Wednesday, July 27, 2016

July 25, 2016 so so blessed

Hello adorable people,

How's it going? Is it really already Monday again? Oh my goodness.
Time is going by so quickly. Looking back at this month I am just amazed at how fast it went. I seriously feel like we just celebrated the 4th of July. I hope that you all have had a good week and hope that you have been able to see miracles and have seen the hand of the Lord in your life. Isn't he so good? Heavenly Father has been so good to me this week. I don't know why he has been blessing me so much, but I'll take it! I definitely cannot complain.
Things in NC have been going really well. It's awfully hot and humid and I am getting some pretty good tan lines. I may have to hit the tanning beds a few times when I get home to even out how bad it is.  The struggle is real. We have been seeing many miracles in the YSA ward and we are on fire! I am really in the highest peak of my mission right now. I have never been happier & I feel invincible. I finally feel like I am living, breathing, eating, and sleeping my missionary purpose. Everyday we recite our missionary purpose which is to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." I truly feel like I am doing that every single day and I love it! It's been such a blessing to have the Lord on my side and to see him work in my life. When you feel the love of God in your life, you can do anything! The atonement is so real and so good. Lately I have just been reflecting and all that I have learned and have just been full of so much gratitude. The gospel is just so good. It's perfect. There is nothing better and nothing that draws us closer to him.
The beginning of the week started off well but went by pretty slowly.  I think that we were all so excited for the weekend that the week days just seemed to drag on a little bit. We did our usuals. Service, teaching repentance, & finding elect individuals. I am grateful for the diversity that we have in our days though. Each and every day is so different and brings something new. Something that I have learned serving in a singles ward is that things are so sporadic and so on the fly! We literally have people call us out of no where and want to meet up or change plans. We are always doing something unique and have so many different experiences. This past week we taught someone on their lunch break in a grocery store, taught someone while we were running with them in uptown, taught someone in a restaurant, taught someone at a bus stop, a concession stand at the park, and in a forest. You just never know what you're going to get. I definitely miss teaching in people's homes and feeling the spirit and the power that can come while in a nice home, but I have come to see that the spirit is the same everywhere you go and as long as you are testifying of the Savior, you can be anywhere and it works!
We were able to work with Nicole, Alan and Qua a lot this week. We worked on helping Nicole do her family history so that she could bring names to the temple. Guess what we found out? Nicole and I are 7th cousins! We are related through Randolph Alexander, who is father of Adaline Alexander, who is the mother of Adaline Sproul, who is the mother of my dear great grandpa, Lloyd Keith Schlappi. Hopefully that made sense? I was just trying to follow my family tree haha. Anyways, crazy small world! Randolph Alexander was born in South Carolina and that is where all of Nicole's family is from. It was so fun to be able to sit down and read stories of my ancestors and learn more about them. I think it was extra special because it was Pioneer Day weekend too! I really cannot wait to come home and do my family history work.  There is a special line in my patriarchal blessing that talks a lot about family history. I am so excited to come home and get to work. I really do love researching things and learning more about those who have gone before me. I really have been able to feel the influence of my ancestors while on my mission and I know that they have been helping me and cheering me on!
Nicole was able to go to the temple for her first time to do baptisms this past Saturday. She LOVED it and had such an amazing experience.  She was able to get baptized 20 times and wants to go back so badly.  She called us right after she was done and told us all about it. I am so grateful for my ward and for all that they did to help her get there. It's so hard not being able to go to the temple with them, but I know that one day I will be able to come back and go with them! My sweet bishop bought her a CTR ring and made it a really special experience for her. I know that the sooner you can get converts to the temple, the stronger they will be in the church. Statistics say that if you can get converts to the temple in their first two months of being baptized, they have an 85% greater chance of staying active in the church. We have plans to get Fernando and Alan to the temple in the next 3 weeks as well! :) Good things are happening here.
Qua Jones is our next baptism! The kid is so prepared. He is amazing!  He's the most adorable thing and has the sweetest spirit. He's an African American kid from Charlotte and has a heart of gold. We were able to have three really good lessons with him this past week. We taught most of the commandments and finished all of the most important lessons. It was so cute because when we were teaching the word of wisdom and law of chastity, he told us that he's already fixed it and has been living those commandments for 2 weeks. He said that he heard Mormons don't drink and don't participate in sexual activities before marriage and so he just said he stopped doing those things once he heard that. Who does that? We hadn't even taught him yet or committed him to live it and he just already committed to do it! So solid. So prepared. That's when you know they're elect. He said that his buddies have been offering him coffee and tea and he has turned it down and says, "Sorry, I don't drink that stuff anymore! It's a commandment from God." He is the best! He was able to go to Fernando's baptism last week and then came to church yesterday and stayed after for Alan's baptism. Later that night, he came to dinner with us and all of the bug boys and we were able to teach him again! He has made some really good friends in the ward and we are excited for his progress.
His date is August 7th and we are hoping he makes that date!
Training our cute little sister has been so much fun. She is the best.  She is so adorable and makes me laugh so hard. She has such a funny personality and she gets me through my hard days. I swear she is training me. She is so prepared and I know that she is going to be an excellent missionary. I know that having her see success early on in her mission will be so good for her and I know that she is going to do wonders for the mission in the future. NCCM is lucky to have Sister Warner! We love her and she has been such a blessing! So grateful that God has blessed me with AMAZING companions.
Pioneer Day in NC isn't quite like the Pioneer Day's in Utah. The stake got together and had a big cookout and played some games. The missionaries weren't allowed to go unless they had an investigator going, and so of course, we had to bring an investigator. We couldn't not go! We also invited Fernando and he had a really good time. After we ate, we all went and played a really intense game of miniature golf. I about died of heat exhaustion, but it was well worth it. I have to admit, I'm pretty dang good at mini golf. It was fun to spend time with him and get to know him better. Sometimes I don't feel like I'm on a mission and that I'm a missionary because I get to have so much fun. We ended the day with a few lessons and with Alan's baptism interview! He passed and is all ready to go!
The highlight of the week was witnessing Fernando Aguilar get confirmed and watching Alan Ginger get baptized. It was magical! I know that both of them made the right decision and I know that God is really proud of the steps that they have taken. Fernando's confirmation was done in Spanish and that was really special. I didn't understand anything that was being said, but I felt the spirit. I actually did understand the "Confirm you a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and say unto you, receive the Holy Ghost" part and that's probably the most important part so I was happy. Amazing how the spirit works.
Well, about 3/4 of the way into 3rd hour of church yesterday, we get pulled out of Relief Society only to find out that the baptismal font was overflowing!! Our ward mission leader was responsible for filling it up and he totally forgot to turn it off. Well, once he found out that it was really full and slightly overflowing, he accidentally turned it on ALL THE WAY ON instead of turning it off. Oh my goodness.  Water started going everywhere and flooding the bathrooms, the hallway, everything!! It was sooooo crazy. Quite funny too. We were trying not to freak out and panic, but a the same time, the baptism was supposed to start in 15 minutes. Our bishop ended up getting in a jumpsuit and went in the font and unplugged it. We all took off our shoes and were getting buckets and filling them up and dumping them outside. Towels were everywhere and we were trying to soak up everything. Our building is super old and the baptismal font is in the hallway, right in front of the mission office. It's super weird, but it's just the layout of the building. Anyways, it was an adventure. We started vacuuming up water and doing all that we could to make it presentable for the baptism. We were not going to let this stop us from baptizing Alan! Satan isn't that good!! It was something that I will remember for the REST of my life. It was so much fun. It all brought us closer together and we couldn't help but laugh, smile, and cry. We were sweating so much (because the water was hot) and we were having to run back and forth. It was such a good time.
Anyways, after we took care of most of that, we finally started the baptism service. It was a really special service and the spirit was there! Watching Alan get baptized was absolutely precious. He is one of my bestest friends and it has been so fun watching him learn and grow. He lives right by Grandma Schlappi and I am so excited to go home and hang out with him! Crazy how he had to come all the way to Charlotte to sell pest control to hear about and accept the gospel.
God definitely works in mysterious ways doesn't he! Alan is so happy and such a joy to be around and it has been so neat watching God work in someone's life. I know that the gospel is real and I know that it changes lives. There's no doubt in my mind that it's real.
This past week we had a less active member reach out to us and ask us if we could come teach him a lesson. We were very surprised because we really had no idea who this guy was. He just moved from VA and we have only seen him one time at church. We ended up having a really good conversation with him and he really opened up to us. He explained to us that he has been really struggling with his testimony and has been really wondering if the church is really true and if everything that he's grown up knowing and doing was and is right. We were able to have a really powerful lesson with him about testimony and conversion and I went home and couldn't stop thinking about him and about our lesson. For the next couple of days, I decided to direct my studies to that topic. The topic of testimony and conversion. I'm going to share some of my thoughts with you in hopes that I can help one of you who may be struggling with your own personal testimony or may be questioning things.
I think before I came out on my mission, I was where this very guy was. I have always grown up thinking and believing that the church was true, but I don't feel like I really knew for myself that it was true.  I don't think that I was ever to the point where I could say without a doubt that I KNOW the church is true. It wasn't until my senior trip on Origination and my mission where I truly gained my testimony.
Lately I have been evaluating my own testimony and the things that I have learned and the things that I know. I wanted to be very honest with myself and with my mission and with the Lord. I noticed that for a time on my mission, mostly in the beginning, I said my words carefully to try to build up others and say the right things, without actually committing myself to a positive statement that I knew to be completely true. I felt a little hesitant about it, but when I was in tune and doing my duty, I felt the Spirit and I knew that what I was saying was really coming from my heart, even if I really didn't know with absolutely surety. I came to learn that a testimony comes over time. A testimony comes from experiences and that we don't have to know everything. We just have to have faith and believe, and then the real testimony comes. I knew that undoubtedly, the days that I testify to my investigator that I KNOW it is true, even without maybe knowing completely, the Lord is just trying so hard to reveal the truth to me through the power of the Holy Ghost. While I am in the Spirit and in tune and defending the gospel, I feel the love of God deeply. It's me that tries to convince myself otherwise and I begin to reason with myself and question myself, when deep down, the Lord is just trying to teach me as I am teaching others.
An apostle once related our testimonies to thread. Right now, I have countless golden threads of testimony all throughout my being only waiting for the hand of the Master Weaver to assemble and weave them into an exquisite and perfect design. I know that I am working on building my own testimony and that as long as I am following the spirit, the Lord will magnify my testimony and touch hearts.
A testimony is a personal revelation--one of the important gifts--and can be enjoyed by every soul who will pay the price and do some work!!  The necessary procedure is: study, think, pray, and do. (Especially the "do" part) Revelation is the key. God will make it known to you once you have become humble and receptive. Having dropped all pride that is inside of you and having acknowledged before God your confusion, having subjected your egotism, and having surrendered yourself to the teaching of the Holy Spirit, you are ready to begin to learn!! "Testimonies often come when there is willingness to serve where we are called. They come when a decision is made to strive to be obedient. Testimonies come during efforts to help, lift, and strengthen others. They come from prayer and from studying the scriptures and applying them in our lives." They take action and you have to nourish your testimony!! If you don't nourish it, how do you expect it to grow? We all know that it is easier to talk about a testimony than to acquire one. The process to receive one is based on the law of the harvest: “For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). No good thing comes without effort and sacrifice. If we have to work hard to obtain a testimony, it will make us and our testimony even stronger. And if we share our testimony, it will grow. A testimony is a most precious possession because it is not acquired by logic or reason alone, it cannot be purchased with earthly possessions, and it cannot be given as a present or inherited from our ancestors. We cannot depend on the testimonies of other people. We need to know for ourselves.
An apostle once said, "A testimony provides proper perspective, motivation, and a solid foundation on which to build a life of purpose and personal growth. It is a constant source of confidence, a true and faithful companion during good times and bad. A testimony provides us with a reason for hope and gladness. It helps us cultivate a spirit of optimism and happiness and enables us to rejoice in the beauties of nature. A testimony motivates us to choose the right at all times and in all circumstances. It motivates us to draw nearer to God, allowing Him to draw nearer to us. Our personal testimony is a protective shield, and like an iron rod it is guiding us safely through darkness and confusion."
I know that whatever our circumstances, there seem to be moments in each of our lives when we can be given the knowledge that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ. I know that this gospel is true and I know that we have a life time to learn about this gospel. Be patient with yourself. Recognize that God's timing is different than ours and he will reveal things to you at the right moment. There is no greater search in life that we can embark upon than the quest to gain a testimony of the truth!! Our firm personal testimony will motivate us to change ourselves and then bless the world, and that is how we will be happy.
Remember that a testimony is when “your heart tells you the things your mind doesn’t know." Listen to your heart and listen to the Holy Ghost. I have never had a stronger testimony. I can now stand here and tell you that I KNOW that God lives. I know that he sent his son, Jesus Christ, to die for you and me. He knows us personally and he is here to help us. I know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet and I know that he restored the church back to the earth. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have of the plan of salvation and I know that we each can live together forever.
I am so grateful to be a missionary and so grateful for what I am learning. I want to invite each of you to do one thing this week that will strengthen your personal testimony. Do the work. Do something about it. Show God that you WANT to know and I promise that he will show you. It all starts with desire!
I love and miss you all so much. I have to get going, sorry I'm cutting this one short. Time is up and I've gotta run to FHE. Have so much fun at the big family reunion. I'm sending my love and will be there in spirit. Be safe. Have fun. & know that I love you all so much and cannot wait to see you!! Can I ask one favor? At the reunion, please gather the WHOLE Schlappi family together and have EVERYONE get on their knees and say a massive family prayer in a circle. Please please please! Thanks so so much. Love y'all so much. Talk to ya in seven. Sending all my love and hugs your way! Please let me know if there is anything that I can do for you! I'm just an email away! LOVE YOU! Xo
Sister Ky Worthington

