Are you kidding me?! Temple Square has to be the most phenomenal mission in the entire world... I'm so serious right now. President Holmes is the most inspired man I have ever known or ever even heard of.. seriously. So I flew into Salt Lake on Wednesday morning and was greeted by two of my favorite sisters. They handed me a slip with my new assignment and I found out I was companions with Sister Doggett and that we are zone leaders together. So fun! I love Sister Doggett and I was roommates with her in the past. So the first few days were pretty much a blur. It was exciting to see all 26 sisters return from their own outbound assignments and to hear of their experiences during our outbound testimony meeting. Afterwards we promised not to talk about it anymore so that we would not distract other missionaries. No prob.
So the mission is completely different! There are around 52 new sisters that I don't even know yet.. craziness. There are now 8 zones when before there were only 5. Each zone is teaching which means that we can teach people who we find on Temple Square, Chat, or in the RC. The mission now has 60 motors (computer+phone unit) when before I left there were only around 30. So our time on the square has been cut in half. So we switch off days where one day we will be on motors from 10-3 and square from 3-9 and then the next day our schedules switch. This way there are always sisters finding on the square but also we are utilizing the motor stations. I am praising President and the assistants for this idea. We were trying so hard to come up with a way to make the best use of our time on and off of the square. We are happy also because now there are never too many sisters on the square which was a huge problem that we had last winter.
During our "motor time" we have chat time, rc time, and teaching time.
CHAT- I love chatting!! So on Mormon.org there is a link that says "chat with a missionary" and it comes either to the MTC or to our mission. We will be chatting with about 3-5 people pretty consistently during that time. We answer their questions the best we can, quickly bridge to the restoration, and invite them to have missionaries teach them more. Many many many many people try to waste our time, we call them "trollers" probably about 70% of those on chat are trollers.... lame people. But what is cool is that many times we soften their hearts and have a legit conversation with them. Yesterday a guy in Cape Town South Africa got online. We chatted with him for a while and we will be calling him on Friday to teach him a little bit more! He was so sincere and is really searching for truth. Amazing.
RC- Now when we call non-members on the phone in the referral center when they refer to meet missionaries we offer to call them back and to continue teaching them until missionaries come in contact with them in their local area. We call this an IRC (investigator referral confirmation). Our goal is to have these IRC's and help these people to get baptized!!! I cannot even describe how much this has changed the attitude and perspective of the mission. The sisters are so excited because now we find but we can also teach them! We have area book and everything to keep track of our progressing investigators. Just in a few days we have already found wonderful people to teach on the phone.
Temple Square- Teaching on the square has also changed quite a bit for the mission. Before we could only find people on certain parts of the square depending upon which zone you were in. Now we can find anywhere and take our guests anywhere. Huge change! We can also call and teach them on the phone after they refer at Temple Square. We met Chad a few days ago and took him on a tour. He was so amazing, recently moved here from Georgia just to get a new life and ended up moving one block away from BYU. So we taught him again yesterday on the phone!
I am sorry that this is all technical stuff but you can probably tell how excited I am. We had zone leader council yesterday morning and I was once again humbled by our mission President. He explained that this is the most important transfer in Temple Square history. He mentioned that this is one of President Monsons' top three interests right now, with over one hundred sisters teaching over the phone. He testified to us that this is exactly what the Lord has been preparing the work for, electronic missionary work. He talked to each one of the sisters in leadership and explained how we had each been prepared our whole missions for this defining transfer. I am very humbled and I hope I can carry out the work as Heavenly Father would have me do!
I love the Gospel. I know that it is true. The spirit is so strong here at Temple Square and I am happy to be back once again to testify on such holy ground.
Love- Sister Carly Jo Porter
p.s. The christmas lights are beautiful also! We have thousands of members every night and we love talking with them. If you come to the square make note that I am only on the square Mon,Wed,Fri, and Sun nights. The other nights I will be on the motors.
How blessed am I? The Lord loves me so much that he sent me to my favorite city, during my mission! I have honestly loved being here in Boston! I can't believe that my time here is over! I learned so much here and cannot describe in words how much my love for this city has grown.
In many aspects this was the hardest time during my mission. Previous to my mission I learned that the singles wards here are among the best in the world. There are students here from around the country that are pursuing very rigorous degrees and are ambitious in so many ways. The ward helped me to work harder and to see my potential as a young adult, prior to my mission. I feel that coming here as a missionary multiplied that experience by 1,000. Trying to handle the identity crisis and akward peer interactions while being bold and humble about missionary work was incredibly difficult. I have never felt so stretched and pulled in my entire life. At times I would think, really Heavenly Father? You really want me here? It was hard to understand why I was here when I could have been sent to any mission in the country. There were many times when I felt that I something wasn't right or I could have handled situations very differently. So in short it was like the New York, New York roller coaster in Las Vegas. Awesome right? Heck yes! I recognize that being here was exactly what the Lord wanted for me to learn what I needed. I still know that I am learning and that I will never be a perfect missionary, but I am so grateful and feel so privileged that the Lord has given me such great trials. I tried my hardest to make the most of the experiences that were given to me. My love for the members in the wards here is incredible. I have visited with them on many occasions about the difficulties of missionary work in this city, and prayed with them for the courage to just do it! I have reflected upon my missionary experiences here before my mission, what I had done well, but mostly how I can achieve the work when I return.
My love for the Elders and Sisters in this mission grew also over time. You may remember my first few emails when I spoke of the disobedience that I had seen and ineffectiveness that really made me so sad. While there was no excuse there, I have also seen how wonderful and truly hardworking these missionaries are. They are working at their own pace on a schedule that the Lord has marked for them... not me :) Last Thursday I was able to participate in the departing testimony meeting for the Elders and Sisters leaving the mission. Sister Cheng and I were also asked to share our testimonies. The chapel was full of members and investigators who had come to love these Elders these last two years. I just observed in tears during the meeting as humble testimonies were born of their missionary experiences. It was kind of a pre-departure for me, since I still have 3 months left :) OH I was so overcome with the spirit to be a part of that meeting!!! Watching these elders say their farewells to people whom they have grown to love so much was so touching! We then went to the mission home for dinner and I reflected upon my own brother, Elder Denver Porter in this same home about 8 years ago also finishing his mission here in Boston. I imagined my parents coming to pick him up and what an incredible time that must have been for them. Oh so many thoughts that I am so grateful for.
There is so much that I could say about this experience!!! But I don't have enough time! Words cannot describe how I feel about missionary work and the love I have for my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that He lives. He is the center of all human history. The joy that came to my heart as I shared my simple testimony with countless people on the street, at school campuses, parking lots, trains and buses, in homes, and in church houses is beyond words! My eternal perspective also grew as I attended the temple with missionaries and felt the peace of Boston in a special way. I know that our lives may be empty without missionary work and our joy only momentary, but by making the Lord and his work a part of our everyday life, our joy will be full! We can follow Alma's example who watched his sons go forth to preach the word and he to "could not rest and he also went forth" (Alma 43:1) I hope we can all not just try to be better member missionaries, but just do it :)
I love this work and I love the Lord. I can't wait to be back at Temple Square in two days and continue the work there!
