(Sorry that these last 4 posts were delayed - Carly's dad and I have been out of town for a month and of course the computer went down as soon as we left so Denver or Catie couldn't post for me. So now we are up to date again! Carly is having a great time in Boston - she will be sad to leave next week, but also very happy to heading back to Salt Lake to finish things up! :)
Find find find find find... That's what we do!
My time in Boston is running low... sadness. But everything is going really well and I am very very happy :) We went on many splits this last week with some members and had some great experiences. Erica Glenn and I went walking down to the Boston Public gardens on Saturday afternoon and it was beautiful outside! There were so many people out everywhere.I told her we have to use our gift of discernment and then we found some really great people! We talked to a woman from Iran who doesn't believe in God, but does believe in a higher power. She had been through so much in life and was happy to be back in Boston reflecting on her many blessings. She wasn't ready for the Gospel but she did tell us that she was grateful to meet us and spend some time with us. On our way back we met a woman from Ukraine where Erica had served her mission! Ya.. so that was cool too.
Last night Sister Stevens and I went out with Alison Minor a member in the LP1 ward. She served her mission in Tennessee a few years ago. I cannot say how grateful I am for our time with her. She talked to EVERYONE. We were walking and there were 2 girls probably 15 feet in front of us walking towards us, she waves and says " Hi hi how are you! I am here with my 2 friends and they have a message to share with you!" They got to us and kind of laughed but said sure they would listen. Together we taught them the restoration and first vision. We asked them a lot of questions about their own lives and belief in God. The spirit was so strong as we testified to them that Christ's church had been restored. it was the COOLEST conversation. They told of us of how they were looking for a church to go to and not quite sure about things in their lives. Wahhh the spirit was so strong! I was so happy! We got their information and asked them to pray that night to know that the things we had taught them were true. We closed with a prayer and gave them hugs... soooooo wonderful. cool.
Nikia and Alice both didn't show up to church yesterday which equals buuuuummer. We were a little bit happy though because relief society was a little on the strange side and would have thrown them off. We are hoping to see them sometime soon this week. Please pray for them and that they will continue meeting with us! I think both of them are little bit nervous about change and commitment. People need to just chillax and get baptized. We are teaching another girl Jessica who has been coming to church for 2 years! Her dad just joined the church last year and it took him 15 years to get baptized. ya... weird. We hope to help figure it out with Jessica also. Alice is scheduled to be baptized on Dec. 5. I think that it will happen as long as she keeps meeting with us and praying. Common Alice!!! I'm not so sure about Nikia. She feels the spirit so strong and just cries every time we meet with her. She is so beautiful and knows that the church has everything she has ever wanted or needed. I think she is just scared of change. She admires us a lot and feels like she can never get to our point. We are praying the she will feel the love of Heavenly Father and realize that getting baptized is the right thing to do.
We are happy though and continue meeting with other people throughout the week! We have had many first lessons, it is just difficult getting people to church because they all work on Sundays. It will happen though in the Lord's timing. We just do all that we can and then let the Lord take over :)
The Lord really blessed us this week! We had brought our dear friend Alice to church last week and she seemed to like it. Because of health problems we had lost contact with her since I first got to Boston. We set up a time and met with her last Friday. She was struggling to understand that God could really love her, because she has grown up with an abusive father. Her idea of a "Heavenly Father" is hard for her to comprehend, she relates better to a motherly figure. But after our lesson she seemed to feel better about the idea and felt the spirit very strongly. We invited her to be baptized December 5th and she said YES! She came to church again yesterday and we will be meeting with her this week. I just cried Friday night as I realized how much I love Alice and am feeling God's love for her. If anyone has ideas on how we could help her know that God loves her, suggestions are greatly appreciated! :)
Okay Nikia is back in the picture! You may remember that I emailed about her about a month ago. She came from a member friend of hers and we had a great lesson with her. Well I called her early last week and let her know about some dinners we would be going to at members' home and she was welcome to come. She ended up coming with us to dinner at Jodi Cantrell's on Sat. night and it was so perfect. Jodi was so kind in helping her feel welcome and normal. We ate pizza and then Nikia just opened up and told us pretty much her life story about finding God. She has always sought to be christian but has had so many bad experiences in other churches, she always admired the Mormon's for actually living what we believe. She got emotional as she bore powerful witness of how the Lord has helped her life since that first Sunday she came to church. She finally got a job, she felt healthier happier and stronger, and her house is clean! She was just beaming with joy and knew this was where the Lord needed her. Anyway, I could go on and on about her. She is so appreciative of us in how we have helped her gain more confidence, I'm just like... umm I don't know who your talking about.. haha. She is so sweet though! She came to dinner with us last night as well. LOVE HER!!!
So yes.. missionary life is good. We had our zone conference last week in beautiful New Hampshire. It was fun to meet more missionaries. I was given the opportunity to sing "Face to Face" during a meeting and was so grateful! It is so fun for me to be a missionary here in Boston, I know that I say this all the time, but it is!! This last week we went on exchanges with Rori Glover and Katie Winder. Katie and I were walking down the streets talking to everyone, and went to visit our less active but wonderful friend Mary. Heavenly Father is really blessing me. I hope that we all recognize our blessings during whatever time of our lives it may be. I reminds me of Elder Hollands conference talk about gratitude. I think living a grateful life will bring us humility and the greatest joy.
Alright, I love you all. Thank you for your prayers. When I get tired, or even sometimes sick on the trains or buses, I remind myself of the many people praying for me and then I am revived!! haha I know... amazing.
oh and we also have another girl Kay who we will be teaching more this week. more about her later. :)
Have I mentioned how much I LOVE this city? So much! My two companions and I are having a blast running around the city and talking to as many people as we can. I have a few experiences to share.
