Tuesday, July 10, 2018

 Magandang Umaga po! this is my last email!!!!!

Being a missionary has taught me so many life lessons that I want to follow for the rest of my life. I want my life to be so much different than it was before. I learned the importance of sanctifying and consecrating myself to the Lord. I learned that losing our lives and using our time to serve others is what brings the most joy and satisfaction in life. I learned the importance of being obedient to him. I also have learned the importance of choosing to be happy and show love and do what is in my power to do to bring love to others.

If there is anything I want to happen in my life, it's that I want to serve the Lord. I want to dedicate my life to serving and working hard. I desire that more than anything else. I hope that God will help me in that desire and help guide my life to a higher plane. I want to make my standards high and not lower them. I want to show love to all those I meet and have long since been my friends.

I have been so blessed on my last week with wonderful people to teach. We went to the Abat family last night to see how they were doing, and we were taken away by the spirituality of Radclif! He went to FSY and he loved it so much. He shared his favorite scriptures of the week -- 3 Nephi 5:13 and 3 Nephi 11:25-26.  And then he expressed how much he wanted to serve a mission. The Spirit was so strong in the room and I was overcome with emotion. To see Radclif desire to serve a mission meant the world to me. Sister Jensen felt impressed to say that someday there will be many people that will come to Elder Abat and thank him for saving them! The Abat family told us they would work to be sealed in the temple. We will work on it! Keep praying and fasting for it.

Sayra is doing fantastic. We had a super spiritual lesson last week on Wednesday. We had taught her the Restoration the week before and had given her an assignment to ask God if this was true, and was the right path for her. When we came, she told us that she was sad because she was really trying to get an answer and wanted to be ready for us to come and ask her if she had received an answer, but she didn't feel like she had gotten one. We all started telling our own experiences with coming to know the Book of Mormon is true, that sometimes we expect something crazy to happen like an angel coming to us and confirming to us that is true. But for us and for Sister Mendoza, things came as gentle feelings urging us to do good and telling us not with a loud voice, but a small whisper that pierces to the soul. That's when a wonderful feeling came in the room. Sister Sayra started getting goosebumps. She started remembering all the prayers that had been answered in the past week. How she had pleaded to God to help her finish her reports on time even though it seemed virtually impossible, and that if he would that she would believe that she is there. She finished her reports with time to spare. Then she had remembered how she prayed the missionaries to her house. Then she started crying and she didn't understand why. But we knew. She felt the Holy Ghost confirm to her that everything we had taught was true. Her little family came to church this week and accepted to live the Word of Wisdom without question last night. I thought of this verse in Doctrine and Covenants 6

22 Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.

23 Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?

Christal came to church again this week. We had tried to visit her that Saturday afternoon and she was obviously upset about something but she was afraid to say it out loud. But when she was in the church, she told us how much she feels peace here and safe and loved here. But starting since she was young she had been abused and neglected and misused. It disgusted me to hear about how much damage people caused to such a sensitive, sweet, and loving daughter of God. It was so hard to see how much pain that she had to suffer. It has hurt her life so very much. But Sister Flora is trying to arrange a way to help her get better schooling in a new place. I'm not sure if it will go through or not. But while she is here we are just going to love her and help her get to seminary. She loves all the church activities and we sing with her all the time.

We had a fantastic lesson with the Gallego family on Thursday about one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon: Mosiah 3. It was incredible to listen to Brother Gallego explain how that through the the Atonement of Christ we can put off the natural man and become more like a child and be submissive to our Father in Heaven. That turned out to be my talk in sacrament meeting on Sunday. Our plan is to continue to read the Book of Mormon with this family -- they are so great at reading the scriptures. They still have a few things to do before they can get baptized, but I know that the Holy Ghost through the Book of Mormon will tell them what to do.

We are really excited for the Musical Devotional on Saturday! I really love to hear and sing testimonies expressed through song, and I have a really intense desire to enhance my music skills when I go home. I want that to become a big part of me because it helps me feel the Spirit, develop my talents and share the gospel with others.  We will invite everyone!

We saw a former investigator start progressing, Sister Leni. She was taught a little before when her child died, but she had some anger towards God because her sweet and innocent 6 year old child died without warning 2 years ago. But now that she is meeting with us again, she told us that her attitude is changing and the Spirit is changing her life little by little. She loves reading and understands the doctrine that we teach her. She told us that her prayers are becoming more meaningful and she is feeling the love from her Heavenly Father and the anger that she felt is being replaced with humility and love. Such a miracle!

