today who ordered a Book of Mormon and now she is getting baptized in a few weeks! I spoke with a woman in Louisiana who was hillarious. She loves the missionaries and thinks they are young but that they know their stuff. She kept saying "baby girl you need to get yourself down here and we can talk about Jesus together" haha it just made my day!
So, life is wonderful! Sometimes it is hard at the Square to not get distracted. I have seen a few friends here and cute families that come here every day. It is impossible to not think of my family and friends and hope that everything is well back home. BUT I know that the Lord is watching out for you all and that I will be blessed for this sacrifice. The Church is true! Love you! -Sister Carly Jo Porter