Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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

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