Sunday, July 24, 2016

July 18,2016

Hi familia!
How is everyone doing? I hope this little email finds you all well and happy! Have I told you lately how much I love you and how much I miss you all? I am so grateful for the chance that I get to express my love to you at least once a week. I wish I could tell you every single day, but then you would probably all get sick of me real fast. Guess what? It's the 18th of the month and you know what that means.....
First and foremost, I want to apologize for my email last week. Sorry it was on the shorter side and sorry I didn't really go into much detail about what went on in the week. All I can tell you now is that I'm doing much much better and that I'm back in full force, so be ready! This week was really really good and one of the better weeks I've had on my mission. We saw so much success and we were just on fire all week long! I think due to my lack of updating last week, I'm going to go day by day and inform you of everything that went down! Heavenly Father is so aware of me and he has been so good to me this past week. I love him with my whole heart.
Last Monday was okay. Wasn't the best preparation day, but it was nice to hang out and relax and prepare for the upcoming week. We spent a lot of our day getting ready for the new sister that was going to be joining us. We picked up another bed from the mission office and set it all up. We put together her study desk and got everything situated. Three sisters in one bedroom and sharing one bathroom is an interesting sight, but we're making it work. After p-day ended, we went to the church for FHE. On our way there, it started raining super hardcore. Then it started to thunder really loud and we saw lots of lightening. As a result, the power went out at the church. After not coming on for 30 minutes, we decided to cancel FHE. Most everyone was already at the church and already made the drive up to Charlotte, so we all decided to make something out of it! A big group of us decided to go out to dinner and hang out for the rest of the night! We went to some yummy Mexican place and had a really good time. Fernando was with us and we decided to teach him while we had 12 members present with us! We taught him about missionary work and service and he loved it. He's already doing missionary work and is excited to continue to share the gospel. We made it home right at 9:00 and then planned, and then hit the sheets. We ended up having a good 30 minute chat while laying in bed and realized that it was going to be the last night that just Sister Nunies and I would have together. We reminisced about the past three months and the amazing time that we had together and the memories that we created! I love the girl to death.
Tuesday was a really good day. We met up with some elders in our district at the Landmark Diner in Charlotte for an exchange lesson. The elders found a young single adult kid and wanted to transfer him over to us so that we could start teaching him. We taught a good lesson over some challah french toast. It was wonderful! Right after that, we headed over to the mission office to pick up our new sister! We had a trainer meeting with President Alexander and he talked about how to train and some specific things that we need to do. Then we went into the transfer portion of the meeting! It was then and there that we met our dear Sister Nicole Warner. She is wonderful! She is from Gilbert, Arizona and is such a sweetheart. She is so prepared and we are so excited to have her. I also got to see a few other members from the Waxhaw ward and that made my heart really happy. I also saw some of my favorite missionaries and I couldn't help but smile. Transfer days are great. (Especially when you're not the one getting transferred.) I was able to meet Elder Gurney and he going to be in my zone! His trainer is one of my really good friends and I know he'll be taken care of! We're actually currently hanging out at the church right now together so tell his cute mom and aunt (Shannon Gurney) that he is doing well and that I'm taking good care of him! He's a good kid. Right after we picked her up, we packed up the car and headed to our community service at Matthews HELP center. From there we went to dinner with a member, and then we drove all the way up to Huntersville, NC for a lesson with Fernando. It was his last lesson and we finished teaching him everything that he needed to be taught. We went over the baptismal interview questions and set up his date for the interview. It was a very powerful lesson and Sister Warner did great too! She jumped right in and got a real taste of what missionary work is like! After our lesson, we were about to run out of gas and our GPS took us to a gas station that didn't exist, and we were kind of freaking out. It was already almost past curfew and we literally had 10 miles to go until empty, and we were 25 miles away from home. What an adventure. We ended up saying a prayer and found a gas station and everything ended up working out! Just all part of the experience. We went home and planned and fell right asleep. Successful first day.
Wednesday was great! It was a long day, but a good one! We had a few lessons in the morning with some potential and former investigators and those were really good for Sister Warner to experience! We were able to teach the message of the Restoration a few times and we did pretty good! It's hard learning how to adjust back to being in a trio and how teaching works, but we are getting the hang of it. After our lessons, we met up with a member and went to do some service with her. We drove to a few country clubs in the community and picked up old, used tennis balls for a service project that our YSA ward will be doing in a few weeks. I have never seen so many tennis balls in my life. We gathered over 3000 balls and will be placing them on the bottom of chairs and desks in elementary schools. After that we drove to a mall in south Charlotte and met up with a referral. Well, it was an interesting experience to say the least. He took us to an exclusive warehouse up above the mall and showed us where he worked. He is a photography for one of the biggest stores here in Charlotte called BELK. It's like your typical Macy's or JC Penny's. Anyways, we ended up having a 30 minute lesson with him in his studio and then he did a photo shoot with us. It was interesting, but so fun! I definitely found out that the modeling career is not for me though hahahah. Absolutely not! It was really neat though because he is doing a project and he wanted us to be apart of it. He wanted us to write up a paragraph or two of why we chose to serve a mission and what we hope to accomplish on our missions. He is going to attach it to our photo and is going to do something with it.. Not sure what.. But it was neat to write down my testimony and my thoughts and have him photograph it and edit it in a really neat way. After that, we ate dinner and then headed home. It was a full, busy day.
Another great day! Woke up and did our studies and then got ready to head out to our soup kitchen service. Well, when we got out to the car, we noticed a HUGE scratch and dent on the back side of our brand new 2016 Altima. :( It was the saddest thing ever. There wasn't even a note or anything. We immediately reported it and had to fill out an incident report. The cops came and wrote up some thing and it ended up taking up our morning. It broke my heart that someone didn't even have the integrity or the decency to apologize or even let us know that they hit our car! Gotta love Charlotte people. After service, we went with our elders and had some more all you can eat sushi. Ahh so good. We did weekly planning after and really organized everything and it felt super nice! Then we had dinner at bishop's house and had yummy chicken and salmon. Ugh. More fish. But it was really good. I also got to play on their Steinway piano for a few minutes and felt like I was in heaven. I have really come to love and adore my bishop and his family and it always feels at home when I'm there. Sister B. Reminds me so much of mom and it almost kills me every time we go over there! She takes really good care of us though and I am so grateful for her and for the great example that she is to me! After dinner we had a Skype lesson with Alan! We taught him tithing and fasting and it was a really good lesson! As we taught him, the spirit really confirmed to me that tithing and fasting are real, powerful, true, and that they WORK! Try it and test it out for yourself if you don't believe me. I love how we are able to use our technology and our tools to further the work. God is so good! Alan is doing great and is still set to be baptized on July 24th!
Okay, sorry this is getting long. Only a few more days haha. Friday was a good day! We had a district meeting in the morning and it was fun to have a new district leader and new missionaries in the district. We have a really big district, but a powerful one! Lots of missionaries in the district are training too so we have a lot of new missionaries. I am loving training this time. 2nd time is way better. & it just helps that I have Sister Nunies with me! I feel so much more confident and know so much more that it's made it much easier this time around. I hope that Sister Stratford will be able to forgive me one of these days for not being the best trainer haha. I just had no idea what I was doing. Anyways, after district meeting we went home to do our 12 week training and then had lunch, and then pulled out the bikes!! Woot woot! We decided to go to a very popular street and do some bus stop finding. Well, guess what! WE FOUND 3 NEW INVESTIGATORS. Yes! It was miraculous. It was all from sitting at the same bus stop and just talking to everyone who came. I love bus stops. I really made an effort to talk to everyone that I saw and it really worked. God was preparing people for us! After a long, hot, sweaty day of biking, we met up with some members and went out to eat at some Italian restaurant. It was super good and super fun. I think you got a picture from our member that night! Excuse the ugliness of the photo... We looked like a hot mess. Anyways, thanks for the hug momsie! She gave me a huge hug and said that it was from YOU and I loved it! Thank you! :) Friday ended well and we were definitely tired!
Saturday was a great day!!! Surprisingly, because Saturday's are usually our tougher days. We saw a few people, taught a few lessons, picked up Fernando's baptism suit from another set of sisters, then went and had another lesson with the guy that the elders referred us too that I talked about on Tuesday. His name is Qua Jones, and he is amazing! We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it was AMAZING! Sister Warner invited him to be baptized and we extended the date of August 7th! Start praying for Qua! He is so elect. Right after his lesson, we met Fernando at the church and had his baptismal interview. He passed with flying colors and came out of the interview just beaming. Our district leader said amazing things about him and about the interview and that he was all ready to go! He is so amazing and has literally changed my life. We then went out to dinner with a less active member and had a good time with him, and then drove back to the church to meet up with another less active and had a really good lesson with her. Saturday was a good day. We were super busy all day and had no down time. I love days like that. It helps me focus and really feel like I am fulfilling my purpose as a missionary!
Okay, today was perfect. I couldn't have asked for a better way to end the week. Fernando Aguilar got baptized and it was one of the most specialist times of my life!!! Ahhhhhhhh. He is amazing! The baptismal service was absolutely beautiful and the spirit was so strong. The ordinances were done in Spanish and that made it even better. I know that baptism is real and that it is essential. Fernando was so prepared and was just so happy, all day long. As a result of his baptism, we had 10 non-members at church! Qua came and stayed for all 3 hours and then the baptism, and then even stayed for linger longer! Alan stayed for all of it as well and it both just made them so excited for their own baptisms. I know that there is power in attending baptisms too! The spirit is just so pure and so tender. I loved it! I didn't want the day to end. Linger longer was really good and me and my two cute sisters got to be the judges for the enchilada contest. It was a super hard decision.. But obviously Fernando won. I mean he is Mexican and made the real deal enchiladas, so I was definitely a fan, and plus, he got baptized today, so he had to win! We had to choose him! After linger longer, we went home and did 12 week training again and then went to our lesson with Alan. Alan and his bug boy crew invited us over for dinner that night and they also invited Qua and his girlfriend to come. We ended up teaching all 3 of them and it was miraculous! We finished teaching Alan everything and went over the baptismal interview questions with him! It was a super powerful lesson and the spirit was so strong. Qua also got to hear the questions and it definitely made him think... So he's going to already be so prepared for his!! :) We then went and hooked up with the Sage Pest Control team and had a cookout. It was really fun. Sometimes I don't feel like I'm on a mission because we have so much fun in the YSA ward. I also got to see and hang out with Colby and Lauren Watts (from AF, went to HS with them) so that was pretty fun. It was time to go home and we ended the night of with a super powerful planning session and with a really heartfelt prayer full of gratitude. Another one of God's children entered into a covenant with him. I know that Heavenly Father was up there smiling and that he was proud of us! There isn't a better feeling in the world.
Well friends, that's about it. Sorry that was so long and probably boring for the most of you! Sorry it wasn't all that spiritual this week. I just thought I'd update you on my life and get you involved with some of the things that I'm doing as a little sister missionary in Charlotte. I want you to each know that I love the lord and that I love missionary work. This is where I need to be and this is what the Lord needs me to be doing! I am so grateful for the experiences that I've had and for the strength that I've received. I know that the Lord is watching over me and that he is aware of me, as he is you. 
Ponder this scripture this week: Alma 7:7 “For behold, I say unto you there be many things to come; and behold, there is one thing which is of more importance than they all—for behold, the time is not far distant that the Redeemer liveth and cometh among his people."
Our Lord, Savior, and Redeemer LIVES!! He is among us and will be forever and ever. Continue to trust in him and lean on him. I hope y'all have a good time at the family reunion and that you be safe and remember who you are! I will definitely be thinking about you and missing you!! I cannot wait to see you. We are getting closer and closer. Thank you for all of your prayers and your support. I am sprinting to the end and I know that God has some great things in store!! I hope y'all have a great week. Talk to ya in seven. Let me know if you need anything! Xo
Sister Ky Worthington

