Friday, November 27, 2015

November 23, 2015~happy thanksgiving

Hey fam,
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope y'all had a great week, and I hope you have an even better week this week. I will definitely be thinking of all of you and will be missing you lots. It's going to be a different Thanksgiving without you guys, but thankfully I will be able to join you next year. How is the weather holding up over there? This past week it really cooled down and I have begun adjusting my attire. It's still nothing like over there.. but being outside and walking around all day is catching up to me. My week started off pretty well, and ended pretty well, but I am currently not feeling very well right now, so that hasn't been too fun. This is like the first time on my mission thus far that I have not felt good. I have a high fever and my body just aches.. so hopefully my essential oils will fix me right up and I'll be good to go by tomorrow.
I'm sure many of you saw my last Facebook post, but that was probably the highlight of my week. Pat got baptized! AH! It was so wonderful.
She was really nervous and I literally thought she was going to snap in half when she got put under the water, but the Lord watched over her and everything went well. She was so nervous and when she went under the water she like freaked out and wouldn't plug her nose and it was kind of sad, but super funny at the same time. But, she was successfully baptized and all is well. Elder Craig and I got to sing the special musical number at her baptism so that was pretty neat. You all know I don't sing..... I am the pianist, not vocalist. So it was an interesting experience, but the spirit was there and both Elder Craig & I stepped out of our comfort zones so I know we'll be blessed.
It was a neat experience and I am grateful for all of the opportunities that my mission has allowed me to have. I have been able to do SO MANY things that I would have never done at home, and I am so grateful for all that I have learned. There are so many times that we are randomly called upon to give a talk in sacrament meeting, with five minute notice, asked to share our testimonies on the spot, coming up with spiritual thoughts, teaching gospel principles class or RS, special musical numbers, random emergency service projects, and so forth. The list goes on, and I LOVE IT. I would have not ever done that before, on such short notice, but now I am just always willing and ready and am not even nervous. Somehow the spirit takes over and everything just goes perfectly. It' wonderful. It's funny how everyone just thinks that missionaries are like always prepared with things and can just pull things out of nowhere... it's good stuff.
I am enjoying my new Tanglewood ward, it is just definitely not the same as Waxhaw, but I know that I need to stop comparing. This ward is SO big and there are 600 members, and only 300 active members so there is lots to be done here. it'll be interesting to see how long I stay here. Transfers are in 2 weeks and I actually feel like I may leave. I don't know. I feel like I was meant to be here for Melissa & Pat, and maybe my time is done here. I am not sure, it just doesn't feel like home. We will see where the Lord needs me. I cannot believe that I am already almost done with this transfer. Where did the time go? So crazy. Melissa is doing well, she is just having a really hard time emotionally right now. The one year anniversary of her daughters death is coming up on Dec. 2nd and I know she is not looking forward to that. It absolutely breaks my heart. This will be her first Thanksgiving without her and she is just hurting and it makes me hurt.
I have such a strong testimony of the Plan of Salvation though and I KNOW with everything in me that she will be able to see her daughter again. I have such a strong connection with that little girl on the other side and I feel that she is one of my little companions working right along side with me. It was really interesting because I got this message the other day from her that said, "Strange as it may seem, you have a light around you. You and the two elders have been the only ones. I firmly believe it's addy surrounding you." So, I know that we are on the same page and I know that she can feel her little daughter.
I love Melissa so much and am grateful for the experiences that I have had thus far with her. Pat is also doing well, and we are going to begin teaching her the new member discussions this week. We have FHE with her tonight and I am excited for that. We are going to be teaching the restoration and starting over. It should be good.
Now that Melissa and Pat are both baptized, we are really struggling with our teaching pool. I am super excited they got baptized, obviously, but now we don't have anyone to teach. Some of our other investigators are just not keeping their commitments and not really progressing. It's a bummer. We have been working with this little girl who is 8 years old and it's been an interesting situation. Her father is a member, but hasn't been active for years and her mother isn't a member and has no desire to learn more, but this little girl wants to get baptized and so we have to teach her all of the lessons before she can do that because she didn't grow up in an active home. It has been super challenging to switch the way that we usually teach and adjust it to children. Her attention span is SO crazy and she is all over the place so it has been quite challenging, so if you have any ideas, let me know! Other than that, we are just working on finding and strengthening our recent converts and less actives. We have some really good Christmas things coming up that we are hoping some members will invite their friends too. Finding really begins with the members.
This past week we were able to attend a baptism of this guy named Maricio. One of the sister companionship's in our zone has been working with him and it was the neatest thing I have ever been a part of. They are in the Spanish branch and so the whole baptism was in Spanish. All the hymns, talks, everything. Although I had no idea what was being said, the spirit was so there. The really neat thing about this whole baptism though is that we have a recent convert in our ward who has been baptized for about 18 months and Maricio is his brother. They were separated as children and just found each other 6 months ago.
They are both in their 40's and the RC in our ward introduced his brother to the Gospel and he just got baptized on Saturday. The guy in our ward was able to baptize his brother and after he was put in the water and came up, they embraced in a hug for a solid 3 minutes. It was the best thing EVER. That- is what life is all about. Linking and binding families. It was such a tender experience and will be one that I will never forget. Sorry if that story didn't really make sense...
hard to explain. Anyways, another highlight to my week.
I have been able to have some pretty intense studies this past week that have really been able to open my eyes and my perspective on things. I have been studying the sacrament, and the sabbath day. I feel like I study this a lot, but you can just never study it enough I have decided. This is EVERYTHING. So sorry if I am repeating some of the things that I have already talked about. I just have such a strong testimony of it and cannot hold it in. President Alexander told my that my effectiveness as a missionary and my life long commitment will be impacted most by the way I observe the sabbath day. In D&C 59:9-10 it says, "And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day. For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High." The sabbath day is the way to keep us unspotted from the world.
Think about that. We all have spots, or sins, but through the sacrament and the atonement, those spots can be made clean. But, we have to put forth the effort. The sabbath has been from the beginning of time, and so why does our world have such a problem with it? It blows my mind. One of my favorite quotes is "The importance of a sacred day for man to rest from his temporal labors, contemplate the word of the Lord, and assemble for public worship is a MAJOR item in a person’s spiritual development." I really loved that because of the word major, and how it's so essential for our spiritual development.
