Tuesday, June 7, 2016

June 7, 2016

happy june!

Hi family & friends!
Another week down. Another month down. It's officially Summer here in North Carolina! Ah! It's hot & humid! This past week we have had some crazy rainstorms and it's increased the humidity quite a bit. I thought that I would have been adjusted to it by now, but apparently not. I feel so sweaty and gross all the time, but I guess it's keeping my skin moisturized. Haha. We'll just go with that. :) I apologize in advance for this shorter email... The lovely elders in our district convinced Sister Nunies and I to go to this trampoline park and jump for hours... And as a result, it took up most of our emailing time. I will try my best to type as fast as I can. I'll probably do more of an Elder Parkinson style email. :)
It's been an amazing week. So much happened. So much we had to do. But oh so many smiles & tears. I hope each of you had a good week and I hope you could each feel my prayers.
Last Monday we just hung out with the district and messed around!
After preparation day was over, we didn't end up having FHE with the ward due to Memorial Day, so instead, we went and saw two new investigators that we found the previous week. They are pretty fun guys... But we aren't so sure that they are interested for the right reasons. Dang boys! I guess we will just have to see if they really keep their commitments and actually come to church. That seems to be the big test. They say they're interested... But then again.. I don't really always feel that sometimes. The spirit is pretty good at letting me know. I'd say that my spirit of discernment has gotten really good on the mission. :) God helps us find the elect and helps tell us if they aren't elect. Anyways, it was a good day and we got one lesson, so we can't complain. :)
Tuesday was great. Woke up and did our normal routine.. And then we went and did service for 4 hours at the Matthews HELP center. I am loving that place more and more each week. It's been so fun serving there and we have been able to have some amazing experiences come from it. So many people recognize us and ask us questions. So many people have been so shocked that we are out serving in the community and not just knocking on doors. Obviously they just don't understand everything that we do. :) After service we had an apt to rush to at the church. Well, due to Charlotte traffic (which is the worst thing in the world btw) we ended up being 15 minutes late to our apt with our cute new investigator named Damon. (Start praying for him.. He's our next baptism.) However, we totally forgot that transfers were still going on at the church, so our cute little investigator was greeted by all the departing missionaries and all of the brand new missionaries. He sat down and ate lunch with everyone and had a great chat with President and Sister Alexander! By the time we got there, he was basically prepared for our lesson! We went downstairs and taught him the message of the Restoration and it was incredible. This kid is amazing!!! He has such a desire to learn and is another person who is so prepared. He's just a young guy and wants to be surrounded by better people. He said he just loved how happy and nice everyone was and the way that he was feeling. We were praying that he wasn't overwhelmed by everything going on.. But he really seemed to love it and was so excited to meet with us again. He is great and we are so excited to see where he goes. We have an apt. With him this Wednesday and will set a baptism date! Then, the highlight of Tuesday was seeing my Sister Cottis one last time! Ah!!! I thought that I wasn't going to be able to see her again... But when I saw her, we ran and embraced for a solid 5 minutes. We just cried in eachother's arms and it was one of the most sacred experiences on my mission. I have come to love that girl so much. I know I talk about her all the time.. But really.  I love her. It was the hardest thing to let her go and watch her leave this wonderful mission. She has done so much for the mission and has made such an impact and will forever be remembered! I was a little thrown off the rest of the night due to seeing her.. But it was exactly what I needed. She emailed me this week and is doing well, and so I am happy. :) We had a great dinner appointment with a less active and had some real authentic Mexican food. It was heavenly. I'm telling you.. The food here in Charlotte is dangerous. Ahhhh. So good. Ended the night with seeing a few others and successfully planned and went to bed.
Wednesday was just Wednesday. I'd say that it's the hardest day of the week. Right in the middle.. Nothing going on.. It's kind of a struggle. Thankfully, our district all got together and went to a really neat park! We did service for a few hours and picked lots of weeds and picked up lots of trash. Fun! It's amazing how much I have come to LOVE doing service and service projects. I don't know if it's just because it gets us out of door knocking and finding all day in the heat, or if it's just because I have come to love service because it fills my own bucket. I don't know, either way, I'm happy! We got 16 hours of community service this week combined, and I loved every second of it. We had a great district lunch afterwards and got to pass the huge nascar speedway on our drive there. That was pretty exciting!  I cannot wait to bring the family back. It's incredible! We had a few appointments afterwards, but of course, they all fell through. Darn!  It's okay though, we picked ourselves up and kept trucking along. It's amazing how fast you learn to get over things. We had a great dinner with some college kids and basically just tried to find people the rest of the night. We got to Skype Nicole for a solid hour and teach her a lesson over Skype because she was out of town, and that was really fun! I LOVE HER! That put us at 9:00 and it was time to plan and get ready for bed. Great day!
