Friday, May 27, 2016

May 23, 2016~ SOS. Prayers please!

Hey loves! 
Oh familyyyyy, this was a rough week. I am so grateful that it's Monday, you have no idea. It's crazy how much of a rollercoaster your mission can be. This whole week I was just preparing myself for the email that I was going to write you. I was just about to vent and tell you that I cannot do this anymore and that missionary work is SOOO hard and it's killing me, how frustrating it is, how depressed I've been this week, blah blah blah, all this other stuff that doesn't even matter and that Satan is just trying to throw at me, and then.... I make it to Sunday and partake of the beautiful sacrament, and experience so many miracles and then everything changes. Crazy how it works. Sometimes it makes me laugh. I look back on the week and honestly don't know how I got through it, but then laugh at myself that I made it so hard when it really didn't need to be that hard. I am convinced that a lot of the feelings and things we go though, we bring upon ourselves. This morning I was studying in Alma about the letter that Moroni writes to Pahoran and saw how Pahoran could've taken that letter offensively and could've been really upset, but instead, he didn't get offended by it and chose to react in pleasing manner.
I was thinking about that a lot today because we can choose not to be offended, upset, sad, or frustrated. It is impossible for another person to make us feel that way, or offend you or me. Believed that another person offended us or made us feel a certain way is fundamentally false. Elder Bednar once said, "To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else. " And I relate that to any feeling that we may be feeling. This life here on earth is like a workshop where we all get to practice on each other in the ongoing process of perfecting the saints. "You and I cannot control the intentions or behavior of other people. However, we do deter main how we will act. Remember that we are moral agents endowed with moral agency, and we can choose to not be offended, upset, sad, or frustrated." After studying that this morning, I realized that I needed to change. I realized that it's normal to have those feelings, but that I must not dwell in those thoughts and feelings and that I must take personal responsibility and not blame those feelings or thoughts on anyone else but myself.
This past week was just full of many different things. It rained almost ALL week long, and when I say rain, I mean RAIN. North Carolina just knows how to rain. It was super dark and muggy all week and I think that definitely took a tole on me as well. Then we just had really long, hard days of rejection after rejection and canceled appointments after canceled appointments. I just get so frustrated when we meet people, teach them a great lesson, set a return appointment, find a member, schedule things around their appointments, only to have them cancel or not be there for our lesson. I have never had it happen so much on my entire mission than in this area and transfer. Seriously like 12 appointments canceled this week. I just wish people had the respect or decency to tell us if they weren't interested or couldn't meet. If they only knew how much work we really went too and how much we really care about them. It's just the life of a missionary, but for some reason it really took a tole on me this week. Usually I am pretty good at shaking things off, but this week got me down a little bit. We had one appointment with a solid guy named Xavier and went to so much work to make his lesson happen, and then when he canceled I just wanted to sit down and cry. I love these people so much, it hurts! Sometimes I really don't like how people use their agency. :) But, I realized how much it taught me though and how much it really helped me see how much I truly love the people of North Carolina and how much I desire their happiness and salvation. It kind of gave me a glimpse of how much my parents love me and want what's best for me, and ultimately how much my Heavenly Father loves me and how he really wants what is best for me. Overall, it was a good experience for me and helped me realize that I am doing the right things and that sometimes God is just teaching me patience and helping me see how everyone does have their agency and I need to respect that.
I am doing much better now though, but could still use some more of those powerful prayers! Sometimes after a really hard week, it makes me nervous for the next week because I have no idea what's coming my way and what's going to happen. You just never know! We were able to see a few miracles though and that always strengthens my faith and gives me hope. One of our less active members came to church last week and told us about his brother who has been struggling. He gave us his address and phone number and told us to go stop by. We called him up and set an appointment with him and went over to teach him. We taught a killer Restoration lesson and invited him to be baptized on June 18th! He is so prepared. He is the sweetest 18 year old kid I've ever met. He has great desires to change his life around and follow after the example of his older brother. We are really trying to work with his older brother now to get him worthy and active so that he could baptize his younger brother! Talk about killing two birds with one stone! His name is Jose Romero! His nick name is Yeyo, but his real name is Jose. Now we have TWO Jose's on date! Yay! Pray for the Jose's! I am super excited to see what happens with him and hope that he really takes things seriously and progresses. The spirit was so strong in our lesson and I know without a doubt that he felt it. I I felt it, I know he felt it.
Yesterday was also a miraculous day. We had ward conference and had over 250 young single adults at church. We invited all of the graduating seniors in the 3 Charlotte stakes to attend church with us and get them excited about coming to the YSA ward after they graduate high school. We had great meetings and the spirit was so strong for all three hours of the day! After church we had a MASSIVE linger longer and had hot dogs and hamburgers for days! It was so much fun. I've never seen so many people crammed into a cultural hall at one time. It was absolutely crazy. Hopefully the seniors had an exciting time and want to come back! There was also a "bug boy" who brought one of his friends to church and she absolutely loved it. Her name is Nicole Harrison and she is amazing. She grew up baptist but just decided one day that it wasn't for her. She had always been so curious of her Mormon friend and so she decided to go to She chatted with some missionaries in Utah and ended up finding out that there was some Latter Day Saint services in Charlotte and called her friend up. He brought her to church and then introduced us to her. She asked us how often we could meet and said that she really wants to get baptized in June! Who says that?! She said she has felt so right with everything and that this is something that she has been looking for her whole life, she just didn't know where to find it! It made me think of the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants that talks about people who are "kept from the truth because they know not where to find it." Or something like that. But, through the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, you can find it! We set a return appointment for tomorrow afternoon and I couldn't be more excited. She is such a neat girl. She's like 25 and just has her life put together. She's a dental hygienist and so we instantly clicked. We gave her her own Book of Mormon and she is already so excited for next week to come to church! It was as if God just knew exactly what I needed and just made me wait until the very end of the week to get it. It was like she was handed to us and we didn't even have to do anything, but work hard the week before, and continue to pray and ask in faith for God to bless us and lead us to people who are prepared. What a beautiful tender mercy! Please pray for Nicole! She is so so so elect and I am so excited to start working with her.
My boy Jose Garcia is still doing well. We had a really positive lesson with him this past week and really set some serious expectations. We brought a member with us who speaks Spanish and that really helped. We went over the baptismal interview questions with Jose and he passed it with flying colors. He is so ready. I wish y'all could be in these lessons with me. He is unreal. He has one of the purest spirits that I know and his desires are so good. He said that the only thing that would be holding him back from getting baptized would be his work schedule. It's been really hard for him to get Sunday's off and it's going to be even harder for him to get a Saturday and Sunday off, but I know that with the Lord, nothing is impossible! (Luke 1:37) He is great and will get baptized! We had to push his date back a few weeks and it's now in June, but he's so ready! Thanks for all your prayers on his behalf. I love him to death!
Other than that, we are just working really hard to work with the ward council and try to reactivated some of our little lost sheep. The less actives seem to respond way better to us than the members, so we are trying to work through them. I have really come to see that if we want to get baptism here, we HAVE to work through the members. That is the only way that they are going to come. I have such a strong testimony of member missionary work and I hope that all of you are trying your best to share your testimony with those around you and that you are really focusing on trying to invite others to come unto Christ in some way, shape, or form.
After my hard week, I decided to do some studying on trust, hope, and patience. I learned a lot and have a strengthened testimony on those Christlike attributes. In Preach my Gospel chapter 6, I absolutely love what it says about hope. "Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. It is believing and expecting that something will occur. When you have hope, you work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for your good. Hope helps you conquer discouragement. The scriptures often describe hope in Jesus Christ as the assurance that you will inherit eternal life in the celestial kingdom. President James E. Faust taught: “Being blessed with hope, let us, as disciples, reach out to all who, for whatever reason, have ‘moved away from the hope of the gospel’ (Col. 1:23). Let us reach to lift hands which hang hopelessly down.” “Hope is the anchor of our souls. …Hope is trust in God’s promises, faith that if we act now, the desired blessings will be fulfilled in the future." The unfailing source of our hope is that we are sons and daughters of God and that His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, saved us from death.
I absolutely love that because it's all so true. Hope is truly trusting in the Lord and trusting that as we act and do our part, he will bless us with the promises that he has promised. God does not break his promises. If he promises us something, it will be fulfilled, but we must do our part. I have had to trust in the Lord this week that as I work diligently and faithfully, he will bless us with the promise that he will place people in our paths who are prepared to receive the gospel and that he will bless us with his spirit to know what to say and do and where to go. Hope and trust are also very tied to patience and that is what I really learned this week. The attribute of patience. Patience is truly a mighty virtue and can be developed as we become peacemakers and make up our mind to be patient within our own life as well as with others. I think our own patience is developed when we are patient with others. As I have been patient with my investigators, my companions, members, and others that I associate with, I have seen my own patience develop. This past week I really felt like Alma when he said, "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." I wanted to turn back so bad and just give up, but then I realized that there is promise from the Lord. If we "bear with patience our afflictions, he will give us success." All we have to do is bear our afflictions and trials. They will come and we will all have them, but we just have to endure them and we will receive the promise! Whether in this life or the next, I don't know, but I do know that we will receive the promise!
"You and I are here on earth for a divine purpose. Our life on earth is not to be endlessly entertained or to be constantly in full pursuit of pleasure. You are here to be tried, to prove yourself so that you can receive the additional blessings God has for you. The tempering effect of patience is required. Some blessings will be delivered here in this life; others will come beyond the veil. The Lord is intent on your personal growth and development. That progress is accelerated when you willingly allow Him to lead you through every growth experience you encounter, whether initially it be to your individual liking or not. When you trust in the Lord, when you are willing to let your heart and your mind be centered in His will, when you ask to be led by the Spirit to do His will, you are assured of the greatest happiness along the way and the most fulfilling attainment from this mortal experience. If you constantly question everything you are asked to do, you make it harder for the Lord to bless you." I loved that last sentence because it really made me evaluate my life and how many things I question. I need to just trust God and trust that he knows that he's doing and that he has a plan for me. If I show him that I trust him, then I know he will have an easier time giving me blessings!
I have really come to know that sadness and disappointment are just temporary. Happiness is everlastingly eternal because of Jesus Christ and it's important that we come to understand that while here on earth. Do you take time to discover each day and how beautiful your life can be? It goes back to what I talked about earlier in my email, we determine how we feel and how we choose to live our lives. Just a few days ago after some of our lessons had been canceled, we were driving down the road, not knowing where to go, and it was pouring rain. I was just so sad and so down. After thinking about how hard my life was, I turned my head and saw the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen. It was as if God had answered another one of my silent prayers. It was the brightest, most beautiful rainbow over the city of Charlotte that I have ever seen! I all of the sudden changed my attitude and realized that I am so blessed and that I needed to be grateful and happy for my life and my situation. There are SO many who have it worse than me. Freak, I'm just on a mission living the life, complaining because someone canceled their appointment, while others are dying and starving and don't even have close to what I have. It made me step back and repent and focus on being grateful. As I was driving, it also made me think of children and my little Kenna Grace. Children teach us how to find joy even under the most challenging circumstances. They haven’t yet learned to be depressed by concentrating on the things they don’t have. They just find joy in whatever is available to them and they are content! I wish we could all be like that. I am grateful that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ incorporates the remarkable principle of patience. When we were teaching Yeyo this past week, we asked him if he saw anything different in his older brother when he got baptized. He said that he was a lot more calm and had way more patience! Then when we asked two recent convert twins in the ward what the gospel did for them, they both said that they were way more calm and patient and were able to get through things better! It just made me think of how amazing the gospel is and how right they all were. It's been neat to see the difference between families that have the gospel, and families that don't. A family with a mother, father, and children, and the gospel are so peaceful, calm, and handle things way better than a broken family without the gospel. We just have a different way of living and I think it's definitely the Savior's way of living. I love it! The gospel is beautiful!
I have to get going, but I wanted to share one more scripture with you. In Romans 5:3-5 it says, "We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
Tribulation worketh patience, patience worketh experience, and experience worketh hope, and hope worketh the love of God in our hearts. How true that is. We all will have tribulation, but I promise that as you exercise patience and put your faith and trust in the Lord, he will take care of you and bless you with the promises that he has promised you with. Although I had a tough week, his promises were sure.
I love you all so much. Thanks for all you do! I hope you have a great week! Can't wait to see you. Transfer calls are this week... Pray that I stay! Only 3 more transfers to go! :) Talk to ya in seven! Sending all my love from Charlotte your way!

