Monday, July 24, 2017

Musta po!!!

So I tried to send an email and my computer crashed so I have to do this all over again haha so I don't have as much time. Pasensiya!!!!

But I love you all! Another crazy week but good! Sister Johnson was in Manila all week so I was in San Juan on exchanges. I love the sisters there, I got to help my trainer recover from surgery there, and the work there is great!! The sisters there are so hardworking and the youth are amazing. One of their recent converts has started a chain reaction with the youth. He recognized the truth of the Book of Mormon and the Church of Jesus Christ right away because he was truly searching -- Kenneth. He became converted and baptized and now the youth in the ward are working with the missionaries and giving referrals of all their friends and it's truly amazing! The youth are so important and truly have so much future and potential!

Sister Johnson came back from Manila on Thursday and they fixed her spinal headaches but she has a cut muscle from her surgery last month so she has a long recovery process and went back to her old area to recover. So I have a NEW companion!!!!! Sister Daban from Manila!!! She's the BOMB! She's 15 months on her mission and she is so hardworking and soooo sweet! The minute she got here she was ready to work, and even though we were rejected we were so happy. I'm learning that our work and our love and worthiness of the Spirit is what truly defines a missionary. Not the number of baptisms or stats. If we are using the Lord's time for the salvation of His children and conversion of ourselves and serving others, we are doing what He wants us to do. We work hard, she lets me run on the beach or on the street, and we make chocolate pancakes and do our best to serve our investigators and the ward and be kind to each other. This is going to be a great transfer!

Sister Walters and Sister Bleak have been so good to me too. I am so grateful for how they've helped me see what the definition of a great missionary is. They are so kind and so devoted to serving the Lord. AND they were SOOOO grateful for the package of food!!!!!!! THANK  YOU SO MUCH UTAH FAM! They were so grateful and seriously all of Sister Walter's favorite foods! That helped her so so much! She's gone through so much and is just amazing!

The Abat family is doing great. They come to church ever Sunday and I know that if they continue to experiment on the word, they will become converted to the Savior Jesus Christ. They are learning line upon line precept upon precept. That's how we learn and be converted. And that's what we need to do ourselves to. Act in faith that this gospel will change your life and as you do these things you WILL KNOW that this is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet, and Jesus Christ is our Savior and faith in him can help us do anything-- ANYTHING. This is His work and His Spirit is among the people preparing their hearts for the gospel. We will find them -- but we have such a small part in their conversion-- it's really the Spirit working with people and it's all in his time.

Spiritual thought:
I read the Book of Mormon in Tagalog and I wanted to share a scripture:
Jacob 4:7
7 Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.

 Gayon pa man, ipinaaalam sa amin ng Panginoong Diyos ang aming kahinaan upang malaman namin na dahil sa kanyang biyaya, at kanyang dakilang pagpapakababa sa mga anak ng tao, kung kaya’t may kapangyarihan kaming gawin ang mga bagay na ito.

God shows us our weaknesses so we can rely on Him and know that by Him miracles happen. We need to humble ourselves and recognize His hand in all things. I know that if I trust in Him and not my own understanding, miracles will happen. I am grateful for my weaknesses so that I can know that miracles will happen.

Cultural Note:
Guess what I ate this week??

Adidas -- street grilled chicken feet. It wasn't my favorite to be honest. Chicken feet is mostly cartilage and skin and bone and the sauce is really salty here but hey I tried it hahaha. Filipinos have the most interesting street food -- fish and squid balls, adidas, day-old chicks, quail eggs (qua-qua ) in batter.

I love you all! THANK YOU for the packages, the emails, the letters from the Young Men, and ESPECIALLY for prayers for my companions and our investigators! Serving others is literally the best thing in the whole wide world and I love my Savior so much! I think when He lived on earth many people didn't recognize Him because He was a carpenter and came in humble circumstances, but He overcame all temptations and suffered for all sins and sicknesses and understands EVERYTHING we will ever feel and go through. I know that He is the Christ the Son of the Living God and His gospel is the way was have to become perfect through His merits.

Sister Porter

Monday, July 17, 2017

Ang balis ang panahon! Anim na buwan na ako sa misyon!

Kumusta po?!? Mayong ugto (I'm pretty sure that's bisaya for Good afternoon -- bisaya is the language people speak in the southern islands of the Philippines)

Another seriously insane week. I've seriously been everywhere. We got out of the hospital on Wednesday and Sister Johnson was discharged. But she got misdiagnosed with some other missionaries, and she was in so much pain while I was taking care of her at our apartment. President Bangal had to drive her directly on Thursday night to Manila, and I haven't heard what's happened since. Pray for her! She's had a rough last few weeks. And then my trainer and one of my best friends Sister Agner got transferred to the hospital for an operation. It was so hard to see her in pain in the recovery room, but it was another time where I felt that my calling after my mission is to help other people in the medical field in many places. She got discharged on Saturday, but we took her to San Juan and she's resting now. It was so fun to reminescence on the good old Baguio days hahaha. 

