Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Smoking Wasn't the Problem

This week was great.  We had a lot of success with investigators accepting baptism and coming to church.  We are improving on things in the companionship which has caused a direct result of the presence of the Spirit.  The members have been a great help lately in coming to lessons with us and they still need to learn more about their roles in the ward and callings.  We had a great amount of investigators at church and had a couple of less-actives come back.  To see the light in their eyes was amazing.  

We have been truly blessed.  We learn something new each day that we can do better.  The blessings that i have received and the lessons i have learned have been incredible.  One of those lessons is personal revelation.  I won't go deep into it. But to be short, the prophet Joseph Smith said, "Salvation cannot come without revelation."  I've taken that straight on in my missionary work and life.  I have been learning about the things that the Lord needs me to do and not what i want to do. Personal revelation brings us closer to the Savior.  It gives us the nourishment our spirit needs.  It gives us hope in the mission of the Savior.  

I would like to share a miracle that happened last night.  We were meeting with a family, in which everyone is now baptized(daughter-in-law just got baptized) that has a son that struggles with smoking.  We were talking with him and how we can help him.  He gets very angry at his children and we felt that smoking wasn't his problem, it was anger.  We shared scriptures and testimony and he felt the spirit very strongly.  I could see a change start within him.  After the meeting he thanked us and promised that he would be more patient and we promised that it would help him quit smoking.  

Miracles are not against nature.  They are a way of teaching gospel principles.  Any thing that is of God is good.  Miracles can be as simple as a change of heart.  A lot of which has happened this transfer, thanks in great part to my companion.

My companion right now is extraordinary in every aspect of life; missionary work, work ethic, intelligence and most important, being a friend.  He has helped me understand a lot of the purpose of life and how to go to my Heavenly Father for everything.  The greatest lesson i have learned is this: I know my standing with God.  That can mean a lot of things for a lot of people, but for me it means that "I know in whom i have trusted."(2 Nephi 4:19)  It means that the way to improve is by going to God and asking Him how to improve.  We all have attributes of Godliness and it is okay to apply some that others have.  We are here to help each other return to Him and become "perfected in Him."(Moroni 10:32)  I wish that i could express through words the gratitude i have for the lessons i am learning from my Heavenly Father, Savior, the Holy Ghost and my companion.  You know you have a friend when he cares for your well being and when he is a bro, shortly said. I wish that i could thank his parents and family in person, because my life has changed.  
I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. They are resurrected and glorified beings.  I know that They love us all.  They show Their love for us through others.  

Keep on smiling and have a great week.  Be grateful for those around you and notice the attributes of Godliness that they all have and let them know about them.  

Love Elder Porcelli 

Picture posted by Armenian member on his Facebook page and mom just was lucky enough to recognize her son in the picture!
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Monday, January 25, 2016

Winter in Artashat

This week has been another week of miracles.  Just being able to see changes in the people we meet with has been great, whether it be big or small.  There are a couple of investigators that are progressing and that have a true desire to understand and know of the message we bring.  

We were blessed to receive guidance from the missionary department and I learned many things about the role of the Holy Ghost and how if we are worthy conduits we can fulfill the work of God.  

It has been great to see the changes in not only others but in myself and my companion as well.  It has been a great time to learn of the atonement of Jesus Christ and how to use the enabling power of it to become "perfected in Him."(Moroni 10:32)  

We have been running through investigators like crazy because none of them were progressing.  So, we are working with a lot of new ones that are progressing.  We had about 6 at church which was a miracle even though we planned on around 16.  It's disappointing to see people not care or progress.  It gets extremely tiring.  But, we are on the uphill I hope.  I can feel a change coming soon. 

The ward here has very good long time members and a lot of new ones.  We have about 70 people on average at church, and not a lot of true converts yet.  We are working on it though.  

It Sounds like everything is going well at home.  Also did you change everything in the house?  And to let you know, I am going to get a bullet bike;  a Kawasaki Ninja 300 to start and then a bigger bike later.  Don’t freak out.  I am not going to do anything crazy.  They are cheap and have great gas mileage. Let me know what you think.  

Keep on having fun.  Love you tons mom! Tell dad to shave, please. have a great week! The Book of Mormon is here to help us, in every way.

I hope that all of you can love one another with a perfect love of Christ "for charity never faileth" (Moroni 7:46).  It's made a difference in my life and it will make a difference in yours.  It's your part to find out how to obtain it. Love you all!

Elder Porcelli

Monday, January 18, 2016

Lots of Investigators

We are working with one of our member's nephews who have been coming to church for a while now. 

Another family we are working with are pretty young.  They are in their Late 20's and have two awesome sons.  He is by far the most elect investigator and he is very normal. He reads everything we give him and his wife is hilarious.  He's had some problems with debt and is trying to solve that so he's been busy a lot lately.  

