Monday, March 27, 2017

Ang liwanag sa Kanilang Mata

Kumusta po kayong lahat?! Isa pang Monday sa Pilipinas!

Thanks for the emails friends and family!!! I hope you know how much it makes my week when I see that the people I love are still thinking of me!!! I know I'm so far away and can't be there in person but you all still are thinking of me anyway! It means the world and I think of you all and see you in my investigators and it just makes me love people here. I have some necklaces from my grandparents and my dad that I wear everyday and think of you all.

I wish you could see the view from my area: it's beautiful. I stand on the top of the mountain and see all the mountains covered in cement houses with green and red roofs. And when it get's foggy, it's gorgeous. And you can see all our Ilakanos washing clothes outside or tons of little kids playing outside on the street. I'm going to get pictures.

I'm sure you all wanna know about the food here haha:
My favorite dish right now: puso ng sagi -- banana heart. Soooo delicious when you boil it with some soy sauce and vegetables. My Filipino companions are really good cooks haha. My body reacted kinda rough to some of the food, but I'm taking care of myself here. I buy myself tons of fruits and veggies. Some fruits you'll have never heard of haha.
Favorite treat: buko pandan-- It's soo famous here. Coconut, jello, sweet milk and little jelly balls. Sooobrang masarap!!!

So this week I've had to learn to be patient with myself and others. I'm kind of a go-go-go person trying to get everything done in one day, but I realized that sometimes you just need to sit and help your companion or sit and listen to the concerns of your investigator. We are here to listen and help others! It reminds me of what Jesus would do. Sometimes I've wondered why Jesus couldn't get to everyone in Jerusalem or everyone in person always. But I think Jesus was a listener and really cared about people's individual needs. I'm here to lift up my companion even when we have some differences. She expressed to me the other day how much she wanted to be obedient and have a successful last four months of her mission. It was hilarious because I just looked at her and said: "Okay! Are you ready to work? And we got on a jeepney and started talking to a sweet old lady." We call it testifying of Christ. We make goals to talk to people and just give a quick testimony of Christ.

We teach a lot of mothers because most of the time the fathers are away working, a lot of the time 12 hour days at construction or call centers and sometimes abroad! I've really learned to appreciate how amazing mothers are. One of our investigators, Sister Dona, is basically a member of the church. It's amazing to see her progression and how the gospel of Jesus Christ has changed her life. We sang "I am a Child of God" in her home the other day, and she shared with us her personal study of the Book of Mormon which was incredible! She has become so self-reliant in her studies and really understands the gospel! I saw a light in her eyes as we sang. Christ is changing her life. 

Sister Raquel is a mother of three whose husband is only home on Sundays. She reminds me of Joseph Smith. The most important thing in her life, she said, was getting to know who her Savior really is. She's had tons of religions come teach her at the same time, including us, but as she prayed about the prophet, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon, she said she really has started to come to know her Savior better and that she knows this is true and the Savior is really there for her! May liwanag din sa mga bata niya! We extended a baptismal date to her and she accepted. It's really hard for her to get to church so sana things will work out. She's truly an elect. The thing is we haven't gotten through many of the lessons yet and she already knows! We literally didn't do anything. God prepared her to accept the gospel and all we had to do was say something and God did the rest.

We don't have a ton of progressing investigators and we feel like it's really hard to meet the goals that have been set for us. It often makes me feel inadequate and that I'm doing it all wrong. And it's true that I cannot speak the language very well, I don't understand what people are saying, and I make mistakes every single day. But I know the Lord knows my heart and we keep trying to get better every week. 

Mosiah 24:15 -- "they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.... and it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience." Hard times aren't forever, and the Lord never forsakes us even when we forget Him sometimes. 

Mahal na mahal ko Inyong Lahat! Naalaala ko kayo araw-araw sa Aking panalangin! Nararamdaman ko kapag nagdarasal kayo para sa akin talaga! 

Sister Porter

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Maganda ang bahay!!

Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat!