Sister Kyla Worthington

#1 A member took us out to longhorn to celebrate the 18th of the month with me!
#2 Charlotte central zone.
#3,4,5 Really neat park in Charlotte that I WILL TAKE YOU BACK TOO. So good!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 16, 2016


Hey cute people,
Another week down. Is it already Monday? Crazy. I hope everyone had a great week. Summer is just around the corner and I'm sure y'all are super excited. It's definitely been getting warm here in Charlotte and you can definitely tell that Summer is on its way. Just this past week there have been lots of carnivals, fairs, and beach festivals going on. The kids are getting excited for school to be out and the sun is staying out much later! It stays light outside until about 9:00 pm so it's been really great to be able to stay out the whole time and not have to come inside a little bit early! Mom, I hope you had a great birthday on Friday and partied hard. :) We had a pretty productive week and are really starting to get the hang of things. I don't think I will ever figure out my area or will ever be able to get to places without the GPS, but other than than, things are going well! We cover three stakes and it has been a challenge trying to navigate how far things are and use our time and miles effectively, but we are doing our best and I know that is all the Lord requires.
We had a zone activity today that was four hours long, so I don't have a whole lot of time, so please forgive me for this email being short and lame. In Kamryn's email this week she said, "Thanks for all you do and for your amazing letters that only take me about 2 hours to read."Hahahah. Bless her heart. I'm sorry. Thankfully we only have zone activities once a transfer, so future Monday's I will have more time.
We went to a big park and had a cookout and played lots of games and sports. It was pretty fun. The parks here in Charlotte are UNREAL. They are some of the nicest parks I've ever seen. They are so amazing!  Always so nice, so big, and tons of things to do! I keep thinking how amazing some of these parks would be for a family reunion. Maybe we should all come to NC for a reunion sometime, yeah? You should definitely think about it. :) I've heard there are great beaches here too! Anyways, my zone is really interesting and quiet, so Sister Nunies and I have been trying to pump everyone up and get them excited. It's a zone full of lots of great missionaries, but some of them need some help haha. I am so grateful that my companion is so bubbly and outgoing. It helps so much! She is so fun and we almost never go a day without basically crying tears of joy because we laughed so hard. She is wonderful. I call her my little Hawaiian. We have a member of the ward who has made up a nickname for us so now we are known as "Peach and Pineapple." & obviously I'm the peach. It's quite entertaining.
This past week was full of lots of service! Combined, Sister Nunies and I did about 16 hours of community service. We can get up to 20 hours per week, but we usually never go over 10. This past week we had so many opportunities and it was really fun to switch up the work a little bit! I am so grateful that President and Sister Alexander are so into being out in the community and letting people see who we really are. Sister Alexander is a member of the city council or something like that and totally represents who we are! It's so wonderful! We have been able to see so many amazing miracles come from service. I had a friend email me a link to a conference talk called "Priesthood and Personal Prayer" by Elder Eyring and it is all about HOW you serve. Lately I have kind of been feeling like I haven't been doing enough or I could be doing more, but I have had to remind myself that when things get tough and I don't feel like i'm reaching enough investigators or making a big enough impact, I just need to focus on HOW I am serving. That applies to all of you as well. Whether it be in your callings, your families, or your duties, just ask yourself HOW you are serving and if you are doing your best and serving for the right reasons, with the right mentality, that's enough and that's all that is required. I have really been trying to focus on serving and loving my companion and the other missionaries where you serve. I am hoping that through my example and love, they will serve with a stronger passion and that their service will be felt by those they teach! We are all in this together and there are many people who need us and our dedicated service.
We were able to serve a few hours at a place called "Matthews HELP Center" and work in their thrift shop. It was a good time! We were also able to serve in the soup kitchen again and we are just forming so many relationships. I look forward to Thursday mornings every week because I get to be around some amazing people. It was pretty funny because one of our investigators showed up at the soup kitchen for a free meal and had no idea that we served there as well. He came up to us and said, "Wow, it's not like you already don't do enough service.
I guess you are just doing service on top of service." It was pretty fun and we definitely laughed about it, but we are grateful that people do recognize who we are and that they appreciate the service that we do! On Friday night we were able to attend an annual beach festival in downtown Matthews and volunteer in the bounce house section for a few hours. It was a crazy mad house! Sister Nunies was in charge of one bounce house and I was in charge of another and there were kids everywhere!! It was so much fun and felt so good to be around a bunch of little people. I'm getting sick of young single adults who just want to date and get married haha. It was definitely good to be out in the community and we were able to talk to many parents while their kids were bouncing. Many people were curious why we were in skirts and dresses, but they just went with it. It's amazing how much we really do stand out and how many people do look at us. We have met some amazing people through our service opportunities and have been able to see people's hearts soften and have a different view and perspective of Mormons and that has been such a blessing.
We were not able to meet with our main investigator Jose Garcia this past week because of his crazy work schedule, but we have been able to keep consistent contact with him through Facebook. He wasn't able to come to church either because of work, but we are still hoping to see him get baptized on the 28th of May. He is SO ready. It's killing me how close he is. He just needs to trust the Lord and do it! Thank you for all of your prayers on his behalf. I know it's a big decision, and a life changing one for that matter, but I am hoping that he follows the spirit that he has felt and that he follows through with it! That would make my heart so happy to see him accept the gospel. It would be so good for him and his family.
We were blessed to be able to meet 2 new investigators this past week and I am super excited for both of them. One of them is named Chris, and the other Xavier. We have had two lessons with both of them and they are both doing really well. One day Sister Nunies and I were just super hot and tired and decided that we needed to go take a 10 minute break and get some frozen yogurt to boost our energy. As we walked in, we were the only ones in the store. We got our yogurt and then decided to take a seat. This yogurt place is on campus so the guy working there was obviously between 18-30. Since no one else was in the store, I decided to talk to him! We ended up having a 45 minute discussion, over some yummy frozen yogurt, and it was miraculous. God also somehow made sure that not a single customer came in for 45 minutes so that we could talk to him with no distractions! It was great! Just another testimony builder to me that God puts us where we need to be, exactly when we need to be there. I don't think it's a coincidence that we were lacking energy when we were and that the thought of getting frozen yogurt popped into our minds. :) The spirit is so good. Chris gladly accepted the Book of Mormon and a return appointment. Both of his parents are preachers, but he has never really followed what they have done. He's always been super open minded and really curious about the Mormons. We went back a few days later and brought a member with us and had another great discussion. Now the next big thing is getting him to come to church. That always seems to be the struggle here. But, I get it. It's super hard to come to a church that you've never been to before and I'm sure even harder when you don't know a single soul.
That's gotta be super uncomfortable and super frightening. Sometimes I take advantage of growing up in the gospel and just never having to go through what my investigators are having to go through. Lately I have been trying to put myself in their shoes and have been trying to see how difficult it would be and how much FAITH it really does take.
