Happy Fall! How is everyone doing? I hope that you all had a wonderful week! I hope that the weather has been nice for y'all and that you are enjoying the wonderful beauties that surround us! It's been a bit cold here in Waxhaw, but I am loving it! I love the chilly mornings and enjoy wearing sweatshirts to bed. :) Guess what! It's Monday and do you know what that means? A new ponderizing scripture! This week I chose Doctrine and Covenants 50: 40-42! It's a real good one and perfect for me right now. It's been a really good week, and I'm glad I ended on a good one. Yes, I'm getting transferred tomorrow afternoon. Yikes! Saturday night we got the transfer calls, and sure enough my district leader said I was bouncing out! My heart literally broke in half and I literally started crying, but five minutes later I fell right asleep and everything was all better. President Alexander called me last night and told me that I was going to be called to be a Sister Training Leader (which is basically a girl zone leader) and that I will be over 18 sister missionaries. I am so excited! I have always looked up to my STL's and it's crazy to think that now I will be going on exchanges with sisters, and that I will be giving all the trainings in zone conferences and meetings. I know that I am going to really need to rely on the Lord and that it's going to take a lot of work, but I am excited for this new journey that is ahead. I had a feeling that I was going to be leaving this transfer. I know that my time here in Waxhaw is finished and that I've accomplished what the Lord needed me to accomplish. I have come to love this place oh so much and will forever be grateful for the chance that I had to serve here. There is just nothing quite like you're first area I've decided. I have made so many new friends and have made some amazing relationships! I am so excited to come back and visit everyone. Church yesterday was killer because I had to say goodbye to everyone. I was a complete wreck, obviously, but I am grateful for the many people who have taken me in and wrapped their arms around me. I have truly felt a special love from my Waxhaw ward and it will always be considered "home."
So let's see, so much happened this week! I don't even know where to begin. Oh wait, that's the story of my life every week, isn't it. Sorry if this email is all over the place. My brain is a little scattered at the moment and I'm trying to do a million things at once. The highlight of the week was mission conference with Elder Kopishke. He is the member of the seventy that is over my mission and oh my goodness... he is amazing! It was my first time hearing a general authority on my mission and I was just blown away. The second he walked into the room, you could just feel that he was called of God. We had half of the mission there, and so there really wasn't that many people. It was a very intimate setting and it was great to be able to be so close with him. Since I was playing the piano for mission conference, I got to go shake his hand very first, and then had to run and play prelude music while everyone else trickled in. It was soooo special. He looked at me and said, "So you're the piano player that everyone talks about?" I smiled big and we had a good laugh, and then I went up to the piano. For the first two hours he just opened it up to question/answer kind of thing. It was insane! Missionaries would ask him intense questions and he would turn immediately to the scriptures and just gave the BEST answers. I honestly have no idea how he did it. It was unreal. It was such a testimony builder to me to know that he truly is a servant of the Lord and that the spirit is real. So many of my questions were answered and it was exactly what I needed to boost me up.
He told us to rise up to what we really want to be and to LIVE OUR DREAM. That really made me think a lot. I really sat back and reflected on who I want to become and who my God needs me to become. My mission is just the very beginning and it is preparing me for what is coming next. I am SO grateful that I chose to come on a mission. You have no idea. Absolutely no idea. If anyone of you are considering a mission.. GO. I know you hear that from everyone, but really, it has been the best thing that I have ever done in my entire life and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I am truly "living my dream" right now and know that this is only the beginning to many more wonderful things. Elder Kopishke also talked a lot about the scriptures. He told us that we need to look for the principle in each verse of scripture. He said that we need to focus on three things. First, finding the doctrine. Doctrine will NEVER change. It answers the "why" question. Second, we need to find the principles based on the doctrine. The principles answer the "what" question. Third, we need to focus on the application, which answers the "how too" questions. So many of us as missionaries invite our investigators to make and keep certain commitments, without actually teaching them the why, what, and how too behind those commitments. We invite them to do hard things, without seeing the big picture. The commitments we extend will be a burden to them and they will not be able to succeed unless we do our part and actually help them understand why we are asking them to do certain things. I'm sure this isn't even making sense to anyone, but it was really eye opening for me. It makes sense in my head haha. I need to be a better teacher and make sure that my investigators really understand the doctrine, principle, and the application.
