So... we are a finding mission! Yes yes yes we are. I am so proud of the sisters in our zone this week who have been finding so diligently on the square and also during our time on the computers. Last night we had an RC pump up hour! I was having crazy flashbacks to last summer when that was what I did all the time. We set up a really neat role play where they each called another sister in the zone and were given scenarios to role play. It really helped. In the next hour of real calling we had 8 people refer... miracles! woo!
We are still teaching wonderful people. Dia is reading the scriptures and praying everyday. She will be going to the LA visitors center soon to meet her local missionaries. We are also now teaching Shanita in Georgia. She has a Book of Mormon she was given a long time ago. I ask her to read Alma 7 a few nights ago. When we called back this morning she was all the way to chapter 10! So impressed with her. We mentioned baptism and she immediately responded.. yes I'm really looking forward to that! She is 31 and has been married for just a few years and she has started to pray and read with her husband also. Amazing. Three of our investigators our now meeting with their local missionaries! Two of them emailed us and shared with us their experiences from going to church for the first time... sweetest thing ever.
We continue to see miracles every day. All of the sisters on the square are doing really well. I have been surprised with the amount of guests that we have been having. When we are on the square finding we usually take tour after tour after tour. Many of the people that come are in town for skiing, usually in Park City. Such wonderful prepared families that are coming. We also have taken some time to train the sisters and that has also been a great experience. This is the last week of the transfer and we are really encouraging them to increase their productivity.. sometimes during this last week of the transfer, numbers decrease which is just so odd! We don't want them to become distracted with all of the coming changes. So we will keep working!!
I love this work... in case you didn't know already :)
-Sister Carly Jo Porter
p.s. My companion and I will be playing and directing the music for a meeting in the Joseph Smith memorial building tonight.. we were told it is for some general authorities :) I get to play prelude for 20 minutes... dream come true. hah!
We have had some wonderful leadership training that has really motivated me for this New Year. I set some goals for my mission that I really hope will help me stretch and grow as a missionary and also as a leader. We had motor time on New Years day but we took all of our zone out for about 30 minutes to have a brief reminder of why we are here on missions. Sister Doggett and I shared scriptures and a few quotes from Preach My Gospel. A few of the sisters shared what their expectations were for themselves in coming on a mission. Then I asked them to write down how they can better fulfill their personal expectation as a missionary. The spirit was very strong, it was a great reminder for all of us of our true purpose and why we are here on missions.
Sunday night was the last night of the Christmas lights! I was a little bit sad, but also very grateful for the wonderful Christmas season we had here. President told us that each of the 700,000 lights were reminders of Christ. It really did feel that each night on the square, the special feelings of Christmas were so real! It really is about Jesus Christ, his birth, life, and resurrection. It was Christmas that I will always remember. Christmas as a missionary is the best!
Our online teaching is going well. I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but we are actually able to send text messages to our investigators now through email. It's amazing! I know... we used to be so old school. Even when I was outbound we couldn't text so this is great. A few of our people have been referred to local missionaries so we aren't teaching them on the phone anymore, but we are so happy for them. We were on the Square Friday night and I saw Chad! We met him 3 weeks ago on Temple Square and have been teaching him. We ran after him and got to talk for a bit. He is going through an extremely hard time. He just sat and cried in front of the Christus statue. He is trying to find a job, he lives in Provo but it is just really hard for him. We taught him again today and we hope hope hope that the Elders can go teach him soon. There just isn't much more that we can do over the phone, because our teaching limit is 10 minutes. We are teaching a new girl. Her name is Dia, she is 19 and lives in LA. We found her through the Chat program. Yesterday we had our first appointment with her and she was incredible! We asked her why she came to Mormon.org, she explained that she was going through a really hard time in life, she is scared that she doesn't believe in God anymore. She said she was sitting in front of her computer and a soft voice told her to go to Mormon.org, so she went and found us! GOLDEN. We had her read Alma 32 last night and she emailed us that she had read it 5 times and just can't wait to talk to us again. Ya.... just so neat.
My companion Sister Doggett is amazing. She is going home in about two weeks so I am trying to help her keep focused. She is a hard worker but she feels like her time is over. NO it's not yet! Haha so ya.. we are having fun :) She has served a good mission and I am learning a lot from her. Especially about good leadership and humility. How was I blessed with such great companions?
Love you all
Sister Carly Jo Porter
p.s. If you haven't watched the Mormon profiles yet on Mormon.org you have to! Right now! They are my favorite. Also take the opportunity to create your own profile with your testimony. They are really helpful for the missionaries and for the millions of people going onto mormon.org. One of the sisters here came running up to me because she found Zach Brough's profile, she thought that girl with him looked familiar! His profile was perfect for their investigator.
Christmas was beautiful here at Temple Square! Christmas Eve we all went to Heritage Park into the big lodge. We had an amazing dinner and musical program. I played my own rendition of "What Child is This". The spirit was so strong, I was even getting emotional as I played it... I don't think that has ever happened to me before. Just before I played they read the Christmas story in Luke II, so I think that really brought the spirit. I was very grateful to share my musical talent! What a great mission! Christmas Day we were on the square all afternoon. Sister Doggett and I took two miracle tours, oh it was so amazing. Mike was from Colorado Springs but had previously lived in Utah. His respect and admiration for members of the church had continued as he traveled all around the world with the Air Force. We ended with him at the Christus (on Christmas day!) and I felt prompted to tell him that God had prepared him specifically for this time in his life that he could meet with missionaries, be baptized, and become a part of this wonderful faith. He couldn't agree more! So.. we are excited to begin teaching him on the phone. Our second tour was with Ayanna from Georgia. She was here for a work interview and just kept saying how she didn't want to leave the city! She felt so peaceful and so excepted by all of the people she was meeting. She was intrigued by the history and pioneers so we really enjoyed sharing stories with her. OH and Christmas night we watched, "The Chronicles of Narnia"!!! So amazing, I found more symbolisms that time than I have had before. vonderful.
Our online teaching is going well. Many of the sisters have a hard time "sifting" through people. They spend a lot of time with people who they think are sincere, but really aren't. So we are doing our best to train them when possible. It has been extremely hard to do any training with the holidays, but we are hoping that when it slows down next week we will have more time! I really do love the sisters in our zone though, they are positive and happy and always willing to try these new things. My concern is that, it is extremely hard to let the purpose of missionary work, drive missionary work. Sometimes missionaries have other motivations, when really what better motivation could we have then bringing souls unto Christ? So... I am praying, studying, and fasting, to know how in the world to get this through to the missionaries. I hope we see some miracles soon!
I am excited for the New Year! I am excited for these last 9 weeks of my mission to make it the best time of my mission. There are so many life lessons that I have learned which I will be eternally grateful for. BUT, I know that there is so much more to learn. Mom Porter gave me the best advice. Last preparation day she asked me to read through my first few weeks on my mission. She wanted me to feel the excitement and fire that I had when I first got here and then apply that to my mission now. Not that I am not excited now, but reading my journal really motivated me!! I felt so much peace in what I have accomplished so far, but also such a renewed energy to give the Lord everything that I have. She also told me to not think about anything that will happen when I get home. Well, I can think about it, but not worry about it. (Those who know me well, know that I like to worry, plan, and change everything... haha) So that was also great advice! Thank you so much mom!!!
So we will keep praying, planning, finding, teaching, testifying, and inviting... and teaching some more.
Until next week, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
With Love- Sister Carly Jo Porter
"After all has been said, the greatest and most important duy is to preach the Gospel." - Joseph Smith