Xavier was found by some elders in our area and they found out that he was a YSA so they referred him to us. (So kind by the way!) Most missionaries don't like to refer people they've found to us because they want to teach them, but then they don't realize that we can't teach anyone who is not between 18-30. We are still working on helping each missionary understand that if they give us referrals, we will give them referrals haha. Anyways, Xavier is a good kid, just trying to figure out his life. He is very shy and very reserved and so sometimes I think we freak him out. We are so happy and so bubbly that I think he gets scared of us sometimes haha. He is a very intellectual person and likes the facts.. And we are trying to change his thinking.
He's already read 50 pages of the Book of Mormon though and wants to meet us for our next appointment this week at the church so things are looking good. We are going to give him a church tour and hopefully help him feel more comfortable. Right now he is Catholic and that's all he's ever known, but is very open to more. At the end of our lesson we asked him if he would pray for us and he said "which one?"  And we totally realized that he had no idea what we meant. He was thinking like a "Hali Mary" or the "Lord's Prayer" kind of prayer and we were just thinking of a regular prayer. So, came to find out that he has never just said a "heartfelt prayer." All the prayers he has ever said have been rote and read. Which don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with those, but sometimes it's nice to just be able to talk to our Heavenly father openly and express the desires that are on our hearts. We taught him how to pray and he committed to get on his knees that night and pray for the first time. We are super excited to hear how it went! I can only imagine what an experience that may have been for someone who has never prayed like that before. He is a great kid and we are praying that he will continue to progress and will keep learning more!
Other then that, things are going great! We are still trying to get to know the members more and are trying to work more with the recent converts and the less actives. The bishopric of this singles ward and their wives are absolutely fantastic and I love them all so much! Mom & Dad, it made me think of how great of a team you two would make in a young single adult ward haha. Dad, hopefully one day God will allow you to have the experience of being a bishop of a YSA ward hahahah.
You would love it. These souls are so great. There are definitely some interesting ones, but overall, these kids are great. I feel so blessed to be serving here. All the missionaries in my mission are so jealous of Sister Nunies and I because everyone wishes they could serve in the Hilliard YSA ward. I feel so blessed and thank my Heavenly Father every single day! It's definitely a different kind of missionary work, but it's so much fun. Just a few days ago we were able to set up a booth at the Charlotte open Flea Market. We were giving away free Popsicles and book of Mormons. It was quite the hit. In order to get a free Popsicle, you had to sign a poster that said, "What makes you happy?" Everyone loved it and we were able to hand out a few book of Mormons, lots of pass along cards, and a few My Family booklets! It was so fun and we are going to be doing something like that probably each Saturday! We are trying to get more creative. If you have any ideas, please let us know! :) Missionary work is just so fun.  Absolutely the hardest thing I have EVER had to do in my life, but the joy that you feel is indescribable and makes up for all of the hard times you have.
Yesterday was a really wonderful day! I absolutely love Sunday's.  Sister Nunies and I had to teach Relief Society and taught Howard W.  Hunter's chapter 8 lesson on 'Taking the Gospel to all the World.' I thought we did a really good job and I definitely learned a lot from preparing for that lesson. That also reminds me to ask y'all for a favor. I have to speak in sacrament meeting in 2 weeks on missionary work and I am just having a hard time with knowing what to say and where to go with it. If any of you have any suggestions or could share some of your thoughts regarding missionary work with me, I would LOVE and appreciate that so much! :) I need some help! And who knows, maybe you'll just be special enough and I'll quote you over the pulpit.
Haha! Yesterday there was someone from the High Council that spoke and his talk really hit me strongly. He talked all about the still small voice and shared some neat experiences with us that touched me. It got me thinking more about the Holy Ghost and the amazing blessing that that special gift is in my life.
President Brigham Young once said, “The Holy Ghost … opens the vision of the mind, unlocks the treasures of wisdom, and helps people begin to understand the things of God..They comprehend themselves and the great object of their existence. If a person is going to get the most out of this life, he must comprehend the object of his existence." I have definitely seen how the Holy Ghost has helped me come to figure out myself more and has helped me figure out who I really am. Going back to what I talked about last week, one thing I've learned is that I have had to really repent so much on my mission. More than I ever have before in my previous life. Which is really ironic because I feel like I'm way more worthy and way closer to the spirit now than I was before, but I have realized that the scripture Ether 12:27 is 100% true. When you truly come unto Christ, like I have had to try to do on my mission, he definitely shows you your weaknesses and so I think being so close to the spirit all of the time, I am aware of those weaknesses and what I need to work on. It's all making sense, but is helping me become more refined and more like my Savior, Jesus Christ.
I am grateful that the spirit has helped me realize more of what I need to work on and realize more of who I truly am and who I CAN truly become. It's a beautiful process.
I remember a critical time in my life and how grateful I was when a still, small voice gave me direction to make an important decision, that decision being to come and serve the Lord in North Carolina. The only way that I was able to make that decision was because I was seeking and asking the lord to help me decide what I needed to do. If we want to have the spirit help us and be our constant companion, we must do our part. We must be worthy to receive such guidance and help.
The spirit is not learned from textbooks written by men, nor is it acquired through reading and memorization. It comes to whomever seeks with all their heart to know God and to keep His commandments with exactness. Once you understand the spirit, you are able to overcome barriers and overcome your challenges and are able to touch hearts.  It's important that we keep the commandments and do our best so that we can receive the wonderful gift that we have all been given.
I was reading a conference talk this morning and it was talking about how gifts have only limited value unless they are used but the Holy Ghost will be our constant companion if we submit ourselves to the will of our Father in Heaven, always remembering Him and keeping His commandments!! It made me want to have the desire to use this gift more in my life and take advantage of the help that it can offer. I hope that we do not turn away the still, small voice. I hope that we aren't doing things that offend the Holy Ghost. I hope that we aren't allowing influences into our homes that drive the Spirit away. I know that the type of entertainment that we bring into our homes and the things that we do will certainly have an impact on the power of the Holy Ghost. Much of the things we have in our lives are of the world anyways and are offensive to the Holy Ghost so it's important that we stay away from those things!
I am so happy and am really doing great. Sometimes I struggle and have really hard days, but thankfully I am able to shake things off and get right back up. It's amazing how fast I'm able to shake things off and forget about things and move on. I am so grateful for the cleansing power of the Holy Ghost and how it can offer me peace in times of trial and tribulation. Sometimes I worry about my future and things back at home, but I know without a doubt that God has a plan for me and for each one of you and I know that as we do the right things, it will all work out. I have full trust and confidence in him. I am so grateful for this gospel and I know it's true with everything in me.
Like it says in Alma 5, “Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation."
I have to get running, but I hope you all have a great week. I cannot wait to see you! Thanks for everything. You each mean the world to me and I'm so grateful to have such amazing people in my life. Love love love love you! Xo
Sister Worthington