"The existence of a weekly holy day is the most important safeguard; it leaves a constant reminder to the individual of his need for spiritual sustenance and his duty before God, and serves as a witness to the world that there is such a thing as revealed religion." Once again, so important for our spiritual growth and development. The sacrament and sabbath day are an eternal principle, and it's important that we use this time while here on earth to develop good sabbath day observance and come to really understand the importance of the sacrament, so we can be prepared.
In 3rd hour yesterday we had a really neat lesson. It was all about how we can better keep the sabbath day holy and how we can make our sacrament meetings more spiritual. My bishopric wrote up a little thing that they are going to give to every person that they ask to speak in sacrament and it was SO good. I will forward a picture to you! I think it is going to really help make the sacrament meeting a more spiritual experience for everyone. I was able to partake of the sacrament yesterday in a different way than I have before and it really changed me. I am different. I allowed the atonement to really work in me and I felt it. "If you approach the sacrament with the reverence and solemnity it deserves, it becomes a weekly opportunity for introspection, repentance, and rededication--a source of strength and a constant reminder of the Savior’s Atonement." I felt my Savior there for me, taking away all of my pain. I am so grateful for all of the amazing examples that I have in my life of good sabbath day observers. Mom, I am especially grateful for YOU and for your desire to ALWAYS make sure that no matter what, you partake of the sacrament each week. It is so important and crucial for our salvation. I would invite you all to go watch the Mormon Message "Always remember him"
and reflect on how you will "always remember" him. Church and the sacrament have been my time and place (besides the temple) to reflect on my mission and my covenants. There isn't anything that we have done that the sacrament cannot take care of. Our covenants are real and are alive. "When we offer our broken heart to Jesus Christ, he accepts our offering. He takes us back. No matter what losses, wounds, and rejection we have suffered, his grace and healing are mightier than all. Through Christ's blood, we literally become his sons and daughters and our DNA connects." One of my favorite quotes is "THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT THAT CAN BE EARNED HERE IN THIS LIFE IS TO BE KNOWN AS A COVENANT KEEPER." And how do we do that? By partaking of the sacrament worthily each week. Okay, enough about that. I have a STRONG testimony of the sacrament and I know that if you let it change your life, it will. PREPARE for that ordinance every single week and put your whole self on the altar.
The next thing that has been on my mind all week is FAMILY. Ever since the church came out with their new policy on same sex marriage & children getting baptized, surprisingly we have actually come across many people who have brought that up to us. It has really made me think about what I believe and how I truly feel about the subject.
And well, it doesn't effect me whatsoever, so why does it really matter to me. We have a prophet on the earth who speaks directly with God. This is what needed to happen, and if you have a testimony of the prophet, then no need to worry. Anyways, it has been really interesting and I am just so grateful that I have such a strong, firm, testimony of the divine nature of the family. The very heart of our religion is to UNITE FAMILIES. That is what it is all about. I was thinking about how grateful I am for my family, and the blessing that you all are in my life. There was a talk I read that was talking about how this sister had never had to live through a divorce, the death of an immediate family member, abandonment, single parents, same sex attraction, infertility, abuse, disease, or an addiction, but through her personal trials and tribulations, and the trials that have brought her to her knees, she said she can understand and can become one with someone who has gone through those things. She hasn't experienced those mortal tests however, but through the lens of a daughter, sister, mother, aunt, cousin, and friend, she has experienced it. I thought it was really interesting because as I was reflecting on my life and my family, I haven't had to go through any of that myself yet, but I know someone that has suffered and has had to deal with and has been effected by every single one of those problems in one way or another. How blessed I feel to have such a wonderful family. I often ask myself what I did to get so lucky. I know that because I have such a strong family, it is my responsibility to strengthen other families and help them become one with me and my family. We really are all in this together.
Right now there is a war going on in the world in which our most cherished and basic doctrines are under attack- and that is the doctrine of the family. When President Hinckley read the proclamation
20 years ago, little did we realize how desperately we would need it now. "The entire theology of our restored Gospel centers on families and on the new and everlasting covenant of marriage. A family built on the marriage of a man and a woman supplies the best setting for God's plan to thrive- The family is the basic unit of society and will be for the rest of time. It is our job to stand up and defend what we know to be right and true because WE HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE that so many people are lacking. If they only knew... I am grateful for the Holy Ghost who has confirmed truth to me on the knowledge of family, and especially eternal families. I wouldn't be here if it were not for the Holy Ghost. I think it is a life long test to figure out who he really is and how he really works in your life, but I am grateful that I have had the past 8 months of my life to figure that out. I still don't completely understand, but I have a much better knowledge than I had before.
There is no surer knowledge than what comes from the Holy Ghost.
That's why to sin against the Holy Ghost is the unpardonable sin, because it's a very perfect knowledge that comes from the Holy Ghost.
And if you deny that, you're denying God. So don't do it. But the spirit is the beauty of its communication, the Holy Ghost's communication, is that it's not limited to words. I have come to know that words are helpful, obviously, in our communicating, but they're also limiting. Some things can't be expressed in words. They're just inadequate. Or They convey it imperfectly. But the Holy Spirit can speak to your spirit directly. One on one communication. It can communicate truth without words. Communicate understanding, communicate a witness. So I think it's even more powerful than seeing or touching or any other way of learning or communicating, hearing, or whatever. The spirit to spirit has the most pure communication towards an intelligence and I think it is our LIFE LONG quest to figure out the holy ghost in our lives and how it operates. I invite you to really pay attention to the spirit this week and see if you can recognize it every single day for a solid week. Every so often we are invited to do something called check your progress, and it helps us be able to evaluate where we are at in many aspects. I would invite you to ask yourself these questions. I changed them a little bit, but you get the idea. Do you feel the presence of the Holy Ghost in your life?
Do you try to discern the needs of those around you? Do you try to notice spiritual impressions and ideas that come to your mind and heart? Do you understand the role of the Holy Ghost in your conversion? Do you follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost to help your family members, and others? Doing that has really helped me focus on what I need to be doing to make sure that I am being worthy of the spirit and how I can use it more in my life.
As this Thanksgiving week approaches, I hope that you will all be able to feel how GRATEFUL I am for each one of you. My heart is so full of love and emotion for each of you. I feel so blessed to be a part of your life. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and I look forward to talking to you all and seeing your cute faces over Skype in 1 month! I cannot wait. I pray for your safety and success daily. Thank you for your strong testimonies and encouragement. They really do keep me going. Let me know if there is anything that I can do for any of you.
I hope you all have a wonderful week. I LOVE YOU!! Talk to ya in seven! Feel free to email me throughout the week and send me photos.
They make me happy!! xo
Sister Kyla Worthington