Thursday was wonderful! We did our weekly service at the soup kitchen and then had interviews with President and Sister Alexander. I totally didn't know we were having interviews. We found out late Wednesday night. I swear I just had interviews with President. It was crazy!!!
AH! I love him so much. We had a really neat interview and I will forever be grateful for those precious 20 minutes each transfer. He is truly a man of God and just has so much to offer. Another person that I cannot wait for you to meet. I learn so much from him and am so grateful to be so close to him. I love serving in Charlotte! Speaking of the Alexander's, this week we are bringing an investigator to the mission home and are teaching them in their house! I am so excited. I have never been to the new mission home yet, and have never taught a lesson with President and Sister Alexander. They have SO MUCH power and I am just so excited for our investigator to feel of the spirit that is in their home. I've heard wonderful things about it! We did our typical weekly planning session and then had to go to dinner. We had dinner with a returning member named Maxine, and she invited her non-member cousin to dinner. It was a super positive experience and we ended up spending a little bit more time with them than our typical hour, but it was totally worth it. We built some solid trust and had some solid girl talk. It was much needed. That's definitely the bonus of serving in the YSA ward. You get to talk to people your age and "be real" for a little while. It's great! We had to drive home before we turned into pumpkins and then had to plan! Such a wonderful day. I wish we could've taught more lessons... But sometimes you just have days that are full of so much stuff that you just don't have time to go out and find & teach!
Friday was fantastic! Oh my goodness. So much fun! We were pretty busy all morning and afternoon with appointments and finding time. We were trying to go contact a less active that we have never met before and we knocked on the door, and someone else answered. It was this sweet girl named Nikki. She said she just moved in a few weeks earlier and that the person that we were looking for moved two doors down. There was no doubt in my mind that we were supposed to knock on her door.
She was so kind and invited us right in. We had a good chat with her and she wants to come check out the church sometime. It was also a miracle that she was a YSA. We don't find those very often just by knocking on doors. It was a big miracle. The less active we were looking for wasn't even home.. So it ended up working out great. We didn't have a dinner appointment that night so we just grabbed a snack and decided to keep on working! Being a Friday night, we decided to go to uptown Charlotte! Oh my goodness! It was a blast. Sister Nunies and I just walked the streets of Charlotte and were in complete heaven.  The sun was going down and there was a beautiful sunrise and seeing the city just made it perfect! We talked to lots of different people and saw quite a few interesting things. This one guy was skateboarding and stopped us and asked who we were. We ended up having a 45 minute discussion with him right on the streets in Charlotte. He is so wonderful! Such a fun guy and interested in learning more. That was another miracle of the day. Before we knew it, it was time to go home.  It was the fastest 2 hours of my life! We were having so much fun and it just flew by. It kind of made me sad because sometimes I wish I could just be home on a Friday night walking the streets and shopping with my friends, but I'm grateful that I was able to enjoy this beautiful city and serve at the same time! Such a good day.
Saturday was the most stressful day of my life. Not kidding. Oh my goodness. I'm not even sure I should write about this day haha. In the morning, we had a mission wide conference call and learned a lot from President and Sister Alexander. They mostly prepared us for the Summer weather and just encouraged us to keep working hard, even though it'll be hard and super hot! Then we met up with the Spanish sisters in our zone and went to teach a YSA that they met. He was SO amazing, but came to find out, he was married and had a kid and they had no idea.  They just met him at a gas station so they just thought he was a single guy. Well, we had a great lesson, but ended up having to refer him to the other missionaries! Oh well! Still great! Then we went back to the same park that we did service at earlier in the week, and we did some more service. I guess each year this park has a big rubber duck race and so there were tons of booths and tons of things going on, and we just helped with whatever they needed us too! It was pretty fun, and would definitely be a great family reunion activity. The duck thing was sooooo great. I'll have to tell y'all about it another time.
