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! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Well this week was super hectic.  We had meetings upon meetings in Yerevan for the stake and with the area presidency.  I learned a lot this week about being prepared to receive answers and also learned about trusting and being trusted by the Lord.  
I can honestly say I’ve felt the Spirit more strongly because of learning and studying about those.  Sometimes we ask for answers that we aren’t ready to receive or counsel we are not ready to hear.  The Lord knows best and one of my favorite quotes is from Elder Holland, “Faith in the Lord is also having faith in His timing."  
It’s fun to actually study scripture and gospel topics.  We become closer to the Savior through them and it’s made a big impact on my life.  So, "feast upon the words of Christ!"  
Just a couple fun things we are doing.  We are building a pig house for a member which is super fun and I’m getting really good chopping wood! Ha-ha.  Missions are amazing and I’m grateful for it! I also know that we are here to find true happiness! I hope you are all grateful for many things in your life that you can let other people know and the Lord.  The more we are grateful for the things we have, the more blessings we will have and notice! Be happy and smile! 
The new group comes in 16 days.  They will be here for Christmas, they get here Dec 11.   It will be fun.  
I also have an idea that I really don’t know if I told you last week.  But, instead of coming and picking me up or coming the next summer, I want to wait until I’m married and come back with you guys and her.  I think that would be really fun and interesting.  Just a suggestion.  
We had a lot of conferences this week, too many.  I’ve never gone to Yerevan so much on my mission in a week.  Elder Jowers came down and did a split with me and we talked for a little bit.  He answered a lot of my prayers.  I’ve learned a lot about being prepared for answers.  A lot of the times we aren’t ready for certain things that we want and have to wait and humble ourselves to be receptive.  We’ve been doing a lot of good stuff the past couple of days and the Spirit has actually been in our lessons.  I’ve learned a lot this week that’s been great! Thanks for the package.  Love you lots! 

Elder Porcelli

found this picture on Facebook!  I love it when that happens... Elder Porcelli doesn't send many pictures my way, so thank you to the members in Armenia!

In Yerevan - found this on Facebook ha ha

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

This week was super fun.  We did a lot of service and it was awesome.  I chopped wood for my first time in my life and luckily I’ve got the companion nicknamed "kacin" which means axe in Armenian.  I worked out a lot at home, but I haven’t had that good of a work out in a long time, so dad, I think we are going to become mountain men.  And we have matching shirts to do it, so why not?

I’ve been becoming very good friends with some guys my age here in Artashat.  It’s been an amazing transition from the start of my mission till now. I’ve been learning how to just look at them as friends, not "Armenians."  It’s changed my perspective and helped a lot lately.  

Hey mom, I was talking with an Armenian girl about you and how beautiful and awesome you are! I miss you a lot! Hope you know I love you and have prayed for you every day. This week was really good with my companion. We talked and everything went by the Spirit so it was awesome. I’ve already received the hump day package, yesterday, and am almost out of tootsie rolls ha-ha. I shared some with the members and they didn’t like them.  Me and our ward clerk corrected a lot of errors in the church records for 4 hours last night, it was super fun and he is one of the keys to Armenia.  He is also the stake clerk and does a lot for the church.  Super funny guy.  Really smart too.  I’m getting along really well with Armenians right now and I’m just figuring out how to help them. I figured out that they first need a friend who cares about them, so I’m doing that! That’s awesome for Chris! No better place that he could be working at.  Spencer, wow.  Tell him to email me.  I’ve heard about the terrorist attacks and it’s sad, but we still need to press forward and do the Lord's work.  

I’ve been comforted a lot on my mission because I wanted you all to come closer to Christ and I thought it was my job to help you do that, and then I left.  But I’ve seen I big change in the family and it’s been bringing peace to my soul every day that you are all strengthening your testimonies.  I know that Heavenly Father is watching over you every day and that you are being blessed because of your obedience and desire to be obedience.  I love reading all of the emails from you guys every week.  Especially when you are happy.  We’re changing the church in Armenia now.  It’s amazing.  Love you mom!! Thanks for everything

We had Elder and Sister Kacher from the area presidency come down for our zone conference yesterday and our goal is to establish the church in Armenia.  73% of our members are in-active or less active, so we are super excited to help this place.  I feel very confident that we can help. It’s going to take 5-10 years because the church is still young here, but it’s going to be amazing.