July 11,2016

nearer, my god to thee.
Hello my cute, sweet family,
I hope this email finds everyone happy, safe, healthy, and doing well.
I want to apologize up front for this email that is about to be written. I've had a lot on my mind and heart this past week and am just going to take most of today to spend time with the missionaries in my zone and district and relax and take some time to myself. I hope you will be able to understand and will give me some slack. :) I promise I'll be all ready to go and will be in full force next week.
The biggest news of the week is that Sister Nunies and I will be staying in Charlotte together for another transfer, and will also be adding a third. We are going to be in a trio! We are picking up our brand new sister tomorrow and will be training together! I am so excited. Our sweet sister arrives in NC tonight and will be coming straight from the MTC. We have been praying for her and are so excited to welcome her in. I am so grateful that I get to stay here in Charlotte with Sister Nunies and that I get to continue to serve with all of the young single adults. Training Sister Stratford was hard for me, but I know that I will be so much better this time around! I am grateful that Heavenly Father trusts me enough to train one of his daughters. Heavenly Father also knew that I couldn't train on my own right now, so he blessed me by keeping me with my little Hawaiian. He knows me oh so well! I am also really grateful to be staying around President and Sister Alexander and to be with Elder and Sister Garlick. :) They are my favorites.
Both of our progressing investigators, Alan and Fernando, were out of town this past week and so we were not able to teach them at all. :( Thankfully, we have so many tools to help us stay in close contact with them. We were able to keep daily contact with them and they are both still 100% ready for their baptisms. We are really excited for the upcoming weeks. Things are going to be crazy, but we couldn't be more grateful. I am also really glad that I get to stay here and witness their baptisms. I would've been crushed if I got transferred.
It's always so hard working with people and helping them come to Christ, and seeing their journey, and then being taken away and not witnessing their actual baptism. However, I know that the Lord has a specific plan for his missionaries and that he knows exactly where they need to be and when they need to be there.
We met a few new investigators this past week and that was a blessing.
Our mission is really trying to focus on finding new investigators and so we really got out there and tried to find find find! We went and walked around uptown and it was so much fun. Charlotte is such a beautiful city! It was so fun being uptown and meeting so many different people of different cultures. I love missionary work. I love being able to share my testimony with those around me and being able to get something in return. I love hearing about other people's lives and their experiences. We each have something beautiful to offer one another.
In Relief Society yesterday one of my favorite members gave a lesson on the talk "Come what May and Love it" by Elder Cook. It made me think of my dear Tara and how much I love her and admire her! I want to share with you a few things that I learned from that lesson and that talk. The four things that he talked about when handling trials and tribulations have really helped me this week! 1. Learn to laugh.
2. Seek for the eternal perspective. 3. Learn to understand the principle of compensation, and 4. Trust in the Father and the Son.
Those four things will help anyone who is struggling or who needs to feel the love of their Savior. One of my favorite quotes from the talk was, "The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude." Remember that every tear you shed will be made up for. All that God requires us is to try our best and to keep going. Keep hanging on and keep enduring.
We owe God the first mile and then the blessings will come on the second mile. He wants us to learn. He wants us to grow.
I know why there must be opposition in all things. Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives and we can learn to LOVE it.
I love each and everyone of you. I want you to know that I have a testimony of this gospel. I know that God lives. I know that he is aware of every single one of us. He knows us personally and perfectly, and I mean that when I say that. I have such a strong testimony of prayer. It works and it's real. I have felt God's love so strongly and I know that with his love, you can accomplish anything. I got my sprint letter in the mail this past week and I signed it very proudly with all of my heart, mind, might, and strength. I am ready to give it my all to the Lord. I need the blessings of missionary service. I am so grateful to be set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know that this is the only true church on the face of the earth and through it, and the ordinances therein, we can return to live with our Heavenly Father. I know that families are forever. I hope you each have a great week. Remember who you are and remember the covenants that you have made. There will be very few that will be able to make those covenants with God in this life time.
Take advantage of the blessings we have.
I love you all. Stay strong.

Sister Kyla Worthington

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July 4, 2016~Happy Fourth

Hey family!
Happy 4th of July! How is everyone doing? I hope you all had a wonderful morning at the parade and have a good evening tonight at the annual BBQ. Oh how I miss those glorious days. I definitely missed everyone on the Worthington side and hope that you had a good time at the family reunion. I hope y'all didn't have too much fun without me.  I promise I'll be there next year. :) It has been a super good day here in the Carolinas but it's ridiculously hot and humid! I don't think I've ever sweat so much in my entire life. My goodness. Today we got together as a zone and had a big cookout. We played some beach volleyball and all just hung out and enjoyed each others company.
Tonight after p-day is over we are going down to South Carolina with our singles ward and having a huge 4th of July party! I am so excited!  They have been planning it for a while now and it should be a good time. We are having another cookout, tons of games and slip n' slide, and then a crazy big firework show. There are definitely some perks to serving in a singles ward. We get to do so many things that other missionaries don't get to do. I really hope and pray that the Lord keeps me here for a little bit longer. I am getting nervous for transfers.
This week was kind of a tougher one. It was definitely a slower week and a hotter week. Let's just say that I'm grateful it's over.  Thankfully we were still able to see many miracles and tender mercies.
Once again, Sunday came and everything was all better. We see so many miracles on Sunday. I have decided that my hashtag for this area is #sundaymiracles. It was even a better Sunday because I had the opportunity to fast and bear testimony. I love fast Sunday's so much.
I truly have a strong testimony of fasting and I know it works! I have seen so much strength come into my life from the power of fasting.  Lately I have been getting so down and frustrated with myself and with the work, but somehow I have had strength to keep going and to keep enduring. Lately I have been pondering 3 Nephi 9:13-14. "O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you? Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me." The Savior is there to heal us if we let him and if we come unto him. (Or repent :)) I love how we can recommit and try again every single day and he is right there to help us.
The biggest miracle of the week was putting Alan on date to be baptized on July 24th! It's going to be a dang good Pioneer Day! He is so solid and so ready. It has been so fun watching God work in his life. The spirit has been so strong in every lesson and he is just on fire! He even came to church yesterday and showed up in a brand new white shirt and tie. It was the best thing ever. Put the biggest smile on my face. He has just been coming in nicer dress clothes but he totally came with a white shirt this time. We were able to teach him twice this past week and he is really progressing. Thank you for all of your prayers on his behalf. I have come to love the kid to death.
Another miracle was being able to teach Fernando in President and Sister Alexander's home. Oh. My. Goodness. Such a spiritual experience. We taught him about temples, family history, and eternal marriage and the spirit was so strong. I am grateful that we had them to teach that lesson with us because that one can sometimes be a hard one to teach. There really isn't much order when it comes to those lessons so I am grateful that we had them. They said the perfect things! It's hard to teach about temples because you never know how much you can and can't share... But it ended up being perfect. Fernando has already done tons of studying on his own so he knew a lot more than we thought he did. He also already started doing family history work on and already found some names to take to the temple. This kid is on fire. Towards the end of the lesson I bore a powerful testimony on eternal families and the spirit really hit me and testified to myself that what I was sharing was true. I am so thankful for the power of the priesthood that binds families together. That is probably one of my favorite things about the gospel.  I am so grateful that I get to be sealed to my family forever. I definitely have the best one in the world. Fernando is still set to be baptized onJuly 17th and then after his baptism we are having a ward linger longer and will be having enchiladas! It's going to be such a good day. And then another baptism the following week. Family... I cannot get transferred. I will be so sad. Transfers are on July 12th.