We are still going to keep visiting members and helping them share the Book of Mormon:)

Lynn and June's little boy Harvey is confined in the hospital because his lungs are so congested and because of his situation he can't cough. He could use a lot of prayers right now. Even though his family has been praying and praying that somehow he will be healed, Heavenly Father has been answering their prayers in a different way. Their faith is growing tremendously. Brother June used to not believe in God but now is starting to pray and read little by little even though he doesn't understand everything. Sister Lynn is a solid rock in her family -- she never stops praying, never stops hoping, never gives up. She knows that God is there and knows her sufferings. She loves the Book of Mormon and told herself that she would read it from the beginning if at least just a little every day.

KC and Jarwin came to church this week -- KC loves the Book of Mormon and understands the importance of the gospel. They still love the message of the gospel and are still working on growing their faith!

Sister Porter

Monday, July 2, 2018


I have been really contemplating charity lately. How much that has changed my life in just the past couple months. I'm so grateful to God that he is letting that happen in my life. I've never seen just how much the pure love of Christ can change lives.

One of those lives is Christal. She has had a really hard life. She is only 18 and she has had to stop school because of a tangle of abuse, turning to wrong sources for true friends, and being abandoned by her dad. She's often at the house of a recent convert that we teach and that's where we teach her often. We are some of the first people that have shown love to her in her life. We started teaching her this week at the church right before seminary so that she can attend seminary. She loves seminary -- the young women were soooo mature and so loving and accepted her right away! We are so impressed with the young women in this ward and see future incredible missionaries in them. Anyway Christal has been much happier there. Before seminary when we were teaching we were trying to start the lesson we had planned but as I tried to talk, the Spirit bound my tongue. I couldn't speak-- I tried to force it but I knew the Spirit was literally telling me that we needed to teach something else. I changed our approach and my tongue was loosed again because we asked her what she wanted to get out of the lessons and she told us of her desire to be happy and to change. I was overwhelmed with God's love for her and we testified of what the gospel would do for her life and the Plan of Salvation. I knew God had taken over that lesson. She's attending church and she feels peace there.

That same day as we were just leaving our apartment to go to work, we were walking down the street and there was a girl heading our way walking quickly in the opposite direction. We greeted and stopped her for just a few seconds to talk to her, and introduced ourselves. She was in a real hurry and was surprised that we stopped her, but she said that she was busy going to work but that she was extremely interested in us and what we had to say and wanted to meet with us as soon as she wasn't busy. We were shocked but took down her information. That Saturday we called her and met up with her at the church. She came! Her name was Geraldine, and she is the sweetest 22 year old ever! She just graduated and works here in Lingsat, and she is an elect of God. When we asked her, it turns out that she is a seeker of truth. She had been visiting all the churches around her and she told us that she just could not feel the Spirit of God, and feel peace. She is looking for a way to pray to her Father in Heaven like a conversation and not memorized prayers. She is looking for a relationship with God. We were overwhelmed and excited to testify to her how much God loved her, knew her desires, and had a grand plan for her. She really knew when we stopped her on the street that there was a reason that we stopped her. She knew this was the answer to her prayers. She had to go home to Ilocos Sur to visit her family this weekend, but we told her where the church is there and she went to church there even though she was all alone! We were so proud of her.

I thought of this quote:
"The same God that placed that star in a precise orbit millennia before it appeared over Bethlehem in celebration of the birth of the Babe has given at least equal attention to the placement of each of us in precise human orbits so that we may if we will, illuminate the landscape of our individual lives, so that our light may not only lead others but warm them as well."
-- Neal A. Maxwell

God uses us as His instruments and has a divine design for us if we just let him and trust Him. I'm so grateful for this area -- It is blooming!!!!

Leni is a former investigator that I taught a year ago, and we went back to her. She is doing great! She is really receiving the message of the gospel. She is always ready with her reading assignments in the Book of Mormon and I know that she feels the Spirit when we come-- we especially felt it as we testified to her of how much Heavenly Father loves her family and wants them to be forever again. She lost her child and that's how we found her a year ago. We know that her daughter is with Heavenly Father and praying that her mom will accept the gospel.

