Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015~ Nearer My God To Thee

Family & Friends,
Hello hello! How is everyone doing? It's a new week, and a new month. I can't believe it! Time seems to go so slow, but yet so fast at the same time. I have so much on my mind.. I don't even know where to start. What am I saying, this happens every single week. So much happens in one week that it's hard to fit it all in one little email.
This past week was probably the hardest week of my mission thus far. I'm not saying that to make anyone worried, it's just been different. Very challenging, trying, and hard. I have just been blessed with three months of bliss that I think Heavenly Father finally let me know that missionary work can be REALLY hard at times too. :) However, I am very grateful for everything that I have been able to learn this past week. As mentioned last week, I have been called to be a trainer of a new missionary. Transfers last week was definitely a very bitter sweet experience. I had to say goodbye to my sweet Sister Ekstrom and it was the last time I got to hear President and Sister Craven bear their testimonies. I really came to love Sister Ekstrom and it was very hard to let her go. I welcomed in a new sister from Salt Lake City, Utah. Her name is Sister Stratford. We are very very different, and it's definitely going to take time to build unity, but I am excited to be able to train her and help her learn and grow. It has been a lot harder than I was imagining. It's been difficult to take over an area, and basically have to do everything on my own because Sister Stratford doesn't know anything about the area yet. Other than that, I am doing well. I am just trying to figure everything out. It has definitely made me realize that I have to rely 100% on my Savior and that I am only going to be able to make it through if I rely on the atonement. The heat has definitely been hard, but I am getting used to it. I'm totally over sweating and looking nasty when I knock on doors. Sometimes it's really good because people feel bad for us and let us come in and cool off. So I can't complain about that. :) This past week has really all been a blur because I have been so focused on trying to get everything done. There is a lot of little training things that I have to do and it's hard to stay completely organized!
We have been working with a new investigator named Melissa and I am really excited about her. She is so elect! She ended up going out of town this past weekend and so we haven't been able to see her lately, but I know that she is so ready. She has a baptism date of July 11th and I am almost certain that she is going to make it. It will be such a glorious day if that actually happens. Please continue to pray for her! The rest of our investigators are doing well, just moving at a really slow rate. 3 of them are really struggling with the Word of Wisdom and that has been the toughest thing to get over. EVERYONE here has a Word of Wisdom problem. Everyone. Not kidding. Everyone smokes and drinks coffee. It's just the thing to do here. And those are not easy things to just give up, so it's been really hard. Our investigators want to get baptized, but they have to live the Word of Wisdom for at least 2 weeks in order to get baptized and everyone of them has tried, and then failed. And that's really hard to see. I am continuing to pray and study for how I can best help them and I know that the Lord will take care of them. President Craven told us one time that it takes a person 6-7 times to come in contact with the Gospel until they accept it. So, maybe these people aren't ready yet. But, at least I am giving them another chance to learn about the Gospel. :)
This past week the Zone Leaders called and informed us that we will be going into a tri-share with the car. That has really been a topic on my mind lately. I'm not sure how I'm going to make that work, but I shall definitely find out. We were informed that the mission is cutting 20 cars. Instead of being in a full car area, we will now be car one week, and bike 2 weeks. Which let me just tell you, that is going to be terrible. Our area is so huge. I have been really stressing lately on how we are going to make that work because so many of our appointments are at least 15-20 minutes away by car, and so biking to those in 100+ degree weather is not going to happen. I guess the members will just have to really step it up and start driving us everywhere! The church spends about 115 million dollars on car accidents per year and so I'm assuming that is why they are cutting down some cars. That's an insanely large amount of money! I have been so grateful to have a car though! It's been so nice and it really helps move the work forward. I'm excited to get out on my bike though and get some solid legs & a nice missionary attire tan. :)