Anyway, I've been all over the place this week. San Juan with one of my new favorite missionaries Sister Barton (her companion had to go to Manila too) and we were SOOOO excited to work we actually cried haha. The youth there LOVE missionary work and refer all their friends -- the baptisms there are all youth and they all want to go on missions. Seriously the work is amazing there. Then I went to San Fernando for a few days with Sister Lopez and Sister Sagers and that was super fun too. But I really have had to fight to work in my area. I've been trying to call for anyhone willing to work with me hahaha. But we got to go to the Abat family and they are so so amazing! They're striving to do good things and worried about not being perfect. I got to tell them that the purpose of this life is to strive follow the Savior's example but we are not going to be perfect in this life. You are ready to be baptized if you're willing to strive to keep the commandments of God and strive to take upon you the name of Christ and rely on His Atonement. They are doing great! I have high hopes for them. And Sister Joy Casugay is a cute 29 year old we've been teaching. She's going to have a baby next month so pray for her. She's had a hard time lately so please pray for her to stay strong and believe!!!!

Talagang something I learned even though not being able to work in my area has been hard for me, is that SOOOOOOO PRECIOUS is EVERY SOUL TO GOD. One of the APs said kanina that our calling as missionaries is more special than a king or queen on earth. We get to assist in serving others like Christ did and bring them to the everlasting gospel. EVERY MINUTE on a mission is more precious to me than anything the world can buy. I seriously love people so much -- investigator, member, and missionary -- and it's been such a blessing to have them in my life. Talagang sobrang pinagpala ako na naassign ako sa Pilipinas. Ang kahalagaan ng bawat na kaluluwa ay dakila sa mata ng Dios.

Mahal na mahal ko po kayo!!! I love you all so much and your support means so much to me. 

Sister Porter

Doctrine and Covenants 18 

10 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;
11 For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.
12 And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.
13 And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!
14 Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

When all you have is hope...

Kumusta sa aking pamilya????

Well, it's definitely been a different week. The sisters sang to all the missionaries going home and I had to say goodbye to one of my best friends on the mission, Sister Condie. She helped me to adjust when I first got to the field and always knew how to make me laugh. The good thing is that I can hang out with her as much as I want when I get home because she goes to UVU:) You just learn to love all your companions and roommates on the mission to death because we are all here for each other. 

If there's anything I've learned in the past few weeks, it's how to take care of others and absolutely love others no matter what. That's not meant to be self-exalting but just a wonderful opportunity to serve others and love them. It's what I want to commit myself to doing for the rest of my life-- caring for others. Going outside of yourself and your own wants or fears and just being outgoing and loving and trying to understand the background of others. It's made me just absolutely love my companions no matter what. And I know that is how the Savior sees others on an infinitely more loving scale that I can't even comprehend-- love is seriously limitless.

I can only imagine what it must have been like to watch Jesus going amongst the people and healing the sick, listening and caring for the lonely, and showing such incredible and perfect love to the people around Him. I can't even describe how incredible and overwhelming the Spirit must have been to those who were in tune with it. On the outside there was no beauty or comeliness to be desired, but those who saw this man with the eyes of faith could feel the peace of love to know that this man was truly the Son of God, our Savior, our Redeemer, our Jehovah who went to infinite lengths beyond the understanding and capacity of the mortal mind to save us and rescue us and show us the true meaning of love, compassion, and sacrifice. 

So just so you all know, I actually have been in the hospital for the past week taking care of my new companion, Sister Johnson. She's Australian and super bubbly and spunky, and I love her and have loved getting the chance to know her. But she's been in a lot of pain for the past 3 weeks, and doctors have no idea what's going on with her. It's been so frustrating to see her in pain. So here we are, still in the hospital. President Bangal is so worried about her and so we are doing an emergency transfer to put her in Lingsat with us so she's near the hospital. But she won't been able to work for a while and the sisters are traveling for the musical devotional, so they're companions now. Haha I think I've gone through more companions in a month than most people do in 6 months haha.

This scripture is keeping me going: Ether 12:4--

"Wherefore, whosoever believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led forth to glorify God."

