So fun having your sweet daughters for dinner tonight! Such lovely young women :) and great missionaries!!
Another week down! How is everyone doing this week? I hope that this letter finds everyone doing well, happy, healthy, and safe. :) It's been a wonderful and rewarding week here in the mission field. Again, I am amazed at all of the love that our Father in Heaven has for each and every single one of us. It's a love that we can't even begin to comprehend. I know that he lives and I know that his love is real. I wish that you could all be on a mission so that you could feel his love as strongly as I feel it. This past week Sister Stratford and I were able to make our way to Charlotte for a Zone Meeting and for interviews. I was beyond excited, because it was our first interview with the new president. He is absolutely amazing. I was the first sister missionary that he interviewed. (besides the brief interviews that he had with the new missionaries who came in last transfer.) It was one of the best experiences of my life. Of course, I will forever be grateful for my time with President Craven and I miss him dearly, but I know that right now I am to learn and grow from President Alexander. He is truly a man of God. My interview with him was absolutely incredible. I honestly don't even know what to say. It's been so fun to get to know him and talk to him. I think I've also got some advantage because we are both fellow CAVEMAN.... and he likes that. :) We have been able to make so many connections and that's been a blast! Such a small world. He shared some very personal things with me that I will never forget. He also told me to start preparing to lead the mission. He told me that the Lord has some very special things in store for me. I am excited for the new opportunities that lie ahead to serve and to grow. Sometimes I don't know if I can cram anymore into my brain, and then somehow the Lord makes some extra room and teaches me even more! I'll admit, sometimes I am spiritually exhausted, but I am loving everything that I am learning and am truly trying to take every second that I have to learn more about this Gospel. I know that there will never be another time in my life where I will be able to learn and study this much! I better take advantage of it right now!
I was able to see many new things this past week. We finally got our car back on Friday and that was a wonderful blessing. I survived my first bike week. Yay! It's been nice to have the car back though and to be able to go to some of the places that we were not able to hit while on bikes. We were having some struggles finding new investigators last week and I was getting a bit stressed out, but once again, the Lord pulled through. On Wednesday night we usually have our Missionary Coordination Meeting with the ward mission leader and the ward missionaries, and 10 minutes before our meeting, our ward mission leader called us and told us that he was sick and had to cancel our meeting. I was slightly bugged because we haven't had a meeting in 2 weeks and that just isn't okay. Anyways, we didn't make any back up plans because we were pretty convinced that this meeting was happening. Well, long story short, our ward missionary who was going to take us to our meeting just ended up going out with us. We went to go see some potential investigators but weren't having any luck. We did find one girl walking down the street and we stopped and gave her a Book of Mormon and got a return appointment, but that wasn't the highlight of the day. Finally, I had this impression to go see this man named Doug. His house was one of the Fix it for Christ homes. It wasn't the home that Sister Ekstrom and I worked on, but other members of our ward worked on his house and said that he was a really nice guy. We pulled up to his house and walked up to the door. He opened up the door and was happy to see us. He looked at me and said "Hey, I saw you at the United Methodist Church last week signing in. I didn't know missionaries were allowed to do that." At first I was kind of surprised because I had never seen him before and I was shocked that he even knew who missionaries were. I just knew his name and had his address because it was one of the Fix it For Christ houses that we could have gone too. He ended up letting us in and we sat down and got to know him better. He has wife, and 4 young kids. His family heritage all crossed the plains and he has a solid understanding of the gospel. His grandmother fell away from the church, which resulted in his mother not being active in the church, and he not being a member or even having any association with the church growing up. He was really excited to talk to us and wanted to learn more about the apostasy and Joseph Smith. He said that he is looking for the true church and he will go where ever God tells him to go. Right now, he feels like the Catholic church makes the most sense.... but oh he's in for a treat! We set a return appointment for TONIGHT at 8:00 and I am really excited! I left his home feeling so blessed! I know that the Lord places people in our paths. I have no idea how he saw me and recognized me... but somehow he did and I think that was our ticket into his house. :) The Lord is definitely preparing his people to hear the Gospel!
At Zone Meeting I was able to learn so much. We all voted as a zone that the 3 things that we need to work on to bring people closer to Christ are 1. Having GOOD personal studies. 2. LOVE the people. & 3. Get members involved. With that being said, I really tried hard to make my personal studies more meaningful. MY WHOLE WEEK CHANGED because of that one simple thing. Holy smokes! Personal study has become my favorite hour of the day. It's the only hour of the day where I get to truly talk to my Father in Heaven and be truly taught and tutored by the spirit. My studies this entire week was all focused on SERVICE. Thanks to my dear friend Cole Parkinson, I had a wonderful chance to learn all about service. He asked for some of my thoughts regarding service and the scripture Mosiah 2:17. I was thrilled for the opportunity to increase my testimony and my knowledge of service! And well, I don't even know where to begin. So, going back to Mosiah, many things come to mind. First being that the Savior had 3 main purposes for coming here to earth. 1. His atoning sacrifice. (which was the greatest act of service that anyone could have ever given) 2. To teach the doctrine that he learned from the father so that we could be happy and make it back to him. (which was also an incredible act of love and service) and 3. To build up his kingdom by serving others. There are countless times in the scriptures when Christ was serving. That is what he did all day long! One of my favorite scriptures is in Matthew 25 when it talks about the parable of service.