Hello once again! It is coooooooold and rainy here in Boston :) Some are saying we might be getting some snow this weekend. Yay! We had a zone activity today at the chapel and played this insane version of dodge ball, I was scared for my life. The elders had no mercy!! It was fun even though my arm is way sore, I really can't throw very well. This week was good! We have a few new potential investigators that we are super excited about. We were finally able to get in touch with a referral, this girl named Allie on Sunday. We went to her house and taught her the first lesson and she loved it. She told us of how she had really been searching and talking to a lot of people about religions she could go to. She saw some elders on her street a stopped them a few weeks ago, they gave her a Book of Mormon and she already had started reading it. She loved hearing about Joseph Smith and our belief in prophets. So we are teaching her again tomorrow and she really wants to come to church on Sunday! We taught another girl, Elaine from China on Monday night. She was soooooo sweet! She probably said thank you 1,000 times after our lesson. She was a referral from a member and she just LOVED our lesson. She works on Sunday- so kind of tricky, but we will make it work! Nikia was out of town for a whole week, but she would update us everyday while she was gone. We will be seeing her soon also. She has been reading the Book of Mormon and really wants to be baptized. Tomorrow we have transfers. Sister Heywood is being transferred but I will still be with Sister Stevens for my last week here. We will most likely be getting another 3rd companion tomorrow, so we shall see who it is! It has been fun working with Sister Heywood. She is a sweetheart and I have really learned humility from her. Her family has been through a LOT and she is solid as rock. I will really miss her but I am excited for her to go to a new area since she has been in the singles wards her whole mission. Tomorrow I get to join the group of departing missionaries for a temple trip, dinner, and testimony meeting. It will be fun to be with these missionaries during their last day events. I feel very lucky! I am mostly excited to go to the temple, I have missed going every week! So I have a week to go. I fly back to Temple Square on December 8th. I'm really trying not to think about it too much because it seems that this time went by wayyyyyy too fast. I am happy to serve where the Lord wants me to serve though. I have LOVED serving here and have been changed in many ways. More on that next week. LOVE YOU ALL -Sister Carly Porter
(Sorry that these last 4 posts were delayed - Carly's dad and I have been out of town for a month and of course the computer went down as soon as we left so Denver or Catie couldn't post for me. So now we are up to date again! Carly is having a great time in Boston - she will be sad to leave next week, but also very happy to heading back to Salt Lake to finish things up! :)
Find find find find find... That's what we do!
My time in Boston is running low... sadness. But everything is going really well and I am very very happy :) We went on many splits this last week with some members and had some great experiences. Erica Glenn and I went walking down to the Boston Public gardens on Saturday afternoon and it was beautiful outside! There were so many people out everywhere.I told her we have to use our gift of discernment and then we found some really great people! We talked to a woman from Iran who doesn't believe in God, but does believe in a higher power. She had been through so much in life and was happy to be back in Boston reflecting on her many blessings. She wasn't ready for the Gospel but she did tell us that she was grateful to meet us and spend some time with us. On our way back we met a woman from Ukraine where Erica had served her mission! Ya.. so that was cool too.
Last night Sister Stevens and I went out with Alison Minor a member in the LP1 ward. She served her mission in Tennessee a few years ago. I cannot say how grateful I am for our time with her. She talked to EVERYONE. We were walking and there were 2 girls probably 15 feet in front of us walking towards us, she waves and says " Hi hi how are you! I am here with my 2 friends and they have a message to share with you!" They got to us and kind of laughed but said sure they would listen. Together we taught them the restoration and first vision. We asked them a lot of questions about their own lives and belief in God. The spirit was so strong as we testified to them that Christ's church had been restored. it was the COOLEST conversation. They told of us of how they were looking for a church to go to and not quite sure about things in their lives. Wahhh the spirit was so strong! I was so happy! We got their information and asked them to pray that night to know that the things we had taught them were true. We closed with a prayer and gave them hugs... soooooo wonderful. cool.
Nikia and Alice both didn't show up to church yesterday which equals buuuuummer. We were a little bit happy though because relief society was a little on the strange side and would have thrown them off. We are hoping to see them sometime soon this week. Please pray for them and that they will continue meeting with us! I think both of them are little bit nervous about change and commitment. People need to just chillax and get baptized. We are teaching another girl Jessica who has been coming to church for 2 years! Her dad just joined the church last year and it took him 15 years to get baptized. ya... weird. We hope to help figure it out with Jessica also. Alice is scheduled to be baptized on Dec. 5. I think that it will happen as long as she keeps meeting with us and praying. Common Alice!!! I'm not so sure about Nikia. She feels the spirit so strong and just cries every time we meet with her. She is so beautiful and knows that the church has everything she has ever wanted or needed. I think she is just scared of change. She admires us a lot and feels like she can never get to our point. We are praying the she will feel the love of Heavenly Father and realize that getting baptized is the right thing to do.
We are happy though and continue meeting with other people throughout the week! We have had many first lessons, it is just difficult getting people to church because they all work on Sundays. It will happen though in the Lord's timing. We just do all that we can and then let the Lord take over :)
The Lord really blessed us this week! We had brought our dear friend Alice to church last week and she seemed to like it. Because of health problems we had lost contact with her since I first got to Boston. We set up a time and met with her last Friday. She was struggling to understand that God could really love her, because she has grown up with an abusive father. Her idea of a "Heavenly Father" is hard for her to comprehend, she relates better to a motherly figure. But after our lesson she seemed to feel better about the idea and felt the spirit very strongly. We invited her to be baptized December 5th and she said YES! She came to church again yesterday and we will be meeting with her this week. I just cried Friday night as I realized how much I love Alice and am feeling God's love for her. If anyone has ideas on how we could help her know that God loves her, suggestions are greatly appreciated! :)
Okay Nikia is back in the picture! You may remember that I emailed about her about a month ago. She came from a member friend of hers and we had a great lesson with her. Well I called her early last week and let her know about some dinners we would be going to at members' home and she was welcome to come. She ended up coming with us to dinner at Jodi Cantrell's on Sat. night and it was so perfect. Jodi was so kind in helping her feel welcome and normal. We ate pizza and then Nikia just opened up and told us pretty much her life story about finding God. She has always sought to be christian but has had so many bad experiences in other churches, she always admired the Mormon's for actually living what we believe. She got emotional as she bore powerful witness of how the Lord has helped her life since that first Sunday she came to church. She finally got a job, she felt healthier happier and stronger, and her house is clean! She was just beaming with joy and knew this was where the Lord needed her. Anyway, I could go on and on about her. She is so appreciative of us in how we have helped her gain more confidence, I'm just like... umm I don't know who your talking about.. haha. She is so sweet though! She came to dinner with us last night as well. LOVE HER!!!
So yes.. missionary life is good. We had our zone conference last week in beautiful New Hampshire. It was fun to meet more missionaries. I was given the opportunity to sing "Face to Face" during a meeting and was so grateful! It is so fun for me to be a missionary here in Boston, I know that I say this all the time, but it is!! This last week we went on exchanges with Rori Glover and Katie Winder. Katie and I were walking down the streets talking to everyone, and went to visit our less active but wonderful friend Mary. Heavenly Father is really blessing me. I hope that we all recognize our blessings during whatever time of our lives it may be. I reminds me of Elder Hollands conference talk about gratitude. I think living a grateful life will bring us humility and the greatest joy.
Alright, I love you all. Thank you for your prayers. When I get tired, or even sometimes sick on the trains or buses, I remind myself of the many people praying for me and then I am revived!! haha I know... amazing.
oh and we also have another girl Kay who we will be teaching more this week. more about her later. :)
Have I mentioned how much I LOVE this city? So much! My two companions and I are having a blast running around the city and talking to as many people as we can. I have a few experiences to share.
On Saturday morning a ward from Vermont came down with their Young Woman to do an exchange with the sisters. We split up the Laurel class and each went out for a few hours with them. I was paired with Molly and we went out to visit some less actives in Cambridge. She was so adorable and had a million questions about missionary work, and she is obsessed with learning Chinese.. odd! The first home we went to was actually a wrong address but we had a wonderful conversation with another guy that lives there and he took the "Living Christ" and said he would read it. We were heading to the next house and passed two ladies probably in their 40s. I said Hi good morning pretty quickly and then felt I should stop and talk. I turned around and asked how their day was going. One of the ladies turned and said "We are gay, you don't like us, have a nice day" I quickly responded "no no no we would love to talk to you!" The conversation that followed was one like I had never had before! They had a few issues with the church and the spirit quickly prompted me to relate everything back to God's pure love for us as his daughters. I shared with them how we as missionaries simply seek to strengthen others' faith in Christ. Their faces began to brighten and we were able to share the Restoration with them. They were very grateful and said they were sorry for misunderstanding our belief. It was an incredible experience. Even though they are on a completely opposite path as I am, I felt SO much Christlike love for them and that God truly does know them.
