Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September 28, 2015 xoxo

My sweet family & friends,
I honestly don't even know where to begin. I have never had such a harder time sitting down to write an email. Nothing that I say will even be close to what I am really feeling. I don't even have words to express what I'm feeling in my heart. I hope that somewhere deep down, you will be able to feel of my deep, sincere love for each one of you. First of all, I want to thank you all so much for the special birthday wishes. It was a perfect day. I cannot believe that I am twenty years old. What!? That sounds so old. Now I actually have to say that I'm "in my 20's." Yuck. Anyways, I started my day off with a long prayer to my Father in Heaven. As I was praying, I felt the love that he had for me so strongly. I have lived such a good life thus far and am so grateful for all of the wonderful people that I have been able to cross paths with. I know without a doubt that God places certain people in your life for a specific reason. I am so grateful for each one of you and for all of the things that you have taught me and shared with me.
I was so grateful that my birthday landed on a Sunday, and even better a Fast Sunday! I absolutely love Fast Sundays. During my personal study that morning, I had a very spiritual experience. I was reading in Preach My Gospel about baptism. All of the sudden tears started running down my cheeks. The thought all of the sudden hit me. Twelve years ago on my very birthday, I entered into the waters of baptism. I made my first covenant with my Father in Heaven, and my life was forever changed. Baptism was weighing heavily on my mind this past week due to my interview with President Alexander earlier in the week, (which I will talk about later) and knowing that my sweet Kenna Grace was going to be getting baptized. Then, topping if off with memories of my own baptism. It was a very special moment. Right now in my life is really the only time that I am going to be "inviting people to be baptized." Of course I'll always be trying to bring people unto Christ, but nothing like I'm doing right now. We literally walk down the streets and knock on doors and ask people if they want to be baptized. When will that ever happen again in my life? Never. My purpose as a missionary is to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored Gospel through Faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, BAPTISM, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end." I am inviting people to do the most important thing that they could EVER do in this lifetime, for we know that you cannot enter the kingdom of God unless you are baptized by someone holding the proper priesthood authority. Obviously I've got some work to do. There are so many people who need to be helped!
Now I'll take you back to my interview with President this past week. First thing he said to me was "Now Sister Worthington...is Waxhaw your first area?" Haha what the heck is that supposed to mean? Probably getting transferred next transfer. He went on to talk about the Spirit of Elijah and binding families together... and holy smokes was my mind blown. He basically told me that the Spirit of Elijah testifies to people the importance of eternal families through the Holy Ghost, and that the Spirit of Elijah is more powerful than the Holy Ghost-- when talking about eternal families and the sealing power. He told me that I need to spread the Spirit of Elijah more throughout the mission so that the people of North Carolina will have a stronger desire to be sealed together with their families for time and all eternity. It was very interesting and made my think about some lines in my Patriarchal Blessing. Crazy how the Lord works.
The rest of the interview was all about baptism. President was so bold with me! It was freaking me out! I love him to death but man, was he putting some pressure on me! He told me that there is someone in the month of October that needs me, and needs to be baptized. He looked me right in the eyes and said, "Sister Worthington, Go find your friend that you told in Heaven you would help and bring the greatest blessing into their life.. the Restored Gospel... through baptism." Talk about pressure! He asked me to really reflect on what MY individual baptism means to me right now at this time in my life and that he really wanted me to study the topic of "baptism" this week. So, when it hit me during my studies on my birthday that I was baptized exactly 12 years ago... it was a perfect time to really reflect on what my baptism means to me and everything that has come into my life because of my decision to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I had such a spiritual experience and will never forget it. I ended my studies just having such a stronger desire to be my best self and to be who my Heavenly Father needs me to be. I had such a renewed desire to TRULY live my baptismal covenant and to really try my best do to what I promised God I would do. Actually we made a covenant with God, not just a promise. A covenant is more than just a promise. It's a binding with our Heavenly Father. We break promises all of the time.. but breaking a covenant is a little bit more serious. I also studied all about immersion, and why we were baptized that way and found it really interesting. If you really think about it. Water covers everything! It can get into anything! It fills in every crack and covers absolutely everything. It really reminded me of the atonement. The atonement covers every single thing as well and fills up every little crack. It made me really grateful to know that as we are baptized by immersion, we are completely covered with water, and the atonement can do the same exact thing for us every single day of our lives.
Baptism is so important, we really have no idea and I think we take our baptism for granted. Not only is it essential for eternal life, but it is the start to EVERYTHING. In order to help others get baptized, which is the greatest offering that man can give to God, we have to first be baptized ourselves. In order to make further covenants with God, which are essential to make it back to Heavenly Father, we must first be baptized. In order to baptize for the dead and help our ancestors receive the wonderful blessings of the Gospel, we must be baptized first. To have the sacrament even apply to you every single week, you must first be baptized. Everything in the church truly goes back to your baptism. So I now ask, what does your baptism mean to you? My invitation to you this week is to really think about your personal baptismal covenant and to make some goals to really make it applicable in your life. Will everyone do that? Oh gosh, feel like I'm in missionary mode. Inviting people to make and keep commitments hahaha. Please forgive me. But seriously it was such a powerful experience for me and I know that if you do the same, it will really bless your life and help you to more fully access the atonement in your life, which I know we all need so desperately! During companionship study, I was able to really share my testimony with Sister Stratford on what my baptism means to me and in turn, she shared her testimony and it was just such a bonding experience for the both of us and helped us to have a wonderful day full of the spirit, so I know that it can do the same for you!
This past week we have been working a lot with a man named Britton. We have been working with him for quite some time... but he just hasn't been super committal. He is our next door neighbor so we see him all of the time, and we are like his best friends, but we've had a really hard time helping him keep his commitments. Well, his mother is super ill and got admitted to the hospital this past week and he's really turned to us. We invited an RM to come out and teach him with us and it was the best thing ever! The RM is one of the Hall boys... (which I love so dang much) so it was a really special experience. We went over to Britton's house and began talking to him about the atonement. He was told that his mother has 4-6 months to live and he just kept feeling so guilty for all of the things that he's put her through and feels like he has been such a burden on her. He's like 45 years old and just lives with his mom and takes care of her all day every day... so he's super close to her. Anyways, Cam asked if Britton would like a priesthood blessing and he said Yes. So, right there in his house, Cam went and laid his hands on Britton's head and gave him a priesthood blessing. It was probably one of the most powerful experiences that I've had on the mission thus far. I knew without a doubt that the words that Cam were speaking were coming straight from God. There was no question about it. Those were not Cam's words. It was crazy! I have always felt the power of the priesthood in my life, but not this strongly. Knowing Britton for a good 6 months... I know a lot about him and here Cam was, having no clue who he was... and he said things that I knew Britton needed to hear at that time in his life. It was such a special night and reconfirmed my testimony of the power of the priesthood.
Although I cannot hold the priesthood, I know it's real. I have witnessed it's power time and time again. I have seen it's strength. I have marveled at the miracles that it has brought forth. I have been so blessed to be able to grow up with the priesthood in my home and couldn't be more grateful for a worthy father, and worthy brothers who can exercise the priesthood in my home. It made me think of the lyrics, "Mine is a home, where every hour is blessed by the strength of priesthood power." How grateful I am. Thank you daddy for being a righteous priesthood holder. Linda K. Burton once said that, "Righteousness is the qualifier... to invite priesthood power into our lives." How true that is! It is sooo important that the priesthood power is in the home. How awful would it be to have something happen all of the sudden and not having a worthy priesthood holder in the home to exercise God's power? I could not imagine. Men- stay worthy of the priesthood no matter what. If you are not worthy to hold the priesthood, I would invite you to get worthy. That is the beauty of repentance. There is nothing that is more comforting to a wife and to a child, then knowing that their father, or brother holds the priesthood and can access it anytime, because they are worthy. We as women need to stay worthy as well so that we can receive all of the blessings that come from the priesthood! The priesthood is for everyone! Men, women, and children, and we all need to be worthy of it!
I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like to not have the priesthood power on the earth. The priesthood runs everything! Every ordinance, (including baptism :)) needs the priesthood. The whole church is run under the direction of the priesthood power. Everything has to be done by the priesthood power! How grateful I am for Joseph Smith and his dedication to fulfilling his calling and restoring the priesthood back to the earth. I know we can all magnify our callings more, and recognize that they all are coming from the priesthood power of God. "Miracles are everywhere to be found when priesthood callings are magnified. When faith replaces doubt, when selfless service eliminates selfish striving, the power of God brings to pass his purposes." MAGNIFY YOUR CALLINGS!! It is in the "doing" that lives are blessed, others are guided, and souls are saved. "God's sweetest blessings always go by hands that serve him here below." I LOVE LOVE LOVE that quote. Which reminds me of a poem that I will share with all of you that is very near and dear to my heart.. and that I've been waiting to share.