Hopefully the Lord is hearing my prayers and will keep Sister Nunies and I together for one more transfer.
I now know and have STRONG faith that I can baptize monthly. Not only 1 baptism, but 2 and 3. I know that all we have to do is turn it over to the Lord. We have to trust him and rely on him. Once I fully gave it my all and turned it all over to him and let go of every single distraction I thought I had, the work changed. I changed. Miracles are coming. I never really thought that it was possible, but I have seen the change in my life and it's a change that I want to keep forever. The Hilliard Ward is on fire and the members are getting so excited.  It's going to be a few crazy weeks with baptisms back to back, but we couldn't be more grateful. I am so thankful that my Heavenly Father has placed these people into my life. I have been able to learn and grow so much from these sacred experiences and it has been exactly what I have needed. I owe everything to him.
Our recent convert Nicole is doing great. She is so strong and is such a good example to me. We are getting her to the temple in a few weeks and couldn't be more excited to see her progress. I know that if you get converts to the temple quickly, they will be so much better off.  She is really looking forward to it and we are too! I cannot believe that it's already been a month since she was baptized. Time is just going too fast! Robert Robbins from Winston Salem is also doing really great. He got his interview to receive his patriarchal blessing and is so excited. He has been receiving so many blessings lately and I have loved watching God work in his life. I have been so strengthened by his example and his testimony. I cannot wait until y'all can meet these wonderful people that I have met.
During the day we have been struggling with trying to find people to teach, but we have also been able to plant lots of seeds and talk to many people. We are still doing lots of community service and even picked up another service opportunity. This past Friday I had one of the neatest experiences of my life! We went up to uptown Charlotte and got to run with the homeless people. The organization is called Running Works and it is amazing! Every week they supply t-shirts and shoes for the homeless to go for a run around the city. It was so much fun! We got paired up to run with someone and I ran with this amazing guy named Michael. We had a long chat while we were running and he just inspired me so much. He has had such a hard life, but has still remained to be positive and happy. I will never forget that special experience that I had. Although it was 100 degrees with 100% humidity, it was well worth it. You just never think you'll be able to experience these kind of things in your life... But then you come on a mission and get to experience some of the neatest things. I LOVE MY MISSION.
We had a really powerful district meeting this week and I have been thinking a lot about what my district leader trained on. He gave a training on the light of Christ. I would imagine that most people know what the light of Christ is, right? Well, after the training he gave, I have a whole different perspective. The Light of Christ is not a person. It is a power and influence that comes from God and when followed can lead a person to qualify for the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Every single person who has ever been born has the light of Christ in them. In a dark and dreary world, many people don't know that they have the light of Christ in them. There are even people who don't even know what it is, yet they have it within them. Our responsibility as missionaries and members of the church is to help people recognize that they have the light within them. Once they recognize that, I firmly believe it will help them make changes in their life to come closer to the Savior. Once recognized, the light of Christ leads all mortals to our Heavenly Father and to His truths. It teaches us to love the Lord and to love our fellowmen.
A few days ago I was reading in the ensign and came upon a story that went along with this perfectly. It was about a man who one day, on the road, found a broken piece of a mirror. He began to play with it as a toy and became fascinated by the fact that he could reflect light into dark places where the sun would never shine--in deep holes and crevices and dark closets. Reflecting light into those dark places just became a game for him. But when he became an adult, he realized that his childhood game was a metaphor for his life’s mission. He came to understand that he is not the light or the source of light. But light--the light of truth, understanding, and knowledge--is there and will only shine in many dark places if he reflects it. He went on to say how he can reflect light into the dark places of this world, and change some things in some people. Each of us are the mirror. The Savior is the light and the sun. We have the ability to shine light into dark places and dark souls. When we encounter people who are struggling, we can reflect the Savior’s light to encourage them. The Apostle Paul taught the Romans, “Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light." I have never read that scripture before but I loved it!! We all need to put on the armour of light!
There are so many scriptures that talk about LIGHT. In 3 Nephi, the Savior says, “Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up--that which ye have seen me do” (3 Nephi 18:24). In Matthew it reads, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Are we being that light for those around us? If not, how do we do this? How does light enter into us? How do we receive it and then share it? We must constantly be exercising faith, repenting, partaking of the Sacrament worthily, and striving to have the gift of the Holy Ghost. We must constantly be trying to improve and become more like our Savior. We must be in light places and around good people. Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Where the light of Christ is found, the darkness of Lucifer, even Satan, must depart!
“Christ is the light; the gospel is the light; the plan of salvation is the light; ‘that which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.’ As the light of the sun enters the body through our natural eyes, so the light of heaven--the light of the Spirit which illuminates our souls--enters through our spiritual eyes.”
I know that God’s light is real. It is available to all! It gives life to all things. It has the power to soften the sting of the deepest wound. It can be a healing balm for the loneliness and sickness of our souls. In the very darkest hours of despair, it can plant the seeds of a brighter hope. It can enlighten the deepest valleys of sorrow. It can illuminate the path before us and lead us through the darkest night into the promise of a new dawn.
We can all reflect the Savior’s light and become more like Him. We can lift and bless the lives of those around us as we “put on the armour of light” and feel the protecting safety offered through living the gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope that each of us can let our light shine as we strive to become like the perfect Light--our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Sister Nunies and I are really doing great. I love her. She is such a hard worker and I admire her strength and her faith. She had a really hard day a few days ago and just broke down and it hurt me so much. It was so hard to see her sad, but I am so proud of who she has become and admire her so much. Missionary work is hard. Missionary work is demanding. BUT, missionary work is worth it. I have tried to continue to have a positive attitude and I have seen that very effective.
During one of our hard days, some of the elders in our zone called and invited us to come to lunch with them. It was exactly what we needed.  We went to a super nice sushi place in uptown and got unlimited sushi for $10. It was the bomb. I have never seen so much sushi be eaten.
All together, we ate over 300 pieces of sushi. SOOO good. After that we were completely happy and so excited to do the work. We ended up biking it off and enjoying the rest of our night. See, God is so good.  He knows exactly what we need to cheer us up.  I have no words to describe how much I love this gospel and how grateful I am that I chose to serve a mission. My life will be forever different because of my decision to serve. Thank you so much for all of your help, love, and support. I feel your prayers every single day.
Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help any of you. I am grateful for this country and for the freedoms that we get to enjoy every single day. I am grateful for the restoration of the gospel and for the Lord preparing our land. I hope that each of you have a great week and continue to hang on and have faith! I miss you so so so much and cannot wait to see you. Sorry this email was all over the place.. Been a crazy day! Hope you can forgive me. Go spread & shine your light!! Xoxo