Monday, May 9, 2016

May 9, 2016~Turn To Him

Hello my sweet people!

Ah! It was so good to see you all yesterday and hear your special voices. You all looked so good and it made my heart happy. There is truly not a better sight, than seeing those whom I love the very most all gathered around in one place! It gave me a little glimpse of what heaven is going to be like. I cannot wait for the day when we can all be reunited and can live with one another for time and all eternity. That is one of my favorite things about the Gospel. The fact that I get to be with my favorite people FOREVER. I had the hardest time hanging up yesterday. Crazy to think that I will never get to Skype as a missionary again. Such a bitter-sweet experience. However, the next time I get to see you all and hear your voices, it will be in person and will be LIVE, so I can't complain. Oh how excited I am for that special day!
Mother's Day is also such a special day. Not only for mothers, but for all the missionaries serving throughout the world. Mom, I hope you had a wonderful day and could feel of the love and appreciation that I have for you. I read a quote from Elder Holland yesterday that said, "No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child." And then I starting thinking about that the other way around and how much love a child can have for her mother. I never thought I could love someone so much, but my love for you mom has grown so much. I find myself loving you more and more every single day. My love for you gets stronger daily. It's a love that cannot be expressed, explained, or comprehended. Thank you for everything. I hope you had a special day and could feel my love all the way from Charlotte.
Well, it was quite the week. Lots of ups, and lots of downs. It was a particularly hard week, but full of lots of growth. I have loved being a missionary because I have been able to learn so much. It's amazing how much God can teach you when you are humble, seeking knowledge and revelation, and worthy of his spirit. Never in my life have I learned so much about myself and about my Savior Jesus Christ and his gospel. Sometimes I don't think I can receive anymore, but then another day passes and I am reminded of what I learned that day. It's amazing! Learning so much has also changed me and who I am. Boyd K. Packer once said, "True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior." I love that. It just goes to show how important it is to learn the doctrines of the gospel. That is what will make you do the right things and choose the better path. When you understand the principles of the gospel, and truly embed them in your heart, you act differently. I am no longer the same Kyla Worthington that I was before my mission. I have changed. I now understand the doctrines and principles of the gospel, and as a result, I act differently. I now know who I truly am and what my divine purpose is. President Craven always told us "When you know who you are, you act differently" and I never really understood what he meant by that, but now I get it! I know what he was talking about. It's as if a light bulb clicked in my head! Unfortunately it took me 20 years to understand that, but I'm happy I figured it out when I did. Oh how I just love and adore the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This past week we were able to have an amazing zone conference with President and Sister Alexander. It was incredible. One of those meetings that I just never wanted to end. The spirit taught me SO much. Sister Alexander talked all about service and got everyone more excited to serve! She shared the story of Ammon in Alma 18 and talked about how as he served the king and was so faithful, he King was astonished. His heart was truly softened and he changed. I have really come to see that doing service really prepares the hearts of others. As others see us serve, they become astonished like King Lamoni. She challenged us to go about doing good and always trying to be looking for more unplanned service opportunities. I have been really trying to pray for more opportunities to serve and it's been amazing to see how the lord provides opportunities for us.
Just this past week, we stopped by to see a former investigator and she opened the door and said she didn't have time to meet because she was busy doing other things. We asked what she was busy doing and she told us she was putting together a new TV that she had just bought. (I don't understand how a TV is more important than the gospel, but whatever?) Anyways, we asked her if we could help her set it up and she said, "Sure!" So, we ended up going inside and helping her set up her TV. After we got it all set up, we were able to sit down and have a 20 minute gospel discussion with her. It was a miracle! Service truly leads to miracles. There have been several other times on my mission where we have looked for random ways to help people and have been so blessed and have been given an opportunity to share the gospel because of it. It's also a win-win situation because it helps someone out, and makes us so happy. :)
President Alexander gave an AMAZING training. Oh my goodness. I wish y'all could have been there. His training was all about becoming master teachers, and about repentance. My whole perspective on repentance and what it actually is is so different now. He began by telling us that this training is really for us, more than for our investigators or those we are working with. He told us that we cannot teach what we don't know. We cannot teach our investigators about repentance and expect them to repent, I unless we know and understand repentance ourselves. It made me think of a quote in Preach My Gospel that says, "You cannot convert someone beyond your own conversion." How true that is.
Being a missionary, repentance is super important because all day long, we are supposed to be declaring repentance. In doctrine & covenants 6:9 it says, "Say nothing but repentance unto this generation; keep my commandments and assist to bring forth my work, according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed" In doctrine & covenants 11:9 it says the exact same thing. In section 15, it talks about how the thing that will be of most worth unto us, will be to declare repentance unto the people. Section 33 verse 10, "Open your mouths saying, repent, repent, and prepare the way of the Lord." It's everywhere in the scriptures. In Moses 6:57 it talks about how no unclean thing can enter into the presence of God. We know that every single person on the earth sins and falls short of the presence of God. No one is perfect. Therefore, we have to have repentance. It's the most important thing. Without it, none of us could make it back to our father in heaven.
I learned a new definition of repentance and what it really is. Repentance literally means "to turn" or to TURN TO CHRIST. Repentance is a real change. It is a real conversion. It is the process of making a change from one type of behavior to another. All it really is is coming unto Christ. Repentance is not a negative principle, but rather a positive and glorious one. It is a melting, softening, refining process that brings about a mighty change of heart. I grew up thinking repentance was such a negative, scary thing. On my mission, I have learned how joyous it really is and what it truly means. I want to teach my children differently than the way that I was taught. Nothing against you mom & dad, I just see it a little bit differently now. :) Haha. I want to talk about it more openly with my children and help them see what it really is and that it is one of the greatest gifts we have been given. The ability to repent. I want them to know that it's not just all about going to the bishop if you make a serious mistake, but rather it's a DAILY process and is something that should be apart of our everyday lives. I knew how happy my parents were when I repented and chose to serve a mission. I knew how happy my bishop was when I set an appointment with him to start preparing for my mission. Repentance is happiness! The earlier people can understand that, the better off they will be, and the much happier they will be!  President went on and referenced a conference talk by Elder Anderson. In his talk, he mentions five elements of repentance and I want to share them with you.

First, the invitation to repent is an expression of love. When the savior taught others, it was all out of love. He loves us, and that is why he wants us to repent. He has already suffered for us, and if we don't use his atonement, we are not being appreciative of what he has done for us. Second, repentance means striving to change. Real repentance, real change may require repeated attempts, but there is something refining and holy in such striving. If we do not invite others to change or if we do not demand repentance of ourselves, we fail in a fundamental duty we owe to one another and to ourselves. Some professor named Noel Reynolds once said, “The choice to repent is a choice to burn bridges in every direction [having determined] to follow forever only one way, the one path that leads to eternal life.” We must strive to change, strive to turn to Christ, and have the desire to do so. Third, repentance means not only abandoning sin but also committing to obedience. The Bible Dictionary says, “Repentance comes to mean a turning of the heart and will to God, [as well as] a renunciation of sin to which we are naturally inclined.” For our turning to the Lord to be complete, it must include nothing less than a covenant of obedience to Him. With that covenant in place, the Holy Ghost, the messenger of divine grace, will bring relief and forgiveness. Obedience is the first law of heaven and if we want to truly repent and sin no more, we must be exactly obedient.  Fourth, repentance requires a seriousness of purpose and a willingness to persevere, even through pain. Repentance is not always easy and sometimes has a lot of pain involved, but it's worth it. Any pain involved in repentance will always be far less than the suffering required to satisfy justice for unresolved transgression! Remember that. Fifth, whatever the cost of repentance, it is swallowed up in the joy of forgiveness. I love this last point. It made me think of the story of Alma 36 when he was so harrowed up with his sins and guilt and had never felt so much pain and misery in his life, but then when he came unto Christ and repented of his sins, in that very same chapter, he talks about how there was nothing more exquisite and sweet as was his joy and how his joy was as exceeding as was his pain. I have truly come to know of this principle for myself. Repentance is hard and painful, but when you truly repent and feel the love of the Savior and the healing power of forgiveness, there is peace, love, and joy that is indescribable. Repentance is the gateway to accessing the atonement of Jesus Christ and returning to Heavenly Father's presence. Without repentance, there is no real progress or improvement in life.