This week has been full of hard work and tender mercies haha. Our area in Baguio is known for not progressing as fast as maybe the lowlands because people are so busy with all their maraming businesses and our area is so huge that we can't visit everyone we want to in one day. So... quite a few of our lessons fell through. We've had so many zone conferences and district meetings that my language study keeps getting cut short BUT... I have seen an amazing increase in time management in just one week. Although I can't say very much, we found a new approach for what to do when something falls through, filling it with on the spot lessons. We got quite a few people so thankful and willing to let us into their homes and teach the first lesson! So hopefully we can retain these investigators. People here are so friendly and willing to listen to you. Being American sometimes helps haha. Kids love to talk to us too. I'll send some more pictures as soon as I can. I think Sister Agner and I are becoming so productive when we are together.

The language is really frustrating but I'm trying to figure out how best to study haha. Any suggestions are welcome all of you RMs....

Cultural Note of the Week:
We don't knock on doors in the Philippines! Instead you say "Tao Po!" which basically means "People!"

2nd Cultural Note of the Week:
It's totally normal to eat completely with you hands.... no silverware. So all those table manners you learn at home, forget it and just eat rice and ulom with your hands! I haven't quite gotten into that yet haha I'm sticking with my spoon and fork for now. No butter knives at the dinner table either. If you're eating with your hands you tear meat with your hands.

My companion cooks all the Filipino food- it's great. I bought a TON of fruit today during P-day. Baguio's famous strawberries and preserves, tons of bananas and apples, and manggas (mangos) and lunson and new fruits unique to the Philippines! So delicious! I'm obsessed with ube right now. It's a sweet yam that is in everything -- ice cream and candy flavors. But my favorite right now is just straight up ube and sugar or ube jam.

Spiritual Thought:
If there is anything I have learned so far, it's how weak I am. I fall short every day. But it always reminds me of a quote by Elder Bednar, that if you can fall on your knees and pray and sincerely say to Heavenly Father that you were a little better than yesterday and that you tried, that's enough. I always thought missionaries were perfect when I was younger, but we all make lots of mistakes and fall short.

Mosiah 7:18 and 33
"O, ye my people, lift up your heads and be comforted; for behold, the time is at hand, or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies, notwithstanding our many strugglings, which have been in vain; yet I trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made."

"But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage."

I feel like I am in bondage to my weaknesses sometimes. Like my heart is willing to do everything and accomplish things, but my body is weak. But these scriptures hit me so hard this week. We struggle against our weaknesses and sometimes it seems hopeless that we will ever overcome them. For me I just see how much I could be doing, but things don't really ever go according to plan. But if we turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, trust in Him, and serve Him with all diligence of MIND, then someday He will deliver us! We can overcome through Jesus Christ. I think diligence of mind means to have intent and trying to act and get better and repent, even if we still fall short. The enabling power of the Atonement is so so real.

I shared this with a family in Takay the other day--- the Javier family. They are so so poor and can't get to church. The two daughters are my age and they already have to take care of all these kids and their mother. They all share one shack on a hill. But the mother has an amazing testimony and I love them all so much. They are always willing to listen. So so sweet.

Ilakano word of the week:
Agyaman! (Salamat/Thank you!)

I love you all! Hope you had an amazing Spring Break! Thinking of you all in Baguio City! Maraming maraming salamat para sa mga panalangin ninyo para sa akin! Nararamdaman ko sila araw-araw talaga!

Sister Porter

God's Tender Mercies

Magandang araw sa inyong lahat!

So.... I've made it almost 2 full weeks in the Philippines!

Not going to lie, the culture shock and the language were really rough this week. I felt like I couldn't express myself to anyone and I was the silent companion or I would resort to speaking English
to my companion. It's hard to switch to completely different cultures and as an American, you stick out and everyone is staring at you all the time. Seriously I walk through the streets and all I hear is "Americana!!! Matangkad ka!" (You're so tall!).

Me and my companion don't have as high of key indicators as everyone else and that's kinda hard to. I really really want to share the gospel, but it seems like people are always busy and we don't get to everything we want to. It's been frustrating to me and there were a few times this week where I had to ask God "Why am I here if I'm not as productive as everyone else? There are so many people that need the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives and I feel so hopeless and limited."

But, even though I feel like I can't do very much, I know that God loves me. Everyday He is cheering me on and has given me little things to make me happy. Yesterday at church one lady came up to me who spoke perfect English and told me her son was serving in California and emailed her and asked if there was a new sister in the ward and that if there was that she should invite her over and get to know her because she was probably feeling so new and discouraged like he was at first. God answers prayers! He feeds me everyday in miraculous ways. We get calls during the day for members willing to feed us. Our Bishop's family is so kind to us. God truly does provide for missionaries.

