Wednesday, August 26, 2015

August 26, 2015

Never underestimate the power of an optimistic attitude. We all have trials & tribulations, but it is ultimately our choice as to how we will let them affect us. We can either break down in despair, or we can rise above our situations with true joy to help and build those around us.
I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. I know with all of my heart that as we move forward with a happy spirit, everything will work out. Choose to be happy & you will see extraordinary results

August 24, 2015 ~ Sweet is the Peace the Gospel Brings

Hello my sweet adorable family,

How are ya'll doing? I hope everyone had a good and productive week. Happy back to school! I cannot believe that school has started up again! Where is all of the time going? Summer went by way too quickly, however, I am really looking forward to the fall & winter weather. It doesn't cool down here until about the end of September, but I am looking forward to some colder weather. I am definitely going to miss the snow this year! Thank goodness I am only going to be gone for one winter. I definitely planned that out well. :) I'm going to miss all of my snowmobiling time and nights spent at the cabin, but I am excited to endure a "Southern Christmas." I heard they are pretty good.
It's been another fantastic week here in NC. I experience so many new things each and every week that I just love it. I am definitely embracing the southern culture. Also, I've been told by a few people recently that I've adapted some southern in my voice, so that's made me happy. :) I finally feel like I know what I'm doing and that I "fit in" with everyone else around here. Sister Stratford and I were caught in an intense Carolina rainstorm last week and that was really fun! We walked about 10 minutes to an appointment and as soon as we finished our lesson and walked outside, it began raining so hard. You don't even know what a Carolina rainstorm is! Oh my goodness! We had no other option but to walk home so we took off our shoes, put them in our bags, and made a run for it. It was soooo fun! The rain was so warm and literally was up to our mid calf. I have never seen so much water in my life! They say there is no swimming on your mission.. but I'm pretty sure we broke that rule! We were totally swimming in the rain. It was great. One experience that I will never forget. We made it home and changed our clothes and went on with the rest of the day, it was wonderful! Our most exciting encounter this week was probably with our new pets. This week we opened our pantry and found all of our crackers, nuts, granola bars, cereal, ect eaten. You can only imagine how frustrated I was. Oh it ticked me off. There was little poos everywhere and Sister Stratford and I were freaking out. Something was living in our pantry. We threw away like half of our food, only to find out the next night that even more was gone. We moved all our food on top of the dryer thinking that would stop it. We then told a member and he gave us a mouse trap. Sister Stratford and I took forever figuring out how to set it, but once we did we put it in the pantry. But the little devilish vermin found its way on top of the dryer, and ate practically everything we had left. We moved the trap to the dryer last night, and woke up this morning to our lovely friends captured. Oh, it felt good! It was all just such a funny experience. Two girls freaking out over mice? Yep, that was us. I don't do things like that. Hopefully my husband to be will be able to man up and take care of that stuff. Anyways, it was a good time. We have now dealt with mosquitoes (which I have 42 bites on my body right now, no exaggeration & yes it keeps me up at night), chiggers, fire ants, fleas, scabies, and have just added mice. It's been a good time. :) I love this I love this I love this. I have to keep singing the "Everything is Awesome" lego song every time I have experiences like that. It keeps me going and keeps me having a positive attitude.
This past week my heart has just been overflowing with emotions. I have so much that I want to say, and I'm not sure if I will be able to communicate what is really on my heart. Being out here on a mission has made me really realize how important the Gospel truly is. I feel so horrible inside that I had to come out on a mission to really see its importance, but hey, if that's what it took to change my life, than I'm okay with that. I took the Gospel of Jesus Christ and all of the blessings that encompass it for granted. I wish I would've known all of this earlier in my life. I wish I had a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon and of my Savior, Jesus Christ. If I could give anyone any advice right now, it would be to start gaining a testimony RIGHT NOW. Do not procrastinate any longer. We cannot afford to wait any longer. We need to have a secure and solid testimony more than ever before. The world is just getting worse and is doing so at a much quicker rate. We have more choices and more opportunities today than ever before, which is both a blessing and a curse. We cannot let the world decide where we are going to go. We need to have the Holy Ghost as our constant guide and companion to help us make decisions. We need to really come to figure out who we are and what our purpose is here on earth. We are all on the lifelong quest to find out our purpose in life--which is mostly done through trial and error. It has been said that "the two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." I absolutely love that! Because we have the Gospel already, we don't have to spend our entire lives trying to discover our purpose. It's right in front of us!
Satan is throwing darts at us left and right. One of his biggest tools right now is distraction. If we are too focused on the world, we will miss the whole spiritual world that is around us. We will miss the spiritual promptings to lead and guide our lives because we are simply too distracted. If we learn to understand the "why" behind everything that we do, we will understand our purpose. There are so many things that we have been asked to do, but yet so many of us still don't do them. Perhaps many of us do not see the dramatic negative consequences right away, and so we don't think it's a big deal to miss a few days reading our scriptures or saying our prayers or missing a few family home evenings or a few sacrament meetings. The consequences, positive or negative will come later, over time, but they will come. I have just really come to see the importance of the basics. Church, prayer, and scripture study. I know we hear it over and over and over again but how many of us are making those things our very top priority? Above everything else? I know I was definitely not doing that before the mission. This is our time to prepare to meet God! Let this be the day that changes your life. Recommit yourself to doing the daily things that will bring you true joy. Of all the people on the earth, Latter Day Saints must lead out in doing these things. We must be the example for the world. We must must must must be able to stand up strong and have a firm testimony. I know that it's so hard. Gaining a testimony and living the Gospel takes effort. Consecrating your life to this work is difficult, but it's absolutely worth it. I have seen so much on my mission that has just scared me to death. We really do have the fullness. These people are SO lost and it's breaking my heart! Living in Utah definitely sheltered me. I am so grateful that I am serving where I am serving. You truly have no idea what surrounds us. It's complete filth and it's scary! We should feel so blessed to have the Gospel in our lives. We need to be taking more advantage of it! We have too! It's so precious!