KC and Jarwin are still doing their best but have had some trials come into their lives; they both got really sick! When we came and taught Jarwin, he was so weak but he came and sat in the lesson even though he looked so sick and looked like a zombie. They are doing a lot better though, and they having been really asking God what they should do with the whole marriage situation. We had a great discussion about how Heavenly Father answers prayers. We felt impressed to say to them how important that the gospel was to their family being forever and that if they followed the commandments and kept moving forward like Nephi, that they would receive and answer and be guided. But they needed to act. They decided to go to Luna to ask KC's parents if they can be married. We were so excited but we are waiting to get news on how it went.

We have been working with Maricel alot. She was baptized last month and the gospel has transformed her. She still has a ton of trials in her life -- at school and with her family. But she's happy. She has a light. She sacrifices her weekends to work with the missionaries and fellowship others her age and bring them into the light of the gospel. She had a dream a few weeks ago that after her schooling she would go on a mission. She are so proud of her. She is learning how to read the Book of Mormon and receive her own answers to her own questions. When we came to teach her and ask her what her concern was, she told us that she was fine and that she had received her answer from God. We were so proud.

Dinner at the V's house was a crazy experience-- truly Divine Design. It was amazing that Brother V was with Sister B; that they were coworkers. Brother V was soooo happy to see her and was so surprised that she had just been baptized. I actually had been praying that I would have the chance to see Sister B because I remember teaching her the first lesson with Sister Umpad in the middle of district meeting in Bauang a few months ago and then giving her a Book of Mormon. When we heard the news that she and her whole family had been baptized we were so excited. But even crazier was when Sister B brought another one of her coworkers that wasn't a member and then at the end of the lesson told us that he knew about Joseph Smith because in Manila his close friends were Mormon and now his friends here are Mormon. He knew that was a sign from God and at the end of the lesson was very excited to give us his information and we referred him to the missionaries there.

Sunday was a miracle. Rosette came, and Brother V, and Christal, and Lynn S! We were so excited and so happy that they all came and had a good experience. The A family stayed for classes too this week!!!

We have been sharing the Book of Mormon challenge with the members in our area, and we saw a difference this week! Our schedule is full of members willing to work with us- every night this week to fellowship our investigators. I know that there is power in the Book of Mormon and having the missionaries over at the member’s houses. It reminded one family of the miracle of having their missionary in their family.

It was so powerful to give my last testimony this week in fast and testimony meeting. I know that God helped me say what I needed to say and then another member got up and testified that the missionaries really have the gift of tongues to speak and learn the language. It made me so happy. Then all the classes and testimonies were about missionary work.

It has been fantastic to study about the Book of Mormon and relate it to my life this week. I especially loved Chapters 11 and 12 of 1st Nephi because I tried to imagine what it must be like to see the Savior. That turned into a study of the Gospel accounts of the Atonement. That turned out pretty emotional.

I'm so grateful with the patience of my Savior with me. I'm so grateful for His love and I love to feel that love for others. I'm so grateful for what he suffered for us -- beyond comprehension to help us overcome the trials, pain, guilt, shame, and sorrows of life. He walked the longest, loneliest road so that we never have to alone. I am so grateful that he is lifting me to be a better person and to move outside myself. I still have imperfections, but I love my Savior and desire to be like Him.

Sister Porter

Fun Stuff:

Brother V made us the most interesting dinner --- lots of delicacies -- porks blood (dinuguan), boiled full squids, fried fish, crabs and shrimp. Seafood is delicious -- but in all honestly I haven't gotten quite into the taste of blood.

We went to one of our investigators house with the Elder's Quorum to fix her house but the government needed to check it first so we couldn't do it. But.. one of the members had a great idea to make stairs so that they could get out of their house to the road because it gets sooo muddy during the rainy season. I've gotten really muddy trying to get to their house in the rain:) Sister E loved it and said it made her heart light (nakakagaan sa loob)!

I made chocolate French toast with mangoes on top for Sister Jensen. It was pretty delicious!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Trials and Faith in Lingsat

This week we were so surprised and so happy about the amount of opportunities that have been given to us to help those in need. I have been really so happy sharing the gospel every day and loving the people we teach. I'm learning a lifestyle that I want to continue for the rest of my life, being happy and serving and loving the people around me.