Sister Agner is a super super sweet companion and I know exactly why she is my companion. We both feel inadequate, self-conscious, and are hard on ourselves sometimes. She is literally like my Filipino twin. It's funny how alike we are. We decided that together we are going to lift each other up and do our best even if it doesn't seem like much. That's enough to God. God provides the rest.

A miracle that happened this week: Sister Agner had just barely started teaching a sweet lady named Sister Vanessa. She has a small family and hasn't had an easy life. But I got to teach her about how much God loves her and has a plan for her family to be together forever because of Jesus Christ in Tagalog. My Tagalog was rough, but after our closing prayer she cried and said she would get baptized. That was definitely the happiest I've been my whole mission so far. I turned to Sister Agner on the way walking home: "That is why I'm on a mission. Everyone deserves to hear that they can be together with their families forever because of Jesus Christ." She wasn't able to come to church because it is a huge sacrifice for people here to go because it is so far away, they don't have support from family members, or they don't have food or means to go. But I know that God will bless her and loves her so so much. You get a taste of that love for people during lessons.

2nd Nephi 26:24: "He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation."

I learned this week that truly I am so limited. I struggle with being the most effective with my time. Tagalog is really hard for me. It's hard to speak when you don't know the language. But God called me anyway. I may not be able to offer as much as I wish I could, but God loves me so much and loves everyone else and will not forget anyone. He can do His work. He will make up for what I can't do.

Culture Note of the Week:
If you want to give an elder a lot of respect, you give them a special handshake where you touch your forehead to their hand. It's called "Bless." Some little kids do it to me sometimes and it's adorable.

Love you all! I wouldn't be able to do this without you!

Mahal ko po tayo! Mahal na mahal tayo ng Dios! Ang ating Tagapagliktas si JesuChristo! Kaya natin 'yan! Nagiisip ko sa inyong lahat araw-araw! Naramdaman ko ang mga panalangin ninyo para sa akin!

Sister Porter

Mabuhay sa Pilipinas!!

Kumusta po kayo!?

This was my first week in the Philippines, and well.... it's been a bit of a culture shock haha.
The first day in the Manila MTC they sent us into the heart of Manila to teach with an older companion. Oh my gosh I stick out like a sore thumb! Seriously. I am literally a foot taller than everyone and everyone knows it. But, I got to bear my testimony of Jesus Christ for the first time to a nanay that lives with her family in a tiny cardboard shack, and she said that even though she didn't understand everything I said, that the Spirit testified to her about what I said. The Spirit is the teacher, not me! I know that when we testify of Jesus Christ, people feel it, and that's the reason why I am here. To help people find Him in their lives. 
Manila is very poor. I think it's the most crowded city in the world! 12-13 million people. Most people live in one room shacks with their family.

Last Wednesday I met my mission president. He's very nice, but speaks mostly Tagalog so I can't really communicate with him yet so I'll work on that. My interview was kinda short kasi I couldn't say much haha. I hope he knows though that I'm here to work. 
Thursday I met my companion and went to my new area! And guess where I got assigned....... BAGUIO CITY of course haha I had a feeling. Everyone talks to me about Baguio city although honestly it is a very small part of our mission and the rest of the mission is on the beach and some of the hottest areas of the Philippines. I am in an area in Baguio City where all the houses are stacked together on the sides of mountains. It's a little more westernized in the city proper, but where I am people are still poor and there's a lot of stone and metal shacks, but people are better off than in Manila for sure. My companion is Sister Agnar. She's Filipino! So I'm learning lots of Tagalog from her! Sometimes it's a little hard to communicate, which can be frustrating, but I've learned a ton of Tagalog in the last week. She's super cute! I'll try to get some more photos.

Our apartment is actually not too bad. Bucket showers from now on, but since it's so cold in Baguio City we have some warm water. And.... we get beds! I don't really get to exercise much, and I can't run anymore, but I'm trying to cope haha and trust that God will help me. We mostly have rice and bread for meals; fruit is too expensive.

Cultural Note of the Week:
 Filipinos point with their lips, not with their hands haha. 

Spiritual Thought:
2 Nephi 10:20 -- "And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful God has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off." This scripture was very comforting to me this week. We can be happy and feel peace even though things are different and confusing and maybe we don't know what to do. Jesus Christ is everything.