Then, we still hadn't even done Nicole's baptism program because not everyone had gotten back to us. That was a struggle. YSAs are great... But struggle with accountability. We rushed to the library and had 30 minutes to make a program. Talk about stress. Somehow I remembered all my crappy computer skills that I have, and we ended up making it work out! Our ward mission leader is great, but is obsessed with the gym and working out, so he doesn't have time for us. It's a constant struggle haha. Oh well, love the kid to death. We then met some bug boys (guys out here selling pest control for the summer) at the church for dinner and had a good time with them. They're great! Then our District leader showed up, and then Nicole showed up! YAY!! She got interviewed and passed with flying colors! Of course! She is the cutest thing. She was just so excited and couldn't wait for her interview. That took up the rest of the night and then we headed home and went to bed. It was raining soooooo hard, so I definitely slept well. :) today I just learned that God really does have a plan for everyone and that Nicole really needed to get baptized. It all just fell right into place so perfectly. I don't know how we did it and got everything done, but somehow we did. I know that if it wasn't supposed to have happened, God wouldn't have let it, but it did, so obviously it was supposed too. I know there is no way that we could've done it without him.
SUNDAY WAS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE. Not only was it fast Sunday and not only did I get to partake of the sacrament, but... As I'm sure you saw on FB, Nicole got baptized after church and it was so amazing. I literally have no words to describe how perfect the day was. The chapel was completely full and we had so much support. Her boyfriend ended up baptizing her and as I was waiting in the bathroom for her to come out, I watched her walk up the stairs after she was baptized and she just was crying and had tears running down her cheeks. Talk about a little piece of heaven. There is nothing greater than seeing that, especially as a missionary. It was such a tender moment that I will never forget. Probably the most significant things on my mission. It was heaven. Literally. Sister Nunies was outside on the outside of the font, so she wasn't in the bathroom with me, so it was literally Nicole and I locking eyes, and it was incredible. Wish you could've been there. Wow! So powerful! She is getting confirmed next Sunday and I know that'll be a special day as well! I LOVE BAPTISMS! It was great. After her baptism we all went to her boyfriends apartment and had a huge cookout at the pool! Ahhhh so fun! It was kind of weird being in that environment, especially on a Sunday, but she really wanted us there, and we went with our ward mission leader and decided that it would be okay to support her. She also had 2 of her non member friends come and support her so that was really good to meet them as well. While we were all eating, Nicole got a text from her mom that said, "Really Nicole? I cannot believe you posted that picture on Facebook. The whole family is calling us and freaking out. We cannot believe you got baptized. Wow." She read that text out loud to us and I couldn't help but just want to cry. It was so sad. Her family has all turned on her, but she was totally okay and took it like a champ.  She just said, "Well hey! I have a new family now who loves and support me." It was amazing. She is so strong. I don't know how she's doing it. I love her so much!!! After that hang out, we went back to the church for another dinner, (all we ever do is eat. Ugh) and then we had the mission President's fireside! That was incredible! I got asked last minute to play the piano for a musical number, so of course I did that, and then was able to just relax and feel the spirit! Those meetings are always the best. They are for the missionaries to bring their investigators, recent converts, and less actives! President speaks, and then a recent convert speaks as well. It's a wonderful meeting! :) We were spiritually drained and we're ready for bed. I definitely slept well Sunday night. Such a good day. Went to bed super duper happy.
Well, I have to get running, but that was basically my week in a nutshell! Super good & super fun! I love being a missionary. I love this gospel with my whole heart and soul. Just last week Robert emailed me and told me that he got asked to speak in the Winston Salem Stake Conference next week in front of a general authority! Talk about amazing! I am so proud of him and know that he will do great. It's been so amazing emailing him and seeing him progress in the gospel.
Ah! Love love love love it! Keep him in your prayers. I hope you each have a great week and know that I am thinking about you and love you lots!! Cannot wait to see you. Let me know if you need anything!
Sending all my love your way!! Xo talk to ya in seven!

Happy Birthday Corrie Beth!! I love you!

Sister Kyla Worthington

From FACEBOOK POST June 7, 2016

Sister-Erica Nunies with Mary Nicole and Sister-Kyla Worthington at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

June 7 at 11:28am · Charlotte, NC ·
I want to congratulate our girl, Nicole Harrison on her decision to get baptized this past Sunday! I am so happy and proud of you. It has been amazing to see the life changes you have made and the strong person you have become over the last couple of weeks. Thank you for letting us be part of your special day. Congratulations again girl, we love you!
"All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and … have truly repented of all their sins … shall be received by baptism into his church" (D&C 20:37).

Kyla's Post on Facebook June 7, 2016
"Before I die..." Is a very powerful statement. My companion & I came across this wall in downtown Charlotte and it made a big impression on me. It was amazing to see what others said they wanted to do before they die and return home. It made me think of the scripture Alma 34:32. "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors." Before I die, I hope to be able to prepare myself to meet my Heavenly Father by living righteously and being who I was created to be.💛

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