Okay, sorry this is getting long and I'm rambling on. I just have so much to say haha. Nothing new. I'm sorry for making everyone read this! I feel like I need to work on balancing my emails. I probably should be talking more about my investigators and stories, more so than what I am learning. I don't know, I guess ya'll have to live with it until I figure it out. Melissa is doing well, we have began teaching here the new member discussions and she is continuing to progress. We are working on family history with her and are hoping that she can get a temple recommend by our ward's next temple trip, which is September 19th I believe? She is really excited and looking forward to it. Her boyfriend, who lives in Minnesota has also expressed a desire to learn more about the Gospel. They want to get married, but Melissa told her boyfriend last week that they can't get married until he learns about the church. She said that she wants to get married in the temple and that he needs to experience what she is experiencing. We were shocked, but oh so happy! He will be moving back to Waxhaw in December and I'm hoping that things will go well when he gets here. We are still working with her younger brother Joseph. We had a recent convert who works with Joseph's dad reach out and invite him to start taking the discussions. TALK ABOUT MIRACLE. We are going to be teaching the whole family! It's amazing how ONE persons individual choice can affect many other people. Go Melissa! We are teaching a few other people, they are just kind of on hold for the time being. They have some things that they need to clear up before they can really move on a progress towards baptism. Living the Law of Chastity and Word of Wisdom for two weeks before you can get baptized is the issue right now haha. Everyone has problems with those two commandments down here.. so we're just trying to be patient. :) The first Panther game was this weekend and that was a really big deal. Everyone was talking about it around here. We got invited to one of our investigators homes to watch it and have a cook out.. so we went over for the cook out, said our hellos, and then left, although I really wanted to sit down and watch a good football game. We are obedient Sisters though so you don't even have to worry. :)
This week I came across something that I really liked that I thought I'd share with ya'll before I head out. It's all about being practical. It’s not about being perfect but being practical. Let me explain. To love others well, we need to be living rooms and not show rooms. If you’ve ever gone to look at an apartment or a house, the real estate agent usually takes you into this pristine perfect home and tells you how wonderful it would be to live there. They’re usually right, it’s perfect. But too perfect. Like you don’t want to touch anything or walk on the carpet. But then you go visit friends and they have their children’s toys on the floor and a little dust on the mantle and you feel like you can sit right down on the couch and hang out. It’s practical. When we’re show rooms, no one feels comfortable to be themselves around us. They feel like we’re so perfect that their dirt may make us angry or disappointed. When we’re living rooms, we feel like a safe place. People can open up to us and be who they truly are. Let's get out there and love each other uniquely, right where we’re at. No standards or squeaky clean lives. Just messy, broken-in people who create room in their hearts to do this living thing together. We're all on this journey together. We all need to feel loved and to be loved. I promise that as you embrace the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that love will come. You will come to understand your potential and your self worth. "As we mature spiritually under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, our sense of personal worth, of belonging, and of identity increases." True personal worth comes from a secure relationship with our Heavenly Father. Individual worth is intrinsic, it is internal, it is eternal. My prayer this week is that we can all refocus our attention to the basics of the Gospel. We must not get distracted by the worldly things that surround us. We cannot afford that! We have the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are of the very few who have this wonderful blessing. Let's do something about it.
I am so so sorry this email is all over the place. I've got too many thoughts in my head! Missionary work is oh so good! I love being a sister. I love waking up every single day and putting on my name tag. Each and every time I look at it, I am reminded that I am a daughter of God. I am a representative of Jesus Christ. I bear his name. I am an instrument in his hand. How great is my calling! Knowing what I know is my testimony and doing what I know is my conversion. I am so converted to this Gospel and I am never ever going back. We have a zone conference this weekend and I am really looking forward to that! I feel like I haven't seen President Alexander forever and ever. It's been way too long. I am excited to learn from him and to be in his presence. There is just something about mission presidents! Oh my goodness! They just radiate with the spirit. I will definitely let you know how that goes. Transfers are also coming up mid September, and I'll keep you posted on that. Kamryn, your big 17th is coming up, I hope you have a wonderful day!! I love you all so so much. Thank you for all of the prayers. Thank you for the love and the support. I think about you often. I am so grateful to know all of you and for the relationships that we have. Never forget who you are and what is most important. I know with all of my heart that God lives. He is real. He is aware of everything that we are going through. He knows what we need and exactly when we need it. Be patient. Turn it over to him. I promise it'll all work out. Keep the faith! Keep on keeping on! I'll talk to ya'll in seven. Hope everyone has a perfect week! I love you! xo
Sister Kyla Worthington