I love you love you all! Your emails and photos truly mean a lot to me! I wish I had more time to get to everyone personally, so don't be offended I truly love and miss you all! Sa pamamagitan ni JesuCristo, magagawin natin ang lahat ng mga bagay! Mahal tayo ng Dios! Siya ay Ating Ama sa Langit! At tatanggapin natin ang buhay ng walang-hanggan kung sundin natin sa Kanya!

All the love! Mahal ko kayo!
Sister Porter

6 more days...!! Tara na sa Pilipinas!!


February 22nd is coming up so fast!! I cannot even believe how fast these past 5 weeks have gone! It's going to be hard to leave a place where I have learned so much because the MTC has become a sacred place for me. Heavenly Father helped me learn more about my potential here and helped me learn more about serving others. I love my companions, my district, my zone, my teachers... but I'M SO EXCITED FOR THE PHILIPPINES! SO EXCITED!

We take off from SLC at 7:00 pm, then from there to LA then Hong Kong (!!!) and then Manila. I'll be spending 5ish days at the Manila MTC, going to the temple, and then teaching our first actual lessons and tracting for the first time in Manila! Manila is the most crowded city in the world (13 million people) and my teachers admitted that our first tracting might be kinda rough. People are so poor and the alleyways are just filled with people that hardly have clothes or food and they just stare at you. A few days I would have told you I was terrified, but.....

Tuesday night Elder Ballard came and spoke to the MTC. It was absolutely amazing, so that's going to be my spiritual thought for today. He literally just laid out for us the SECRET TO A SUCCESSFUL LIFE which includes BECOMING A SUCCESSFUL MISSIONARY. It pushed away all my fears and doubts about myself. God gave us agency in this life to choose who we want to be. We can decide RIGHT NOW what we want to do and how to accomplish it. I can jump out of bed and decide to be a righteous, obedient, loving, enthusiastic, selfless missionary every morning. Attitude determines how our lives will go. BUT the difference between dreams and reality.... is acting in faith in Jesus Christ. ACTING! HARD WORK! Elder Ballard said "The privilege of work is a gift, the power to work is a blessing, and the love to work is SUCCESS. There is no substitute for productive work. Dreams become reality, lift us from mediocrity. If you can pray on your knees every night and honestly say: "Heavenly Father, I did the best I could today," then Heavenly Father will, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, magnify our efforts and shape us to our potential. We can do nothing without Jesus Christ because we are fallen and we make mistakes and we owe everything we have to Him. BUT when we rely on Him and act with the faith that He will help us reach our MAXIMUM POTENTIAL, which is exaltation someday, He will help us become more than we ever could have imagined. I owe everything I am now to my Savior, and I am so grateful that He is a loving Heavenly Father who wants us to have agency and choose what we want to become. He wants us to choose Him because he can makes us our very best-- like Him!!! I HAVE POTENTIAL to be a leader, a traveler, a doctor, a student, a MISSIONARY. And I know you all have limitless potential too!!!

Mahal ko po kayo!!! (Love you all!)

Tagalog word of the week:
 Magpakumbaba (Humble)

Oh! Side note! They speak a different dialect in my mission almost COMPLETELY different from Tagalog called Ilikano.... so I just learned that I have to learn another language. Trilingual! I will just have to pick it up in the field!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

What!!! A Month Out!!


