Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Good morning!

This week was a little bit harder even though we are continuing to see wonderful things happen in Naguilian. Somethings just didn't work out the way we wished, but I read this scripture in Alma and it really helped. 

22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.

I truly love this gospel and feel converted to missionary work. I truly do feel that way. There is nothing I love more in my whole life than seeing souls repent and trust in Christ. That is such a privilege to witness! It isn't to worry about the membership of the church or to be a salesperson or to improve their lives, but it is to SAVE SOULS and bring them to salvation.  There is nothing more serious or more important in the whole wide world and cannot be taken lightly.

But I have to have faith and act and DO IT! I have to have faith that God is preparing souls around us to learn the gospel, especially here in the Philippines Baguio mission where people are so humble and will repent if missionaries are bold in their testimonies of the gospel. That is what saved Nuevo Dumaging. If we hadn't told him he needed to repent and he needed to do it NOW and not little by little, he wouldn't be getting baptized in 2 weeks. Nuevo is a soul prepared for baptism. He is active in the church activities and has the most humble heart. As soon as we tell him a law and tell him to repent, he repents right away and does it no more. Arnold Aljentera is getting ready to be baptized too next month. We had a strong lesson about getting answers through prayer and that he has found the true gospel and someday through his example his family will follow. The Spirit was so strong in that room.

Another thing that happened this week was while we were walking through our area we saw two ladies in their rice fields working and of course we came over to help. They were so so surprised to see two sister missionaries willing to help them in their rice fields. And while we worked we told them about the Restoration. I was so so excited to serve and help and share the gospel.

Prayers would be appreciated to help me have the strength to talk to as many people as possible even when I feel tired in body and spirit and wonder if I can keep going in energy!

If I repent, exercise faith, do good works and pray without ceasing, I will know the mysteries of God and bring 1000s to repentence. It's in the scriptures! It's a promise of God! I can't rest from my labors until the end of my life because souls need to be brought unto him and I'm not truly happy unless I fulfill this commission.

I'm so grateful to be here in Naguilian -- here I've learned the most and love the people here so much. I've really been learning what it looks like to TEACH REPENTANCE and BAPTIZE CONVERTS!!!

Sister Porter

Monday, January 8, 2018

Hello from Sister Porter

We worked really hard this week. We came home super super tired every single night. We've been doing our best to help the ward and map all the members in the ward. We are making some progress and I think our branch president is excited about it. But it hasn't been easy asking and asking and asking people where people live and being makulit when trying to get information. I've never been the most outgoing person so every day I have to keep trying to talk to people. Sometimes it is super awkward, and to tell the truth I'm the only one usually who goes out of my way to talk to people so that's been hard. But I'm praying to improve and that I can heed the promptings of the Spirit to who I need to talk to. One member we found has been living in Manila for over 20 years and almost never comes home to Naguilian. But we happened to find her on the day that she came home for the holidays for the first time in years. We shared a quick message with her and she cried and remembered when she was in Primary and all the hardships she has had since. We gave her a Book of Mormon and hope that her ward finds her in Manila with the information we got. It wasn't a statistic but no effort is wasted -- it was a person to be loved. Lots of little miracles are happening as we ask to find old members. The branch is little by little getting more united, and I feel like we are really trying to help the branch. We are still going to members houses and asking for them to give Book of Mormons to their loved ones. We will keep following up on them.

Brother Nuevo is getting ready for his baptism in less than 3 weeks. He has become so humble and anything we ask him to do he does it. He has had to change and leave behind most of his old life and friends for this gospel. But what he's found is happiness -- he smiles and ponders the scriptures and is finding strength to his body that he hasn't had in years. What a blessing to see the true change. He is learning to make covenants to his Father in Heaven so I am not worried about him making his baptismal covenant. He is learning and growing so much. He is even fellowshipping his next door neighbor, Brother Arnold, who is also progressing very well. He came to church for the first time and loved the testimonies about the Book of Mormon. He is reading and praying if it is true and coming to church. He has true intent, and I know that people like that find the truth because Heavenly Father blesses those who seek it. The members are excited about him coming to church because he was a referral years earlier but that wasn't quite ready yet. The time is ripe now.

