Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hello po!

Crazy week.... transfers! Sister Baconawa is my new companion and I have to lead the area! It's been a little difficult to be honest. I don't have a perfect understanding of the language, sometimes I'm not sure where I'm going, plans fall through, and sometimes I have absolutely no idea what to do. But she's been patient and full of quiet understanding in my weaknesses. She's super cute.

One miracle happened this week: my Tagalog is soooo much better. It's literally the only language I use to speak right now because none of my roommates or companions or investigators speak any English hahaha. I'm so grateful for the power that Heavenly Father has given my to speak. I didn't do anything different. Just a tender mercy of the Lord -- otherwise I would be completely crippled hahaha. 

Today I was allowed to go jogging today at one of the most beautiful parks in Baguio -- I was sooooooooo excited. People were laughing at me hahaha.

Just want to give the pinakamalakang shoutout to the most amazing parents in the whole world. I cried hearing what you've gone through in the last couple weeks. You guys are my heroes talaga. I know that just like you would do anything in the whole wide world for us, that that is exactly the way that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ feel for us. Trust Him-- I believe that He can do all things. I am so grateful for the blessings that Heavenly Father has sent to my family -- strength in adversity and success in overcoming anything that comes their way. I hope I can be just like you here. I can only imagine what hard work, what pain, and what paghihirap (english--- i forget-- difficulties?) that you have gone through as a family. I can't even imagine. But I want to share with you something that my mission president gave us this week. It's called the Atonement and the missionary... but you can substitute missionary work with the trials of life.

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.

Salvation isn't cheap. I know that even though life is hard, we care coming to know our Savior, His love, and never-ending happiness that comes from it. For me, I have no idea why things happen the way they do. I have a lot of weaknesses that make me feel like I'm failing sometimes. But I know I'm way better already with handling depression and going out and working anyway even though sometimes that's all I can do -- function and get out to work on time. We've lost investigators and I feel like it's my fault often, that I didn't bring the Spirit with me. I feel lonely often and that my best is not even close to enough because of the lack of success in my area. But I see the blessings that have come to my family and I'm so grateful. Our Savior truly will give us what we need, even if we have to be patient for those blessings. Someday, if I keep reading the Book of Mormon, I believe that success will come. 

Love you all! Mahal na mahal kita! 
Sister Porter

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