We talked a lot about families again. It seems to be the topic and theme of the whole mission, which I love. I am absolutely not upset about it one bit! It seems like all of our trainings and meetings are all about FAMILY! Elder Kopishke talked a lot about the temple and told us that our work here is not done until we get the whole family to the temple. We are not out here to baptize individuals, we are here to baptize families, and get them to the temple. The temple is literally the house of God. It is there for us to come to know the name of the Lord. (2 Chronicles 6.) He said that the power of Godliness is manifested when husband and wife kneel across the altar and marry under the authority of God- and then have children, and that is how we will all come to know God. The whole reason we are really here is to come to know God, and the only way that we can do that is through ordinances, and through the sealing power. Oh how it got me excited for that day when I can marry in the temple. I have really been trying with every fiber in my being to focus on finding families, because I know that that is what it's really all about. None of this individual baptism stuff!
So, we all were able to have lunch in the middle of mission conference and guess what... Elder Kopishke came and sat down right next to me. Everyone was so mad haha. It was quite funny! We ended up talking for a good 45 minutes and it was literally the best thing ever. I found out he is from Hamburg, Germany and we had a good discussion about Meike and her family! It was so fun to listen to him tell stories and to be able to talk to a servant of the Lord! It was an experience that I will never ever forget. He taught me so many things and told me that he knows God has a specific plan for me! We had a great conversation and I wish you all could have been there with me! As we were getting ready to go back into the chapel for our other half of the conference... I saw this sweet little woman walking down the hall and guess who it was? Sister Garlick from Alpine, Utah!! I ran up and gave her the biggest hug and it was the best feeling in the entire world! Elder & Sister Garlick just got here and they are serving as the medical missionaries in my mission! Sister Alexander told me that they were coming, but I didn't know that it was this soon! I absolutely love that woman to death. Mom, it felt like I was hugging you! I know that she was called to this mission for a reason and that she is going to do great things. I am grateful to have another "missionary mom" who can watch over me and who can be there for me, while I can't have my mama at the moment! Anyways, mom & dad they told me to tell you hello! Do you remember them? :) I'll try to get a picture with them next time I see them and send it your way. Anyways, the conference was great and I learned so much! I also got to play the mission song at the end of our meeting.... and that was the best thing in the whole wide world! I only had 10 minutes to practice it before the meeting... so one of those times that I was really relying on the "spirit of music" as I call it, but it was such a special moment for me and I have really come to see the power that music really does have!
After mission conference I had one of the most powerful moments on my mission thus far. I was feeling quite anxious the previous week and had asked if I could receive a priesthood blessing. All of the elders in my district came into the primary room and pulled up a chair for me! They explained to me that the priesthood is all the same, and that I could choose whomever I wanted to give me the blessing. I felt really impressed to have Elder Gill give me a blessing. He has been in my district ever since I got to Waxhaw, and we have been together the whole time, and so we have gotten really close. The second they laid their hands on my head, all fears, worries, struggles, everything was gone. It was so powerful. Many things were said that were exactly what I needed to hear. Elder Gill told me that I was a princess in God's kingdom and that I have a great work to accomplish here on Earth. During my blessing he told me that there were others on the other side of the veil who were with me right at this very second. OH MY GOSH I have never felt the spirit more strongly. The spirit was so tangible. He said that I have others on the other side who are cheering me on and who will be with me every step of the way. It was such a powerful thing that I can't even begin to describe. I know that it was a blessing coming straight from God and my testimony was so strengthened of the power of the priesthood. I was immediately comforted and ended up having the greatest week ever! Ah! It was so special and I wish I could go into more detail but I don't have time!
