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."

Thursday, December 22, 2016

December in Grand Forks

December 5th:

Happy Monday!

We got our transfer calls yesterday, and I’m staying here in Canada!  Sister Jackson is being transferred though, and I will really miss working with her.  She has been so awesome, and I’ve learned a lot from her!  I’ll get to see her in four months though, so it’s not too long.  :)  My new companion will be Sister Olsen!  I was in a trio with her and Sister Lott for a little while in Green Bluff.  I got to know here there, and she is just the best!  I finished up her second half of training when she was with us then, and I’m so excited to serve with her again.  I will pick her up tomorrow on transfer day.

This week, we have been meeting with D___ and J___.  They had us over for dinner, and we have been teaching them.  It’s been great to meet with them, and share the gospel with them.  And we have also been meeting with K___ and having some great discussions with her.

It finally snowed up here, and holy smokes it’s beautiful up here when it snows!  The pine trees glisten and the river looks so pretty!

Love you all!
Sister Worthen. 

December 12th:

Hello from up North!

I picked up Sister Olsen on Tuesday, and she’s great!  I’m really excited to serve with her.  It’s always fun to get a new companion because then you get a new perspective on the area.  She was taking pictures out the window on the whole 2 and a half hour drive up to our area in Canada.  :)  I took boulder pass on the way home so she could see how pretty it is.  It’s probably the last time we can drive through that pass until after winter.

We had a great lesson with K___ this week.  We read first Nephi with her.  She has a lot of faith, and she is coming to church next Sunday!  She made us lunch too, which was really good.  I love her and pray for her every day!

We also went with the McCulloughs to teach a man who is Arabic.  There was a bit of a language gap there, but hopefully he understood what we were teaching.  :)

This week we also did a lot of street contacting, and passed out a ton of cards and talked to everyone that we met.  We met a guy named R__ coming out of the dollar store, and he talked to us for a bit.  We set up a time to meet with him for later in the week.

We drove down to Spokane this week for some training, and while I was there I was able to see the transfer board to see where everyone was transferred.  That’s when I realized that I’m the “oldest” missionary in our zone, and the next one to go home.  I love serving with Sister Olsen though, because of her spirit and motivation!  I have that “I love my mission” attitude, and it’s been great!  We stayed overnight at the mission home since I had some more training the next morning.  When we woke up, we did yoga with Sister Dymock (President Dymock’s wife).  She is great, and we barely kept up.  :)  It took us 4 and a half hours to get home after the training though, because there was a huge snowstorm.  But we made it to our apartment safely.  Thank goodness for a good SUV to drive!

The elders were transferred out of this area, and we took over their work in addition to ours.  So we have been really busy, which is great!  Our district now just consists of us and Brother and Sister McCullough, but our area is huge geographically.  It’s nice to have the McCullough’s here with us, and I think we’ll be able to Skype from their place on Christmas day to talk to our families.

Have a great wee!

Sister Worthen

December 18

So, my nose hairs are freezing together!  We’ve had a couple of days where it was single digits for the high.  But the sun was shining, which is good.  :)  We also found out that when it’s 10 below zero, you can throw a cup of water high enough up in the air, and it will just about freeze by the time it hits the ground!

We taught K___ this week, and she is quitting smoking!  She’s doing great, and it’s been a blessing to teach her.

We had a bit of a miracle this week.  We have been trying to stop by Jordan, Sammy, and Tobias’s trailer to visit with them.  But we haven’t been able to find them home, and have been worried that they may have had to move.  We walked into the post office, and while we were in there Jordan and Sammy walked in!  We haven’t seen them in three weeks, and we found out they are living with a family across the street for a little while.  Now that we know where they are, we can visit with them.

We drove down to Spokane this week and we got to visit Rick and Mary!  They had us over for dinner.  If you remember, we were teaching them in Green Bluff and were baptized when I was serving there.  It was wonderful to see them again!  Rick surprised me with some wonderful news.  He received the Melchizedek priesthood the week before!!!  I am so proud of him and excited for him.  Before I left, I asked him for a blessing, and it was the best blessing ever.  Just simple and special!  That was special for me to receive a blessing from someone who I had the opportunity to teach and see baptized!  :)   While we were there, they texted my Dad a “Happy Birthday” for me since it was his birthday.

