Thursday, August 4, 2016

August 2, 2016~happy august

Hi everyone!
Where did July go? Oh my goodness. I cannot believe how fast time is going. July was a great month, but I'm glad it's over! Now if I can just get through this month, we'll be okay. It's going to be a hard one. There isn't lots to look forward too and it's hard having no holidays. August in North Carolina is also one of the hottest months of the year.. So I'm not really looking forward to that. I hope that it goes fast and that we stay busy! Being busy is the best because I don't have time to think about anything but missionary work, and I love when I'm like that!
Today we have a zone activity so I'm going to try my best to type quickly and update you on this past week. Not too many exciting things happened this week, it was just another one of those weeks in the mission field. Lots of ups, lots of downs, and lots of in-betweens. I'm grateful for everyday and grateful for the experiences that God is allowing me to have. I have grown and changed so much. I don't even have words to describe how different my spirit and my heart is. Each and everyday I thank my Heavenly Father for helping influence me to come out and serve a mission. It would've been the biggest regret that I would have ever had! Thank goodness for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Well, let's give this week a shot. Monday was good. Typical preparation day. Tuesday was fun! Did some community service and then went to dinner with Nicole at the first counselor in the bishopric's house. We had a really good time and were able to teach her the second new member discussion. She is so sharp and ends up teaches us so much. She keeps asking if she can get her endowment sooner than the one year mark and we just laugh every time she asks, because the answer is always no. She asks bishop every Sunday and it just cracks me up. I love the girl to death. I think as far as right now goes, she is still planning on moving to Utah in September/October. I cannot wait for you to meet her. She's a solid 10.
Wednesday was long and exhausting. We had a really powerful district meeting in the morning and I got asked to share my testimony. Of course I ended up tearing up and probably looked like a hot mess. My emotions have been high lately and testifying about the atonement was just the cherry on top! I was able to share how the atonement has influenced me as a missionary. I have learned to use and understand the atonement in such a different way than I ever have before. Before my mission, I thought the atonement was there to just help me repent of my big sins and give me the strength and power to get through them. I never really was able to comprehend how the savior was able to help me with emotional, physical, temporal, mental, and spiritual pains and heartaches. Or I guess I just never went through anything too severe that made me really have to access the atonement to get through it. I realized that I was trying to do everything on my own and wasn't letting the savior help me and make it easier for me. Ohhhhh how I wish I would've known what I know now before. That would've saved me a whole lot of heartache and pain.
Since being on my mission, I haven't had to use the atonement in the way that I was used to using it. I haven't had to use the atonement to repent of big sins or mistakes. Being a missionary, it's pretty difficult to make big mistakes anyways... :) I have had to rely on my Savior and his atonement in a different way. In the way of healing my heart and soul, feeling and seeking peace, and most importantly, feeling the love of God. It wasn't until my mission that I truly felt the atonement work in that way. I KNOW with absolutely surety that my savior loves me. I know that he knows exactly what we are going through and exactly what we are feeling. He understands every emotion that we are feeling and going through. He knows our pains, our sadness, our sorrows, our thoughts, our spirits, our tears, our shame, and our heart. He knows everything about my little being. And because of that, he knows exactly how to help me and comfort me. I have had to rely on the atonement to help me in such a different way and I am so grateful that I have been able to experience it in the way that I have. I feel like I've been given the best of both worlds, because I have felt the atonement work differently in my life for different things that are going on. I love my savior so much and I am so grateful for his love and his infinite atonement.
After district meeting we had a district potluck. That was an experience. Sister Nunies made some pink Hawaiian chicken dish and it was interesting to say the least. I love the girl to death, but she eats some weird things. Makes me laugh. Sister Warner on the other hand eats more than anyone I know, and so with them together, it's never a good idea. We then had to go to Firestone and get our car inspected. That took a long time and was really boring. Then we went to the mission office and saw the great office staff. I love them so so much. I love being so close to the mission office. Every time I go there, my spirits are lifted and I walk out more inspired to work hard and to be more obedient and faithful to my savior. We had dinner with some good members and did some finding the rest of the night. We met a new investigator named Joy and she is the most precious thing ever! She lost her mom last year had some really deep questions. We were able to help give her a lot of answers and she is really excited to start investigating the church. We were trying to contact a former investigator and they weren't home, and so we decided to knock on the neighbors door and that's how we found sweet Joy. I'm hoping that she progresses and really takes the gospel seriously!
