hey everyone! This week was so wonderful! I LOVE this season here at Temple Square. We work so hard all day every day and when I get home at night I just fall on my bed. It's great though! My companion thinks that I am funny because she says I am so "busy" I am always doing something like cleaning or cooking or writing in my journal, she said I should be resting when I have extra time, but there is not time for rest! This week we had zone conference and it was wonderful. It was focused on the birth, life, and atonement of Jesus Christ. I felt the spirit so strongly during the entire meeting and once again was full of gratitude for his life and everything that he has done for us! I especially loved thinking about Mary and Joseph and their special roles as the father and mother of Jesus. When Mary heard of her calling she simply replied, be it according to thy will. She trusted in the Lord completely even with the knowledge that she could be stoned to death. Amazing right? During the Angels visitations to both of them, he told them to "fear not" even though they had all reason in the world to fear! But as we know, if they had fear, there could be no faith. Love it! We met many amazing people this week. We took a tour with a man from California yesterday and he was so funny and great. He loved that we wanted to show him everything and teach him about the church. He had TONS of good honest questions and his insights on the Gospel and especially the New Testament were all really good. We could tell that he was moved and touched by the spirit but... he didn't refer at the end. We invited him to hear from missionaries in his area but he wouldn't take it. SO sad! Sister Kim and I just walked away with our heads down trying to think what we did or said that we could have done better. BUT then I realized that we did all that we could have done! The spirit was there, we taught testified and invited, but in the end these people have their own agency. So we pray that in the future he will do something about the spirit he felt while he was here! I am not sure what our plans are for Christmas yet, but I do know that Presidant is planning something fun! The Square closes Christmas eve night at 6PM as well as on Christmas day. I do know that Christmas night we are doing a wonderful christmas program in the Joseph Smith Memorial building and I get to arrange some hymns to play at it! I don't really have time to practice, but I will make it work out. I hope that everyone is doing well. Please please please don't let gifts and business distract you from the peace of this season! This is a wonderful time for us to spend with family and friends and share with them the love that we have for each other! There is war raging all across the world and there are many people without food or homes. So be grateful for what you have been given, especially the Gospel and the knowledge of the true meaning of Christmas. We are so extremely blessed to know what we know! I LOVE MY MISSION! I never know what the next day is going to bring, but I study and prepare myself everyday so that the Lord can use me to bring about miracles here on Temple Square. Merry almost Christmas! With love- Sister Carly Jo Porter
Hi hi hi hi !! Wow, even though it is freeeeeeeeeezing outside, I am so warm inside :) hah that sounds kind of cheesy, but it's true! Yesterday was an incredible day! I had the chance to listen to Music and the Spoken Word in the conference center in the morning, spend all day contacting in the tabernacle, and then go to the Christmas Devotional in the evening! So incredible! Thousands of people came to the square afterwards and everyone had been so spiritually uplifted, they were all so nice! We got a ton of referrals from them, it put a HUGE smile on my face :) THEN I got to go to the temple thismorning:) yay! We visited with an amazing couple in the Tabernacle yesterday afternoon. The woman was from Japan and he was from California. They recently moved to Logan for a job, As we were visiting with them I mentioned about the temple and the wonderful blessing that our family can be together forever! She started crying and talking in Japanese:) They told us that they had come here about a month ago and they came back today because they wanted to feel that peace again! They want to learn all about the church, but they can't meet with the missionaries until they find a place to live. It was so incredible though, the spirit touched both of their hearts instantly. I LOVE when guest's come here and recognize the spirit, it is something that they have never felt before... so amazing. About 5 minutes after this 4 people from England walked in. One woman was sincere and interested while her husband was making snide remarks and being rude. He was saying "oh I'm not religious at all! I'm surprised that lightening hasn't come through and struck me in this very spot". His heart was so closed while the woman's was so open! Sometimes.... I wish I could just kick people and tell them to open their eyes! It is difficult to have someone tell you straight in the face that this church is NOT true and that we are wasting our time. It is hard... but I just have to move on. I pray that someday those people will look back and remember that there is something different about this place. Then they can repent :) Yesterday I bore my testimony in the Joseph Smith Memorial building where we have church every sunday with all of the sister's and couple's at Temple Square. The spirit was so powerful as sister's from different countries shared their unique experiences and struggles here on their missions. One sister just recieved a letter from her dad in Brazil who has made the decision to get the priesthood, when she goes home her family will be