We live in a time where the message of repentance is often not welcomed, and I have definitely come to see that while being here in North Carolina. Satan is tricking everyone into thinking what's wrong is right and what's right is wrong. There are so many people in the world who think they don't need to repent. As a representative of Jesus Christ, I am here to tell you that EVERY single person that comes to earth needs to repent. Only repentance leads to a better life, and that is eternal life with our Father in Heaven. And, of course, only through repentance do we gain access to the atoning grace of Jesus Christ and salvation.
Elder Anderson said, "Repentance is a divine gift, and there should be a smile on our faces when we speak of it. It points us to freedom, confidence, and peace. Rather than interrupting the worldly celebration, the gift of repentance is the cause for true celebration. The divine gift of repentance is the key to happiness here and hereafter."
I want each of you to know how much I love my Savior and how grateful I am for the gift of repentance. If you ever find yourself thinking that you've fallen too far for Heavenly Father to rescue you, remember you can turn to Him and that through the miraculous Atonement of Jesus Christ, you can be made new. You can have a new heart. "All is not lost, for with God our potential is endless." Don’t you believe in the Atonement? Didn’t the Savior suffer for ALL of our sins? Do you really think you’re beyond His power to save? No. He will save every single one of us if we just do our part and turn our lives towards him. None of us are perfect, but that is okay. It's all part of the plan. Worthiness is progressiveness. You can never and will never be perfectly worthy. But, through Christ and his cleansing power, we can be made whole one day.
Okay, sorry this is getting long. I just have so much to say and such a strong testimony of repentance and just can't hold it in. I am so grateful that I have this time to declare repentance to the people of North Carolina. They need it! It's been amazing to see many people whom I have come to love, turn their lives around by simply turning to Christ. In fact, we saw a miracle this past week and I definitely was able to see the hand of God in the work.
I love when little things happen that I just know without a shadow of a doubt that God was involved in the situation. Just this past week we got a call from a man named Orlando Parker. He said he was going through a really hard time in his life and found that on you can get a free bible. He ended up calling some missionaries in another state and chatted with them. They then referred him to us and he got our direct phone number, which is rare because usually referrals go through our mission office first and they email and text them out to the assigned missionaries, but he just got our phone number somehow. We ended up dropping the plans we had and met him right away to give him his bible. We ended up having a really neat restoration lesson and gave him a Book of Mormon as well and just had a powerful experience. He isn't a YSA, but we are working on referring him to the elders. It was just so neat to see how someone exercised their faith and TURNED TO GOD, instead of turning to something else. He kept commenting about how impressed he was that we got ahold of him so quickly and just immediately helped him out. He said he had been going from church to church and no one would get back to him. He appreciated so greatly how quick we were and how on top of things our church is. It was just another testimony to me that God is preparing his children and their are people out there who are trying to repent and get their lives back in order.
We were also able to see our investigator Jose Garcia this past week and he got work off and came to church! It was so good to see him there. I think he had a super positive experience and we are going to baptize him in May. I just know it! I am excited for him and it's been amazing to see another one of God's children make the simple steps of repentance and coming closer to him. Everything else is going really well. I think I updated you on everything on the call last night. :) I am happy, healthy, safe, and doing well. Can't complain one bit. I'm figuring this all out and am excited for the things that are to come.
I love being a missionary. I love my savior. And I love each one of you. I couldn't do this without you. It was SO good to see you and feel of the love that you have for me. I have the best family and friends in the world. I owe it all to you guys. Thank you thank you thank you! I hope you each have a good week and I hope you each make a little 10, 20, 30, 45, 60, 180, or 360 degree turn, or whatever it needs to be, and turn your life towards Christ. I promise there is GREAT joy in repenting and coming unto him. He is waiting for us with his arms stretched out! I love you all so much. Talk to you in seven! Mom, have a happy birthday this week too. I'll be thinking about you ALL WEEK LONG. It's birthday week! Sending all my biggest hugs and kisses your way! Xo

Sister Kyla Worthington

1. Drew the POS at a park and had a good time!
2. Some nice guy we met gave us deer jerky and we were super excited.
It was so good. Not quite as good as Tami's, but still pretty decent.
3. Cried a little bit because I saw a Cheesecake Factory. That is probably my #1 request for when I come home. & some cafe rio.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May 2, 2016~Happy May