Thursday was crazy busy! We didn't have time for our 3 hour weekly planning session because we had so many things going on! I love days like that. We taught quite a few lessons and that felt really good. I really like when we have set appointments because it's also giving Sister Warner an opportunity to teach and learn. She is such a powerful missionary and I LOVE watching her teach! She has a really strong testimony and she is full of the sweetest spirit. We had an hour to go finding before we had our dinner appointment and so we decided to go to this place called the "Boardwalk." We were just street contacting and trying to talk with everyone and we saw this street performer guy playing his guitar trying to earn some money. We walked passed him because we didn't want to stop and listen. If we stopped, I would've felt obligated to give him some money, and I didn't have any on me at the time. After we got about 300 feet passed him, I had this feeling that we needed to turn around and talk to him. I told my 2 hermanas and we turned around. As we started talking to him, came to find out that met with missionaries last summer and had lots of discussions with them. He went to church quite a few times and was considering baptism. Since I have been out for over a year, I just decided to ask him if he remembered the missionaries that he met with. He looked at me and said, "Yeah, I totally remember them. Their names were Sister Cottis and Sister Williams." I freaked out! It made me so happy to find out that I was talking to someone about the gospel that my cute little Sister Cottis talked to one year ago. Such a small world. It was a tender mercy and made me happy the rest of the day. He's not a YSA, but we are going to start teaching him again and then are going to refer him to the elders if he's solid. Crazy how the Lord works and how he has a plan for everyone. He is so involved in our lives. The rest of the day was good, just finding & teaching & finding & teaching & finding & teaching some more. :) That's just what we do.
Friday was great! We had lots of planing and studying. We did some service with the homeless and I loved every second of that! Friday night we had interviews with President Alexander. Those are always my favorite! He is such an amazing man and I love him so much. Each and every interview with him is so special and I am so grateful that I get the chance to speak with him every 6 weeks. It's such a blessing! Sister Alexander also just melts my heart. She is the sweetest thing ever and helps us so much. Friday night we started a district fast and then I went on exchanges with some sisters in the zone! I went up to Concord, North Carolina. It was a very interesting exchange and I felt super uncomfortable the whole time, but other than that, I learned a lot. Going 24 hours without Sister Warner and Sister Nunies was absolutely awful. It made me so grateful to have them. You just have no idea how good things are until you have to go without them. I've learned a lot about the law of sacrifice lately. It made me think back to my temple experience and about how much that law impacted me. I am out here sacrificing everything to serve the Lord, and you are sacrificing a lot by having me gone! So mom, having me be gone is you exercising your faith and living a part of the law of sacrifice, and in return, you will be blessed because you are keeping & living that law!! :) Think about that one for a minute. Sacrificing 24 hours and going without my companions, and food (because we were fasting), was hard, but worth it! With every sacrifice comes a blessing! :) remember that.
Saturday was long and hard. Not only was a with a different companion, but I went tracting in the 104 degree weather for 6 hours straight. On no food or water. It was rough. In the YSA area, we don't tract. The odds of knocking on a door and finding a young single adult is rare, so we just don't waste our time doing it. I wasn't used to knocking doors and it made me really appreciate the area that I'm in right now. It was good to freshen up on my door approaches, but man it was tough. I don't know how missionaries tract all day everyday. There has to be a better way to do missionary work. Oh wait, there is, through the members of the church! :) That's how we are baptizing over here.... All through the members. They do the finding, we do the teaching. The rest of the day was good, and I survived, so that's all that matters. We were able to teach a recent convert family of 8. Six little black kids and the mom and dad and I was in heaven. It brought me back to my Haiti days.. And I couldn't help but think about my Haitian babies. Mom, can we go back?
Sunday was bomb. Alan Ginger was confirmed a member of the church and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Best. Day. Ever. My cute sistas and I had to give talks in sacrament meeting on member missionary work and I was bold and laid down the law. I really felt the spirit guide my talk and was grateful for what I was able to learn while preparing for it! We only got like 2 days to prepare, but hey, that's what we do! Speak last minute. Teach last minute. Serve last minute. Everything last minute. Missionaries to the rescue. :) After church we had our coordination meeting and then went to South Carolina for dinner. We had a really great dinner with some of my favorite members and that ended the week on a high note. I love love love the members here. They are so good to us and are so strong in the gospel. I cannot wait for y'all to meet some of the people that I have met on my mission. I've made some of the greatest friends out here and literally have a whole new family. North Carolina has my heart.
Lately in my studies, I have been thinking a lot about the principle of enduring to the end. While studying, it dawned on me that that principle is the only principle, out of all 42 that we teach, that is taught twice to our investigators. There are 2 sections in preach my gospel on "enduring to the end." I found that very interesting. Enduring to the end is such a crucial step of living the doctrine of Christ. I think we are really good at doing the first 4, having faith, repenting, attending church, being blessed with the spirit, but then we skip enduring to the end and just go back to faith. What then, really, is enduring to the end? How do we actually "live" that step?
I have started looking at it kind of how I look at keeping the Sabbath day holy. If we just sit at home and do nothing all Sunday long, are we really keeping the Sabbath day holy? No. We have to be filling our day with good, uplifting things and activities. We have to be actively engaged in doing something that will bring us closer to Heavenly Father. That is how we truly keep the Sabbath day holy. I've though of enduring to the end in the same kind of way. We cannot just sit there and live day to day, hoping and praying that we make it through another day, week, month, or year. We have to actively be doing something. Actively trying to live our lives in such a way that will bring us closer to Heavenly Father. Doing things that will help us become more like our savior. We only have this one life to prove that we are worthy to be with our father in heaven forever. We must be reading our scriptures every single day. We must be praying every single day. We must be constantly going to church and renewing our covenants with God through the sacrament ordinance. We must be trying our very best to become like our Savior and do all that we can to acquire his attributes.