My Hands.

"His hands chose to lift and drink the bitter cup;

His hands are mighty to save, mighty to love!

His hands worked miracles His whole life through,

and later bled for me and you.

What, what are my hands willing to do?

When you look at my hands, what do they mean?

Are they pure and are they clean?

Are they symbols of the sacrifice my Lord has made for me?

Do they life? Do they love? Do they clasp in prayer to God above?

He's placed trust in me to know His truth,

so what, what are my hands willing to do?

We had a wonderful night at Woman's Conference as well, and I wish I could tell you all about it! We went out to a nice dinner with some of my favorite Sisters in the ward and then headed to the Stake Center for the broadcast! I absolutely loved it! I swear every talk was for me! It was kind of a bitter sweet moment for me.. because I am usually with my sweet mother & sisters, but I was grateful to be here with other wonderful sisters across the country, and was reminded that we are all sister's in Christ, and are all daughters of God. I wish I had more time to go on and on, but I don't, I've gotta get running
I want you to all know how much I love each and every one of you, and how grateful I am for all that you have done for me. I am so grateful for all of your prayers and your support. I couldn't have asked for a better family, and a better group of friends. God definitely blessed me! Thanks again for the warm birthday wishes, it was so magical. Especially that video. Dad, I need you to send that to me pretty please via email. Gotta hold that one close to my heart! :)
Each one of us have the choice to believe that God is our father and that Jesus in the Christ, and that they have a plan for each one of us. However believing that- requires faith. & lots of it. Our testimonies, our peace of mind, and our well being begin with the desire and willingness to believe that our Father in Heaven really knows us and knows what is best for us. I know that we may not know everything, but we know enough. Take what you know, and the rest take on faith! One of my favorite scriptures is 1 Nephi 11:17. "And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things." All that we need to know is that he loves his children, and that we are are indeed, his living children. Everything else will fall into place, and will one day be known. I have such a strong testimony of this Gospel. I know that God lives. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and my Redeemer. I know that the atonement is real. I know that repentance and forgiveness are real. I am so grateful for the power of the priesthood in my life and for all of the blessings that have come because of it.
I hope everyone has a wonderful week and that you truly reflect on the blessings that have come to you through baptism, and through the priesthood power. I hope you will all take the time to prepare for this upcoming General Conference. I am so excited. Spiritually prepare and take time to come with some questions. I love you all so much. Thanks for everything! Let me know what I can do for you! You're all in my every single prayer! See you in seven! xo

Sister Ky Worthington

Sunday, September 27, 2015

September 27, 2015~from facebook

Ah! It's a good day to be alive. Today has been a very special day as I have been reflecting on the past 20 years of my life. Twelve years ago on this very day I entered into the waters of baptism and made a covenant with my Heavenly Father. It was the best decision I've made in my life. I am so grateful for my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and for my Savior. I'm so grateful to be serving here in North Carolina & there's nowhere else I'd rather be!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