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

August 19, 2015

"Each individual who prayerfully studies the Book of Mormon can receive a testimony of its divinity. This book can help with personal problems in a very real way. Do you want to get rid of a bad habit? Do you want to improve relationships in your family? Do you want to increase your spiritual capacity? Read the Book of Mormon! It will bring you closer to the Lord and His loving power." {Russell M. Nelson}

I know with all of my heart that the Book of Mormon is true. It has changed my life. It has changed me from the girl that I once was, into the girl that I am now. It has helped me become who God wants me to become. There is nothing that has brought me more peace & happiness than this very book. I will be forever grateful for my testimony of the Book of Mormon

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August 17, 2015

If this isn't PURE JOY than I don't know what is!!!!! Life is
beautiful.... And I'm getting a little taste of Haiti in NC!! Wouldn't
want to be anywhere else. This is my happy.

Definitely nothing like what Mama C would do... But it was about time for some help!!
It got below my butt- yeah too long.

hi fam!

How is everyone doing? I hope that this letter finds you all doing well, happy, and healthy, as my father would say. :) I hope that my Kenna and Cole had great birthdays! I sure love you guys! It's been another wonderful week here in Waxhaw. I am always amazed at how involved the Lord really is in my life. I love Monday's because I am always able to sit back and relax, and reflect on what happened the previous week. Missionary life is full of so many different things every single day that it's hard to keep track of everything that has happened. I cannot believe that I am almost 1/3 of the way done with my mission. Time goes by way to fast. I'm excited to see if the Lord will keep me in Waxhaw, or if I'll be transferred. Transfers are September 12th, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens! Fun fact, I got my first haircut today and that was really scary! I was so nervous to have someone else cut it... since mom has been the only one who has ever touched it, but she did a fairly good job and it's still long and thick. :)
Today we witnessed 2 miracles! And, it's even preparation day! Definitely goes to show that Heavenly Father is absolutely aware of all of his children. Sister Stratford and I were not going to go to the grocery store today because we don't have our car, but for some reason, we decided to go, just to buy some milk. As we were checking out, I saw Regina and her daughter Damysia. Regina was the girl that Sister Ekstrom and I met a while ago who was really going through a hard time and needed some serious help. She ended up going to a homeless shelter in Charlotte so we lost contact with her and I never thought I was going to see her again. We had such a strong instant connection and I knew that I was supposed to meet her, for which reason I do not know. Anyways, long story short, Regina's daughter ran up to me and saw me and ran and told her mom. I ended up embracing in a 10 minute hug with Regina and we were both just crying, right there in the middle of the store. I literally thought that I was never going to see her again, and that she may not have even survived the situation that she was in. She was so close to taking her own life. It was such a tender mercy for me and will be one of those experiences that I will never ever forget. We ended up setting up and appointment with her later this week and I am so excited. The Lord definitely works in mysterious ways! As we were leaving a man also came up to us and said, "Sisters!! When are you going to come see me again?" He is a former investigator and we hadn't ever met him before... but are going to begin teaching him!! Miracles are happening all over and I love it! I know that God is real and that he truly is involved!
This past week was a very different week for me. I felt like I wasn't quite myself. Something was off and I'm not sure what it was. I am really looking forward to this new week though and am ready to work harder than ever before. We've been on bikes this week so it's been a little bit of a tougher week. Waxhaw is really really small and I feel like we've done everything around here haha. When we're on bikes it's really hard to go way out of our little town because it takes so much time, and well unfortunately my body just can't really handle more than 12 miles a day right now. :) We were able to go see some former investigators this past week and just in one day, we walked into 3 homes that had fleas. Like why the people invited us in in the first place is beyond me, but I just went in hoping that the Lord would protect me. Ya'll know that stuff doesn't settle well with me. Fleas, lice, ticks, anything that goes into my body I don't do well with. During all of our lessons I was just sitting there itching and freaking out. Praying and hoping that I didn't get one. Luckily, I haven't found one yet and I think all is well. :)
We had a really good district meeting this past week. It was all centered on the Book of Mormon. I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON. Each member of the district got up and bore their testimony and the spirit was so strong in that room. Ah! Love it! My testimony of the Book of Mormon has increased so much. It all started when I knelt in the Sacred Grove on my senior trip. That changed everything. I have come to love it so much and know with all of my heart that it is true. I hope that everyone is taking advantage of the wonderful blessing that it truly is. It will answer ANY question that you have. I wish I knew of it's true power earlier in my life. I wish that I had gained a stronger testimony of it earlier. It truly has helped me with so many things and has gotten me to where I am today.
This past week I have been able to really reflect on how many prayers are truly being said on my behalf. There are so many prayers that are being said for missionaries, and for me specifically. I really appreciate them. I feel them every single day, and I need them. I am so grateful for the powers being drawn from heaven that are coming straight to me! I am so grateful for the power of prayer. I am so grateful for my knowledge of the atonement, and the ability to gain access to the power that comes from it. A lot of it is through the ordinances of the priesthood and feeling a very real connection with my Heavenly Father through those ordinances and the covenants that I have made with him. There is nothing that I cherish more than my baptismal covenant and my endowment. I know that those promises are real and sacred. I am so grateful for the power of the priesthood. I don't know what I would do without it in my life.
I am running short on time, but I just want you all to know how truly grateful I am for each one of you. Continue to trust and to have faith in all that you do. Continue to do what is right. "When you do good things, good things happen." Never forget that. There is always hope and help ahead! I know that it is through Christ and his atonement that we can be fully healed and fully cleansed. There is not a greater gift. Rely on his grace. Turn to him with all of your heart and he will take care of the rest. I have seen too many miracles on my mission to stop working hard and to stop believing that this is all real. I know that he has a plan for each one of us. Remember that everything is on his timing. I know that he lives, and loves each of you. I hope everyone has a good week. Always remember that there is a Sister in North Carolina who loves you and is praying for all of you!! Be good, choose the right, and HAVE FAITH!! Love you guys so much!! xo