This last week the bishop called me and asked me to give a talk in sacrament meeting. Of course I said yes, even though I had a 24 hour notice. I guess that's what missionaries do- fill in for people who bail last minute. Since I was able to receive some solid training on how to give a talk, it wasn't a big deal at all. I prayed about what I wanted to talk about, and the thought came to me within seconds. I talked all about being anxiously engaged instead of casually engaged.
Growing up a member of the church, and especially before my mission, I often found myself being so casually engaged in the gospel. I would pray when I would remember or when mom reminded me. I would read my scriptures every so often, maybe a few chapters a week. And FHE slowly became less and less important to me the older I got. I was never super excited to go to church every week. You could say that I was being a very casual member of the church.
How many of you are being casually engaged in the gospel? Are you being 'honorable' members who are skimming over the surface instead of deepening your discipleship?
I think so often I would do really good for a while, maybe after general conference or after a really spiritual experience, but then I would find myself getting lazy and I would start to just go through the motions. Being on my mission, I have come to find out how we can fix this!
I think it all starts with the development of our testimonies and the depth of our conversion. Alma gives us a perfect example of how we can gain and strengthen our testimonies.
“But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words” (Alma 32:27). Alma then went on to “compare the word unto a seed.” He explained that as hearts are opened,“it will begin to swell within your breasts” (Alma 32:28). He then gave us the key to developing a successful testimony: “But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life” (Alma 32:41). And then the promise! “Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you” (Alma 32:43). Like this parable of the tree, we cannot afford to sit back and take our salvation for granted. We must be anxiously engaged our whole lives and be constantly nourishing our testimonies. President Brigham Young said, “The men and women, who desire to obtain seats in the celestial kingdom, will find that they must battle every day [for this sacred goal].” We must not become casual as members of the church. Satan is attacking us more and more and our Heavenly Father is counting on us to stay strong. One of my favorite quotes ever is from Gordon B. Hinckley. He said, "Do the best you can. But I want to emphasize that it be the very best. We are too prone to be satisfied with mediocre performance. We are capable of doing so much better." I know that we are all capable of doing so much better. I know that we cannot do perfect, but I know that we can all do faithful. I hope that we will all become more anxiously engaged in this gospel. D&C 58. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward. I know with everything in me that Heavenly Father needs us to be stronger! We can do this! Let's all work on stepping it up this next week!
I want you to all know that I love you all so much! This past week as I was informed that my sweet grandma Palmer had passed away, my love for my family just increased ten fold. It's amazing how blessed we are. Families truly are needed. I am so grateful for my family and for the chance that I get to live with them for time and all eternity! Being a missionary has taught me so much, and one thing that it has really taught me has been the importance of FAMILY. I have seen so many families that are so distraught and so corrupted and it breaks my heart. It just makes me so grateful for the family that I do have and for the knowledge that I have. My desire to share the importance of family increases every single day! I am loving being a missionary, I really am. It is SO hard, SO exhausting, and SO demanding, but SO worth every second. My weaknesses have become strengths, the challenges have become opportunities, my trials have become triumphs, and my adversity has become an adventure in the service of the Lord. I know that this is Christ's true church. I know that it is only through the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we can be completely happy. This is his work, and it's our job to bring everyone unto him. I know that as we draw near unto him, he will draw near unto us. I love you all so much. Thank you for all of your love, your prayers, and your support. I am looking forward to this new month. I hope everyone has a good 4th of July! & family, enjoy the reunion! I will be there with you all in spirit! My mission is also now getting back on Facebook, so be ready to share all of my churchy posts with the world! :) I'm excited to start sharing the Gospel through social media! I love you!
P.S. Dad, thank you SO much for the GPS. It's PERFECT!! It's working wonderfully and was exactly what I needed. Thank you thank you thank you! Mom, I am in need of some Dry Shampoo again. The heat is really getting to the hair and I'm going through that thing like crazy! Thanks so much, you're the best! I love you so freaking much! Sending all of my love your way! xo.

