|I Love You All|
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