Sister Ky Worthington

August 10,2015

hello family,
Hi hi hi! How is everyone doing? It's already Monday, yay! Time goes by really fast when I look back on the week, but while I'm going through the week, it seems to take forever. I am so grateful for preparation days! I am grateful for the opportunity that I get to share some of my thoughts and feelings with you each and every week. Thank you for all of the love and support this week. I love reading everyone's emails. It's literally like Christmas morning every time I open up my inbox. It's been such a wonderful week here in Waxhaw. Like always, I have so much on my mind! So many wonderful things have happened.
First, Saturday and Sunday was two of the greatest days of my life. Melissa got baptized! It was a perfect day. Literally. I have never felt more true joy in my entire life. Watching one of God's children enter into the waters of baptism was just something that I can't even explain. The second she stepped foot into the font, the tears began to run down my cheeks. I have never felt the Savior's love so strong. He loves Melissa so much and was SO proud of her for choosing to get baptized. I am so grateful that he trusted me to be an instrument in his hands. There is no way that we could've done it without him. It's been so fun to see how the Spirit really works with people. I've never really "watched" the spirit work in the lives of other people. Before my mission I just tried to pay attention to how it worked in my life. Now I am on the other side of the spectrum. I get to witness firsthand the spirit working in other people's lives and I LOVE it. It is just such a strong testimony builder for me. I know without a doubt that the spirit is real. It's so real. I have seen it work time and time again, that nothing is going to make me believe otherwise. We are planning on baptizing Melissa's younger brother Joseph in the beginning of September and I'm really looking forward to that. We have a few other solid investigators and I am excited to see where they go.
Sister Stratford and I were able to have some really interesting experiences! We met a hippy. Like a real hippy. It was really neat. She invited us in her home and we talked all about what we do as missionaries. She was so fascinated. She told us everything that hippies do and it was a good learning experience haha. One that I will never forget. She left us with a lot of coconut macaroons too so that was a nice bonus. Good experience. We also went to go visit a less active that neither of us had met before. When we pulled up to her house, I knew that it was in for a treat. She has 27 chihuahuas and they all live inside with her. She invited us right in and I almost threw up when I walked in. There was dog hair everywhere and it smelt SO bad. I was just amazed. I don't know how some people live the way they do. Ah! It was so bad. Anyways, long story short, we sat down and she was telling us how she would shake our hands but she has really contagious scabies and didn't want to pass them to us. Seriously? Why the heck did she invite us in? You can only begin to imagine how the rest of the visit went. I was just dying to get out of there. I just don't do well with that kind of stuff. The second we got home I jumped in the shower and changed my clothes. So gross. But, we shared an uplifting message with her so I guess I can't complain.
We also did a lot of service this week. We didn't teach as many lessons this week because so much of our time was spent serving! I definitely couldn't complain. We deep cleaned a less actives home and both Sister Stratford and I were so disgusted. Again, one of those times that I just wonder how some people live the way that they do. I am so grateful for my sweet mother and for being clean and organized! I am so grateful that she taught me how to work hard as well. It was one of those times that I was happy I am a perfectionist. It felt really good to help her though and I walked out of her home feeling very accomplished. We have been working with this new investigator named Laurie and we were able to serve her this past week. She is going through a nasty divorce and we went through and organized files for hours. It was a really interesting experience. Lots of details that I won't share haha. Maybe when I get home. :) Let's just say that divorce is absolutely miserable. Mom and dad, Kaiden and Chelsea, never get divorced. Ever. Ah! We served at a retirement home again this past week and that was fun. We paint their nails and sing to them and they absolutely love it. We did some weeding for a pregnant lady in our ward and I got some nice tan lines going. Let's see, we just went about doing good all week and it made me so happy.
We also had a really good district meeting this past week. It was super powerful. We had a ward mission leader come and speak to us. He said that when they (the ward mission leaders) all got together and had a meeting with the president, the number one thing that all of the missionaries are struggling with right now is talking to people. The missionaries are struggling to open up their mouths and talk to random strangers! He basically just said straight up that if you cannot talk to people, your testimony is not sufficient. It was like a slap in the face, but oh so true! Our testimonies are what fuel us and drive us to do missionary work. Our success as missionaries is measured by our desire and our drive to share the gospel. Something that I have really been struggling with is how to help Sister Stratford in this regard. She is having a really hard time opening her mouth and talking to people! I feel like I do all of the talking and I feel like she is not learning. But, when I try to let her have the opportunity to talk, she doesn't do it! It's kind of an interesting situation. She is really good at teaching, but random street contacts and talking to strangers aren't her thing. We've been really trying to work on that lately and I know that it will just come with time. :) She really is great. We are getting along well and she just makes me laugh and smile every single day. She's been really good for me. I have been trying to see every person we meet as the savior sees them. What if this is the ONLY chance that they get to hear the Gospel? It's been really making me step up my game. Everyone needs to hear the message of the restored Gospel. Everyone.