I also had the opportunity to bear my testimony of the Savior.  I’ve realized throughout my life that I have to be the one to allow Him into my life. He will not force His way in.  It’s given me the confidence that no matter what happens He will always be by my side if I call on His name.  I hope we all recognize how loving He is and how much He wants us to succeed in this life and the next.  I love you all!!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

This week was great! We had a great first two days and had some good interviews with President.  Had some lunch with him at our disgustingly amazing apartment and then got sick, for two days.  There is one up side to that, I am learning how to play the piano and its coming along pretty nicely.  Ha-ha, we have been doing a lot of less-active/inactive work here because finding here has been the hardest thing so far.  We have been having so much fun with these less-actives because they are all amazing people! It really makes a difference when you decide to just love them for who they are and who they can become.  On Saturday, we got waved over to a guy’s house, who we never met, and he showed us some hospitality..... A lot.  We talked with him and one of the first things he said was this, “Is Christ really going to come?" and we assured him that He will.  I could tell it is something he deeply cares about and we struck up a great friendship between him and his wife.  We ate more honey than I can handle, plain and he showed us his bee farm! We got to wear the awesome bee hats and he said we can come back in a week when he is home! We’ve been having great experiences with talking to people and having heartfelt lessons.  We had 40 more people at church on Sunday than usual which was great! We had about 7 less-actives come back, including one from Salt Lake here with the peace core.  In all we had a great week here.  We aren’t teaching any investigators, yet.  Mainly because they will never meet with us and the people who do, cant for another week.  Count your blessings! Life is great if you make it great! Love you all! 

Bee Keeper Investigator - we do what we gotta do!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Well, I did have a lot to tell you guys but I have decided to pretty much tell you this.  In times that we are feeling overwhelmed, discomforted or confused, if we rely on the Savior we will always be delivered.  We don't always have to have a reason, most of the time I don’t even know what I’m stressed about, but one thing that I know is that Heavenly Father always helps us when we come to Him with a "broken heart and a contrite Spirit."  This week I was pretty stressed out wondering if I was doing all the things I needed to do and I was feeling extremely overwhelmed, so I went and prayed to Heavenly Father.  I didn’t receive an explanation of why everything was happening, why I was stressed out, I just felt the love of God surround me and my burdens lifted.  Sometimes God just wants us to feel His love because maybe we haven’t felt it in a while.  I have a firm belief that God just wants us to know how much He loves us, all it takes is a leap of faith, a prayer or maybe a time of repentance.  But, I do know that He loves all of us. He wants us to be happy in this life, not overwhelmed.  I guess my stress was from all of the mosquito bites I’ve gotten lately ha-ha.  But, I hope you all are having a great time.  A one sentence testimony is still a testimony! 

I know you guys think that a lot of the blessings you are receiving are because of my mission, but I want to tell you it takes two to tango! In other words, you guys are doing your part with God and He is giving you the blessings He has always wanted to give you.  I want you guys to recognize all the good you are doing and ask Heavenly Father, “what lack I yet?" it works, I have already tried it and have gotten an answer I wasn’t expecting.  I feel really blessed to know that there is a temple 5 minutes away from our house when I get home.  These people have to wait and wait and then go to Ukraine.  It’s very tough. I miss the temple a lot.  There is a peace that you can’t find in the outside world in there and the food is the best I’ve ever had.  I love my mission.  I’m not the best missionary but I know that I have changed because of it and I feel super blessed for that. We had a good end to the week which made all the difference.  Had a lot of less actives we visit come back after months of inactivity, because of a simple invitation and an "I miss you” they are important too. Love you! Have fun! Be happy! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Well, let me just tell you that this week was just a treat.  We found
two super elect investigators and they have baptismal dates.  The live in the poorest
conditions I have ever seen but humble as can be.  General Conference
is probably my favorite times of year. We have the chance to listen to
living prophets and apostles.   I hope you all got something out of it
and have changed since! The great thing about this life is when you
want to change you will change and if you do not, you will slip.  I was
reminded this last week that everything in the gospel is simple and I
hope that you all realize that as well.  We take it step by step and
the Lord will lead the way! Put your trust and faith in Him and you
will be satisfied with the results,  it might take time, it is worth it!

Elder Porcelli

attached is a picture of a quilt a member made for the Mission President's wife.  
All of the Elders donated a tie to make the quilt.  
Andrew's is the red, white, and blue striped

So cool!!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sorry I don't have a lot to say, because there wasn't much that happened.  got sick a couple of times and did service a lot.  went up to Yerevan for a day and shopped at Vernisage.  Yerevan is a little too big and confusing.  we had to deal with a drunk guy bothering the sisters for a couple days, turns out he was one of our investigators, hes getting some time off because he doesn't want to do anything about his problems.  also had a couple teenagers try to get in a fight with us and we just stood there and starred them down and they left.  we still don't have any solid investigators yet and haven't figured out a ton yet.  Hopefully next week I will have more to talk about.

