Called to Serve in the Washington Spokane Mission

Called to Serve in the Washington Spokane Mission
"Come, Thou fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace, Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise. While the hope of endless glory Fills my heart with joy and love, Teach me ever to adore Thee, May I still Thy goodness prove."

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sending Sister Huang Home and Getting a New Companion

Happy New Year friends and family!  :)  I hope you all had a great Christmas!

Christmas as a missionary was definitely a different but great experience.  I felt like I was more able to focus on the Savoir this Christmas and the difference he makes in so many people's lives! :) 

We got our transfer calls last night.  I sent Sister Huang back to China (tear) and it was so hard to tell her goodbye!  But I will be staying in Spokane West Cheney YSA and my new companion will be Sister Jessica Johnson!  She is from Utah and she actually was my old Sister Training Leader in Moscow!  She will be the new STL here in Spokane West and I'm SO excited to work with her!  She is a great missionary and an awesome leader. 

I'm excited for the college students to FINALLY come back after the Christmas break!  We will be real busy and the work here will pick up a ton when they finally come home! :)

Thank you for all you do!
Love you all!
Sister Worthen  :)


This is the famous red wagon at
River Front Park in Spokane

Christmas at the River Park Square


Our snowman.  Yeah, it looks
like I have an arrow through my head

Sisters in our zone out to breakfast

The sisters in our zone all get along great!

Dog named Buddy

Outside the institute

Missionaries at the Stake Presidents
home on Christmas day


Sister Huang loves Minions

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Skype Call with Sister Worthen

Hi, this is Sister Worthen's Dad.  Today is Christmas day 2015.  We had the opportunity to have a Skype call with Sister Worthen today.  It was so great to talk with her, and to see how she is doing.  I've included a few pics below and a short video from that call.  Merry Christmas!



video

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas from Cheney Washington!

Hi family and friends!

Merry Christmas!!!!  I hope you all have a great holiday!!!  :)

This week has been such a great one!  We got to go with Maddie to the distribution center to help her get all of her temple clothes!  After that, Maddie took us to a Hong Kong Chinese Buffett.....yikes, that was culture shock for me!  There were clams and sushi and little baby octopuses (octopi?), and all sorts of weirdness.  Sister Huang was in heaven, haha.  :)  I tried some of it, but decided to stick with noodles and rice.  :)  Later in the week, we got to go through the temple with Maddie and be her escorts for her endowment.  We got to see it in Mandarin Chinese too which was amazing!  Sister Huang will finish her mission this week and head back to China, so she ended on the most rewarding high note!

I'm nervous to get my new companion and I'm going to miss Sister Huang like crazy, we're super close and it will be hard having her go!  But I'm excited for the growth that comes with change as well.  I'll also be super happy when all of the college kids get back in town after the break and all of our investigators come back!  :) 

We had exchanges this week, and I was able to go with Sister Griffith in her area, the Sunset Ward.  I learned a lot today from Sister Griffith!  She has only been out one transfer longer that I have so we are both fairly new.  She is so emotionally invested in her area and the work, and I love that about her!  The day started off a little rough with absolutely no one being home, but as we continued on slowly one by one we were able to see miracles happen.  :)  We contacted a potential family who set up a return appointment with us, taught a less active, met with two investigators, and had an awesome dinner appointment!  :)

Oh, and Elder Gingles (a missionary in my zone) and his companion had the creepiest thing in the world happen to them!  Someone broke into the elder’s apartment and put pictures of brain scans on Elder Gingles desk with a note saying that they were being controlled and they should want their life back, and to call them to help them.  Basically it’s like something out of “Criminal Minds”.  Needless to say, the elders are moving to a different apartment now.  :)

Our ward did it’s Sunday Christmas program this week, and it was really good, except we were supposed to have two investigators at church today and neither of them came.  :(  It broke my heart.  It’s so discouraging to work so hard and not be effective at all......ugh.  Hopefully next week we’ll get investigators at church.  John is on date for his baptism in January though!  We are excited for that!

Also thank you all so much for your Christmas cards and gift cards!  They really have meant the world to me (getting mail is super exciting no matter what, it makes my day :) ) thank you for thinking of me!!!!!!  Especially the Turners, Hanks, Oliversons and my ward for sending me Christmas cards and making me feel loved.

I'm super excited to Skype my family and be able to see them on Christmas! I love you all!