Oh what a beautiful day for such a beautiful woman!! We sure love you Pat and are so proud of you! May God be with you always!💛

"And this is my gospel--repentance and baptism by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which showeth all things, and teacheth the peaceable things of the kingdom." d&c 39:6

From Sacrament Meeting
Lunch Dates
There was also a video of Kyla and another Guy Missionary Singing bu I am unable to open it.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

November 16, 2015~ Be Happy

Nov 16 be happy
Hello family!

How is everyone doing? I cannot believe it's already Monday. The weeks go by so fast, but the months seem to go by forever. I cannot believe that we are already almost into December though. The holidays are just going to come and go. I hope you all take some time the next few weeks to really be grateful for what we have and for the amazing blessings that God has given us. I have really been full of gratitude lately and am just amazed and the wonderful things that God has given me. I see so many people here who are so lost and it just breaks my heart. Why did I get so lucky and they didn't? What did I do to deserve this?
Sometimes I just wish I could let someone have what I have for one day. I am so blessed and am just so grateful for everything that I have been given. I hope that one day I will be able to give back and really express my gratitude to my Heavenly Father. I am excited for this Thanksgiving holiday and am looking forward to the happy spirits that will be wandering around Tanglewood, waiting for me to come and give them the greatest thing they've ever received.
This past week was unreal. It started off with a zone conference and ended with an amazing baptism and confirmation of Melissa Hannah. What a week! Zone conference was SO good and I was just blown away by what I learned and what the spirit taught me. I just can't even say enough good things about President and Sister Alexander. They are so in tune with the spirit and always know exactly what we as missionaries need to hear. I love zone conferences because I love being able to spend 6+ hours with President & Sister Alexander and really get to talk with them one on one. It is such an intimate setting and it's really nice to be able to connect with them on a more personal level. The whole meeting was all about the SACRAMENT, the SABBATH DAY, and FAMILIES. It was really interesting because it was more of a meeting for US and not for our investigators or for "missionary work" but then of course, he was able to tie it into all of that It was just amazing and once again, I wish you all could have been there.
Lately as a mission we have been really trying to focus on getting the doctrine of christ embedded into our hearts. It's been kind of a difficult thing to do because I wasn't really sure how to really do that. I have been praying my heart out to have it embedded into my heart.... but was still super confused as to how I could really know that it's been embedded into my heart. Anyways, that was the prayer that I had going into zone conference, and guess what? President Alexander did his whole training on the sabbath day and on the sacrament, and ended up telling us that the sacrament is the hidden secret of the world.... he said that it is one of the most signifigant things and will be one thing that will help us get into heaven. It is an ordinance... and so it really isn't any less important than our baptism, our endowment, our temple marriage, or anything else. He went on to say that the sacrament and keeping the sabbath day is HOW we will be able to get the doctrine of christ embedded into our hearts.
Talk about ANSWER TO MY PRAYER. The spirit was just flooding my mind and I was so overcome with love. I know that God really does hear and answers prayers. We just have to put forth the effort and must really have the desire to know and to get an answer. I promise you that YOU WILL GET AN ANSWER. He will always fulfill his promises and will always answer. I have been really trying to LIVE MY PRAYERS and to PRAY FOR INSPIRATION AND REVELATION. We cannot get revelation unless we are truly seeking for it, and making sure that we are worthy. We cannot just expect to get revelation if we aren't even asking for it.
So, I would encourage you to try to do the same. LIVE YOUR PRAYERS.
And pray to do more in less time!!! That's something I have really been trying to pray for. There is SO MUCH to do and not enough time to do it!
I have such a strong testimony of the power of the sacrament. It really didn't mean that much to me before the mission... I'll be honest... I just did it because it was something that we did every week. I have a way different perspective on it now and know that it is EVERYTHING. We cannot miss a week. We just cannot afford that. I am so grateful for the chance that I have each and every week to put everything up on the altar and give it all up to my Savior. Each week I take out my little notebook and reflect on my week. I write down some things that I can do to work on to help lift and inspire others in the coming week. I think about all the wrong things I did and promise to not do them again. I am amazed at the cleansing power that I do feel each and every week and really have come to understand that he has suffered for each and everyone of us. He has suffered for our past sins, and he has even suffered for our future sins. It's interesting to think that our baptismal covenant also took care of our future sins too, if we partake of the sacrament weekly and continue to keep our baptismal covenant. We have nothing to worry about, the Savior has already taken care of EVERYTHING for us. I am grateful for Him and for his personal sacrifice for me. I am grateful for my covenants and grateful for the opportunity that I have to prove to him that I am willing and ready to try my very best to serve him to the end and continually try to do what is right. I cannot wait to come home and share my sabbath with all of you! My Aunt Tami has been one of the greatest examples of a "true sabbath day" observer and I am so grateful for her example and for her dedication to the Lord. It has taught me so much. So, if any of you need any ideas on how you can keep your sabbath more holy, just call her up and I'm sure she will be able to help you. Tami, thank you for your example. I love you & miss you lots!
I have come to learn that covenants strengthen faith. I love chapters 32, 33, and 34 in Alma because it talks about faith. And the people say, 'How do we nurture our faith?' And Amulek and Alma answer in chapters 33 and 34, and one of the things he talks about is being baptized. Now, how does that strengthen faith? How does it strengthen your faith, entering into covenants? Think about it for a moment.
Elder Christofferson once shared that he read an article years ago about Mormons baptizing for the dead. And it said, 'here's what they do...they take rolls of microfilm, they put it in a bucket of water, they pull it out, and all those people are baptized!" Think of all the time we could save! Hahaha.
