Saturday, May 29, 2010

My dearest family! 5/28/10

Well this will be a short email that mostly will be directed to my beautiful family. My heart is very tender as I think of you all together this week for the wonderful event of Tara and Zach's wedding. How incredible is it to see the love two people can have for each other! I think it gives everyone a little bit more hope in the many things which we take for granted. I am so grateful I get to be here at Temple Square and literally see God's love for ALL of his children, sometimes they don't recognize it, but that love is there. I hope that you have so much fun this week taking pictures and being crazy. I don't want you to worry about me or be sad that I am not there because I love being here on my mission. I really can't imagine anything greater that the Lord could have me doing. I just think of how our family is eternal which means that we have to sacrifice a little bit along the way to make that possible. One of the sister's here just heard that her cousin was killed dismantling a bomb in Afghanistan last week. My heart was touched as I saw her courage and faith through something that is very difficult. She knows this is the Lord's plan and that they will all see their dear cousin once again. What an amazing plan that Lord has for us! Tara and Zach are just beginning this eternal plan and I couldn't be more happy or excited for them!! This Thursday during those fun hours of pictures, people, temple, food, ect... I will be walking around the Temple gounds sharing with many people that they could also have this joy in their lives! In the MTC there is a quote which reads, "Missionary- a person who leaves their family for a time, to bring other families together for eternity". I love that because even though it's hard, the blessing's don't even compare. I love you family! Have so much fun this week and really enjoy that time that you have together! I am there in spirit... seriously. Catie is pretty much my twin anyway.. so she can make up for me :)

Yesterday, to conclude Zone Conference, we spent the morning in the temple with 1/2 of the missionaries. I was able to participate in a session, then baptisms, then sealings. The spirit was so incredible and I was just overwhelmed with gratitude for my many many blessing's as a daughter of God. I know that this time during my mission is helping me to realize our potential as children of God which is endless! I know that the church is true with all of my heart. I can't believe that this wednesday marks my halfway point on my mission. I never want to leave! So.. I will continue making the best of my time here.

Love you all! Have a wonderful fun-filled week, I will be thinking of you! Tara and Zach..... you make me sick.. in a really good way . :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wonderfulness 5/21/10

This week was so wonderful. I have to say that I truly LOVE serving with my new companion, Sister Lautaha from Hawaii. Our teaching styles are so similar and our desire to serve is the same. We have usually 2-3 hours on the Square each day to find people. Sadly this last week almost everyone that we spoke with were very hard hearted and sometimes rude. We took the opportunities to boldly tell them how TRUE TRUE TRUE it is. We would just laugh as we planned each night and thought about our contacts during the day. All of which we pulled out all the stops, scriptures, and statements to help these people to SEE what is right in front of them. Even with many of the member's they were very kind but didn't have any one at all for us to call and share the Gospel with! After thinking about it though I know that those people who are hard need to meet the missionaries who are bold and powerful with the authority we have been given. SO I am very grateful for those people and even though each time made us devastated, I still know that they to are children of God and that the message is just as important for them.

This morning we had a portion of our Zone conference which will be happening throughout this next week. The spirit was so strong and we read scriptures and testified simply of the power of the Atonement. It hit me that as members of the church we are the only people on the whole earth who can have full access to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. As you know, that is through the Priesthood authority of the church AND through the guidance and council of the scriptures and living prophet's. THAT is what makes us different! The gift of the Atonement is right there waiting to be opened but until people come to accept it and open the gift, they cannot access it. This is the ONLY way for any person who ever lived to receive foundation. I was then overwhelmed with a sense of trust that the Lord has put in me to help people see this. When Christ visits the Nephite people he tells says, "And ye see that I have commanded that
none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world" (3 nephi 18:25). As members of the church we first most come to Christ, to feel and see of what he has done for us, then we must share that unto the world! "Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up that which ye have seen me do."

I am so grateful to be a part of this light! As children of God we should do our best to obtain the perfection he commands us to obtain but refining ourselves and receiving his image in our countenances. I know that this is possible as we access the Atonement and perfect ourselves through the Savior. I am soooo far away from this perfection but I am very grateful for ability to learn and grow from my mistakes and trials.