A couple weeks ago a lady stopped us on her motorcycle and felt impressed to talk to us. She is a single mother who adopted and rescues kids because she was an abandoned and unloved child when she was young. She wanted to talk to the missionaries. She came to church yesterday and enjoyed it. We taught her the Restoration last night and she truly listened and then gave a heartfelt prayer to know the truth and in thanks to her Heavenly Father. She still has a ways to go but she is doing great and we have high hopes for her. She is so lonely and we know what she needs is the gospel and belonging in the Church.

Brother Wally passed the sacrament for the first time this week. I couldn't even contain my excitement for him; I was grinning from ear to ear the entire time. We have been having the elders teach him so he can have more priesthood support. He's a little lonely right now because all the men his age are returned missionaries, getting ready to be married or are at work or preparing to serve a mission.

Brother Arsenio Mendoza went to the temple right after his baptism, and he loved it. He is already a home teacher and the branch is so excited about him because he is opening up the doors for his family.

The Estebillo family is having a little bit of a hard time accepting the Restoration right away because they have been in their religion their whole life. But their 18 year old son is starting to read and pray about it so I am praying that the Lord will help their family and bring them to the truth.

It's been great to feel a little closer to the members. A few of them bore their testimonies that the missionaries helped them recommit to the gospel these past few weeks.

I've truly enjoyed this week and love Naguilian with all my heart and to be honest I really don't want to leave ever because there is SO much work left to be done. I feel converted to this work even though my abilities and capabilities are truly not very much comparatively.  But I've seen miracles here in Naguilian.

Sister Porter

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Even though Christmas was a little crazy and many people have been out on vacation, we are trying to be more of a strength to our branch. The little branch is struggling with the amount of members coming to church, putting a lot of stress on our local leaders. We are going to assist them in mapping out nonmembers so we've been using our ward directory. It's not easy but it's what the branch president has asked the ward to do and we hope it will help us find part member families. We are trying to put into place a way to work with the home and visiting teachers to help them find the less active and part member families in their area. And we have been focusing on visiting members and asking for referrals by giving them Book of Mormons. The great thing is, every member said they had a friend, kapitbahay or family member that has been on their mind to give a Book of Mormon too. We plan on following up on it every week until we get referrals and to ask more members too. Hopefully that will get us more investigators that have members involved in the work.

Brother Nuevo is doing fantastic. His countenance is changing. He has repented of his sins, and avoids the situations that tempt him. He reads the Book of Mormon every day and always comes to church. The gospel is blessing his life and I know that if he continues he will be ready for baptism in just a few short weeks.

Brother Arnold is a new investigator of ours. He felt drawn to the Book of Mormon and is truly interested in knowing the truth. We taught the Restoration so powerfully and I am excited to follow up on him. He really has the desire to read and go to church so we are extremely hopeful. He has a family too that isn't too interested right now but hopefully by Arnold's example they will join. He had a dream when he prayed to know about the teachings of the missionaries-- that he was looking at tons of photos of Jesus Christ all with different faces and appearance and he ended up choosing one. When we came and shared the photo of Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon that was the one that Arnold knew he chose in his dream. It was a cool experience. I'm excited to teach him.

Rhenier Soriano and Arsenio Mendoza are the best recent converts. Even though Arsenio got baptized last week, he immediately wanted to go on the branch temple trip and he went! Rhenier did too -- and although he is only 15 I feel like he is a very very special young man. Ever since he started reading the Book of Mormon and was baptized he has devoted almost all of his free time to the gospel. He even works with us. He went to the temple and is trying to do family history work for his dad that he feels a special connection to. He tries to share the gospel to everyone -- he tries to share it to his whole class at school, all his family, and all his friends even though he has been rejected and persecuted. He has dreamed that he will receive a mission call. I know that the Lord has a VERY special calling for this boy who found the gospel by himself and is converted. I have felt such a privilege to meet him and know him. I almost cried when I saw all that he studies and does to share the gospel.

I've been really really studying the Atonement. I've been so impressed with the story of Alma the younger in Mosiah 27 and Alma 36. I really have been wanting to understand what it means to be born again, how to tear out the natural man and become a Saint through the Atonement of Christ.

Something else that I've been studying is opposition and weakness. I came across a paragraph in my language study book that said that there are 2 types of learners of a language -- those that are successful and those that are unsuccessful. Those that are unsuccessful are those afraid to try because they know they will make mistakes if they speak. They will only speak if they know what they are going to say is perfectly correct. The successful ones are those who are not afraid to act and speak all the time, even if what they say is balubaluktot and crooked and simple like Ako and ikaw. Those are those who eventually succeed.

