Monday, July 25, 2016

A Great Week!

July 18, 2016

Wow!  This week was awesome!

Let's start at the beginning...on Monday afternoon we got free slurpees from 7-11 and then went to a member's home to alter some of our clothes.  We spent a long time there and before we knew it it was already 4:30 and we still had to go grocery shopping and wash the car.  Brother Tilton offered to make us food and he made us sandwiches!  Then we were at another member's home, the Alvarezes, and they gave us a pizza.  Seriously, they had ordered pizza and it got there just as we were leaving and they had ordered an extra one for us.  Score!  Oh, and I got an awesome package from my mom that night, too :)  Now we have music to listen to in the car!

On Tuesday, Sister Anderson and I went to the district meeting in Tampa and then went on an exchange for a day.  I was with Sister Harper, the other Sister Training Leader, until Wednesday morning and she is awesome!  She taught me a lot about being more bold and confident.  I wanted to go see a woman named Connie that we had met because we were in her area.  When she answered the door, I asked her if she was still interested in our church and she immediately said yes.  She said she had just been watching a spiritual movie called Miracles in Heaven and was wondering which church to go to on Sunday!  Sister Harper invited her to be baptized and she wants to!  She was definitely going to come to church and hopefully bring her family, we even stopped by to remind her on Saturday, but none of them showed up.  However, we asked a young man to invite his friend that we had met to come to church and he did and he came!  We are meeting with him tonight because he wants to learn more!

Sister Harper and I also met another woman who we invited to be baptized and had 2 really good discussions with, but she called us later and said she really feels like she is good where she is at.  She has already been baptized, believes in the Bible, and said if the Book of Mormon is true, then she has one now and that's all she feels she needs.  But there is so much more than that!

We also heard from Ann, the lady who gave us cake and ice cream, that she wants to be baptized but doesn't feel spiritually ready yet.  We know she is because she loves the Savior and truly desires to do what is right.  That's all that is really needed in order to start progressing towards baptism.

We also met with Kelsey to brainstorm the program for her baptism!  A lot of the members she wanted to help with things are going to be out of town so we will have to figure that out.  I might play the piano for the opening and closing hymns and/or say the opening prayer.  Sister Anderson is going to play a musical number while Kelsey gets dressed after the baptism.  I just can't wait!  She is not going to BYU-Idaho anymore, at least for a while.  She went to the YSA (Young Single Adult) ward for the first time yesterday :)

One day we were walking and I said, "I just want water.  No, A/C.  No, water AND A/C!"  A little later this awesome couple lets us in to their house and gives us water.  They shared amazing testimonies of how God has influenced their lives.  God really does love us :)

Well, there have been many other miracles this week but this email is already getting long.  I hope you all are doing well and send you love all the way from Florida!
Sister Porter

First picture: Sister Harper and I on the left, Sister King in the front, then Sister Lance and Sister Anderson.  This was at the end of the exchange :)
Second picture: This is a very common door decoration.  We like it :)  Pineapple doorbells and frog doorbells are also popular.
Third and fourth pictures: the result of getting caught in the rain...
Fifth picture: P-day selfie :)

Hope you all have a great week!

Another Crazy Week...

July 11, 2016

Hello, all!  This week has been crazy for sure.  Ups and downs of missionary a roller coaster!

On Tuesday we had a great district meeting on obedience.  We have been trying really hard to be on time and have the Spirit with us so we can make the best decisions on how to spend our time.  Later we were tracting and Sister Anderson stopped and wanted to say a prayer.  She prayed that we would be able to give away a Book of Mormon.  The next door we knocked on was a guy we had met the week before who is a social studies teacher, and he was interested in reading it, so we gave one to him!  A little later, Sister Anderson prayed that we would be able to give away another one before we moved to the next neighborhood.  Again, the next door we knocked on we were able to give it away.  When we get to the next neighborhood, we pray that we will find a new investigator before dinner.  This means that we have to make a return appointment, and there was only half an hour before dinner.  But we found a woman who was going through a rough divorce and felt we were sent by God to give her strength.  We set up another appointment and both were great lessons.  She wants to come to church.  She went to court on Friday and we haven't been able to talk to her and see how it went yet, but we saw a little girl's scooter outside when we stopped by on Saturday so we think she got custody of her kids :)

Let's see...on Thursday we met an old couple who had monkeys in their backyard.  It was really cool!  They are licensed as exhibitors so we signed a guest sheet.  On Friday there was a leadership meeting so we went to Tampa and I was with Sister Lance and Sister King on campus.  It was really fun!  We did studies together and then made a delicious chicken alfredo pizza for lunch.  We taught a lesson in the student center and gave someone a church tour.