If you haven't seen it yet, check out "A Savior is Born" on christmas.mormon.org :)  It's the Church Christmas video this year and it's the one we use on our pass along cards. I promise if you watch it, that it will bring the spirit in so strongly this Christmas season!

I love you all!  :)  Merry Christmas!

Love,

Sister Worthen :)


We wrote our pass along card message
"A Savior is Born" on the bush, just to convert
anyone who walks by.  :)  You gotta do what you
gotta do to speed the work along.  :)









Last time at the temple with my best
Chinese friend in the world!  So sad for her
to go home this week.  :(
Such an amazing opportunity to go with
Maddie to the temple today, and be her
escorts for her endowment.  I love that lady!

The octopus that I tried (gagged down) at the Chinese Buffet
Went to the dentist this week, and got to wear these
cool sunglasses that keep the bright light out of your eyes.
I guess Sister Huang thought this was funny. :)
No cavities!

What my name tag looks like in Chinese
Sister Huang's first snowman.  Thanks for the goldfish,
Kade.  They were much needed as the snowman
eyes and buttons.  :)  Notice we also gave him a
pass along card just for good measure.  :)
Sister Huang insists on scrapping the
car every morning because "she
won't get a chance to do something
that fun in China when she goes back".
I'm not complaining.  :)
Beautiful Christmas tree at the
River Park Square in Spokane

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Andy's Baptism and Merry Christmas!

Hi family and friends!

This week has been a great one, our Investigator Andy got baptized this week!  Woo!!  It was such a great experience and he was so excited and happy.  It's amazing to see how the Lord moves his work forward in areas of the world where the missionaries aren't able to teach.  Andy is from a part of Asia where missionaries aren't allowed in right now.  He came to America for a year as an exchange student and is staying with a family in our area!  He is YSA age and Chinese so we were able to teach him.  When he goes home he will be able to share the gospel with his friends and family there!  I officially am getting my Chinese name tag this week and I can bear my testimony in Mandarin and say simple sentences.  It's coming slowly, haha.

We also go to go with James (our recent convert who was baptized two weeks ago) to the temple to do baptisms for the dead with him!  It was super cool and he loved every part of the temple.  This coming week we get to go with Maddie (a recent convert of almost a year) to get her endowment with her!  We have been teaching her temple prep in broken English and Chinese.  We went to Spokane Valley to help translate Maddie’s temple recommend into Chinese.  The Spokane temple is really tiny, but it’s so peaceful.

A hard part from this week was our investigator who was supposed to get baptized this weekend just found out that she has liver failure and has to move to Seattle for treatment so her baptism is being pushed back awhile.  I hope she is ok and it's really disheartening but it just goes to show how much the adversary really doesn't want people to get baptized.  :(  She did call our ward mission leader and wanted to meet with us and Bishop Neilson, and that she wanted a blessing.  I was happy that she turned to the church and Heavenly Father to help her.  J  We’ve definitely seen her faith grow.  Any extra prayers for her would be appreciated!

We also had another disappointment the other day.  Sister Huang and I went on a split with members so she could teach a lesson in Chinese, and I could give a church tour to a potential investigator.  I called him and he said that he was on his way, and he would call when he got to Cheney.  I was so excited and a little nervous for my first church tour by myself.  J  I ran around turning all the lights on in the building, setting up two sacrament trays, opening the baptism font.  As I waited for him I rehearsed the commitments and the testimony I wanted to share, I was so excited!  I thought for sure Heavenly Father was blessing us with a new investigator because we have been working hard and have been obedient.  J  I waited, and waited….and waited.  After a long time, the member I was with softly told me that she didn’t think he was coming.  My heart broke, I was so disappointed.  L

One highlight from this week was teaching John.  He is a referral from a member, but he works crazy long hours as the manager of a trucking company.  So a lot of times he doesn’t even get off work until after our missionary curfew.  Anyway, we finally set an appointment with him!  We taught him about the Book of Mormon and he talked about how he needs to read it every night.  And we put him on date for baptism right there for January 16th.  Somehow Heavenly Father keeps blessing us with people to teach and baptize, even with the students being gone over the break!  J

I FINALLY got a letter from Brittin this week too!!!!  So that was a highlight! :) 

Oh, and one other thing…. the roof blew off of the post office here, so the mail is backed up by 5 days or more.  We had winds again about 75 miles an hour.  Hopefully you’ll get my written letters soon, but they may be delayed!

Well I love you all! Thank you for all of your love and support during Christmas time! 