Sister Ky Worthington

Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22, 2015 ~called to serve

My sweet family,
Hello hello hello! How is everyone doing? First off, Happy Father's Day!! Sorry I'm a day late. Please forgive me! I wish to express my deepest love and gratitude for most importantly, my father, and all of the other fathers in my life that have had an impact on me! Thank you! I hope your day was wonderful! I wish that I had all day to express to you everything that is on my heart. I swear, each week keeps getting better and better. I don't know how it's even possible. There is so much in my little heart and soul that I wish I could share with you. I will do my very best to express to you everything that I am feeling! I pray with all of my heart that something that I say will help one of you this week! I want you to know that you are all in my prayers. Every single prayer that I say I am asking my Heavenly Father to bless all of my friends and family back at home. I know that he is hearing my prayers and I know that there is not ever a prayer that I say that goes unanswered. This past week was one that I will never ever forget. One of those life changing moments happened last week. The ward here in Waxhaw has been preparing for a huge service project. The service project is called "Fix it for Christ." It's a service project that is put on by the Waxhaw United Methodist Church. They have been doing this project for 9 years, and this year was their 10th year. The LDS faith has only been participating for 2 years. Basically it's a multi-denominational service project. The United Methodist Church chooses 20 houses in the community that are really beat up and need a lot of help, and for four solid days in the month of June, hundreds of people and many congregations gather together and 're-build' these homes. You start at 7 am and finish at 5 pm, Wednesday through Saturday. Our ward here was able to raise about $1500 and we had many members who were able to help. The WUMC provides food for all 3 meals each day and has little morning and evening devotionals. Well, long story short, Sister Ekstrom and I decided to participate in 2 of the days. We only did 4 hours each day... but... let me just tell you, it was sooooo amazing. I had such an incredible experience. It reminded me of my sweet experiences that I have had in Haiti. I was so taken back and I walked up to these peoples homes... I was blown away. I don't even know how they live... it's unbelievable! Sister Ekstrom and I were able to build a whole deck one day and were also able to clean up a junk yard in the back of someones yard. It was insane! We filled up 14 dumpsters of stuff... all just trash & old junk! To get to the point, we were able to surround ourselves with SO many people of different faiths and we were able to serve right along side with the Savior. I have never had such a more fulfilling time serving in my entire life. I got so beat up, and have blisters and cuts everywhere, but, I have never been happier. While working my butt off in 100 degree weather, I found myself crying tears of joy. I honestly don't even know what was happening to me... but I have never felt the spirit so strongly! It felt so good to be able to serve these people that I don't even know and to be able to feel of the love that not only I had for them, but the love that their Savior, Jesus Christ has for them. It was amazing to see the change that happened in 4 days. WOW! On the very last day, the homeowners of the 20 houses got up and bore their 'testimonies' and gave thanks to everyone for helping them and for their service. While sitting in the Methodist Church's gymnasium, I felt nothing but complete joy! It was then and there that I knew why I was out here serving my mission! I often ask myself why I left everything I had to come serve a mission. I often ask why I left my family, job, phone, Internet, gym, clothes, everything, for 18 months to serve a mission. I received my answer so clearly that night. It was because I love my Savior and I want to serve him. I am out here to LOVE, HELP, and SERVE my Savior and the people of North Carolina, and that's it. Nothing else matters right now. I am an ambassador of Jesus Christ and I am to love and serve as he did. I know that what my president told me was absolutely true. He told me to promise him one thing on my mission, and it was that if I convert one person on my mission, it better be ME. My mission has done exactly that. I am converted to this Gospel. The Doctrine of Christ has changed my life. I want you to all go read 2 Nephi 31 and 3 Nephi 11 and truly study it out. THAT IS THE WAY to pure joy & happiness, and eternal life. And there is no other way. Once you can understand the Doctrine of Christ, you will understand who you are. And when you understand who you are, you act differently. Ah! I have learned so much! I don't know if 15 months is going to be enough to learn everything that I need to learn.
Now, I will get to the exciting part of the week. During the service project one day, President Craven called. I answered the phone and was a little bit nervous. President Craven doesn't call unless something is up! He called to extend a calling to me. Guess what... You're talking to your newest TRAINER!! Tomorrow afternoon I will say goodbye to my dearest Sister Ekstrom and I will welcome into my arms a new Sister Missionary right from the MTC! I am so beyond excited, I can barley hold it in! I'll be honest... I am kind of freaking out. I just finished my 12 week training program... and now I will be taking over Waxhaw and training a new missionary. Ever since President called me, I have been thinking about the last 3 months of my life. I remember when I was a new missionary. I remember how much I relied on Sister Ekstrom. I didn't know ANYTHING. The first 3 weeks out in the mission field was sooo incredibly difficult. I am grateful that I am training so quickly because I feel like I am going to be able to relate to this new sister missionary very well, since I was just there less than 3 short months ago. Knowing that I am going to be training has made me really think A LOT. It has really humbled me because I know that I am going to be really having to rely on the Lord and on the Spirit, more so than I ever have had to in the past. I know that I am going to need to be a perfect example of exact obedience because your 'trainer' sets the tone for the rest of your mission. That is something that Sister Ekstrom taught me, and I will forever be grateful for her example and for her exact obedience. I know that as we are exactly obedient, miracles will happen. SO, that is my exciting news for the week.Transfers are tomorrow afternoon and I am really looking forward to them! It's going to be sooooo hard to say goodbye to Sister Ekstrom and President and Sister Craven, but I am excited for the new journey that is ahead! It's going to be hard to get to know another companion and to learn to love her as much as I love Sister Ekstrom, but I know that as I trust her and that as I pray for her, the Lord will take care of me! I am going to need lots and lots and lots of prayers.... so please send them my way! I am excited for this opportunity to learn and to grow. I know that this is going to require me to get out of my comfort zone and to really see how strong I am. It's really going to force me to use the enabling power of the atonement and to really strengthen my testimony and the depth of my conversion!
