How is everyone doing? I cannot believe that another week has come and gone. It kind of seemed like a long week because our preparation day got switched around due to the Memorial holiday, but it's been a good one for sure! This past week we had a mission conference in Charlotte and that was incredible! So good! It was only half of the mission because President wanted to talk to more of us individually, but it was still perfect! It was my first mission conference and it was amazing! I was expecting a member of the 70 to be there just because that is usually what happens, but because President and Sister Craven are leaving so soon, they are trying to spend as much time as possible with us and you can tell that they just have so much to say and not enough time to say it! President spoke on how we can become extraordinary missionaries and the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood, and Sister Craven spoke on the Book of Mormon. They were both wonderful. I wish that you could have all been a fly on the wall listening to them. Sister Craven shared a statistic that 50% of missionaries right now will go inactive sometime in their life after we get home from our missions. I was shocked! She went on to say that it all goes back to the Book of Mormon. Do you have a core experience of the Book of Mormon? Is it the foundation of your testimony? If you don't have an experience or if it's not the foundation of your testimony, I would invite you to start reading the Book of Mormon again and praying for that testimony. We must have our own conversion of the Book of Mormon! So many people are falling away simply because their testimony of the Book of Mormon isn't strong enough! I don't want that to be any of you! "Every man is eventually backed up to the wall of faith". Don't just be a believer. Put yourself up against a wall and ASK yourself if YOU know that the Book of Mormon is true. I have such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and I now know that it is true. It is what changes lives and is the converting tool. I love love love the book and am so grateful that the mission has helped my refocus and gain my testimony of the Book of Mormon. Anyways, Mom & Dad, please find out when their homecoming is and please go to it! I'm sure it'll be life changing! I also had another incredible surprise this week! I got to see my uncle Mike Schlappi! Ah! Thank you thank you for that wonderful surprise! My spirits were lifted and it will definitely be a mission memory that I will forever hold near and dear to my heart.
Yesterday was a great Memorial Day! I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday as well. A member invited us over for lunch and we had a steak and mahi mahi. Topped off with some southern banana pudding. It was definitely one of the better meals I've had thus far. Still miss mama's cooking.. but this was still pretty satisfying. We had a pretty good day of finding and were able to see some miracles! Then, a few days ago we were also invited by two of our young investigators to come to their parents house for dinner! We were super excited because we had never had dinner with an investigator before! We had a HUGE cookout and it was so much fun! Hamburgers & hot dogs, potato salads, chips, watermelon, baked beans, the real deal. It was such an amazing experience! Here Sister Ekstrom and I were sitting around a dining room table with 4 strangers. All of another faith. The dad was a pastor for another church and the mother was just the sweetest thing ever! It was an experience that I will never forget. It was so neat to be able to have people love us and respect us for who we are. It was really good because they saw us as normal people and they really saw a different side of the LDS faith. We had so much fun talking and getting to know one another. I truly have begun to love the people here. It was the best Memorial Day yet. I do miss the cabin, but this was a sweeter experience. All day I could feel the love of my Grandma Joan and my Grandma Sudweeks surrounding me. It was a beautiful day and I am so grateful to be there granddaughter. I know that they are my guardian angels and that they are watching over me and protecting me while I am serving. We also were able to get on our bikes for the first time yesterday and it was SO MUCH FUN!!! I was laughing my head off because the helmets.. hahah they are just the best. I look like a complete goof, but I don't even care! It was so nice to get some fresh air and ride around downtown! We are approaching the end of the month and our miles are really scarce... we are running out.. so we have been doing a lot of walking and biking lately! :) We also had 2 sisters in our district get lice last week... so you can imagine what I was thinking. Yeah, I was freaking out. Mother you would've laughed so hard if you could have seen me. I was making Sister Ekstrom check my head like 80 times a day. Ewww I was so paranoid. We spent like 3 hours with those sisters... and they had lice! AH! Freaked me out. But, Sister Ekstrom & I didn't get it so all is well. :) :) I am being blessed. Other than that, not a whole lot happened this week!
This past week I really had a goal to focus on my baptismal & temple covenants, and to understand the significance of the sacrament. All I can say is... WOW! It was an incredible week! I have come to understand that we are definitely not perfect. The covenants we make are constantly being broken every single day. Our covenant was a promise to God.. and we are breaking that promise!! Our covenants are preparing us for eternity. By trying our best to keep our covenants, we are practicing for eternity. For the rest of our lives. We are preparing to meet God. I was asked on the spot in a training to share my testimony about my endowment experience. I was so grateful for that opportunity because I was able to reflect on my own personal covenant and what it means to me. I hope you all take the time to reflect on your own personal covenant. I hope you will never forget the feeling that you felt when you went through the temple. Now regarding the sacrament, this past Sunday was probably the best Sunday that I have ever had. For studies that morning, I thought I'd study about the sacrament and Sabbath day observance. I read the talk entitled "The Sacrament, A renewal for the Soul" by Cheryl A. Esplin given in the October 2014 conference session. I invite all of you to read that talk this week! Please please please! The sacrament should be a truly spiritual experience, a holy communion, and a renewal for the soul. How do we view and partake of the sacrament? It needs to become more holy and sacred to us. In True to the Faith it says that "The more we ponder its significance, the more sacred it becomes to us". I partook of the Sacrament with a different mentality this week. Truly reflecting on the covenants I have made and looking back on my past week, wondering how I am going to be better the next week. I looked at all the young men who were blessing and passing the sacrament and was just amazed. They are worthy representatives giving the ME the chance to repent and renew my covenants. My eyes were filled with tears as I was feeling the Saviors love surrounding me. He loves me enough to let me repent and become better. As the rest of the meeting went on, all of the speakers just so happened to speak on the sacrament and the Sabbath day. What are the chances! One man spoke about the Sabbath being a delight, coming from the talk given this past conference. He asked the whole congregation, "Is your Sabbath really a delight"? I ask you that same question. Getting ready for church in the mornings, keeping kids quiet during Sacrament meeting, stressing about cooking dinner and other duties, I ask, Is this a delight? I want you all next Sunday to truly focus on making your Sabbath day a delight. Spend time with your families, your children, and your spouse. Where would you rather be on the Sabbath than at home with your family? We only have like 52 Sundays a year. We better be taking advantage of those 52 days. I invite you to take a spiritual shift and change whatever you need to change to make sure that your Sabbath day is a delight! What sign are you going to give to God that you are truly grateful for the Sabbath day? Sundays have definitely become a different day for me on the mission. I look forward to them so much! I wish that I could have understood the significance of the sacrament and my covenants earlier in life, but I am grateful that my mission is teaching me a few things. :)
I am now just realizing that this email is extremely long... so I will give you all a break now. I want you to know that I know my Savior lives and loves each one of us. The Book of Mormon is true and is the word of God. I am so happy and I love being a missionary! I feel so blessed to be in North Carolina and to have the greatest family in the world. Thank you all so much for your love and support. I hope you all have a wonderful week full of joy & miracles! I want you all to know that there is a girl in NC who loves her family and prays for them every single day! Remember who you are and whose you are! Keep doing what's right and keep pressing on! I love you! Sending all my hugs & kisses!! xo
Hermana Kyla Worthington
(yes, sometimes I wish I spoke Spanish. I call Sister Ekstrom Hermana Ekstrom all the time and she laughs every time.)