Monday, January 13, 2014


Hey Family!

I have no idea where to even start because I don't even know what has happened in the last week.

One minute I was saying goodbye to Sister Sia (so hard!) and the next I was on a jeepney with Sister Cestona and all our luggage headed to Malolos and ever since I got off the jeepney has been a complete and total blur haha I have never been so mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually EXHAUSTED but I love it!

So I am now in Malolos, Bulacan. This area is SO difference from my last two. It actually reminds me a lot of Logan. It is what they call province or country. There is fresh air!! So much green and life is just quieter but you can also easily get to city just like downtown Logan. The Tagalog is blowing my mind here. It is SO deep! Which just means they are speaking pure Tagalog without all the Taglish mixed in. There are also a lot of words you can say in Tagalog a lot of ways some of them are deeper and older Tagalog and that is what they are using here haha I LOVE it!

My new companion Sister Ayub is fantastic! We have already had so much fun with each other and I can't wait to spend the next 6 weeks with her. Like I told you before she is from Pakistan and we are actually batch, meaning we entered the mission the same transfer, which is super fun. At this point Sister Ayub knows broken English and little to no Tagalog. That hasn't already made for a lot of adventures haha and lots of patience from both of us. I have been so impressed with her these last few days and her improvement in the language. She wants to learn it so bad and has finally started to speak as much as she can in the lessons and studying diligently. I am so impressed with her and excited to see her just continue to get better. One struggle with her not being able to understand much of what is going on around her is that she doesn't remember who anyone they have been teaching here are and where they as of now we are basically on open area mode and just going from one adventure to another. I feel so blessed that we have been assigned to the Malolos 1st Ward. They have been incredible in working with us and have completely inspired me to be a better missionary. I have never seen such and organized and excited ward to help the missionary work progress. As of now our teaching pool is literally at zero so we just keep telling each other we can only go up from here! As we have fasted and prayed together we have already begun to see miracles and can't wait to see more of what the Lord has in-store for this area. 

These last few days have had been praying and relying on my Heavenly Father more than at any point in my life. I am just so humbled to see how He prepares us perfectly for the tasks He will ask of us and I am just so grateful for the comfort and answers that come through seeking Him. I am amazed by the miracles that come as we rely on our Savior when we don't have the strength, patience or love necessary for the task. I know this work is HIS work and I am just so grateful to be a part of it here in Malolos!

I love you all so much!!

Love always,
Sister Porter

Filipino Fun Fact:
Most people have the babies sleep in little homemade hammocks. I think it is seriously the coolest thing. Some of them are made out of woven rope but a lot or just made out of sheets they tie to the windows or whatever else works inside the house. I attached a picture of the cutest baby in one at Sister Laude (a less-active women or returned to church) house.
Baby Helaman (they are members haha) in the hammock.

Ninoy's Baptism

 Sister Sia and I :)

Our Christmas fireplace...missionary in the Philippines style.

Reading the Christmas Story together on Christmas Eve.

Christmas morning. Sister Sia surprised me with matching shirts!

YSA of Malanday Ward!!

Sister Sia and I sneaking a picture when no one was around.

Cooking our Christmas Ham hahahahah

Matching shirts!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Manigong bagong taon!

Happy New Year!!

I hope you all had a great New Year's Eve. Mine was insane. There is no possible way to describe New Year's Eve in the Philippines. They love it! The one word I would use to describe it is LOUD. We went out to teach a few lessons in the early afternoon because we had an early curfew for safety. The streets were filled with stands selling any kind of firework you can imagine, homemade and not, as well as every kind of noisemaker, also homemade and not. You could already hear fireworks going off and music blasting EVERYWHERE-- Filipinos love their karaoke. By about 4:00 pm the noise level went up a notch and the fireworks started even more. We went to Bishop Dela Cruz's for our last dinner before transfers and then rushed home before curfew. By about 6:00 pm the noise level was intense and in America the police would have been called hours earlier. We cleaned the apartment, started packing for transfers and then I set-up the Porter family traditional fishpond for the other sisters. I gave them stickers, stamps, letters, candy, noisemakers, etc. Then they surprised me and said they had some for me ha then Sister Sia just started sending a bunch of Sister Jenkins things for the sheet ha and I could hear Sister Jenkins complaining in the backgroud haha so fun. Sister Domagas did give me a bamboo bank which I am super excited about! Then we all got ready for bed and had another sleep-over with Sister Jenkins telling us stories. Then came 11:30 pm and World War III began outside our wind. There was SO MUCH NOISE. I can honestly say I know what it feels like to survive a bomb raid haha the sky was flashing and there was every kind of firework you can image going off. It was so much fun and definitely a night I will never forget.

To rewind a little bit, this past week Sister Sia and I saw so many answers to prayers in our area. We found the Turla family, former investigators, that are so prepared. I already love them so much and I am so excited for the happiness the gospel will bring them. Brother Dionisho and his son came to church again without his wife because she was sick. I am so excited for that family as well. We talk Brother Ninoy about baptism for the dead and temples. He is excited to prepare to go! He told us again that this is the truth he has been looking for. Brother and Sister Pernia came to church again. We aren't sure what will happen with Brother or if we will make it to baptism in the near future but Sister is attending church regularly and so involved in all the activities. We are excited for her! I have been so grateful for this area. I struggled a bit in the beginning to love it and adjust to the change of leaving my first area but I have absolutely fell in love with it. I have seen the miracles that can come as we patiently wait AND work for the Lord's timing. I am so grateful for all I have learned here and will never forget the Malanday ward. I am also so unbelievably grateful for Sister Sia and the opportunity I had to train her. I feel like I learned FAR more from her and the Lord as a trainer than I taught. I love her so much. I feel like I gained another little sister. 

So, to begin 2014 I will be transfering to Malolos. I am so excited and of course sad to say goodbye to this area. My new companion will be Sister Ayub. She is from Pakistan-- I have mentioned her in emails before. I am so excited to work with her and love this sister so much already but I won't lie I am pretty nervous. She still struggles with both English and Tagalog and has faced some difficult challenges in the last few transfers. I am grateful for all I have to learn from her and the opportunity we have to grow together.

I am so grateful for the experiences and opportunities our Heavenly Father gives us in this life to change and grow. I am constantly being reminded of my weakness but also given courage to overcome them through my strengths. I am grateful for my Savior who makes all things possible and the hope we each receive through Him. I can wait to continue to grow and change in this next year and see what the Lord has in store!

I hope you all and hope you are all happy, healthy and safe!

Love always,
Sister Porter