This past week we were able to witness lots of miracles! We got two referrals from the Church headquarters and that was really exciting! One requested a Bible and one requested a Book of Mormon! We were able to deliver those both last week and both people invited us back! I am excited to go back and see them and teach them about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ! We also received a referral from some other sisters in our district and the girl is ready to get baptized! Her name is Melissa and she is AMAZING!!! She has been trying to find a church for her and her daughter and she wants to get baptized, she was just looking for the right church to get baptized in and she feels like she's found the right one! We are teaching her tonight at 6:00and I am so excited! It's amazing to see how the Gospel can change a life! Oh my goodness, if you only could see and witness what I am experiencing! You literally can't even understand how great a mission is until you go and experience it for yourself. I now know why they say it's the best 2 years (or 18 months) of your life. Because it truly is!
This past week I was studying a lot in Romans 8. Verses 35-39 are amazing! It talks all about the Love of God. I have never read it and studied it out so much than I did this past week. There is absolutely NOTHING that can separate us from the love of Christ. Absolutely NOTHING. There is nothing that we can or will ever do that will separate us from his love. That better tell you how much he loves each and every single one of us. He knows that we aren't perfect. He knows that we are going to make mistakes. But, he has given us the greatest gift of all. The gift of the atonement and the gift of LOVE. What a beautiful thing that is! I thought I was a lovable person and I thought that I had some charity in me... but now that I have been able to be on a mission, I have truly seen what the REAL love of the Savior is. I am still amazed every single day that I can walk down the street and see people and just love them! Like really love them. My desire to share my testimony of the Gospel has just increased so much! I used to be afraid to open my mouth and share the Gospel with others because I didn't want to offend anyone or look "different", but I have come to understand that that is what we have been called to do as members of the church. We are to warn our neighbors and to cry repentance to EVERYONE! (D&C 18: 14-17 & D&C 34: 5-6) How great is our calling! I encourage you to all be better at being a member missionary! Share your testimony!! Open your mouths! Pray for missionary opportunities and I promise that they will come! The Lord is truly hastening his work and we are the ones that will carry this work forward! I invite you to all focus on the basics. We use a little acronym around here called CPR. It stands for Church. Pray. Read. Those are the basics! As long as you understand the significance of church, prayer, and reading the scriptures, you will succeed and your desire to share the Gospel with others will increase.
I was also studying a lot about temples this week and I'm not sure why... because it absolutely KILLED ME! Not being able to go to the temple is killer... oh my goodness. That is probably the number one thing that I am missing so far. I came up with 3 reasons why we go to the temple. 1. To take out our own endowment. 2. Perform sacred ordinances. 3. To have our own retreat. :) The temple should not be an escape from the world. It should be an escape to help us prepare for a better world. I really liked the third reason. The temple should be a retreat for everyone! It is there that your burdens can be made light (not taken away) but light, when seen with new spiritual eyes. Often when I am talking about temples with our investigators, they always wonder why not 'everyone' can enter the temple. A temple recommend is such a beautiful thing! Temple recommends protect the temple from unclean things! If you don't have a temple recommend, I encourage you to do anything and everything that you can to get one. Temple recommend interviews are like a dress rehearsal for our meeting with the Savior! We all need to be worthy of a temple recommend! Imagine if every member of the church (12+ years old) was worthy of a temple recommend! Ahh!! How wonderful that would be, and how much work we would be getting done! Now let's help everyone get there! President Hinckley describes the temple perfectly. He says that it is "beautifully simple and simply beautiful." How true that is! If we only knew and took more advantage of the temples that we have so close to us! The Earth is literally full of heaven- but only he who takes his shoes off to see will truly be able to understand that.
Anyways... sorry this letter is 10 miles long. I probably should've like written this in chapters! I wish I could go on and on and on, but I have to go. :) I want you to know how much I love each and everyone of you. I want you to know how much I love my Savior. I know that he lives, and loves each and everyone of you PERFECTLY. I know that because I have witnessed it first hand! I am so grateful to be a missionary! I am literally in Heaven. I am so excited to stay in Waxhaw for 3 more months and I am so excited to see what the Lord has in store for me! Keep the faith, keep going, keep trying! I am so proud of all of you and for everything that you are doing! Thank you for all of the love and support. It truly means the world to me! I know that trials will come. I know that we all have burdens that we are carrying... let it go! Give it up to the Savior. One of my favorite quotes is, "I didn't keep a testimony through those hard times, my testimony kept me." Keep on keeping on! I love you all so much! I can't wait to hear from you next week! I'll see ya in 7! xo

