Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Who knew I spoke Polish? 7/23/10

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

"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)

Zone Conference 7/9/10

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.

with love- Sister Carly Jo Porter

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Temple Square is CRAZY!!!

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"