I can't believe I've already been out here a month! It kinda freaked me out, this 18 months is going to go waaaaay too fast and I am not going to waste a minute of it!!
Less than 2 weeks I'll be in the Philippines!!!! I should get my flight itinerary tomorrow so I'll keep you posted!!! I'm so so ready to go! I still have a lot to learn here, and I love the MTC, but everyday I just get more and more excited to LOVE the people of the Philippines! It's super hard to explain the feeling here unless you've been here yourself, choosing to dedicate all of your time and talents to making people HAPPY! I know God wants us to be happy. Today was the warmest day since I got here at the MTC, so we finally got to spend time outside, and I was seriously the happiest missionary on campus. Everyone could hear Sister Fahina and I yell across campus: "I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!" 
Not pretending like things are perfect though. Learning a language is frustrating and we aren't perfect people. We make mistakes and don't have perfect capacities. But I know that God loves everyone equally and incomprehensively (Acts 10: 34-35). He loves the Filipinos so so much! He wants them to be happy! Doctrine and Covenants 100:4-6 really hit me today: the Lord has "suffered me to come unto this place; for thus it was expedient in Him for the SALVATION OF SOULS." If I "lift up my heart unto the people; speak the thoughts the lord shall put in my heart," then " it shall be given me in the very moment, what ye shall say." I have no idea how this is going to happen, because God doesn't just automatically make me fluent in the language or be perfectly outgoing or have perfect lessons. God called me, an imperfect 20-year old girl, to go to the Philippines. He knows my heart and desires to learn, and He is going to teach me about His love, His Spirit, His Plan, His Atonement, His grace, His knowledge. I basically get an internship with God! I get to be a representative of Jesus Christ! I don't know exactly how everything is going to happen, but I hope with all my heart that He is going to help me be Filipino! I want to master the language as best I can and embrace them so I can love the people more and have the Spirit. I want to be closer to my brother and Savior Jesus Christ. I know he loves all of you and has a specific plan for you in this life. TRUST him and work hard and miracles will happen!

Tagalog word of the week:

Maaalaala (I will remember)

Ingat po!!! Mahal ko po kayo!
Sister Porter

Halfway Through the MTC!!

Kumusta Friends and Family?!?!

Halfway through the MTC!!! Seriously, I can't believe I will be going to the Philippines in 3 weeks!!!! Honestly it's a little nerve racking but I know God prepares a way for us to accomplish what He has commanded us! I just have to work my hardest and trust that if I work hard God will help me become who I need to be for the Filipinos! 

So half my zone left yesterday for the Philippines and we got a ton of new missionaries, so that means we are the "senior" missionaries in our zone. My companions and I were called as Sister Training Leaders! Which means I get to train all the new sisters in our zone! It's funny because I have only been here three weeks but my job as a leader is to love my girls and be an example. I already love them -- they're all super cute.

Sooo.... This is for my Dad, any BYU basketball fans out there... and for anyone who came to my farewell talk. Remember how I talked about how my basketball hero Tyler Haws served in the Philippines? So my branch president was actually the mission president of the Quezon City mission while Elder Haws was there.... and he was such an incredible missionary that he became an AP. President DeLaMare is my branch president, and he had Tyler promise not to tell the Filipinos he was a college basketball star, and he promised to keep it secret. For 20 months he did that, until he was asked to show his Mormon Message video about hard work and sacrificing for a mission at devotionals for THOUSANDS of Filipino Youth across the Philippines. He became a legendary missionary in the Quezon City mission. He is still my hero, and reminds me of what President Thomas S. Monson said: "It is in the doing that we accomplish our goals." SO SO COOL. Tyler is still my hero haha.

Learning Tagalog is a lot of fun.. kinda hard right now without being immersed in it but it won't be long until I will be! There's a lot of conjugations, and no such thing as linking verbs in Tagalog -- like am, is, was, were.....

Tagalog Sentence of the Week (This one makes me laugh):
Bababa ba? (Are you going to go down/get out of the car?)

Spiritual Thought:
Our devotional on Sunday: 
"And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face.  I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." D&C 84:88

God loves all of His children so so much and cares about everything they care about. More than anything else he wants us to be happy. Moses 1:39 -- "For this is my work and my glory: to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." I am so very privileged to help him in that work and help others find happiness in their lives through our Savior. God is already working in the lives of everyone who wants to find the truth. We are children of God, with a divine destiny and purpose. 

Mahal kita!

Sister Porter

Second Week in the MTC!!

Hey guys!

Thanks so much for the pictures!!! And the letters make my week because I don't have to wait until P-day to read them! Sorry my photos from last week didn't go through... I will try to figure that out....

I absolutely love the MTC! Not everything is easy and we literally are up and working from 6:30 to 10:30 but I love being busy! And my companions are so supportive of my running time haha. I am competing for the mile record with a girl that is trying to make the Utah State team next year. She just beat my record so I'm going to have to catch up haha. My companions are the sweetest and I can't wait to show you photos! And our zone and district are just hilarious and make my day so much better with people to laugh at. 

But the best part of the MTC is that you feel the Spirit here constantly. I really do believe that God called us as His missionaries, even though we are young and don't know everything and don't have a ton of life experience. But we do have faith that with God we can do anything. My teachers are saying that my Tagalog has improved SO MUCH in just two weeks! We teach people almost everyday completely in Tagalog. 