Love,

Sister Worthen :)

Merry Christmas from the
sisters in Cheney



Andy's baptism


White elephant gift party

Monday, December 7, 2015

YSA Work a Bit Slow For the Holidays, But Still Small Miracles Every Day!

Hi friends and family!

This week was kind of a slow one, but still good!  All of the YSA age kids are headed home for the holidays so it's a bit slow here investigator wise!  There was maybe like ten people in sacrament meeting is all!  Definitely a change from the big wards in Utah.  We have a new investigator this week though!  Her name is Daisy and she is golden!  Hopefully she will progress and we will be able to put her on date for baptism! 

We have another baptism coming up on Saturday!  His name is Andy, and he's doing great!  He is a foreign exchange student from China.  :)  I'm so excited for his baptism!  Our recent convert James (who was baptized this week) is going to the temple on Wednesday to do baptisms for the dead and we get to go with him!  And then Maddie (another recent convert) is going through in two weeks to get her endowments so we'll get to go to that as well!  I love this work, and even though the holidays will be a bit slow for the YSA work there are still small miracles that we see every day!  :)

Thank you to the Young Women and Young Men in my ward back home!  I got a Christmas card from the youth and I loved it!  It's sitting on my study desk now.  :)

Thank you for your love and your support, especially during the holidays!  I love you all!
Have a great week!

Love,

Sister Worthen  :)

Sister Huang and I with our
tree from home




Gingerbread houses from care package
Sister Huang with her
calendar from home


Monday, November 30, 2015

First Baptism, and Finding an Investigator at the Institute!

Hi friends and family!

I'm sorry for not sending an email out last week.  I didn't watch my time well enough and completely ran out of time!  This week was such a great one, we had our first baptism!  James got baptized and I'm so grateful to have been a part of it!  He has changed his life so much for the gospel.  Before he heard the discussions he was a very big partier and drinker.  He didn't have a place to live and would just crash at different people's houses.  His family life wasn't a great one and he knew there had to be more out there.  Of all places he ended up in west Spokane in Cheney, Washington. One of the people he stayed with some of the time was a member of the church and referred him to the missionaries!  It's amazing how much the gospel has changed his life, and changed the person he is today.  His testimony is so strong!  The baptism went so well, the spirit was so strong there!  It's another testimony to me of how this church is true and how it changes lives.  This week we will work with him on getting him to the temple for baptisms for the dead and also getting the priesthood.  The next step will be getting him a calling and his patriarchal blessing!  We have another baptism coming up in two weeks, his name is Andy.  I'm so excited and blessed to serve in this area and I'm happier than ever!

We saw the biggest miracle ever with finding a new investigator!  J  James was going to the “Productive Life” institute class so we decided to go with him to keep contact with him until his baptism on Saturday.  We’ve never been to that class before because we’ve just never had time.  But this week all of the students are mostly gone for Thanksgiving and campus is pretty dead so we had more time than usual that wasn’t filled.  Since James was going we were able to go.  While there, we met Elijah, who we found out was roommates with a member.  He is a local, has a Christian background, and loved the institute class.  After the class we went up and asked him if he would like to learn more and he said that he would!  J  We have an appointment with him next Tuesday after the class again!! It really strengthened my faith in the fact that we can’t just find people on our own, but instead, Heavenly Father helps with that so much and has prepared people and puts them in our path!!  I’m so grateful for that tender mercy this week!!

My amazing companion is from China, and we've been doing a lot of Chinese work lately. I'm getting a Chinese name tag and learning how to say my testimony in Chinese! :)  I love it here and I'm excited for the Holidays!  We had three families feed us for Thanksgiving!!!  Needless to say that was a lot of food... we had to pray to make it through the last meal.  ;) 

I love you all! Thank you for all of the emails, packages, support, and love! It makes a world of difference.  :)

Love,

Sister Worthen :) 

James at his baptism

On exchanges with Sister Brown

Finally got to see Sister Stokes

Setting up our little Christmas
tree in our cottage

Selfies with Sister Huang


Beautiful area by the lakes

Monday, November 23, 2015

"Friendsgiving", and a Wind Storm

Hello family and friends!

