Monday, July 31, 2017

Tag-bagyo at tag-ulan dito sa La Union! (Rainy and Windy in La Union)

Hello po sa Inyong lahat!

This week was a really great week! It was full of hard work, singing, loving, and doing our best to be better every day. I love Sister Daban! She is so much fun to work with and always ready to work hard. I loved all the people we were able to teach and we even met some new families to teach right next to the church so hopefully we can really build a center of strength around the church. That's our goal. The family we met is the Bora family. We met Sister Jesusa tracting and then met her whole family last Saturday. She has three kids: Asia (10), Alex (7), and Guillex (3). Their father isn't really interested but Sister Jesusa and the kids love us! The kids came to church last Sunday and loved it and Sister Jesusa was so happy and said they can come to church every week to hear the words of God. We taught the Restoration to them but I think we might have to teach it again for real understanding that this is the true church of God. But I'm hoping that when the parents see how great this church is it will soften their hearts and they will come too! All in God's timing of course. 

The Abat family is struggling with wanting to commit to church and when we mentioned baptism again they pulled away and didn't come to church on Sunday. They've been a long time investigator family but we will keep trying to help them understand and feel the Spirit but I know that God gave them their agency. They are a sweet family they just have some concerns right now.

Sister Daban is such a sweet blessing in my life. She's so kind and is willing to work hard and listen to my ideas too. She does the greatest service of letting me run in the morning, either at the beach or on the street. She is so understanding and so much fun. We were singing the Baguio mission song in the rain last Saturday as we got soaked trying to get to our investigators in the rain. She has the best attitude and always is smiling. Every night we get home so tired but we always plan, evaluate, give each other compliments, and do the area book before we are too tired to do anything else. We met some less actives and prospective investigators last week. 

Funny Story: 
When I'm not running on the beach, I run up and down the kalsada in front of my apartment. Filipinos think it's hilarious to see this tall white girl running so they all just laugh and laugh and yell "Kaya mo!" the entire time I'm running. Sometimes they pretend to jog with me haha Filipinos are the best people in the entire planet. One time it started pouring while I was running and so I got completely soaked and then President drives by, sees me running, and just laughs, so surprised to see me running in the rain. He thought it was pretty funny.

Something I realized this week is the POWER of the RESTORATION lesson. Seriously if everyone understood this lesson, I truly believe everything makes sense in its light, about the 
gospel of Jesus Christ, the plan of salvation, commandments, temple preparation, and any other concern people may have. We taught the less active Sanchez family this week and shared the Restoration and made a plan to make it to the temple. It was so powerful to me, and even though they didn't come back to church this week, we will keep trying and I know the Spirit was in the room. I believe with all my heart that Joseph Smith is a Prophet and Jesus is our Savior and the gospel was restored. We truly live in the most incredible time in the world. I hope in everything through Him.

Favorite Scripture right now: Moroni 7:41

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.
41 At ano ito na inyong aasahanMasdan, sinasabi ko sa inyo na kayo ay magkakaroon ng pag-asa sa pamamagitan ng pagbabayad-sala ni Cristo at sa kapangyarihan ng kanyang pagkabuhay na mag-uli, na ibabangon tungo sa buhay na walang hanggan, at ito ay dahil sa inyong pananampalataya sa kanya alinsunod sa pangako.

Sister Walters and Sister Bleak are leaving today for America. They just came back from singing in Carino and are officially the first white girls ever there. That place is hours away in the mountains and all of the people there do not know Tagalog -- only their native Ilokano. The last musical devotional was in Lingsat. The musical devotional is such a blessing. I love to sing, even if I'm not the most talented. I especially love to sing about the Savior and uplift others and and I am thankful for the opportunity that I had to sing. It was wonderful. It was a little disheartening when the investigators that we invited didn't come, especially after following up on them by texting, invitations, and walking to their house 3-4 times this week didn't work. But Sister and Brother Madrid brought a family member that could definitely be a prospective investigator, and I know everything is according to God's will and I know we did our best and I know this uplifted the ward and everyone who was able to come. 

New favorite food: 
Turon -- A sweet banana with jackfruit wrapped and fried in a lumpia wrapper. Best ever! 

Cultural note: 
When you go to a party -- it's seriously a feast. Like 10 different main dishes and 10 additional desserts. You offend if you don't eat all you can hahaha. We went to the Stake President's house after the musical yesterday.

Salamat po talaga for the prayers and the emails!!! I love you all and appreciate all your support and prayers more than you know!