First of all, we were so grateful for the idea to get a stroller for Harvey. We are so grateful for my mission president’s help and the help of the Seymours to show an act of pure love to the S family. Seeing all the members show so much love to this family has been so inspiring to me because it lifted me up to a higher plane of thinking -- striving more and more to think less about myself and looking more and more for the needs of those around me and then filling that need. Harvey's condition has been incredibly difficult for this family. In February Harvey came home from school with internal bleeding in his head, that grew bigger and bigger until they took him to the hospital, but it was too late; he was diagnosed with viral meningitis-- that has quickly affected most of his brain. He was in a coma for a month, and then when he finally woke up, he couldn't move; he couldn't feel; he couldn't digest his own food ( he has a tube that runs from his nose to his intestines where he can only have liquids); he has a seizure about once a week. He can only lay there on a tiny wooden bed and look around the room and sometimes cry. His parents are so loving and are so so concerned for him; they've spent everything they have taking him to the hospital. Brother has to take time off work, and they really don't have money to eat or anything. What's more they have 5 kids, one of them being a 5 month -old baby. Despite all these hardships, we were incredibly humbled by Sister's firm faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. When the missionaries first started teaching her mother, she would always hide in another room. But it turned out she had been listening to every discussion, and finally she joined a lesson and expressed that she had felt the Spirit and knew everything they taught was true. She loves our reading assignments from the Book of Mormon. She told us this week that no matter what happened to Harvey, she trusted God and would NEVER ever give up hope and she has felt the Atonement of Jesus Christ strengthen her to bear all her burdens without complaining. When the Seymours showed up with the stroller on Thursday, it was such a sweet and tender experience because Sister Seymour shared her experience with her children and grandchildren and the two women just wept and comforted and prayed for each other. What amazing women of faith! What's more, Brother has started joining in on the lessons and admitted to us that he knew it was true what we are teaching. We taught them the Restoration together on Saturday. It was wonderful and we are fasting and praying that despite Harvey's serious condition, we will get a way to get them altogether at church.

Sister V is truly prepared of God to listen to the missionaries right now. She has a sweet young family and she knows so many members. She had been going through a rough time a couple weeks ago and prayed for missionaries to come to her house and not long after she knows we were impressed to talk to her at her house. We taught with Sister Mendoza last night and taught the Restoration and shared our testimonies about seeking for the truth and gave her a baptismal date. We are hoping and praying for her progress.

KC and Jarwin have been out of town for a little while and we could tell there was something going on. We got to teach them yesterday and KC started crying and told us that her mom was working abroad in Turkey but that she is having some major health problems and is going to have to come back her to be operated on. The operation is going to take a lot of money and KC is going to have to take her place working abroad in Hong Kong around September. They want to get married and said they would be baptized by now if they had been married already. But she has family members that they want to get permission from and want to come to the marriage and her family is worried about their financial future. But I know that we were impressed to share about prayer in Alma 37:37 and then I know the next things I said didn't come from me -- because I'm not always so clear-headed. But we told them that since they knew the gospel was true, but that they didn't think about getting married at this time, then when they have to go to Hong Kong they won't be able to get baptized and their temple sealing could get delayed for who knows how long. We told them that as a couple they needed to get on their knees and counsel with their God for help to know what to do. We left with a peaceful feeling. We are fasting and praying that the right decision will be made. But we are open to any suggestions about what to do.

We taught Sister V last night about family history. Her mom's birthday is coming up and we told her how she could give her the best blessing by doing her temple work for her. Sister V is so so converted to the gospel and wants her whole family to come into the church. She told us this week she had a dream that she was hugging her mother and she felt it was a confirmation that we needed to do her work.  We are so excited to have a family history night with them later tonight with the Seymours.

We have another 18-year old that we are teaching. We met her because she often stays at the home of a recent convert that we teach. She has been joining in on the lessons. She loves the feeling of going to church and being with the missionaries. We learned that her whole family are members and her grandmother was a very active member of the church 5 years ago before she died. Her dying wish was that her granddaughter would come to church. But we learned that she lives in a super abusive situation because her mother had a young pregnancy, was left alone, and turned to drinking, has no job, and since her daughter was little has been yelling and abusing her. We heard it happen one day on the way to teach her.  They have no relatives that want to help, and it's the saddest thing. We aren't really sure what to do but we plan on telling Bishop right away and letting him know the situation.

We have been doing lots of little acts of service for our investigators. We are running every day, and we love missionary work. Of course there have definitely been things that have not gone the way we planned or hoped -- some investigators getting some cold feet about moving forward and showing faith in Jesus Christ. It makes us super sad. Sometimes I'm not always sure what to do and say, but I will keep striving to listen to the Holy Ghost and make the right decisions.