I learned a lot of new things this week in my studies. I studied all about patience this week! It was a perfect topic for me. Patience is simply waiting and enduring, and enduring well. Lately, I have been trying to have patience with all of my impatience. :) It's been quite an interesting thing. Patience is confident, not anxious. Patience is not getting all of the answers right away. We need to be patient for the Lord's time. I have really been frustrated with my ward mission leader because he isn't doing anything! We haven't had a coordination meeting since Sister Stratford has been here and we are supposed to be having one every single week. I have really been praying hard for the gift of patience. The Lord is SO patient with me and it has taught me that I need to be patient with others. I am trying not to criticize others because it might be the very best that they can do. Patience is truly a godly attribute that can heal wounds and souls. It's an amazing attribute of Christ. I have also come to know that sometimes the most learning comes in the waiting time.
When I think of the word "patience" many examples come to my mind. When Christ and Joseph Smith were being persecuted, they both waited upon the Lord and carried out our Heavenly Father's will until it was done. The pioneers also suffered so much and went to so much effort, and why? To what end? For what purpose? Why did the Son of God, his holy prophets, and all of his faithful saints have horrible trials and tribulations even though they were doing the Father's will? Why was it so hard? They knew and realized what their purpose was here on earth. Our purpose here on earth is to grow, develop, and be strengthened. We are to "wait upon the lord." Test and trials are going to be given to us. How are we going to exercise our agency? How are we going to deal with our trials and tribulations? We might not always understand why, but we are to wait upon the Lord and wait until HIS will is done. Waiting means hope and patience. Planing the seed of faith and nourishing it. Pondering on the Holy Ghost and prayer to know what we should do. We need to continue in patience until we are perfected. We need to press forward in faith "having a perfect brightness of hope, relying wholly upon the merits of Christ." Being "steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments." It will be hard to wait, especially when we cannot fully understand his purpose and plan for us, but it WILL be worth it. There are so many questions that I want answered right now, but I know that there is something that the Lord needs me to learn. Waiting on the Lord also gives us a priceless opportunity to discover that there are many who wait upon us. We have lots to do as well. Are we going to be able to be as patient as the Savior, or as Joseph Smith? What has the Father sent us to do? We all have something that we were sent here to do. Have you figured out what that is? There are going to be hard times, and trials. I can promise you that. But, as you develop patience, you will come to understand that the Lord is truly aware of you and your needs. Let it all be up to him. Endure your trials WELL. Patience and faith are closely linked together. One of my favorite quotes is "Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best- better than does God. Or at least, we are asserting that our time table is better than his." We can grow in faith only if we are willing to wait patiently for God's purposes. How can we develop more patience? Re-evaluate your life. When do you find yourself being impatient? Fix it. Pray for patience! Patience is heavenly.
I love being a missionary, I really do. I miss home a lot, and my friends, but I am happy. There is truly no greater joy than helping people come unto Christ. There is a different kind of happiness that is only found on a mission. It's happiness that can't be experienced any other way. I am so grateful that I get to feel of this amazing happiness. I am so grateful for this chance that I have been given to serve and to grow individually. I know that this is His work, and that He is in charge. This church is true. We are so blessed to know what we know. Share it with everyone!! I've gotta run, but thank you again for everything. Mom, Dad, Family, I love you!! I hope that you have a wonderful week. Cole & Kenna, Happy Birthday!! You will be in my thoughts all week. Can't wait to see you. I love you!! xo
P.S. Mom, grandma, the granola was SOOO perfect. I'm going to be needing some more of it. It hit the spot. Thank you so so much! It was a perfect late night snack! I also need another journal. I have almost filled up one big black one. I would like to have the same journal-- soooo, if you get some time in the near future, would you run to deseret book and grab me one. It's plain black, says "journal" on the bottom right corner, it's like hard bound, but spiral in the inside. it's $14.99. If you cant find it, no big deal! Mom guess what! I also learned how to play the organ last week! It's been so fun and now they want me to start playing in sacrament meeting!! Oh the benefits of going on a mission!! anyways, I LOVE YOU!!! You're the best of the best! The cream of the crop!

