Sunday, August 10, 2014

"I Need Thee Every Hour"

Hey Family!

As always we had a great week but we were absolutely all over the place this week so I am just give you a nice little list:

Monday: My last transfer announcements. Its been fun to wait anxiously every 6 weeks to see where you are going and how your life will change. Sister Benesch and I will just stay together until I'm finished and then my replacement will transfer here. I'm really happy about it :)

Tuesday: I had my exit day and final interview with the missionaries going home on transfer day [since Sister Loo and I are going home in the middle of the transfer]. It was the strangest experience. On the bus ride there I got super emotional and all dramatic looking out the window at the people and scenes that I love and pretty soon won't see for a long time, but after I got that out of my system it was just a fantastic spiritual high. We had a barbque for the first time in 18 months with REAL potatoe chips!! We had an incredible workshop with President Bertin and a really sacred testimony meeting. It was crazy seeing all the missionaries I've worked so close with and respect so much climb into the vans with their luggage and head out. Sister Loo and I just kept saying we were glad it wasn't us yet :) and we got dropped off by the APs back in our areas.

Wednesday: Sister Benesch and I had to help a new sister who was transfering travel across our mission to Malolos. We spent hours in buses, fx (like big taxis), jeepneys and just about anything else you can imagine. It was exciting to be back in Malolos for a bit even if it was only an hour. I loved being assigned in the province and miss it so much!

Thursday: We had a service project building a house for some members. It was a blast mixing cement Pilipino style and passing it up homemade ladders one missionary at a time. 

Friday: I had my last Mission Leadership Council meeting. It was weird to realize that I won't be there to see the fruits of a lot of what we were discussing. It was an incredible meeting though. My favorite part however was talking to a sister who had done exchanges in my old area in Malolos. She said that she had met Evelyn (the sister I mention a lot that was less-active and came to church after we smiled at her). Anyways she asked the missionary if she knew me and when she said yes she told her the whole story, with the help of her husband who was standing next to her. Evelyn said she saw Sister Ayub and I walking and when we said smiled at her she felt prompted to try and find the church again. After doing she we began meeting with her and she began to transform. Every week we tried to get her husband Dandilo to listen but he always avoided us. One day we unfortunately saw Dandilo abusing Evelyn while under the influence of drugs. After that Evelyn didn't come to church for many weeks and we tried to continue to love and support her. Although we were tempted to be angry with Dandilo and we were sorry she decided to stay with him we tried to still show love and respect towards him. Each week we continued to invite him to the lessons and each week he continued to refuse, however, he began coming closer and closer as we taught and trying to make himself look busy. After that I was transferred and didn't know what had happened. At this point, Dandilo told this missionary that although I didn't know he was listening to the lessons he always was and it was changing him. He opened his wallet and showed him a picture I had sent Evelyn and her and I. He said he began feeling the need to give up his addictive habits and attend church. I learned that he now comes to church with Evelyn every Sunday in a white shirt and tie as well as attends other ward functions throughout the week. Evelyn and him are working on their paper work for their marriage and his baptism. God truly is a God of miracles!

Sunday: Butch Pagunsan came to church and blessed the sacrament in his new white shirt and tie for the first time!!! To make the day even more special his son then passed the sacrament to us. Then Butch bore his testimony for the first time in sacrament meeting about his gratitude for all who had helped him on his journey and about the truthfulness of the restored gospel and his desire now to share it with others so they can experience this joy. I love that family so much and my heart breaks at the thought of saying goodbye to them!

Throughout my mission whenever I have had distracting thoughts, feel overwhelmed, scared or basically at anytime I have sung to myself the song, "I Need Thee Every Hour". It has constantly filled me with strength to keep going, to be more, to trust him and that Him always comes in our hour of need. I testify that that is true. I have experienced it daily and seen the effects of the Savior's hand in others lives. I love you all!

Love always,
Sister Porter

Filipino Fun Fact:
In order to use our phones we have to have something called load that I actually have no idea how to explain ha but basically its like a gun that when you use it you have to reload and buy more. It really random and not very efficient ha but now its all I know. 

Exit Day

Service project.

Mixing cement and building houses :)

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