In the Book of Mormon I learned that God is mightier than all the earth and we have been blessed with so many spiritual experiences that tell us there is a God and that he loves us. My mission president’s interview with me was such a special blessing to me and I will never forget it. It really told me that God loves me and knows my heart and my efforts. How can I doubt my inspired leaders?
1 And it came to pass that I spake unto my brethren, saying: Let us go up again unto Jerusalem, and let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; for behold he is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands?

2 Therefore let us go up; let us be strong like unto Moses; for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea and they divided hither and thither, and our fathers came through, out of captivity, on dry ground, and the armies of Pharaoh ​did follow and were drowned in the waters of the Red Sea.

3 Now behold ye know that this is true; and ye also know that an angel hath spoken unto you; wherefore can ye doubt? Let us go up; the Lord is able to deliver us, even as our fathers, and to destroy Laban, even as the Egyptians.

I'm so grateful for my wonderful companion and for everything I am learning in Lingsat.

Sister Porter

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


This week was full of miracles. Little miracles that really helped me see why life, the gospel, and being a missionary is so fantastic and is the sweetest way of life I could ever ask for. What a blessing it has been for me to see how I want my life to be -- service to my fellowmen and sharing to them the joy of the gospel.

There are hard times -- yes. Things don't always go the way we hope or expect them to go. We are imperfect people. But I am learning that if we just do what we can and show love to others and trust that Christ can make up the difference, things go okay. I am so so grateful to have such a fantastic companion in Sister Jensen. She is the brightest, optimistic, and loving missionary you could ask for! She treasures every sweet miracle that the Lord gives us, and she has taught me how to do that too! It makes our area so much fun to work in -- and we are sure that the Lord gives us people that need us desperately. These people to love were all gifts from our Heavenly Father to us.

We are enjoying thinking beyond what is expected of us and thinking of extra ways to serve our investigators and show our love for them. Small and simple things. And oh how I've learned how much people crave and need love, and how love is not expressed enough in this world. We went to Sister L's house on Saturday morning, and her 5 year-old son is getting worse -- to the point that he's throwing up what he eats, is constantly having seizures, and can't function. Sister L's faith and strength is OUT OF THIS WORLD. She won't let her son see her cry, she is patient with her husband, and she refuses to give up hope and gives everything she can for her son, even if she can't even pay for food for herself. I've never seen such incredible strength that comes from hope in God. But as we sang How Great Thou Art in Tagalog to her, she broke down to us and it was heartbreaking but I just felt so much love for her at that moment. I am so grateful for the chance to be there for her. She really wants to be baptized and reads and understands the Book of Mormon, but every time she tries to go to church she has to take her son to the hospital.

Another time were teaching a new contact, Sister E, and she is a single mom because her husband got killed (he was a security guard). She has 4 kids, and her house just collapsed on itself. We brought some missionaries and ward members to come check out the house to see if we could help out. As we were talking we could just see Sister E growing quiet and her eyes turning red. That's when me and Sister Jensen came and gave her a BIG HUG! She was so happy and she just yelled -- Ang Sarap!" and then broke down crying, telling us how hard everything has been for her. Just little acts of love mean the WORLD to people.

We fasted with Sister V for her and Brother V this Sunday. We knelt down and Sister Jensen gave the most beautiful prayer to open the fast. Brother V heard it and knelt down with us, even though the past few weeks he has been really struggling. Then he came back to church! We were so happy.

Sometimes we get little acts of love in return. Tatay B is a man that was a complete drunkard before he met the missionaries. He started reading the Book of Mormon that Sister Tanon and Sister Jensen gave to him and he read it and changed on his own. It was only when he was in Alma that the Sisters started teaching him. He has given up all his bad habits and goes to church in a polo and slacks. Every time we go to him he gives us 2 bottles of 2 liter soda (which we have tried to refuse so many times haha) but every time they are ready for us. When he apologized last Saturday that he hadn't prepared the soda we told him not to worry about it -- but he interrupted us and told us how much the missionaries have changed his life and that soda was the only way he could afford to show his love and appreciation for us. That touched our hearts so much.

The other day as we were walking I suddenly decided we needed to talk to more people about the Book of Mormon. It was raining so Sister Jensen asked us where to start. I pointed to the nearest store and marched straight up to it and talked to an older man and his middle-aged daughter and showed them the Book of Mormon. The daughter immediately recognized the book, because her best friend in college was Mormon and used to take her to institute, which just happens to be one of our members in the ward. She asked for a copy right away and asked us to come back. We were more than happy to come back yesterday. She opened the door for us, found out they are an extremely sweet young family, and that she is so interested in what we have to say. She said she had just finished a prayer asking God to send her messengers because she is in a spiritual crisis because of all the hard things that have happened to her family. She cried and thanked us for being an answer to her prayer because right after her prayer we came to her door. We were so excited that God had used us as his instruments. Her name is Sister S. We know she is prepared by God for this time.