September 21, 2015~ I Love You

hi family,
How is everyone doing? I hope that everyone had a good week and that everyone is doing well. I sure miss you guys lots! I cannot believe that my six month mark has already come and gone. Crazy how fast a mission goes. It's so long, but so fast. I don't really know how to explain it haha. You just have go on a mission to really understand what I'm talking about. The weather is still pretty warm and I haven't had to buy any winter attire yet. I can't believe that we are almost in October and it's still so warm. I feel like it's the end of July still. The mornings have been much cooler though and it's been nice to have some cooler running weather. :) I've been liking that! Sister Stratford hates when I tell her that I want to go running because she just walks and is freezing... but when I run it's perfect. Anyways, life is good. I'm still getting some mosquito bites every now and then.. but it's definitely not as bad as it used to be, so that makes me happy. We found a lizard in our house, so that was disgusting. Sister Stratford found a huge green caterpillar on the ceiling in her bathroom and got on a chair to try and catch it and totally broke the chair and fell. It was probably the funniest thing I've seen in my entire life. We were laughing so hard. Thankfully, she was okay. But still, I have never laughed harder. It was a real good time. We had 3 birthday dinners this week to celebrate mine & Sister Stratford's birthdays! Sister Stratford's birthday was on Friday and it was a really good day! I got up and made her cinnamon rolls and decorated the house.. so that was really fun. Definitely made me miss my mama and all of the little things that she does for me. Mom, you taught me how important it is to make people feel special and to "go all out" because it really makes a difference. None of this simplicity stuff! We're all about the parties. Speaking of parties... I turn 20 this week. WHAT. I'm getting so old. 20 just sounds old and I don't like it. I'm excited though. & super glad that I'm only missing one birthday... cause ya'll should know that I like my birthday. It's kinda a big deal, I mean hey. It was the day I was born. Pretty important day. hahaha. Anyways, I'm looking forward to a good week full of miracles!
Now. Oh my goodness. I don't even know where to begin. Honestly, this week was such a blur. So many things happened that I don't even know if I'll be able to keep things straight. I will first begin by telling you all my miracle story! So, I'm not sure how many of you saw my Facebook post last night.. but my miss Taylor Graham was baptized & confirmed yesterday! Yesterday was honestly the best day of my mission. I wish that you all could have been my companion during this last week. So, I ended off last weeks letter with telling you about how we were going to be teaching lesson 3 (the Gospel of Jesus Christ) to Taylor and extending a baptism date. We went over and taught her the lesson and it went really well. We originally extended the date ofOctober 17th, but that didn't work out. Taylor's mom was going to be gone the WHOLE month of October, and there was no way that Taylor would've gotten baptized without her mother there. Her mom was baptized like 20 years ago and has been the only member in their family. It's been such a journey because looking back, I remember this one night towards the beginning of my mission that Sister Ekstrom and I went over to visit Sister Graham and she let us right in and began to tell us how she was so worried about her daughter. She told us so much about Taylor.. and yet we didn't even know who she was or had never met her. It wasn't until August 27th that Taylor's mom reached out to us and told us that Taylor had requested a visit from us.
Anyways, we ended up pushing the date until November 7th because we had to make sure that Taylor's mom could be there and that was the soonest date available. Well, after Sister Stratford and I left, we sent in her date to the zone leaders and within 10 minutes got a phone call from them. They said, "Sisters. Is there any way that Taylor could be baptized sooner than November 7th? Satan is going to get a hold of her and the longer you wait... the worse it'll get. You should call her right now and ask her if she can be baptized on September 27th. (yeah, talk about best birthday present ever) Anyways, we freaked out because there was no way that that was going to happen. We have only been meeting with her for like 3 weeks and have only been able to teach her once a week.. but we prayed about it and decided that we would give her a call. So, after we called her.. she said that she was going to be out of town that day and that it wasn't going to work. She told us that we would just have to stick with November 7th. So, we called the zone leaders back and said that it wasn't an option. Well in the middle of that phone call, Taylor called us and said, "Sisters. I want to be baptized this Saturday." As in like September 19th. Like what. Is this real life? Let me remind you that this was Thursday that all of this was happening. Sister Stratford and I looked at each other and just said no. Like this can't happen. As much as we wanted it too... she hadn't even been taught any of the commandments and hadn't even been to church yet. (and before you can get baptized, you have to attend church at least 2 times) Also, lesson 4 & 5 usually take a good 6-7 lessons to even get through them because they are so long and intense. And, not to mention that it takes a little while to plan everything and coordinate for an actual baptism. It's a lot more than what you think. So much paperwork, have to figure out who's going to baptize, someone to fill the font, talks, prayers, musical numbers, typing up the program, reserving buildings, baptismal clothing, baptismal interview with district leader & zone leaders, refreshments, confirmation... the list goes on. Well, my sis and I talked and prayed about it for a few minutes and decided that we were going to call the zone leaders and figure something out. I mean people typically don't "ask to be baptized..." haha it's just not something people do all of the time so we thought we'd take advantage of it.
After we called the zone leaders, they told us that they wanted to call president and talk to him. They called us back and told us that we needed to call Taylor and go over and teach her the rest of the lessons. So, sure enough, Sister Stratford and I took 3 hours on Friday and taught Taylor the rest of the lessons. Talk about longest, most exhausting, lesson EVER. It was very spiritual, but super intense. After we taught her, we set a date for Sunday, September 20th. We knew that we couldn't get everything planned and ready in one day. It just wasn't possible. But, 2 days.. we got this. President gave us the clearance on EVERYTHING, and we went for it. Saturday morning we picked her up and went over to the church for her interview. Zone leaders said she was more than ready to be baptized and that we could move forward. All of Saturday and all of the remaining time on Sunday was baptism planning! It was absolutely insane! We were running around like chickens with our heads cut off! It was a complete MIRACLE that we had NO appointments that whole day.. like what are the chances. It was crazy! We asked some of the members that have been teaching her with us to give the talks, the man that she wanted to baptize her was available and willing to baptize her, we found a viola and piano and went to the church to make up a musical number, went over to our ward mission leader's house and typed up the program, made 2000 phone calls, bought some flowers, grabbed some pictures from her house, and started planning! IT WAS NUTS. I was in heaven. Sunday morning came and we were ready. We went to PEC and had such a spiritual meeting. The leaders of my ward are absolutely insane. They are so great. I love them so much. They honor their priesthood so well and it just blows my mind how unreal they are. They are truly men of God. 15 minutes before church started, Taylor and her mother walked in. It was the best thing in the world. Taylor's mother recognized so many familiar faces and so many people came up to her and welcomed her with open arms and she was just in tears the entire time. She hasn't been to church in 9 years. She leaned over to me and asked me if she could take the sacrament. It was such a spiritual experience for me. Watching one of God's lost children come back. BEST THING EVER. It was the primary program and they really enjoyed it! Taylor was kinda just in shock the whole meeting, but loved it. Her mom just kept hugging me all day long and it was just so amazing. After church they went home for a little while and Sister Stratford and I started to set up and get ready for everything. The baptism was at 5:00.
