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)