Monday, September 21, 2015

I got transferred down to a place called Artashat, which is right next
to Ararat.  its the southern most part you can serve in.  I wont see
snow this winter, it stays relatively warm down here but it will get
cold.  I am pretty close to Yerevan.  I am  with Elder Potter right now, I
served around him for 6 months so we know each other really well.  its
really interesting because we are pretty much white washing again.  he
served here for 3 weeks about a year ago and we are both coming from our
areas.  its been a fun week so far.  we've gotten to know a couple
members of the ward and this city is very small compared to other
places.  also I got my package a couple weeks ago, I don't know if I
told you.  thanks a ton! I have already eaten it all.  it was really good.
I don't have a ton to tell about. it was pretty hard to leave Gyumri,
we had some really awesome people up there.  I am sure that next week I
will have more to tell about! love you!

Elder Porcelli

Monday, September 14, 2015

Well this week was one of the best! We have zone meeting and I got to do a couple day split in Vanadzor to show some of my buddies around. I got to meet with lots of people that I absolutely love to death! It’s really important to keep in touch with them because they will remember the feelings they felt with you.  When I came back I and my bro talked.  The thing that is great about having mission companions is willing to cut someone down to build them back up. We are super great friends and I’m super grateful I got to serve with him! Transfers are this week and things point to change.  I am super going to miss him.  I’ve been blessed through my mission to have good companions and every transfer they get better.  I was reading in the scriptures today and I read  a verse in Alma that has made a great impact on me. Alma 4:19  19 And this he did that he himself might go forth among his people, or among the people of Nephi, that he might preach the word of God unto them, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty, and that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people, seeing no way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them.
All we can really do, not just as missionaries but as a church body, is just bear testimony.  Testimony is the quickest way to invite the Spirit and if the Spirit is there, the people will be able to choose clearly to reject or accept.  Also, beware pride.  President Benson mentioned that a couple times in his ministry.... sorry this isn’t super interesting but I love you all and hope you are all happy! Happiness exists!

Elder Porcelli

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Armenia is Home

There’s not tons of news from here everything is going pretty well. Transfers are next week so that will be interesting! I am getting my package on Tuesday! Thanks for sending it! How’s everything going there with work? In already accepting Armenia as my home....... I also have decided that in going to wait until fall 2017 to start school, I don’t have time on my mission to worry about the future because God will help out! Also you seem to be dodging my questions or aren’t reading my emails (or both) but when we skype in December I would like for you to address whether you want to come to Armenia or not, just think about it. Don’t worry about it either. It’s a simple thing.  Also, I love you guys a lot! I honestly don’t know how to express in words how grateful I am for this! You are sacrificing a lot for MY wellbeing and I am super impressed and humbled because of that. Some people say, well you were raised in this gospel and you’ve lived it your whole life so of course you’re going to believe it.  I always think and tell them, you know that’s a good point, but, I felt something and I have  also had experiences throughout my life, prayers answered, direction given, seen the blessings IMMEDIATELY after trying, so at this point I can confidently say that this is the true church of Christ and I know of the truthfulness.  I don’t need to see God to KNOW that He is here, I can see the evidence right in front of my eyes. Pretty much want to say thank you! You helped save a soul.  And I say that because I will always be a part of this! SERVE A MISSION WITH DAD! I think it would be super cool! Love you! 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Well this week was really fun.
 We had zone conference and hiked up Aragats as a mission.  It is
funny how small of a mission we have because I know every one of them. It was
fun to hike in the snow! Super foggy and cold but super fun.  We focused
on pondering and how it is important to do it sincerely.  Pondering is one
of the keys to revelation in my opinion.  It has helped me out on my
mission a lot and I know that that is how people can become truly
converted.  This week was another really good week in terms of happiness.
 We did not have tons of meetings but the ones we had were really
good.  The people are starting to acknowledge that we are making a
difference in their lives.  One of the less active women that we often
visit told us this yesterday.  "Before you guys, the missionaries
would come and once they found out that my husband does not want me to come to
church, they would stop visiting, but you guys are different.  You keep on
coming back and you have completely changed my life" she was tearing up
and I could see the gratitude that she had for Heavenly Father for always being
there for her.  I know that we receive answers to prayers through others
and that we really do make a difference in other people'€™s lives and can, if we
have our lives in line with Heavenly Father's will.  No matter where you
are, be a disciple of Christ. We all are and that'€™s the covenant we make with
Him at baptism.  Be unified as well! There are a lot of things we need to
figure out on our own and that'€™s what makes this life great! Love you all
thanks for your love support!