5:00 finally came and the whole room started to fill up. It was amazingggg. I was playing the prelude music and couldn't hold back the tears. I honestly still don't even know how everything happened. It ended up being the best baptismal service I have ever attended. The spirit was SO strong. Sister Stratford & I played a really neat arrangement of "I believe in Christ" and I was once again, amazed at the ability that the Lord gave me to play the piano. It sounded unreal. & we literally had 1 hour to practice and basically make up something. Watching Taylor walk into the water was the best thing I've ever witnessed in my life. It was also a huge miracle because usually when you have a convert baptism, you have to do the confirmation of the Holy Ghost the following Sunday in sacrament meeting. But, because Taylor was going to be gone... that wasn't going to work. They next week was General Conference, and the following week her mom would be gone. So, there was no way that she could wait 3+ weeks for the Holy Ghost. So, President Alexander got permission from the brethren to get her confirmed the same day. Like that NEVER happens. So many strings had to be pulled for this thing. Like I kept feeling like we weren't doing this the right way... but then too many things started falling into place that it was just too good to be true. I know without a doubt that the Lord was definitely in charge and that he wanted this to happen! For some reason this baptism meant way more to me than Melissa's. If you only knew the girl that Taylor was on August 27th, and the girl she is today... you would think she's a completely different person. The change that has happened in her life cannot even be described. It's insane. Watching someone change like that just gave me 100% assurance that this church is true and that the power of the Spirit is real. You have no idea. I really just can't even describe to you everything that happened this week. I don't even know if any of this makes sense... haha I'm still like in shock. Anyways, it was a COMPLETE miracle and has changed my mission forever. Sorry that was like a mile long story... it was just so insane. The picture should be on my profile page, but I'll send it too. I love Taylor with all of my heart and feel so blessed to be a part of her life. We are going to institute with her this week and I'm so excited. Institute is at President Hall's house... and I LOVE THE HALL FAMILY. So, I'm excited! Which reminds me of another miracle... President Hall canceled ALL of his interviews & meetings to attend Taylor's baptism. Like what. Who does that? Love that man to death.
Aside from the craziness of this week, I managed to have some really good studies. I absolutely love my personal study time every morning. It has changed my life. Companionship study is pretty good too.. but there is nothing like my appointment with the Holy Ghost at 8:00. :) Elder Holland once said, "A missionary will make or break his or her mission between the hours of 6:30-10:00 am." I definitely believe that is 100% true. If you have effective studies... your whole day is better. This week I studied all about obedience. I received an email last week from someone who said, "Remember obedience is the first law of heaven, the Lord will bless you as you strive to do your best, that is all he requires is our best efforts." That really hit me because it's so true. It was interesting because after I read that, I made an extra effort to be exactly obedient this past week. I set a goal to be 100% obedient in all I do, and try my very best and well.... I was DEFINITELY blessed. Blessed beyond belief. Funny how that works. :) The Lord has provided guidelines and commandments to help ensure our spiritual safety so we can make it back to Heavenly Father. The great test of life is truly OBEDIENCE. Everything goes back to obedience. Everything. I think we could all agree that we have a desire to achieve true joy and lasting happiness and there is one way to do that, and it is by being obedient to ALL of the commandments of God. We all entered into covenants with God that we would obey, yet how many of us fail to do so? We disobey every single day! Obedience to God's commandments seems to be one of man's most difficult challenges. We are all guilty of it. I know I definitely am. It's been crazy to see how many of God's commandments are being broken out here in NC too! It's absolutely insane! So, how do we fix this?
I was reading a talk the other day and came to find out that obedience must be learned. Even Christ himself had to learn obedience. In Hebrews 5:8-9 is says, "Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." If he had to learn obedience, we must learn obedience. To LEARN obedience is truly the purpose of our mortal life. This talk listed 4 ways that we can learn obedience. First, we must study the scriptures! Everyday! We must learn the consequences that come from obedience, whether they be good or bad, and those can all be learned in the scriptures. Second, we must listen too and follow the words of the prophets! & what a perfect time for that as we prepare for general conference! Ah! I cannot wait for conference! Third, we must discipline our lives in ALL things. We must repent. We must discipline ourselves to keep all of the Lord's commandments. And fourth, we must finally learn obedience, as the Savior did, by the things which we suffer. Unfortunately, we are all going to make mistakes and disobey our Father in Heaven, but, that's okay because we need to learn, and sometimes we learn from our mistakes. Most trials cause us to turn to our Heavenly Father for strength and support and in turn, teach us. Any affliction or suffering we are given is directed to give us experience, refinement, and perfection. I know that it takes a lot of effort to be obedient, but it is truly worth it in the end. It is not difficult to keep the commandments of God when we do it out of love. When we do it not because we HAVE too, but because we WANT too, because we love our Savior. Like John 14:15says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." That's really it. How much do we love our Lord and Savior? Are we willing to do all that it takes to obey him? Do we really love him like we say we do? Obedience is so important! Our rewards in the eternities are predicated on our level of obedience. Willing, righteous, obedience leads to celestial life. "Where do we currently stand in relation to the fundamental law of the celestial kingdom-- the law of obedience?" That question really makes me think. I have really come to know that obedience is the most important attribute that any of us could develop. If we learn how to obey, we will have a spot in the celestial kingdom, and I can promise you that. I have such a strong testimony of obedience. I know we cannot all be perfect, but that is why we have our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ. Through him, we can be cleansed and can receive a remission of our sins, and can get up and try again. Sometimes we might not know why we are asked to do certain things, but that is where faith and trust come in. "No commandment is too small or too great to obey." Preach my Gospel says, "As you obey, you increase in faith, knowledge, wisdom, testimony, protection, and freedom." How true that is! There are soooo many blessings associated with obedience. So many.
My prayer is that each of us this week will recommit ourselves to being obedient, for it is the first law of heaven. I promise you that you will be blessed as you keep the commandments of God. As President Craven always said, "Obedience brings blessings. Exact obedience brings miracles." I have witnessed that time and time again and I know that it is true! I am so grateful for the chance that we have to learn how to obey. I am so grateful for the times that I have messed up, that have taught me to learn and to grow. I know that as we truly try our very best, he will bless up and help us succeed. Robert D Hales said, "Of all the lessons we learn from the life of the Savior, none is more clear and more powerful than the lesson of obedience." I hope you all have a wonderful week. I cannot wait to hear from you all next week. Sorry this is so long. I love you all so much and am so grateful for all of your prayers and support on my behalf. I couldn't do this without you! I love being a missionary and I know this is the work of the Lord. Love you!