Sister Kyla Worthington

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15, 2015~ Because I have been given much I too must give

Hello Family,
How is everyone doing? Once again, I can't believe that it's already been seven days and I am back in the library. It has been an unbelievable week. I wish that you could all be flies on the walls and watch and experience everything that I am experiencing. I would say that this week was really good mostly because of Zone Conference on Thursday. It was President Craven's last Zone Conference and it was one of the best times I've ever heard him speak. My zone has 29 missionaries. It was incredible because we were able to have a lot more one on one time with President and Sister Craven. About a week before the conference, President asked everyone to prepare a talk on the commandments. He told us that he was going to choose 2 missionaries to come up and give their talk. I prepared my talk and focused strictly on obedience. We got to zone conference and I started playing prelude music while everyone was spiritually preparing. I was a little bummed out because I always play the piano for 30 minutes before the meetings and so I never get time to spiritually prepare... and I really wanted to go over my talk in case I was asked to share... but nonetheless I am grateful for the opportunity that I get to share my talents and play on the piano! I miss it! As the meeting began, Sister Craven got up and told us that today we were going to talk about "how to give a talk."She gave a really good training and of course, I was blown away. No one knows how to give a talk. Wow! After learning about how to give a good talk and then going to church yesterday.. my eyes were opened! Anyways, after the training, President got up and of course said, "Sister Worthington, we would now love to have you give your talk, and we will be critiquing you afterwords." Talk about NO PRESSURE at all. Oh my goodness. I got up, gave my talk, and killed it. Afterwards the whole zone told me what I did well and what I could've done better. He made me re-practice some things and it was definitely a humbling experience that I will never forget! I learned SO much! He called a few others up after me and then we moved on. As I mentioned before, I had to do a musical number and it ended up going so well! It was such a spiritual experience for me and I again am just grateful that I can play the piano! The rest of the day was just filled with President's Craven's fantastic words of wisdom and it was just beyond amazing. He and Sister Craven leave next week and he talked a lot about the transition that is going to be happening. I am so grateful for the chance that I had to learn what I did from him, but am also so grateful to get a new mission president! Lucky me, I will just be able to learn from both!!

I want to share with you some things that I learned this past week. I was studying a lot in Joshua 3 & 4 this past week and learned so much! Three things that will forever change my life. 1. Be the first one in. Always be the first one to your meetings, responsibilities, etc. 2. Stand firm in all that you do. Don't waver. and 3. Be the last to leave. Be the "go to" type of servant. Be someone that the Lord can always count on. It's made a lasting impression on me. I have been able to reflect on the past 3 months and am just blown away at the things that I've learned and the person that I have become. Before my mission I was so casually engaged in the Gospel. Now I can say that I am more anxiously engaged. (d&c 58:27) I have learned that the Gospel is not our last option. It is our ONLY option. My heart breaks every day when people that I talk to turn the Gospel down. They don't know what they are missing out on. Are we doing all that we can do to appreciate the Gospel? Everything good that I have in my life has come from my membership in this church. We have been given so much, yet we are so ungrateful. I encourage you each to have a spirit of gratitude! Be more thankful! 

I was also studying in Matthew 4 when it talks about the fishes and the apostles. They gave up EVERYTHING and ANYTHING to follow Christ. Would you do that? It made me think of what I would do to know Christ. It made me think of all of the little sins and guilty pleasures that are keeping me from completely knowing Christ. This week I want you to all think of things that are keeping you from following and knowing Christ 100%. I want you to each give up ONE thing this week that will bring you closer to Christ. For some, it might be going without TV. For some, it might be getting off Facebook or Instagram. What ever your little 'sin' or guilty pleasure is, I want you to give it up. Just try it for a week! We are all guilty of it! As I have been able to go without so much of the worldly things, I have found myself drawing closer to Christ. I am happier. I am able to have the Spirit more, and I am more blessed. I know that we cannot do perfect, but we can do faithful. I encourage you to just give up one thing so that you can become closer to your savior. I promise promise promise that you will be blessed! Trust me! "Come unto me. He means he knows the way out. And he knows the way up. He knows it because he has walked it. He knows the way because he is the way." COME UNTO HIM!
As far as investigators go this week... they are still progressing, just slowly! We are still working with 4 that are on date to be baptized. We are just struggling to get them to come to church! I don't know why it is so hard for everyone!! JUST COME TO CHURCH ONE TIME!!! We have so many that are so close. They say they are going to come to church, we get them a ride, and then next thing you know, Sunday morning comes and they call us and say that something came up and that they can't come anymore. It's sooo frustrating. It's happened 4 weeks in a row now. Driving me nuts! Mom, the ones that we are really working with are Britton, Brayden & Whit, and Justin. Pray for them please! :) They are great. It's been so fun to see the changes that have come into their lives. So wonderful! Let's see, today we are going to pick raspberries at a less actives home and I am really excited for that! & then tonight Brayden and Whit are coming to dinner with us and we are going to a members home... so having them in someones home is going to be amazing!! It's sooo hott and my hair is growing like a weed and driving me nuts... but other than that, all is well!