We went downtown to meet with Katie Winder, a good friend of mine and a member in our ward. Our bus was late so we ended up just walking with her to her class at Boston Conservatory. While we were walking 2 guys stopped us, "Hey hey hey wait do you have a Book of Mormon we could have!?" My companion was holding one in her hand and said, "YES here!" We talked to these guys for a minute and they had been looking for a Book of Mormon all day and calling all these different numbers. One of them was going on a trip and he had promised his friend that he would read one! They were excited, we exchanged phone numbers and will follow up with them soon. It was so cool to see how they were literally placed in our path!
Just after dropping Katie off at school we were walking right by the school I attended before my mission, Berklee College of Music, and the sisters had to use the restroom. We went inside and I ran into one of my favorite teachers! The class I took from her was over 2 years ago and I was so happy that she remembered me. I explained that I'm a missionary now and that I would be back at school next summer. She said that she always knew there was something special about me and that now I looked very peaceful. Hah I told her that I probably was just exhausted...hah. It was a neat experience though to share with her how much my mission means to me!!! She is very anxious for me to come back to school as well, cool!
So everything is going well. We don't have too many people we are teaching right now. We have a few referrals that are taking some time to get a hold of, a lot of people just never call us back and it can be discouraging. Please pray that people will make time to meet with us! They just don't understand that their personal salvation is one the line :)
Love you all! Happy November! Woo!
-Sister Carly Jo Porter
"We can share the Gospel only to the extent we live it"
Transfers happened last Thursday and I am now living in Brighton with Sister Stevens and Sister Heywood. We are serving over 2 singles wards now. I cannot even say how excited I am for this transfer. At first I was a little bit nervous about being in a trio, I think any missionary would be. But I must say that I have been extremely humbled by Sister Heywood. She has admitted that she was not so obedient the last few transfers and she really wants to change. So all together we are helping to uplift and strengthen one another. We have SO MUCH FUN. It is just so entertaining to have 3 of us talking to people and taking over the trains and buses. Really hilarious. Love it! It also is helpful because we can multi-task a lot of our work. We are able to split and go with members to appointments if we need to so we can get more work done!
We taught another lesson to Cierra and it went really well. She has been reading and praying and was saying that she doesn't feel that she gets any answers. We went over a few verses of Alma 32 with her and then we started to play "The Restoration" movie. The movie was going along and then about 30 seconds before the first vision the movie just shuts off! We tried starting it over and it wouldn't work. I was smiling but in my mind I was yelling at Satan for ruining such a spiritual moment, but it actually turned out really good! In the closing prayer she thanked Heavenly Father for allowing her to see a portion of this great movie and expressed her desire to finish watching it later. So she watched it online by herself that night and had a really good experience. Satan's plan backfired! Hah!
During our church meetings yesterday we split and I went with Jodi Cantrell to the Charles River ward and the other sisters went to LP1 because they meet at the same time in different buildings (I know so convenient right?). It was so great though because both meetings were so uplifting and we were able to share our experiences when we came back together.
We have been meeting with as many members as possible to get to know them, uplift them, and give them our 10 Day challenge. This is the challenge;
10 Day Missionary Challenge
1) Pray daily for specific opportunities
2) Pass out all 6 pass along cards ( included in the bag each w/ the missionaries' phone number on it)
3) Choose or find 3 people to invite to church and/or have the missionaries call
YOU CAN DO IT
"...perfect love casteth out all fear" Moroni 8:16
And YES we will follow up with you in 10 days '
Some members were excited and ready while many others were nervous and skeptical that they could commit to this challenge. We would just remind them that they covenanted with the Lord at baptism to share the Gospel and always be a witness of Jesus Christ. So YES they could do it. At church yesterday during relief society they had a missionary moment and many of the sisters stood to share of the amazing experiences they had been having! We are soooooooo happy about this! The members expressed that they didn't know they could do it and then they just tried, the opened their mouths. So many miracles all because of FAITH to ACT! We are not expecting every member to complete the challenge or invite everyone they know to church, (although one girl invited 8 of her coworkers:) but we just wanted them to stretch. When we set our goals HIGH.. then we can get somewhere.
So we will keep working with the members and finding along the way! We have been talking to lots of people, a few of which come to activities and to church, but we know that the members are the greatest source for the missionaries, the ones who will bring long lasting conversion to their friends and loved onces.
Saturday night we were on the bus and a girl gets on and says "hey are you girls Mormon?!" She sat down next to us and immediately started firing off a lot of questions she had. She came to church on Sunday and really enjoyed it! She has so many questions about everything so we are trying our best to help her just study the very basics first, she is really cute though! Her name is Kristin and we will meet with her again soon. Monday was incredible! We contacted a referral given to us by some Elders in the morning. Her name is Cierra and she welcomed us right in. We sat down and had a spirit filled 1st lesson with her. During her closing prayer she thanked God for sending us to her and said she couldn't wait to meet and talk about Jesus Christs Gospel again with us... heaven sent. We were having lunch with our relief society president when we got a call from a member Melissa Cannon who had a friend that was interested in visiting with us. We went over to her house and had another incredible lesson with Nikia. She was sooooo amazing! We actually had met her a few weeks earlier when she had come to church and when I saw her I really felt that I wanted and needed to teach her. She is 29, single, and full of life. She met Melissa originally at a gym and contacted her about a month ago telling her she wanted to come to her church. She has lots of really good questions, but we feel that she is very sincerely interested in the church. She gave the sweetest closing prayer as she thanked the Lord for all our blessings and said that even though we all have different lives and paths that the Lord brought us all here together, to help each other be more confident women. She left us the sweetest voicemail thanking us for helping her to become a more confident woman. We are VERY excited about her!! Ok- right after this appointment we pretty much ran from Central Square back to Alston for our dinner appointment with Allen and Annie, two awesome members in our ward. They had invited Quinn over, who had previously investigated the church and has recently shown interest in coming back to church. We had a really nice lesson with him and the spirit seemed especially strong as Allen and Annie shared powerful testimonies of how the Gospel will bless and change his life for the good. So ya... 3 new investigators in one day. The Lord is BLESSING us!!!
Tomorrow is our transfer day and Sister Stevens and I are being transferred. We are not sure what is going to happen though. We know that we are both moving to another apartment, we are not sure if we will still be together, or in a trio, or with new companions. There are only 2 other sisters being transferred as well, so the options are limited. Anyway, we will find out tomorrow morning! I'm a little bit sad to be moving out of Arlington, it is a beautiful town! Wherever I go though, I will make it the best! If I get a new companion then I know that that is what the Lord wants for me at this time. I can't believe that my time here in Boston is half way through. There is still so much work to do!
I love serving. I love that the Lord is so aware of us as 2 little missionarionaries out of more than 50,000 serving around the world. I love feeling the Spirit guide our words and actions in all that we do. I love meeting people, talking to them, and recognizing them as children of God. I love miracles.I LOVE missionary work!
I am so excited to write about the coolest experience ever. On Saturday we went to teach a man named Jimmy who we had found in our area book. He had met some elders about 7 months ago at a train station and he gave them his number. For some reason the sisters never made contact with him. We had called him and he invited us over to share a message. We went to his apartment with a member in our ward and had an incredible lesson. Really so amazing!! He told us about many spiritual experiences he has been having in his life. He is from India and has a Hindu background. He used to weigh 300 pounds, his family wanted him to have surgery but he was determined to do it the right way. He felt God leading him to exercise and eat healthy and lost 150 pounds in 8 months! He moved to the US about 1 year ago and got a job here. His only knowledge of Christianity is from watching videos from some preacher on YouTube which he finds very entertaining. ahhh he is so wonderful! As we taught the first lesson he agreed with everything and really felt the spirit. We had him read the first vision out loud and he was getting all into it and using his hands to emphasize the bigger words. He looked up at us after he finished all out of breath and said, wow that's amazing! Near the end of the lesson I was trying to think of a date for him to be baptized and did the math for Nov. 7th. We extended it and he accepted to prepare himself for baptism! Such a tender mercy from the Lord. We taught him how to pray and he just started praying with his eyes open and more praying at us. It was so cute! It was his first time to pray and we were very proud of him. We will be meeting with him tomorrow. I know that the adversary is going to work very hard on him so please pray that he will have the strength to make the steps towards baptism. Woo!
