Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sooooo Good 10/20/10

Saturday night we were on the bus and a girl gets on and says "hey are you girls Mormon?!" She sat down next to us and immediately started firing off a lot of questions she had. She came to church on Sunday and really enjoyed it! She has so many questions about everything so we are trying our best to help her just study the very basics first, she is really cute though! Her name is Kristin and we will meet with her again soon.
Monday was incredible! We contacted a referral given to us by some Elders in the morning. Her name is Cierra and she welcomed us right in. We sat down and had a spirit filled 1st lesson with her. During her closing prayer she thanked God for sending us to her and said she couldn't wait to meet and talk about Jesus Christs Gospel again with us... heaven sent. We were having lunch with our relief society president when we got a call from a member Melissa Cannon who had a friend that was interested in visiting with us. We went over to her house and had another incredible lesson with Nikia. She was sooooo amazing! We actually had met her a few weeks earlier when she had come to church and when I saw her I really felt that I wanted and needed to teach her. She is 29, single, and full of life. She met Melissa originally at a gym and contacted her about a month ago telling her she wanted to come to her church. She has lots of really good questions, but we feel that she is very sincerely interested in the church. She gave the sweetest closing prayer as she thanked the Lord for all our blessings and said that even though we all have different lives and paths that the Lord brought us all here together, to help each other be more confident women. She left us the sweetest voicemail thanking us for helping her to become a more confident woman. We are VERY excited about her!!
Ok- right after this appointment we pretty much ran from Central Square back to Alston for our dinner appointment with Allen and Annie, two awesome members in our ward. They had invited Quinn over, who had previously investigated the church and has recently shown interest in coming back to church. We had a really nice lesson with him and the spirit seemed especially strong as Allen and Annie shared powerful testimonies of how the Gospel will bless and change his life for the good.
So ya... 3 new investigators in one day. The Lord is BLESSING us!!!

Tomorrow is our transfer day and Sister Stevens and I are being transferred. We are not sure what is going to happen though. We know that we are both moving to another apartment, we are not sure if we will still be together, or in a trio, or with new companions. There are only 2 other sisters being transferred as well, so the options are limited. Anyway, we will find out tomorrow morning! I'm a little bit sad to be moving out of Arlington, it is a beautiful town! Wherever I go though, I will make it the best! If I get a new companion then I know that that is what the Lord wants for me at this time. I can't believe that my time here in Boston is half way through. There is still so much work to do!

I love serving. I love that the Lord is so aware of us as 2 little missionarionaries out of more than 50,000 serving around the world. I love feeling the Spirit guide our words and actions in all that we do. I love meeting people, talking to them, and recognizing them as children of God. I love miracles.I LOVE missionary work!

-Sister Carly Jo Porter

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Day! 10/12/10

I am so excited to write about the coolest experience ever. On Saturday we went to teach a man named Jimmy who we had found in our area book. He had met some elders about 7 months ago at a train station and he gave them his number. For some reason the sisters never made contact with him. We had called him and he invited us over to share a message. We went to his apartment with a member in our ward and had an incredible lesson. Really so amazing!! He told us about many spiritual experiences he has been having in his life. He is from India and has a Hindu background. He used to weigh 300 pounds, his family wanted him to have surgery but he was determined to do it the right way. He felt God leading him to exercise and eat healthy and lost 150 pounds in 8 months! He moved to the US about 1 year ago and got a job here. His only knowledge of Christianity is from watching videos from some preacher on YouTube which he finds very entertaining. ahhh he is so wonderful! As we taught the first lesson he agreed with everything and really felt the spirit. We had him read the first vision out loud and he was getting all into it and using his hands to emphasize the bigger words. He looked up at us after he finished all out of breath and said, wow that's amazing! Near the end of the lesson I was trying to think of a date for him to be baptized and did the math for Nov. 7th. We extended it and he accepted to prepare himself for baptism! Such a tender mercy from the Lord. We taught him how to pray and he just started praying with his eyes open and more praying at us. It was so cute! It was his first time to pray and we were very proud of him. We will be meeting with him tomorrow. I know that the adversary is going to work very hard on him so please pray that he will have the strength to make the steps towards baptism. Woo!