We have been still teaching Grace and Chrystal, who are 2 teenagers that are in serious need of love. Grace is living with the A family, and Chrystal's family used to be active in church but now they have had tons of family issues. They love the missionaries coming over. They both came to the baptism of the elders last Saturday and loved it, and wanted to work with us because they already want to serve others! Grace came to church and is really smart and understanding the doctrine. We expect her to be baptized next month. 

We went back to a contact named Sister J this week. Before she had been super kind but kind of had a hard time latching onto the gospel. But when we came back she was so happy to see us, told us that she had been reading, been feeling a good feeling, and wanted to come to church. We were pleasantly surprised that something had changed her. Of course the Spirit. We are excited for her to start progressing now. She came to church yesterday and it seems like she really enjoyed the feeling there with the other members of the Relief Society.

I read A Summer with Great Aunt Rose by Elder Uctdorf this week. Aunt Rose had a lot of hard things happen in her life, but she was one of the most joyous and happiest people on earth. When her niece Eva asked her why, this is what she said.

“There is enough that doesn’t go right in life, so anyone can work themselves into a puddle of pessimism and a mess of melancholy. But I know people who, even when things don’t work out, focus on the wonders and miracles of life. These folks are the happiest people I know.”

“But,” Eva said, “you can’t just flip a switch and go from sad to happy.”

“No, perhaps not,” Aunt Rose smiled gently, “but God didn’t design us to be sad. He created us to have joy! So if we trust Him, He will help us to notice the good, bright, hopeful things of life. And sure enough, the world will become brighter. No, it doesn’t happen instantly, but honestly, how many good things do? Seems to me that the best things, like homemade bread or orange marmalade, take patience and work.”

Eva thought about it a moment and said, “Maybe it’s not so simple for people who don’t have everything perfect in their lives.”

“Dear Eva, do you really think that my life is perfect?” Aunt Rose sat with Eva on the overstuffed sofa. “There was a time when I was so discouraged I didn’t want to go on.”

“You?” Eva asked.

Aunt Rose nodded. “There were so many things I wished for in my life.” As she spoke, a sadness entered her voice that Eva had never heard before. “Most of them never happened. It was one heartbreak after another. One day I realized that it would never be the way I had hoped for. That was a depressing day. I was ready to give up and be miserable.”

“So what did you do?”

“Nothing for a time. I was just angry. I was an absolute monster to be around.” Then she laughed a little, but it was not her usual big, room-filling laugh. “‘It’s not fair’ was the song I sang over and over in my head. But eventually I discovered something that turned my whole life around.”

“What was it?”

“Faith,” Aunt Rose smiled. “I discovered faith. And faith led to hope. And faith and hope gave me confidence that one day everything would make sense, that because of the Savior, all the wrongs would be made right. After that, I saw that the path before me wasn’t as dreary and dusty as I had thought. I began to notice the bright blues, the verdant greens, and the fiery reds, and I decided I had a choice—I could hang my head and drag my feet on the dusty road of self-pity, or I could have a little faith, put on a bright dress, slip on my dancing shoes, and skip down the path of life, singing as I went.” Now her voice was skipping along like the girl in the painting.

Aunt Rose reached over to the end table and pulled her well-worn scriptures onto her lap. “I don’t think I was clinically depressed—I’m not sure you can talk yourself out of that. But I sure had talked myself into being miserable! Yes, I had some dark days, but all my brooding and worrying wasn’t going to change that—it was only making things worse. Faith in the Savior taught me that no matter what happened in the past, my story could have a happy ending.”

“How do you know that?” Eva asked.

Aunt Rose turned a page in her Bible and said, “It says it right here:
“‘God … will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

“‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’”

Great-Aunt Rose looked at Eva. Her smile was wide as she whispered, with a slight quiver in her voice, “Isn’t that the most beautiful thing you’ve ever heard?”

It really did sound beautiful, Eva thought.

Aunt Rose turned a few pages and pointed to a verse for Eva to read: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

“With such a glorious future,” Aunt Rose said, “why get swallowed up in past or present things that don’t go quite the way we planned?”