Well, why doesn't that work? It doesn't work because a covenant has to be individual. The promise we make has to be our promise, and the promise we get back from God has to be to us. Each one of us, individually, by name. So we give the person's name, "having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you". Every soul is so infinitely valuable, so infinitely important, and it is so crucial that each of us have a promise to us, apart from all the rest of the world, that God says to you, by name, "I will admit you to the Celestial Kingdom. You can live with me in heaven, eternally". And we promise we will be obedient to be Lord, and if both keep our promise, (we know He will) then we have total faith. We know we will live again. No matter what's happening now, no matter what trials, trauma we're enduring, we know that in the end, we get salvation because He promised it to me by name. And he promised you by name. And so one of the great benefits of covenants is you knowing that you have a direct relationship with God. You have a promise from heaven. He, apart from everybody else, knows you and He has made a commitment to you. So you can do whatever you need to do. You can go through whatever you need to go through, because in the end, you're there. He saves you. He exalts you. Don't think you're gonna walk up to the door of the Celestial Kingdom and say "let me in" if you don't have that stamp in your passport....that you got that promise by name.
I am grateful for trials and for hard times. We need them. We need to grow so that we can one day enter into the kingdom of God. He knows us and he is aware of every single detail in our lives. We just must exercise our FAITH. Faith is an uncomfortable thing. & so if you're comfortable, you're probably not exercising enough faith. Go out of your comfort zone and see if the Lord won't bless you! As I'm sure many of you saw... my sweet Melissa Hannah got baptized this past Saturday. It was such an amazing day. Oh how I wish you could have all been there. It's been an amazing journey with that girl and there is no doubt in my mind that I needed to be transferred here for her. She has changed my life. I feel like she has given me more than I have given her. She has had a super hard life and I know without a doubt that God has some amazing things in store for her. She just gets me.
She just understands me and I have loved having someone to talk to and relate with. Even though she technically could be my mom haha. When we were going over the baptismal interview questions with her she had a concern come up and ended up having to be interviewed by our mission president and it just so happened to be that since he was down here for our zone conference, he was able to interview her that night so he did not have to drive another 3 hours later that week... and oh my goodness.... that man is full of power. He invited us to be in on the interview for the first 10 mins or so and then invited us to leave and they ended up talking for an hour and a half and when she came out, she was just bawling and President pulled me aside and said, "Sister Worthington, she is ready. She is an AMAZING young woman and I know you two knew each other in the pre mortal world." Tears started rolling down my face and I just felt so overwhelmed with love. Melissa texted us later that night and said that she has never felt more love and peace in her entire life. She said "there is just something about that man and I know that this is what I need to do." It was miraculous. Satan was really working hard on her this past week to try to not let her get baptized but after some priesthood blessings and some TLC, she made it! She did it! It was the best thing I've ever seen. There truly is no greater joy! Thanks for all of your love and prayers on her behalf. We feel them!
We are still working with Pat and she is getting baptized this Saturday! She is just another complete miracle and I have no doubt in my mind that God is real and God is in charge. There is no way that she should even be living right now due to her health issues... and some how he has just pulled so many strings and she has just completely done a 360. I don't know how it's even possible.... like literally. There is no way that she could have just healed the way she did, without the power of God. I am so excited for her baptism! She is 65 years old and just the sweetest thing ever. Most people we talk to that age just always tell us that they are too old to change. But, Pat knows that this is what she needs to do and that NO ONE IS EVER TOO OLD TO CHANGE. I love her to death. She calls me her little cupcake. & she really likes when I wear buns on top of my head because she says that it's just the cherry on top. hahaha. Bless her heart. We are going over there tonight after dinner to have FHE and I'm excited to see her again. Please continue to pray for her. This week we are really going to focus on finding new investigators and building member trust so they can give us referrals. Now that all our peeps are getting baptized... we have to find some more souls! Finding is so hard. But so good. This week we are going to walk around downtown with the elders with clipboards and go around and do a survey and ask people what they are grateful for! I am so excited for that! In a few weeks we are also going to set up a free hot coco stand and play the guitar and sing hymns and invite the spirit that way. President Alexander really wants us to open up and be creative and FIND in different ways. If we keep doing the same things.. we are going to keep getting the same results. Which is lame, so I'm ready to switch things up a bit. :) It could be interesting... but I am looking forward to it.
There isn't a whole lot more happening over here. It's getting colder as the days go by.. but I really do love it here. Me and my companion are fine.... she still really bothers me at times... but I'm getting over it real quickly. She goes home in 3 weeks and so I know that I need to help her really work hard these last few weeks and give it all she's got. She is great, just really hard for me. I am super happy, healthy, and doing well. There is NO WHERE else I would rather be.
This is my kind of happy. I love missionary work so much. It is truly the key to happiness. "You will find that the true key to happiness is to labor for the happiness of others." I love you all so much. Thank you for the extra prayers this week. It helped me get out of my negative spirit and it cheered me right up. I love each one of you so much. I am so grateful for your examples and your love and support. It means the world to me. Let me know if there is anything that I can do for any of you. Sorry I have to kind of cut this short... We went to the mall today with the elders and I had WAY TOO MUCH FUN. It's been a long time since I've been to a mall.... and it felt so good haha. So, we were kind of there for a long time and I kind of pushed emailing aside this week... but I still love each of you and hope you can feel it. I know God lives. I know He is real. I love being a missionary and I will serve him until the VERY END!!! I LOVE YOU!! See you in seven.

Sister Worthington
Love you!

