Monday, September 20, 2010

Incredible! 9/20/10

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!

Sister Carly Jo Porter

where to start? 9/10/10

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.

* 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.

Love you all

Sister Carly Jo Porter

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

la la la I love being a missionary la la la la 9/3/10

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!

Love you all!

-Sister Carly Jo Porter