Everything else with the work here is moving forward. We are still finding a lot everyday. We have some wonderful zone leaders Elder Buys and Elder Davies who work in the Arlington area. They only have had this one investigator who is not very hopeful, I started praying that we would find someone for them to teach. The next day on the T there was a man sitting across from me listening intently to a conversation I was having with this women. When she left I jumped up to go and talk to him. I found out that his ex-wife and all of his kids are members of the church in Florida. He loves the church and had gone for many years with her. After visiting for a minute I was so excited to tell him that it's time for him to meet missionaries again and for them to change his life. He just laughed, smiled, and said "wow God does answer my prayers". So I called the elders and gave them the referral and they have already been in contact with him! Tender mercies!! Sister Stevens and I are also trying to work with the members in our ward more. There are many that are less active or just struggling with their testimonies. We will be spending some more time visiting them and strengthening their faith. But for the active who do come to church we have no pity. We went in for the first few minutes of elders quorum and we told them that we as missionaries are here to teach and they as members are here to find... so start finding! I was pretty bold and just said that there is absolutely no excuse for them to say they are just "Working" on their friends (I hate that term by the way) but that the time is NOW and they have to open their mouths. I told them that the Lord would hold them accountable for it :) So little by little we are hoping for the members to step it up with us. It might take some time, but the Lord is helping me be patient.
Yesterday my companion and I had the chance to attend a session in the Boston temple. Wow it was so amazing! I felt so overwhelmed with gratitude as we sat in the celestial room. While sitting there I felt the Lord confirm to me that YES I am supposed to be here in Boston, not for one specific reason but probably for many small reasons, many of which I will probably never know of. I felt so much peace and a calming reassurance that the Lord is with me to guide me in all that I do and say.
I love this work! It's true! With love- Sister Carly Jo Porter
Boston is finally becoming the Boston that I love... FALL! It has been really warm but these last few days are cooling off and we love it. We have had some really neat experiences this week so I will share a few of them.
So I guess the way I do missionary work is a lot different than the missionaries out here. Our numbers and the way we work has been attracting a lot of attention, some of it is good and some of it is negative. My companion seems to get worked up over it because she doesn't like that others judge us but don't really know how we are working, I just keep telling her, Don't worry, this work is for the Lord.. his opinion is the only one that matters. So we have been focusing on doing this work for the Lord and for those people whom he has prepared.. then we will continue to be happy :)
We have been working a lot with our area book this week, there are loads of potential investigators in there that were never contacted by the previous sisters working in the area. We had a lot of first appointments that were spirit filled and hopefully many of them will turn into solid investigators. While traveling to an appointment we were waiting at the Park St. T stop. I told my companion, we have to talk to someone, we walked around for a bit trying to discern who to talk to. I saw two girls and walked up and just started chatting. They opened up quickly and wanted to know what we were doing at missionaries. We soon found out that they too were very christian and had done several service trips in other countries including India! We got on the T with them to continue our conversation. The following day we met with Alberta at her home in Dorchester. She was so sweet! After we had met her the previous day she had gone home to read the pamphlet of the Restoration and search on mormon.org. She had a list of very good questions for us and was anxious to learn more. Our second appointment with her fell through but hopefully we will be seeing her again tomorrow. Her friend Susie will be meeting with us as well! One of our difficulties is that everyone is students they are all very busy with work and school. Finding a time and place where they can meet is our biggest challenge! So we are praying for circumstances to get better with those who do want to learn more.
Conference was AMAZING!! So wonderful! I had tears in my eyes and goosebumps throughout the entire conference as I felt the spirit teaching and edifying me. In between sessions yesterday we took some time to eat lunch and visit with some of the other missionaries. There were 6 sisters and probably double that of elders. I started getting antsy and told my companion we needed to go contact before the session for about a half hour. She kind of looked at me like really? I just smiled and said YES! The missionaries were kind of laughing because they thought it would be a waste of time (its the Lords time silly). One elder commented that he had contacted the area over and over again and there wasn't any one around (which is ridiculous because its all students who come and go!!!) So we left with our wonderful roommates to go and talk to people. It was getting cold and pretty windy and there were not too many people on the streets. Sister Makanesi and I found an Indian woman and stopped her. She was so warm, open, and friendly! After visiting for a minute I told her about conference and what a wonderful uplifting experience it was. She said oh I would love to go sometime! We were so excited and said we could take her right now! We toured her around the chapel and she watched the first half of the session. She said she felt something so special, a connection with God that she had never known. I was soooo happy!!!!!! Two of the other sisters were contacting by a bus stop a guy walked up to them and told them he had been inactive for 20 years! Cute Sister Chang said, "Jesus Christ wants you to come back to church! Let's go!!" So he also was able to be uplifted by conference and stayed for the entire session. This was a HUGE lesson for me and the other sisters, we literally saw what faith can do in such a short time. We were so determined to go and find someone who could experience the wonderful spirit of conference and the Lord led us to them!! Miracles!!!
I don't have a favorite talk from conference or anything specific that really hit me. But I was overwhelmed with a sense of love and gratitude for the membership I have in Christs restored church on the earth. I felt so much love from Heavenly Father for me and for the work that I am helping him with here in Boston, I felt an increased desire to be grateful and not take for granted what I have been given, and I was filled with a love for my family quite unlike anything I have ever felt before. The church is true and we know it! So blessed!!!
I love you all so much! Thank you for your letters and prayers! I really do need all of your support, it helps me so much.
and so you know, I will NOT settle as a mediocre disciple of Christ..
Since I have been in Boston the words of one of my leaders keeps running through my head "When you sisters get to your new assignments, you better hit the ground running!!! There is no time to waste!"
It has taken a little bit of time get the work going here in Boston, I feel that the Lord is trying my patience once again... he likes to do that doesn't he? We find many people though every day here in Boston who need to hear our message. Some of them our currently being taught by other missionaries and I have truly felt led to many of them. Last Friday we received a new assignment to be over the LP1 ward which is a different singles ward. We are so excited because in this ward we will be able to teach guys and girls between the ages of 24-30. The members are incredible in this ward. We went yesterday and all of the testimonies were about the missionary experiences they had been having and how they were talking to so many people about the church. I could hardly contain my excitment while sitting on the bench. Immediately after church we had members coming up to tell us they had people they wanted us to teach or atleast come have dinner with. So good! They were very excited to have us in their ward. Yay for us! I have some really close wonderful friends in the ward also who we will be working with! (cough cough Katie Winder and Rori Glover...)
So this week I have been studying Preach My Gospel a lot trying to more fully understand my purpose and potential as a member of Christ's church. My understanding of the atonement has increased as I realize that as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we are the only ones with full access to the atonement. All of the people around us have not yet entered that gate by which they can return to live with God. THAT is why we must talk with everyone, and that is why this work is so important.. the atonement of Jesus Christ. Not only are we to help those who don't know about the church but also our family, friends and all of the people whom we know. Seems kind of overwhelming ya? Of course it does! Do we think that when the Savior knew he was responsible to atone for the sins of all mankind that he wasn't overwhelmed? Of course he was! It wasn't easy for him.. so why on earth should it be easy for us. So it's not easy... but so worth it. One of my companions in the past said, " Before I came on a mission I was thinking, wow how on earth am I ever going to be able to give everything up.. my phone, dating, TV, family ect.. then I realized. well DUH Heavenly Father will help me, I'm so silly". I love that because sometimes we come to a problem or situation and think, wow how will I get through or how will I help this person... well DUH Heavenly Father will help us!