Eva furrowed her brow. “But wait a minute,” she said. “Are you saying that being happy means just looking forward to happiness in the future? Is all our happiness in eternity? Can’t some of it happen now?”

“Oh, of course it can!” Aunt Rose exclaimed. “Dear child, now is part of eternity. It doesn’t only begin after we die! Faith and hope will open your eyes to the happiness that is placed before you.

“I know a poem that says, ‘Forever—is composed of Nows.’ I didn’t want my forever to be composed of dark and fearful ‘Nows.’ And I didn’t want to live in the gloom of a bunker, gritting my teeth, closing my eyes, and resentfully enduring to the bitter end. Faith gave me the hope I needed to live joyfully now!”

And most of those busy, unhappy people have forgotten the one thing that matters most in all the world—the thing Jesus said is the heart of His gospel.”

“And what is that?” Eva asked.

“It is love—the pure love of Christ,” Rose said. “You see, everything else in the gospel—all the shoulds and the musts and the thou shalts —lead to love. When we love God, we want to serve Him. We want to be like Him. When we love our neighbors, we stop thinking so much about our own problems and help others to solve theirs.”

“And that is what makes us happy?” Eva asked.

Great-Aunt Rose nodded and smiled, her eyes filling with tears. “Yes, my dear. That is what makes us happy.”

I testify that even though I don't know everything, that even though everything doesn't always go the way you plan it, that hard times come into our lives, that sometimes we make mistakes, our Heavenly Father loves us. He designed everything for us to be HAPPY! He wants to be able to let things go and give it to the Savior. I testify of the Savior; I don't have a perfect knowledge of Him, but I got to know him a little better by serving others and showing the happiness of serving and sharing the gospel. Love is what people need in this world. Love can change the world, one person at a time.

Sister Porter

Funny Stories:
We tried to teach Sister V's father but he can't really hear us but he definitely likes to talk haha. When we left he gave us a big grandpa hug and shocked me and Sister Jensen because we aren't supposed to get hugs haha. But Maricel who was working with us just laughed so hard the whole time.

Cultural Note:
It Rains EVERY DAY here but that doesn't stop us from talking to everyone we can!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


I enjoyed this week. I've learned a lot from our investigators-- we are so blessed to have such special investigators here in Lingsat. They are what makes everything worth it. Feeling so much love for them as you teach them and wanting to be there for them in their darkest hours of need. I've noticed that God has sent us to people that desperately need love and hope and comfort. 

We continue to read the Book of Mormon every day and apply it to our lives.  I believe that it is key to helping us overcome all things. President Ezra Taft Benson taught: “There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path.” We will place more emphasis on it as we teach and help others come closer to the gospel. 

We taught the plan of salvation to Grace this week -- a teenage girl that has been abandoned by her parents and has been taken in by a member. As we taught her about her divine worth and what Jesus Christ has done for her, it was so sweet to see such a troubled teenager actually smile and say how beautiful it was to hear those words. I'm sure that no one has ever told her that in her life -- that she is important, she is loved, and there is someone who suffered for her and will walk with her every step on the way back to her Heavenly Father. That is such a special knowledge that we have that I know at times I have taken for granted!!!! As we hugged her at the end of the lesson, I just wanted to squeeze the life out of her I love her so much. She needs Christ and His love in her life. 

I've seen how that love has changed the life of one of our recent converts, Sister M. It's easy to see that her life has been so hard. They live in very poor circumstances and she doesn't have much support at home. She has turned to her friends in the past but that led to more sadness and misery. She tried many different churches to relieve the feeling but never find her. And that's when she met the missionaries -- who told her her worth and what God wants for her and the laws of God that would make her happy. It wasn't an easy road of change. There were times she felt like giving up. There were times that she was troubled. But she didn't give up. Little by little -- she transformed bit by bit. The Spirit started flowing into her life -- and especially since she has made the decision to be baptized -- she now just glows and radiates with happiness no matter what her circumstances are. She helps her siblings and loves them. She never misses church and always reads the Book of Mormon.  She works with us and testifies to all of the change that has taken place in her. She had a dream that in a few years after she graduates from high school that she is going to serve a mission. 

We absolutely love the G family. They are growing in faith little by little. We talked about their marriage the other day and they are making plans, but they said that their goal and their main plans were the temple in a year. We were so proud of them. They are growing stronger and stronger as a family as they hold family time and prayer, counsel as husband and wife. As we shared 1 Nephi 7 with them and told them that with faith they can break the old habits that have held them captive, Brother C committed to completely stop smoking. That made us so happy. 