Last week there was a man who walked into church.  I guess a friend recommended he come.  He really seemed to like it and participated in the class discussions.  He stayed for all 3 hours.  He came again this week and came right up to us and said he wants to meet with us to learn more.  We set up an appointment..but he doesn't actually live in our area so we invited the elders and we will meet at the church.

Anyway, there is great stuff happening here!  There are some great members who really love being involved in missionary work and have friends they are sharing their beliefs with.  We are having dinner on Thursday with a family who is really good friends with a family in our ward.  Yay!

Hope y'alls are having a great summer!   And I also hope it is not as hot as mine...haha!  Just kidding, it's not that bad :)  Sending love from Florida!

Sister Porter

Only one picture this week ... but it's awesome!  Haha, these birds are cool!  They are everywhere!

Crazy, Awesome Week!

July 4, 2016

Hello, all!  Happy Independence Day!

So Kelsey chose a baptism date!  She is getting baptized on the 30th.  We are so excited for her!  She even told her parents and they are not thrilled, but they may want to come.  Her friend who is moving will still be here and the first missionaries who taught her (4 years ago!) are going to fly out.  We have been helping her get to know some members of the ward better and there was one woman who was really able to help her because she has had similar experiences.  On Saturday, we just went through the baptismal interview questions just to see if there was anything she needed to work on, but she is totally good.  She is applying to go to BYU-I in January and we are so excited!  I told her about the apartment I lived in there and she said she would check it out.

On Thursday, we got to meet the new mission president and his wife!  I just love them!  They are just such nice people.  It was kind of a crazy week because we had some really great experiences and met some great people who want to learn more, but we also had some really rude people.  I got my first door-slam :P  One woman talked to us for a really long time and gave us cake and ice cream.  She is amazing and really wants to learn more.  Last night we went back to a family we met last week and they gave us mangoes :)  They had great questions and really want to come to church.  We just had really good discussions with a lot of people this week!

Not really sure what else to say.  But this was interesting...On Friday night after we were in bed, we kept getting phone calls and texts.  I got up once to see what it was, and didn't recognize the number and the text was talking about a pizza delivery, so I figured they had a wrong number and went to sleep.  It turns out Sister Anderson's parents tried to order us a pizza, but we were already in bed and the pizza guy couldn't get into the building.  It was sad, apparently her mom was calling bishops and doing everything she could to get that pizza to us!  The bishops of both wards came up to us on Sunday and asked if we ever got our pizza...nope :(

Anyway, definitely an eventful week!  Hope all is going well with all of you!  Might I point out that I didn't get any letters this week...hint hint :)  I want to hear about your lives!

Sister Porter

First picture: Fourth of July selfie :)
Second picture: Us with a family who the mother Patty and her 2 sons recently joined the church.  Patty's mom has been visiting and wants to meet with missionaries when she goes back to Peru :)
Third picture: Porter Road!
Fourth picture: New mission president!  President Cooper and his wife :)


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Miracles and Metro

June 27, 2016
Hello, everyone!  How are you all doing?

This week we contacted a girl Kelsey who had been taught by missionaries before and she wanted to meet with us again.  Her parents do not approve of her interactions with our church, but she is 18 now.  She said she would come to church and we arranged to meet her afterwards.  Later in the week, we knocked on a door and found a boy her age who had not been coming to church and invited him.  He said he would come and they both did!  We found out they knew each other, so we met with them both after church and had a great lesson.  They are both really awesome!  She really wants to be baptized but we are worried about her relationship with her family if she does.

On Friday we went to a training meeting all day.  It was called Metro.  We got to go back to the University of South Florida campus for a couple of hours to talk to people and eat lunch there.  It was really fun to get together with other missionaries and learn how to be better.  There was even a bag of hand-me-down clothes we could take stuff from, haha :)

On Saturday night we had a lesson with a really nice man named Max and brought a member of our ward.  It was a great lesson and Sister Jenkins was able to testify of the priesthood, the power of God for man to act in His name.  Her husband has been in the military and Max has served in the military as well, so he really wants to meet him and hear his experiences.  We will have to bring him next time!