On Saturday morning a ward from Vermont came down with their Young Woman to do an exchange with the sisters. We split up the Laurel class and each went out for a few hours with them. I was paired with Molly and we went out to visit some less actives in Cambridge. She was so adorable and had a million questions about missionary work, and she is obsessed with learning Chinese.. odd! The first home we went to was actually a wrong address but we had a wonderful conversation with another guy that lives there and he took the "Living Christ" and said he would read it. We were heading to the next house and passed two ladies probably in their 40s. I said Hi good morning pretty quickly and then felt I should stop and talk. I turned around and asked how their day was going. One of the ladies turned and said "We are gay, you don't like us, have a nice day" I quickly responded "no no no we would love to talk to you!" The conversation that followed was one like I had never had before! They had a few issues with the church and the spirit quickly prompted me to relate everything back to God's pure love for us as his daughters. I shared with them how we as missionaries simply seek to strengthen others' faith in Christ. Their faces began to brighten and we were able to share the Restoration with them. They were very grateful and said they were sorry for misunderstanding our belief. It was an incredible experience. Even though they are on a completely opposite path as I am, I felt SO much Christlike love for them and that God truly does know them.
We went downtown to meet with Katie Winder, a good friend of mine and a member in our ward. Our bus was late so we ended up just walking with her to her class at Boston Conservatory. While we were walking 2 guys stopped us, "Hey hey hey wait do you have a Book of Mormon we could have!?" My companion was holding one in her hand and said, "YES here!" We talked to these guys for a minute and they had been looking for a Book of Mormon all day and calling all these different numbers. One of them was going on a trip and he had promised his friend that he would read one! They were excited, we exchanged phone numbers and will follow up with them soon. It was so cool to see how they were literally placed in our path!
Just after dropping Katie off at school we were walking right by the school I attended before my mission, Berklee College of Music, and the sisters had to use the restroom. We went inside and I ran into one of my favorite teachers! The class I took from her was over 2 years ago and I was so happy that she remembered me. I explained that I'm a missionary now and that I would be back at school next summer. She said that she always knew there was something special about me and that now I looked very peaceful. Hah I told her that I probably was just exhausted...hah. It was a neat experience though to share with her how much my mission means to me!!! She is very anxious for me to come back to school as well, cool!
So everything is going well. We don't have too many people we are teaching right now. We have a few referrals that are taking some time to get a hold of, a lot of people just never call us back and it can be discouraging. Please pray that people will make time to meet with us! They just don't understand that their personal salvation is one the line :)
Love you all! Happy November! Woo!
-Sister Carly Jo Porter
"We can share the Gospel only to the extent we live it"
Transfers happened last Thursday and I am now living in Brighton with Sister Stevens and Sister Heywood. We are serving over 2 singles wards now. I cannot even say how excited I am for this transfer. At first I was a little bit nervous about being in a trio, I think any missionary would be. But I must say that I have been extremely humbled by Sister Heywood. She has admitted that she was not so obedient the last few transfers and she really wants to change. So all together we are helping to uplift and strengthen one another. We have SO MUCH FUN. It is just so entertaining to have 3 of us talking to people and taking over the trains and buses. Really hilarious. Love it! It also is helpful because we can multi-task a lot of our work. We are able to split and go with members to appointments if we need to so we can get more work done!
We taught another lesson to Cierra and it went really well. She has been reading and praying and was saying that she doesn't feel that she gets any answers. We went over a few verses of Alma 32 with her and then we started to play "The Restoration" movie. The movie was going along and then about 30 seconds before the first vision the movie just shuts off! We tried starting it over and it wouldn't work. I was smiling but in my mind I was yelling at Satan for ruining such a spiritual moment, but it actually turned out really good! In the closing prayer she thanked Heavenly Father for allowing her to see a portion of this great movie and expressed her desire to finish watching it later. So she watched it online by herself that night and had a really good experience. Satan's plan backfired! Hah!
During our church meetings yesterday we split and I went with Jodi Cantrell to the Charles River ward and the other sisters went to LP1 because they meet at the same time in different buildings (I know so convenient right?). It was so great though because both meetings were so uplifting and we were able to share our experiences when we came back together.
We have been meeting with as many members as possible to get to know them, uplift them, and give them our 10 Day challenge. This is the challenge;
10 Day Missionary Challenge
1) Pray daily for specific opportunities
2) Pass out all 6 pass along cards ( included in the bag each w/ the missionaries' phone number on it)
3) Choose or find 3 people to invite to church and/or have the missionaries call
YOU CAN DO IT
"...perfect love casteth out all fear" Moroni 8:16
And YES we will follow up with you in 10 days '
Some members were excited and ready while many others were nervous and skeptical that they could commit to this challenge. We would just remind them that they covenanted with the Lord at baptism to share the Gospel and always be a witness of Jesus Christ. So YES they could do it. At church yesterday during relief society they had a missionary moment and many of the sisters stood to share of the amazing experiences they had been having! We are soooooooo happy about this! The members expressed that they didn't know they could do it and then they just tried, the opened their mouths. So many miracles all because of FAITH to ACT! We are not expecting every member to complete the challenge or invite everyone they know to church, (although one girl invited 8 of her coworkers:) but we just wanted them to stretch. When we set our goals HIGH.. then we can get somewhere.
So we will keep working with the members and finding along the way! We have been talking to lots of people, a few of which come to activities and to church, but we know that the members are the greatest source for the missionaries, the ones who will bring long lasting conversion to their friends and loved onces.