So yeah we had that HUGE wind storm and power outage!!! President asked us not to drive on the roads so we stayed inside and studied for most of the day.  The wind was CRAZY!  We didn't have heat or power or hot water for three days so we moved into a member’s house this week for a bit. :)  We moved back to our cottage when everything else came back on. We learned that two people died in Cheney from trees falling on them, but no missionaries were hurt.   We heard about 200,000 people were without power!  There were a lot of electrical fires as well, and all of Cheney and most of Spokane was without power or running water for several days.  There are still about 35000 people without power today.

We had a lot of ups and downs this week.  Hilda came to our lesson and told us that she didn’t want to meet for a while because she feels really overwhelmed with all of it.  So she needs to figure things out for herself.  We’ll check up on her in a couple weeks, but that was really hard for me because it was like all of a sudden her progression just stopped.  :(

We had a “Friendsgiving”!  It’s a big activity that the ward council and us have been planning for Thanksgiving to really rally behind the Lord and get investigators there with non-member friends.  It was a huge success!! A ton of less actives were there and a lot of non-members.  And we scheduled a church tour with a lot of them!  The food was great and the Bishopric was really involved and brought their families!!

We met with Deneisha as well and had a lesson with her.  We talked about the Book of Mormon and the comfort and healing that it can bring.  She read the Book of Mormon and is keeping her commitments!  I pray so hard for her.  I love her to death and more than anything I want her to feel of Heavenly Fathers love for her!

This week we had James baptismal interview and I got to fill out his baptismal record.  I’m so excited for him!  Sister Huang and I will be teaching him the new member discussions, so that’s exciting.

Another miracle that happened today was that Andy’s parents gave their permission for him to be baptized.  He is progressing so much, and his prayers have changed a ton too!

I went on exchanges with Sister Ireland this week.  She was a sister that came out with me, and we are both still going through our training.  I learned a lot from her this exchange!  She taught me to slow down a bit and really let the spirit work.  Sometimes I get so rushed with getting everything done that I forget to slow down.  We went street contacting on campus today and found some potential investigators!  It’s hard to schedule anything with them though because they are all going home for Thanksgiving and then Christmas.  I love street contacting, but it can sometimes be super awkward.  I guess I’ll just be a pro at awkward situation by the time I finish my mission!  :)

We called some former investigators this week too, and this one guy (clearly not interested) talked about how he believes that Jesus is God and how he believes in a different bible.  I tried to gracefully hang up, but then he started praying for us!  Yikes!  He prayed that the sister missionaries eyes will be opened and we can know the truth.  I think it’s funny when people pray for us to know the truth.  We get a lot of bible bashing, deep doctrine, half-truths, etc. here in this area.  It’s no wonder that people are so confused.  I got such a creepy vibe while he was praying.  That’s the difference.  The feeling that the true message of the gospel of Jesus Christ brings is unlike anything else! :)

Sister Huang and I suggested in ward council that each Sunday we do a ward prayer at a member of the Bishopric’s home.  Tonight was the first night and the turnout was amazing!  James came and bore his testimony to everyone.  I loved hearing that!  It’s so cool to hear an investigators testimony!

Well I love you all! :) Thank you for all of your emails, letters.  Take care, and happy Thanksgiving!

Love, 

Sister Worthen



Eastern Washington University



Not many on campus because of the holiday
The institute that we teach at
The McCombie's home that we lived
in for a few days while our
power was out

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Love Our Investigators, Staying in Cheney, and Passing Out

Hi friends and family!  :)

So we got our transfer calls last night.... Sister Huang and I will be staying! Woo!!!! I love this area and Sister Huang is the best trainer in the world. She'll finish up my training and she finishes her mission after this transfer. It'll be so hard for me when she goes back to China after Christmas! She was called as the new Sister Training Leader over all of the sisters in our zone and will need to go on about two exchanges a week, so I'll be going on about TEN exchanges this transfer which is a ton! But it will be so much fun to work in the area and get to know the sisters in our zone more!

So this week has been interesting.... I fainted in front of an investigators house on the grass this week. I guess there is a first time for everything. :)  I woke up not feeling super great, but I didn't want to be an unproductive missionary and plus it was my first official exchanges with my Sister Training Leader Sister Kruitbasch and I didn't want to miss those, so I just pushed through it hoping that it would wear off (more just like a head cold and feeling light headed type of sick). Well her area is a biking area so after biking up this huge hill I felt really sick so we took a second to lock up our bikes and then we were saying a prayer outside on the grass in front of the investigators house before we went in.  All I heard was "Dear Heavenly Father" and then the world turned all tingly and black. The next thing I knew I was laying on the grass staring up at the sky.  We made it home, and Sister Wall the mission nurse had me go see a doctor in Spokane (it was free) and he said that my protein levels are really low as well as my blood sugar. He said I need to have a lot more protein in my diet so he gave me a brand of protein drink mix to have every morning. Also drinking warm lemon and honey water each night will help the natural sugar levels in my body. We don't get any member meals since we are in YSA so we don't really eat anything besides noodles, bagels, and cereal so hopefully the protein mix will help!!  :) My cold is better now too, and I’m feeling great now, so that's good.  Definitely an adventure!