I think that is not just for language but for life too. If we want to learn anything, especially how to be like Jesus Christ, we can't be afraid to fall and make mistakes. We have to try and try and get up and forgive ourselves. I guess that is what I am proud of in myself. I know that to some I may not look like the most successful -- I fall and make mistakes. Things don't always work out the way we plan. Often we can't get everything we thought we could do done. Sometimes we have to be patient with others. But what I've been telling my investigators and myself is that Heavenly Father has a perfect plan for all of us even if we don't understand what and he will help us know where to go. But I know where my heart is -- it's to be a good missionary and to help others receive the gospel. Sometimes I don't understand how and I feel like I'm stumbling around in the dark. My desire is to be exactly obedient and I get stressed about everything I'm not doing and it's hard to handle seeing where I fall short. But I know who I have to trust and I hope that someday everything will make sense. I hope that you will be proud of me and Heavenly Father will be proud of me. I will never stop praying about it -- I've been praying for a year. All of the baptisms in our area have never been because of my efforts -- it's God's work and not mine. But I haven't given up and as hard as it is sometimes to not give up, I won't because I love this gospel and I love my Savior and others.

This year I want to talk to as many people as I can. I know that Heavenly Father places in our path people to teach.

Sister Porter

Zone Activity! There ya go -- traditional Filipino food and eating

Monday, December 18, 2017

Meeerry Chreestmas to you!!!

We saw some miracles this week. We had an FHE with a less active member last week and it was a success. She came to church. Sister Helen. She is a single mother who feels so so alone and has 3 young kids with her husband abroad. She has been losing hope because she feels she's been abandoned. But she really felt love from the members and missionaries this week and her kids prayed and participated in family home evening for the first time in a long time. On the way home after FHE a woman on a motorcycle just stopped us on her way home. She didn't know why but she told us she felt something about missionaries and wanted to talk to us. We went to her home last Saturday and found that she is a very hardworking single mother with an adopted child that she rescued from an incredibly abusive family. When we shared why we were there and who we were and then asked her what she was looking for in her life, she started crying and talking about all she wants is a family. She grew up unloved and prevented from having an education and she has had to work for everything she has her whole life, with hope in Christ that things will be alright. Now she has a nice house that she designed and built herself, but she still recognized that she has a kulong, something lacking in her life. We told her that God sent us to her and to listen to what we told her and that we were representatives of Jesus Christ with the everlasting gospel, that she can have a forever family someday. I don't know if she understood everything we said but I truly do believe that God sent her to us to teach her.

Little miracles like that. We received a couple referrals this week which really told us that members are recognizing the blessings of the gospel and want to give it to their friends. We met one named Jesusa who is another mother who wants to know how to feel peace when she grew up in an abandoned and broken family. I'm so excited to teach her.

Nuevo Dumaging is still progressing. He hasn't missed sacrament meeting in over a month, but still needs more help in classes. But he told us that he felt love from the missionaries and happy in the church and has found power in the church and the Book of Mormon and true prayer that he is overcoming his old habits and becoming a new person. We expect that he will be baptized next month.

Sister Ballesteros and I are happy and well. We feel the happiness every time we teach, not because we are perfect teachers or perfect missionaries, but because we are trying to teach the love of Jesus Christ and the blessings of the restored gospel. You can't help but just love the people. And even though this week was crazy with talking to the mayor, and we didn't have that many lessons, God led us to a less active whose house was burned down and she realized she needed to come back to church. We couldn't teach many people but I'm grateful for the people we did teach. Little miracles.

Even a family that was less active that we saw for like 10 minutes came to church as a family -- a part member family. That was amazing too.

72 And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their might; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things.

I for one know I want so desperately to be an effective missionary. This is the servant I want to be to fulfill this prophecy. To labor with all my might in Zion. To help and use all my time and talents to bring others to Christ for the rest of my life. That is my desire for my life. The first part of my mission in the MTC I thought of myself and since then I've been changing little by little. Now my desires are to be an effective planner and missionary, and bring people to Him. I see my mission as more than a year and a half.