James and Ruth were sealed this week as well, in the Spokane temple.  James was baptized when I was in Cheney, and he started to date Ruth who was the Relief Society President in the student ward there.  They were married a little while ago, but were able to be sealed in the temple this week.  We got to go to the sealing, and it was awesome!  They looked so happy!  I’ve only been to a few sealings, and I learned a lot there.

Thanks Mom and Dad for the Christmas package!  They came this week, and the border guards let me take them across the border still wrapped and all.  :)

Merry Christmas almost!!!

Sister Worthen

We finally got snow here!

Below zero and cold!

Baking with Sister McCullough, D__ and Sister Olsen

More snow!

The Christmas tree and packages
that my family sent me.

Our awesome SUV that gets us where we need to go

The rivers are starting to ice over

With D___

We have a huge hairy spider living
under our stove.

I'm convinced it's having babies under there.

Someone who lives here told us that spiders
don't like the smell of chestnuts, so
we put a line of them around the stove
to keep the spider under there.  :)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Happy Late Thanksgiving from Sister Worthen!

Note from Mom and Dad:  It’s been a little while since we’ve updated Taya’s blog.  In a nutshell, she has enjoyed her area there that straddles the border with one part being in Canada, and the other part being in Washington.  They’ve had some success there.  Transfers are coming up this week, and her companion will need to be transferred back into the U.S. due to the 6 month restrictions on their passports.  So, Taya will at least be getting a new companion.  There is the chance the she will also be transferred, so we will just need to wait and see this week.  We’ve consolidated the last month or so of letters and information here in one blog entry:

October 24th:

Hello everyone!

This has been a great week!  M___ got baptized this week.  She is L___’s daughter, and I love that little girl so much!  She was beaming and grinning from ear to ear. :)  She asked me to braid her hair and after she twirled around like a princess.   Sister Jackson (member) sewed her a blanket, and Hyrum gave a talk about the Holy Ghost and gave her the blanket.  You would have thought it was Christmas already!  M___ asked us to sit by her the entire time because she was nervous.  :)  M___ was truly a miracle.  We taught her the first discussion on October 13th, put her on date for her baptism on the 14th, and she was baptized three days later.  We got to see this beautiful family be converted to the gospel, and they have meant so much to me!  I truly love them with all my heart.  I wish they didn’t have to move to Spokane.  :(  But we have helped them pack, and called the Bishop, Relief Society President, and missionaries in the area they are moving to to have L___ and her family connect with them.  They all seemed very nice, and have already made plans to visit with the family.

October 31st:

Happy Halloween everyone!  I got to see President and Sister Dymock this week.  They came up to the Grand Forks unit today!  They both spoke in sacrament meeting, and it was amazing!  They both bring the spirit in the meeting so strongly wherever they go.  I cried through the whole thing.  :)  Sister Dymock spoke on the power of the Atonement, and it was amazing.  They also stayed for potluck after church which was great!

The work has dropped off a bit this last week, so we are looking for ways to serve people.  We have done a ton of raking leaves, which has allowed us to talk to some people.  We’ve also done a lot of street contacting and just trying to talk to everyone.  I don’t always want to go out street contacting and tracting, but it always makes me feel better and happier as a missionary for some reason.  Weird how that works.  :)

November 1st:

Holy Schnikies, it’s already November!  Time has been flying by for the most part, except for this week.  Sister Jackson came down with the stomach flu, and has been down sick for about three days this week.  I feel so bad for her.  But, by the end of the week she was doing better.  When your companion is sick, besides taking care of them, there’s not much more to do since you can’t go out to work.  I did a lot of studies, updated and color coded and organized both area books, hung new area maps on the walls, folded laundry, cleaned the entire apartment, made contact phone calls, did the weekly planning as best I could, and basically anything else I could think of to do while we stayed inside so Sister Jackson could get feeling better. 

We had zone training this week and drove down to Colville for the day for that.  The new Christmas initiative is amazing!  It’s 25 ways to become more like Christ in 25 days, and it’s all focused around service.  The video and media platform is called “Light the World”, and it is awesome!  We got new pass along cards too!  But we aren’t allowed to pass the cards or show the video until November 25th when the church releases it.