Sister Kyla Worthington

Facebook Post on July 4, 2016

the land of the free & the home of the brave. We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful country. I am so grateful that heavenly father sent me here! I want to encourage each of you to get on your knees tonight & express your gratitude to our father above for giving us this beautiful place to live.‪#‎happy4th
comments on Facebook to the post
comments on photo
162You, Alison Gage, Troy Worthington and 159 others
Stephanie Hargus LOVE this!!!!! And love YOU!!
Shelly Sheffield Bourne You are beautiful your hair is so long
Adriana Moreno Miss you and happy 4th
Ron Keaton There's that INCREDIBLE smile, and holding the American flag, You should be on the front cover of a magazine BEAUTIFUL!!
Catherine Girard McKaskey I love your contagious smile and positive outlook. Yes it is the best land still, even with the strife we seem to face now and then.
Tami Schlappi Love you cutie!!! ❤️❤️

June 27, 2016~Attitude of Gratitude

Hey cute fam!
Another week down! How is everyone doing? Sometimes there are just those days where I find myself missing y'all so much, and today is definitely one of those days. Some are harder than others. It really feels like it's been an eternity since I've seen you. Hopefully you haven't forgotten about me yet. :) I am excited for the next few months as I will be preparing to come home and see each of you! You all mean the world to me and I hope each of you can feel of my love and appreciation for you. I couldn't do this without you!
This week in North Carolina was another great one! They really seem to be flying by. I cannot keep up with how fast time is going. I have so much to do and not enough time to do it. Just this past week we had one of the office couples from Highland leave us and welcomed in the new office couple, the Dewey's from Boise, Idaho. They are so amazing!  I seriously love all of the office missionaries with my whole heart and soul and cannot wait for y'all to meet them one day. Everyone's time is just flying by so quickly. I would definitely have to say that the last half of the mission has gone by way faster than the first half. If you can make it half way, the rest will just fly by! I kinda wish I could serve for 24 months. Six more months would be perfect. I really am trying to just work as hard as I can and take every opportunity that I have to share the gospel. I don't want to ever walk past someone without giving them the opportunity to hear about the restored gospel. I have such a fear of getting up to heaven and having people come up to me and saying something like, "You had this gospel the whole time and you didn't bother to come talk to me and share it with me?" I never want that to happen so I am trying my very best to talk with everyone and share my testimony!
This past week we were able to teach quite a few good lessons and were able to meet with our progressing investigators Fernando and Alan.  They are both so wonderful! I wish I had words to describe how much I love them! God has blessed us with some amazing people. On Tuesday we were able to have our investigator Fernando in a members home. We had an apt. in the home of our first counselor in the bishopric and it was really powerful. We taught him the word of wisdom, law of chastity, 10 commandments, & sabbath day! The spirit was so strong and he understood and accepted everything! A week prior, we asked him to pray about his baptism date, and he came to us this week with July 17th!  It's in his phone and everything. He's even chosen the person who is going to baptize him and confirm him! It's Wonderful. We also have linger longer after church that day and it's enchilada style so he's even more pumped. We will have church, his baptism right after, and then linger longer after that! What a wonderful Sunday that is going to be. Fernando has been coming to church every week and has been keeping every commitment and it has been so fun to watch him exercise his faith. Just yesterday at church in gospel principles class he was commenting so much and sharing so many great things. Everyone who hadn't met him yet totally thought that he was a member. He is going to be such a great addition to the YSA ward. The bishopric and ward is super excited for him. He is such a solid guy and really has his life together and the singles ward really needs that. I guess most of the previous baptisms haven't been very strong converts and they have been dealing with a lot of less actives. We are really tying to avoid that and don't want to baptize them until they are really converted and committed to stay! Both Nicole and Fernando are amazing!! We have an appointment in President and Sister Alexander's home this week on Wednesday with Fernando and we are super excited! He has already met them a few times at the mission president's fireside so it will be really good to have him in their home and to be able to feel the spirit. President and Sister Alexander are amazing! They have a spirit about them that no one else has. Wednesday is going to be a really good day.
Alan Ginger is our other solid investigator! He was the one that I talked about last week when we had that miracle lesson! Well, last night we had another miracle lesson!! We taught the plan of salvation and it went really well! Alan has been reading the Book of Mormon and has loved it! He said he hates reading, but for some reason, he is loving the book of Mormon and can't put it down. He really opened up to us and told us that he's been praying, and then all of the sudden mid-day, he gets his answers to his prayers. He has been feeling the spirit so strongly and is loving everything! He even called his Catholic parents and family back in Utah and told him he's been really investigating and wants to get baptized! So so so solid! The only hard part is that he is selling pest control, so we can only see him once, maybe twice a week, if we're lucky... So his progress is a bit slower.. But we'll take what we can get. He is coming to church every week and loves it. We invited him to pray about baptism and he committed to do so! At church yesterday he signed up on the meal calendar to feed us so we are super excited about that! He's not even a member yet and he's feeding the missionaries! We have 2 lessons set up with him this week and are hoping that that will increase his progress! Please continue to pray for him. He's just the sweetest little 18 year old and I know how much this will bless his life!
We have a few other people we are working with, but they are still just at the beginning stages. We are super excited for the miracles we are seeing and the progress that we are seeing our investigators and recent converts make. I love this gospel so much! Speaking of recent converts.. Nicole is doing great!!! She has been at the beach for the past few days with her family and it's been really hard for her to be around such negativity, but she is just staying strong and continuing to hold to the rod. It was the cutest thing because we went over to her house the night before she left for the beach and she showed us a one piece swimsuit that she bought and told us how excited she was to wear it in front of her family. She also told us that she packed her Book of Mormon and anytime that her family is bothering her or trying to get her to drink, she is going to pull out her Book of Mormon! So great! She also surprised us by sending us a picture of her in front of the the Raleigh Temple! On her way down to the beach, she decided to stop and take a picture at the temple! Like what! Who does that?
She is so solid! She is going to be making it down to the temple for our ward temple night in a few weeks and she is so excited. She is getting her calling next week and will be assigned as an FHE coordinator! She'll be so great. She isn't afraid to put herself out there and loves making new friends. She also told me that she's been thinking and praying about moving to Utah... That's exciting! She is still dating the bug boy from Utah and they are getting pretty serious! I am so excited. Literally she has been one the greatest blessings ever!
This past week we had zone conference with President and Sister Alexander and another zone! It was fun being combined with another zone. I got to see the sisters that are serving in Waxhaw and they were able to fill me in on a lot of things and people! that made me super super happy. Sister Alexander also asked if a would play a special musical number at zone conference.. So of course I said yes. I decided to play a really neat version of Be Still my Soul. I only had a little bit of time to practice, but it ended up being really good.  The spirit carried me through once again! :) Oh how I love that special gift. President Alexander trained a lot on the atonement and how we can apply it into our lives as missionaries, and into the lives of others. As a result of that, I've been thinking about my savior a lot and how in essence, we are doing everything he is doing and following him and doing exactly what he did. He was a spirit child before he came to earth and so were we. Then he came to earth to get a body, and so did we. Then he suffered here on earth, and so are we.
(Him obviously WAY more than us, but we're still suffering.) He died and rose again on the third day, and so will we. He returned to his Heavenly Father, and so will we. EVERYTHING is because of him. I have been reminded of how amazingly lucky I am to know what I know and for the relationship that I have with my savior. I love him so much and am trying to do my best to put him first in all things and serve him with all of my heart, mind, might, and strength. He has done so much for me and I don't even know how I will ever be able to repay him. My heart is full of so much gratitude for him, for my life, for my family, and for my mission.  So, today I'm going to share my thoughts with you about having a positive attitude and an attitude of gratitude!! Yay! Recently Sister Nunies and I have really been trying to work on having a positive attitude and being more grateful. The zone that we are in just kind of struggles in that department. We feel like everyone is just so down all of the time and never smiling. And well, we don't like that one bit! Sister Nunies is like one of the happiest people I've ever met and she just carries the brightest spirit with her! As we have improved on our positive attitudes, we have been able to see a lot of the other missionaries change and find joy in the work!  Attitude is such an important part of the foundation upon which we build a productive life. In looking at our present attitude, we might  ask: “Am I working to become my best self? Do I set worthy and attainable goals? Do I look toward the positive in life? Am I alert to ways that I can render more and better service? Am I doing more than is required of me?" Remember, a good attitude produces good results, a fair attitude fair results, and a poor attitude poor results. We each shape our own life, and the shape of it is determined largely by our attitude. George Bernard Shaw wrote: “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.”
William James once said "Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind."