People say that you serve for that long and then it's over. But I believe that missionary life is a training ground too, where I can convert myself and grow. I feel like I'm on an internship learning how to share the gospel. I believe that God called me forever and that after my mission my time will still be for the Lord and I want to spend my entire life in His service. I feel converted to Him despite weaknesses.

Jacob 5:75
And blessed art thou; for because ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard, and have kept my commandments, and have brought unto me again the natural fruit, that my vineyard is no more corrupted, and the bad is cast away, behold ye shall have joy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard.

In the Fourth missionary, Jesus says.
Give me all. I don't want so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work: I want You. All of you. I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man, but to kill it. No half-measures will do. I don't want to only prune a branch here and another there; rather I want the whole tree out. Hand it all over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them all over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will shall become your will. My heart shall become your heart.

I realized that we must turn everything over to him. And I am learning to do that. My heart is completely in this work of salvation. 100%. I want to spend the rest of my life bringing people to Christ and serving in my callings. Things will work out. I love missionary work with all my heart.

I may not have many talents in this work or reach everyone that I wish I could share to, but I CAN LOVE the people. I can surrender my heart to Christ, and not just work but work with my heart. When I am stressed about time and stressed about all the things I don't get done, I am not happy. But when I relax and love the people, even though I'm not the best, I'm truly happy because I see the miracles of God in my life. I feel less stressed I just cheerfully do what I can and trust in God.

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Cultural Note
Little kids make bells out of bottle caps strung on wire and they go from house to house singing carols. The Filipino accent is ADORABLE and sounds more like we weeesh you a merry chreeeeestmas. It's adorable. 

Sister Porter

Monday, December 11, 2017

Good morning po!

This week was a little crazy as far as the schedule goes, but miracles still happened and it was a privilege to see it.

I got the best birthday present in the whole wide world last Tuesday. We went to Brother Wally and had a simple lesson about serving in the Lord's kingdom and that the Lord calls you to serve. We then extended him the opportunity to baptize Brother Zaldy on Saturday. Not only did he accept it, but even though he is a super sweet and shy young man, he wasn't even nervous! He was so excited to serve! He practiced that whole week and memorized what he had to say, then he sacrificed his work to come to the baptism. He performed the baptism perfectly with such faith and purity that I was completely overwhelmed with joy that I jumped up and down like a little kid. He got in trouble with his boss later for sacrificing his time to come, but this young man is so blessed and will become a wonderful member of the church. I've never felt so much Christlike love. The thing is we didn't do anything -- his conversion was just him, the Spirit, and a supportive family of his girlfriend. We just got to witness the change as he accepted Jesus Christ in his life. I just got a front row seat. That's all.

Christmas Conference was nice because I remembered my passion for sports. Volleyball and all the other sports are truly one of the deepest passions I have.

I'm so proud that we found some great new investigators and are trying to talk to as many people as we can and give them the gift of the Book of Mormon. Many of the people we met have become great investigators and are soon to become so. One is an old man named Arnold that is searching for something missing in the life of his wonderful family. Another is a family of 5 -- the Estebillo family -- to whom we taught the Restoration and touched the hearts of the father and the oldest son. We aren't perfect teachers -- I know that -- but they started reading the Book of Mormon and are now truly investigating the truth of our message. Because of their true intent, I have 100% faith that they will find it. I don't know if I'll get to see them baptized but I know they will.

Sister Porter

Monday, December 4, 2017

Maligayang Bali! I am 21 everyone!

Well, I've definitely learned a lesson this week about trials. It's really hard to explain but I think what I experienced is exactly what Elder Jeffrey R. Holland explained in his talk "The Atonement and the Missionary." This week we had to drop a long-term investigator, were wandering around Gusing Sur with no one to teach, and were overwhelmed by the work ahead of us on finding new investigators and reactivating members and recent converts. But what really hit me was a wave a depression and anxiety -- it felt like a tidal wave that knocked me over. Like a 100-pound weight that crushed my head every morning and made it hard to even function in the morning. I couldn't escape it in studies, in sleep. I could barely read. The only thing I could do was work -- we went out every day -- sometimes more than was required. It was the only thing that could help me forget some pain. It was such a painful experience that I felt completely out of control of it. I felt so alone. I was scared of what was going to happen to me -- I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do --  why this was happening to me when I was trying so hard. Why I was feeling like a failure, not effective, when I was trying to be obedient and serve others. It was Saturday morning that I was in the most pain. But I amazed myself by what I told my companion in my moment of anguish -- that I knew that the Savior was there for me. That I would never give up. That I would always be loyal to my Savior and my Redeemer.