Sister Porter

Monday, July 24, 2017

Musta po!!!

So I tried to send an email and my computer crashed so I have to do this all over again haha so I don't have as much time. Pasensiya!!!!

But I love you all! Another crazy week but good! Sister Johnson was in Manila all week so I was in San Juan on exchanges. I love the sisters there, I got to help my trainer recover from surgery there, and the work there is great!! The sisters there are so hardworking and the youth are amazing. One of their recent converts has started a chain reaction with the youth. He recognized the truth of the Book of Mormon and the Church of Jesus Christ right away because he was truly searching -- Kenneth. He became converted and baptized and now the youth in the ward are working with the missionaries and giving referrals of all their friends and it's truly amazing! The youth are so important and truly have so much future and potential!

Sister Johnson came back from Manila on Thursday and they fixed her spinal headaches but she has a cut muscle from her surgery last month so she has a long recovery process and went back to her old area to recover. So I have a NEW companion!!!!! Sister Daban from Manila!!! She's the BOMB! She's 15 months on her mission and she is so hardworking and soooo sweet! The minute she got here she was ready to work, and even though we were rejected we were so happy. I'm learning that our work and our love and worthiness of the Spirit is what truly defines a missionary. Not the number of baptisms or stats. If we are using the Lord's time for the salvation of His children and conversion of ourselves and serving others, we are doing what He wants us to do. We work hard, she lets me run on the beach or on the street, and we make chocolate pancakes and do our best to serve our investigators and the ward and be kind to each other. This is going to be a great transfer!

Sister Walters and Sister Bleak have been so good to me too. I am so grateful for how they've helped me see what the definition of a great missionary is. They are so kind and so devoted to serving the Lord. AND they were SOOOO grateful for the package of food!!!!!!! THANK  YOU SO MUCH UTAH FAM! They were so grateful and seriously all of Sister Walter's favorite foods! That helped her so so much! She's gone through so much and is just amazing!

The Abat family is doing great. They come to church ever Sunday and I know that if they continue to experiment on the word, they will become converted to the Savior Jesus Christ. They are learning line upon line precept upon precept. That's how we learn and be converted. And that's what we need to do ourselves to. Act in faith that this gospel will change your life and as you do these things you WILL KNOW that this is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet, and Jesus Christ is our Savior and faith in him can help us do anything-- ANYTHING. This is His work and His Spirit is among the people preparing their hearts for the gospel. We will find them -- but we have such a small part in their conversion-- it's really the Spirit working with people and it's all in his time.

Spiritual thought:
I read the Book of Mormon in Tagalog and I wanted to share a scripture:
Jacob 4:7
7 Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.

 Gayon pa man, ipinaaalam sa amin ng Panginoong Diyos ang aming kahinaan upang malaman namin na dahil sa kanyang biyaya, at kanyang dakilang pagpapakababa sa mga anak ng tao, kung kaya’t may kapangyarihan kaming gawin ang mga bagay na ito.

God shows us our weaknesses so we can rely on Him and know that by Him miracles happen. We need to humble ourselves and recognize His hand in all things. I know that if I trust in Him and not my own understanding, miracles will happen. I am grateful for my weaknesses so that I can know that miracles will happen.

Cultural Note:
Guess what I ate this week??

Adidas -- street grilled chicken feet. It wasn't my favorite to be honest. Chicken feet is mostly cartilage and skin and bone and the sauce is really salty here but hey I tried it hahaha. Filipinos have the most interesting street food -- fish and squid balls, adidas, day-old chicks, quail eggs (qua-qua ) in batter.

I love you all! THANK YOU for the packages, the emails, the letters from the Young Men, and ESPECIALLY for prayers for my companions and our investigators! Serving others is literally the best thing in the whole wide world and I love my Savior so much! I think when He lived on earth many people didn't recognize Him because He was a carpenter and came in humble circumstances, but He overcame all temptations and suffered for all sins and sicknesses and understands EVERYTHING we will ever feel and go through. I know that He is the Christ the Son of the Living God and His gospel is the way was have to become perfect through His merits.

Sister Porter

Monday, July 17, 2017

Ang balis ang panahon! Anim na buwan na ako sa misyon!

