Another week come and gone. Happy October! How is everyone doing? I hope you all had a wonderful week, and a great weekend! Wasn't conference so good? I don't know if it's just because i'm a missionary or what.. but they seem to just be getting better and better every time. I am so grateful for the power of revelation. I know without a doubt that our new apostles were called by God. The spirit testified to me that they are truly who we need right now to hasten this work and change the world. There were so many talks that were given just for me! I cannot even pick a favorite. I really enjoyed them all. It's amazing how much you really take in when you are a missionary. I learned so much and was truly taught and edified by the spirit. I wish we could have conference once a month. I encourage you all to really take what you learned and what the spirit taught you, and apply it. Accept the invitations that were given, and we will truly be blessed. I'm so excited to start "ponderizing" a verse of scripture each week! This week I have chosen Mosiah 2:22! This morning in personal study I broke it down and really studied what it meant. It was super powerful and I invite you to all do the same and then post it on the fridge or write it on your bathroom mirror so you can see it everyday! Let's make it a family goal! 1 scripture a week. I love it!
This week was particularly very difficult for me. It was the hardest week that I have had on my mission thus far. There were a lot of things that happened that I won't get into, but let's just say that I am grateful for my patriarchal blessing, the power of prayer, and priesthood blessings. I finally gave in and asked for a priesthood blessing. It was my first blessing on my mission, and I know it won't be the last. Sometimes I feel like I can't be sad, can't have a hard time, or can't ask for help because of who everyone thinks I am haha. For the most part, I try to put on a happy face and act like everything is complete bliss, but this week I just couldn't hold it in any longer! I am so grateful that my companion was strong and was there for me. She has been a rock for me and has taught me so many things. I know that God has kept me with her for a reason. I needed to learn from her. I needed her example, and I needed her friendship. We are oh so different, but when you both have the same purpose, to love and serve the lord, it doesn't matter how different you are, it works.
Aside from all of the emotions that I've had, it's been such a wonderful growing experience for me. I am grateful that I had conference to pick me up. Each and every week I am amazed at all that I am learning. We have been struggling to find new investigators and the work has really slowed down. It's been quite discouraging, but I know that this is the Lord's work and that everything is on his timing. If I am doing my best and working hard, then I know he will take care of me and he will do what he needs to do. The weather has been HORRIBLE lately and has been really putting some restrictions on the work. We had a ton of hurricane warnings and were told to seriously prepare. Sister Stratford and I were even on bikes this week... so that didn't help the situation haha. We got aprox. 14 inches of rain this past weekend, so it was super windy, wet, and cold. Which brings me to my next point. MOM, I need winter clothes now! It's FREEZING! I literally didn't bring anything with me.. so i'm either going to just drop some money, or I need you to send me some things haha. Mostly just some tights, boots, sweaters, and coats hahah. Gosh. I'm so needy. haha i'm so sorry. I guess I just take some advantage of being in the United States. Those poor missionaries in other countries. I feel so bad for them! But, there is a pair of black combat boots that I have, and those thick black tights that I bought before my mission that would sustain me until the later months. Anyways, none of this matters, I am surviving haha.
Melissa and Taylor are both doing really well. We are hoping to get Taylor to the temple next month. It has been so fun watching her learn and grow in the Gospel. We were able to attend institute with her again this past week and she just asked lots of questions and loved it. It has been so amazing to see her mother come back as well. She has come to church 2 times now and has been so welcomed by the ward and is "back to stay." Not only was it amazing to see Taylor get baptized, but it has been amazing to see one of Christ's lost sheep come back to the fold. I love this work so so much and this is what makes it all worth it.
My personal studies this week were kind of all over the place, due to my all over the place week so I wish I had some super good things to share with ya'll but I just don't haha. Hopefully this letter doesn't let you all down! Please forgive me. I am currently at a zone activity in Charlotte typing this off of my ipad, with no notes, so it's gonna be a rough one haha. We don't have time to go to the library today so that's kind of a bummer. I think you all know how much I love my email time! I just have so much to say and could go on and on and on and on!