Sunday came. When I took the bread and the water during the sacrament, I felt a burden lift from my shoulders -- I felt it. Christ took my pain. He took it from me. It was one of the most tangible feelings I have ever had during the sacrament of the Atonement. For this reason I want to bear my testimony of the Atonement -- that Jesus Christ suffered the pains of every single one of God's children in the most intimate and individual way that he knows our pains so perfectly and exquisitely. I was so overwhelmingly happy the rest of church -- maybe too happy, I just couldn't stop laughing.

After that experience I got to talk to one of the most amazing missionaries that I know -- Sister Aldred. She is absolutely incredible, has gone through so much in her life and in her mission, and for that reason is so in tune with the Spirit and miracles are happening in Naguilian, as stressful as it is. She has been an incredible source of strength for me, a true friend, and a confidant. As I explained what happened on Saturday, she and I realized that we are disciples of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We have been called of him to declare His word among His people that they might have everlasting life. There is no greater calling in this world. But it comes with a price. Salvation isn't cheap. Satan attacks when he knows that salvation is coming to the children of men. Paul had a thorn in his flesh. Joseph Smith was attacked before he had the First Vision. For this reason every disciple of Jesus Christ must experience pain and anguish too -- their own kind of Gethsemane. Not anything like Christ -- because he is our God and we are weak mortals. But every disciple must have trials and opposition. And I realized that maybe I too must suffer for the work of Christ.

And miracles are happening in Naguilian. We have had Brother Mendoza come into the church on his own because of the Book of Mormon project and he is getting baptized on December 23rd. He is being taught by the other sisters. Brother Zaldy is ready to be baptized this Saturday -- taught by the sisters. We have seen the boyfriend of Sister Julia Baybay become converted by going to the devotional and now is being taught to be baptized December 23rd. And we have seen the change of a man named Brother Nuevo because of the Book of Mormon. We have had such powerful lessons with him and he has felt the Spirit strongly at church and especially by reading the Book of Mormon that he can't stop reading it. He is always reading it always and is finding strength from Jesus Christ to stop his old bad habits. He is feeling the weight-lifting feeling of repentance and change in his life. His countenance is changing. His repentance has led him to a desire to be baptized even though he doesn't know all things. He is preparing now to be baptized. We feel such a privilege to teach him.

It was incredible to receive a call from President that Brother Abat is being baptized. The whole family that I love with all my heart in Lingsat. Another step towards being an eternal family.

Brother Wally is the best recent convert ever. He is changing so much. He came to church with slacks, a polo, shoes, and a tie. He's never done that in his life. He is taking having the Priesthood so seriously that he was offered a calling this week and I think he will be sustained in the next couple of weeks. And the members want him to be the one to baptize Brother Zaldy on Saturday -- we are going to ask him tonight or tomorrow. I yelled and jumped up and down I was so excited. I know Brother Wally is going to be super nervous -- but he is worthy and one of the best kids I have ever met. Everyone knows him as such a sweet and wonderful young man. I'm so excited for his future.

So although it is hard sometimes to know where to go, who to teach, and to experience pain and suffering. Even though we aren't perfect missionaries and make mistakes, even though I know my efforts were not much -- God magnified them and miracles do happen.

I loved going to the Aringay Polynesian devotional on Friday. It was so exciting and we loved it. It made me wish I could sing or dance or had talents like that, but I am going to trust my Heavenly Father and hope that He will help me in the language and other talents in my future. I've had to sacrifice ALL of my old desires, talents, appearance, and other things for this work. And this work is changing me to want to serve others and think of others first always, that when we are called as disciples of Jesus Christ, he called us to leave our nets and become like Him forever. There are so many things I want to learn -- about everything -- and I hope that someday I can learn these things. I sometimes have to cling on to the hope that I have that potential and He will help me reach it -- as a child of God -- and that I have enormous potential -- instead of falling into fears of hopelessness or worthlessness.