There's not much I can do in a hospital room, but now I just have to trust that someday I will be able to work hard and I will accomplish what I am seriously desperate for -- to bring souls unto Christ and be the missionary I want to be. 

Hope you all had a great fourth of July! Love you all! Thank you for the prayers, the emails, and all the thoughts you send our way! Prayers for Sister Johnson would be so appreciated!

Sister Porter

Monday, July 3, 2017

Maging Magpagmamahal sa lahat ng tao-- Kahit ngumiti ka lang

Kumusta po kayo!?!?! 

Another week in Lingsat and sobrang maraming natututunan! Seriously I have the sweetest companions -- I don't know why I've been so so blessed with amazing companions. 

It's been a little hectic near the mission office. My companions are touring the whole mission to sing and there's a lot of preparation involved. But seriously it's bringing so many investigators to the chapels that it's seriously been such a success. Seriously our mission president loves them so much.

While I was waiting for them to perform I got to talk to people from all over. Even though my language isn't perfect, I'm so grateful that I can talk to people in Tagalog-- I know God gave me enough to do the job I needed to do, even though I don't always understand everything.

I've been hearing so many stories of investigators that take years to come into the gospel but because of the kindness of members and missionaries they do come! I know that this is God's work and He works in the hearts of these families.

Please pray for the Abat family! They are a long term investigator family that have finally started to come to church as a whole family!! They are making tremendous progress! They are like our momsie and popsie and love the missionaries. But they've been scared of baptism, and their kids were really shy. They need all the prayers they can get!

Also the Tan Family! We love them so so much! The parents are so so so nice and so are their kids. They love the missionaries and they love the lessons. They participate and they just come to realize it themselves the truth of the principles being taught. Love them so much!

I really realized the importance of being a good teacher. If you can asked inspired questions and explain clearly and help the investigator understand, the Spirit really can be more effective! That's my goal. That's what my companions are so good at. Actually all the missionaries here in Lingsat! They are so busy but they are all soooo good! They work so hard and they teach so so well. I want to be like that so much--I feel like I don't really know how to do it, but I do love the people soo much. Filipinos are literally the sweetest people on the planet. You can talk to anyone on the street and they are so kind to you-- on a jeepney, anywhere! They give what they have-- and they just love everyone. 

Cultural Note: Filipinos definitely have a sweet tooth. Favorite treat right now-- hopia. It's this fried bread with a sweet filling- so so good. Puto is a sweet rice that's super good too. 

Another Cultural Note: The palenke is so fun -- the market. There are mazes of little stalls selling fruit and bawang, gulay (vegetables), sebolyas, treats, handmade goods, fresh eggs. All the store owners kinda yell at us in broken English it's hilarious -- Yes Ma'am!!!! Ano yon!!!!???

Spiritual Thought:
Just thought I'd share my favorite talk ever! Whatsoever he saith unto you do it by Elder L. Whitney Clayton:

The Savior performed His first recorded miracle at a wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. Mary, His mother, and His disciples were there as well.  Mary apparently felt some responsibility for the success of the feast.  During the celebration, a problem arose- the wedding hosts ran out of wine.  Mary was concerned and went to Jesus.  They spoke briefly; then Mary turned to the servants and said:  "Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it."

"And there were set there six water pots of stone...(These water pots weren't used to store drinking water but were used for ceremonial washings under the law of Moses.) "Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water pots with water.  And they filled them up to the brim.  And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast and they bare it.

"Then the ruler of the feast...tasted the water that was made wine" and expressed surprise that the best wine was served so late in the feast.  We usually remember this event because transforming water to wine was a demonstration of the power of God- it was a miracle.  That is an important message, but there is another important message in John's account.  Mary was a "precious and chosen vessel" called by God to give birth to, nurture, and raise the very Son of God. She knew more about Him than anyone else on earth.  She knew the truth of His miraculous birth.

She knew that He was sinless and that He "spake not as other men, neither could he be taught; for he needed not that any man should teach him." Mary knew of His extraordinary capacity to solve problems, including one as personal as providing wine for a wedding feast. She had unshakable confidence in Him and His divine power. Her simple, straightforward instruction to the servants had no caveats, no qualifications, no limitations: "Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it." 

Mahal po kayo!
Sister Porter

Monday, June 26, 2017

Pawis na pawis talaga... Adventures in the Lowlands

Kumusta po!?! Lunes ulit! 

It's definitely been an up and down week. Basically being next to the mission home is insane because there is ALWAYS something going on. We take care of lots of other missionaries that come regularly. And Sister Walters and Sister Bleak have been all over the mission for their musical devotional. It's a big thing-- the President loves loves it. Tons of investigators are coming to their performances. They're going all over the mission to sing.