Kumusta po?!? Mayong ugto (I'm pretty sure that's bisaya for Good afternoon -- bisaya is the language people speak in the southern islands of the Philippines)

Another seriously insane week. I've seriously been everywhere. We got out of the hospital on Wednesday and Sister Johnson was discharged. But she got misdiagnosed with some other missionaries, and she was in so much pain while I was taking care of her at our apartment. President Bangal had to drive her directly on Thursday night to Manila, and I haven't heard what's happened since. Pray for her! She's had a rough last few weeks. And then my trainer and one of my best friends Sister Agner got transferred to the hospital for an operation. It was so hard to see her in pain in the recovery room, but it was another time where I felt that my calling after my mission is to help other people in the medical field in many places. She got discharged on Saturday, but we took her to San Juan and she's resting now. It was so fun to reminescence on the good old Baguio days hahaha. 

Anyway, I've been all over the place this week. San Juan with one of my new favorite missionaries Sister Barton (her companion had to go to Manila too) and we were SOOOO excited to work we actually cried haha. The youth there LOVE missionary work and refer all their friends -- the baptisms there are all youth and they all want to go on missions. Seriously the work is amazing there. Then I went to San Fernando for a few days with Sister Lopez and Sister Sagers and that was super fun too. But I really have had to fight to work in my area. I've been trying to call for anyhone willing to work with me hahaha. But we got to go to the Abat family and they are so so amazing! They're striving to do good things and worried about not being perfect. I got to tell them that the purpose of this life is to strive follow the Savior's example but we are not going to be perfect in this life. You are ready to be baptized if you're willing to strive to keep the commandments of God and strive to take upon you the name of Christ and rely on His Atonement. They are doing great! I have high hopes for them. And Sister Joy Casugay is a cute 29 year old we've been teaching. She's going to have a baby next month so pray for her. She's had a hard time lately so please pray for her to stay strong and believe!!!!

Talagang something I learned even though not being able to work in my area has been hard for me, is that SOOOOOOO PRECIOUS is EVERY SOUL TO GOD. One of the APs said kanina that our calling as missionaries is more special than a king or queen on earth. We get to assist in serving others like Christ did and bring them to the everlasting gospel. EVERY MINUTE on a mission is more precious to me than anything the world can buy. I seriously love people so much -- investigator, member, and missionary -- and it's been such a blessing to have them in my life. Talagang sobrang pinagpala ako na naassign ako sa Pilipinas. Ang kahalagaan ng bawat na kaluluwa ay dakila sa mata ng Dios.

Mahal na mahal ko po kayo!!! I love you all so much and your support means so much to me. 

Sister Porter

Doctrine and Covenants 18 

10 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;
11 For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.
12 And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.
13 And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!
14 Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

When all you have is hope...

Kumusta sa aking pamilya????

Well, it's definitely been a different week. The sisters sang to all the missionaries going home and I had to say goodbye to one of my best friends on the mission, Sister Condie. She helped me to adjust when I first got to the field and always knew how to make me laugh. The good thing is that I can hang out with her as much as I want when I get home because she goes to UVU:) You just learn to love all your companions and roommates on the mission to death because we are all here for each other. 

If there's anything I've learned in the past few weeks, it's how to take care of others and absolutely love others no matter what. That's not meant to be self-exalting but just a wonderful opportunity to serve others and love them. It's what I want to commit myself to doing for the rest of my life-- caring for others. Going outside of yourself and your own wants or fears and just being outgoing and loving and trying to understand the background of others. It's made me just absolutely love my companions no matter what. And I know that is how the Savior sees others on an infinitely more loving scale that I can't even comprehend-- love is seriously limitless.

I can only imagine what it must have been like to watch Jesus going amongst the people and healing the sick, listening and caring for the lonely, and showing such incredible and perfect love to the people around Him. I can't even describe how incredible and overwhelming the Spirit must have been to those who were in tune with it. On the outside there was no beauty or comeliness to be desired, but those who saw this man with the eyes of faith could feel the peace of love to know that this man was truly the Son of God, our Savior, our Redeemer, our Jehovah who went to infinite lengths beyond the understanding and capacity of the mortal mind to save us and rescue us and show us the true meaning of love, compassion, and sacrifice. 

So just so you all know, I actually have been in the hospital for the past week taking care of my new companion, Sister Johnson. She's Australian and super bubbly and spunky, and I love her and have loved getting the chance to know her. But she's been in a lot of pain for the past 3 weeks, and doctors have no idea what's going on with her. It's been so frustrating to see her in pain. So here we are, still in the hospital. President Bangal is so worried about her and so we are doing an emergency transfer to put her in Lingsat with us so she's near the hospital. But she won't been able to work for a while and the sisters are traveling for the musical devotional, so they're companions now. Haha I think I've gone through more companions in a month than most people do in 6 months haha.