I love the scripture Helaman 3:29 "Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked". Hah now that was not meant to sound scary in any way! The point is that we are given the way and help to get through this life.. this crazy world we live in. Duh, Heavenly Father will help us..
We were walking in Central Square a few days ago just talking to people and my companion had to use the restroom. We walked into Walgreens and one of the workers said "Hey are you guys missionaries?" We were excited to meet Horacio and started talking with him. He told us he went to the mormon church about 10 years ago and he loved it. We got his phone number and set up a time to meet the next day. On Saturday we met him at a park and taught him the first lesson. He didn't know about Joseph Smith or much even about christianity. The spirit was helping him understand everything we taught, he was asking good questions and after we finished explaining he said, "yup wow, it sounds like a restoration to me." My companion invited him to be baptized and he responded, "I could be, but I was already baptized in your church". Our jaws dropped and I said "You were baptized in this church (pointing at my tag) so you were completely brought under the water (using hand motions) and then given the Holy Ghost." He just said ya ya I was, I used to hang out with the elders all the time and then they baptized me in the church over by your temple. haha we were just laughing but also we were so excited that we had found him!! He came to church yesterday and will now make the steps to becoming an active member of the church. We are really happy for him, and grateful that Heavenly Father placed him in our path. He is just as important as anyone else is finding the church. So cool!!
So everything is going well. I'm truly humbled that the Lord has sent me here. This is such an amazing opportunity to serve the Lord! In my favorite city! Love it... Is it going to be hard? Of course! No worries.. Heavenly Father will help us :)
I'm not sure how or why it has happened but the Lord has seen fit to call me to serve in BOSTON as a missionary... Sister Porters most favorite city in the entire world (besides Hong Kong)!!!
On Monday morning the Temple Square mission called 26 sisters up to read their outbound calls. These calls come straight from the missionary department and are made in the exact same fashion as our first mission call. We were given an envelope and then had to wait while the sisters play a bunch of silly games. When the time came to read our calls I couldn't sit still as I waited to open mine!! Sister Cheng opened hers and yelled. BOSTON! I got teary thinking of her going there. Then it came to me and while standing in front of the mission I opened the letter. COMPLETE SHOCK!! I could barely speak as I said Massachusetts Boston mission.
So the next 2 days were just a blur as we continued being missionaries and prepared to fly out. My flight to Boston was wonderful as the Lord placed amazing people in my path to meet and teach. I stepped off the plane and there is Jodi Cantrell right there waiting for me! She kept saying "you were sent here for me" haha while I was thinking the opposite because I need her more than ever! The mission president picked us up and drove us to the apartment in Arlington where I met my new amazing companion Sister Stevens from California. She is wonderful! Then she told me we are over the Charles River Ward, one of the singles wards. So good. Our first day as we did some planning I soon realized that the sisters had not been having much success in this area. We do have one girl with a tentative baptismal date and another we are teaching but doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. I tried to figure out why we weren't teaching more people and sisters Stevens just said that couldn't find anyone. The hard part is that we can only teach woman who are 31 and older because that is the ward we are over. She said they had been searching and searching for the last 6 weeks but couldn't find. I looked at her planner and saw that they had hardly planned anything at all for their days..... not ok. This is her 2nd transfer and last transfer her trainer had only been out for a month, so they had been learning together. I have taught her that we needed to have a plan and backup plan for every half hour of the day. This is an act of faith so that the Lord can send people to those areas.
Our first 2 days we taught 20 lessons and received 15 phone numbers, mostly from riding around on the train and buses.. haha. The majority of those numbers we have had to pass on to other missionaries because they are not in our ward :( BUT it's ok because we still found them and they will be taught. We did find 3 new investigators though and have already had a few lessons with them also. I am THRILLED! It may take us a while to get going. Instead of being upset that we can't teach those people we found I have just decided that out of a city of 8 million people I'm sure there are many that we can find for our ward.. it's not going to be easy at all. And along the way we will just bless the other missionaries with more referrals... they might get sick of our referrals and just ask us to teach them.. that's the secret plan! te hehe
So all is well here in Boston! Yesterday we went to the singles ward. We had 2 people we found that we had to bring to the University Ward so we got to meet them at the train and then walk with them to church. It was HILARIOUS for me to be back in my singles ward... really so funny. I sat in the back and if someone turned around and saw me they just would have the weirdest look on their face. As tradition during the first few weeks of school the new people stand and introduce themselves at the end of sacrament meeting. I got up the nerve to stand up and everyone turned around. I just said "I know you are all wondering why I am here! I am here as a missionary don't worry! , I was transferred for a few months and then will be finishing at Temple Square so you will be seeing me around..." it was really funny and my companion said my face had just turned bright red... ya. My favorite was talking to some guys like Brandon Hopkins who said it was just really awkward. haha! I told him don't worry I'm still the same person, just with a different purpose ...
Anyway.. I'm happy to be here. There is an incredible work here for me to do. I am still shocked but I have realized that I am still a missionary and I can't let anything distract me while I'm here. I am so grateful that the Lord has called me here and I want to be as obedient and hard working as possible because there are SO MANY people that need to be found! Love you all! Pray for the people in Boston to open their hearts and minds.. in just a few days we have already seem so many miracles!
This week was FULL of miracles! Honesty it just blows my mind how Heavenly Father keeps sending more and more prepared people right here to Temple Square. So amazing I love it.
MIRACLES * Sunday morning we met Becky outside the North Visitors Center. A moment later she introduced us to Bill her husband. We began showing them around and asking questions. We soon found out that she was a member but he wasn't. As we went to each location I just watched him and would ask him what he thought. He pretty much would say how he loved the history and seeing it in person. When we got to the Christus tears filled his eyes (even though there were TONS of people all around us) and he said he knew Christ lives today. I told him he had to let the missionaries teach him one more time, and he accepted.
* Sunday afternoon we spotted 2 African American couples from North Carolina and they were BEAUTIFUL! Seriously... straight from a movie. They were laughing and having a good time. I made a funny comment to them and they immediately started asking questions about the temple. One said "Now.. I want you to tell me exactly how I can get inside that building." We said of course we will answer your question but we want to show you. We took them to the Temple replica and they were fascinated!!! Denise and April were the 2 wives and they were touched when they heard that they can be with their families forever, April said "Of course we can! I knew it!" I opened up my Book of Mormon and one of the men took it from my hands and started flipping through the pages.. it was sooo funny! He just kept saying "Wow I need to read this!" So prepared.. and of course they accepted for missionaries. Each of the couples had 2 beautiful girls each.
* Monday afternoon we met Michael from NYC. He was here on business as an attorney. My companion and I were in a laughing mode from a previous contact so we started off really funny with him, just making funny comments and jokes and we will just say that he was very intrigued by us. He just laughed and said it seemed like we were having the time of our lives here. EVERYTHING we shared with him made complete sense tohim. I think the reason for this was because we made sure to pause after sharing a truth and he would think and then nod and say , yes yes that is true. He was SO COOL!
* OK best for last. Yesterday we only had an hour on the square because of RC training. We walked out the NVC to the north gate and found 3 men looking at the map. As soon as we approached them one asked "can you tell me why everything here is so beautiful?" Pepi, John, and Chris were their names and we began by taking them to the Tabernacle. While inside I shared that I LOVE listening to the counsel from a living prophet so I can receive guidance and direction for my personal life. John just looked at me and said "You know I can tell you are sincere because of the smile on your face", then Pepi said, "Ya it's like they are glowing or something, when people love Christ this much- then they glow." So cute! My favorite was showing them the temple display. We try to stand back and let people see and feel for themselves and then come to us for questions if they have any. After about 5 minutes Chris came back and stood next to me. After a moment I looked over at him and asked what do you think? He responded "Indescribable". I knew immediately to promise him that temple could bind him together with his wife and daughters for eternity and gave him the card to fill out. He didn't hesitate but just said thank you and filled out the referral card. The other 2 also referred!!! WAH!!