||.happy may.||
Hello peeps!
Happy May! I cannot believe it's been another month. Where did April go? I absolutely love this time of year because it starts to warm up and all of the pretty flowers start to come up. It hit 94 degrees in NC a few days ago and I wasn't too fond of that. I don't think that's normal spring weather. However, the past few days it has been raining really hard core and we have had some pretty intense thunder & lightning storms and that's helping it feel more like spring. I love the rain here because it's so different from the rain in Utah. It literally rains buckets of water and then the very next day everything is even more green then it already is and the pollen goes away, and it's just beautiful. :) I cannot complain. I have loved living here. It's really an excellent place to live. If you ever want to live on the east coast, I'd suggest North Carolina. :) It's such a beautiful state.
This past week in Charlotte was another eventful one. There is always so many things going on here and I feel like I am never standing still. There is so much to do here, so much work to be done, and so many people to talk too. We don't even have lunch and dinner hours anymore. We are always on the go and I really feel like I'm living in a dream. I never stop. Bedtime comes so fast, and then before you know it, I wake up and do it all over again. I am so grateful to be busy. I love being busy. I am also grateful for the organization skills and multitasking skills that God has blessed me with. That has helped me out so much. It's amazing how the spirit really helps too! There are so many times where the spirit prompts me to do something or helps me remember to do something, or grab something that I forgot. It's absolutely unreal. I love being so close to the spirit. Never in my life have I ever felt so close to my Heavenly Father and his spirit. I really feel like I can say a quick prayer anywhere, anytime, and he answers back within seconds or minutes. It's incredible.
I was able to grow a lot this week. I experienced the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. The week started off really well. Last Monday after I emailed y'all, we went to FHE with the young single adults and had a really good time. I love Monday nights because we get to be with everyone, enjoy a free meal, and play some games with them.
We have been really working on trying to build member trust and let these people see that we are normal people too. I think that has definitely been helping. Sometimes as missionaries we get so rote & robotic, and forget who we really are and forget to act like ourselves, of course just in a more dignified way. :) There is also a girl in the ward named Kyla and I finally got to meet her. We instantly clicked. She is on the ward council and is really involved in the ward so it's weird to hear my name all the time now. It kind of throws me off. I kind of forgot that I even had a first name haha.
Tuesday was pretty good! We decided to be brave and go walk around UNCC campus. It's an open college and so we are able to walk around and proselyte, or do whatever we want up there. I have never been more scared in my life haha. There were college kids EVERYWHERE. We saw so many young single adults in one place that I think we froze up and really just didn't even know where to begin or how to approach these people. Everyone just kept walking by and looking at us wondering who the heck we were and what we were doing there. It was actually pretty funny. I am just really trying to figure out how I can talk to these kids and help them receive the gospel. Most everyone that we have talked to so far just doesn't want to give us the time of day.
Everyone is so busy with school and work that they don't make time for God or religion. It is really sad and breaks my heart. I have come to see at my age how important this gospel is, and religion is for that matter, in these times of my life that I can't imagine what 98% of these college kids must be going through and how they are making it without it. We are getting more creative as the days go by.... But could still use some more prayers and ideas. We are setting up a free lemonade & cookies stand with some book of Mormons and pass along cards & posters with the elders this next week on campus and are hoping to have some people come up to us, instead of us having to come up to them. I will keep you posted on how that one goes. We were able to teach a few lessons and meet a few new people so it ended up being a decent day. Lots of walking, lots of sunshine and sunburns, but absolutely worth it. It also made me super excited for college for some reason... So I guess that's a good thing. :)
Wednesday was just another day of finding. We taught a less active member who ended up bringing his friend to the lesson so that was really nice! The friend was married to a Mormon so he kind of knew who we were and what we were about, but we had a really good lesson with him and taught the restoration. He is 35, so we had to refer him to the other missionaries, but I am grateful that we at least got to teach him a few things and give him his own Book of Mormon. :) He said while he was in prison his ex-wife brought him the quad and he read the whole thing and really enjoyed it. Hopefully he will continue to meet with the elders and will continue to progress towards baptism. We did lots of walking around and park finding. Tracting is not successful when it comes to working with young single adults because you just never run into them while knocking doors. We have been trying to be outside a lot more and talking to people walking the streets and hanging out downtown and stuff. We had dinner with a member and then was going to have him come teach with us, but unfortunately our investigator bailed on us.
Thursday was great! Another day at the soup kitchen, interviews with president, weekly planning, dinner with the bishop, and teaching lessons! Cannot complain about days like that. I had another neat experience at the soup kitchen and met some more amazing homeless people. It's been neat to see how we have been able to share the gospel as well. Many people are so fascinated by our name tags and ask us questions all the time. We aren't allowed to proselyte, but we are allowed to answer questions if they ask. Sister Nunies and I then headed over to the mission office for our interviews with President and Sister Alexander. Oh how I love and adore them so much! I had a really neat interview with President. They are always so good, but this one seemed to be extra good. Most of the time my interviews are really short because I just have no concerns or questions, and all seems to be going well, so I just feel like I'm in and out, but this one was a solid 20 minutes and we had a good chat and talked about a lot of things. President Alexander is the man. I cannot wait for y'all to meet him one day. He is wonderful. He answered a lot of my prayers and really helped me know with 100% surety that I am supposed to be here in Charlotte with my dear sweet companion. Some days I really struggle to think that I am supposed to be here, but her told me some things and really let me know that I am needed here and it was a very powerful experience that I won't forget. I know that he is so inspired and that Heavenly Father really knows what's up and knows exactly what I need, my companion needs, and the people of Charlotte need. I was also able to have a really long talk with Sister Alexander and just learned so much from her. She also asked me to play a solo on Sunday night for a mission president's fireside... So that was exciting. Kind of. :) I love her haha. She just always knows that if she asks me, she knows I can't say "no." We were able to go over to our bishop's house for dinner and it was so much fun. His family is amazing and his wife reminds me of mama! She is so fun, so loving, and such a party gal! You would really like her mama. She made us breakfast for dinner and even made me Magelby's white syrup because she knew I was from Utah!
