Thursday, December 25, 2014

Hey everyone! This week has been really interesting again! I have gotten really sick and have gone to the doctors twice already.  It's hindering my ability to think straight and to speak the language as well as be receptive to the spirit, which is probably something wrong with me.  But, I'm doing my best to fight it and to try and have the influence of the spirit.  Without the spirit, I really cant do anything.  

Some of my lessons this week just weren't what they should have been.  Its the most awful feeling when you know that you weren't teaching through the spirit.  I feel like I have been doing the best that i can to have his presence but I guess something needs to change.  I guess what I'm saying is I need your thoughts and prayers if that doesn't sound to selfish.  

I leave for Armenia in less than two weeks and got my flight plans today so I really need to make a change and have His guidance again.  Remember that when you put your trust and faith in Christ miracles happen, its not the other way around.  Miracles don't create faith, faith creates miracles.  I hope that we can all remember that and continually endure to the end.  I hope you are all having an amazing Christmas!

Elder Andrew Porcelli

Thursday, December 18, 2014

This week was so awesome!! We have had the chance to be able to do TRC with a lot of return missionaries and I got to teach a native Armenian, and it was awesome!! yesterday, we got to Skype a non-member in Armenia, I can’t say who any of these people’s names are right now sadly, but I can tell you that it’s so fun being able to talk with people from there! 

I also had some challenges with faith, as usual.  Actually, one of the experiences was more about learning how you should go into a first lesson.  I was so confused at what I should do and how I should go about things.  So, I talked with one of my teachers for about an hour and half just about what I should do.  She showed me in chapter 10 of preach my gospel the how to begin teaching section. As a class we have looked at it multiple times but I never took much consideration into it until she had shown me a couple days ago.  It’s really powerful, because we are not secretive with what our goals are with them are. 

Also, yesterday me and my companion were preparing for one of our investigators.  She had a question that she asked last time about if she already believes the book of Mormon is the word of God, why does she need to pray to him about it.  So, today was the day that we were going to confront this and I had planned for me to tell her of my experience and why we still need to pray. But, I had no clue what we were supposed to do afterwards; nothing was clicking, because nothing was right.  Literally everything that thought we could teach her just didn’t make sense in my mind.  It was a new feeling because every single lesson that he have ever prepared always felt like the right lesson for them because we were working through the spirit, and this time I realized that the spirit just wasn’t with me and it started to get me down, really down.  Nothing was making sense the next couple hours and I had prayed multiple times for help and for the spirit to be with me, but it just wasn’t working.  So, about 7 hours had passed and I was still struggling and we were going into to teach Nooneh. I told my companion that maybe this is one of those times where we don’t know her needs and we should do our best to be guided by the spirit, so we prayed and went in.  A couple minutes had passed, I had brought a picture of Christ with me and I looked down at it and looked back up at her and I told her that I had been thinking about her question the past couple days and did my best to answer it for her, but, I told her I just wanted to share with her my experience.  I explained to her that I was in the same position as her and I believed the Book of Mormon was true and was wondering why I should still pray.  So, I told her I decided to pray just to see if he would answer and he did.  I told her that why we still pray is so that the answer is from God, so it is undeniable and it becomes knowledge rather than faith or belief.  When I told her that I had the most peaceful feeling I have ever felt, it was then that I realized that the Holy Ghost is my best friend and my greatest ally.  I started to cry afterwards because of how happy I was that God had allowed me to share that experience and how much it helped my testimony.  

I constantly find my testimony getting strengthened here.  I have gone through a lot of trials here but I have always pressed forward with faith and have done my best to follow the rules and do what is necessary to keep the spirit with me.  I want to apologize for how long this letter is, but, I know that if you press forward with faith, doing anything possible to have the spirit with you and continually thinking about Christ, your life will change and you will be more receptive to spiritual truths.  The reason I also put the part where I looked at Christ is because how can somebody ever stay in a bad mood or not want to become better when you are looking toward Christ.  It’s amazing what he has done for us.  He is the reason that we go on missions and why we can return to our heavenly father.

Have fun and Merry Christmas!!! I pray for every one of you all the time!!! 

Elder Andrew Porcelli

Friday, December 12, 2014

This week went by really quickly again.  The language is getting a lot better still and I haven’t hit any walls within the past two weeks, so that’s a good sign.  Honestly, none of the credit goes to me, but to God, literally.  I would not be able to do this without him and his mercy.  A lot of this week for me has been centered on pressing forward with faith.  It has been tough from a testimony point of view and I really don’t know why.  I was fine all the way up till last Sundays devotional.  Something in my mind just went off and started causing me to doubt, about a lot of things.  I had to do a lot of soul searching and diligent study.  I got my answer yesterday.  We were learning the first vision in the language and a couple hours after we were going to teach one of our investigators.  I memorized it quicker than everyone else, but I also remembered it, not just letting it be while I went and studied other things.  

