I just wrote an email for 30 minutes and it was erased :( So... I will try to remember everything that I wrote but I don't have much time.
So this Thursday I am singing at an International Relation's Church meeting that will be held at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. They are having a guest speaker who is a Jewish Rabbi. I am singing Consider the Lillies. So... keep me in your prayer's that day, that the Spirit will be able to touch his heart! I am nervous but excited for this great opportunity!
Last night we had a mission party and watched Mulan and The Best Two Year's, it was soooo good and fun to be with all the sisters (155 of us) and just to relax. I think I was laughing more at all of the funny sister's comments and reactions then I was at the movies! hah!
We have transfer's next week, I cannot believe how quickly this transfer went by and how much I was able to learn! I am so grateful for my companion and how humble patient and sweet she is with me. I am soooo far from perfect but we were able to learn a lot from each other. So we will see next week what the changes will be.
I gave my own copy of the Book of Mormon that I carry around everywhere away yesterday. I gave it to a man named Steven. As I was talking to him my heart was touched by how humble he was and how the Lord was preparing him to hear about the Gospel. He doesn't have a home address or phone number so no way of getting at in touch with the missionaries right now. After sharing my testimony with him I felt very prompted to give him my Book of Mormon which I have been marking for the last two months. I pray that it will help him and that things I have written in there will be a guide for him until he can get in touch with missionaries! He was amazing!
I met a girl on Sunday her name is Abby Barth and she went to China last semester with the same program I went with. She actually went to the same school I went to in Changzhou! I just cried as she updated me on all the kid's that I taught and the experiences that she had while there. She told me that they still talk about me all the time as I was the first Head Teacher at the school. She said they still insist in doing thing's the way the "Carly Said"! haha I just laughed and it made me so happy to see that I had made a difference at that school! This was such a tender mercy from the Lord for me to meet Abby and to be reminded of that wonderful experience I was able to have! Oh and just a few minutes after this I met the cutest couple from China.... oh perfect :)
I have been working on memorizing the Living Christ for the last few week's. I cannot even begin to explain what a wonderful experience that this has been for me. It has fortified my testimony of the Savior and has given me word's to say when my mind seem's to go blank. That document was so inspired and is meant to be used be the member's to strengthen our testimonies and to share what we believe about the Savior! One of my favorite lines is, "His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth... God be thanked for the matchless gift of his Divine Son." So powerful! I encourage everyone to read it, study it, and perhaps... memorize it :) common if I can do it, anyone can!! Who doesn't want more blessing's?
I am so grateful for my mission, every single day I realize what a privilege it is for me to serve here. I am even more grateful that the Lord is willing to teach me in so many way's. I have found myself sharing with member's a lot lately that the Lord loves them so much and know's them exactly. He know's where we are in life and where we needs to be. He is so willing to take whatever path we are on an make it straight, no matter what has happened in the past. I hope you all realize how much the Lord loves you and know's you! We all have trials, make mistakes, and have hard times, but that is the beauty of the Atonement. Christ already suffered for us so we must turn to him. We have to humble ourselves over and over again and realize that we cannot be fully successful or happy without his mercy and grace.
I love the Savior! I love sharing my testimony with the World every day! It is amazing as I share that sometimes I say thing's that I haven't ever said or really known before, I know that that is the power of the spirit. We all have this power inside of us, if we will listen!
I have more stories but I will save them for next week! I love you all so much! I really appreciate the letter's and love that you send me, I couldn't ask for better friends and family!
Loves- Sister Porter
Alma 13:28-29 :)
oh and my favorite thing that my companion shared this week was.. "I know as you read Book of Mormon your faith will begin smiling". So wonderful!