But it left me... here haha in Lingsat. I spent a couple days with one of our sister missionaries in the hospital while she got her appendix taken out and almost went crazy in the hospital room because we couldn't leave haha. Then I went on exchanges a lot with a temporary missionary (that's a thing in the Philippines for missionaries who don't have their call yet) in my area while my companions were at the devotional. It was funny because I was speaking in Tagalog but she speaks Ilakano and I had no idea what she was saying in lessons haha. I also gave a talk in Tagalog in church today for 15 minutes... That was interesting I'm sure I sounded funny. Reminded me of the other side of heaven when Elder Groberg was speaking to the Tongan congregation haha.

But earlier today President Bangal took us to a waterfall out in the bukid. it was gorgeous!! We drove through rice fields and terraces and the jungle was sooooooo pretty. He took us because the sisters did so well at the devotional. It's a tourist attraction so we met a lot of people on the way. I was talking to this catholic nun who was hiking in full on nun garb. She was so excited to take a photo with me hahahaha. People think it's so funny when they see this tall white Americana speaking Tagalog. "Marunong ka ng Tagalog?!?!?!"

Lingsat is beautiful. I love running on the beach with Sister Walters. And we have a couple really sweet families we are teaching. One is the Tan Family. They are active in their religion but they are so so sweet and love to read everything we share. They have family prayer now and I'm already seeing the gospel change their life. they are worthy of the Spirit. The parents learn the gospel for themselves through the Holy Ghost. We just provide them the opportunity but truly little by little they are understanding. I felt the Spirit testifying of Joseph Smith and I know they felt it too. Sister Bleak and Sister Walters are really good missionaries. I love to just watch and see how they do things. I hope I can be half as magaling as they are someday.I know 100% that the Lord is working with them and in time they will be baptized. God does His work. Plus our ward is AWESOME! Our mission leader and so many families want to work with us! It's incredible! They support the missionaries soooo much!

Word of the week: pinakamakapangyarihan -- all powerful

Cultural note: 
Filipinos love KAREOKE. They just sing their hearts out no matter how they sound hahaha I love it. Except when it's when we are trying to sleep hahaha. i didn't know rapping in Tagalog was a thing because the words can be long sometimes but it works hahaha.

Anyway I'll send more photos next week! Love you all! Prayers are the world! Especially for our area!

All the love,.
Sister Porter

Monday, June 19, 2017

Kumusta po sa Inyong lahat!?!!

So guess what?!?! We had a special transfer for maraming missionaries that have been around 4 months in their area and sooooo... I got transferred!! It was hard to leave my old area, especially because I left so suddenly that I didn't get to say goodbye to everyone that I wanted to. Who knows if I will be able to see them again?? It was hard to say goodbye, and Sister Baconawa hasn't had a whole lot of time to get to know the area, but I am just going to have to trust that Gods got everyone taken care of.

So Goodbye to Baguio! And Hello San Fernando!!!

Its beautiful down here too! I will send more photos next week but my apartment is only a few minutes walk from the beach and right next to the mission home. We're going to start running on the beach! BUT.... It's SOOOOO HOT!!! I'm dying down here I've never drunk so much water in my whole life. We have to sleep with electric fans to keep from overheating hahaha. Seriously though so hot. and it's not even the hottest part of the year -- April and May are the hottest months talaga.


Yup. Lahat kami ay Americana. 3 White Chicks in San Fernando. But this is their last transfer before they go home at the end of July. SOBRANG MAGALING SILA. They're basically the AP sisters. They travel a lot and have been in the office making a big musical devotional for the whole mission and they do a lot for the President. They are also such good missionaries! I was blown away this week by the ward's willingness to work with us in visiting our new investigators and less actives.

Basically I love love my new companions. We all had a talk the other day and basically said that we were each the answers to each other's prayers. Sister Walters and Sister Bleak have a ton of weight on their shoulders and not used to people helping them out, so I've been able to serve them a lot. And help each other stay relaxed and happy even when we're all stressed hahaha. And talaga they've been answers to my prayers in my work. I love working with them! We literally get to talk to everyone! And our lessons were so smooth and perfect! We felt the Spirit so strong, our transitions were beautiful and we supported each other, we got to serve our investigators and ward members. Basically we got back home from work so happy. "This is the DREAM!" -- Sister Bleak

Totoo that a mission isn't easy! But I'm so excited to be in this area and work so hard! I'm learning SOOOO much from this area already and how to be the best missionary I can be. I'm so grateful to be here!