I know that we all know that this life is difficult and truly enduring is really hard. It's hard to continue to press forward when the world seems to be falling deeper and deeper every single day. It's hard to keep going when you feel like you are drowning and cannot find breath. It's hard to feel like there is hope, peace, and light, when you are dealing with a trial that is taking over your life. It's hard to want to keep enduring when you feel like no one knows what you're going through and how to help you. It's hard to push forward when Satan is getting ahold of you and you cannot get out. It's hard to find joy in life when you are constantly surrounded by negativity and wickedness. Long story short, THIS LIFE IS NOT EASY. I have come to learn that trials, deception, and iniquity, are the very enemies of endurance. Those who can bear the pain of trials, who can ignore alternate voices around them, and whose loyalty can’t be bought with sin—these are they who will be able to faithfully fight and endure.  Enduring to the end is supposed to be hard. It's during those hard times that we truly come to find out who we are and why we are here. It's during all of those trials that we learn to turn to the Savior. It's during those hard times that push us to be better and want to improve our lives and become more like our Savior. If we didn't have to endure, there would be no point. However, we must remember that endurance takes action on our part. The Lord will not help us and magnify us until we first act. I test this concept almost every single day. Whenever I don't feel motivated to get out and do the work, I have to remember that it's up to me. I have to get out and do something about it. I cannot just sit there and expect God to somehow motivate me and put desire into me. It doesn't work like that. Once I man up and get outside and do the work, without fail, every single time, the lord gives me strength and magnifies me and I'm able to get through the day. He won't magnify us until we act FIRST. You cannot learn more about the Savior unless you pray about him. You cannot learn more about the temple unless you go to the temple. You cannot strengthen your testimony of the Book of Mormon if it just sits on your night stand and gathers dust. You have to open it up and read it. You cannot experience the joy of missionary work and have your friends hear about the gospel until you invite them and actually talk to them. Nothing will happen in your enduring process until you ACT. Acting and enduring is the process of conversion. Our conversions are fueled by our faith and achieved by our actions.
The responsibility to endure is uniquely ours. But through it all, it's important to remember that we are never alone. I know that the lifting power of the Lord can be ours if we will “come unto Christ” and “be perfected in him.” If we will “deny ourselves of all ungodliness.” And if we will “love God with all our might, mind and strength.”
"If you really want to be like the Lord and truly endure, more than anything or anyone else--you will remember that your adoration of Jesus is best shown by your emulation of Him. Then you will not allow any other love to become more important than love for your companion, your family, and your Creator. You will govern yourself not by someone else’s set of rules but by revealed principles of truth."
I love the promise that is given in preach my gospel to those whom choose to endure. "As we continue to live the gospel, we grow closer to our Heavenly Father. We enjoy and appreciate more the Atonement of the Savior. Our families are drawn closer together. We experience greater feelings of the love, joy, and peace that come from the Atonement. Our hearts are changed, and we find security in living the restored gospel. As we continue to exercise faith in Christ, repent, and renew our covenants, we enjoy continued guidance from the Holy Ghost. If we endure to the end of our lives in being true to our covenants, we will receive eternal life." Which is the greatest of all the gifts of God, right? We shouldn't want or strive for anything more.
Enduring to the end has become a real, working principle in my daily life and I am working on truly living that step of the doctrine of Christ. I want to invite each of you to evaluate how you "endure to the end" and think about some things that you can do to change and to better endure, and more importantly, endure joyfully. :) Remember that God wants us to be happy. He wants us to find joy in this life, even amidst all the hard things that are going on all around us.
I am so grateful for this gospel and am so grateful for the chance that I have every single day to bear witness of my savior Jesus Christ. I know he lives and I will declare that until the day that I die. I am grateful for missionary work and am grateful for the plan that Heavenly Father has for me. It's definitely been a journey, but it's been a beautiful one. I am grateful for each of you and the love that you have given me. I feel so blessed to be who I am and have the great friends and family members that I have.
I hope each of you have a great week and hope that you enjoyed your time at the Schlappi family reunion. I cannot wait to be back with the bunch. You guys are my favorites! I have to get going, but I want you to know that I love each of you and I love my savior. Keep the faith and keep enduring. He is waiting at the end and is going to be there to carry you the whole time, if you let him.

Keep me posted and updated on everything going on back at home. I love getting your emails and your pictures. They get me through the week. :) Let me know if there is anything that I can do for any of you. Love you to the moon and back. Sending all my hugs and kisses your way. Talk to ya in seven. & SEE you in 65 days.
But who's counting.....
Love you! Xo
Sister Ky Worthington

Participating in this Pokemon thing that is taking over the WORLD

Running with the homeless

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