 Mt AragatsGyumriBACK of Armenia

Monday, August 24, 2015

First of all I just want to tell all of you that I love you ALL! Especially my parents! Everyone has the best parents ever and we are in our families for a reason.  This week was amazing! I wish I could tell everything, we had tons of fun things we did like: get pulled over by an army man because we were taking pictures 100 yards away from turkey so he asked if he could take a picture of us, and we kindly agreed so we might be on wanted posters.  We also stacked tons of hay for 3 hours on Friday and it was the best ever, got super cut up and also sat on top of the truck on the way back and had to dodge trees.  We felt the Spirit a lot in our lessons, we didn’t have a lot of them but we made the ones we had count.  Not everyone wants this message right now but there will come a time when they will need it! I’ve never been happier, full of joy and love, had more charity in my entire life! Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and it all starts in our minds and hearts! In short we had the best week ever, tons of progressing investigators and lots of blessings and spiritual experiences. It’s amazing what heartfelt prayer can do for you! I love you all tons! Also shout out to one of my best friends ever, Dawson Hardy.  Ah I love you all! Be happy! We have the gospel and a prophet, what else do we need to be happy? Also, be kind to one another, you’ll be filled with Christ's love!

Elder Porcelli

Monday, August 17, 2015

Well, this week was really fun.   We had a baptism and i had the opportunity to baptize her. 
We had lots of experiences to help us out.  I'm doing pretty good right now.  It's still been rough with investigators not answering or meeting with us. but, we will overcome the problems. lots of answers to prayers and its been magical.  we had a baptism this week and we made a new key indicator, "the right place at the right time" the requirements are you need to do what you are supposed to do, and then you randomly meet awesome people. we've been learning tons of patience, but we think that the ball will start rolling quickly.  missions are a super blessing because you get to spend two years along side the Lord, all day, every day.  i was reading Moroni 7:45-48 and also 1 Corinthians 13, all it talks about is charity, which is the greatest of all.  it doesn't just mean giving to the poor or caring for the needy, its a lot more than that.  It says in PMG that we follow the commandments because of charity. what? i started thinking about it and charity has to do with everything, why do you think it says charity is the pure love of Christ? because He gave up everything that He had, for us.  i still don't know a ton about charity but that is something that is essential for the kingdom of heaven.  I hope all the missionaries that are in the field, leaving or are preparing to leave are prepared for the greatest time of their lives! shout out to my buddies who hit the year mark last week! love you all
Edward and Bella in Armenia... ha ha!
 Armenian Twilight

Monday, August 10, 2015

This week was pretty crazy.  For the first couple of days we were doing super well.  We went to zone training and we were all pretty bold about everything.  We decided that we need to change everything in our missionary work, again.  We got the Spirit for the first time since the start of the transfer and it changed everything that night! then i got sick... and we went to Lake Sevan with the ward and didn't get home until 11:30, we had khorovats and went and saw old churches.  on Saturday i got really sick again, probably because I didn't take medicine and ate whatever i wanted.  but, yesterday we had a record of less actives come to church! we had ward conference and its a big deal in Armenia.  it was really good for the ward to hear that they need to help us in missionary work if they want a temple here.  then we went to appointments with the other elders and while we were walking home i talked to a Papik on the street and invited us over to eat.  so, he gave us vodka and cold soup.  we ate the cold soup and he drank most of the vodka.  i asked if we could pray for him and he said no.  so i pretended to be sad and he asked, "why are you sad?" and i told him " i just want to pray for you and your family and make sure that you are happy." so he said,"when I'm dead, then you can pray for me." so that was really funny and a highlight of the week.  apparently a flu is going around the mission.? but i talked with the zone leaders today and we talked a lot about what we can do to pay the price and then me and Elder G received tons of revelation just talking with each other.  so pretty much, we are starting to understand why missionary work is still hard when you are doing your best you can.  its awesome, we are feeling more confident and at peace now.  but, that doesn't mean that you can rest! my perspective on missionary work is changing a lot! its really fun and doesn't need to be overbearing.  
  • 2 Nephi 28:30

  • 30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him thatreceiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.
  • He will give us over time and will help us along the way.  He wont give us too much for us to bear! we will all learn from our mistakes and press on!
  • look what we found in Sevan

Armenian Twilight