That same day, we knocked on the door of a family who was just moving in and offered to say a prayer with them.  They asked us to pray for them to be able to sell their old house.  Later, a car pulls up and a woman says, "You guys just prayed with my husband, and we just got a text with an offer for our house!  Thank you, and keep praying that it is a good offer!"  That was awesome!

Anyway, that's pretty much all I've got for this week.  Our new mission president gets here this week which will be fun!  I just know that God is involved in all of our lives.  He leads us through the Holy Spirit for the benefit of all of His children.  He knows what is best for us and loves us dearly.

Sister Porter
Metro Pictures
The first pictures are me and Sister Anderson at the USF sign.  The last picture is the metro group: Sister Chavez, Sister Myers, Sister Whitlock, Sister Phillips, Sister Blanchard, Sister Sackley, Sister Lance, Sister Sutton, me, Sister Anderson, Elder Menlove, Elder Peterson, Elder Gneiting, Elder Taylor, Elder Phelps, and Elder Cantu.  Elder Menlove and Elder Cantu are the Assistants to the President who did most of the training.  Sister Sackley and Sister Sutton are basically "Sister APs" who did some training as well.  They are all awesome!

Another Transfer in Lithia!

June 20, 2016

We got our transfer email and both Sister Anderson and I will be staying where we are :)  This week I feel like I've really gotten to know the area better.  We spend a lot of time in Fishhawk, which is a really nice group of neighborhoods right near where we live.  I also learned that there is country in Lithia!  We went and knocked on doors on some country roads where the houses are farther apart and there are beautiful green fields and even cows!  Who knew?  We have been meeting some very nice people, though most people aren't interested in learning more about our church.

So the beach party was on Monday!  It was pretty fun.  We just got to hang out and eat and spend time on the beach.  I love the ocean and the sand was so soft and the water was so warm!  Don't worry, I didn't swim...just dipped my toes in once :)  Some of the sisters in our zone got us "ugly Hawaiian shirts" so we could all match. 

On Tuesday, we biked to Fishhawk for the day and ate dinner at Fishhawk Pizza.  It was really good!  Then on Thursday, I did weekly planning for the first time!  It was actually pretty fun, though it seems to be dreaded by every other missionary.

We have had some good experiences this week with following the Spirit on where to go.  One time, we had about 10 minutes before dinner and were going to head to a road that was on our way home.  As I was about to pull out, I looked across the street and felt like we should knock on doors there.  The last door we knocked on was a young father with a little boy who said he wanted to find a church, but had been waiting until his kids were older.  We told him there is a great children's ministry at our church and he seemed pretty interested in coming to check it out.  Yay!

It has been raining more.  One time, it was crazy.  It was pouring ridiculously hard, the wind was pretty strong, and my umbrella turned inside out.  We ended up taking refuge on somebody's porch and just hoped they wouldn't come in or out.

Yesterday, I got to meet a lot of the members of our congregation and they are awesome!  There are a couple families who have really been sharing what they know with their friends.  Our ward mission leader Brother Birch is awesome, too.  We had a great meeting with him where he gave us some great ideas.  He then came with us and his wife to a lesson for a recent convert to the church, Patty.  She is from Peru and doesn't speak much English, so Brother Birch was able to translate.  Her children and her mother were there as well.  Her mother actually said she really likes the change that she has seen in her daughter and wants to check out the church when she goes back to Peru!  

Anyway, that's about it for this week.  Hope all is going well with all of you!  I would love to hear about what's going on in all of your lives!
Sister Porter
First picture: Sister Meagher, me and Sister Anderson :)
Second picture:  I don't actually know the 2 sisters on the left, but there is Sister Meagher, me, Sister Olson, Sister Lance, and Sister Anderson.
Third picture: Sister Anderson and I on the beach :)
Fourth picture: me by the water :)

More Beach Pictures:
1: Feet :)  See my lovely foot tan?
2. selfie on the beach :)
3. beautiful beach scenery
4. us with Sister Cusick, the mission president's wife :)

Sorry...even more pictures:
1. the sisters in my zone: me, Sister Anderson, Sister Durrant, Sister Macfarlane, Sister Lance and Sister Harper.
2. us at Fishhawk Pizza :)