Sister Ky Worthington

Thursday, August 13, 2015

August 13, 2015

"Let us simplify our lives a little. Let us make the changes necessary to refocus our lives on the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship- the path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness, and peace." {Dieter F. Uchtdorf}

Simplicity is the way to go. Focus on the basics. God, marriage, & family. I know that by applying the basic principles of the Gospel, we can be happy. When we remove the distractions of the World, we will begin to truly see God's hand and learn to embrace how simple his plan really is.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

July 11, 2015

We are all on this wonderful journey called LIFE! Do not get discouraged or get down on yourself. You are enough! The Savior knows each & every one of us perfectly. Through him we can become perfect. As we exercise faith & courage, we will be on the pathway to perfection. ‪#‎becourageous‬

Joshua 1:9: "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."

Saturday, August 8, 2015

August 8, 2015 ~ Baptism~

It's been such a perfect day!! Melissa we absolutely love and adore you so much and are so proud of you!! May you always remember this special day. — withMelissa Epling and Sister-Mary Stratford.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 5, 2015

"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." {alma 26:12}

August 3, 2015 ~ I love you

Hey sweet things,
How is everyone doing? I hope that this letter finds everyone doing well! I hope that you all had a wonderful time in Lake Powell this past week! I am so grateful that you all made it back safely, and that you had a good time! I was thinking about you all week long! I'm sure you are all looking wonderful and sun-kissed! I am just over here as white as ever, all sticky and sweaty. It rained a few times this week, which caused the humidity to bump up a little bit, which was good and bad. This past week was bike week and it was a rough one! I walked up to so many doors looking like a hot mess! No wonder we got a few door slams! Nonetheless, I am grateful that I have a bike to ride, and that my body is capable of going 10-15 miles a day. :) We got our car back on Friday and I have never been more excited. It's going to be a glorious 2 weeks!
Last week was another life changing week. Oh wait, every week is life changing. We had a wonderful zone meeting that I will never forget. I had to give a training on "Missionary Conduct" and I really had a good time studying and preparing for that. I learned a lot, and I definitely know that I was supposed to give the training. It was something that I needed to learn apparently. :) We went over the basic missionary rules.. and I cracked down on my elders and sisters. They have all decided that I am the bold one of the bunch. Which I never really thought I was... but surprisingly I am. I just tell them straight up. I lay it all out on the table and just tell them how it is! It's quite funny actually. Anyways, as the rest of the meeting went on, I found myself pondering so much. We had a zone council, which consisted of all 29 missionaries in my zone. It was the last time that we were all going to be together as a zone because transfers are tomorrow. We got in a huge circle and counseled for a good hour and a half. We talked all about three words. OBEDIENCE. SACRIFICE. and CONSECRATION. And wow was my life changed.
I came to the conclusion that obedience+sacrifice= consecration. We are a very obedient mission and that is something that I have been really grateful for. I am so grateful for what President Craven established. We truly have a solid group of missionaries out here in North Carolina. Obedience is something that as missionaries we always need to be reminded of, but not something that President Alexander really needs to focus on. At zone meeting we really focused more on the sacrifice and consecration part. Sacrifice is truly a principle of power. As we sacrifice, we will be endowed with power. The more we give up, the more power that we will receive, in every aspect of life. Sacrifice has been something that we have done from the beginning of time. It is something that we have been commanded to do. As I have been thinking a lot about sacrifice lately, I have been thinking a lot about what we as missionaries had to give up to come out on a mission. I gave up almost everything that I had to come out here and serve. Everything that I was used too, and comfortable with, I gave up. The only thing that I didn't give up was my testimony of this Gospel. Everything else, I basically gave up. I often wonder why we are asked to give up so much for a mission, but then am reminded that sacrifice is a principle of POWER, and missionaries power to teach and to serve. And- the more we sacrifice and give up, the more power we will be endowed with, so it makes sense why I left my family and why I gave up what I did.
Consecration, however, is slightly different. I have come to know that sacrificing is simply giving up something, or going without something, but either getting it back, or getting something different back in return. Where as consecration is to change ourselves or something forever and permanently, never going back, or getting back what you changed. Consecration is such a strong word. I am truly trying to become 100% consecrated to this Gospel. When I think of consecration, I think of conversion. If we are truly consecrated, we will never go back. We will never go back to our old ways, or habits. We will always strive to be better and we will only move upward. I have been trying to work so hard that I come home at the end of every day completely exhausted. I know that the miracles always come at the very end. The very last door and the very last second of the day, right before I walk in my door at 9:00. If this were my last day in the mission field, would I have given it all that I could've? I don't know if I can say that I had given it my all at this point. I will only get this opportunity ONE TIME. What am I going to do with what I've been given? I have been trying to continually ask myself, "What more can I do?" to lose myself in this work. I have come to know that changing your behavior vs. changing your nature are two very different things. I am trying to change my nature so that when I come home, I am a changed person and a new creature. Not just a changed behavior, that will slip right back into my old life and old habits. If we are truly consecrated, we will have purity. We will live a life full of labor. We will respect our bodies. We will have a life full of service, and we will have a life full of integrity.
I hope that we can all work more diligently to do all that we need to do to become consecrated. It is the INFLUENCE of a consecrated person upon others that is most important. Especially those whom are closest to you. As we truly become consecrated, others will follow. "True success in this life comes in consecrating our lives- that is, our time and our choices- to God's purposes." We need to submit our own will to the will of the Lord. We need to be willing to give our time, talents, strengths, and all that we have to the Lord.
Sorry I am running really short on time. We have had a really good week here in Waxhaw. We received transfer calls last night, and both Sister Stratford and I will be staying here in Waxhaw together for at least another transfer. I am excited to stay in this area, it is just crazy that I will be here for at least 6 months of my mission. I know that I am really needed here though! This Saturday will be my first baptism and I am SO excited!! You don't even know. I don't know if I have talked much about Melissa or not, but she is getting baptized on her birthday, this Saturday! She is a young single mom, with a 7 month old baby, and it's been so fun to see her change her life around! We met her just 6 short weeks ago, and everything has just been going so well! We have been able to meet with her many times a week and have taught her all of the lessons. She has come to church for 3 weeks in a row now, and even bore her testimony yesterday! I will keep ya'll posted!! I love you so so much, I gotta run! Have a good week! xoxo

