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".
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