"in obedience there is joy and peace unspotted, unalloyed; and as God has designed our happiness—and the happiness of all His creatures, He never has—He never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of his laws and ordinances"

Sister Kyla Worthington

Monday, September 21, 2015

September 21, 2015

Happy Six Months!!! Love Ya'll

Taylor's baptism yesterday

P-day shopping today. Bored and had to try on normal clothes. MISS THEM SO MUCH. Shoot me. Hate skirts and dresses hahahhaha. But. It was a good day!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

September 16, 2015~facebook~

"Think of the purest, most all-consuming love you can imagine. Now multiply that love by an infinite amount--that is the measure of God’s love for you. God does not look on the outward appearance. I believe that He doesn’t care one bit if we live in a castle or a cottage, if we are handsome or homely, if we are famous or forgotten. Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely." [Dieter F. Uchtdorf]

This quote says it all. Since being on a mission, I have been able to feel a love that I didn't even know existed. We have no idea the love that our Savior Jesus Christ has for each one of us. Never forget that you are loved.

September 14, 2015~ Be still, my soul

hello family,
How grateful I am for Mondays. I love being able to hear from you all! I hope that you are all doing well and that everyone is enjoying the beautiful month of September. It's been a wonderful week here in North Carolina. Surprisingly, it's still very very warm right now. This morning when we stepped outside to go running was the first time that I've ever been slightly cold. It was so nice. Literally the best run I've had on the mission thus far! It felt so good. I'm excited for it to start cooling down and for all of the leaves to change colors. There are so many trees here and I hope they all change colors! First and foremost, I'm sure some of you have heard, but I will be staying here in Waxhaw with Sister Stratford for at least another 6 weeks. :) Everyone thought that I was leaving.. but I clearly knew Friday night that I was staying. I had this really intense spiritual experience and just knew I was still needed here. It's crazy how the Lord works. I know my time is not done here. I have absolutely loved serving in Waxhaw. The ward members are so wonderful and I am in the best stake in the world. It really feels like home. I know without a doubt that there is someone that is waiting for Sister Stratford and I. I am excited for what is in store and am grateful for this opportunity to continue to learn and grow.
This past week was pretty good. Sister Stratford was really stressed because she was afraid that she was going to have to take over the area, so there were a few break down sessions over the week, but they were good. We have been able to grow so much together and I swear she is teaching me way more than I am teaching her. We were able to have the Sister Training Leaders come over to our house one day and visit with us for a good hour and that was really helpful. I love those sisters! They just helped us feel at peace and reassured us that everything would be okay. We have been dropping lots of investigators lately and that has caused our teaching pool to slightly go downhill. It's been really hard to find new investigators for some reason so we are really trying to work on that! This morning we had a really good companionship inventory and set some really good goals for this next transfer. We are really going to work harder than we have ever worked and help the Lord hasten his work here in lovely Waxhaw.
This past week we had a few member home lessons that were really good! I wish so bad that my family back at home could have missionary experiences like the families here have. We have been able to have dinner with lots of members and we bring investigators along, and then teach a lesson in their home afterwords. It's amazing how strong the spirit is and what it does for the investigator! We have been working with this guy named Chris lately. We met him at the 4th of July parade. He stopped us and knew who we were by the name tags. He said he had never seen sister missionaries before and he was really excited. He thought there were only elders. We set a return appointment and have been teaching him ever since.. just at a really slow rate. He works a lot and so we have only been able to meet with him like once every two weeks. He is so elect though. He was roommates with two LDS guys and just loved the spirit they had. He always asks me why I'm so happy. Every time he sees me he's like, "Sister Worthington, you're so happy today. Stop it." It makes me laugh. He always asks me to describe why I'm so happy and I don't even know what to say. I mean obviously it's the Gospel.. but people just can't understand that until they experience it for themselves. It's just a different kind of happiness. Anyways, he was able to come over for the surf n' turf dinner last week at my ward mission leader's home and it was just so wonderful. While dinner was still being prepared, I sat down at the piano and started playing the hymns and everyone gathered around me and started singing. It was sooooooo amazing. The spirit was SO strong. He even knew some of the older hymns and totally started singing along. I just kept looking at him and knew that he was feeling the spirit. He loved it. He kept asking me why it felt so different at their house and I knew it was because he was feeling the spirit. He also kept staring at the pictures on their wall and the frame that said "Families are forever" and told Sister Stratford and I that he wants nothing more than to marry a good christian girl in an LDS temple. Ah! It was so good. He's been through a lot in life, but we are hoping that we can continue to work with him. He actually lives in Weddington right now (a little town right outside my area) but he would rather meet with Sisters and drives down for our lessons so we are going to continue to teach him and then transfer him over to the elders when he is ready to be baptized. Anyways, where I was going with this was that people recognize the spirit that is in the homes of faithful Latter-day Saint families. Do all that you can to keep the spirit in your homes so that when non-members come over, they feel something different! It's a powerful thing, trust me. You can really tell the difference too.