Sister Ky Worthington 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

July 27, 2015 ~ As now we take the sacrament

Hello sweet family,

Oh how I love you all so much! Thank you for the videos & pictures! You guys are my absolute favorites. Definitely made my week and made me smile. You don't even know what it does for my spirits. I hope that you all have a killer week in Lake Powell!! Enjoy the beautiful sunshine! I'm definitely sad that I can't be there, but, I am receiving more blessings than any of you right now, so I don't even care. :) You are the ones who are missing out!! As long as you promise me that we'll still be able to continue to go to Lake Powell when I get back.. I'll be okay. If we can't, then we will have some issues. That's my favorite trip and you know it's killing me that I can't be there with you all. You'll have to let me know how it goes, just be safe and have fun for me, that's all I ask. :)

This week was wonderful! I learned so so much. I think that is one of my favorite things about my mission. Being able to constantly learn all day long. One thing that really stuck with me this week, and basically changed my life, was what I learned yesterday. Sister Stratford & I went to Ward Council yesterday morning and it was SO good. We were asked to come an hour early because we were going to be doing something "different." We were all excited because we weren't sure what could be so different. I mean come on, it's Ward Council. Can't be that exciting, right? Anyways, we get there and our whole meeting was all on the training from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the 12 Apostles regarding the Sabbath Day. IT WAS SO GOOD. I'm sure many of you were able to watch it, and were able to talk about it, but for us as missionaries, we didn't get to hear too much about it. I know that the Church came out with something regarding the Sabbath Day but I wasn't quite exactly sure what it was. We ended up having a good 2 hour long discussion with all of the leaders of my ward and it was just exactly what I needed to hear. The leaders of my ward are so incredibly strong. They are some of the best members of the church that I know. It is going to be so hard to leave Waxhaw and leave this ward, especially after being here for 6 whole months, and possibly more. This has become home to me. I absolutely love and adore every single ward member. They are like my family! For Pioneer day Sister Stratford and I were able to go to a stake party! We had a yummy cook out and played lots of pioneer games. It was nothing like the way Utah celebrates it, but hey, it was a good day! We also attended a baptism this past week and I got to play the piano and Sister Stratford gave a talk! They were both some activities that switched up the work and it was good to change it up! Anyways, I want to share with you some of my thoughts regarding the Sabbath Day, and what I learned and what the Spirit told me.

