Wednesday, September 16, 2015

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

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