That night we were planning on teaching the rest of the Restoration and talking about the first vision.  When we got in there we asked her how her reading in the Book of Mormon was going and she said it was great and she asked us about the power that God gave Nephi to humble his brothers.  She asked if we had that same power and we told her that we have Gods power, but he won’t be asking us to shock anyone anytime soon.  We only get 15 minutes to teach and our lessons don’t usually go as planned, which isn’t a bad thing because the Holy Ghost will direct you in the path that you are so supposed to teach.  Anyway, we were talking for a while and I was thinking in my mind that maybe we weren’t going to be able to teach our lesson, but, my companion segwayed priesthood power into the start of our lesson and in my mind I was just thinking that this actually might happen.  After he was done, I shared with her James 1:5 and told her that Joseph Smith wanted to know if there was a true church on earth, so we went into a grove of trees and prayed.  I got to recite the first vision and our investigator and I started to tear up.  

My point to this story is that there was a reason that I learned the first vision so quickly, it was because God wanted me to share with her what that meant, because she was ready for it.  The Holy Ghost brings remembrance to all things. (John 14:26) It literally testified to me that everything really does happen for a reason and we do not get a witness till after the trial of our faith.  My testimony has been strengthened by a simple task, Faith.  Faith leads to action and action leads to blessings. If any of you are struggling with anything always remember that you need to press forward with faith with a perfect brightness of hope in Jesus Christ. (2 Nephi 31:20)

Also, for this week we got to watch the Christmas devotional and Craig Zwick of the seventy came and spoke to us.  We also had Lexi Walker come and sing for us and it was amazing! Everyone should look her up and she where she has performed and what she has done.  Everyone send me letters if you can or email me! Let me know how you are doing! Remember to not let anything from the outside world shake your faith, all of us have the potential of greatness and the adversary knows that! So keep pressing forward and fighting on! Some answers I had to wait 5 years for and it was worth the wait! He knows what you need and he does answer our prayers, his arms are open for all of us!

Elder Andrew Porcelli

Friday, December 5, 2014

Ok, so this week was really really good.  I was having trouble for a while with faith and the language.  But, after a lot of thought and prayer, everything has been going extremely well for me!  the language is getting better and better every day.  My faith is growing and my knowledge of my purpose is getting much better.  Once you subject yourself to the will of the Father your life changes, for the better.  Miraculous things happen when you ask for the spirit to be with you and you are worthy to have his presence.  A lot of things have been happening lately with the reality of the spirit being the teacher and comforter in a persons life.  Even though i am not in the field yet, we have investigators that we teach on a regular basis.  One of my investigators, Նունե, struggles to find time to do anything that we challenge her to do, because of how busy her family is.  But, every time we ask for the spirit, he comes, and it shows in our lessons when we testify of the truthfulness found in the book of Mormon(specifically the first and last two paragraphs of the introduction page).  Even though we know little Armenian, the spirit is immense every time we bear our testimonies about it.  

I just wanted to let you all know that there is no other way to find true happiness than coming unto Christ, and truly converting to him.  When we have faith, we act, and when we act, He blesses us.  I challenge everyone of you to read those paragraphs of the introduction page and also go onto and watch "He is the gift" video, and think about what he has done for us and how we are nothing without him.(Alma 26:11-12)  I love you all!!! Send lots of letters and tell me what you would like to know!! if you need any information just ask my mommy, she knows everything! stay strong and remember that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you, and think about you every second of the day!!!

Elder Andrew Porcelli

Thursday, November 27, 2014

This week was the end of week 3 in the MTC, 6 more until im in Armenia.  the time has flown by here and i cant believe it has been so long since i left.  This past week has been another interesting week and i saw many break downs by not only my district, but also by me.  It's been hard to be away from all my family and friends, but i know that im out here for a reason.  

Elder Oaks came and talked to us on tuesday about what separates us from other churches and how we need to dedicate ourselves fully to the work.  This time is not the only time that we are missionaries for, this is just the foundation.  We are all learning how to apply these principles for now and later, you never stop being a missionary.  

My faith was shaken the next day because of an answer that i havent received for a while and felt like i would never receive.  However, just by talking about this concern with my companion, Elder Amdal, i received answers as i was talking.  Elder Bednar came and talked to us today for thanksgiving and had it be a question and answer.  There was a question about faith that he answered that i thought was incredible.  He said that "just by asking or talking about concerns or questions you have already shows that you have faith."(paraphrasing) it was an answer that i can testify is true.  If you dont have faith that you will receive an answer, then why are you asking.  i then realized that i do have faith in Jesus Christ and heavenly father, and that i am willing to do whatever it takes to get an answer and return to his presence.  I am his for the rest of my life, "my will, is the Fathers will."

i know that my spiritual thoughts dont make a lot of sense and if you need clarification feel free to write me or email me, but i prefer letters because i can ponder them for a while before emailing back.  But, this week has been an extreme blessing and has boosted my faith.  If you study the scriptures daily and earnestly pray, you will never fall away from the church. it is alright to ask questions, just dont hide them and not talk about them.  he is here for us and is waiting for us to ask him, and by the Holy Ghost he will reveal it to us as long as we have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.  I love you all! I miss you all a lot and im glad that you are supporting me and every other missionary around the world that is dedicated to this work!