When I think about having a positive attitude, my thoughts are directly linked to my Uncle Mike, Joseph Smith, and our Savior Jesus Christ. Each of those individuals have had many many trials in their lives, but among them all, they have remained happy and positive. Why do you think that is? I think it is because they understand who they are and their responsibility to Heavenly Father. I think they are like that because they live the gospel of Jesus Christ every single day.
They apply the atonement of Jesus Christ in their lives daily. They repent. They are selfless and put others before themselves. They are always serving and always striving to uplift others. They put themselves out there and weren't afraid to stand up for what they believe in. Yes, life is hard and we will all have struggles. But ultimately, WE GET TO CHOOSE what we do with those struggles and how we will respond.
The adversary cannot make us do anything. He does lie at our door, as the scriptures say, and he follows us each day, but, every time we go out, every decision we make, we are either choosing to move in his direction or in the direction of our Savior. But the adversary must depart if we tell him to depart. He cannot influence us unless we allow him to do so, and he knows that! The only time he can affect our minds and bodies--our very spirits--is when we allow him to do so. In other words, we do not have to succumb to his enticements!
Finally, remember our agency is not only for us. We have the responsibility to use it in behalf of others, to lift and strengthen others in their trials and tribulations. Some of our brothers and sisters have lost the full use of their agency through unrighteous choices, and we have the power and the ability to help influence and change them. One of my favorite quotes from Thomas S. Monson is, “So much in life depends on our attitude.… We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we choose a positive attitude.” I know that as we work on having a better attitude in ALL things, our gratitude for our Father in Heaven, ourselves, and others will increase.
This past week I was rebuked hard core by the spirit. There was one day in particular this week that was really tough for me. I was just super down. Nothing was happening and all of our plans were falling through. It was 1 billion degrees outside and I was sweating so much.
My legs and feet were hurting from walking and biking so much and I was getting sunburned. I was just kind of at my end. Then to top it off, our dinner appointment canceled and we really didn't have anything to do. I found myself pretty upset and frustrated that God would let us have a day like this. Then while we were walking, I said a prayer in my heart and the answer I got was a little bit interesting and now what I was expecting. The spirit said as clear as day, "Sister Worthington, you need to be more grateful." That was a pivotal moment in my life and will be one that I will remember forever. It hit me really strongly and really helped me refocus my thoughts and change my attitude. I have it so good. I started to really think about my life and think about how good I have it. I started to think about all the people that we were passing on the street who don't have anything. Who have such rough lives and who are just living with no purpose. I started to see how some people don't even have food to eat and clothes on their backs. And yet here I was complaining because it was hot and humid, and I was tired. It really slapped me in the face and I repented hard core that night. Since then, I have been trying to be more grateful and I have seen such a difference in my life. God has been helping me so much!!! I have such a strong testimony of gratitude!
As I have worked on increasing my attitude, I have seen myself being more grateful. My prayers have been better and more full of thanks.
Gratitude is not only an expression of faith; it is a saving principle. The Lord has said, “And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments." It is clear to me from this scripture that to “thank the Lord thy God in all things” (D&C 59:7) is more than a social thing to do, it is a binding commandment that we have been asked to do. I also think the Lord loves, more than anything else, an unwavering person who is determined to obey his commands!! If being grateful is a commandment, we better do it!
Well, I better start wrapping this up. I know it's getting long and y'all know that I could go on forever, but I better not. I just want to leave you with one of my favorite hymns this week that always lifts my spirits, kindles my faith, and inspires my thoughts.
When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings; name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. … So amid the conflict, whether great or small, Do not be discouraged; God is over all.
Count your many blessings; angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
Life is great and I am working hard. I LOVE being a missionary. Were it not for the outpouring of the Spirit that I feel each day, I would have probably quit by now. It brings me joy and reminds me that the Atonement is carrying me. I am so grateful for where I am going, and I am so excited to continue to learn and grow. The Atonement is real and I need it every single day. I know and testify that the atonement can carry you as well. I want to invite y'all to work on having a better attitude of gratitude this week and acknowledging how good we truly do have it. I love you all SO much. Thanks for everything. I hope you have a great week and an amazing 4th of July. I am not sure if my P-day will be moved to Tuesday or not.. So I guess if you don't get an email from me on Monday, you'll know it's been moved! Have so much fun at the family reunion without me. I will be thinking of each one of you! LOVE LOVE LOVE you! Sending you all my love from Charlotte!
Sister Worthington

This is Nicoles testimony that she wrote down and let me read! Ahhhh so precious. & then the other is just of me and my cute Hawaiian cheesing it up. :)