We’ve also been doing a lot more raking of leaves around town again.  I think it really surprises people that we are willing to help for free!  We will be doing a lot of raking the next couple of days before the snow hits.  Hopefully it will allow us to talk to some more people.  We have had a couple of great conversation about the gospel with people because of it, and we have a return appointment next week to teach a lady that we raked leaves for!

November 8th:

Hi everyone!  So, I think I’ll be fine if I never have to rake another leave in my life!  Or pine needles for that matter.  :)  We have a couple of new investigators though, which is good!  We’ve been teaching a lady named D___ who has had a lot of questions about the church.  I think we’ve been able to clear up a lot of questions for her.  Hopefully she will continue to progress.

November 15th:

Hi everyone!  So, I guess this last Tuesday was election day in the states.  That day, we spent on the Canada side of the border here in Grand Forks.  We went street contacting and trying to visit contacts in our area book, but most people just wanted to talk to us about the elections once they found out we are from the states.  It looked like the bars were all full that night with people watching the election results.  And on a funny note, we ran into one guy who was totally drunk and told us the world was flat and that gravity didn’t exist.   :)  On the upside, we did get several part member family referrals from President Lundy this week, which was great!  Apparently Donald Trump is our new President in the States?  Hmmmm, maybe I’ll be fine staying in Canada for a little while.  :)

This week, Canada celebrated Canadian Remembrance Day, so the city had a parade.  This parade was different in that it was more quiet and respectful, with moments of silence within it.  We did get to sing “God Save The Queen”, which was a first for me.  :)  We also came into contact with a lady named K___ who the McCulloughs ran into.  We will meet with her on Wednesday to teach her.

November 29th:

Happy late Thanksgiving to you all!  This week we have talked to so many people.  We are having a contest with the Elders to see who can pass out all of their “Light the World” Christmas cards first, and we each have 300 to pass out!  :)  People seem to be interested in the Christmas initiative though, but no new investigators because of it yet.  We’ll keep working on it though.

Thanks for all your letters, support, and prayers!
Love, Sister Worthen.

M___ at her baptism

Raking leaves around town

The boys in their new church clothes

With Amerjeet making samosa

Having a carmel apple with Sister Jackson

A Canadian dish called "poutine".  It's basically
french fries covered in gravy with
cheese curds.  Yeah, it's as gross
as it sounds.

At the Sheriff's office.  No reason.  Just
wanted to take a picture there.

Temple day in Spokane!

Cleaning the apartment

Our old bedframes.  We got new ones this week!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Baptisms in the U.S. and in Canada

Note from Mom and Dad:  We’ve included this weeks and last weeks letters here from Taya:

October 17, 2016:

Happy Monday everyone!

This week we had zone conference down in North Spokane for the Colville zone (our zone), the West Spokane zone, and the North Spokane zone.  We drove down to North Spokane and got to stay with the Green Bluff sisters.  It was so great to see Sister Lott again!  I also got to see Rick and Mary again!  I have really missed them.  They gave me a present of a hat, gloves, and scarves.  That was so nice of them!  Zone conference was really good.  President Dymock taught, and I love when he teaches.  I love that he was an Institute Teacher, and I would have loved to have a class from him in college.  Sister Dymock taught as well, and she does so with a wonderful spirit.  She gave us the “color personality tests” so that we could better understand our companions.  I found that I am 80% blue and 20% white.  You can look it up to see what that means.  Sister Jackson is 50% red and 50% yellow, so we have all the colors covered between us!

M___ was baptized this week!  She has been doing so great, and keeping the Word of Wisdom wonderfully!  She has come so far and made so many changes in her life to get to the point of baptism.  She got baptized in Christina Lake!  It was cold and rainy, but the coolest baptism ever!  Mandy was smiling ear to ear, and she also brought her non-member friend with her!  Elder Park baptized her and Brother Jackson and Elder Williams were the witnesses.  They had to walk pretty far out into the lake to where it was deeper to do the baptism.  We then drove back to the church to finish the program and have dinner.  Great day!

We taught L___’s ten-year-old daughter this week, and gave her her very own Book of Mormon.  Her eyes lit up and she got so excited and thanked us over and over and over again! :)  She told us that she really wants to get baptized so we put her on date for her baptism.  They are still moving to Spokane, so I’m not sure if it will be before they move or not.  But, you know that feeling when you just love someone so much you feel like your heart might burst within you?  That’s what I feel for the people I’ve met on my mission.  I’m so blessed to have met these people who have changed me as a person!