The work here in Waxhaw has been moving right along. Sister Stratford and I had a really crazy week! We were able to find a few new investigators, and while I was on exchange with Sister Vargas, we found a new family!! The only problem is that they speak Spanish, and well, I don't. Where's Elder Parkinson when I need him? :) I was grateful that I had Sister Vargas with me for the day and I know that the Lord placed them in our path on that specific day because he knew that I needed someone who could speak Spanish.. but now we (Sister Stratford and her new companion hahahah) are going to have to really rely on the members for help! Thankfully we have a lot of members who can speak Spanish and will be able to help them out! We found a few new people who seem to have some good potential. I am really grateful that we were able to find some new people and build up our teaching pool. We were able to contact our referral Scott this past week, (I can't remember if I mentioned him or not) but he was a referral from a branch president in Virginia and he is sooo elect. He is so ready to be baptized and I'm super sad that I only got to teach him once. We instantly clicked and got along so well and I'm sad that I have to leave him now.. but I hope to see him progress in the Gospel! Miracles are happening everywhere! I am so grateful for members who help us out. We literally couldn't do it without the members. I have loved being out here and have loved seeing how much the members are really involved in missionary work. I am sad that I didn't have that opportunity growing up. It's been so fun to see how excited the youth and kids get when we come around! I absolutely love it! Tomorrow we get to teach seminary at 5:30 am and I'm so excited! It'll be a perfect ending to my time here in Waxhaw! I love the youth of this ward and am so amazed at their diligence and their testimonies.
So yesterday was a crazy, busy, hard, hard day! I absolutely love Sundays. We had a wonderful ward council and I was again amazed at all the wonderful leaders that I have been able to work with. Right now the ward is really focused on family and the sacrament, so that is what most of our ward councils are about. Someone shared a really neat thought about families and it made me think. She said that there are two types of families. The older family, and the younger family. She went on to explain that her first two children were considered the "older family." She read scriptures with them every night, made sure FHE happened, always made church a big deal, and really spent lots of one on one time with her children and helped them learn and grow. They ended up growing up, serving missions, and marrying in the temple. Her "younger family" was a little bit different. She had them a little bit after her first two, and the dynamics of the family changed. Life got busy, the world got a little more crazy, and slowly, these two younger children were being deprived of the most important things and not even knowing it. This mother wasn't spending as much time with them, church, prayer, and scripture study, and FHE were not the top priority, and she wasn't able to nurture them and raise them like she did the older two. Although her two younger children are wonderful and great, they didn't end up serving missions, (which is absolutely okay) they went through a lot of hard times and had to suffer some serious consequences, and didn't end up marrying in the temple. Now she went on to say that that is not the situation for all families, but that it is common in a lot. It is SO important that we focus our lives on the simple things of the Gospel. Family prayer, family dinner, family scripture study, family church attendance, family home evening, and building family unity. Satan is trying so hard to attack members of the family because he knows that that is what God cares most about. Family is everything. Our Gospel is all about families. At a recent multi-religion conference, a pastor of another religion said that the Latter Day Saints do the "family thing" best and have it down! I thought that was super interesting, but so true! We get it, and that is because that is what it is all about! Family family family! We must focus on the basics so that we can remain a strong family in the Gospel, and let that continue into the generations to come.
Crap, the computer is going to time out in 2 minutes. I love you guys so so much!! So sorry I have to cut this one short! I will have to continue next week! I will let you know where I ended up getting transferred too! Thanks so much for all of your love and support. Remember that with God, all things are possible! I have such a strong testimony of this Gospel. I know that it is true. I promise you that it is the way to happiness and everlasting life. Be patient and understanding during your trials and struggles. God lets us struggle because he wants to let us grow. Trust that God wants what is best for us, just as we want what is best for ourselves. I love you all so much. Thanks for everything!! Talk to you in seven! xo
Sister Kyla Worthington
|Two of our favoirite Hall boys|
|NC is all about pineapples...It means welcome? So hi|
|Last lunch with the halls today!!|
|Bathroom Selfie with my favorite sister yesterday at church|