Thursday, November 12, 2015

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

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