L___ had her baptism this week down in Republic.  She has been so excited to be baptized!  I just love her so much.  The service was small, and was just us, the McCulloughs, the elders, and the Jacksons.  The service was great!  I bore my testimony and Sister Jackson sang.  She has an awesome voice!  The best part was that L___ had written her testimony out and shared it.  She gave me a copy of it, and said that I could send it to my parents to add to my blog.  Her story is a lot like Joseph Smith’s in that she investigated a lot of different religions looking for the right one.  She found it!

This was a busy week, and we’ve been working really hard.  Each night, I fall into bed exhausted, but happy!

Love you all!
Sister Worthen

Note from Mom and Dad:  We’ve included L___’s testimony and talk here that she gave at her own baptism, and that she gave permission to post:

“I grew up in a Scandinavian-rich community on the North Oregon Coast.  With great-grandparents emigrating from Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, it would be no surprise that my youth was spent in the Lutheran Church where I was baptized as an infant.  My mother was sure we attended weekly where she often served by teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, or playing organ.  My non-Scandinavian father attended twice a year:  Christmas and Scout Sunday!
As a teenager, it became clear that for most teens, graduation from high school was also graduation from church!  To me, that did not bode well for the longevity of the church.  Indeed, that particular building no longer houses a church.
Very much like Joseph Smith, I began my search for truth and the church I could call home.  In time, I found myself in Madison, Wisconsin.  I started at the Lutheran Church, but was turned off by the rote repetition of the Liturgy.  As I looked around me, I saw little sign that people believed what they recited very Sunday.
Soon thereafter, I found myself among Bible Christians of varying labels.  I thought I had found my spiritual home, but as I read through the Bible for the first time, I was struck by several passages.  The first was that all the things that Jesus did was not recorded in the Bible.  In fact, they could not be contained by all the books in the world!
The other was that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceeds from the mouth of God.”  Yet I saw no evidence of these words continuing.  The gift of prophecy seemed to have been lost.
            In time, I moved to England, where I was baptized by immersion into the Baptist Church of Southern England.  I was promised that I would feel an amazing change, but I did not.  I felt let down.
            Again, I was dismayed by the hypocrisy I saw around me in the members who did not live a seven-day-a-week faith.  And again, the gift of prophecy was absent.  “Knowing the tree by its fruit”, I did not see a healthy tree where I was, so my journey continued.  I contemplated many forms of Christianity that I had not considered previously, including the Mennonites and then the Catholics where I stayed several years following the example of a dear friend who walked her walk in a daily and meaningful way (and at least I didn’t need to be re-baptized!).  Yet as I grew in knowledge, I found myself struggling to adhere.  And the Pope did not quite live up to my expectations of a prophet.
            Then, I met Sister Buffy Jackson (note from Mom and Dad:  This is a sister that lives there in the area that L__ is good friends with).  I was trying to escape a rather hellish chapter of my life which had included having to leave my sons in England!  This chapter has given me difficulties in trusting others, as well as my own judgement.
            At first, I was determined to resist any charms of the Mormon Church.  I wasn’t going to even consider going to meetings!
            But then, Sister Jackson started asking me about my beliefs and told me about the Mormon knowledge of Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother, and I knew I needed to know more about the Mormon Church and its beliefs.  As I contemplated these things, I could feel my hard heart softening and was almost afraid of where it would lead me.
            In childhood, my mother had told me that Joseph Smith had found these golden tablets that talked about Jesus appearing to the American Indians.  We even had a copy of the Book of Mormon, but although I found the concept appealing, I never investigated further.  But maybe this was the important first seed that would keep open (if only by a crack) to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
            So, I went with the Jacksons.... first to a baptism and then to church.  Thanks to Sister McCullough, I left with a complete set of scriptures and the book of Gospel Principles.  I started reading and absorbing.  I began searching for irrefutable evidence that the Mormon Church was true.
            What I found was.... That the Book of Mormon supports the Bible perfectly.  I found a living prophet who is the continued source of divine revelation.  I found a fruitful people who love their church and believe whole heartedly in all of the scriptures.  I found a congregation who nourish all who shelter beneath their branches.  I found a church which has thrived and grown almost exponentially despite horrific persecution from all directions.
            By the time the missionary sisters Jackson and Worthen began teaching me, I was a very long way down the path, having discovered in my own reading the eternal family and the teaching of the dead, two of the concepts that are the most exciting for me.
            As I prayed about being baptized, I was seeking for, again, irrefutable proof that this baptism would do something tangible for me... beyond forgiving sins and membership in the Mormon Church.  I wanted to know if I would feel change.  The answer that came to me was that baptism had to be an act of faith.  So, here I am saying “Lord, I believe, help me though my unbelief.”
            Right now, my faith is only that of a mustard seed, but Jesus told us that this tiny seed can grow to be the greatest among herbs.
            So, brothers and sisters, keep sharing your testimony.  Listen to those promptings of the Holy Spirit.  You never know which seeds you sow will take root... but Heavenly Father does.
            Thank you, Sister Buffy Jackson, for the seeds you threw in my direction.  It’s only because of your generosity and patience that I stand here now, in the last spiritual home I would have expected, now saying that... I know that the Book of Mormon is true, as revealed by God’s chosen prophet, Joseph Smith, who by God’s direction restored the gospel of Jesus in its fullness, to us, in the form of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

