Friday, March 11, 2016

March 7, 2016~Happy March

My sweet family,
Hello! How is everyone doing? I hope you all had a marvelous week.
It's amazing how up and down the weeks can be and how fast and slow they can be. This week was a down week, and a slow week, so I'm a bit exhausted and overwhelmed. But, I'm here. I'm safe. I'm happy. I'm healthy. :) I cannot complain. I'm sure there are many that have it much worse than I do, so I have no room to talk. A few days into transfers President Alexander called Sister Cottis and I and informed us that we were going to be moving areas. Since our Tanglewood ward split, we got put in the new Lewisville ward. I was kind of thinking that Sister Cottis and I were going to stay, but God ended up needing us to be in the other ward. I was a little bit sad.. But knew that it was what needed to happen. Well, as a result of that, we had to give ALL of our investigators and all of the people that we were teaching and working with to the elders. It was super hard for me because I have been working my tail off for 5 months building up this area and really established a solid teaching pool and had lots of people ready to get baptized. I know that missionary work is missionary work, and it doesn't matter who does the teaching and who does the baptizing, but it was still hard to say goodbye to those whom I have come to love and adore so much. It has been so fun watching them change and come closer to their Savior. If any of them end up getting baptized while I am here in Lewisville, President said we can go. :)
We have had lots of challenges with our area book and transferring everything over, and that has been a huge pain. Technology is great..
But sometimes I wish we had the paper area books haha. Sister Cottis and I have also had to start from ground zero with everything, so it has been a tough week. White washing and finding ALL WEEK LONG has been a struggle. Whoa! It's been so hard. We literally have no people to teach now and we are spending 7-8 hours a day finding people.
Talking to people on the street, knocking on doors, working through members, everything you can think of. It makes the days extremely long, especially when we don't have any set appointments, but we have been able to see a lot of miracles come from it. We have found a few new investigators and are being blessed for our efforts. I love it though. We are establishing this new area and it's been really neat to be the very first missionaries in the history of Lewisville. We are going to be moving apartments hopefully this month, and that should be interesting too. Lots of changes! Change is good. I like change and it's definitely helped me to grow and develop. God definitely knows what I need and when I need it. Just as I have started to get comfortable, he decided to throw a curve ball at me. :) I am thankful for him and for how aware he is of me.
So, I am going to have to apologize up front because I really don't have like any more time. Today has been crazy. We have been super busy all morning, and then we came to the church and played some basketball, and ended up having one of our investigators come and pay with us. Well, we ended up teaching him for an hour and a half and that took up all off the time that I usually use to email you. So, I really apologize. I guess teaching a lesson and seeing a miracle on preparation day is way better and way more worth it. :) I will have to tell you about this kid a little bit later. His name is Will, and all I can ask is that you start praying for him.
This next week is going to be busy and I'm super exited. We have our mission leadership conference in Charlotte tomorrow and I am so excited to be with President and Sister Alexander! We have zone meeting and exchanges and a whole lot of other stuff. The Easter initiative is also coming out soon and that's going to be a big hit.  Then we have interviews and zone conference, and the we have a mission conference and a general authority is coming!! I don't know who yet, but that should be exciting. I am really looking forward to that. Our mission needs it.
My studies have really been focused on the doctrine of Christ and on missionary work. I eat, sleep, breathe, and dream missionary work. I just feel so blessed to be apart of such a great cause. It's the best thing in the world. I know I say that week after week, but I really mean it. MISSIONARY WORK IS THE BEST. This past week I read a really good talk by our prophet about seeing others as God sees them. It really opened my eyes and helped me have a desire to work harder and talk with all of gods children here.
Sharing the gospel brings so much peace and joy into our lives. It enlarges our own hearts and souls and increases our own faith, strengthens our own relationship with the Savior, and increases our own understanding of gospel truths. The Lord has promised great blessings to us in proportion to how well we share the gospel. He promised us that we will receive help from the other side of the veil.