I have to get going now.. sister Ekstrom is giving me the stink eye, but I just want you to all know that i love each one of you, oh so much! You will never truly know! I am so grateful for this chance that I have to learn and to grow. I have changed so much and I have become so converted to this gospel. I am trying not to just go through my mission.. I am trying to let my mission go through me, and it's definitely working! Transfers are next week and I am kinda freaking out.... I have been here in Waxhaw with Sister Ekstrom for 3 months now... and I know without a shadow of a doubt that either she is leaving, or I am leaving. I won't be surprised if I stay... and have to take over the area... but you never know what the Lord has in store! Whatever it is... I am excited! I am excited for change and am excited for this next journey! It will be like starting all over again. President and Sister Craven leave and the new mission president is coming in... so I am also really looking forward to that!! Many changes are about to take place and I'm all about something new so BRING IT!! Family, friends, I LOVE YOU! Never forget who you are and never forget the covenants that you have made. This church is true, God lives, and loves each of you PERFECTLY. My new acronym for the week is KISS. KEEP IT SIMPLE SISTER. Simplicity is all that matters! If you've got the Gospel & your family.... you've got all you need! I love you! Have a perfect week!! See you in seven! xo

Sister Worthington

Some Photos to Make you Laugh...

From the 630 am study sesh

Monday, June 8, 2015

June 8, 2015~ XO

My sweet family,
How is everyone doing? Wow! I cannot believe that another week has come and gone. First of all, I just want you all to know how much I love each and every single one of you. I am amazed at the love that I feel from you and from my Savior. I am one lucky sister. I feel your prayers and I am so beyond grateful for them. Please keep them coming, I need them! Funny story dad, we decided to go to Indian Land today which is a town a little bit far away from home, but there were some places that we wanted to go to and when we stopped for lunch, we had wifi and I was able to read your email! The spirit was definitely speaking to you last night because I checked my email WAY earlier than we usually do, and of course, it was SO nice to see a letter from both you & mom. THANK YOU! Let's see, Mom & Dad, thank you so much for the packages. They were lifesavers! They came at the perfect time! Mom, I literally opened up that package and saw new clothes and just about freaked out. It was better than Christmas morning! They all fit perfectly and oh how grateful I am for you and your sense of style. Thank you thank you!! This past week has been really good for me and I have been reflecting on a lot of things lately. June 6th rolled around and I couldn't help but find myself thinking about Kaiden, and how 3 years ago on that very day he embarked on his mission. I can't believe that it's already been 3 years! Ah! I also couldn't help but remember my sweet Corrie Beth.. Happy Birthday darling!! What a wonderful week it's truly been. Aren't we all so blessed?
Waxhaw is just improving every single week. This past one was extremely good and I was able to witness many miracles! Now that Sister Ekstrom just has a brace on, we have been able to go and exercise outside and that has been so fun! It's literally like freedom. I have loved being able to run again and start my day off with some energy! That definitely makes personal study time a lot better as well! It's been raining a lot lately and so that has put some delays in our plans... but I've enjoyed a switch up in the weather and am glad that it's been cooling down. The rain here is literally nuts! It pours buckets, literally. We like had to pull over on the side of the road because you can't see.. it rains so bad. No wonder everything is so green here! It's beautiful! I just don't like the humidity after it rains though... I could definitely go without that. It's also hard to find new investigators and teach lessons when it's raining because no one is outside.. and there is no where to go inside besides fast food restaurants.. so we are still trying to come up with some more ideas! Let's see, this past week we had a zone meeting in Charlotte and that was really fun! I always love those! It's so nice to see other missionaries and learn from them. Sometimes I feel like Sister Ekstrom & I are the only ones out serving a mission.. and then I get reminded that I'm not, and everything is all better! I learned a lot and was truly edified. I also play the piano at every meeting, so that's been good to freshen up on my hymns! I actually just got asked to accompany an elder and sister while they sing at the last mission conference with president Craven and I am really excited for that. I just got the music yesterday and have to play on Thursday... so we will see how this goes. I am playing a really pretty version of "Savior Redeemer of my Soul" and it looked pretty easy until I got to page 5.. and then it was 7 flats. So... I definitely have been praying and fasting for the gift of music. Since I don't really have access to a piano.. it's been quite difficult, and kind of stressing me out. I was able to go over last night at a church building.. and was really surprised at how good it sounded. I know with everything in me that the Lord was helping me. We had a mission home fireside last night in Charlotte and after hearing President Craven speak, I just knew that anything was possible. It's going to be a really good musical number and I am so grateful