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."

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.  :)


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!


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!

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!  :)


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

Monday, November 2, 2015

A YSA Ward, Chickens, and a Cottage

Hi friends and family!:)

This week has been really crazy busy with the transfer to Spokane! It's been so great though and I really love it here! I'm serving in Spokane West in the Cheney YSA ward! We have a huge area so it's all a car area, no biking. We cover the entire stake (consisting of ten wards) so it's huge. Basically it's like covering Layton, Kaysville, Farmington, Centerville and Bountiful. I love it here though! We live in Cheney with members on their little farm (which only has chickens so really it's just like farm land with no farm animals, which is perfectly fine with me;)) We live in a little guest cottage on the property next to the members house, and it's the cutest thing I've ever seen! Super homey and adorable, I absolutely love it. My new trainer is amazing! Her name is Sister Huang and she is from mainland China. We do a lot of Chinese lessons too (I just sit and feel the spirit, I can't really contribute much;)). She will finish her mission in December after Christmas so this next upcoming transfer will be her last and I'll be her last companion. She really is the best ever, super sweet and patient and loving! I'm still driving though because she doesn't have a license and people in Washington don't know how to drive over 35 miles an hour... big change from Utah drivers;) We got to go to the Spokane temple last week too and do a session which was really cool! This week we'll be able to go and attend the baptism for the dead session in the temple for Sister Huang's recent converts, i'm so excited for that!:)

I'm still adjusting to YSA work, especially on a university campus! Hopefully this coming week will bring a lot more teaching experiences as we find new investigators to teach!:) This week was basically meetings, transfer, temple, and adjusting to the new area, so next week i'll hopefully have more spiritual experiences to report!:)

I love you all and hope you have a great week!:)

Sister Worthen:)

PS thank you all for your sweet letters/emails! They definitely make the work go by quicker and make my day better!:)

View out our back window
With the other sisters
at the temple

Our kitchen

Missionary teddy bears  :)

Chickens in our yard!
Living room in our cottage

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Tongan Dresses, a Goodbye, and a Hello

We got a few pictures from Sister Worthen's previous companion, Sister Vea.  Her mother made a few Tongan dresses that she sent to the Sister Missionaries in Sister Vea's area.  They wore theirs on the day Taya was transferred to her new area.  They were able to go to the temple that day in Spokane, and that is where Sister Huang, Taya's new companion, met them. Tomorrow, we should get our first email from Taya in her new area, but we wanted to include these pictures.

Tongan dresses made by
Sister Vea's mother!
At the Spokane temple
with Sister Vea

With Sister Vea and my new
companion, Sister Huang
at the Spokane temple.