We were able to teach our sweet investigator Taylor again this past week. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and our lesson was SO good. Ah! I wish everyone could've been a fly on the wall and could've witnessed the spirit that was in the room. It has been such a journey with this sweet girl and I know that she is one of the reasons that I am supposed to stay here in Waxhaw. We have such a special connection. I definitely knew this girl in heaven, I'm not even kidding. After every visit, she always looks at me and wants ME to say the closing prayer. Every time without fail. It's almost impossible for me to say a prayer with her without bawling my eyes out. She always wants to sit by me and always gives me the sweetest hugs. It has been so unreal to see the change that has come into her life, and the life of her mother. Her mom is a less active member and hasn't been coming to church for years. She has been sharing her testimony with her daughter and it's been so powerful! That is definitely the greatest part of missionary work. Seeing the light of Christ entering into the heart's of his children. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW AMAZING IT IS. I met this beautiful Taylor who had attempted to take her life, and was at the very lowest. The night after she got out of the hospital, we went over to visit her. She had absolutely no emotion on her face. She was absolutely silent and had no idea what was going on. We shared a message of hope and I left feeling so sad inside. It absolutely killed me to see one of God's daughters so hurt inside and so lost. Later that night, she received a priesthood blessing. A few days later, she was taught the Restoration. Then we received that message on Facebook about her wanting to be baptized. A few days after that, she was taught the Plan of Salvation and her whole countenance changed. She is a new Taylor. She was smiling, was filled with light, and had hope shining brightly in her eyes. And now tomorrow, she will be taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so excited to continue to work with her. She is amazing. If she chooses to accept the Gospel, her life will be forever changed. I'll be sure to update you next week on how the lesson goes. We are extending a baptism date of October 17th for her. Please keep her in your prayers.
Last weeks studies were all about PEACE. My emotions were a roller coaster last week and I was definitely needing some peace & comfort. For some reason I was so up and down. It was really weird. I didn't like it one bit. I think it was just the anticipation of transfers and not knowing what was going to happen. But, now that I know, I am much happier and all is well. Anyways, I ended up studying all about the difference between universal/worldly peace and personal peace. It was very interesting and I learned a lot! On 9/11 our mission president called all of the missionaries and let them know that there were some groups that were going around that were planning on killing people and that we needed to be careful. I was blown away at some of the things that he was telling us and that that is something that we, as missionaries, even have to think about. 9/11 in the South is a little bit more intense than back home. People are very respectful and very sensitive. It was a really quiet day and there were many ceremonies going on. I can't even begin to imagine all of the people who have suffered from that terrible event. It's made me realize that the world will never be in complete peace, but that WE as individuals can be at peace, even amongst the disasters in the world. Major events such as 9/11 can quickly remind us of how quickly our feelings of peace and safety can be destroyed. Through all of the terrible things happening in the world, are we looking at what's in it for us? Or are we unselfishly thinking about others and what they might need or what they might be going through? As a missionary, I have come to know that we need to be the "right man in the right place at the right time to help those who are suffering." It's a really hard thing to do, but as we sacrifice our lives and our service for others, we will be blessed. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (john 15.13) The Lord has called me to be here right now to help someone who is looking for the Gospel in their lives. If I am not worthy of the spirit and if I'm too busy worrying about myself, how am I supposed to know where I'm supposed to be and what the Lord needs me to be doing? It's the exact same for all of you! One of my favorite hymns is #223 and one of my favorite verses reads, "There are chances for work all around just now, opportunities right in our way. Do not let them pass by, saying sometime I'll try, But go and do something today."
Amid the great and evil that surrounds us, I am constantly amazed at the good that still exists though and the peace that the gospel can bring. Prophets have declared that peace has been taken from the earth and Satan has not yet been bound and still exercises power in this dominion. There are good people everywhere, but there still isn't peace and won't be until "mankind will receive God's truth and God's message... and acknowledge his power and authority which is divine." We've got lots of work to do! My goodness. We better step up our game! I know that universal peace can come to us individually, and through our families as we do what is right and live the doctrine of Christ. "But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come." (d&c 59:23) I know that we can receive that deep abiding happiness and spiritual contentment in our own personal lives, even amidst everything that is going on around us. All we have to do is turn to the Savior and humble ourselves before him. The Savior is the ultimate prince of peace. “His peace will ease our suffering, bind up our broken hearts, blot out our hates, engender in our breasts a love of fellow men that will suffuse our souls with calm and happiness.” Peace is not just a lack of violence, war, conflict, and contention. It is knowing who you are and knowing that we have a Savior who loves us. What are the sources of peace? We cannot look to the worldly things for peace. WE CANNOT. Especially in this constantly crazy changing world. True peace comes through our Savior Jesus Christ. We will stay close to him as we constantly strive to do what is right, exercise faith, repentance, and remember our temple covenants.
I am so grateful for this Gospel. It has brought me so much happiness & peace. Happiness and peace that I cannot even begin to describe. If any of you are struggling to find peace in your life, I would invite you to begin living the simple basics of the gospel. Start over. Repent if necessary. "Repentance and living righteously allow for peace of conscience, which is essential for contentment in this life." Kneel down in prayer and offer up the feelings of your heart to our Heavenly Father. He loves us so much. More than we can even comprehend. He knows what each of us are going through. He is the only one that can truly help us and truly heal us. His atonement is real. I know that he suffered for each one of us, so that we may be able to feel of the peace that he offers. My prayer is that each of us will be able to access the enabling power of his atonement and his true peace. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be serving. I know I say that every week, but I really mean it. There is nothing that will bring more hope into your life than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love being able to share my testimony with those around me. I hope that through my service, I will be able to bring the hope and the peace that the Gospel brings to many lives. Life is so fragile. We have to live for today and not for tomorrow because we never know what tomorrow will be. I love you all so so much. Thank you for all the prayers & support. Let me know if there is anything that I can do for any of you! I hope you all have a wonderful week and know that a sister in North Carolina is praying for you! Talk to you in seven! LOVE YOU! xo
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John16:33)
"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment. And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. (D&C 121:7-8)
Sister Ky Worthington