Even though I was sick we still saw so many blessings this week! James is being baptized in two weeks if all goes well.  He is doing great and progressing well towards that. Andy will be baptized the following week, and then Deneisha will be baptized the week after that! :) Woo!! Deneisha being on date for baptism was a huge miracle because she hasn't really been progressing until this week. She's doing amazing now! :)  She's the investigator that I started teaching from day one and she is so amazing!!! Her baptism date is December 19th but it might have to be moved around because of the college Christmas break. But I really hope she progresses!!! So any prayers for her and James and Andy would be appreciated.

Well I love you all! :) Thank you for all of your emails, letters, and support!

Love, 
Sister Worthen   :) 

Sister Huang eating chicken nuggets
with chopsticks.  No, we did not make the
chicken nuggets from the
chickens from our backyard.  :)



Monday, November 9, 2015

Wonderful Investigators! The Work Is Progressing!

Holy cow this week has been a busy one but a great one!! I'm so happy here and I'm as healthy as I can be!!!  YSA work is the best. It's a little bit like being back up at college again. I've learned so much from the students here though, and even though most of them are less active, the ones that are active are SO strong in the gospel! We will hopefully have two baptisms at the end of this month and one baptism in December! They are all progressing really well.  Their names are John, James, and Andy.  John and James should be baptized later this month if they stay on date (we are hoping to find an investigator named Peter because that would be super cool ;) ) and Andy will be baptized the second week in December! Super cool! They are all doing great and progressing really well! We also had two new investigators this week and we're hoping to teach them the discussions and put them on date as well, but you never know.  :)  My favorite part about missionary work is street contacting and tracting, which most missionaries hate, but I love talking to everyone I meet about the gospel!  :)

My trainer (Sister Huang) is AMAZING and I'm learning a little bit of Chinese! So now I can share my testimony in Tongan and Chinese.  ;)  Who knew I would learn so much serving an English speaking mission?  :)  She is SO sweet and I love her to death!!!  We're already great friends and it's going to be so hard for me when she goes back to China in December!!  Every day is the best with her and I really feel like she's teaching me so much and that she really does care about me and how I'm doing. :) She's such a great missionary that sometimes I feel a bit inadequate, but I'm learning a ton!

A couple of items:
There is a dentist that does free teeth cleanings for missionaries! So if I don't get transferred (which we shouldn't), I will go to him for free but I'll keep the insurance card thing on file for the future.  Thanks for that!
We have a washer and dryer in our cottage (super blessed by that) but no dish washer so we have to wash our dishes by hand every night. You can imagine how well I just love doing that.  ;)
The weather is starting to get more crappy, the only difference from Utah is that it's always sprinkling slightly - but more like mist. And it's REALLY foggy in the mornings and nights! Like clouds of fog, it's really cool.  :) We live right by Medical Lake in Four Lakes and its really pretty there when it gets foggy around the lake. ;)
I got olaf slippers (they were on clearance for three dollars) and i wear them every second we are in the cottage.

We went on exchanges this week and I was with Sister Griffith. She's hilarious and I learned a ton from her! The best part is she knows ASL so we spent a lot of the day signing to each other! 
A weird fact about Washington is that NO ONE drinks out of regular cups! Everyone uses mason jars. I haven't had a meal yet where I drank from a regular cup. I went to dollar tree this morning to buy a cup with a straw, but they didn't sell any. Instead they sell mason jars with a straw in it!! Only in Washington. :)  I love being a missionary and my mission has already meant so much to me and truly changed my life!  :) 

Thank you all for your letters and your support and emails! 

I love you all!  :)

Love,

Sister Worthen  :)

Olaf slippers

On exchanges with Sister Griffith





Sister Huang enjoying Cheetos for the
first time.  Sister Griffith with the
photobomb.  :)
There are beautiful sunrises here!
A quick lunch
Letters from home