that I accepted the challenge. Bring it!! On our drive home last night, one of our members took us a different way and I got to see all of uptown Charlotte and I was in heaven!! AHH! it was so beautiful! Oh my goodness! It was like postcard worthy. The buildings are absolutely insane! Mom & Dad, I cannot wait to bring you back to my mission! It is incredible! We also passed a theme park called Carowinds and I was dying.. we will definitely have to hit up that as well! The rollarcoasters are insane! It's in my area and I am trying to convince Sister Ekstom to come with me on a preparation day.. yeah it's not working so far haha. Anyways, last night was amazing! We also had dinner over at the bishops house and we had a Chilian feast!! A bunch of families in the ward who served missions in Chilie or Argentina missions came over and brought the food! It was sooo good. best meal I have had thus far on my mission. I don't know if it was just cause it was fast Sunday or what... but dang, it was good! So fun. Brought back lots of memories. After the dinner Sister Ekstrom and I just couldn't stop talking. We are so blessed to have the Gospel in our lives. I kept looking at all of these families and just desire so much to have a family like that of my own. It was literally heaven. Ward family is the best! The Gospel is the best! And when families have the Gospel... it's just an amazing sight! I was able to step back and really reflect on how blessed I truly am.
This past week we were out finding one day and we were just not having any luck. It was like 3:00 in the afternoon and we hadn't found any new investigators or hadn't taught any lessons yet. It was killing me! I was starting to get down on myself and began getting a little bit discouraged. I decided to say a little prayer in my heart. I asked my Heavenly Father to just lead and guide me to someone who would listen. I didn't care if they were going to accept the Gospel or anything, I just wanted someone to actually listen to us. We started walking up to this house and I finished my prayer. We knocked on the door and this sweet 17 year old answered. She was really nice and we taught her a lesson right there on the doorstep. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she was really excited. She invited us back the next day and we were super excited! I walked away from her door and just felt an overwhelming feeling of love and joy. It was one of the simplest prayers I have ever said, but yet right then and there, I knew that my Heavenly father heard and answered my simple prayer. We went over the next day and to my surprise, taught a family of 7. Mom, Dad, and 5 kids. It was beyond beautiful. They had recently moved from Virginia and were actually looking for a church. It was so neat to be able to be in a clean, healthy, family oriented home. Those are really rare around here. It brought back so many memories of my family and my home. I bore my strongest testimonies on families and how I know with all of my heart that the Gospel will bless their family. The father of the home gladly accepted our message and invited us over for dinner this upcoming week. It's rare to eat with investigators as well so we are really looking forward to that! That was just one of the miracles that I witnessed this week. I want you all to know that I know with all of my heart that Heavenly Father hears our prayers. He may not answer them right away, like he did mine, but I know that they will be answered. Be patient. Believe. and have faith. Prayer is one of the greatest gifts that we have been given. I always took prayer for granted before my mission. Oh how I have definitely repented for that! There is not a greater feeling than getting down on my knees and talking to my Heavenly Father. I want to remind all of you to continue to pray, or to re-emphasize your personal prayers They are so crucial, and I promise they will get you through anything and everything. Trust me. We were also able to visit a former investigator this past week and he accepted a baptism date! AH! Oh my goodness he is so elect. He had been meeting with sisters for 18 months and then lost contact some how.. but we found him and oh I know that he was just waiting for me and Sister Ekstrom to come change his life! He is seeking for truth and just kept saying over and over again how he is thirsting for the truth! We have 4 people on date to be baptized right now and it's killing me... Transfers are in 2 weeks and if I leave this place I am going to cry. Literally. Waxhaw has turned completely around since Sister Ekstrom and I have been here. It's on fire! I am excited to see what President Craven has been thinking and if he's going to let me see the fruits of my labors.. or if he is going to throw me somewhere else to start over and change the place around! I have a lesson that I've got to run to right now.. but I just want you to all know how much I love and adore each and every one of you. I have added 2 quotes to my wall that I would like to share with you. The one above my bed says, "Be the missionary that wakes up and Satan says, "Oh no, she's up." I encourage you to change that quote to "Be the girl/boy that wakes up and Satan says, "oh no, he/she is up." Satan is out to get us but as we stay on the Lords side... he will have no power over us!! The other quote is "only with love". Just remember that one. Anything and EVERYTHING that we go through can be accomplished only through LOVE!! I love you all so much. I am happier than ever. I am grateful for all of your prayers and support. I love you all so much. Sending all my hugs & kisses your way. Xo