We just found a family a couple days ago and the dad came to church yesterday.  His family is very humble and understands very well.  His friend is also investigating with him.  

We have a lot more, just not as serious.  We dropped a lot of people over the past two weeks.  A lot of really good families, they just weren't acting.  But, they will be baptized in the future for sure.  One thing that frustrates me is that the men here act like their families are possessions that they have to protect and that they can never change. So many amazing families have been found and the men do not allow them to meet with us anymore.  It does not happen a lot, but more often than it should.  

We are very busy every day.  We run around everywhere to appointments and it can get very exhausting sometimes.  I've never pushed myself so hard.  Sometimes it gets too overwhelming for me.  I do not ever have time to just think.  I am always having to just deal with problems and move on.  I think that one of the keys to that is just thinking about how to help others.  Tricking your mind into what can I do to help others?  Actually, thinking about that right now makes a big difference.  For this week though, we had an amazing week in terms of growth in companionship unity and finding less-actives. 

We hadn't been having a lot of investigators coming to church.  We decided to have a fast for the work to ask the Lord that He would help the investigators understand the importance of sacrament meeting and of acting on the message we have shared.  Our faith was tried.  We worked as hard as we could throughout the week and when Sunday rolled around we had a lot of investigators planning on coming to church.  Out of the ones that we had called only one came, but we had 4 others come that on a weekly basis we do not usually meet.  To us, that was a miracle.  The Lord works in mysterious ways and will use our efforts to bless us in the ways that He knows will best benefit us.  

All of our investigators have been lacking their end of the load in investigating.  They are not acting.  Our bishop was going to meetings with us and had to go home.  We decided to drop by a guy that we had met with once but seemed pretty normal. We went over there and when we got there he told us he had read the plan of salvation pamphlet twice. I was thinking yeah right.  Then he explained the entire plan.  It was so relieving for us and made our part so much easier.  It was a miracle that we had been praying for.  

I love this scripture that perfectly explains it. 24" But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things." 2 Nephi 2:24

It was a great way to grow and learn spiritually.  I believe in the Lord's timing of things.  I know that He will always follow through with His promises.  We just have to believe, it's a choice.  

Love, Elder Porcelli

Monday, January 11, 2016

This week has been crazy.  Our phone is broken and has been for the past 5 days.  Our phone is our biggest ally and we can’t use it.  But, the Lord has been blessing us.  

I have been learning a lot about the person the Lord wants and needs me to become.  It has been amazing to see the way He allows things to work out.  I have been realizing more and more the best way to help someone and myself in turn is this; focusing on the individual.  It's about building upon the foundations that have already been laid down.  It's about the future of people. Never focusing on the mistakes and weaknesses of others, rather showing them a more bright future and better way.  The lessons that I have been learning lately are priceless and I am learning how to make them my own, how to be self-sufficient while relying on the Savior, a leader but a follower as well.  In one word, an EXAMPLE.  I have had some really cool experiences in the past couple of weeks and am realizing more and more the grandness of God's plan.  
I hope that the family is taking the time to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ.  By applying the gospel in our lives we allow the capability of the atonement of Jesus Christ to envelop our beings.  God knows our potential and He knows who we were in the past life and based on those characteristics He knew what would be best for us to grow in this life. Love you Mom and Dad! 
This week has been a blessing, even with a broken phone.  The Lord has guided us to the people He needs us to meet with.  We have seen some great miracles and it is all coming from our faith in Jesus Christ.  

It is amazing to learn of God's grand scheme of things and how perfectly things work out.  I have a firm testimony in the Lord's timing.  It is amazing how things work out and are always for our benefit.  

I am learning about the 'individual.'  The way to help others is to focus on them.  If we are working towards a goal with someone, but they are not on board, it is more than likely you will not succeed. It all starts at the individual and the characteristics that they have and by using those attributes to your advantage.  

I do not want to spoil the revelation that we are able to receive when we ponder this topic. My point to this subject is this.  The most effective people in this world always act out of LOVE. You can choose to ponder about this if you want, this is just advice.  But this has helped me out greatly and my relationship with Heavenly Father has grown because of it.  

Isn’t that "individual" you? I love you all, truly! 

Monday, January 4, 2016

happy New Year in Armenia!

Well to start off, the bee guy has been long gone.  For over two months.  Sorry I didn’t let you know earlier, he wasn’t on my mind.  I don’t have a lot of time this week because everything is shut down here because of New Years.  I’m glad we don’t do what they do here.  

It is freezing here.  We got over a foot of snow on New Year’s.  Their traditions are crazy.  I’ll tell you one of them, drink for two weeks straight and never have their phones turned on, making missionary work that much harder.  It’s the same day as in America. This last week my favorite thing was walking in a village with a member and having everyone inviting us in and feeding us.  