The highlight of the week was probably mission conference on Thursday! One third of the mission was able to get together in Charlotte all day long and it was sooo good. Our main training was done by President Alexander's son. He is from Bountiful, Utah and works for the church in the family history department. Our whole conference was all about family history, and the spirit of elijah. It was incredible. That's about all I can say. I learned more about family history in those 8 hours than ever before. President Alexander's son explained that the church adds 1 million+ names every single day to the family history website. He basically told us that if you think your work is done, it's not. He said you can always find new information and new names. It made me really want to get into family history and got me all pumped up! The reason he did the training on this was because he wants to spread the spirit of elijah throughout our mission. They want us to start using family history more in our finding efforts and in all we do. President said that missionary work and family history work are ONE. Neither is greater than the other. The work for the dead is just as important as the work for the living. The FAMILY is one thing that everyone in this world can relate too. Everyone has special feelings about their family. We did lots of role playing and learned how to approach people with the family history attempt. It was really neat and i'm excited to start using it. We were able to all pull up our family trees and look at our families. I had a really spiritual experience with my grandma Joan that I will never ever forget. She was carrying me through this week, and when I went to open my family tree, her name and picture was randomly pulled up. It was sooo crazy and was exactly what I needed. I know that there are really angels among us. I pray for angels daily. I encourage you to all do the same! It's brought miracles!
Sister Alexander also had a training with all of the sisters! We talked all about self worth, and being daughters of God. She mentioned that there are a lot of sister missionaries who are going through a lot right now and need to feel LOVE. She showed us a surprise video that was amazing! Somehow she knows Sister Adeth Kapp, (the old YW president) and she made a special video for all of the sister in the North Carolina Charlotte Mission! It was incredible! She is like 88 years old or something and just has so much power! She recorded herself giving like a 30 minute talk and it was just so unreal. Exactly what I needed to hear. I wish I could tell you everything, but without my notes, it's kind of hard haha. I learned a lot and it was an answer to my prayer.
I want you to know that I know this work is real and that this church is true. Everyday my testimony is strengthened. Everyday I become more converted to this Gospel. The doctrine of christ has changed my life. I am so grateful for my knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. I am grateful for Joseph Smith, and his service and dedication to the Lord. I am grateful to be on a mission. It is the hardest thing i've ever done, but the most rewarding. I am grateful for every hard day. It's shaped me into who I am today. I am grateful for Elder Holland's talk, as well as President Russell M. Nelson's. They really helped me see who I want to become and who God needs me to become. I have so much work to do, but I am excited to learn. I know that all he asks is that we try our best. We have to exercise faith. We have to be strong and courageous, especially in this crazy world. We need strong women. We need good wives, and solid mothers. I know that my mission has helped me become the wife and mother that I need to become. My mission has been so good for me and my life. I have learned to rely more on the Lord, to seek the guidance of the spirit, and to feel an overwhelming love for God's children. My knowledge of the scriptures and my understanding of the doctrines have increased. My desire to be obedient and to keep the commandments with exactness have increased immensely. My testimony of the savior and his infinite atonement has been strengthened. My missionary experiences have become part of who I am and what I am.
I want to thank all of you for your love and your support. I couldn't do this without you. It's been definitely a refining experience for me, and all of my weaknesses have come out, but I have been able to truly figure out who I am and what my purpose is here on earth. I love this work. I love the Gospel. I love my savior Jesus Christ. I love my family so so much. I've got the best one in the world. :) wouldn't change ya'll for anything!! Let me know what I can do for you guys! I hope you have a wonderful week. Keep the faith. Keep smiling. Keep working hard and being obedient. I love you!!
Oh also, President Alexander told me I had to tell you that I'm an AMAZING missionary... haha I have to report to him in my email this week that I told you. So i'm really not, but i'm trying to be obedient. My zone leader, Elder Hutchings, from Beaver, Utah also wants me to tell you all hello, and to tell you how great he is. I love him so much haha. He has been the best zone leader EVER. We were definitely best friends in heaven. People think that he is the "boy" version of me haha. He is just always so happy and full of love. He always has a smile on his face, and he always makes me want to be a better missionary. :)
Well, now I really have to go. I love you so so much. Sending you hugs & kisses from NC. See you in seven. Next weeks letter will be better.. sorry. This is a lot to type from an ipad. Getting really tired. LOVE YOU! xo
Sister Ky Worthington