            In Jesus’ name, Amen. “

M___ with Sister Jackson and I at her baptism
at Christina Lake
Elder Park baptized her with
Elder Williams as a witness
It was rainy and cold, but you got to get
wet for your baptism anyway, right?
They had to walk out a ways where it
was deep enough

Elder Park and Elder Williams trying
to warm up
L___ with her two daughters at her baptism

A wonderful family!

Sister Jackson and I

October 10, 2016:


I hope everyone is doing well!  This week has been a busy one.  We taught L___ about the 10 commandments, the Sabbath day, and tithing.  She just soaks everything in, it’s awesome how fast she learns!  Overnight before our appointment, she read a book all about the pioneers.  We taught her at Sister Jackson’s home.  Sister Jackson’s cat had kittens, and she is putting them up for adoption.  And while we were teaching L___, a lady came to pick out one of the kittens.  The awesome thing is she’s a potential investigator.  She sat down in the Jackson’s home and we taught her the entire restoration lesson right then and there. :)   She accepted a Book of Mormon and made an appointment for the next lesson!  Literally a new investigator just walked through the front door!  I’ve never had that happen.

On other news, L___ won’t be moving to Spokane for a few weeks, which means she can get baptized here!  Awesome!!  She is literally a miracle.  I am so happy for her!  We set a goal at the beginning of this transfer to have a baptism in the U.S. and a baptism in Canada, and we have prayed so hard that we can help Heavenly Father accomplish this goal.  We found L__ a week later, and now she is being baptized next week!  I feel that Heavenly Father has allowed me to be a part of this miracle.

We also met with M___ this week.  She has been working really hard not to smoke, and she has been doing great.  She’s on target for her baptismal date.

J___ had his baptism this week!  It was such a great day!  The little boys were soooo excited. :)  J___ was smiling ear to ear.  He was also confirmed on Sunday.  He was baptized in Republic, since they live near there.

This week we had the Harvest Activity in the Grand Forks unit to celebrate the Canadian Thanksgiving.  We made tamales and M___, L___, her daughters, and A___ came!  Sister Jackson sang some children’s hymns with the guitar and it was just great!

I better go.  Thanks for all of your letters and support!

Love you all!  Have a great week!
Sister Worthen

J___ at his baptism with his two brothers

Sister Jackson and I with J___

The brothers were so excited for J___
Christina Lake where M___ will get baptized

Sister Olsen and I got to see each other when
we were down in North Spokane

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

"Board Stretchers" and Conference

Hey everyone!

This week has been a great week.  To start with, we volunteered a few times at the soup kitchen and thrift store called Whispers of Hope.  There is a large homeless population here, and the soup kitchen helps feed them.  We figured if the Savior were here, that’s probably where he would be too.  :)

We have three sets of missionaries here in this area.  There is us, a set of elders that are Russian speaking, and a senior couple.  The next closest set of missionaries are over an hour away!  We spend a lot of time visiting potential investigators, new members, or less actives.  It’s also a good area to talk to people on the street here.