That’s a nice jacket that Chris has.  I’ll tell you more next week because I don’t have time, but if you could send family pictures, those same protein bars and I’ll tell you next week what tooth brush to get, and get it from eBay.  Elder Lunt got his 4 years ago, it has a life time warranty and got it with a huge package deal for only 120$. I’ll let you know what it is next week.  Also, I’m probably going to the dentist soon so if you could refill my account that would be great, we have to pay with our own money.  

This week was amazing in spiritual growth.  I’ve learned a lot of life lessons that are going to be great supports as I go through college and start a career.  I wish I could tell you some of them, but I don’t have much time.  Keep the things in life simple.  Alma 37:6 is a great tool to use in our lives.  We take things step by step and they will eventually become great and power tools in our lives.  Love you! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

District Leader in Artashat

Andrew is now District leader in Artashat (southern Armenia  - a cross between Cedar City and St. George weather):
This week was really good.  Sent Elder P to Utah and now I am companions with another awesome guy.  We’ve gotten a lot of work done already and we are expecting a lot of success.  
I’ve learned a really important lesson about faith in the short days I have spent with him.  Everything needs to be by faith.  Kind of a broad statement but when we set forth a goal, we should always have faith that we will achieve it. It’s changed the way I think now.  I hope we all put our faith in Christ first and thinking about pleasing Heavenly Father first.  It gives me a lot of comfort.  Hebrews 11:1 about faith, if you take the time to read it and ponder it, it will change you.  
I really just hope that you all have an amazing time remembering the Savior.  He's changed my life.  

But yeah, my new companion is elder L.  He is an awesome guy and one of the best missionaries in the world, legit.  He’s got a lot of faith and he's been super blessed on his mission.  I’m excited to have a companion that wants me to succeed in my life first and foremost.  He’s got a super awesome family and I’ll tell you more later! 
Sister T is hilarious. She’s definitely one of the funniest people vie met!  I don’t really have a lot to tell you this week but remind me to talk about it when we skype.  I’m going to start writing down things to talk about so that I can remember.  
We’ve changed the area already.  It’s because of our faith.  It’s really awesome to see the changes that have already been made and the miracles that are already happening.  Elder L says hi and his mom has already talked to you.  He has a good family.  His dad is one of the most interesting guys vie heard about.  He was in the air force to say the least.  
Love you!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Stake Conference

I am now feeling almost 100% again! The sickness is passing thanks to Russian drugs.  We been learning a lot this week and have received a lot of direction.  I’m really grateful for the opportunities the Lord gives to us to help us grow and others.  

We had stake conference yesterday and it was awesome! I could actually hear what the speakers were saying! People have gotten more quiet here.  I got to see a lot of the people I love from other areas and it was amazing! It was amazing to see the light in their eyes and I could immediately tell that they have allowed the Savior to change their lives.  I’ve never heard everyone so reverent here in Armenia.  We’ve made great strides here and it’s really touched my heart to see what the Lord has been able to do through us.  

The talks have gotten better and there were a couple of returned missionaries that all speak fluent English now ha-ha.  President had to do an interview with Elder P afterward so he gave us a ride to the office.  Just to let you know, me and president are bros ha-ha it’s funny.  Anyway, we were driving on a sky view of Kentron in Yerevan and I felt really optimistic about Armenia that it’s going to grow and become stronger.  It was really peaceful and a cool experience.  

I’m going to have to start writing out what I should talk about because sometimes it’s hard to come up with it.  I’ll tell you more on skype.  Come with questions so that I can actually tell you guys things.  when is Skyridge going to start enrollment? Is it going to be better for you? What are the boundaries to the school?  Be grateful you can shower every day! Remember mom, I WOULD LIKE TO COME BACK WITH MY WIFE AND YOU GUYS!! (Respond to that please at some point in time)  

Anyway.  I’m super grateful for a lot of things right now and the one that I’m most grateful for is my family I have right now and the one I will have in the future.  I’m grateful we are sealed as a family.  It means a lot more to me than most people know.  Thanks for being my amazing mom! I talk about you all the time and brag about how awesome and nice you are to others! Tons of people love you, you would be surprised at how many already love you here! Love you mom! 

I’ve been concentrating a lot more on gratitude.  I’ve been having miracles take place in my life because of the gratitude I am learning how to notice, have and show.  It’s taking over who I am and it’s been amazing.  I’ve given into the fact that someone who is grateful is happy.  It’s hard to explain but it’s changed my relationship with Heavenly Father and many other people I know here.  

Hope you all have a great week and are grateful for who you are and that the Savior is always willing to help, we just need to let Him in.  Love you all!