As RCD's we have a difficult job but a very rewarding one as well! As we train the sister's to be more confident in the Referral Center I am just filled with so much love for them and their decision to serve mission's. These are sister's from 50 different countries many of which are in a state of war or deprivation. I am truly humbled to serve with them as we seek to reach out to the people we contact around the world! Another task Sister Lautaha and I have is scanning and sending the referrals we receive on the square from mainland China. A few day's ago we sat and scanned about 350 cards and sent them to the Hong Kong Mission. The Hong Kong mission will keep them there until China opens to the missionaries when they will send literally thousand's of missionaries to these people! Is that not the coolest thing ever? Every week we receive between 100-200 referrals for China... so amazing!

I love this work! Have a good week!!

"And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a
change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?

Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins? "
Sister Porter

PS - My companion just read an email from her younger brother who is attending Stanford University. He just received his mission call to serve in the Ogden Utah mission!! Hah we are just dieing laughing!! He sound's like an amazing guy though and is very excited to serve here!

Friday, May 14, 2010

RCD Fun!! 5/14/10

Well hello everyone!

This week was definitely eventful! On Monday morning we had our outbound meeting and transfer conference. We were all totally shocked when President announced that we wouldn't be sending any sister's outbound (to another state) this transfer. We increased the number of sister's on the Square to 182! Since summer is coming he really wants us to be prepared for all of the people we will have. He said that June usually increases 80% from May.. so we are very excited for that! My new companion is Sister Lautaha from Hawaii. She is my first companion that is not Asian! We have a very unique assignment which is called Referral Center Director's or RCD's. So we will be spending a lot of time in the office and also in the RC every day. We will be responsible for working with the MTC in making sure that everything run's well and also with our mission president and the AP's to try to improve the RC. We have a lot to do! It kind of feels nice to have "tasky" thing's to do for a change. We will have 2-3 hours most day's to spend on the Square to find and teach people. I know that time will be really effective for us since we have so little time on the Square . So.. so far so good. My companion is a lot like me. She is very fast, hard working, and controlling? hahaha if you know what I mean! But I am really enjoying having someone else take the lead so I can learn and follow her. But we really do work great together!

So these last few day's we have been getting organized and working on training some of the newer sister's and some foreign sister's. I have made some specific goals to encourage and lift each sister individually. Being in the call center is NOT the easiest thing because sometimes the people are mean or they don't understand them. They don't have a companion on the phone with them so it is completely on their own shoulders. I sat with a Sister from Armenia today who just doesn't want to call at all. I connected my phone to hers and I made the first call. The call went great and then I turned it over to her and pressed dial. She looked at me and said "Sister! No! I can't do it!" haha then the man answered and she just looked like she was going to cry. I was mouthing to her what to say but she wouldn't talk so I had to take over... so you see that I have a lot of work to do :) There are a few sister's that are similar and there are many that are just so scared. Anyway, I am really excited to work with them and figure out how to encourage them!

So I loved having Mom, Dad, Tara, and Zach come up this week to see me! I loved when mom first walked into the visitor's center and saw me, she was trying to close her umbrella but then she just threw it to the side and ran for me! haha I was just laughing because it was the cutest thing ever! Oh I just love you mom so much! It was so fun to show them all of our offices and introduce them to many of the sister's that I love here. I was so blessed to have the opportunity of going to the temple with Tara for her to receive her endowment's. The spirit was so strong and I just felt so happy to be with her and be a part of this huge step in her life! Of course it will be sad for me to not be there for the wedding, but I got the second best thing :) I'm so grateful that she has someone who can take care of her now.. because I can't anymore! hah. She is amazing though and I am so happy for her and Zach to be together.. so freaking cute. What I loved most about my family coming was sharing with them the reason's why I love this mission. I talk about my family everyday to other people but to finally have some of them here was so special. Mom and Dad are so amazing and it gave me such a boost to continue working and loving all the people. I know that they are proud of me and that their prayer's along with many other's are what give me the strength to keep on going! While with my family I thought of Alma when he saw his brethren for the first time after their mission's in Alma 27 :17, "Now the joy of Ammon was so great even that he was full; yea, he was swallowed up in the joy of his God, even to the exhausting of his strength." No wonder I was so tired!

I love this work and I know that the assignment I have been given will give me new opportunities to learn, grow, and to strengthen all of the sister's around me. I couldn't ask for anything more! I know summer is going to get busy and that it is going to fly by... but I will love every minute of it! Thank you for all of your love, support, and prayer's. I couldn't ask for more.

