Monday, October 9, 2017

Florida, you've changed me

September 25, 2017

Hello, everybody!  I cannot believe that I will be home in 8 days.  I am excited to see and talk to you all!

This week has been, as usual, very exciting.  We had zone conference on Tuesday and during the musical number Sister Robertson and I were doing, as if I wasn't nervous enough, the last page of my music fell off the piano right before I needed it.  But we made it through somehow.  It was a great meeting and I had the opportunity to share my testimony and what my mission has taught me.  That night we went to Kaci's house because her grandpa had taken a turn for the worst and she was struggling.  Near the end of the lesson she was quite a bit more cheerful.  Her dad listened for the whole lesson and prayed with us, which Sister Barkdull said was unusual.  But during the closing prayer her mom walked in crying and said she just got a call that the grandpa's heartbeat was slowing down.  They headed out for the hospital and Kaci told us he passed away that night.  It was really sad, but I know that God's plan is intricate and whatever happens is for the happiness and benefit of all of His children.  He loves us so much, and he is helping this family through this trial.

On Friday I went with the Lake Hamilton sisters, Sister Densley and Sister Gustafson, because my companions were going to do a lot of service the next couple days and I was not feeling well enough to do what they would have to do.  We had a great time!  On Saturday, we did a little service picking up branches and raking a member's yard and later went to a baptism in Winter Haven.  That night we watched the General Women's Meeting broadcast.  It was amazing!  I know that God knows each of us individually and inspires the leaders of the church.  The things that were said were wonderful and applied to things that I specifically need right now.

On Sunday, there was a huge miracle in the Lake Hamilton ward!  A woman got up to share her testimony and the other sisters had not met her before.  She is not a member of the church but her sister is and has brought her to church before.  She spontaneously showed up with her daughter and wants to learn more about the church!  She shared comments in the Sunday School class that showed a lot of faith in God and a strong spiritual background.  She is amazing!  We are really excited for her.

Well, folks, this is it!  I am excited to see what miracles will happen as we work to find people who are prepared to follow the example of Jesus Christ in this last week of my mission.  I have loved my time here, the people that I have met, and the experiences that Heavenly Father has allowed me to have.  They have made me into a better person, a person more like our Savior Jesus Christ.  I have learned to be more charitable, more willing to serve, more patient, more strong, and more faithful.  John 17:3 says, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."  I have grown to know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ a lot better on my mission, and though I still have a long way to go, eternal life is worth it!  I'm so glad that I have been able to help others even in some small way come to know them better as well.

Sister Porter

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