We also do some service when we can.  This week we did some service for Sister Campbell.  We and the elders all dug fence post holes for her wood fence.  To be honest, we sisters weren’t a ton of help. We probably did more damage than good.  :)  At one point we asked the elders what we could do to help and they told us to go find a “board stretcher” … so Sister Jackson and I spent 10 minutes in the shed trying to figure out which tool was a board stretcher.  Finally, Sister Campbell came over and asked what we were looking for.  We told her, and that’s when she told us that there is no such thing as a board stretcher.  Those meanies!

We’ve been teaching an investigator named M___.  This week she went to Enrichment night with us, and then we taught her a lesson afterward.  She is trying so hard to quit smoking so that she can be baptized.  It was a really spiritual lesson, and she got a blessing at the end of it.  If she is able to get baptized, she may have to get baptized in Christina Lake.  Grand Forks doesn’t have a font, and if an investigator doesn’t have a passport to get into the states, they have to be baptized in the lake!  :)

We’ve also came across an awesome lady named L___.  She has two daughters and are basically homeless and living in a shelter.  She contacted Sister Jackson (a member, not my companion), and they are staying in a cabin behind her house.  Turns out she is the most solid investigator ever!  She has been to church for the last three weeks, read the entire gospel principles book, the Pearl of Great Price, and a bunch in the Book of Mormon.  She is on date for baptism on October 14th!  Unfortunately, she is moving to a shelter in Spokane soon, and we are not sure if she has to move before that date.  If so, we will need to make sure the missionaries there connect with her.

We also have J___’s baptism coming up!  We’ve been continuing to teach him.  He’s the one I mentioned that is 10 years old, and lives with his dad and two little brothers.  They live on the Washington side of the border, so he will be able to be baptized down there.  I really hope that everything goes well with that.  They’ve been coming to church with us.

The one thing that I have really noticed here is how bright the stars are.  There isn’t much light to block out the stars at night, and they are so bright!  I know, kind of a funny thing for me to notice.  :)  Oh, and another small item:  The Thanksgiving holiday here in Canada is always on the second Monday in October, so this year it is on October 10th.  Our little group of members here are having a Thanksgiving activity.  We’ve been inviting everyone we can, and encouraging the members to do the same.  Hopefully we will get a good group of people there.  :)

Sister Jackson is fantastic!  She is fun and hilarious.  She is a hard worker, and a really feel like she is helping me to become a great missionary!  We get along great, and I think we really complement each other in the way that we teach and do missionary work.

Things are really spread out here, and we cover a large area.  We occasionally need to go to training with the rest of the zone, and we go down to Colville for that, which is about an hour and 15-minute drive away.  I love the training we receive!  I wonder sometimes how the mission is doing as a whole though, because we often hear about things that we need to improve on, and not very much on things that we are doing well.  I guess that’s what training is for though, to help us improve in those ways that it’s needed. :)  Lately I’ve been wondering if I have become as good a missionary as I could be, and I’ve been praying to know if the Lord is accepting of my work, and if I have been doing enough.  We went to the Jackson’s and watched the morning session of conference with them and L___ and her two daughters.  My prayers were answered so quickly and directly during Elder Cornish’s talk.  It was awesome!  I love conference!  :)

Well, I better close.  I’m healthy and feeling great!  Thanks for all the letters and support.  You all have a great week!!  :)

Love you all,
Sister Worthen

Training with our zone!

The missionaries in our zone

The Kettle river

Lunch by the Kettle river

We wore matching outfits for conference.  :)

Sister Jackson and I

Making "prayer" rocks with J___

With J___ and his brothers.

Random picture of our apartment kitchen.

This is our "ride".  So glad that we have this!
It gets us where we need to go in this
rural area!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Misplaced Passport, and First Week in Grand Forks

First week in Canada!  On Tuesday, Sister Jackson picked me up here in Spokane to head up to Grand Forks, but first we needed to head to the mission office to pick up my passport.  They are kept there in case we are transferred to Canada.  Well, when we got there, we found Sister Richins looking all over the office for it.  She told me that it might have been lost and if so, that my transfer call might have to be changed because it takes 6 weeks to claim it as lost and to get a new one, and I couldn’t go to Canada without it.  My jaw was on the floor.  Sister Richins called my mom and asked her to look for it there at home, just in case I had accidentally left it home when I went home with health issues.  At this point I was in tears.  Fifteen minutes later my mom called back and told sister Richins that she had found it!  What a blessing!!  That’s when Sister Richins burst into tears.  :)  My parents had to overnight my passport to me, so we got to stay the night in the mission home.  I love staying in the mission home with President and Sister Dymock, the spirit is so strong there!  Sister Jackson and I got to catch up and laugh until we cried.