The RC has been going well also. After discussing some of the issues with president I felt that it was time to be a little more firm with our 10 minute trainings. I told the sisters that this is the Lord's time, that it is not about them anymore, so if they don't like talking on the phone then to get over it! They signed up to be here, so make it work!! haha of course in a much nicer way.. but perhaps my voice got a little loud and everyone was dead silent... It was good though and a lot of sisters said that it was exactly what they needed to hear! I don't like being stern with them, but they aren't little girls anymore (as president would say).
Monday morning at 7:30 AM is our transfer conference. I would say there is a 99.9 % chance that I will be sent outbound.. hah so I am packing my bags today! Maybe I am too hopeful? Really though, I think I will be going. ALASKA! mmm maybe not. But that would be so cool! Wherever it is the Lord sends me I know that there are people there who I need to FIND. So... I'm just a little excited.
So YES I love being a missionary! Every boy AND girl should serve a mission!! I view the world and people and everything so differently now, it is incredible! What an amazing opportunity. gee
Nothing to new or exciting this week :) We have implemented a new training in the referral center that has been very successful. It has been kind of funny because our President is working with all the zone leaders on this new curriculum from the MTC and they have had TONS of training and it takes up all of President's time. We usually meet with him pretty often but this transfer haven't at all. The assistants are wonderful but also have not had the time to meet with us. So Sister Johnson and I went ahead and did what we felt was necessary for the RC, this included a new training and lots of new ideas. Our numbers and attitudes went WAY UP this week and president was just amazed! Hah we told him we just did what the Lord needed us to do :) It has been amazing though to see that so many sisters who highly disliked the referral center now say that "It's fun!" My companion was on that list before this transfer and now she LOVES the RC! The other day we left and she was so happy and thrilled with her phone calls, I almost started to cry... seriously. hah So things are going really well!!
A few mornings ago we finally had a few minutes on the square. We found a beautiful woman from Costa Rica named Patricia. She immediately opened up to us and got very emotional. She is the mother of 2 boys and also a cancer survivor. She said she just views life so differently now and the feeling of Temple Square was exactly how she felt about life at this time. We ended with her at the Christus statue and she was so touched by the spirit. She was an amazing woman and so prepared for the Gospel. She said she had been searching for a church she could attend with her family and was excited to meet the missionaries!... so we all know what will happen :)
So nothing else is new! We have less than 2 weeks left in the transfer. We are all praying that they send a lot of us outbound. There are about 15 sisters that I came with that have not left yet. It will be an exciting transfer conference for sure!
We had a wonderful week once again at Temple Square. I cannot believe that it is almost September. What happens to the time? Does time just go by faster as a missionary? I think so....
So my story of the week is a girl named Julie from California, 20yrs old. She was here visiting her sick grandmother and just thought to make a trip by Temple Square. We began showing her around and immediately I could feel that the spirit was so strong. It was a different kind of tour as it was more full of us promising her blessings and reading scriptures to her. She wanted to know everything and explained that she had always wondered why there were so many churches on the earth. We were talking about prayer so I read Alma 37:37 to her and we were silent for a second and she just said "Wow, I never thought of it like that, that he really watches over us in our sleep". She was so wonderful and prepared for the gospel. She was excited for missionaries to teach her and her mom back home. Keep her in your prayers!!
ok ok another miracle. I was in the referral center last night and I was answering the voice mail phone. I answered and began talking to Stephanie from California. She had received a message from another sister and said she had always wanted to learn about our church. After getting to know her I began asking her questions about her own religious background. She said she wasn't very christian because she never knew how to be but she always envied her friend Leslie who was a member. I felt impressed to share with her the first vision. After sharing I just paused and a moment later she responded, "Are you serious? Did that really happen? That's incredible." I was THRILLED!! You would be surprised at how many people respond this way after sharing the restoration. So many people have never heard of Joseph Smith and what really happened. I loved teaching her and when I invited missionaries to come and visit she responded, "YES that would be so perfect!".. ya I know... amazing.
So during this week I have been thinking a lot about the referral center.. obviously... and how my companion and I can improve it. While studying a few mornings ago a came across the topic of Revelation in the True to the Faith book. As I read and pondered I had so many thoughts and ideas come to mind. I quickly wrote them down and shared with my companion. I recognize that I only have 3 weeks left as a referral center director and I really want to do all I can while I am in this calling. So for this next week we will be doing a really unique training with the sisters. The sisters come in shifts throughout the day, there are 5, two hour blocks. Each block we start with a prayer and thought, but now we are adding a 10 minute compact training/role play. We started yesterday and it went so well! We are just reminding the sisters that they can be themselves while on the phone! So... we are very excited to be doing this for at least the next week. It is a little bit exhausting, but SO worth it! :)
Love you all and I LOVE this work. Wherever we may be in life, it is always the perfect time to share this message. Every single person has to hear it. If they don't then they cannot choose to believe it. I love this scripture, "For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith." (Ether 12:12) FIRST we must have the faith and share this message. THEN will God work the miracle. But it is always after.
This week was just wondrous of course. The weather is starting to get a little bit cooler which I have mixed feelings about. Summer has gone by WAY faster than I had expected it to. Fall will be beautiful here at Temple Square though or wherever I get sent to... Alaska? This last week we had another wonderful training from our mission president. He is SO inspired and knows exactly what the Lord wants for the sisters at this mission. We are SO HARDWORKING here you would not believe it! I am so impressed that all 184 sisters are willing to adapt, improve, and work work work. There is never any drama like you would imagine or negativity. The spirit is always so strong and we all just LOVE each other. Funniest part of the week was when we had our new clothing guidelines meeting. We were informed that we now have a much broader variety of clothing! The shouting and screaming in that room was hysterical. I am just excited that we get to look a little bit more normal..... we are not 'sisters' we are 'SISTERS'!... From Mama Holmes (mission presidents wife).
Yesterday we were heading to lunch in the Church office building and we were stopped by a security office who said "Sisters I'm going to have you wait there for just a moment" we were directly in front of a sliding door that went into a parking garage. Just a few moments later we stood in awe as the first presidency and then the quorum of the twelve apostles walked by... ALL OF THEM! My companion and I were just hitting each other and trying not to freak out. It was the coolest thing ever! They had just left the Temple and were heading back to the administration building. Then just a few moments later I was blessed to have lunch with my Grandmama and Grandpa Butterfield! It was so fun to spend some time with them. They are both serving service missions here and I love hearing about the work that they are doing as well. How funny that we are serving at the same place?
Miracle of the week would be a tour we took of 20 Asians from California. They were so open, receptive, and asked many questions. A mother and her 12 yr old son Nick were especially interested. Nick would walk next to me in between stops and ask lots of questions and then listen very intently! He told his mom "I want to read that Book of Mormon!" They were so cute and so prepared to hear the Gospel.
I hope you are all doing well at home. I pray that the members of the church can get over their fears of sharing the Gospel and OPEN THEIR MOUTHS more often. I know its hard... but so what!!
love- Sister Carly Jo Porter
"He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation." (2 Nephi 26:24)
Another wonderful week at Temple Square. We were walking to the Temple this morning at 6:30 AM and it was a little bit cold... I just was thinking no no no summer wasn't long enough!! But it is still beautiful here!