Tagalog words of the week:
Pananampalataya = faith
Nakakapagpabagabag = to cause anxiety 

Spiritual thought:
The MTC devotionals are THE best. One of the members of the Presiding Bishopric: Elder Waddell, taught us the secret to being the best missionary. The secret is being outward-looking. Everything we do is for other people. EVERYTHING. Jesus Christ was the first outward-looking missionary when he volunteered to be our Savior. If we are obedient to God, serve others before ourselves in our jobs and work, seek the Holy Ghost, rely on Christ in everything, and work as hard as we can, even though we are not perfect, God can help us do MIRACLES! Seriously. He can help us develop our talents, accomplish amazing things and serve His children on earth. I know I will learn this language through his help and be able to teach others about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Philippines is going to be the best! Just gotta stick the MTC out until February 22nd!!

I've absolutely loved everyone's emails! I love you all!!!!!!!


Sister Porter

Thursday, March 9, 2017

First Week in the MTC!!

Kumusta mga tao?!?!

Made it through my first week at the MTC! Already getting so so so excited to go to the Philippines, but I've already learned so much here that I know I still need some work before I go out into the mission field, haha. Just to clear up the rumors, I WILL have toilet paper in my apartment in the Philippines. But there are no public restrooms with toilet paper; you just squat haha so I'm going to make sure I bring some with me everywhere I go.

My companions are the sweetest! Sister Fahina is Tongan and I love her personality!! Super adorable! I call her Sister Moana haha. My other companion (we're a trio) is Sister Zander. She's super sweet and loves traveling. She spent 4 months teaching  English in Thailand before she came here, so she already loves Asia. I call her Sister Mary Poppins because she has an outfit that makes her look just like here haha. Guess what my district calls me? Sister Taylor Swift or Sister Swizzle:) I love it.

Love and miss you all!! SHOUT OUT to my wonderful family and the sweetest Vincent family for the packages! You made our day!! I have absolutely no idea how I got the sweetest friends!! Love you Aubrey, Jenessa, Tyler, Captain, and Mother Teresa!! Thank you everyone for the emails! 

So.... I am SOO excited to learn Tagalog!! I didn't know how much I loved language until now. We practice all the time, and already I'm speaking more than I ever did in Spanish class haha. I say my prayers in Tagalog already. You can just tell by the language that the people there are so friendly! And it sounds amazing, a real island language, with a lot of Spanish and English words thrown in! I am determined to WORK MY BUTT OFF to learn the language. I know that through hard work, not just in learning the language but striving to have the Holy Spirit with me, that I WILL learn this language. Teachers were telling us that a lot of missionaries hit a language plateau once they get comfortable with the language and don't improve after that, but I am determined that that is not going to be me. Loved this quote from a video I watched recently: "It's not an event of learning the language, but it's a JOURNEY OF LOVING THE PEOPLE."

So a little spiritual thought! To be honest, the first day was a little overwhelming because there were so many people to meet and my teacher was talking completely in Tagalog and I just stood there looking completely stupid, but I wasn't the only one (haha) it got way better. The next day they had us teach a lesson completely in Tagalog, which was pretty rough too. The first few days I was really excited to learn, but I was being a little stubborn. I was so scared about leaving everything behind. What would I do when I got back? I was having an inward struggle with the rules we have here and how high expectations are for missionaries. I was questioning why I was here and if this gospel was really true. Seriously, this is a sacrifice of my life that we are making here. But on Sunday we watched a devotional called the Character of Christ by Elder Bednar, and it was the most incredible talk I have ever watched. This mission is NOT about me. I have been called BY GOD to serve in the Philippines. I needed to stop being so selfish and make this mission for the people of the Philippines. Christ turned outward always. Searching for my purpose in life by turning inward will never help me become who I'm supposed to become. Losing myself in the work will help me find myself. My attitude is different now, and I am positive that although this is going to be one of the hardest times in my life, it is also going to be the BEST time of my life this far. I know that I will be blessed for obedience, and I can feel the difference already. The sacrifice that I'm making is going to have so many blessing that it's not going to be a sacrifice at all.

Love you all!!!!! Thanks for all the emails!!! Love to hear from you!!
Sister Porter