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!!! ❤️❤️

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