-Elder Porcelli

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Man the 2nd week was rough and good at the same time.  I've been thinking a lot about home and have been concerned about how everyone is doing.  its been hard for me to think really positively, but every single night whether its our teachers or at the devotionals, there is something that always brings me back to focusing on Christ.  I'm not going to write a ton this week cause I don't have a lot of time, but there is something that i would like to let you all know before I get off.  

The prodigal son was a parable that I didn't take much consideration of.  I thought it was nice and it was a sweet story about a son and a father.  But, one thing that I didn't realize until tuesday night at the MTC devotional was how much Heavenly Father really loves us.  there was a video of the prodigal son walking back home on a pathway in tattered clothes, and his dad saw him, and instead of waiting for him once he noticed his son, he ran up the pathway as fast as he could to go and greet him.  it hit me that instant of how much He really does love us and how concerned he is of our feelings and who we want to be.  He isn't going to sit back on his throne and wait for us at the gates of heaven, he is going to stand up and hurry as fast as he can to see us and let us know how proud he is of us no matter how we turn out.  

i know that I couldn't go into detail about that but just know that it is something that i want you all to think about!!! remember to write me, my mom has the information for my dear elder and it is in my previous emails. i prefer the dear elders because i would have time to think about what i want to say and wouldn't have to rush things in just an hour! Thanks to everyone who helped me get here!!! love you all!!! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Week One and Porcelli Kwan Do

The first week here in the MTC has been interesting to say the least.  Learning an entirely new alphabet for a language that has no relation to any other language besides itself is tough.  I have already taught 5 lessons to a woman named Marine to help practice our Armenian.  I was named District Leader the second day i was here.  There is about 12 elders and sisters in my district and 30 in my zone/branch.  One of the sisters that was in my district left on monday so it was sad to see that.  Other than that most of the MTC has been good for the most part.  Everyone in my zone is going to different countries.  Armenia has 9 going and it has the most going to one place.  My companions and i have started a fitness regiment called Porcelli kwan do and i have gotten all 5 of us in my room and most of my district to start.  we like joking around and it feels like we have known each other for a long time.  My teachers are awesome and focus on us better understanding the gospel and our purpose in life before we master the language.  when i say that i dont get the language very well i mean i want to know the entire thing right now because i want to be able to be an instrument in the Lords hands.  I am doing very well so far in the language for only being here 8 days and have taught a lot so.... i think that would count as exceeding my expectations.  there is always room for improvement in every aspect of life.  never settle on something like a testimony, even when you think you cant learn more than you already have youll soon realize there is always something new to learn.  I got to sing in the choir which was really fun even though i cant sing church music, but the spirit is very strong in the devotional building where we practice and perform.  the devotionals by Spencer Condie and Dean Davies were amazing.  i also got to see Elder Bednars talk on the characteristic of Christ which definitely made an impact on me.  its about being truly converted to Christ, he gave an example of if an apostle fell away from the church it would make him sad, but hes not converted to other people, hes converted to Christ and his teachings.  That made me think differently about my approach to investigators and also to my future and how i can make that change right now to become more converted to Christ.  anyways, the mission has been fun so far and there have been a couple times when i was wondering why i was here but there is always an answer a couple hours after i start asking or doubting myself. so yup, church is true, if you want to know more write me letters because we only get an hour to email so i wont have time to read and write.  Heres my mission address.

Elder Andrew John Porcelli

2007 N 900 E Unit 74
Provo, UT 84602

That's the dear elder stuff, but I'm excited to hear from you guys and to be able to tell you about my experiences. So get ripped and send me food.

P.S. Mommy send this to a group email form the lists i gave you and the one that everyone wrote their email down on, thanks, and send more easy cheese and please please send protein bars.


will you send that email to alex, luke, sean, kyle and joe please. and send me more care packages pleaseeee with lots of jerky, protein, a protein blender bottle and easy cheese. bye love you, tell the girls that im thinking about them, and chris. the 360 i think i left at dawsons but chris can get it back... even tho the girls dont need it. so send my ipod please!!!!!!! Bye miss you guys, tell dad ill be praying for him and that he needs to get better!


oh yeah i saw matthew here along with tons of friends but ill send the pictures home next week when i finally can, and matthew left for russia on monday so yup thats it!