Hooray for homemade spinach & the mall 🎉🎊💚

Saturday, November 14, 2015

From Facebook November 14, 2015

Exactly three weeks ago I met this pretty girl & my life changed. She is such an inspiration & has the biggest heart. Melissa, I love you! I am so proud of you and your decision to be baptized. I know God has a wonderful plan for you and this is only the beginning of your journey! Ready to create some more memories! Today was absolutely perfect.💗 ‪#‎sayyestothedress‬‪#‎iloveyou‬

Thursday, November 12, 2015

November 9, 2015

Hi hi hi!
Oh how grateful I am that it's Monday! How is everyone doing? I hope it's been a good week for y'all back in the 801. I sure miss it over there! It's just not quite the same here. It's been raining buckets for the past week. Every single day. It's been absolutely awful. The skies are so dark and cloudy and it really makes me sad. No one is outside and the whole town just shuts down. Thankfully I am in a full car area. That has been such a huge blessing. It's definitely been a better week, and I owe it all to the atonement and grace and to my Savior, Jesus Christ. He helped me get through this week! I honestly couldn't have done it without him. And, without all of your loving words of encouragement & love. I appreciate it more than you know. Keep it coming! I also received some cute little letters from all of my primary kids in the new meadow wood ward! That was so special. I am so excited to meet everyone and can already tell that it's a wonderful ward. Mom & dad, please tell them thank you thank you thank you. It lifted my spirits so much, and I've got their little pictures up hung up on my wall. It's amazing the spirit that little children have and the I most they can have. Yesterday in church I was playing with a recent converts child in sacrament meeting and was just amazed at the pure spirit that she has. She is the cutest 3 year old I know. I am so grateful for children and cannot wait to have some of my own one day! :) It really made me think of all of my babies in Haiti and all of the scriptures that talk about how we need to "become like a child." They are so perfect, pure, and simple. They just understand life! Okay, sorry to get off on that tangent.
The week was great! I am really starting to enjoy Tanglewood. We've got some good things happening here! Melissa is getting baptized on Saturday!! AH! It's been such a miracle working with her. This past week we had a lesson in a members home and we taught about temples, family history, and enduring to the end. We had a powerhouse couple bear their testimonies of the temple and the power that it has. They have been married for 17 years and haven't been able to have children and it's been a real struggle for them. But, they have received all of their strength and power from the temple. They are temple workers and work in the temple every week, and drive 2+ hours to get there! Melissa lost her only child last year in December and so she has had a really hard year. Her daughter Addison died of cancer at 8 years old. She loves and adores her SO much and every time we talk about families, or children, Melissa just cries and it breaks my heart. I feel for her. I know she is hurting, and I couldn't even imagine what she's experiencing. Anyways, after a great lesson talking about baptisms for the dead and temples, we got a text from Melissa a few hours later and she was asking us if we were still awake. Being an STL, we don't sleep. So, even though it was 11:00 pm, we were awake. :) We told her we were up and asked her if she needed anything. She replied and said, "Sisters, I want to go to the temple and get baptized for Addison the Saturday following my baptism." AHH! Chills just went running through my body! She said she has been praying for this knowledge and comfort for a long time. She was SO worried that her daughter never got baptized and she is so excited to be able to do it for her. The members that have been fellowshipping her are going to take her to the temple next Saturday for her first time. Talk about miracle! There has honestly been nothing that has made me happier. Baptisms are great and all, but I know that the TEMPLE is the goal and if you can get them to the temple within 1 month of them being baptized, their chances of staying strong and active in the church go up by 80%. President Alexander said our work is not done here until we get individuals and families to the temple. I am SO excited. I told her I would come back in a year and be there when she goes through the temple to get her endowment... So mom & dad... Start planning our trip to NC! :) So needless to say, it's been an exciting week. Planning for baptisms is the best. Please pray that everything will work out and run smoothly! I know that I am supposed to be here for this. She's ready to make this covenant!
We are also working with a sweet lady named Pat and she is doing well. She is still super sick but we have lots of members helping her and she is making progress. She is on date for the 21st of November and I'm looking forward to that as well. The elders have also been helping us with her and last week she received an amazing blessing and it was just another testimony to me that the priesthood is REAL. Wow, it was such a powerful experience. I just wish you could all be serving my mission with me. It really makes me frustrated sometimes that you can't be here. I'll have so many stories to tell when I get home, but will not be able to remember everything. You just have to be here! I'm literally in the best mission in the world and will argue with anyone about it!! Robert is doing good. We had dinner & a lesson in a member's home with him and he loved it! He's going to get baptized in December. He is one of my favorites. We just click so well and he's like my second dad. I love him! He's going to be a stake president one day! I'm just feeling it. Not a whole lot of update on him though, just please keep praying that he'll continue to progress. He is from California and has recently gone through a divorce and so is currently just with his 11 year old daughter and trying to get back on his feet! We've met a few more new investigators and have a new family that seems quite promising. Families are the BEST, and I think we've found a jackpot. President Alexander has asked that we EACH individually talk to 10 people per day, and that's really been a challenge, but has brought lots of miracles thus far! :) Which brings me to my next point.