Go Byu!!!  AHHHHHH (sorry crappy quality)

Emergency Preparedness Fair.  Yeahhhh they let me start up the truck

Fair with my little Phoenix girl

Saturday, September 12, 2015

September 10, 2015

"When you understand the great plan of happiness and follow it, what goes on in the world will not determine your happiness.” |Earl C. Tingey|

I am so grateful for the knowledge of God's plan for each one of us. I cannot even begin to tell you how much peace & comfort it has brought into my life. I know with all of my heart that living the Gospel & understanding God's plan will bring you true joy and happiness beyond comprehension.

September6, 2015 ~ be thou humble

Hi cuties,
How is everyone doing? I hope that you all had a good week, and a fun Labor Day. I heard ya'll went to my favorite place this weekend? I hope you didn't have too much fun without me. The second I get home, that is where I want to go. I miss the cabin so much. I miss being able to get away and enjoy some one on one time with the fam. Don't go too many times without me!
Today was a pretty good day. We went over to the Relief Society President's house and she taught us how to make homemade bread. It was soooo good. I cannot wait to make it on my own when I get home haha. There is just nothing quite like homemade bread and strawberry jam. If you ever want to send me something, I'm all for some homemade bread and granola.... :) We are going over to our Ward Mission Leader's home for dinner tonight and having a surf & turf dinner so I'm super excited for that. I get fed really well here every night so Mom, you definitely don't have to worry. It's been a crazy day full of running around and trying to get everything done so I'll probably have to cut this letter a little bit shorter than usual.
This past week was very different. It was a really difficult week for me, and probably one of the hardest weeks I've had on my mission. There were just lots of little things that happened that made it all seem to crash down. I usually don't like to explain my down days, but this week was just really hard. I found myself missing home a lot, and Sister Stratford and I didn't have our best week together haha. There were a few long, sleepless nights and I'm sure that didn't help the rest of the week. As we are approaching the end of her 12 week training, she has been getting really stressed. If I leave this area, she will be forced to take over the area and she doesn't feel ready for that. It's been really hard because I have been trying to make her plan and make her do things, so that if I leave, she will be ready. There were a few nights that we came home to plan, and she just broke down in tears because she doesn't know where to go and who to see. So, rather than just sitting there all night, I have just been doing most of the planning and it's not good! I've tried to help her but she still just doesn't get it! Anyways, she is teaching me a lot and I have really come to love her, but we've been struggling this past week. Being on bikes doesn't help either. We come in absolutely exhausted and the last thing we want to do is plan haha. But, it's a new week and we've got better attitudes!
Amongst all of the hard things this week, we saw many little tender mercies. We had our "drop" lesson with Doug and that was really really hard to let him go. It's been so fun teaching him and getting to know him, but he is just simply not quite ready right now. One day he will be baptized and will be one of the strongest members of the church. We left on really good terms and he absolutely loves our church and the missionaries. We have become lifelong friends and I cannot wait for you all to meet him one day. I'm sure you saw the post that he tagged us in on Facebook, but he loves us. We have been his favorite set of sisters he's had. (obviously haha.) We also have been working with a girl named Taylor. She is the daughter of one of our less active members. She has been going through a really hard time lately, dealing with depression and anxiety and a serious eating disorder, and has been needing some serious help. Her mom called us one day and asked if we could come over and talk to her. She is 25 years old and is just the sweetest thing ever. We ended up sitting down and talking with her all about the atonement and the hope that can come through Jesus Christ. She has never been into any religion and so we are starting with stage one. We came back a few days later and had planned to just talk more about the atonement and about how God is our loving Heavenly Father. Well, the Lord was absolutely in charge during that lesson because he totally told Sister Stratford and I that we needed to teach the Restoration. That was the LAST thing that we were going to teach her, but the spirit took over and it ended up being one of the best times I've ever taught the Restoration. She was so ready for it! We invited her to begin reading in the Book of Mormon and invited her to pray to ask if Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Well, two days later we sent her a message on Facebook and just shared a little uplifting video with her and later that night she messaged us back and said, "Thank you for the video. I prayed to God last night and asked if he was real and if Joseph Smith really translated the Book of Mormon and I had a very special moment before I went into my treatment today and I know that it is all real. Even though I am still reading and learning, I am thinking that I want to be baptized." AH! It was a complete miracle. We were so excited! We are teaching her the Plan of Salvation tomorrow and I'm so excited. It has been a really neat experience because her mom has been sharing her testimony a lot and it's totally going to reactivate her mother! Ah, God is good. It's been so crazy to see the light of Christ enter into her heart. It's truly amazing what the Gospel can do for people. Experiences like this just really solidify my testimony and let me know that what I am doing is right and true. I will definitely keep you posted on what happens with her.
We had a zone meeting last Friday and that was really fun. We talked all about the Bible and the Book of Mormon and did some follow up role plays from our zone conference. I have absolutely loved serving in this zone and I don't want to leave. It's the best zone in the entire mission! I had a really neat experience because the sister training leaders came up to me at the beginning of the meeting and asked if I would play a piano song at the end of the meeting. She handed me the sheet music and my jaw just dropped. It was "This is the Christ" with seven flats. No big deal at all. Yeah right. Everyone here just assumes that I play the piano perfectly and can just do anything. Well, I ended up telling them that I would do it, and just warned them that it might be a mess. Throughout the whole meeting I was praying that Heavenly Father would help me be able to read this music. Kinda like the gift of tongues, right? When it got time to play, I sat down and just began playing. I had absolutely NO idea what I was even playing, but somehow it worked. It was unreal. Literally blew my mind. I had no idea how it happened, but apparently the Lord heard my prayers and helped me out! It was such a beautiful song and I was so amazed at what I had just done. I said a long prayer of gratitude and will forever be grateful for that tender experience. Such a simple little experience, but yet so profound for me. One of my favorite members of my ward, (Sister Mckaskey) has been letting me borrow her guitar for the past few weeks so I've been able to pick that up and learn some new hymns so that's been fun. We've even been playing for some of our investigators lately, so music has definitely been a blessing my life the past few weeks. :)
After a pretty hard week, I decided to do a week full of studies on HUMILITY and oh how my eyes were opened to a whole new world. It was like the Lord just knew that I needed to study that topic! I learned so much and was truly so spiritually filled. I found myself reading in Mosiah 21 and when I came upon vs. 14 & 15, I knew they were written specifically for me. In verse 14 the people humbled themselves in the depth of humility, crying mightily to God to deliver them. In verse 15, it talks about how God was slow to hear their cries because of their iniquities but of course, he heard their prayers and eased their burdens. It was interesting to me because he didn't take them completely away, but rather he delivered them out of bondage slowly. In verse 16 it says that they "began to prosper by degrees".. in stead of all at once. He couldn't take all of their troubles away because they wouldn't be able to learn and grow. How true is that in our lives? He will answer our prayers NO MATTER WHAT, but won't take them immediately away because he needs us to learn and grow. I absolutely needed that because I just wanted him to take everything away from me, but I know that if he did that, then I wouldn't learn and it would be too easy. We when humble ourselves, call upon the lord, and repent of our sins, he will hear our prayers and ease the burdens of our sins in his own due time. A member of the seventy once said regarding humility, "If you think you have it, you don't." I absolutely loved that! It's so true.
I then asked myself, well, how do we develop humility? The savior gave us a perfect example. When Christ's disciples approached him and asked "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Christ replied and said, "Whosoever... shall humble himself as a child, the same is the greatest in heaven." (Matt. 18: 4,1) We are to become like a child. "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." It's a long process of spiritual development and reliance on Christ's atonement, but it's worth it. By doing so, we will develop the childlike attributes in our life that we need to make it back to our Father in Heaven. Now, the hardest part of this all is not letting pride get in the way. Pride is the absolute worst thing ever, and everyone has it! UGH! Pride is the opposite of humility. Pride causes contention. I feel like this last week I developed some pride, and that is what was causing me to be so upset with the world and with myself. I immediately began to change my attitude and began to work on my humility. What would our life be like if we all possessed greater humility? Imagine a world in which "WE" would replace "I" as the dominant pronoun. Humility also requires sacrifice. It requires us to sacrifice things that we want, or things that we would do, for things that God wants, and things that God would do. If we are truly humble, we will recognize gratefully our dependence on the Lord and the constant need for his support. I have such a strong testimony of humility. I know that in order to be numbered in his church, we need to be humble. (d&c 20:37)
"Humbly submitting our will to the Father's brings us the empowerment of God- the power of humility. The power to meet life's adversities. The power of peace. The power of hope. The power of a heart throbbing with love for and testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ, even the power of redemption." We are to take it day at a time and do our very best. That is all that he asks. My prayer is that each of us may work on giving ourselves up to the Lord and walk humbly with him until the day that we kneel in humility to be judged before him. I hope that we can all realize that we cannot do this on our own. It's too hard. I know that he will all come to each one of us if we just simply come to him and bow our heads in humility. I know with all of my whole heart and soul that he lives. He is here for us. He knows us by name and he is aware of our every single need. As we submit ourselves to him, he will bless us and deliver us out of bondage when we most need it. I am so grateful to be a sister serving in North Carolina. I am in the best mission in the entire world. I am so blessed to be under the direction of President Alexander. We had a mission home fireside on Sunday night and it was just reconfirmed to me that I am in the right spot. I know this is where I need to be at this time in my life. I am so grateful for all of the love and support that I get from each one of you. I couldn't do it without you. Thank you for all of the prayers in my behalf. Let me know if there is anything that I can ever do for any of you. I pray for you all daily. I miss you guys so much. I hope you have a wonderful week. I'll see you in six this time. :) Remember who you are & don't forget to smile. I love you! xo
With all my love & kisses,
Sister Ky Worthington
"Not my will, but thine, be done." (Luke 22:42)