This scripture is keeping me going: Ether 12:4--

"Wherefore, whosoever believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led forth to glorify God."

There's not much I can do in a hospital room, but now I just have to trust that someday I will be able to work hard and I will accomplish what I am seriously desperate for -- to bring souls unto Christ and be the missionary I want to be. 

Hope you all had a great fourth of July! Love you all! Thank you for the prayers, the emails, and all the thoughts you send our way! Prayers for Sister Johnson would be so appreciated!

Sister Porter

Monday, July 3, 2017

Maging Magpagmamahal sa lahat ng tao-- Kahit ngumiti ka lang

Kumusta po kayo!?!?! 

Another week in Lingsat and sobrang maraming natututunan! Seriously I have the sweetest companions -- I don't know why I've been so so blessed with amazing companions. 

It's been a little hectic near the mission office. My companions are touring the whole mission to sing and there's a lot of preparation involved. But seriously it's bringing so many investigators to the chapels that it's seriously been such a success. Seriously our mission president loves them so much.

While I was waiting for them to perform I got to talk to people from all over. Even though my language isn't perfect, I'm so grateful that I can talk to people in Tagalog-- I know God gave me enough to do the job I needed to do, even though I don't always understand everything.

I've been hearing so many stories of investigators that take years to come into the gospel but because of the kindness of members and missionaries they do come! I know that this is God's work and He works in the hearts of these families.

Please pray for the Abat family! They are a long term investigator family that have finally started to come to church as a whole family!! They are making tremendous progress! They are like our momsie and popsie and love the missionaries. But they've been scared of baptism, and their kids were really shy. They need all the prayers they can get!

Also the Tan Family! We love them so so much! The parents are so so so nice and so are their kids. They love the missionaries and they love the lessons. They participate and they just come to realize it themselves the truth of the principles being taught. Love them so much!

I really realized the importance of being a good teacher. If you can asked inspired questions and explain clearly and help the investigator understand, the Spirit really can be more effective! That's my goal. That's what my companions are so good at. Actually all the missionaries here in Lingsat! They are so busy but they are all soooo good! They work so hard and they teach so so well. I want to be like that so much--I feel like I don't really know how to do it, but I do love the people soo much. Filipinos are literally the sweetest people on the planet. You can talk to anyone on the street and they are so kind to you-- on a jeepney, anywhere! They give what they have-- and they just love everyone. 

Cultural Note: Filipinos definitely have a sweet tooth. Favorite treat right now-- hopia. It's this fried bread with a sweet filling- so so good. Puto is a sweet rice that's super good too. 

Another Cultural Note: The palenke is so fun -- the market. There are mazes of little stalls selling fruit and bawang, gulay (vegetables), sebolyas, treats, handmade goods, fresh eggs. All the store owners kinda yell at us in broken English it's hilarious -- Yes Ma'am!!!! Ano yon!!!!???

Spiritual Thought:
Just thought I'd share my favorite talk ever! Whatsoever he saith unto you do it by Elder L. Whitney Clayton:

The Savior performed His first recorded miracle at a wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. Mary, His mother, and His disciples were there as well.  Mary apparently felt some responsibility for the success of the feast.  During the celebration, a problem arose- the wedding hosts ran out of wine.  Mary was concerned and went to Jesus.  They spoke briefly; then Mary turned to the servants and said:  "Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it."

"And there were set there six water pots of stone...(These water pots weren't used to store drinking water but were used for ceremonial washings under the law of Moses.) "Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water pots with water.  And they filled them up to the brim.  And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast and they bare it.

"Then the ruler of the feast...tasted the water that was made wine" and expressed surprise that the best wine was served so late in the feast.  We usually remember this event because transforming water to wine was a demonstration of the power of God- it was a miracle.  That is an important message, but there is another important message in John's account.  Mary was a "precious and chosen vessel" called by God to give birth to, nurture, and raise the very Son of God. She knew more about Him than anyone else on earth.  She knew the truth of His miraculous birth.

She knew that He was sinless and that He "spake not as other men, neither could he be taught; for he needed not that any man should teach him." Mary knew of His extraordinary capacity to solve problems, including one as personal as providing wine for a wedding feast. She had unshakable confidence in Him and His divine power. Her simple, straightforward instruction to the servants had no caveats, no qualifications, no limitations: "Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it." 

Mahal po kayo!
Sister Porter