On Tuesday we had MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) in Charlotte! Oh my goodness! It was the best meeting I've had on my mission thus far. I really really really hope I stay as a sister training leader for the rest of my mission just so I can attend this meeting every single month. It was OUTSTANDING. There was 30 missionaries, and president & sister Alexander. We all sat in a circle and met for 6 hours. Towards the beginning, President Alexander said that this meeting might be the most significant meeting he & Sister Alexander will attend on their entire 3 year mission. It took everyone by surprise and we were all so curious as to what was going to happen. Nothing super intense happened, but... we made some huge changes. President took away our standards of excellence, which are the goals set for the whole mission to try to reach each week. He took those away because he wants each companionship to be able to set their own goals and accomplish their own goals. The SOE have been a huge thing for our mission so it'll be interesting to have them gone, but will really help us with setting goals, which is a life long principle! He also said that he wants to start doing distributive leadership and wants to let all of the missionaries be set free! He wants us as leaders to start distributing things over to the missionaries so they can make their own choices and kinda do their own thing. President has a lot of trust in our mission and knows that this could be interesting, but could also be super powerful. Anyways, it was just a really neat meeting and one of those things you can't really understand unless you were there. I did get to see my trainer, Sister Ekstrom and that was SO fun. I love that girl! I saw a few other missionaries that I absolutely love and it was such a good little reunion!
On Friday we had a zone meeting and it will be a zone meeting that I'll never ever forget. Being my first zone meeting as an STL, I was a little bit nervous just because we had to give lots of trainings and lead a lot of the role plays and discussions, but it actually ended up going really really well. The spirit definitely took over and helped it all run smoothly! I love my zone so much! Towards the end of our meeting, my zone leader Elder MauMau got up and told everyone that he wanted us to go into the chapel. He pulled me aside and asked if I would be willing to play the NCCM mission song, along with a few other hymns. What ended up happening was he basically took us on a journey back to the moment when we were filling out our mission papers, and when we got our call, and left on our missions. He read part of his call letter to us and really helped us reflect on the sacred calling that we have. During the middle of his training, he said, "okay elders & sisters, close your eyes. Now imagine you're sitting at your last transfer meeting and that your mission is coming to a close. (And then I started playing the mission song, which is played at every transfer meeting). Then you're on the plane, you see your family, and then you meet with your stake president and are asked to take off your name tags. He told everyone to open their eyes and asked everyone to remove their name tags. It was SO weird, but so powerful. He basically went on to say that our time here on a mission is SO short and it will come to an end before we know it. He told us that we need to take every opportunity we can to serve with all of our whole hearts and souls. The spirit was SO strong and it really made me reflect on the last 9 months of my life and how I'm already almost half way done with my mission. It goes way to fast. President Craven once told me that I have 18 months to serve a mission, and an eternity to think about it. He preceded to ask me, what are those who knew you as a missionary going to say about you? Did you give it all you've got? Did you try your very best? Did you help others come unto Christ? He asked me a bunch of questions and it really helped me focus on what's most important and what I need to be doing, and be focusing on most. I know my mission will impact me for the rest of my life, and I'm sure there won't be a day that goes by, where I don't think about my mission, the people I've met, or the experiences I've had. Anyways, it was a powerful zone conference and I'm ready and determined to work harder than I've ever worked. I'm ready to give everything I have over to my heavenly father and dive into this great work. One of my favorite quotes says, "Our greatest desire for our missionaries is that by the time they return home, all of them will have the new and everlasting covenant written in the fleshy tables of their hearts, that each will personally become an "epistle of Christ". All are capable of doing so, no matter their personal situations or challenges, if they rely upon the Lord Jesus Christ." That is what I am trying to do and I'm really working on trying to have the doctrine of Christ written on my heart.
I was able to go on another exchange this past week with some more sisters and it was like another sleepover and I loved it! I am learning so much from these sisters and they are teaching me so much. It's amazing the miracles that happen while on exchanges!! I love them! I am so excited to continue to work with these lovely sisters and learn from them! They are wonderful!
Let's see, my studies have been good this week, but kind of all over the place. I received a really powerful email last week from Elder Parkinson's mom and she really really helped me and shared some things with me that I want to share with you all! She shared a story with me called "Anchor Points" and I absolutely loved it. It goes like this.