June 20, 2016~Joy Beyond Measure

Hello my favorite people,
How grateful I am for the opportunity I have, once again, to sit down and share some of my thoughts with you. My heart is so full of gratitude and joy this day and I hope that I can express what I'm truly feeling! First and foremost, I want to wish all the Fathers out there a Happy Father's Day! I hope that each of you had a wonderful day and that you could feel of the love that I have for you. Especially my own Papa T. I love you daddy! It was such a good day to be able to reflect on my own father, my Heavenly Father, and on all of the 'fatherly figures' that I have been blessed with in my life. I have too many to count! I am so grateful for all of your love, support, example, and influences that have gotten me to where I am at today. I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for you. I was also reflecting on how much I love and respect President Craven and President Alexander. They have been my rock and "my father" while I've been out on my mission. I am so grateful for the love that I feel from them and the lessons that they have taught me. I will never be able to repay them for what they have given me. I love them both so dearly. I also want to thank everyone for all of the prayers on my behalf. This week we saw SO many car accidents and I just felt so grateful for all the people that are praying for me and my companion and our safety. It's really scary driving here and everyday I feel like I'm putting my life at stake, but then am reminded that I have all your prayers coming my way, and I really appreciate it. Keep them coming!
This week was miraculous. Another one that I hope will never be forgotten. Some days I just have to pinch myself and make sure that this is all real life. A mission is sometimes too good to be true. This past district meeting was really powerful and my district leader said something that has really stuck with me all week long. He said, "A mission is the best kept secret." And oh how true that is. Until you serve a mission, you will have no idea what it really is. Not only how extremely difficult and hard it is, but how glorious and joyful it is. There has never been a time in my life where I have felt more happiness, more purpose, more strength, more confidence, more joy, more love, more hope, and more EVERYTHING good! It's amazing. But then again, there has never been a time in my life where I have felt more sadness, more confused, more weak, more down, more upset, more stressed, more fear, and more EVERYTHING bad! Haha, that's just how it goes. But, I am SO grateful that I have been able to be apart of one of the greatest kept secrets in the world! :)
Monday through Saturday was decent. Just another week! In the mission we had a little bit of a change with our key indicators and the things that we will be reporting on each week to our leaders. We are now only focusing and reporting on baptisms & confirmations, investigators who have a baptism date, investigators who attend sacrament meeting, lessons that we have a member present at, and new investigators. Due to that change, Sister Nunies and I have really stepped up our game on inviting people to be baptized, focusing more on church attendance, and getting member presents! We have seen so many miracles as we have just focused on that. We used to teach so many "other lessons" each week, which are basically just lessons that we teach people on our own and through our own efforts, but we really stepped up our member present game this past week. We got a member out with us every single day and saw so much success!! It makes all the difference in the world. If you EVER get a chance to go out with the missionaries, TAKE IT PLEASE. You have no idea how much it helps us, and helps the investigators. We now have 3 individuals on date to be baptized in July, and we had 4 investigators come to church yesterday. Miracles are happening left and right in Charlotte. This transfer is going by way to fast too. Sister Nunies and I are freaking out. We cannot leave because so many good things are happening. Hopefully the Lord is going to answer our prayers haha. Anyways, we had a super successful week and it felt nice to really focus on what really matters and what will ultimately help these children of God make covenants with their Father in Heaven.
Monday night was FHE and after that Nicole joined us in teaching a lesson to one of our investigators. Yes, she is on fire and LOVES teaching with us. Tuesday we did our community service all day and then taught a few lessons in the evening, all of which were member presents, so we had 4 in one day and that was just grand! Wednesday we had district meeting, decided to pull out the bikes, and saw many miracles. We talked to so many people and it was so much fun! Due to being in Charlotte, there are SO MANY PEOPLE outside just walking the streets. We would just go from bus stop to bus stop and stop and talk to the people. We would get off our bikes and would act like we were waiting for the bus to come, and then just share the gospel like crazy. Then when the bus would come, we would just act like we changed our mind and didn't need to take the bus anymore. Hahaha it was hilarious. But overall, we found bus stops super effective this past week, until we ran into our competitors, the Jehovah Witnesses, at one of the bus stops with their booth all set up. Yeah, that was awkward. But hey, they were jealous, so it was all good. :) Thursday was great, minus the fact that I woke up with really bad heartburn that lasted for 3 days. Anyways, over that now. We did service at the soup kitchen and met some new people. It was packed this week. I'm sure people just wanted to come inside and get some nice AC while enjoying a nice meal. It was really really hot on Thursday so I'm sure that's why we had so many people. It kept us busy though and we loved it! The pastor of the Lutheran church that we serve at also came up and talked to me a lot this week for some reason. I'm not sure why.. But we had a really good conversation and he just wanted to get to know me more and my plans for the future and everything. It was interesting and I was kind of creeped out at first, but, it ended up being really good and I was able to talk to him a lot about my mission! We then had a good weekly planning session and tried a few new things. Our zone leaders have really been emphasizing planning and how important that is. We came up with 5 p's of planning. "Proper planning prevents poor performance." How true that is. Not just with missionary work, but with life in general! I have also been working on really trying to plan, and then actually working that plan. President Alexander always says, "Plan to work and then work your plan." So many times as missionaries we plan to be somewhere or to see someone, but then end up doing something else or going somewhere else. When we plan, Heavenly Father is preparing people for us, and if we don't work our plan, we are missing out on opportunities. It's important that we plan ahead and then follow through because the Lord is preparing and he needs a little bit of time to do so! One night we just had NO idea where to go because all of our plans fell through, and it was raining SO HARD, and so we just decided to go try to see this less active since we really didn't have anything else to do and it was getting late. Well of course when we get there, she wasn't there. I was kind of frustrated because we just wasted some miles and some precious time, but then I quickly realized that it was our fault and that we didn't plan effectively the night before and that we didn't give the Lord time to prepare her. Of course she wasn't home. It was because we didn't give the Lord time to prepare her. I just expected her to be there and prayed right before we went to see her that she would be there, but I learned my lesson. Since then, we have been better planners and are becoming masters!
Thursday night was super super good. We got to have a lesson with Fernando Aguilar. He was someone that was being taught by a different set of sisters, but he is YSA age, so he decided to come to our ward and FHE one week. He's been coming for about 3-4 weeks now, but we didn't really know what to do with him because he was still being taught by the other sisters. Well, the sisters finally got in touch with us and told us that they talked to Fernando and he wants to start coming to the YSA ward. They transferred his record over to us and we picked up where they left off and have been teaching him. Thursday night we taught him about tithing and fasting/fast offerings. It was AMAZING!! He is so prepared. He wants to get baptized on July 3rd and is 100% ready. He is 29 years old and is from Mexico! He has his life all put together and is just so solid. While we were teaching him, I could just see him being a future bishop or stake president. He's going to go far in the church, and will be a big contribution to his country. I'm just feeling really good things with him. He's been another HUGE miracle that was just handed to us. I feel so blessed and so humbled to be able to meet such amazing people and work with so many of God's children who are truly prepared to receive his Gospel.
Friday was really good! Right after studies we drove down to Rock Hill, South Carolina and helped our lovely recent convert Nicole move out of her apartment. We also got to meet her father and her younger brother! It was amazing! We were all able to help her and then all went to lunch afterwards. They really opened up to us and I think have better views of the church. It was really good for them to see us as 'normal people' and to just get to know them better! Nicole has a few hard months ahead of her as she is moving back in with her parents, but I have full faith that it will all work out. She is crazy strong right now and God will take care of her. After helping her, we got back and pulled out the bikes again. We are in a full car area, but we just had so much fun and saw so many miracles on bikes the other day that we couldn't help but pull them out again! This time, we got a few #1's (aka the middle finger) and that created some good memories and some good laughs. Oh how we love people! We had a lesson with one of our progressing investigators named Nazea, and after our lesson, we played some pick up ball in our skirts! It was a blast! He's this huge 6'6 black kid and loves to play basketball. We got destroyed, obviously, but built some solid trust with him and had a good time. We finished the night off strong and slept well.
Saturday was mediocre. We did a lot of finding and visiting former investigators. Most were home, but we weren't able to actually teach them. There were a few that we were grateful we at least met and put a face to the name, so that was good, but I wish we could've done some more teaching. We decided to pull out the bikes one more time for the week and rode around some parks and just hung out in the town! We taught our investigator Damon on his lunch break and was going to drop him because he wasn't keeping his commitment to come to church, but.... he exercised his faith and came to church for the first time!! So, we will not be dropping him anymore! The rest of the night was long, but that's just how Saturday nights go. It's so close to Sunday that it just seems to drag on.
Sunday was probably one of the greatest days of my mission. OH MY GOODNESS. I swear, ever since I came to Charlotte, miracles just happen every Sunday. Sunday is our miracle day. Church was really good, but it was kind of hard having all the talks be centered on Father's Day, and not being able to be with my own daddy, AGAIN. One of the talks was really good and was given by a kid that I went to high school with, Brian Vaudrey. He is out here selling pest control for the Summer and he is a solid kid. I got over my emotions real fast though and moved on with the rest of the day. Besides having 4 investigators at church, we witnessed another miracle. Last Sunday all of the bug boys brought one of their friends to church. His name is Alan Ginger. He is from Orem, Utah and came out for the Summer to sale. He is not a member of the church and is surrounded by all of the other bug boys who are members. He had a good experience at church last week and decided to come again. We had dinner scheduled with some of the bug boys Sunday night and they came up to us and asked us if we could teach Alan the restoration after dinner. Of course we agreed and got super excited. 6:00 couldn't come any sooner! We had linger longer after church and that was really fun. Then we went and visited a few people before dinner, and then headed to dinner!
BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE. We were just hanging out and eating dinner with 15 Rm's, mostly from Utah, and having a good time. Then it was time for our lesson. I'll admit, I was so nervous. I am usually not nervous to teach, especially the Restoration because we teach it SO MUCH, but for some reason, I was super scared. Probably because I was surrounded by 15 RM's. Talk about pressure!! We've never had 15 member presents in one lesson haha. I think Alan was a little bit overwhelmed as well, but he knew everyone and was used to hanging out with all of them, so I think it was okay. We all pulled some chairs into a circle and started the discussion with a prayer. Thankfully that invited the spirit. Then we began to teach the message of the Restoration. It was the best lesson I've ever been in, hands down. The spirit was SO strong that it brought me to tears. We had one member share the Joseph Smith story and as he was talking, the spirit bore witness to me that what he was sharing was 100% true. Alan really opened up and told us how he's been looking for more and wanting to find his faith, and he thinks he found it. After we finished the lesson, we asked him how he felt. He said he felt good. He felt different. And for the first time in his life, he felt truly happy. We pointed out that that feeling was the spirit. We then had a short discussion on the power of the Holy Ghost and how that is going to help him figure out if what we are sharing is true. We finished with a prayer and the spirit was SO REAL in that little apartment. You could tell that every single one of the people in the room was just beaming. We were all so excited and so happy because I think it'd been a long time since all of us have felt the that strongly. It was unreal. I wish each of you could've been there, or that I could've recorded it or something. Alan really wants to get baptized and loves what he is experiencing. We have another lesson with him on Saturday and I couldn't be more excited. Saturday couldn't come quicker.
On the ride home, Sister Nunies and I were full of so much joy. We talked about it for a few minutes, and then just rode home in silence for the rest of the ride home. We were listening to a talk by Elder Bednar and he was talking about Jesus Christ, and how he is the light of the world. It was talking about how through him, and because of him, we can be happy. We can find peace and joy ONLY through him. Tears started rolling down my cheeks as I had just witnessed the power of Christ touch someone's life. For the first time on my mission, I REALLY felt the powerful love that my Savior has for me. For the first time on my mission, I honestly had the thought that I NEVER want to go home. I never want to leave this place. I never want to remove my name tag. This is pure joy. More than just happiness. I have never felt myself so close to my Savior and have never felt closer to Heaven. I really felt like I left earth for a few minutes and was in my own little world with my Savior. I was overflowing with the spirit and with gratitude for the experience that I had just had. We got home, sent in our numbers, planned for the next day, and got ready for bed. I found myself on my knees for a good long while, basking in my own tears. A few other things happened that night, but due to how personal and sacred it is, I won't share it with you today. All I want you to know is that I KNOW that my Savior is real. I know that the Holy Ghost is real. I felt it and I watched it touch 16 other people that night. It was a feeling that I will never be able to deny, and something that I will defend until the day I die. Best night of my mission. I'll leave it at that.
Okay, sorry this is getting long. I'm getting emotional just writing about my experiences this week. Now I'll share with you some things I learned. :) This week my studies were in 3 Nephi 12, and all about the Beatitudes. In the book of Matthew, Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount to encourage His disciples to strive toward perfection with full purpose of heart. Following His Resurrection, Jesus appeared to the Book of Mormon people in the Western Hemisphere and again delivered this sermon.