Challenge for you all: Apply 1 Nephi 17 in your life. I felt like I learned SOO much from this chapter this week. 
Just like Nephi was asked to build a ship by the Lord, everything was just handed to him. He had to labor and ask and believe and He knew that things would work if he did it the Lord's way, The Lord was their light and strengthened them in their wilderness even though there were afflictions. We can look back and see that He gave us all those things the whole time even if we didn't understand everything at the time. I hope the same thing goes for us in our personal journeys in the wilderness. I don't think that Nephi's journey was a straight line. Sometimes they made mistakes and went off track. But when they were faithful and diligent they made it to their promised land. It may take more time then we want, but someday we will become the person God designed us to be and we will make it if we trust Him.

Sa sasunod! 

Sister Porter

Monday, June 5, 2017

Magandang umaga po!

I'm sitting here in a crowded computer shop listening to all these Filipinos yelling at computer screens trying to watch the NBA final -- hahaha it makes me laugh so hard. Filipinos are seriously the cutest people on the entire planet. I love them so much.

Let's see... what happened this week. So this week I'm leading the area so we decided to try and find some areas that no missionaries have been to in my area -- the result -- I've testified to hundreds of people this week-- even if it's not for long. I think I've hit my personal record for how many doors I've knocked on in one week. I hope that if I continue in faith, that we will find some people ready for the gospel. It's amazing that all Filipinos have such strong faith in the Savior Jesus Christ; there's some kind of church on almost every street of hundreds of types of denominations really. The challenge is to create an environment where the Holy Ghost can testify to them about the Restoration of the Gospel. I don't believe any effort is wasted; every Book of Mormon placed, every testimony born-- it plants a seed for the Holy Ghost to work with. For example, I've been helping my bishop find less active names in the ward. I found one family this week whose parents were active when they were teenagers. It was the birthday party of their now 8 year old Alec and we came in and sang I am a Child of God for them. Although they are now active in another religion and rejected us, I know they felt the Spirit with that song. They asked for a copy and the parents knew the lyrics to the song even though it had been 20 years and the lola (grandma) asked for a copy. The Spirit testifies through song. We placed a Book of Mormon and left. I know that this is the gospel of Jesus Christ and even when we are rejected, I believe in the Lord's timing.

So, I live in an apartment with all Filipinas, and I'm basically Filipina daw hahaha. they  love my Filipina cooking ( Sister Baconawa makes me cook her pancit all the time -- the traditional noodle dish here). I'm pretty proud hahaha. 

I just thought I'd share what I've been learning about faith. I think it's what I've been trying to learn the most about on my mission so far. The Bible Dictionary has my favorite definition (below):

God is perfect, even though we are not yet perfect. We make so many mistakes, but I know that even when times are tough and we feel that we are not worthy of the Savior's love and help, that it is a lie. If we continue to believe in Him and keep trying to make right choices even though we will always always fall short, He loves us more than we can imagine. I love my Savior with all my heart. I thank Him for my hardships and everything I've seen here even though it isn't easy because I love my Savior all the more because of it. I refuse to believe that we are alone. There is a reason for everything. Blessings come, even if we have to wait on the Lord's timing. They will come!

I love you all so so very much! My family and friends who always are there and thinking of me even though I'm on the other side of the world! That means all the world to me! Mahal ko kayo!! Nakasentro sa plano ng ating Ama sa Langit ay ang mga pamilya. Naniniwala po ako na maramdaman po ninyo ang pagmamahal Niya at ang mismo ni JesuCristo mula sa Aklat ni Mormon at sa lahat ng karanasan sa inyong buhay! Ito ang Ebanghelyo ni JesuCristo -- ang plano na makabalik sa Kanya -- Tayong LAHAT! this gospel is for every single person willing to repent and come to their Savior Jesus Christ - -no matter what they've done. We are never too far from His love

Sister Porter

Faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true (Heb. 11:1Alma 32:21), and must be centered in Jesus Christ in order to produce salvation. To have faith is to have confidence in something or someone. The Lord has revealed Himself and His perfect character, possessing in their fullness all the attributes of love, knowledge, justice, mercy, unchangeable, power, and every other needful thing, so as to enable the mind of man to place confidence in Him without reservation. Faith is kindled by hearing the testimony of those who have faith (Rom. 10:14–17). Miracles do not produce faith, but strong faith is developed by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ; in other words, faith comes by righteousness, although miracles often confirm one’s faith.
Faith is a principle of action and of power, and by it one can command the elements, heal the sick, and influence any number of circumstances when occasion warrants (Jacob 4:4–7). Even more important, by faith one obtains a remission of sins and eventually can stand in the presence of God.