Sister Johnson and I had a wonderful first week together. It was full of organizing, training, motor coaches, and tours on the Square. Last Monday we were in the office all morning and finally made ourselves get some fresh air on the square. The moment we stepped on the square we had a tour with a couple from Rome, Italy their names were Maria and Fabio. Fabio is researching temples because he has been assigned to work on the construction for the temple that will soon be built in Rome! He had just returned from a trip to see the Kiev Ukraine temple! They were so sweet and ready to learn everything that they could. We walked around with them and they felt the spirit so powerfully especially when we were teaching them of authority in front of the Priesthood statues. Not only did they readily accept to learn more but they turned the card over and wrote down three of their friends in Italy who we could call for them! As soon as we finished we ran into a family of 3 from Germany. We asked if we could show them the new display of the temple in the South Visitor Center. We were explaining about the restoration when the mother says, "I can't completely understand English but what I feel you are saying is a German term which means, 'the spirit can move mountains'." I told her that was exactly right! Her 2 children were asking questions and together they asked if the missionaries in Germany could come and meet them to teach them more! Of course!! Okay... I'm not finished. We said bye to that family and were walking around the tabernacle when we met Passion from Georgia. She was on her way out to take the shuttle to the airport and we stopped to talk for a minute. She hadn't visited with any of the sisters yet but she was feeling the spirit of temple square very strongly. My companion and I applied what we had been practicing which was being brief and clear in what we taught. She had many questions about the Book of Mormon and expressed interest in having the missionaries come to teach more. We then took the opportunity to PROMISE BLESSINGS that the missionaries and the message they had could change her life if she would keep her heart open. SO SWEET! All of this happened in the space of about 2 hours and my companion and I were jumping for joy! We knew that the Lord had blessed us and literally handed us these precious people to teach and testify to. So wonderful!!
All of our training sessions this week have gone so well! We have 27 new sisters and we split them into 3 groups for our trainings. We had them in our referral center for a 2 hour block to train them in making phone calls. We tried some new things this transfer which have worked out soooooo well! We trained them and then had them each go to a phone and set it up so they would first be calling each other and role playing exactly what they were taught. We gave them a real life scenario and then had them evaluate afterwards. After a few practices we had them begin making real phone calls to non-members and we saw SO many miracles! I couldn't believe how ready, willing, and excited they were to jump right in and start. I was so impressed and learned so much from them!
So the work is going well. My companion and I get along a little bit too well I think. We have a hard time getting to sleep at night because we just talk about EVERYTHING and just crack each other up. She is hilarious and just as weird if not even weirder than I am!! I know.... not possible right? She is great though and keep me on my feet. We also run the canyon every other morning which is a beautiful 3 mile jog and I LOVE it!
The church is true true true! Love you all! -Sister Carly Jo Porter
Well not much to share this week! I have a wonderful new companion Sister Johnson from California and we are the RCDs together. She is a hard worker and I am excited to continue the progression in the referral center. This last week I felt trapped down in the office with a bazillion things to do with all of the new sisters coming in. We have 27 new sisters and they are all so wonderful! 8 sisters were sent outbound and I am praying the next transfer will finally be my time to go! Pray for me! :)
Last night at 8:30 we were finally able to get a few minutes to find on the Square. We met a family of 4 out in front of the temple and started talking to them. We found out that they were from Minnesota and just traveling as a family for a few months. The dad was an in-active member of many many years but he loves the church and never lost his testimony. We took them inside the Tabernacle and had a brief conversation about how the spirit can bless our families. We shared a few scriptures and invited them to have the missionaries come and teach them more. The mother Maryanne didn't hesitate do agree and fill out the referral card. The 2 daughters 18 and 16 were also excited to have them come and share more. The spirit was SO STRONG and you could just see in their eyes how much they wanted the Savior in their lives. Sister Johnson and I were very very happy and we knew that that miracle was a blessing from the Lord!
Good scripture " Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise" (2 Nephi 2:8)
Oh one more thing.. if you have not been on the new Mormon.org website recently it is incredible!! The church is sooooo true!!
Well not much to say this week. My companion and I were doing some office work yesterday morning when I found a whole bunch of referrals that were in our system and had never been sent to the missionaries. HUGE bummer for sure! So I spent a few hours trying to track down addresses and the sisters so we could get the referrals out to the correct mission. I am very grateful though that I was prompted to check the list so that I could find those. Now we will be more aware of it and will have to modify some of our training.
On Tuesday we had a mission activity and went up into the mountains to play games and relax. I realized how long it had been since I had been for a drive when I got sooo car sick while driving up the canyon. It was a beautiful drive though and good to get some fresh air! I have to say though that It was SO STRANGE for me not to be doing missionary work. Of course we had fun but I had to convince myself to just enjoy the time given to us... haha kind of funny. The sisters are so awesome though and it was a good time just to be "us". The best part was the President Holmes was at the center of all the games, including the water balloon fight and hula dancing!!
We had our district meeting a few nights ago and it was centered on the spirit as central to missionary work and really to our lives. The spirit was so strong as we discussed the gifts we can receive from the spirit. In PMG chapter 4 (my favorite chapter) there is a list of scriptures that talk of the spirit. I was going down the list and just was overwhelmed with how much Heavenly Father LOVES us! He has given us a step by step process which if we follow will lead us to becoming like the Savior. BUT we have to look for it and use it. Why would he command us to be perfect if it wasn't possible? It is possible and the SPIRIT is the only way for us to continually be humble and improve. Love it!
I love this work! We have transfer conference on Monday and transfers on Wednesday! I can't believe it! Time is FLYING by. There is a good chance that I could be sent outbound to another state for the next few transfers. Wahh!! If I don't go outbound then most likely I will have a new companion.. so we will see! I have loved serving with sister Lautaha though and would be so blessed if we got to stay together again. So I will serve wherever the Lord wants me to serve!
Love you all! I hope you continually find opportunities to open your mouths and share restored truth. If we don't ever share it how are they supposed to choose to believe it?
Sister Carly Jo Porter
"And as many as would hear their words, unto them they did impart the word of God, without any respect of persons, continually." (Alma 16:14)
I LOVED this week!! Wow- it was so incredible to see so many miracles in just a few short days. After each tour I felt like it couldn't get any better than this, but then we would meet another family or group! AHH I don't know which ones to share?!
On Wednesday we took around 3 different families. All of them were so cute and so humble! My favorite family was a family from Phoenix that we met by the handcart monument. The first thing they told us was how beautiful the grounds were here and how it just made them feel happy. The parents Nina and Jason and their children Jenna and Luke were excited to hear about the history. We took them into the Assembly Hall and Nina tells them "These sisters have a special message to share with us about Jesus Christ so listen carefully". They were so attentive and just hanging on to our words as we shared the Restoration. We ended with them in the Tabernacle and Jason had just been so intently listening and nodding his head in agreement to everything we said. As Nina filled out the referral card she asked Jenna (10yrs old), "Would you like missionaries to come and help us know how we could come closer to Jesus Christ? (as she is checking the boxes) I think we should learn more about the Book of Mormon, Prophets and Temples, does that sound good to you?" My companion and I couldn't contain our excitement for them! We promised them that the missionaries would teach them more and most importantly would bring their family closer to the Savior. It was especially neat to see the love of a mother for her children. With each of these families the parents especially could feel that they needed to know more.
This morning we met a family of 3 from Poland. We have no Polish speaking sisters here but they wanted a tour. We went and got a Family Proclamation, the Living Christ, and Joseph Smith pamphlet in Polish. They spoke a little English but we mostly shared short declarations of truth with them at each stop. We would point to the sections in the documents that pertained to the truths we were teaching. It was the coolest thing ever! They understood exactly what we were trying to tell them. The dad didn't know any English and he was just grinning from ear to ear. After ending at the Christus we explained that the missionaries in Poland would come to share more with them and they were so excited! The mother hugged us so tight and said "Because of how you showed us around and the happiness on your face, I know that what you tell us is true! We will listen and then we will see you someday in Heaven!" Then she pointed to the sky and hugged us again. Oh it was the sweetest thing ever. The language of the spirit is universal. "For when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men" (2 Nephi 33:1).