"It was general conference weekend when I received a phone call from a friend. His daughter, Isabelle, was having trouble with her eyes and experiencing trembling in her hands.

She is eleven.

The doctor had found a tumor. It's cancer.

I asked my friend how he was doing. He said, "brave."

I then asked him if he was okay and asked how he was ever going to get through this.

He replied and said, "We will hold onto our anchor points."

I asked, "What are anchor points?"

He said it is the times in our life when we can look back on and know for certain God was aware of us. He explained, the moments when we saw his hand in our life. We write them down in a journal for times such as these. Then, in the hardest moments, we have something to hold on to. A testimony that is sure.

Anchor points. Anchors that will not fail.

What are your anchor points? What do you know for sure? Think back on your life to moments when you have been guided and directed. Sure, you might chalk it up to coincidence but think about that moment when you were impressed to walk outside and you happened upon a friend who needed you just then. Could that have been God's hand?

That's a witness. An anchor point.

And if there was that one, are there others? The sunset after your sister died. That phone call. The way your job lined up. The story you heard in church. That scripture that stood out to you this morning, the one you needed to read right then and there.

Those are whispers from Heaven. Answers. Anchor points.

If they have been there before, they will be there again.

Perhaps it is worth the time to set anchors.

Perhaps it is time.

Little tender mercies or revelations become anchor points in our life and I know we have all experienced some of those. Anchor points are little things that happen that let us know that God is real and that He is aware of us. If something is important to us, than its important to Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father gives us these little anchor points so that when the storms of life come, we will have experiences that anchor our testimonies in the gospel and help us get through adversity. We must use these anchor points to keep us going and to keep our testimonies strong.
We have to remember that our testimonies are fragile & we must keep them going. I know gaining a testimony is hard work and keeping a testimony is even harder work! No good thing comes without effort and sacrifice though! We have to work hard to obtain a testimony, and by doing so, it will make us and our testimonies even stronger. The need for a testimony is these last days is paramount. It's absolutely essential. A testimony is the most precious possession because it is not acquired by logic or reason alone, it cannot be purchased with earthly possessions, and it cannot be given as a present or inherited from our ancestors. We cannot depend on the testimonies of other people. We need to know for ourselves. Our firm personal testimony will motivate us to change ourselves and then bless the world. I came across a scripture this week that I have decided to make my PONDERIZE one for the week! It's doctrine & covenants 62:3 and it says, "Nevertheless, ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you." I LOVE THIS. Each and every time we bear our testimonies, it is recorded and our sins are forgiven. How glorious is that! We best be sharing our testimonies often! Elder Holland said, "Honestly evaluate your personal life. How strong is your own testimony? Is it truly a sustaining power in your life, or is it more a hope that what you have learned is true? Is it more than a vague belief that worthwhile concepts and patterns of life seem to be reasonable and logical? Such mental assent will not help when you face the serious challenges that will inevitably come to you. Does your testimony guide you to correct decisions? To do so, fundamental truths must become part of the very fiber of your character. They must be an essential part of your being, more treasured than life itself. If an honest assessment of your own testimony confirms that it is not as strong as it should be, how can it be strengthened?" I would invite you to really think about where your own personal testimony is at. And how you can make it stronger! President Uchtdorf give us 4 things to strengthen our testimonies. First: Desire to believe. Second: search the scriptures. Third: do the will of God, keep the commandments. Fourth: ponder, fast, & pray. It really is that simple! And if we share our testimony, it will grow. I've noticed that our church is so different from everyone else's because of the testimonies of the members. Our convictions are so strong that we live it, and it shows. I'm sure everyone else has testimonies of Christ... But they don't seem to really "know" like we as Latter Day Saints "know".
I also studied a lot about CHARITY! My eyes were so opened and I learned so much. My new favorite quote is “Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others." Oh how true that is! It's easy to love those who are easy to love. It's more difficult to love those who are different from us, or who may have hurt us. We are all different. We all came from different places and different backgrounds, we all have problems and weaknesses, but we're really all in this together! The test of this life is the kind of charity we develop for those around us. I am here on my mission to develop and work on charity. CHARITY is everything!! President Alexander said, "If we only knew how much the prophets & apostles loved us, we would never want to do another bad thing again." They love like the Savior loves. We need to love like they do, and like the Savior does! I came across 1 Peter 4:8 this week and was amazed at footnote b. AH!! It's a Joseph smith translation and he said, for charity preventeth a multitude of sins... Think about that!!!! As we have greater charity, we will make less mistakes, and therefore be happier!! Do all you can to develop charity!! I'm really trying to love my companion more and I guess one of the things I've learned is that you can have strong differences of opinions sometimes, you can have different personality traits and can be very different people in many ways and yet be one. As long as everyone loves the Lord. Just as long as the Lord is first in each one's life, then you can be one with each other. That love of God is what unites us, what knits our hearts together. There's probably other things on which we could be unified, but I've learned that unity comes when you love God. Keep the first commandment. Love with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. That allows you to be one with your brethren. The church ought to be one, the Lord says, 'if ye are not one ye are not means you don't love me enough. If Ye are not one with each other, your love for me is Inadequite.' So I guess that may be the most important thing. It's important to love God enough that I can love everybody else and be united with them. Those who feel the same serve the same God, and it ends up working out just fine.
I am grateful for the atonement and for grace. I am grateful that I can be cleansed and that even all my bad thoughts, words, and actions, can all be taken care of! We can be cleansed by grace, or in other words, sanctified. When we sin, it has an impact on us, on our being. A negative impact. It does something to us. And when we are forgiven, that grace, that atoning grace...doesn't just take away the guilt! It also takes away the stain, The effect that sin has had on us so that we are pure. We are clean, and eventually holy. So the atonement does both of those things, and grace is the power or the name that we give to the atonement, that atoning power of the savior. Forgiveness...cleansing. Guiltless....spotless. Both of those things come with it. The atonement is everything. Everything we have ever done can be forgiven and left behind. We all need to gain a testimony of the atonement, because in essence, that is the Doctrine of Christ. We must not spend too much time being guilty. Give it up to the Lord. I think so many of us think that repentance is a horrible thing, and we think that we have to suffer, but really, the Savior has already suffered for us. He has already done all of the suffering so that we don't have to do it. When I truly repented of my sins, that was when I became truly converted to the Gospel. I had felt the redeeming power of the atonement and felt the love and mercy of my Savior Jesus Christ. That is when I knew without a doubt that this was all real. When we experience the power of repentance and of the atonement, THAT is when we truly become converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Anyways, okay, this is getting WAY too long. I'm so sorry for everyone that is reading this. Hahahhaha. Please forgive me. I just want you to all know that I have a sure testimony of this gospel. I KNOW IT'S TRUE!! Everything inside me knows it's true and real. The gospel has brought me so much happiness and I will never ever leave it. Another good quote for ya: "Happiness is not having what you want but wanting what you have." I know that Christ is at the head of this Church. I know this is his work and I know that we have a living prophet on the earth today. HE LIVES and I am so grateful for him and for the knowledge of the plan of salvation that I have. Share it with everyone! Share your testimonies. Do not be afraid! Everyone needs to hear this and needs the blessings of the gospel in their lives. I love you all so so much. Thank you for all of the love and support. You all mean the world to me!! Couldn't do this without you!! Let me know if I can do anything for any of you! You are all in my prayers! See you in seven!! Xoxo

Sister Kyla Worthington 
Say hello to Ronnie. He's a great guy!!! One of my new favorite
investigators. Just gotta help him stop smoking.

Facebook Nov 8, 2015

A good friend of mine shared a quote with me and oh how it came at a perfect time in my life. I am grateful for my savior, Jesus Christ who is the perfect example of true charity. I have been praying every single day for the gift of charity and have been amazed at my capacity to love myself & those around me. Pray pray pray for charity & I promise it'll change your life!

“Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others."
|thomas s. monson|

November 2, 2015

Hello family!