Everything else with the work here is moving forward. We are still finding a lot everyday. We have some wonderful zone leaders Elder Buys and Elder Davies who work in the Arlington area. They only have had this one investigator who is not very hopeful, I started praying that we would find someone for them to teach. The next day on the T there was a man sitting across from me listening intently to a conversation I was having with this women. When she left I jumped up to go and talk to him. I found out that his ex-wife and all of his kids are members of the church in Florida. He loves the church and had gone for many years with her. After visiting for a minute I was so excited to tell him that it's time for him to meet missionaries again and for them to change his life. He just laughed, smiled, and said "wow God does answer my prayers". So I called the elders and gave them the referral and they have already been in contact with him! Tender mercies!! Sister Stevens and I are also trying to work with the members in our ward more. There are many that are less active or just struggling with their testimonies. We will be spending some more time visiting them and strengthening their faith. But for the active who do come to church we have no pity. We went in for the first few minutes of elders quorum and we told them that we as missionaries are here to teach and they as members are here to find... so start finding! I was pretty bold and just said that there is absolutely no excuse for them to say they are just "Working" on their friends (I hate that term by the way) but that the time is NOW and they have to open their mouths. I told them that the Lord would hold them accountable for it :) So little by little we are hoping for the members to step it up with us. It might take some time, but the Lord is helping me be patient.

Yesterday my companion and I had the chance to attend a session in the Boston temple. Wow it was so amazing! I felt so overwhelmed with gratitude as we sat in the celestial room. While sitting there I felt the Lord confirm to me that YES I am supposed to be here in Boston, not for one specific reason but probably for many small reasons, many of which I will probably never know of. I felt so much peace and a calming reassurance that the Lord is with me to guide me in all that I do and say.

I love this work! It's true!
With love- Sister Carly Jo Porter

Monday, October 4, 2010

Good times 10/4/10

Boston is finally becoming the Boston that I love... FALL! It has been really warm but these last few days are cooling off and we love it. We have had some really neat experiences this week so I will share a few of them.

So I guess the way I do missionary work is a lot different than the missionaries out here. Our numbers and the way we work has been attracting a lot of attention, some of it is good and some of it is negative. My companion seems to get worked up over it because she doesn't like that others judge us but don't really know how we are working, I just keep telling her, Don't worry, this work is for the Lord.. his opinion is the only one that matters. So we have been focusing on doing this work for the Lord and for those people whom he has prepared.. then we will continue to be happy :)

We have been working a lot with our area book this week, there are loads of potential investigators in there that were never contacted by the previous sisters working in the area. We had a lot of first appointments that were spirit filled and hopefully many of them will turn into solid investigators. While traveling to an appointment we were waiting at the Park St. T stop. I told my companion, we have to talk to someone, we walked around for a bit trying to discern who to talk to. I saw two girls and walked up and just started chatting. They opened up quickly and wanted to know what we were doing at missionaries. We soon found out that they too were very christian and had done several service trips in other countries including India! We got on the T with them to continue our conversation. The following day we met with Alberta at her home in Dorchester. She was so sweet! After we had met her the previous day she had gone home to read the pamphlet of the Restoration and search on She had a list of very good questions for us and was anxious to learn more. Our second appointment with her fell through but hopefully we will be seeing her again tomorrow. Her friend Susie will be meeting with us as well! One of our difficulties is that everyone is students they are all very busy with work and school. Finding a time and place where they can meet is our biggest challenge! So we are praying for circumstances to get better with those who do want to learn more.

Conference was AMAZING!! So wonderful! I had tears in my eyes and goosebumps throughout the entire conference as I felt the spirit teaching and edifying me. In between sessions yesterday we took some time to eat lunch and visit with some of the other missionaries. There were 6 sisters and probably double that of elders. I started getting antsy and told my companion we needed to go contact before the session for about a half hour. She kind of looked at me like really? I just smiled and said YES! The missionaries were kind of laughing because they thought it would be a waste of time (its the Lords time silly). One elder commented that he had contacted the area over and over again and there wasn't any one around (which is ridiculous because its all students who come and go!!!) So we left with our wonderful roommates to go and talk to people. It was getting cold and pretty windy and there were not too many people on the streets. Sister Makanesi and I found an Indian woman and stopped her. She was so warm, open, and friendly! After visiting for a minute I told her about conference and what a wonderful uplifting experience it was. She said oh I would love to go sometime! We were so excited and said we could take her right now! We toured her around the chapel and she watched the first half of the session. She said she felt something so special, a connection with God that she had never known. I was soooo happy!!!!!! Two of the other sisters were contacting by a bus stop a guy walked up to them and told them he had been inactive for 20 years! Cute Sister Chang said, "Jesus Christ wants you to come back to church! Let's go!!" So he also was able to be uplifted by conference and stayed for the entire session. This was a HUGE lesson for me and the other sisters, we literally saw what faith can do in such a short time. We were so determined to go and find someone who could experience the wonderful spirit of conference and the Lord led us to them!! Miracles!!!