There are many people on the square but I am grateful for the guidance of the spirit. We literally rely upon promptings to tell us where to go and who to talk to. It reminds me of Alma who went from multitude to multitude "And as many as would hear their words, unto them they did impart the word of God, without any respect of persons, continually" (Alma 16:14). We talk to everyone that we can and we invite them to feel the spirit of Temple Square.
I LOVE being a missionary! My companion and I literally lay in bed every night and just share our thoughts about missionary work and the true joy that it brings to our hearts. I don't feel that it is a sacrifice one bit for me to be here and declare salvation to my brothers and sisters. The world MUST know of the truth of the Gospel. I know that my mission is only preparing me to be a lifelong missionary wherever it is that life takes me.
Love you all- Sister Carly Jo Porter
BE HAPPY "Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets." (3 Nephi 1:13)
Another wonderful week on Temple Square! I cannot believe that it is preparation day again.. I feel like it was just yesterday. This week went well though and we are seeing many miracles. We had zone conference a few days ago and I am always so humbled whenever President Holmes trains us. He exemplifies the Savior in every way imaginable. He gives everything he has to this mission for the Lord. He told me the other day "I wouldn't be here for ONE single minute if it wasn't for him!" Then he shot his finger in the air. I said "YES President I agree! There is no room for mediocrity!" he just laughed and said I needed to chill out. But something he taught us in conference was about our companionship's teaching with the spirit. My companion and I are constantly trying to improve our ability to teach in love and unity. But what we realized was that we were not giving enough time for the spirit to teach, or space for our guests to ponder. I realized that if three of us are teaching equally (sister Lautaha, myself, and the spirit) that we needed to leave more "time". So our tours this week we have added more stops and less talking so that the people can see more and feel more as they walk around the square. MIRACLES have happened again and again as the spirit could communicate to them and to us more clearly.
On Wednesday we had just about 15 minutes before we had to be in the referral center after finishing up some office work. We knelt in prayer and asked Heavenly Father to bring us a miracle in the few short minutes we had. We went straight to the flag pole and found a middle aged man looking up at the temple. We began talking with him and sharing the more basic truth we could and allowing him time to ask us questions. A few minutes later we invited him and he readily accepted to have missionaries come and visit with his family. We walked away practically jumping up and down that Heavenly Father had heard our simple prayer! So great!
I was also thrilled to call two of Tara's friends from Berklee in the referral center. One was her roommate and another was her classmate. Each of them were not only excited to know that Tara had thought of them, but also to hear the message of the restoration. I am excited for missionaries to teach them more and for the spirit to come into their lives. Thanks Tara!
I love this Gospel and I LOVE this work! Time is going by quickly and I know that I can never go back to yesterday, so I am making the best of today :) Thank you for your love support and prayers.
Temple Square is CRAZY! We have thousands of people here literally every day who are eager to learn more about the history and basic beliefs of the church. I LOVE it! My companion and I are seeing miracle after miracle each and every day! Sometimes when walking home I just want to cry because I am so full of gratitude. The Lord is trusting me to bring the light of the Gospel to so many people!
We met Jennifer and Lisa just outside the Assembly Hall a few days ago. Lisa is a wonderful member and Jennifer is a co-worker of hers from Arizona. They met for the first time last weekend as Jennifer came up for work but they have been corresponding for the last few years. Lisa was thrilled to have us walk around the grounds with them and share some more. Jennifer was so touched by the spirit. She is a young mother who teaches her 2 year old every day from the bible. They currently attend a non-denominational christian church but she still has felt empty. While we were explaining the temple I got a little emotional as I shared that many of the pioneers lost loved ones along the way but they knew that their families would be together forever. She suddenly just gave me a hug and said "thank you!!" We ended with her at the Christus and after playing the narration we shared our testimonies to her. She said that she felt that this was right and she was had never felt so "warm". With tears in her eyes she readily accepted to meet with the missionaries in Phoenix. SO WONDERFUL.
In the Referral Center I called Missy Squires. She is the mother of a sister missionary who previously served here Ashley Squires. Ashley joined the church a few years ago after feeling the spirit at temple square. She decided to serve a mission and was called to Temple Square and for part of her mission she served in Boston where I met her while attending the singles ward there!! Crazy I know.. So she came to the square with her fiance and referred her mother for me to call. Missy (mother) has met missionaries many many times but never felt the need to join the church. As I called her and got to know her on the phone she completely opened up to me. She said lately she has been ready to throw her hands up in the air and give up on life. I shared with her about the Restoration and related it to a Temple marriage. After explaining the importance of Temples I invited her to prepare herself to go to the temple someday with her daughter. She responded "I would want nothing more". I called Ashely back and was able to explain how her mother wants to meet with the missionaries and prepare herself to be baptized and go to the temple. Ashely was thrilled! I know that the Spirit prepared Missy for the message and that as a missionary the spirit helped me to know what to teach and share with her.
There are 20 new sisters as of last week serving at Temple Square. One of the sisters if from mainland China and I was very anxious to talk with her, having volunteered in China and falling in LOVE with the culture!! Well.... Sister Han is from Kunming China. Turns out that she was a student at the exact same school where I was volunteering!! Some of the LDS teachers there with my program had told her about BYU and so she started researching online. After finding out that it was a Churchy school she wanted to learn more. She was invited to come to the United States for a month so she could learn more about the church and stay with this volunteers family. She was baptized and moved back to China. Now she is serving with me here at Temple Square!! I could hardly believe it! It has been my dream to somehow share the Gospel with my Chinese friends from where I lived!!! MIRACLE! Have a wonderful week!!
With Love- Sister Carly Jo Porter
Alma 37:46 "do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way"
CRAZY week here at Temple Square! My new companion is ..... da da da.... Sister Lautaha! hah yes yes we are companions again for this next transfer. I'm not sure how thrilled she was to be with me again (weird little blonde person) but I am thrilled to work with her again! It was super nice because we didn't have to move apartments or readjust or anything. With all the changes in the mission there was a ton of office work to do amid trying to reorganize in the RC. We realized we needed to De "clutter" the RC so we moved some stuff around and simplified everything and it looks GREAT! So.. we are pretty happy. We had to move a table with 2 computers on it from one wall to the other and move some file cabinets. My companion and a few others were moving the files so I went to work with the computers. I guess I did it pretty fast because they were all just dieing laughing because they turned around and I was already connecting cords and finishing up... and had a huge grin on my face.. technician Sister Porter comes out.. hah.
Summer is wonderful here though and it is so amazing to see all of the sisters working so hard and being so selfless. Often sisters are asked to sacrifice a part of their lunches or dinners to take tour with big or small groups and I am always impressed how they never hesitate. We are here to serve our guests and to bring them closer to the Savior, 1st and foremost! We had a meeting with President and he told us that he has 2 goals for this mission 1- To become the most obedient mission in the world, and 2. To become the most hard-working mission in the world. I was so excited because I know that this is the track that we are on and all of the sisters want it, so YESSSSS.
We took a unique group on a tour a few days ago. It was a group of 45 Philippine people from California. We began in the Tabernacle where we shared the History and the Restoration very briefly. As we exited the tabernacle about 15 people walked away from the tour. As we shared about the Temple and the purpose of temples a few more walked away. We ended in the Assembly Hall with about 25 people when we shared about the Book of Mormon and invited them to learn more. Of all those people only 2 of them referred to learn more. At the end we were discussing and actually thought it was very symbolic, because as missionaries we are sifting through the world to find the elect. The people who left obviously were not prepared to feel the spirit at this time. And we wouldn't waste our time trying to convince them. But those who stayed to the end were very receptive and were touched. The 2 who referred were the most important and we were so happy we could find them!! I'm am grateful that we do not hide behind our message using the "history" but we boldy share that Jesus is the Christ and Joseph Smith restored His church! This is not a visitor center mission... it is a PREACH MY GOSPEL MISSION. mmmm hmmm.
I love this Gospel and I couldn't be more excited to have the opportunity of sharing it every day. I know that it is a very unique time given to me by the Lord and is changing everything about who I am and what I want to become!