How is everyone doing? I cannot believe that it is already November.
What! That is so crazy. I hope that everyone had a wonderful Halloween! My Halloween was pretty good, it just didn't quite feel like Halloween haha. I didn't see one person dressed up until like
5:00 pm. Throughout the whole day we were out and about no one was dressed up. I was slightly disappointed. People are so lame now days.
President Alexander told all the missionaries that we needed to be inside at 6:00 pm on Halloween night for safety reasons. Luckily, we have a set of elders in our apartment complex so we were able to get together with them and hang out. The elders were so cute. On their porch they laid out some blankets, had some good Christmas music playing, had some candles lit, had some popcorn & hot cocoa, and had Apples to Apples Bible Version all set out and ready. We played for a few hours and it was super fun. Way better than trick or treating. On Wednesday we had our ward trunk or treat. It was actually quite dumb to be honest. They had a chili cook off, and Sister Steinagel and I, along with the elders got to judge that so that was kind of fun. I don't ever want to eat chili again though. They also had a little costume parade for the kids and then everyone went outside and got some candy. It was just kind of awkward because I still don't really know anyone right now so I kind of walked around a did my thing.
Unfortunately none of our investigators were able to make it, but we had some members bring some non-member friends so that was definitely good!
This week was particularly really difficult for me. Probably the worst week on my mission thus far. I am really struggling with my companion and it's been super hard on me. I am really trying to work on it and am really trying to figure out why the Lord needs me to be with her. I am not going to go into much detail, because I hate being negative, but we just see missionary work very differently and have been butting heads with a lot of things. She is a super negative person and it really rubs off on me and I don't like it. I know that missionary work cannot happen when there is contention because contention drives the spirit away, and when the spirit is not present, missionary work can not happen. Ah, I'm just struggling. I have been feeling super homesick lately too and really have just not been myself. I feel so horrible having to ask, but I could really use some prayers right now.
I feel your prayers on a daily basis and I really appreciate all of the love and support that I have received thus far. It means the world to me.
Let's see, I'm going to try to change the subject now haha! We are still working with Melissa and she is doing really really well. She is progressing quickly and should reach her baptism date ofNovember 14th. We had to push it back one week because she won't be able to come to church on the 8th, and we don't want her to have to wait a week to get confirmed, so we are just going to push her date back a week. We are also working with a lady named Pat, and she is on date for the 21st. She is really struggling with her physical health right now and she is having a hard time retaining everything that we are teaching her right now, but we had a member who reached out to her and took her in, and now she is living with one of our members and our member is taking care of her. She has no family left and no one to support her, so it's been amazing to see the relief society reach out and help her, even though she's not even a member. We had a few sisters in our ward go and clean out her whole apartment and it was such a special experience. She is a "hoarder" and I cannot believe how much stuff was in her apartment. You would have died. Oh my goodness..
I was blown away. Her bedroom had stuff up to the ceiling, no joke. It felt so good to get everything and to see the smile on her face. She was able to make it to all 3 hours of church this past Sunday and that made me super happy! We are also still working with a man named Robert. He is so ready for the Gospel. He is the one that has been investigating the church for 10+ years and he is finally ready to be baptized. He said he has been waiting for more peace in his life so he can make sure that he isn't just checking his baptism off his list, but having it be a really special experience for him! He told me that he WILL get baptized, and that he cannot wait to come out teaching with us because he is going to have "one heck of a story." We are planning on extending a date for sometime in mid December. I am super excited. He is one of my favorites. We have dinner and a lesson with him tomorrow night in a recent converts home and it's going to be wonderful! My new ward is good, I'm still trying to build member trust and get to know everyone, but there seems to be some great people. The stake president is in my ward and I love his family. We had dinner with them last week and they remind me a lot of my family, and it's been fun to get to know them. There are just some great stake presidents out here in NC!
This past week we were able to have five member home lessons, which are when we bring our investigators into the homes of members and teach them, and the spirit was SO strong in every single lesson. It's amazing the power that comes when we teach our investigators in members homes. The spirit is just so strong and so real. The investigators always notice something different and their progression increases immensely. I was also able to go on my first exchange this past week! I left my area and went to a place called Bethania. The sister I went on exchange with was great! We had a really good time and it was fun to learn from her and switch things up a little bit. I love the sisters in my zone and I am excited to continue to work with them. They are great! We have a mission leadership conference tomorrow in Charlotte and I'm really looking forward to that. It's going to be so good. It's going to be a long travel day, but I'm excited to see President Alexander and some of the other missionaries in the mission that I haven't seen in a long time. I get to carpool with Sister Ekstrom tomorrow morning and I'm excited to see her and catch up!
One thing that I have really been working on this past week is the idea of becoming my best self. I have always wondered what that really means. What does it mean to become your best self? I know that I am to strive to be like the Savior and become like him, but I also know that perfection is not an option in this lifetime. In Christ's early ministry, he outlined how we should live, how we should teach, how we should serve, and what we should do so that we can become our best selves. Lately I have been pondering some questions, that I want each one of you to begin pondering as well! Ask yourself, "Am I what I want to be? Am I closer to the Savior today than I was yesterday? Do I have the courage to change for the better?" I have come to realize that I am not quite what I want to be yet. I am not as close to the Savior as I know I could be, and I definitely can have greater courage.
Therefore, l am not quite my best self, but I am working towards that.
President Craven always told me that this lifetime is a process of becoming. As long as we are trying, and always working on improving, we are progressing and becoming more like our Father in Heaven.
As I have reflected on the past 20 years of my life, I have come to realize that everything goes back to the home and the deep roots of the family. "It is in the home that we form our attitudes, and our deeply held beliefs. It is in the home that hope is fostered or destroyed." I have been so blessed to be raised in a good home, where I was taught good values, and it impacted my life immensely. There have been so many days and nights when I have walked into my mother's bedroom to ask her a question or to tell her something, only to find her kneeling aside her bed, praying. Not only was I taught to pray, but I was shown how to pray. What is important to my mother quickly became important to me. Mother, I love you. Thank you for your example. "I guess you'll never know what kind of influence you have until a child observes you doing yourself what you have tried to teach them to do." One of my favorite quotes is from Gordon B. Hinckley and he said, "The lessons learned in the home are those that last the longest." I am grateful for what I learned in my home because it truly has stuck with me the very longest.
My ponderizing scripture this week is Doctrine and Covenants 25:2 and I'm really excited for it. It's exactly what I need right now. It's the section that is all about Emma Smith and it really hits home to me and has given me a lot of strength the past few weeks, and especially today. I hope you are all still doing a ponderizing scripture and feeling of the power that the scriptures have. Each and every day during my studies I come to love the scriptures more and more. I can now say without a doubt that I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that it really has power and can answer any question that you may have. There have been many nights when I have turned to the scriptures and have received peace and comfort and have been able to get my mind off of all the worries. I never could say that about the scriptures before my mission, but I have come to gain such a strong testimony of the power that they have. I promise you that as you gain a strong conviction that the Book of Mormon is true, it will change your life, and change your outlook on everything. I am a new person because of my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I now know what is most important in life and I now know what it is that I want most in life. Read in the scriptures everyday everyday everyday!!
I don't have a whole lot more to say this week. It's kind of been an emotional week for me and there is just lots on my mind, and I've got to take some time to sit down and rest. I am so grateful for each one of you and couldn't do this without your love and support. It really means the world to me. I am grateful to be a missionary. I am grateful for hard days because that means I'm learning. I am grateful for eternal families and am grateful to be apart of the best one. I am grateful for the atonement and am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. A few nights ago I was having a really hard time falling asleep so I got down on my knees and started to pray to my father in Heaven. I felt the Savior's arms wrapped around me and was able to feel of the love that he has for me. I know that the power of prayer is real. I know that he knows us individually and wants what is best for us. I have full faith and confidence that everything will work out the way it needs too. All we need to do is "trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding and he will direct thy path." (proverbs 3: 5-6) I hope you all have a wonderful week. I hope you can all recognize the Lord's hand in your lives. He is there, and he is aware. Gaze upward. Look inward. Reach outward and Press forward!! :) I love you all so so much. Talk to ya in seven! xo
Sister Ky Worthington