Monday, April 14, 2014

"...may the peace of God rest upon you..."

Hello family,
So, this week was hard. Super hard. Sister Ayub's back has really been troubling her and it has thrown everything into a bit of ciaos but hopefully we have that figured that out and things will calm down a bit this week. It was frustrating to see so much of what we have been working on reverse in a few days. However, these last few days the pain has been gone and she has been doing so good. On Sunday she gave a talk in Tagalog and the whole ward has been complimenting her on how much she has improved which motivates her to keep going. She really has improved so much. It is amazing it see and be a part of. Her Tagalog still isn't really understandable but she speaks it instead of English in lessons, which is so far from where she was coming from. We have been preparing her for splits with some amazing ward missionaries this week, something that really helped me progress when I was new. I am really excited for her!

We had a really sad experience with Sister Evelyn (the less-active I smiled at and began attending church again) this week. I won't explain all that happened but she was abused by her husband and left searching for somewhere to turn. We were with her during and after this experience and I have never felt so helpless. We helped her get in contact with the bishop but have since lost contact with her. Please pray for her. She is so special and searching for happiness. It is amazing to see the difference in her life and the life of all her loved ones she left in Bacalod who are active, return-missionaries now married in the temple. She told us that her dad calls her every Sunday to ask if she went to church and he has been so happy to finally hear yes for the past few weeks.This message has the power to change lives, even those who have lost their way and left the path for a time. There is always hope! You can always come back!

Our ward is so involved in the work and wants to see its success but have been struggling to find a solution for the lack of referrals and progress. As leaders and missionaries of Malolos 1st ward we met and organized a ward wide fast this coming week for the Work of Salvation in our area and we are excited to see the fruits of their faith and trust in the Lord. I love this ward and want so badly to help them. I feel like miracles are just waiting around the corner for them and the people of Malolos.

These last few weeks have definitely been a refiners fire for me and I feel as though I might still be in the middle of it, but I am already eternally grateful for this time. Never at any point in my life have I become so utterly dependent on the opportunity to pray to my Father in Heaven, my Savior's enabling sacrifice and the power of scripture study. I know that as we are obedient and do all that He asks, "the peace of God [will] rest upon [us]." I have felt it. I know that the message we carry is true and that our Father's plan is perfect. We may not see the answers or have the experiences we expect but His plan is infinitely better-- always. I know that He has called us all in our weaknesses and that He always qualifies those whom He calls. I am so grateful that He has called me and each day gives me the opportunity in some small baby-step-of-a-way to overcome my many weaknesses. I am so grateful for all of  you. I love you and miss you!

Love always,
Sister Porter

Filipino Fun Fact:

This is one of my very favorites. So Filipinos are VERY superstitious people and believe in a lot of myths and stories. I have people ask me all the time if there are really vampires in America and if Abraham Lincoln really is a vampire slayer? Haha they are being 100% serious when they ask that. So one of the mythical creatures that they believe in here are called Duwende. They are supposedly tiny elves that are too small to see. They make little homes that look like ant hills (they definitely actually are ant hills) and you must NEVER kick or step one their homes or they will curse you. When I asked what happens to you because of the curse they said it depends on how mad you made them but you could even possibly die from it. So in order to avoid all that, when passing a Duwende home or ant hill you say, "Tabi po. Tabi-tabi po." which means "Please move to the side. Step to the side please." That way they have time to get out of the way of your big feet and not get squished :) So there you have it. This is all very serious. The other day when we were working with our ward missionaries Sister Ayub put her foot up against one and they starting FREAKING OUT at her and she was so confused and scared because she didn't understand what they were saying haha super funny and we all laughed after I explained it to her.

Playing Filipino games with the ward missionaries on P-day.

Leaving Valentine surprises for the other sisters.

Finding surprises from them.

I love these sisters! P.S. That mattress we are laying on is my bed :) 

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