With Love - Sister Porter

Alma 26: 12 Yea, I know that I am
nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

p.s. James Franco came to the Square this week and I contacted him before realizing who it was.. then when I realized I kept it cool and shared with him a little bit about the church. He later took a tour with 2 of the sisters and he referred for the Book of Mormon! boo ya! In case you are wondering who that is, he is the bad guy on Spider man... best friend/ bad guy. :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Winter in May!!! 5/4/10

Well I feel like we are back in the middle of February again. It has been FREEZING here in Salt Lake... like really really cold. It started last week and has been snowy and rainy almost every day. We are all trying out best to be positive but I can see it definitely weighing on the sister's in the mission. So we are praying and hoping that it warms up soon soon soon!

BUT despite the cold we are of course seeing wonderful miracles here and still having a great time! My birthday was last Wednesday and it was so wonderful! We left our apartment and made our way through the CRAZY wind and snow to our district meeting. I can't say that I was in the best of moods, but as I was preparing for our meeting I turned around and Sister S. Kim (my first and favorite companion) comes running in with a huge cake and singing happy birthday! hah and she stayed for the District meeting which was so wonderful. So I hate to say that a funny Asian with a cake is what made me happy.. but it's the truth! This District meeting was so incredible. We focused on bearing powerful testimony of the Savior to all of the people whom we meet. I had assigned each of the sister's different sections in PMG to study and they were each able to share their thoughts and ideas. The Spirit was so amazingly strong and all of us were extremely edified. I am so grateful that the Lord loves us enough to give us the greatest gift, the gift of the Holy Ghost. The spirit speaks to us truth which is so specific and necessary for our needs. Miracle right? Yes!

We met a wonderful couple from England on Friday morning. They were here visiting a long lost cousin of his whom they had recently been in contact with through his daughter who decided to use the churches family search website. Ok get ready, you have to follow along. Okay so the man's name is Allen and his aunt joined the church in 1896 when she was 23 yrs old. She left her family and home in English to travel by ship and then train to SLC to be with the saint's. Allen of course wasn't born yet but he remembers when he was a child hearing stories about his aunt whom his family never heard from again. Allen grew up always curious about the Mormon faith and finally got in contact with the Aunt's granddaughter Marie who is now in SLC. Allen started learning a little bit about his aunt's journey from Marie who has all of her journal's and letters. Allen and his wife decided that they had to make a trip here to see and envision what it must have been like for her. So as we took this couple around the square we focused on the reason why his aunt left and the faith that she must have had. He was so touched as we helped him imagine what it could have been like for her and how she must have felt when she heard that there was a living prophet on the earth again! Allen and his wife were very touched and grateful to learn. They will be listening to missionaries soon in England. It was so neat for Sister Kim and I to see the result of a women who lived so long ago. I could just see her cheering as her granddaughter and nephew finally made contact with each other so that he lost family members could have the truth of the Gospel! So incredible! The Lord knows us and his hand is in all things. Oh and also when the aunt left England she had to travel 3 months by ship and at one point she passed out and a missionary caught her, she ended up marrying that man! hah.. pretty cute.

So I am doing well! I am getting anxious for our transfer conference which is early on Monday morning. We have a lot of new sister's coming from the MTC and several coming back from different parts of the country so the odds of me going outbound are very high! I would love to stay here for the busy season of summer but of course I will go wherever the Lord wants me to go. So we will see!

I have been studying prayer this week and have been trying to make more use of my prayer's. Our mission president has taught us that we should exhaust ourselves during our prayers and I think of Enos who "raised his voice high that it reached the heavens", and "prayed and labored with all diligence". I don't think that the majority of mine our our prayers are as earnest as this. Even as a missionary I get distracted and forget how meaningful our prayers should be. I also love Nephi's thoughts that we should "pray always and not faint..that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee". We have wonderful insight from the scriptures of what our prayer's should be like. In True to the Faith we are taught to wait and ponder after our prayer and allow Heavenly Father to answer them! So.. I have been working on this :) Yesterday we met a women who was so interested in prayer. She asked us "when you pray, do you really feel that you are talking to someone? How do you know that he is listening". Sister Kim and I shared with us our own experiences that we do not just hope someone is listening but that we know he is.

I know that are prayer's our heard and are answered. We are so blessed to have this guidance in our life. As we pray we get the spirit, as we get the spirit our lives are directed, as we are directed we then see miracles and wonder's which otherwise wouldn't be available.

The church is true! - Love Sister Porter

Alma 26: 22 Yea, he that
repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.