I can testify that that is real. I have seen it time and time again on my mission. I have especially seen the power of that through my Grandma Joan. I know she is protecting me. She is my guardian angel watching over me. I feel her spirit and her influence SO PROFOUNDLY.
The Lord has also told us that our sins will be forgiven more readily as we bring souls unto Christ and remain steadfast in bearing testimony to the world, and I would imagine that every one of us is looking for additional help in being forgiven of our sins. :) Or at least I am. (D&C 84:61.)
I wish we could more effectively and faithfully plant missionary work into the hearts of all members of the Church. President Kimball once said, "The understanding that if a person is old enough to be a member, he is old enough to be a missionary; and he doesn’t need to be set apart especially for that calling. Every member has the obligation and the calling to take the gospel to those around him. We want every man, woman, and child to assume his rightful responsibility. It is very important. For this is the message of the gospel: We receive blessings from the gospel, and then we go out and share those blessings with others." How powerful is that! I know everyone is super busy... And before my mission, I was more than guilty, but the Lord did not say, “If it is convenient for you, would you consider preaching the gospel.” He said, “Let every man learn his duty” (D&C
107:99) and “Behold … it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.” (D&C 88:81.)
Sharing the Gospel cannot just be convenient for us. When opportunities arise to share the gospel, we must be ready. We must be praying for opportunities to share what we know. You don't have to be a missionary!! Member-missionary work is the key to the future growth of the Church. Righteous members, living the gospel by example, are the Church’s best advertisement. We should constantly be trying to think of Heavenly Father’s children that are spiritually prepared to make it all the way to baptism and into the kingdom. I remember talking to mom a while back about how hard sharing the gospel is with your friends. We are constantly worried about losing our friendships with them or offending them, or looking stupid, or whatever it is, but a prophet once said that, "Sometimes we forget that it is better to risk a little ruffling in the relationship of a friend than it is to deprive him of eternal life by keeping silent." Talk about slap in the face. This is eternal life and it is our duty to share the gospel because we have it. Imagine what it would be like standing before God and having to say, "Oh sorry, I didn't share the gospel with my friend because I was scared." Like that's not going to go over well. We can offer these people salvation!! It has definitely been so much easier being a missionary and wearing a name tag, and being surrounded by people ALL day long who aren't members of the church, but, I know that it's just as possible in the good ole 801.
Start anywhere, and then what you need to do is find out if they are the elect. The Lord said “My elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts.” (D&C 29:7.) If they hear and have hearts open to the gospel, it will be very noticeable. If they won’t listen and their hearts are hardened, they are not ready. In this case, keep loving them and fellowshipping them and wait for the next opportunity to find out if they are ready. You will not lose their friendship. They will still respect you. I have seen that time and time again on my mission. We find so many people and talk to so many different people, but not all of them are elect. In fact, most of them aren't. But, we can't give up. Just like Robert. It took him like 100 missionaries. :) We have to keep trying!
I am so grateful for the Gospel and for the amazing things that it has done for my life. I am soooooo grateful to be a member of this church.  I know that it is Christ's true church. Being in the Bible Belt, I have seen it so clearly. There is no other correct church. I want you to know how much I love you and how grateful I am for each of you. I hope you will make it a wonderful month. Share the Gospel!! Talk with everyone. My invitation to each one of you is to simply serve someone this week, tell someone you don't know that you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Give someone a Book of Mormon, or simply just bear your testimony of the Savior. I promise you will be blessed and how great will be your joy! One of my favorite scriptures comes from Luke 22:32. "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." We have the Gospel, we are converted. STRENGTHEN OTHERS. Strengthen your brethren and sisters and in turn, you will strengthen yourself, and you will be happy.

I love love love love you. Have a perfect week. Let me know what I can do. Talk to ya in seven. The church is true and I love you! Xo

Sister Ky Worthington

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