Verse 35: "For I was hungered, and ye gave me meat. I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink. I was a stranger, and ye took me in. 36: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 40: Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Every time we are serving, we are serving our Savior. To serve others and to teach his doctrine are two responsibilities that we accepted when we were baptized. This converts us into true servants of Christ. It is OUR responsibility to do as he has done. We express our LOVE for God when we serve.There are also SO many blessings that come from service. Too many to even count. There was a talk that I read that laid out some really good promises and blessings that come from service:
Blessings of Service
"I testify that through serving our fellowmen we come to know the Lord. Service makes us strong in our faith and useful in His kingdom. Service gives us purpose and courage in life. It brings us closer to God and helps us refine our divine nature. It teaches us to love and understand our fellowmen, and it helps us forget about our personal desires, eliminating selfishness, pride, and ingratitude. It teaches us to think of the needs of others, which allows us to develop the virtues that the Savior possesses. Kindness, love, patience, understanding, and unity will increase as we serve, while intolerance, jealousy, envy, greed, and selfishness decrease or disappear. The more we give of ourselves, the more our capacity to serve, understand, and love will grow.
Those who serve will always seek to please God and live in harmony with Him. They will be full of peace; they will have a cheerful countenance and a spirit of kindness. Those who serve will strive to ennoble, build, and lift their fellowmen; therefore, they will find the good in others, and they will not find reason or have time to become offended. They develop the virtue of praying for those who criticize. They don’t expect recognition or reward. They possess the love of Christ. Those who serve will always be willing to share what they possess and what they know at all times, in all places, and with all people. Those who serve even in adversity will maintain a living hope of a better future. They will continue to be firm in the midst of a crisis because their hope is in Christ.
Those who serve will accept their assignments with humility, recognizing their limitations but convinced that two people can do all things they propose to do as long as one of the two people is God. With divine inspiration, King Benjamin declared, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17). Those who serve will have greater understanding of the personality and attributes of God. Those who serve with devotion, even when things don’t turn out the way they would like, are not easily discouraged, fatigued, or frustrated because the promise of peace of mind and the companionship of the Holy Spirit will never abandon them."
Now that's a lot of blessings!! The number one thing that I love about service is that as we serve, we truly come to find out what really matters in life. We come to find ourselves. We come to know our Savior, Jesus Christ. Isn't that our outside her in earth? To find ourselves and to find Christ? Well- we better serve then! I know that there is NO better way to come to know who you are and come to know who your Savior is than through serving your brothers and sisters. I have come to know that the very best way and the very fastest way that we can come to know these things is by serving a full time mission. It feels so good to step out of the "me" world and get out into the "you" world. (meaning other people) My mission has truly changed the way I look at service. I have never been happier in my entire life. & I've finally figured out why that is. It is because I am serving! It's because I am doing what the Savior has asked me to do and what I have promised him that I would do. The true keys of happiness come when we serve. One of my favorite quotes is from President Hinckley. “You want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause, and bend your efforts to helping people” that's it. It's that simple.
Service really is wonderful if you let it be. "Service is to be given unselfishly, with no thought of personal gain or reward. It is to be given as needed, not when convenient. Opportunities to serve may not always seem obvious, as it is human nature to worry about our own wants and needs." Service will become a joy as we truly do it out of love. In one of Elder Rasband's talk, he asked a great question. He said, "If you came upon a person drowning, would you ask if they need help or would you jump in and save them from the deepening waters?" The offer: "Let me know if I can help" is WORTHLESS and really no help at all. We need to jump in and save our brothers and sisters! As members of the church, we have a duty to serve and lift others. If we had an interview with the Savior tomorrow, I am convinced that he would want to know how we loved and how we ministered. How we served our family members and friends. How we lightened each others burdens and how we came to grow closer to him and to our Heavenly Father. NOT- what we have or how much we care about ourselves. We all need to get out of that mentality. "If we fail to serve, we fail to receive the fullness of the privileges and blessings of the restored Gospel"
I want you to know that I have a STRONG testimony of this Gospel and a strong testimony of service. Being able to serve a mission has truly changed my life forever. I know that every good thing that will come into my life from here on out will be because of my decision to serve. Thank you all for serving me and for loving me. President Spencer W. Kimball said: “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another mortal that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom.” You have all impacted my life for the better and I am forever grateful for that. I promise you that God will pour out blessings upon you as you serve. He will in turn lift your burdens and help you discover who you are. My prayer is that we can all be better servants and better disciples of our Savior Jesus Christ. I love you all SO much. I can't wait to hear from you all in seven. Have a wonderful week! SERVE SERVE SERVE!! xo
Sister Kyla Joan Worthington
|Oh hey everyone, go read the BOOK OF MORMON. It'll change your life, I promise. Yours truly, Sister Ky Worthington|