Saturday, February 27, 2016

February 22, 2016

Life is too good. :)

Hello my favorite people!

How is everyone doing? I hope you all had a great week. It's been a quick week. It seems like I was just here at the church emailing y'all. I guess that's what happens when you have a preparation day on a Tuesday. It definitely makes a difference. It has been a great week here in the beautiful land of Tanglewood and I am so grateful to be a missionary. I love love love love being a sister missionary. There is nothing else I would rather be doing at this time in my life. The spirit I feel on a day to day, hour to hour basis, and the people I meet and the experiences I have make this whole adventure worth it. I just need you to all be here with me. Let's all go on a huge family mission. Maybe to Haiti...? :) I still can't wait to get back there either. That is my second home away from home.
Each week I am having a harder and harder time trying to figure out what to email to y'all. The weeks are full of so much stuff, but also a lot of similar stuff. I am just out here doing missionary work.
There's nothing more to it. :) I am sorry if my emails have been struggling lately haha.. I really just don't know what else to update you on. We were able to go on two exchanges this week and that was fun, but overwhelming. I stayed in my area both times, but did get to have Sister Stratford with me, so that was super fun. It was weird being with an old companion for a little bit. We were able to see lots and lots of miracles, but it felt really good to have Sister Cottis and Sister Corrigan come back. :) It's just not the same. It's amazing to see how the Lord is really involved in this work. Even though I served with Sister Stratford for a good 4 months, it's amazing the difference that I felt. She is not my companion anymore and you can tell. The spirit is just different. It's amazing how the Lord runs your companionship and it is almost like there is a mandate over the companionship. I don't really know how to explain it, but teaching, finding, planning, everything just runs smoothly when you have your assigned companion. I love my two sisters. :) Sister Corrigan goes home in a week and then we will be back to two. I don't know if President will keep Sister Cottis and I here, but I am definitely hoping that we get to stay at least one more. However, we did find out this past Sunday that the Tanglewood Ward is splitting... So I don't know what is going to happen with that whole situation. It's kind of freaking me out. There is 600 members, so it's about time that it gets split.. But I don't know what they are going to do with the missionaries. I hope we can stay! :)
We had a wonderful zone conference and I learned so much. It is always so good to be with President and Sister Alexander. We were able to do a training on building member relationships and building member trust and I thought that went really really well. We didn't have a whole lot of time to prepare, but the spirit carried us through. We also had Robert come speak to all the missionaries and that was SO POWERFUL. Oh my goodness. That guy is amazing. He shared his conversion story and helped the missionaries understand and realize how valuable they are and the impact that they make. It was a really good thing for our missionaries and I just felt so good inside. I helped someone come unto Christ and it just was so amazing. He also got asked to speak in ward conference this next Sunday and I know he is looking forward to it. We met with him this past week and talked about how to give a testimony and some of the things that he should talk about and shouldn't talk about. :) It was fun.
We had to have a few drop lessons this week and that was really sad. I absolutely hate those. It's always so sad having to drop people, after we have tried to do SO much for them. We dropped Keith and James. Ugh.  I have spent so many hours on my knees praying for these people. I have studied and have tried so hard to know what I could do to help them progress in the gospel, but they still chose to reject it. Right now is just not their time. I know that one day they will accept it.
It is just not right now. :) We were going to visit James a few days ago and his truck was in his driveway (which meant he was home for sure) and we walked up to the door and knocked, and we heard him come up to the door and look through the peep hole, and then he just walked away and didn't answer. Talk about heartbreaking. Then a few days later we tried one more time, and he did the same exact thing. We knew without a doubt he was home. We texted him and called him and everything and just got no response. I thought we had a really good lesson last week, but he might have ran into anti doctrine or something else that pushed him away.. I don't know.. But whatever it is, it made me sad. It's so hard to see these people exercise their agency unrighteously. Keith was just not coming to church because his church is right in the middle of ours, and so he just couldn't sacrifice his I guess. Which also makes me really sad because he is SOOO close. He accepts and believes the Book of Mormon and everything.
He is just not putting two and two together. If the Book of Mormon is true, then the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. He doesn't understand that. One day he'll be ready. :) Thank you for all of the prayers on their behalf. I am grateful that I was able to meet them and work with them. I know they were placed in my path for a reason. I just know there are others out there right now who we need to find and spend our time on. If these people aren't progressing, we have to move on and find those who are elect and who are ready.
We were able to find a few new investigators this week and I think some of them have potential. It's amazing to see how many people we talk to, and yet how many actually want to learn more. Right now we are working with a guy named Michael and he is pretty solid. He is a single guy just looking for more direction in his life. He knows one of our recent converts and we are hoping to get them connected. Lately I have also been really trying to use the scriptures in my teaching.
In our zone conference President Alexander talked about how important the scriptures. He really talked about Alma 31:5 and how the word has a more powerful effect than ANYTHING else. As I was reading in my scriptures yesterday I also came upon 1 Nephi 15:24-25 which says, "And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.
