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Monday, December 2, 2013

The Refiners Fire

So...I'm in Kentucky. Well actually, I'm in Indiana. I got assigned to Corydon, Indiana, and my trainer is Hermana Lawrence. Let me tell you, I got things pretty easy coming here compared to other missionaries, but it's still SO SO hard. I had no idea the field would be so rough. Don't get me wrong, I love the mission.... but WOWZA. Ever heard of the Refiner's Fire? Well, if not...look it up. The process hurts, and sometimes I wonder what the heck I am doing. I am very aware of my inadequacies (thanks to Satan), and I have a really hard time being myself when I don't know what anyone's saying or how to talk to them. My companion has been on the mission for 10 months, and she is completely fluent, so she's developed some pretty great relationships with the members and investigators here in Corydon.
I don't want this to be negative, and I hope it does not come off that way. The mission is an amazing thing. But I wish I had prepared myself better. The CCM was a great experience, and I'll admit, I got comfortable there at the end. It's like a cycle. Let's relate it to the Fall of Adam & Eve. We were put in the MTC, and woof, it was like being thrown into the lone and dreary world. But slowly, we turned it into the Garden of Eden. Life was good, we were the top of the food chain, we knew the most spanish in the place, and then BOOM. Thrown right back into the lone and dreary world. Being in the world is hard, but I have to learn how to turn it into a garden of eden again. Does this make sense?
But anywho, yes, the mission field is not what I was expecting. Actually, I don't know what I was expecting really. Lots of flowers and birds and baptisms all over the place. I would get things pretty easy. But I don't know what it is about the mission field that humbles you pretty dang quick. I was at a really low point on Wednesday I think where I just did not know what to do. Our mission president gave us this packet with a million different articles about the Atonement in it, and we have to study it every day. And I was reading a talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland yesterday, and I found this gem:
"I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation was never easy. We are the Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, He is our Great Eternal Head. Why would we believe, why would we think, that it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? In turn, how could we possibly bear any moving, lasting testimony of the Atonement if we have never known or felt anything of such an experience? As missionaries we are proud to say we are disciples of Christ--and we are. But mark my word. That means you must be prepared to walk something of the path He walked, to feel something of the pain He felt, to at least occasionally sometime during your mission shed one of the tears of sorrow that He shed."
I don't know what class Elder Holland took to be as awesome as he is, but I want to sign up for it.
Missionary work is hard work, and sometimes I don't know what the heck I'm doing. But I am representing Jesus Christ, and I am here in behalf of Him and His Church. It's His work, not mine. I am going to learn pretty soon how to forget myself and focus on His work, not myself. It's rough going, but the Atonement is there. Each day I am learning what it really means to partake of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for it. I can't even comprehend the greatness of it all.

Entonces. Let me tell you a little about my life this week. I left the CCM at like 3 am. My roommates are AWESOME. Hermana Hill and Hermana Baker woke up with me and lugged my...luggage over to Recepcion for me. They stayed there until I drove off. I miss Hermana Baker SO much. I love that hermana to death! But anyway, my flights were uneventful. It was hard to say goodbye to the two elders in my district. I miss my district a lot!
President and Sister Woodbury are GEMS. They are THE kindest people I have EVER met. I don't know what it is! They are the sweetest, kindest....bah! Can't even describe it! President Woodbury knew everything about me already (sneaky man! he got info from bishop somehow) and interviewed me. :)
Theeeeen we went to transfer meeting on Tues. We have 15 new missionaries in the mission. I got my trainer, Hermana Lawrence. She reminds me of Candice Christensen. :) Love her! She knows her stuff and has been so helpful to me. I was so sad when I got to the mission office because I didn't have a package or anything waiting for me. It's freeeeezing here mom! I need all that stuff you said you were going to send. :( I did have a little thank-you card from Rob & Michelle though!
Oh. P.S. If you all want to write me (PLEASE DOOOOOO I desperately want to hear from everyone everywhere all the time) my address is:
2250 Heritage Way NW #4
Corydon, IN 47112
Okay, Thanksgiving was awesome. The Van Uderts are a family from Utah in the English ward here, and they fed us and the elders. Thanksgiving was just an awesome day. Lots of yummy food :) Speaking of food, the people out here loooove to feed us. Yesterday we had a late lunch with Jose y Maria, and I ate like 6 tacos, and then we went to visit Hector y Erica, and then they fed us some shrimp tortillas...wooooooof. We were STUFFED. The food is good though! I had pasoli the other day.

The members are great out here. We have a small branch of Spanish Speakers here in Corydon. About 50 people come on Sunday. Small but strong. We are working a lot with less-actives. We have a lot of great examples and conversion stories. :)

Well it sounds like life is busy and fun at home! I miss yall a lot! Keep praying for me! I think about everyone and keep you in my prayers. I am doing well out here. We got to decorate a Christmas tree with Dalia, one of our investigators, last night. Felt like Christmas/home :)
I hope I have more time to write next week! I will give you more details about life here in Corydon next week.

Oh funny story. We were walking out of church yesterday and some random guycame up to us and talked to us for like 45 minutes about his life as a gangster and jail and his weapons and knives, etc... it was interesting. Nice guy though! And one of our investigators just got out of jail a couple weeks ago. Solid dude. Love him! We're finding that the main problems these have, have to do with the Word of Wisdom.......

Anywho! Love you all! WRITE ME POR FAVOR. I will send you stickers!!!!
Hermana Porter

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