Sister Amy Porter
The soon-to-be Sister Porter has been called to serve in the Philippines Laoag Mission, Tagalog speaking, and is reporting to the Provo MTC on April 10!
I managed to snag Sister Porter right before she's off on her very special adventure, and she was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about her mission preparations.
Did the announcement (given by Pres. Monson in general conference) affect your decision to serve a mission?
Good heavens, yes it did! I have NEVER had the desire to serve a mission before October. One-I've always felt a strong need to get married fairly young, so I wasn't planning on it, and two- I'm 19, so it wasn't even on the radar. But BAM! Conference comes along and within 20 minutes of the Saturday morning session I'm planning on serving a mission.
Why did you decide to serve?
Well, the Spirit can be real persuasive! There had been times before when I'd thrown the idea around, but it was always followed with a "no, that's silly". But when President Monson lowered the age, I've never felt anything quite as strong as the Spirit right then. So why am I serving? Because I know how to recognize the way the Spirit speaks to me, and I know that I'm not yet the person He wants me to be.
How have you prepared so far?
Hmmm. Preparation. Well, honestly, I haven't done as much as I probably should have. I've done the prep stuff on the Mission Portal website the church provides missionaries, I've watched "The District" (classy programming, right there!), stuff like that. I've done a little mission prep through institute, but I think the best preparation is going to be through reading the scriptures and temple attendance. After all, we all learn differently and nobody can tell you if you're prepared.
Good prep websites/talks?
READ BLOGS OF PEOPLE SERVING IN YOUR MISSION. Honestly- so many questions answered.
Best advice you've received?
Figure out the best way to love your companion(s). For some people, that means service. For others, being overly nice is going to be the worst thing you can do. But really- work on it. They're the one person you see 24/7.
Favorite missionary quote?
It's not really "missionary", but it applies.
When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to land on, or you will be taught how to fly.
Tips on staying positive while preparing?
RELAX. Yeah, it's freaky. Yeah, it's a lot of stuff to buy. But calm down, everything will be okay! Find something you enjoy, and let yourself do it! Just chill.
What advice would you give to those preparing to serve a mission?
Take it one day at a time. Don't look at how long you have left, or what needs to happen next week. Live every day individually. Enjoy time with your family, or with classes, or wherever you are.
How long did it take you to complete your paperwork?
I started my papers about a week, week and a half after conference, and they were officially submitted to The Brethren on Nov. 20th.
5 cool facts about your mission:
1. There are 20 islands in my mission, some closer to Taiwan than to most of the Philippines
2. There are 120+ languages in the Philippines, so I'll get to learn 4-5 more than just Tagalog
3. Christmas is celebrated from September-January!
4. the Philippines is the only country to fly their flag upside-down in times of war
5. I may or may not have to eat dog.
5 things you'll miss about home:
I'll miss being at BYU, going to work with my mom every day, singing along with the radio, family movie nights, and Photo Booth sessions with my crazy siblings.
Thanks, Sister Porter! Good luck in the field!