Sister Worthington

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015

Hello family!
Happy June! How are you all doing? I cannot believe that it's already a new month. Where in the heck did May go? It's officially Summer! I am happy to hear that the kids are out of school and are already enjoying their time off! I remember those glorious days, take advantage of every single day! Hopefully it's been warming up for you all over there. If you need some heat or sunshine, just holler at me. I can definitely send you some! It's so blasting hot over here. The humidity is really starting to hit me and I just haven't gotten used to it yet! I feel like I'm in Haiti all over again! I love it! There are bugs, snakes, spiders, squirrels, ants, lizards, and frogs everywhere! It's really testing my patience... and I don't have Cole here to kill them for me.. but I am toughening up and handling it all on my own. Pretty proud of myself. Anyways, I want to express my deepest gratitude and love towards our precious Elder L. Tom Perry. Hearing that he past this week was actually quite hard. I had been studying his last conference talk about families this past week and was just heartbroken when we heard the news. I know that he is in a better place and that his service was definitely accepted by the Lord. I found it interesting that his last two talks were about marriage and family. Very interesting. You should go read them! Marriage and family must be super important! I just also had such a testimony builder that the prophets are truly called by God and definitely know what we need to hear at this time!
This past week in Waxhaw went pretty well. It felt like a really really long week for some reason, but I am happy, healthy, serving my Savior, and that's all that matters. :) We were able to see many many miracles and I just couldn't help myself but think about how blessed we truly are to be members of Christ's true church. This past week we were able to see the Lord's hand in our lives and were able to meet some really neat people. Each and everyday the Lord leads and guides us to where we need to go and who we need to see. It is truly amazing to see how he has prepared people to receive the restored Gospel. However, we did run into many people who slammed their doors in our faces and who really wanted to test us. For some reason, this week we had so many people who just were so rude and so messed up in their beliefs. It was actually quite sad. They would sit down and talk to us and tell Sister Ekstrom and I that we needed to find Jesus and that we were sinners and that we were living in a lie and didn't have a clue what we were talking about and it honestly just made me so upset. During one lesson actually, I stood right up and I just said, "Frank, I want you to know that I KNOW that the the Book of Mormon is true and that I KNOW that the things that we have shared with you are true and it's your choice to accept it or not." And then I said, we need to leave. I have never been more bold in my life but I just couldn't take it anymore. I am usually not like that.. but I was just done. He simply invited us in to just tell us what we were doing was wrong. He didn't invite us in because he wanted to learn about the Restored Gospel. Anyways, this week we watched the Joseph Smith Restoration movie (the one they play up on temple square) and I was so touched by the part where Joseph was in jail and all the men around him were making fun of him and mocking him and he stood up and said something like "That's it, I can't take any more of this. Silence or God will smite you.." Something like that, anyways, in the moment when I was bearing my testimony and telling this guy what I knew to be true, I felt like I was Joseph Smith for a second. It was pretty neat actually. We walked out of that lesson with our testimonies 10x stronger than when we went in. When I say I know something, I KNOW something. Anyways, good learning experience!
My challenge for each of you this week is to read an incredible talk given at a CES Devotional for young adults at BYU on January 12, 2014. It is called, "What is the Blueprint of Christ's Church?" It's on the Gospel Library app under the "Young Adult" tab, in 2014 devotionals. It will change your life. I'm not kidding. Read it and turn to every single scripture that is mentioned in that talk. It will just blow your mind! After I read and studied that talk, I just knew with 100% surety that this is Christ's true church. There is no denying that this is the true church after you read that talk. Ah! So good. Sister Ekstrom and I already have some investigators in mind that we are going to have read this talk. It literally just makes everything so clear and is just so unreal. READ IT READ IT READ IT!! I want to share some of the things mentioned in the talk, but I'm just going to trust that you will read it on your own... so if you want to find out, you have to read it. :) I want you to all know how much I love each and every one of you and how grateful I am for all of your support. I truly have never been happier and my mission has completely changed my life!! Tami, thank you so much for your letter this week! You are the best. & ANNA- you go girl!!! I am so proud of you for being a missionary and helping out that girl! Keep up the good work! You are going to be the best missionary! Mom, Dad, family, I love you all so much! Keep doing what's right and stay close to the Savior! I hope you all have a wonderful week! You are in my every single prayer. Let me know if I can do anything for you. The church is true & I LOVE YOU!! Sending all my love, hugs, and kisses to each of you! & to my girl Kam in LP!! xo
Sister Worthington

​ sorry i look so nast,100 degree weather. please forgive me.
PS MOTHER: when and if you get time, I WOULD LOVE A HOMEMADE BATCH OF GRANOLA PRETTY PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks so much. you're the greatest! taking advantage of y'all while i'm here!!! xoxo