:) We had a recent convert come with us as well and were able to have a really good member home lesson with her after dinner. We showed the "Testimony of the Book of Mormon" Mormon message with her and all went around and shared our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and the spirit was SOOO strong. I know without a doubt she felt it. She is struggling with her testimony of the Book of Mormon, but I know after that lesson, her heart was softened. I would invite y'all to go watch that Mormon message by Elder Holland if you haven't already. I promise you that if you watch that, your testimony of the Book of Mormon and your love and appreciation for Joseph Smith will increase! We had a lesson with one of our progressing investigators set up with a member, but she bailed on us too so we ended up not being able to teach her. :( We were able to teach a new investigator that we found last week though instead so that ended up being really good and I think Heavenly Father needed our first lesson to fall through so that we could see the other kid. It all works out in the end and God always knows what's up and what he needs to get done. :) I don't even need to worry about it, I just need to be available and need to by ready to do whatever he needs me to do. Then he'll take care of the rest! Friday was just Friday. We just did missionary work and did our thing!
While traveling to an appointment, we passed a Cheesecake Factory, Nordstrom, Ruth's Chris, Aston Martin car dealership, Carowinds amusement park, and many other places and I kind of wanted to cry. When we all come back to visit my mission, we definitely need to come to south Charlotte. It's crazy here! It's definitely the ritzy part of town, but there is so many fun things to do! I cannot wait to show you around and show you all of the places that I served at! :) North Carolina I just so fun. Anyways, long story short, Friday was a good day. Not too much happened.
Saturday was miraculous. I had a really neat experience. We were going to see this potential investigator and as we were driving there, I had the thought that we shouldn't drive out there to see him and that we needed to stop at this near by shopping complex and walk around that we had passed on our way to see him. Neither of us had been to that complex and had no idea what it was, but we decided to go. We parked and started to walk around the complex and I noticed this guy in his mid 40's or so, sitting on a bench by himself. We started to walk by him and I said "Hey sir! How are you?" And kinda kept walking by.....and then all of the sudden, the spirit told me to turn around and ask him about his accent and where he was from. We ended up having a good 30-45 minute conversation about the gospel and set up a return appointment for this upcoming Friday. He is SO amazing! So ready for the Gospel. I know he isn't a YSA, but I know without a doubt that he was placed in our path for a reason. After we teach him this next week, we will refer him to the elders. Lately I have been kind of selfish and have been just trying to talk to young single adults because I know that if they aren't a young single adult, then we won't be able to teach them and baptize them, but on this day I learned something different. We are ALL God's children, and everyone needs the gospel. I don't just want to increase the YSA ward, I want to increase and build the kingdom of Heaven. Whether I do the teaching or not, missionary work is missionary work. I know that as I reach out and talk to EVERYONE, God will bless us and give us some young single adults to work with, I just have to keep going! That night I repented and realized that I am a missionary, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and I TALK TO EVERYONE AND FEAR NO MAN. One of my goals this week is to work on talking to everyone, and trusting that the Lord will place people in our path to teach that are within 18-30 years old. Anyways, it was a really neat experience and I really saw the hand of the lord in the work that day. I knew that he was speaking to me through his spirit and I knew that there was a reason that we needed to go to that shopping complex. This man is prepared! His name is Nur Abdi, and he is from Israel! He is here studying computer science at UNCC and is so ready for the gospel. :) Start praying for him. He will get baptized soon! And... Sunday! I made it! All I have to do is make it to Sunday's and I know I'll be good. This one was a really good Sunday too! I love fast Sunday's. Early Sunday morning around 7:00 am, we received a call from an 801 number. I answered it, having no clue who was calling us. It ended up being a man from Sandy, Utah named Mike. He was in Charlotte for a business trip and wanted to know what time church started so that he could come and partake of the sacrament. Our church building was the closest to where he was at, so he decided to come join us in the YSA ward, even though he was like 50 haha. After hanging up, I was just so amazed and so touched. It was so neat to see how someone who was on a business trip by himself, went out of his way to find a church that he could go to to partake of the sacred ordinance of the sacrament. It was such a testimony to me that our church is so good, that the sacrament ordinance is amazing, and that there are amazing, faithful members of the church everywhere you go.
He could have totally just slept in and went on with his business trip and no one would've ever known who he was or if he went to church or not, but he ended up getting up and sharing his powerful testimony and got almost every person in the congregation in tears. It was amazing!
That, is how you know if someone is truly converted to the gospel and is faithful and obedient to the Sabbath day. Sister Nunies and I both bore our testimonies as well and the spirit was really strong in that sacrament meeting! I love being able to share my testimony and be edified by others.
I ended up meeting some people at church from Orem, Utah and that was really exciting. We have a bunch of "bug boys" in our ward that just arrived who will be selling pest control for the Summer and I found out that two of them know Kirk and Mak really well! :) One of them was a groomsman for Kirk and he recognized me and my name! It was fun to see them and make that connection. Sometimes I feel like I know no one out here.. But it's definitely a small world when things like that happen! Sunday night we had a mission president's fireside and that was really special. That is where the mission president and a recent convert speak and open up to the congregation of recent converts, less actives, and investigators to ask questions and talk about the basic things of the gospel. It's a meeting that happens every fast Sunday and the spirit is always so strong. I was really nervous for my special musical number... But right before I went up and played, I said a prayer and it was answered instantly. All nerves, fears, and stresses went away and I felt the spirit work through me as I was playing. :) After the fireside, we had a worldwide YSA broadcast and that was incredible too! Sunday was just a great day!!! I was rejuvenated and was on a spiritual high all day! So grateful for the sacrament and for the spirit! :) I need it each week to truly sustain me and keep me going.
Okay, sorry this is getting really long. One of those days when I could just sit and write forever. I learned a lot about repentance and forgiveness this past week and want to share a quote with you that I really liked.
President Ezra Taft Benson taught about the difference between worldly sorrow and the deeper godly sorrow necessary for repentance:
“It is not uncommon to find men and women in the world who feel remorse for the things they do wrong. Sometimes this is because their actions cause them or loved ones great sorrow and misery. Sometimes their sorrow is caused because they are caught and punished for their actions. Such worldly feelings do not constitute ‘godly sorrow.’
…Godly sorrow is a gift of the Spirit. It is a deep realization that our actions have offended our Father and our God. It is the sharp and keen awareness that our behavior caused the Savior, He who knew no sin, even the greatest of all, to endure agony and suffering. Our sins caused Him to bleed at every pore. This very real mental and spiritual anguish is what the scriptures refer to as having ‘a broken heart and a contrite spirit.’ (See 3 Ne. 9:20; Moro. 6:2; D&C 20:37; 59:8; Ps.