President James E. Faust once said, “The Savior’s transcendent message in the Sermon on the Mount is of burning-bush importance to all of us. This message needs to penetrate into our hearts and souls. As we accept this message, we are taking our personal stand in this life." The Sermon on the Mount as contained in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon is the Lord’s blueprint for perfection. President Harold B. Lee said, “Christ came not only into the world to make an atonement for the sins of mankind but to set an example before the world of the standard of perfection of God’s law and of obedience to the Father. In his Sermon on the Mount the Master has given us somewhat of a revelation of his own character, which was perfect, or what might be said to be ‘an autobiography, every syllable of which he had written down in deeds,’ and in so doing has given us a blueprint for our own lives."
Beatitude means “‘to be fortunate,’ ‘to be happy,’ or ‘to be blessed'"and the dictionary defines the word as “a state of utmost bliss." Such words describe the results when we apply the teachings of this beautiful sermon! Rather than being isolated statements, the Beatitudes are interrelated and progressive in their arrangement. I found it very interesting that they are put in the order that they are put in! I know that they are that way for a reason. The Beatitudes truly embody the “constitution for a perfect life." The first four have to do with our individual selves, and then the last four have to do with man’s social relations with others.
3 Nephi 12:3. “Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit Who Come unto Me”
The poor in spirit, of course, means those who are spiritually needy, who feel so impoverished spiritually that they reach out with great yearning for help. “Every one of us, if we would reach perfection, must one time ask ourselves this question, ‘What lack I yet?’ if we would commence our climb upward on the highway to perfection." I loved that question "What lack I yet?" And have pondered it many times. We all have the responsibility to come unto our Savior and turn to him.
3 Nephi 12:4. “Blessed Are All They That Mourn”
The Beatitudes are a recipe for righteousness with incremental steps, beginning with the poor in spirit who come unto Christ and then the next step in the celestial direction is to mourn, especially for our sins, and to have godly sorrow, for that worketh repentance to salvation. After we have made the decision to come unto Christ, it is important that we mourn and that we truly have the desire to change.
3 Nephi 12:5. “Blessed Are the Meek"
The dictionary defines meek as “enduring injury with patience and without resentment." To be meek is to be teachable. Those who are willing to listen can learn much. Those who are unwilling to listen deny themselves great blessings. Humble and meek suggest virtues, not weaknesses. They suggest a consistent mildness of temper and a willingness to learn and grow. "How does one get humble? To me, one must constantly be reminded of his dependence. On whom dependent? On the Lord. How remind one’s self? By real, constant, worshipful, and grateful prayer." We must be humble and willing to change and repent. We must be humble to accept our faults and our weaknesses, and be willing to learn and grow from them.
3 Nephi 12:6. “Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness”
While serving in the general Relief Society presidency, Sister Sheri L. Dew explained the connection between desire (hungering and thirsting) and action, or the ability to work to achieve the desired results. “Our ability to hear spiritually is linked to our willingness to work at it. President Hinckley has often said that the only way he knows to get anything done is to get on his knees and plead for help and then get on his feet and go to work. That combination of faith and hard work is the consummate curriculum for learning the language of the Spirit. The Savior taught, ‘Blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost’. Hungering and thirsting translate to sheer spiritual labor. Worshiping in the temple, repenting to become increasingly pure, forgiving and seeking forgiveness, and earnest fasting and prayer all increase our receptivity to the Spirit. Spiritual work works and is the key to learning to hear the voice of the Lord." After we have repented, we must try our very best to continue to fill our lives with righteous things. We must constantly immerse ourselves in the scriptures and meaningful prayers. We must serve our fellow men and be examples of the believers at all times and in all things.
3 Nephi 12:8. “Pure in Heart”
"To be without guile is to be pure in heart, an essential virtue of those who would be counted among true followers of Christ. …“If we are without guile, we are honest, true, and righteous. These are all attributes of Deity and are required of the Saints. Those who are honest are fair and truthful in their speech, straightforward in their dealings, free of deceit, and above stealing, misrepresentation, or any other fraudulent action. Honesty is of God; dishonesty of the devil, who was a liar from the beginning. Righteousness means living a life that is in harmony with the laws, principles, and ordinances of the gospel." I think is one of the most important ones. Virtue and purity is so important, especially in these latter days. Being pure in heart will be the test if we have truly repented and have truly forsaken all of our sins and have committed to the Lord that we are willing to follow him in all things.
3 Nephi 12:9. Peacemakers
“Coming unto Jesus Christ as the ‘Prince of Peace’ is the pathway to peace on earth and goodwill among men. Elder Bruce R. McConkie described how to become a peacemaker: “Peacemakers: In the full sense, only those who believe and spread the fulness of the gospel are peacemakers within the perfect meaning of this Beatitude. The gospel is the message of peace to all mankind. Children of God: Those who have been adopted into the family of God as a result of their devotion to the truth. By such a course they become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ." Once you have attained this complete attribute of Christ, you will be one with Christ and will be on your way to perfection.
3 Nephi 12:48. “I Would That Ye Should Be Perfect”
It is not possible to be perfect in this life. However, President James E. Faust explained that we must seek for perfection now so as to be able to attain it in the next life. “Perfection is an eternal goal. While we cannot be perfect in mortality, striving for it is a commandment which ultimately, through the Atonement, we can keep." We will not be exalted, we shall not reach our destination, unless we are perfect, and now is the best time in the world to start toward perfection!
I hope that each of us are taking this sacred time on earth to prepare to meet our Savior Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father and are working towards being perfect, as they are. I know that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and our Savior and our Exemplar who will direct us along the right path that leads to exaltation. There is a reward, but it must be earned and we must do our part. Perfection is our goal and can be achieved as we are working on living the beatitudes and applying them in our lives. I am really going to work hard this week on those beatitudes. Will you work with me?
I LOVE THIS GOSPEL. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. It is the greatest calling in the entire world. Hitting my 15 month mark this past week was the hardest thing ever. Time is going by way to quickly and I never want this to end. I am so excited to see everyone, but will be so sad when I have to leave this place that I have come to call home. I love North Carolina, and I love the people here. I know this gospel is true and I know that the Savior is with us all the way. Turn to him and do all that you can to STRIVE to become like him, and you will be blessed.
I hope you each have a good week. Thank you for your prayers and your support. Please let me know if there is anything that I can do for any of you. Keep working hard and trusting in our perfect Lord and Savior. He knows you. He is here for you. He will help you. And he can heal you. LET HIM!
I love you all! Talk to you in seven! Xo
Sister Kyla Worthington