I don't have a favorite talk from conference or anything specific that really hit me. But I was overwhelmed with a sense of love and gratitude for the membership I have in Christs restored church on the earth. I felt so much love from Heavenly Father for me and for the work that I am helping him with here in Boston, I felt an increased desire to be grateful and not take for granted what I have been given, and I was filled with a love for my family quite unlike anything I have ever felt before. The church is true and we know it! So blessed!!!

I love you all so much! Thank you for your letters and prayers! I really do need all of your support, it helps me so much.

and so you know, I will NOT settle as a mediocre disciple of Christ..

you are not you for you

Love-Sister Carly Jo Porter

Hit the ground running 9/27/10

Since I have been in Boston the words of one of my leaders keeps running through my head "When you sisters get to your new assignments, you better hit the ground running!!! There is no time to waste!"

It has taken a little bit of time get the work going here in Boston, I feel that the Lord is trying my patience once again... he likes to do that doesn't he? We find many people though every day here in Boston who need to hear our message. Some of them our currently being taught by other missionaries and I have truly felt led to many of them. Last Friday we received a new assignment to be over the LP1 ward which is a different singles ward. We are so excited because in this ward we will be able to teach guys and girls between the ages of 24-30. The members are incredible in this ward. We went yesterday and all of the testimonies were about the missionary experiences they had been having and how they were talking to so many people about the church. I could hardly contain my excitment while sitting on the bench. Immediately after church we had members coming up to tell us they had people they wanted us to teach or atleast come have dinner with. So good! They were very excited to have us in their ward. Yay for us! I have some really close wonderful friends in the ward also who we will be working with! (cough cough Katie Winder and Rori Glover...)

So this week I have been studying Preach My Gospel a lot trying to more fully understand my purpose and potential as a member of Christ's church. My understanding of the atonement has increased as I realize that as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we are the only ones with full access to the atonement. All of the people around us have not yet entered that gate by which they can return to live with God. THAT is why we must talk with everyone, and that is why this work is so important.. the atonement of Jesus Christ. Not only are we to help those who don't know about the church but also our family, friends and all of the people whom we know. Seems kind of overwhelming ya? Of course it does! Do we think that when the Savior knew he was responsible to atone for the sins of all mankind that he wasn't overwhelmed? Of course he was! It wasn't easy for him.. so why on earth should it be easy for us. So it's not easy... but so worth it. One of my companions in the past said, " Before I came on a mission I was thinking, wow how on earth am I ever going to be able to give everything up.. my phone, dating, TV, family ect.. then I realized. well DUH Heavenly Father will help me, I'm so silly". I love that because sometimes we come to a problem or situation and think, wow how will I get through or how will I help this person... well DUH Heavenly Father will help us!

I love the scripture Helaman 3:29 "Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked".
Hah now that was not meant to sound scary in any way! The point is that we are given the way and help to get through this life.. this crazy world we live in. Duh, Heavenly Father will help us..

We were walking in Central Square a few days ago just talking to people and my companion had to use the restroom. We walked into Walgreens and one of the workers said "Hey are you guys missionaries?" We were excited to meet Horacio and started talking with him. He told us he went to the mormon church about 10 years ago and he loved it. We got his phone number and set up a time to meet the next day. On Saturday we met him at a park and taught him the first lesson. He didn't know about Joseph Smith or much even about christianity. The spirit was helping him understand everything we taught, he was asking good questions and after we finished explaining he said, "yup wow, it sounds like a restoration to me." My companion invited him to be baptized and he responded, "I could be, but I was already baptized in your church". Our jaws dropped and I said "You were baptized in this church (pointing at my tag) so you were completely brought under the water (using hand motions) and then given the Holy Ghost." He just said ya ya I was, I used to hang out with the elders all the time and then they baptized me in the church over by your temple. haha we were just laughing but also we were so excited that we had found him!! He came to church yesterday and will now make the steps to becoming an active member of the church. We are really happy for him, and grateful that Heavenly Father placed him in our path. He is just as important as anyone else is finding the church. So cool!!

So everything is going well. I'm truly humbled that the Lord has sent me here. This is such an amazing opportunity to serve the Lord! In my favorite city! Love it... Is it going to be hard? Of course! No worries.. Heavenly Father will help us :)

-Sister Carly Jo Porter