Friday, September 4, 2015

August 31,2015 ~Fear Not I Am With TheeI

I Love You All

My sweet family,

How is everyone doing? I hope you all had a wonderful week! I cannot believe that August has already come and gone. Where in the heck does all the time go? My goodness. I am not complaining one bit though because my favorite month of the whole year is finally here! Hello September!! Not only is it birthday month... but it's also the beginning of fall! I am so excited for it to cool down here. I heard that the North Carolina Fall season is absolutely beautiful. Since there are so many trees here, I am excited to see all of the bright colors. Isn't this wonderful world we live in just absolutely amazing? I am in such awe when I truly look around me and see all that God has created for us. While being out on my mission I have been able to really observe the things around me. It's been such a tender mercy in my life. Whenever I am stressed or upset, (which is very rare) I love to just lay a blanket out on our front lawn, open up my scriptures, and look at everything around me. We are truly surrounded in complete beauty. I would encourage you all sometime this week to just take a minute and enjoy the beautiful nature that surrounds us! It can truly heal your soul!
This past week was so good. One that I won't forget. It was actually mostly the weekend. This past weekend we had a zone conference, and stake conference. Talk about a spiritually uplifting weekend! I was so taught and tutored by the spirit was my bucket was filled! I was also able to spend quite a bit of time with President and Sister Alexander. I have come to love them so much. President and I have such a wonderful relationship! It's been so fun to get to know him and feel of the power that he has. He is truly a man of God. I will never forget some of the words that he spoke to us this weekend. So, now I'm going to try to begin to share with you some of my thoughts. You might want to embrace yourself. This might be the time where you should stop reading my letter. :)
Zone Conference was really good. It's always so fun to get together with the other missionaries in my zone. We have such a solid zone. Sister Alexander's training was all about the power of music. She talked all about the hymns and how music is one of the strongest languages. It is a language that almost everyone can understand. It brings the Spirit of God into the hearts of people! I definitely believe that! I have such a strong testimony of the power of music. She also talked about how the C major chord is made up of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, and how that is how all of the hymns were first formed. I thought that was really interesting. Ever since her training, Sister Stratford and I have been singing for our investigators. Before we begin each companion study, we always start with a hymn, and then read the scriptures that are at the bottom of the hymns. It has really brought the Spirit into our studies and has brought us closer to one another. It's amazing how the power of music brings unity! I have absolutely loved it and I hope that that is something that I can continue to do with my future companions and for the rest of my mission. It has definitely strengthened my testimony of the true power that music has. At the end of her training she invited President to come up and sing a hymn with her. It was probably the cutest thing I had ever seen in my entire life. Oh my goodness. It was adorable! They love each other SO much and I absolutely adore it. Ah! I wish everyone could see how they treat one another. It is absolutely perfect. President's training was all about how we need to use the Bible more in our teaching. A lot of his training was focused on Preach My Gospel Chapter 5: The Book of Mormon. As missionaries we focus so heavily on the Book of Mormon, which is good, but, we are in the Bible belt and we need to be using the Bible more in our teaching! It was a very interesting training but it was really good! He went over 1 Nephi 13 in depth with us and I was amazed at everything that is in that chapter. I never carry my quad around because it's just too big and doesn't fit in my bag, but after his training, I have repented! It's been amazing to see how the Lord has helped me use it more, even in the past few days! I have been able to open up the Bible a lot more and relate it to the Book of Mormon. It's been wonderful and has actually been teaching me a lot. It's amazing how much the two books really do work together, and how they really do support and exhort each other.
President Hall also spoke at our Zone Conference and talked all about D&C chapter 4. It was such a good training! He talked all about how this is the last time the Lord is pruning his vineyard and that we need to catch the vision! The Gospel needs to be sent out! The Lord needs more than a sickle. He needs concubines! I have been really trying to catch the vision of this marvelous work that I am called too! The church is built one by one. One covenant at a time.Heavenly Father knows the number of his children and is counting them one by one as they enter into a covenant with him, and I am able to have a part in that! How remarkable! Towards the end of his training, he ended by asking us a question. He said, "When have you been the happiest?" That question really hit me hard and I really had to think about it. My mind kept going to three things. 1. When I was in Haiti. 2. When I was sitting in the Celestial room with my family. & 3. Being on my mission. I finally feel like I'm living IN the world and not OF the world. I have lived a REALLY good life and have experienced some really incredible things but the things that have brought me the most happiness has all gone back to when I was serving, and when I have been with my family. It's amazing how simple it really is to receive true and complete happiness. Anyways, It was a really good training and helped me refocus all of my energy to serving my Savior Jesus Christ with all of my "heart, mind, might, and strength."
The Charlotte South Stake theme this year is "Faith over Fear." I have absolutely loved studying more about the power behind that statement. The Stake President is actually in the Waxhaw Ward and so we have been able to spend a lot of time with him and his sweet family. I LOVE THEM. They are probably my favorite people that I have met thus far on my mission. They grew up in Utah, and moved to the South about 18 years ago. President and Sister Hall have 8 children and are just the perfect family. They are my kind of people. I have been able to create some really solid relationships with some of their children and it's been so fun to hang out with them! President Hall is one of the wealthiest guys in all of Charlotte and is very well known around here. They always have us over for dinner and I just love them. Anyways, that was a complete side note, but hey, details are good. But, since we have been able to eat with them often, we are always talking about the phrase "Faith over Fear." I want you to all think about that phrase. What does it mean to you?
Of course, our whole Stake Conference was centered around that theme. I learned so so so so much. There is two different types of fear. Godly fear and just fear. Godly fear is good, and should be something that we fear. Godly fear is awe, reverence, and worship. Fear is the natural man's reaction to the unexpected situation. One of our biggest challenges in this life seems to be fear. Fear of the future. Fear of failure. Fear of not knowing who we are or who we can become. In the Gospel of Jesus Christ, fear is the opposite of faith. If you have fear, faith diminishes, but if you have faith, fear diminishes. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we do not need to fear! We need not fear death because we know God's Plan of Salvation. We need not fear what man can do because we know that God is on our side. We need not fear the future because we know that if we keep the commandments, God will bless us. We need to hush our fears because Christ's doctrine provides purpose and direction in all aspects of life. His covenants can comfort us in both the good and the bad. His priesthood authority gives us assurance that what matters most can endure both in time and in eternity. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) We need not fear! Remember D&C6:36? Doubt not, fear not! We will all have trials in this life, it's just given. We know it's going to happen. We've all got mountains to climb. But, we've got to climb to the top though to see the great view. It is going to take faith. We are all responsible for our own faith, and our own lack of it as well. Whenever I see someone walking down the street and I feel the need to share my testimony with them, I also feel a stab of fear. I learned to identify the source of my fear. The source of my fear was the "unworthy of a child of God fear" and my faith was lacking. I was taken to a scripture in Psalms that really helped me! "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust, I will not fear what flesh can do unto me." I wanted to chose to follow Christ. Time after time, God took my imperfect efforts to share the Gospel and worked miracles through my words and actions.
We also had the Columbia, South Carolina Temple President speak to us and it was such a powerful talk. I felt the spirit so strongly. He told a story about a young mother and father who came up to him in the temple earlier that day and wanted to talk to him. They mentioned that there 12 year old son had just committed suicide and the parents were feeling so much guilt and didn't know what to do. He asked them if their son was born under the covenant and if he had been baptized. The parents answered yes to both questions, and said that just a few weeks ago their young boy was here in the temple doing baptisms for the dead. The temple president then looked at the parents and said, "Right now I would like you to go do the initiatory and the endowment for your son." He went on to say that their son is absolutely saved and will be able to enter the kingdom of God. He shared Alma 7:11-12 with them and told them to give all of their guilt to the Savior. "....pain and afflictions of EVERY kind......" He has been through EVERY SINGLE THING. We must not forget that. It was just such a powerful talk on the atonement and on the blessings of the temple. We can't even comprehend all of the blessings of the temple right now. We have no idea. He challenged everyone to get to the temple time and time again! He said that the earlier you go in the month, the more you will want to go. The later in the month you go, the more you will feel like you "have" to go. I thought that was really interesting! I miss the temple so much. I hope all of you are really taking full advantage of the blessings of the temple. There is no where else that you can feel more peace and more joy. I encourage you all to try to get there as often as possible.
President Alexander also got up in Stake Conference and taught the whole restoration! It was so so good! Oh my goodness, everyone was in awe. He talked about how we are all on a search and rescue mission to find Jesus Christ. What are we doing to find Jesus Christ? He had all of the missionaries in our stake come up on the stand and told the whole stake to turn to the missionaries for help. He gave us such great compliments and it was such an incredible feeling to stand up in front of hundreds of people and know that I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I am helping people find Jesus Christ. It was something that I will never forget. I know that there will be no other time in my life when I will be able to stand up with a name tag on my shirt, representing my Savior Jesus Christ. This is the only time to do this alone, for me, and for the people of North Carolina. The spirit was so strong and it was something that really hit me. I am so grateful for this wonderful journey that I have embarked on.
I know with all of my heart that this is Christ's true church. I am so grateful that we have the knowledge of the Restored Gospel back on the Earth. God wants us to each be restored, just like he restored this church. I know that he lives. I know that he loves each one of us. I know that complete happiness and joy is only found through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful to be serving here in North Carolina. Being a sister is the best thing in the entire world. I am so grateful for my Savior and that he trusts me to carry out his work. I love each one of you so much. Thank you for all of your love and support. I couldn't do it without you! I hope everyone has a wonderful week! I pray that we may all remember the wonderful quote by President Uchtdorf, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." See you in seven! I LOVE YOU! xo
Sister Ky Worthington