34:18; 51:17; Isa. 57:15.) Such a spirit is the absolute prerequisite for true repentance."

Ah! Isn't that so good? I have been really studying Alma 34 & 36 and have just loved what is taught in those chapters. I have a new love for repentance and a greater desire to repent myself, and help others do the same. Repentance is one of the greatest gifts that we have been given. I am so grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ and for the healing power that it has. We all fall short. We all make mistakes.
None of us are perfect, but because of repentance, and our Savior Jesus Christ, we can all be healed and we can all have the chance to return to our Heavenly Father if we just choose to live in such a way that would be pleasing unto him. I love repenting and changing. I love turning more towards God and coming to know him more and feeling more of his love. I know he lives and I know he loves me. I can feel it every single day. I think one of the best ways to feel the love of God is through repentance. The times that I have truly had godly sorrow and have truly repented have been some of times in my life where I have felt the spirit and the love of God the very strongest. I promise that you can feel of that same love if you will just repent and turn your heart towards God.
I want you all to know how much I love and adore each one of you. I am so grateful for this gospel and for the wonderful plan that our father in heaven has provided for each one of us, so that we can all make it back to him and be with each other forever! How grateful I am for the power of the Priesthood and the sealing power. How grateful I am that God has placed prophets on the earth to lead and guide us. I know that we have a living prophet on the earth and I know that he leads and guides this church today and that it is run under the direction of Jesus Christ. He being the chief corner stone of our religion. I love this gospel so much. I love my savior so much. I love being able to change, grow, be tempted and tried, and experience trials, but also experience the good times. What a wonderful life we can all have if we just rely on the saving grace of our Savior Jesus Christ.
May God bless all of you this week!! I hope all the mothers out there have a wonderful Mother's Day too! I will be thinking of each of you and am so grateful for the impact that you have had in my life and the great legacies that you have left behind for me to follow. Kaiden, I hope you have a great birthday! :) Sure love you, and would also LOVE to hear from you one of these days.... :) Have a great week. Talk to y'all in SIX! & I mean REALLY talk to you. :) I am so excited. Cannot wait! Please let me know if skyping at 5:00 pm your time doesn't work.
Dad, I will probably just end up face-timing you like I did on Christmas, so be ready for that. That seems to work better. :) Love you guys so much!!! Sending all my love your way. Xo

Sister Kyla Worthington

Sorry for the bad quality... That's all you get. Only picture we took this week haha. We really need to step up our game. Sorrrryyyy. These

2 girls on the left are my last companions recent converts. :) Sister Cottis loves them & so do we! They come out teaching with us all the time.