I wanted to share a few question's and statement's I have been told this last week.. mostly from non-member's. How do I use the Atonement as you say?I also have authority, I'm an ordained minister. I'm already saved. What doctrine is in that book that is not in the Bible? Why was Joseph Smith so prejudice? How was Joseph Smith different than the Pope? Your christian is much different from real christians. What proof is there that the Book of Mormon is true? Why in the world would you leave Boston to come here? I only came to see inside the Temple and you say I can't go inside? How do you know it's true? So since you are crying for me, God is crying for me to? Are the women allowed to get married? To go to heaven do I have to join your church? What does your church have that mine doesn't? Sister's you just answered my prayer's. YES! I knew I needed to serve a mission! Your faith is so evident. Thank you for your dedication. Hey Elder's! (random old guy crossing the street! haha). You answered my question's so perfectly. We had a delightful time with you. You carry a special spirit, we can see it. I will read that book. I feel comfort and peace here. "I can't believe he did that for me, he died for me" (from a 10 year old at the Christus). Hah so as your can see, every week I get many kind's of up's and down's. People LOVE asking us all the questions they have ever wanted to ask the Mormon's. It's okay too because that is why we are here! To help them and to answer their questions. BUT, many times I feel like Amulek when speaking to Zeezrom in Alma 11 when he said "for I shall say nothing which is contrary to the Spirit of the Lord". We are asked difficult question's many times. Some of those time's it is okay to answer and especially to use the Book of Mormon to answer, but other time's the Spirit strongly tell's me just to simply testify. example- Patrick was a really funny man. He was quite the talker and loved telling us about all of the "searching" that he has done. He is a bible teacher and love's looking for weird religions that he can find and argue with. He told us about many weird groups out there that just blew him away at how far from doctrine they were. I asked him how Temple Square was and he responded that there was nothing here he could argue with that "everything was good". Then he went back to his religious tangents and I stopped him and said.. "Patrick I am glad you have had a fun time looking for group's with false doctrine, but how is your search for truth going?" hah his face was so funny, he said, "Now THAT is the right question! Way to go!" Then we began discussing our religion and I used several scriptures to help him better understand. He asked at one point "why do I need the book of mormon when I have the bible, what is in there that is not in the bible". Well... we all know that the Book of Mormon is FULL of stories, lesson's, doctrine, miracles, that are not in the bible. But I felt that I needed to testify. I told him that I am not a knowledgable person, that he probably know's way more than I do, but that I knew without a doubt that if he read this book that it would bring him closer to the Savior and he would also know that Christ's true church was on the earth today. Both of us were emotional as I shared and he thanked me for my testimony. ANYWAY, long story short, it was an incredible experience. I know that he felt the spirit, yet he was still stuck in his way's. He has a Book of Mormon at home and I gave him some chapter's to read and he promised that he would. I have 3 other experiences this week almost exactly the same as this one. Another girl was in her 20's and had completely left the church. She was seminary president, engaged to a RM and her whole family is still active. She had TON's of questions! Tons!! At the end though after I shared my testimony and was trying to help her, she responded and said that after all her searching, she KNOWS this is not the true church and her heart breaks for her family and friends that are still in it. SO SAD!!! I had to go to a room and just cry after this because it literally broke my heart. I was so sad that there was nothing I could do or say that could help her remember or help her understand what she was missing. SO sad! I'm sorry this was a sad story but it helped me realized a few things. 1) How solid my testimony is, never ever ever would I deny the spirit I have been given. 2) People have their agency and when we make tiny wrong choices, Satan will take us and drag us down the wrong path. 3) As a missionary, I do all that I can to preach the truth through the power of the Spirit, and that is all I can do. I have to be happy with what becomes of it. We met another women, Melanie, who was just coming back into activity after 27 years out of the church. She was incredible and full of fire! She had a long and sad story but I could literally see how the Atonement was working for her. I thought of Mosiah 4:2-3 when the people view themselves in their own carnal state and recognize that they are nothing without the Atonement. It is so so true! We need the Atonement every day to cleanse and purify us. We went to the Temple thismorning after not being able to go the last few week's because of cleaning. I LOVE the Temple so much! I had missed it so much! I am so grateful that we have been given the blessing to be able to make special covenant's with the Lord and can use them to strengthen me everyday. The WORLD doesn't even know about this! WAHH! As member's we must be doing all that we can to share this message, the Gospel! True!! My companion continues to amaze me. Her English is so good and our contact's are becoming much more balanced. There are not a ton of people here on the Square because of the Winter so we have lot's of time to practice and do weird activites.. I'm pretty creative. This email seem's long so I am sorry about that! Those experiences were just amazing and helped me learn so much. Missionary work is hard, so hard, but I love it so much. I want to fully become Sister Porter, Carly is back in Boston or Mesa somewhere, but for now I am Sister Porter! :) I want the Lord to shape me into the woman he need's me to be in the future for my family and for eternity. What an incredible time that I have been given. I love you all and I love this work!
Sister Porter2Tim 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind".
