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