Wherefore, I, Nephi, did exhort them to give heed unto the word of the Lord; yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the faculty which I possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things." Again, it was another testimony to me of just how powerful the scriptures are and how Nephi exhorted with ALL the energies of his soul and with ALL the faculty which he had, to get these people to read the word of God. It made me have a greater desire to be like Nephi and to do EVERYTHING in my power to get my investigators to read the scriptures. I am going to do better!
This past week we decided to go to an area that none of us had ever been too and we just wanted to do some tracting. Well, we were able to meet and talk to a lot of great people, and we witnessed a miracle. As you all know, we have still been praying and fasting to find our eternal family and I think we found possibly another one. We met this amazing family who was just so receptive and open to the spirit and the message. It was so amazing. We are already working on finding a fellowship family and are excited to see where they go. I know God hears and answers prayers. We were also able to hit our ultimate goal of contacting 30 people that day, (we have been asked to each contact
10 people a day, so that would be 30 for our companionship) and so it was a really good day because we accomplished that. Which is a lot easier said than done.
Last night we had another miracle. We went over to a members home for dinner and afterwards taught a super powerful 10 minute restoration.
Before we began, we invited them to think of someone who may need the message as we shared it. Well, after a really spiritual lesson, we talked about the thoughts that they had. The wife of the home started talking about her boss, her husband started talking about their neighbor, and the grandma gave us a referral of a lady who she works out with at the YMCA! Right there in one single dinner apt, in a 10-15 minute span, we got 3 referrals! It was a miracle!!! In zone meeting we went over that and role played it and it was so fun to actually do what we practiced in zone meeting and put it to the test and to see that it actually worked! We are definitely going to start doing it with more members. If you know anyone who needs the gospel back at home... PLEASE give the missionaries their information. It is the greatest thing ever. Missionaries love referrals and...... Hand written letters. :)
Well, sorry this is kind of long and boring. I will share with you some of my studies this week. My personal study time from 8:00-9:00 am is literally the best hour of my life every single day. I crave it so bad. When 9:00 comes I just don't want to quit. I LOVE STUDYING THE GOSPEL. This past week I was studying the life of the Savior, and how he can help us through adversity. Jesus Christ literally possesses the power to ease our burdens and lighten our loads. We have to turn to him and let him heal us and fix us. I read a quote yesterday that really hit me. ”Doors close regularly in our lives, and some of those closings cause genuine pain and heartache. But I do believe that where one such door closes, another opens (and perhaps more than one), with hope and blessings in other areas of our lives that we might not have discovered otherwise." I think each one of us have had experiences in our lives where something happens that we don't expect. We experience a trial or adversity that we didn't know was going to happen.. But guess what that is. Just another door opening up for us.
A few years ago, President Marion G. Romney said that all men and women, including the most faithful and loyal, would find adversity and affliction in their lives because, in the words of Joseph Smith, “Men have to suffer that they may come upon Mount Zion and be exalted above the heavens." We all have to go through it. It is part of life! When we were up in heaven, we chose to come down and face trials.
Therefore, we cannot complain. We came to mortal life to encounter resistance. It was part of the plan for our eternal progression.
Without temptation, sickness, pain, and sorrow, there could be no goodness, virtue, appreciation for well-being, or joy. We must remember that the same forces of resistance which prevent our progress afford us also opportunities to overcome. We all have those trials in our lives that we have to prepare for, for they will come. Often they will require some pain, some unexpected changes in life’s path, and some submitting, “even as a child doth submit to his father” (Mosiah 3:19). Another quote I really liked was, "Opening up celestial doors may take us--indeed, undoubtedly will take us--right up to the concluding hours of our mortal lives." Our detours and disappointments are the straight and narrow path to Him. God knows what we do not know and sees what we do not see.
We have every reason to be optimistic and confident even in times of trial and difficulty. Our relief society told a story about a game they once played. They got a bunch of people in a circle and had everyone throw their shoes or problems, trials, fears, afflictions, stress, etc.... Into a circle. At the end, they concluded that you would be fighting to get your own shoes back after you see/hear/feel others problems. You don't know what it'd be like to be in someone else's shoes, and you'd probably want your own back in the end, because someone will ALWAYS have it worse than you.
I know with all of my heart the God lives. He loves us so much that he sent his son, our Savior Jesus Christ to die for us and help us get through this life we have to live here on this earth. I am so grateful to be a missionary and am so grateful for the atonement in my life. I know that it is real. I know that repentance and forgiveness is real.
I know that the lord is aware of each one of us and he will bless us and heal us. I am so grateful that I have each and every day to proclaim the good news of the gospel. I love this gospel so much. I love my savior so much. I am so grateful for my knowledge of eternal families. I know that we can live together with one another for time and all eternity. I know that all of that is only possible through the priesthood power. I am so grateful for the authority that has been restored on the Earth through our prophet Joseph Smith. As is says in Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." I am not ashamed. I will testify until the day I die. I hope you all have a wonderful week. Thank you for all of the love and support. You guys are the best. I cannot wait to see you. I love & miss you more than anything! Have a great week. Talk to ya in seven. Xo

Sister Kyla Joan Worthington

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