Another wonderful week has come and gone! Ok I just had to start off by sharing some fun things about my companion. Soo.... she makes Bacon for atleast 2 meals every day, to go in her Japanese food. So we were walking to the square after dinner and she looked at me and said "you smell funny" haha I about died laughing!!! Sometimes my scarves seeps in the bacon smell.. so now I smell like bacon. - A few day's ago we had just stepped on an escalator in the North Visitor's Center when a sister above us asked me a question. So I hurried up a few steps back to ground to talk to her. A few seconds later I looked down to see my companion running up the escalator after me!!!! I can't even describe how hillarious this scene was. She was so determined to catch up. I told her "no no just go down!" ha she almost fell like 3 times, so she just went down. That just show's how well she follow's me :) te he- So every day for about an hour we are in the West Gate Booth to help visitor's who come. When visitor's leave she always yells to them "thanks for coming!" they rarely understand her so she get's embarassed when they come over to ask what she said. So cute though that she is trying so hard! - Yesterday she was praying before we left our apartment and all of the sudden she was just silent, I thought she was thinking or something and about 30 seconds later she say's "sister porter amen!" haha I guess I didn't understand that she had already said amen... haha. too funny. -So we have funny moment every day and I LOVE! She is the cutest thing ever and she just want's to keep working so so hard. So the highlight of my last week was Zone Conference... seriously so incredible. The focus was on Christlike Attributes. I came away feeling like a new missionary, I was so excited to go to work! One of the main thing's I realized was how precious this time is for me. Sometimes I feel like I will be on a mission forever, but then I realize that it will come to an end quickly. I want to use this time well! President taught about Dilligence and how we should be anxious to keep finding people and obtaining referral's up until the very last minute! I totally agree with him, but sometimes it's easy to forget that. I love the scripture in Moroni 8:16-18 when he talk's about preaching the word and how our perfect love casteth out all fear. Sometime's it is sooooo hard to talk to people! Especially because they probably already talked to other sister's. But we have to be bold!! I also love in Alma 38:10-12 Alma teaches Shilblon to use boldness but not over bearance.... so key to Temple Square. We are the face of the church here and we would never want them to leave with a bad impression.. never. So a few experiences. Yesterday we met Dylan, a kid who lives in SLC and has had a really hard life. After talking with him we could see that he is searching for truth in his life, he want's to over come his trials. I told him I had a scripture for him so I opened my Book of Mormon and started looking... I could NOT find anything!! I was thinking, "what in the world? I can alway's find a scripture!" THEN I looked at my companion and she was standing there smiling with a scripture all ready to share. She started talking and new exactly what to share. I was AMAZED as she bore a powerful pure testimony and I was humbled once again by her desire to follow the spirit. We also took 4 Stanford business student's on a tour on Sunday. They were all so awesome and had great questions. 2 of them referred to recieve the Book of Mormon and we were so excited! It was so neat to see how prepared they were. What was surprising was that the two who referred were actually the 2 who seemed less interested.. alway's interesting. I had some great experiences in the referral center as well! I spoke with a women minister who lives in New Jersey and she had a TON of question's about the Book of Mormon. I love how my heart beats so fast as I just pray that I will be able to answer her next question.. she was talking really loud and I was feeling like she was going to get mad or argumentative, but then I would answer her question and she would just say "oh ya, that makes sense". Sister Watanabe next to me is trying so hard. She get's sooooo nervous to call people because her English is still so little. But she alway's does soooo well and we alway's celebrate after she get's a referral. Last week I was talking with a new Sister who is from India. Her name is Sister Vupadda and she is incredible. Of course my love for India has drawn me to her and I just want to know everything about her life. So she joined the church 5 years ago, shortly after joining her father passed away. Last September, her brother who was preparing for a mission, also passed away. When she told me this my heart just broke and I got teary eyed. I was just reminded of all the sweet sweet people I know and LOVE in India. This Sister has gone through so much and sacrificed so much to be here on her mission. It was such a special moment for me to recognize once again my blessing's and also to see how significant it is to have sister's that are here from all over the world. So humbling. Another sister who is going home shared this in her talk last Sunday. She said that Elder Perry came and spoke to our mission last year she shared that during his talk he suddenly looked up and said "The Temple Square Mission is the most powerful missionary force that has ever been assembled", then he went back to his thoughts. I think about this and am overcome with gratitude that the Lord trusted me, Carly Jo, to come here to this mission. I am working hard ever day to do the Lord's work, so that I can give my best to one of the most powerful mission's in the world. I thank you for you love, concern, and prayer's. Love you all!- Sister Carly Jo Porter Mosiah 4:27