I know that I'm not a perfect missionary -- but I haven't been defeated and I know that Christ will sustain me and never ever let me be defeated. I've learned that from my family and other amazing missionaries and investigators. I've seen the effects of the Atonement in the lives of others and myself. There are more hard times ahead, but I have to trust that things will work out according to the One who knows all things and has a perfect plan for us. What a blessing in my life to share this hope with others who have none.

Sister Porter

The Atonement and the Missionary

Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?

I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.

Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.

For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.

If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” 11 then little wonder that salvation is not an easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.

When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

I testify that the living God is our Eternal Father and that Jesus Christ is His living and Only Begotten Son in the flesh. I testify that this Jesus, who was slain and hanged on a tree, 12 lives. The whole triumph of the gospel is that He lives, and because He does, so will we.

On that first Resurrection Sunday, Mary Magdalene first thought she saw a gardener. Well, she did—the Gardener who cultivated Eden and who endured Gethsemane. The Gardener who gave us the tree of life.

I declare Him to be the Savior of the world. I know that we are lifted up unto life because He was lifted up unto death. I bear witness that He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, that He was a man of sorrows acquainted with grief because upon Him were laid the transgressions of us all. 13

I bear witness that He came from God as a God to bind up the brokenhearted, to dry the tears from every eye, to proclaim liberty to the captive and open the prison doors to them that are bound. 14 I promise that because of your faithful response to the call to spread the gospel, He will bind up your broken hearts, dry your tears, and set you and your families free. That is my missionary promise to you and your missionary message to the world.

October 2001 Liahona

Monday, November 27, 2017

Hello from Sister Porter

This week we found ways to serve a couple members in their yards. We had some powerful lessons with our investigators. One was with Dengerald, a 17 year old boy that really wanted to be baptized before but his mother is strictly against it. Ever since he hasn't been regular to church. We taught him a powerful lesson about trials, about darkness that comes before the light just like Joseph Smith, that Satan knows and repeatedly tries to hedge our way from doing the things that matter most. It was powerful, and even though Dengerald didn't go to church we know he still has it in his heart and we told him that someday he can become a great missionary.

We've been visiting a 15-year old recent convert lately named Rhenier. He is absolutely incredible. He heard of the Book of Mormon from his aunt and felt a strange desire to read it. He asked for one from his classmate that he knew was Mormon. He started reading at his house the Introduction, and then decided to ask God if it was true. He was scared to pray at first, he had never prayed with real intent before -- he was used to memorized prayers from his religion. As he prayed the room grew quiet and the Book of Mormon grew hot in his hands, then the feeling went straight to his heart. He was so shocked. He told his family but they told him he was going crazy. But he knew, without a doubt in his mind, that the Book of Mormon was true. He came to church and was baptized fast. Ever since, he told us, he has shared the Book of Mormon with EVERYONE he knows -- all his classmates, all his friends, at school, at home, everywhere. He's been persecuted too -- his grandparents don't believe it and his parents aren't with him anymore -- one died when he was little. He had a dream that he was to become a missionary someday that he was to receive a call letter. He worked with us this week along with some other young adults and testified to the people we met. He wants to work with us every week now. He is living evidence to me that the Lord does his own work. Rhenier is a special kid and his story fills me with faith in the Lord.

We decided to fast this week for investigators to come to church and it worked! We had two part member families come to church for the first time so hopefully we can start teaching them. Emilia Rosario came to church. We are having a hard time with her because she really wants to be baptized and has come to church for a while now but she is still not converted and says she doesn't know if the church is true even though she has felt it in her heart. We had a powerful lesson with her but she still needs some help but we are shooting for December. Nuevo Dumaging came to church for the first time too -- we had a powerful lesson with him too about finding answers, and acting. He is searching for the truth because he hasn't found it in other churches that he has visited. We believe he can make it and be baptized in December too.

Angelitio De Leon who was baptized in October is having a hard time and needs reactivating of his family. But he is strong in his knowledge and belief in the Book of Mormon. We are going to work on that. Wally Licuanan is doing good -- he was ordained a priest yesterday and spent some time with the YSA's so hopefully that will give him some fellowship.

Cultural note: Investigators are loving giving us the fruit of the season -- PAPAYA and SUHA. It's super delicious and our desserts all the time.

Filipinos love to tell jokes -- the cheesier the better. Often playing on words. If you ask someone how they are doing -- instead of mabuti (which means good) you can say mabeauty (play on english beautiful)

Love you all!!!!!

Sister Porter