sealed together. Another sister has been praying for her family to atleast listen to the missionaries and they told her this last week that they are meeting with them now! Some really amazing stories! It is a blessing for me to be here and to be able to share my testimony everyday. I think about Heavenly Father and his perfect plan for each of his children. He knows exactly the path that we are on, no matter what path that is, he can always make it right! When we look to him in all things our hearts and minds will be changed, our lives will be made better! That is the blessing of the Gospel! I want to take this month of December to look at my own strengths and weaknesses and to figure out what it is I can do better. I know that I am far from perfect, but that's okay! If we have the desire to change, of course the Lord will help us out:) The Christmas Devotional was so amazing! The spirit was so strong in that room and tears came to my eyes many times! I hope that we all came away with something we can do this Christmas season to helps others, and to come closed to Christ! Really... nothing else even matters! Presents come and they go, I never remember what I get anyway.. We always to remember though, the kind things that other's do for us. So find people to serve and love! I promise... it is like medicine, all problems and worries diminish as we love and serve others.I love you all... enjoy the warmth in Mesa or wherever you are! with love- Sister Porter scripture of the week! 2 Nephi 25:26
I had another wonderful week! Temple Square is my new home and it is a great place to be for this Christmas season! There are so many people to talk to and the Christmas lights are incredible! Yesterday I had an assignment to be in the Tabernacle all day. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearsed for about 2 hours and I got to just sit and listen to them! What a blessing! I just started crying when they sang through Silent Night as I thought about the blessings that I have been given and the wonderful mission that I am on.
Thanksgiving day was so beautiful. We went to a wonderful reception hall and had a catered meal and everything. We also played games, watched a movie, (they watched UP:) and sang karaoke. It was so special to be with all of the sister's and senior couples and just enjoy our time together. I loved it and it was a great break to get away from the Square for an evening. President and Sister Holmes organized the whole thing. They are always planning fun activities for us and doing extra things. They served us our Thanksgiving meal and they didn't eat themselves until everyone else had eaten, so incredible. I know that the reason they are so Christlike is because of the way that they live the Gospel. When we live the Gospel to it's fullest it can change everything about us! We naturally become Christlike and want to serve others ... so beautiful.
So I am living in a new apartment. It is about a ten minute walk from Temple Square. Ok and the coolest thing is that there are 6 sisters and we are all from different countries! Netherlands, Hong Kong, Brazil, Indonesia, Korea, and America :) Isn't that incredible? So I have a lot of fun with them and I am learning a lot about all the different cultures.
My companion Sister Kim continues to amaze me! Even when the sister's around us forget their purpose as missionaries, we always continue to work hard! We know why we are here and we don't let silly things bother us. (Mom's note - as her mission pres. told us, when you get 200 girls together, there can be plenty of "silly" things.) Today is her birthday so we have had a good time! Hah she goes around telling everyone it's her birthday and she made sure some sister's got a cake to bring over tonight.... too funny!! she loves pancakes so I made her a HUGE one this morning and she just died laughing.
There are literally thousands of people here every night. I love it! So since there are so many members here at the Square what we are doing every night is talking with the members and then asking for their friends who are not members of the church. We then can call their friends from the Referral center and invite them to recieve a free movie from the church through the missionaries. It is a GREAT thing! It is hard to keep asking members, we have to be really creative and smart about it because they are not going to give us their numbers unless they trust us. But I really love talking with the members and always fulfilling my purpose which is to invite other's to come unto Christ, even if they are members there is always something I can share with them.
I hope that everyone is doing well at home! Christmas is such a blessing and a wonderful time to think about Christ. I hope that we all can take time during the season to find a way in our own lives to come closer to Christ. As member's of the church we have reason to rejoice! Christ lives and we can return to live with Heavenly Father... with our families! I challenge you all to share this message. Find people everywhere you go to help and serve. I know that as you pray to have these opportunities to come... that they will come! Heavenly Father is waiting and eager to bless us with opportunities to serve, IF we show him that we have the desire.
Tonight I am playing the piano in the South Visitor center for a little while! I'm so excited to perform and use my talents! I also had the chance to sing in Sacrament meeting yesterday :) I am so grateful for my talents and I hope that I can use them while on my mission as often as possible to bring the spirit into the lives of others. I didn't get much time to practice so hopefully it goes ok!
I love you all, thank you for being so incredible! You prayers and support help me every single day!