First off, it all starts with building our faith in God. The whole reason the brethren came out with this training was to refocus our commitment to the Savior and to keep our members from becoming less active and eventually falling away. There is nothing that makes me more sad than to see people who once had a testimony fall away. That is EVERYWHERE down here. There are so many part families and so many less actives. That is also where we spend a bulk of our time-working with our less actives. In no way are we trying to make them a "project" or even try to get them to come back, we simply just want them to know that they are loved, and that they are in our thoughts and prayers. I know that one day, all of God's lost children will come back. We just have to love, watch, and wait. As members of the church, we have a duty and a responsibility to love these people and to reach out to them. Until their records get taken off of the church, it is our responsibility to love them. They are a part of our family, and we are to love and nurture them! I know that they are really concerned about the lasting conversion of our members. I have truly become converted to this Gospel and I am so grateful that I decided to come on a mission, because I don't know that I would have ever become truly converted, had I not come out on a mission. I know that I probably would've gotten to that point, but it would've taken me a lot longer. Now I can begin my life at such a young age, having a testimony so rooted inside me, that nothing will shake me. We need to do all that we can to become truly converted, and I know that by committing ourselves to refocusing on the Sabbath day and the sacrament, we can become absolutely converted. I have never looked forward to Sunday more in my life, than on my mission. It's been amazing how much more I have gotten out of church now than I ever have before. I know it is because I have NO distractions and I truly know why I am there. It's been so nice to be able to listen to all of the talks really intently and to really be able to focus on the sacrament. Literally, there hasn't been a week that has gone by where the tears aren't just flowing down my cheeks as the sacrament is being passed. One thing that has truly made the sacrament so meaningful to me is PREPARATION. How many of us actually really prepare for the sacrament? How many of us use Saturday to really prepare for the Sabbath? Our focus and our preparation needs to done long before we walk into the church building and long before the priests' get down on their knees to bless the sacrament. Think of the sacrament as an ordinance. It is the ONLY ordinance that we get to do for ourselves, more than once. So often we come to church with the attitude of always looking outward and trying to help others, which is GREAT, do not stop doing that! But, sacrament meeting should be specifically for us. It's the only time of the week that we should be focused on ourselves and how we can improve. How prepared are you individually to attend the greatest and most important meeting that we have in the whole church?

I think so many of us have become casual when it comes to the Sabbath day. I know that I am so guilty of this! It's there every single week, and I feel like it has just become something that we do out of habit and duty. If we miss partaking of the sacrament one Sunday, we know that it's always going to be there the next week. It becomes so repetitive and something that we just 'do'. We need to get out of that mentality! President Craven always told us to say to ourselves, "Careful vs. Casual, there is a difference." And that applies to every single thing that we do. The sacrament should be a spiritual experience EVERY SINGLE WEEK. President Kimball was once asked what he did during a boring sacrament and his reply was, "I've never had a boring or a bad sacrament meeting because I have always came prepared." Oh how I wish I could say the very same thing! But, I can't. I know that it all begins with our personal preparation. If we were truly prepared every single week, we would never have a "bad or boring" sacrament experience. Sundays should look, feel, and sound different than any other day. The food we eat, the music we listen too, the clothes we wear, the way we speak, everything should be different about Sunday. The whole day needs to be different, and truly be a day that is set apart from the rest of the week. Think of comparing the Sabbath day to your birthday! On our birthdays, we wake up feeling extra special! We do different things, that we typically wouldn't do any other day of the year. We reflect on our life, and we make it a day that we won't forget. We definitely treat our birthday different than any other day, right? Now try thinking of the Sabbath day in that same way. Do we treat Sunday with way more respect than we do every other day of the week? The natural man after church would say "shorts & a t-shirt" and the spiritual man after church would say "I need a little bit more." Meaning that his bucket still isn't quite full and he's willing to do anything and everything to get the most out of his Sabbath day. I want you to think about that! I don't want anyone to think that I am chastising you, because trust me, I am just as guilty. I just want to invite everyone to maybe think about how they observe the Sabbath day, and what slight changes that they could make to make it even better and a more spiritual experience. I want you to focus on the WHY and the principles of why we are to keep the sabbath day holy. The world would have us focus on the behaviors and the prophet would have us focus on the principles. After being so spiritually fed and receiving a stronger desire to change my outlook on the Sabbath day, I have come up with a few things that have really helped. I want to invite you to maybe try some of these things! 1. Have a KNEELING family prayer, in your church clothes before you walk out the door to church. 2. Play church music all day long in your on Sundays. Music brings revelation. 3. Refuse to be late to church. Being late is the ultimate act of disrespect. If you're going to be late to church, you might as well not even go. Make a commitment to never be late. We are going to participate in an ordinance. We go to the temple to participate in ordinances. Are we walking in late and chatting super loud in the hallways of the temple? I don't think so! 4. Take time to spiritually prepare BEFORE Sunday to partake of the sacrament. and 5. Come to church with a purpose. Just as we fast for a purpose, we should be coming to church with a purpose. If you are looking for something, you will find your answer at church and it'll be that much more meaningful. If you come to church with no expectations, you won't get as much out of it.

I promise you that as we decide to make the Sabbath day a more sacred day, we will be blessed. We will be a stronger member of the Church and we will not fall away. We will become truly converted to this Gospel and we will enjoy a life full of happiness and joy! My prayer is that we will all recommit ourselves to truly focus our thoughts on our Savior during the sacrament and that we will be able to have a truly spiritual experience each and every week. We are to make the Sabbath a delight! I love you all so so much. I am so grateful for all of your love and for your support. I know that my Savior lives and that he loves each and every one of us. He is aware of our needs and knows exactly what we are going through. I am so grateful for this Gospel in my life and I am so grateful that my Savior has trusted me to share this Gospel with his children. I hope you all have a wonderful week. You are in my prayers! I think of you often, and I hope for the best for each and every one of you. Never lose sight of what truly matters in life. Our relationship with God and with our families. I love you all to the moon and back!! Talk to you in seven! Xo

Sister Ky Worthington