Sister V is growing in her faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement. She knows with all her heart that this gospel is true. She had been searching and searching for the truth and has suffered much of her life but has rose over it and has used her whole life to defend and rescue others that suffer. We know she is and will be a strong member of the church. Her husband is struggling though. Of course that breaks our hearts, but we are holding a special fast for him with our family. We are so so grateful for the support that the members are showing in going to visit and fellowship that family. 

Ever since the missionaries have started visiting sister Lynn and her family, they have been hit with some of the sorest of trials. Their 5 year old son got infected with a virus that has spread to his brain, leaving him unable to even digest food for himself. But that hasn't broken Lynn's faith in God. She does all she can for him, never leaves him, does all she can to care for him. She loves her son so much. She is learning and understanding the doctrine and Christ from reading assignments in the Book of Mormon. She believes that the gospel is true. She is a beautiful example of unwavering hope. I know that the source of unwavering hope comes from Jesus Christ -- who because of him we can hope for a better world and help from burdens and sins. He is sure and steadfast and unwavering. As Lynn has had to suffer in her circumstances, she testified to us that the Lord is lifting her burdens to bear them with ease.

41 And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternaland this because of your faith in him according to the promise. 

KC and Jarwin are growing in their faith. KC is very bright and loves to read everything she can. She finds hope in this gospel and wants to learn. They also want to be married. We are hoping that they can get permission from their family so that we can have it sooner rather than later.

I have noticed that it has been such a blessing to learn how to sacrifice our lives to serve others. That's what I want to do with my life and what I know brings true happiness in our lives no matter what. Somethings don't work out exactly the way we plan, but we will never be disappointed in ourselves, we will see the world as beautiful, and we can face anything as we come to learn our relationship with the Savior and learn of His love and share it with others. That is what I want to continue to develop. I want to be rid of the natural man and become a Saint through the Atonement of Christ. I want to become what God wants me to be.

Sister Porter

Cultural Notes:

I had goat intestine soup the other day. It was pretty good actually:)

Me and Sister Jensen are having fun baking American treats for missionaries:)

It's mango season -- our investigators love to give us MANGOES:)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Learning Lessons

If there has been anything I've learned on my mission, it is that loving people is the most satisfying and wonderful thing. Serving others and showing them that God loves them is so wonderful. It is the thing I live for. Often I feel inadequate and weak, often I pass through much sorrow, but I told myself that it is worth it to be able to help someone else.

This week we ended up visiting some less active members and we were surprised with new investigators -- teenage girls that had been abused, cast out, and forgotten, but taken in by members. To both of them we had powerful lessons, just about how they have a Father in Heaven that loves them inside and out, and would never ever abandon them. They are unique and special to Him, they are so very important to Him, and He wants them to come home to Him. Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, there is someone who understands us. There is a way to heal hurt, feel peace, and overcome our trials, our past sins, and our challenges. The countenance of those two girls changed when we said that. It was as if that was the first time that they had ever heard it-- it broke my heart to see what those two girls must have gone through. There is power in Christlike love and knowing that you are a daughter of God. By testifying that to them, I was able to realize that maybe that applies to me too.

Sister Maricel A is so converted to the gospel and so is Nanay V. Even though their families are really struggling, they stand strong in what they know is true and keep hoping, praying, and serving those around them. I see future valient missionaries and Relief society presidents in them in the coming years. Tatay is really combating his word of wisdom and making HUGE progress. But I think withdrawal and the large amount of work to change got to him emotionally lately and it made Nanay worried and sad. But we are going to all are going to keep fasting and praying for him. We know that miracles come through fasting and prayer.

KC and Jarwin are so so precious. Yesterday we taught them about the atonement and Brother Jarwin started crying for the first time. He said he remembered the pain he felt when he watched his little child pass away -- saying if he could do anything, he would take the pain away from his child and was willing to die himself for her to live. That was the most precious thing I have experienced -- seeing that love this young father had. How much does our Heavenly Father love us to send His Son; how much must Jesus Christ love us to take on all our sins, transgressions, weaknesses, pains, and sorrows?

I have been studying about the miracles of Jesus Christ. He forgave those who had sinned and healed all who came to Him in faith. I know of myself that I need the mercy and the love of Jesus Christ to heal and sanctify me -- whatever hardship we have to pass through. I am so grateful to see that love work with those we teach.

Sister Porter