Monday, June 26, 2017

Pawis na pawis talaga... Adventures in the Lowlands

Kumusta po!?! Lunes ulit! 

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

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

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

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

Word of the week: pinakamakapangyarihan -- all powerful

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

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

All the love,.
Sister Porter

Monday, June 19, 2017

Kumusta po sa Inyong lahat!?!!

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Sa sasunod! 

Sister Porter

Monday, June 5, 2017

Magandang umaga po!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sister Porter

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