The next day, my passport was here by about 10am, so we were then able to head up to Canada.  It’s about a 3 hour drive to get up there from Spokane.  We did our grocery shopping in Colville, since there aren’t many stores in Grand Forks.  The only things I can’t take across the border are apples and peaches and pitted fruits, which I can’t have anyway.  We got to the border by the afternoon and then on to Grand Forks.

I love Canada!  If I could dress up as a big maple leaf and walk up and down the streets singing “Oh Canada!”, I probably would.  :)  It is so beautiful here!  Our apartment is being renovated, and is almost done.  It’s nice. It’s right above a barber shop which is nice.  :)  So, we cover a bunch of small towns mostly here on the Canada side, and a few towns across the border into Washington.  There is a small branch in Republic Washington of about 30 or 40 members, and a small “unit” in Grand Forks with about 12 members, and we cover both.  There is a senior missionary couple named the McCullough’s that live right next door to us, and then a set of elders that serve here in Grand Forks that are Russian speaking missionaries.  Apparently there is a Russian community here settled by immigrants from Russia.

I’m having to learn to measure everything using the metric system.  Good thing I learned that in school.  :)  We have a Nissan Rogue to drive, which is good, because there are a fair bit of dirt and gravel roads here.  And everything is spread out.  But, I can now drive about 100 on the roads!  Well, okay, that’s 100 kilometers per hour, which is just over 60 mph.  :)

I’m going to have to send some candy home from here.  They have some different candy here, and it’s awesome.  Some different candy bars and things like that.

Sister Jackson is awesome.  I knew her when I was serving in Green Bluffs, and she and her companion lived in our same apartment.  She’s a hard working missionary, and loves to talk to anyone in sight!  :)  She also makes the work fun which is good.  I’ve been blessed with great companions on my mission, and she is one of them.

As far as the missionary work here, we met this week with a few less actives members, and shared a lesson/message with them.  We also went down to Republic and taught the new member lessons to a couple of recent converts of Sister Jacksons, Jeremy and Austin.  Austin is 16 and wants to serve a mission, and he has such a strong testimony.  After we taught them, Jeremy got talking to this random guy on the street, and asked if missionaries could talk to him, so we visited with him for a bit.  We taught him the restoration.  Turns out the guy is a legit drug dealer, and wasn’t interested in the message.  I think he was more interested in us, so we got out of there quick.

We also visited the D___ family.  They live in a little town near here.  There is S___ the dad, and he has three sons, the oldest of which is J___ who is turning ten.  S___ is a less active member, and J___ has been taking the lessons from the missionaries.  During our last lesson, he committed to being baptized on October 22nd.  The D___ family lives way out of town, and my heart broke when I saw the conditions they live in.  They have no running water, no heat, and no regular electricity.  They occasionally use a bug zapper for a light at night.  They just sleep on the floor, and they only have a few pairs of clothes.  The boys don’t have any toys, so they just play in the dirt.  It makes me feel sick that my life has been so easy and we have so much, when people and little kids are living like this.      :(   S__ would like to baptize J___, but he needs to quit smoking and alcohol first.  We taught him about the word of wisdom, but he wouldn’t give us his weed or beer to throw out.  We’ll keep working with him.

We also visited with Brother Tinsley this week, who is a recent convert.  He let me play his electric acoustic guitar.  I haven’t played the guitar since I was home, and haven’t ever played on an electric acoustic.  It was nice!  :)

It is a bit different for me to only have a few members to church.  In Grand Forks, we meet in an office building next to the fire station.  But we had five investigators to church though, which is great!  In Republic, Washington there is an actual LDS meeting house for the branch, but it’s about a fifth the size of the church buildings at home.

Well, that’s about it.  A great week!  It’s good to be settled up here now, and jumping into the missionary work here with Sister Jackson.  I love the area here!

You all have a great week!

Sister Worthen

One of the rivers on the edge of Grand Forks

Brother Tinsley let me play his guitar

Sister Jackson and I right outside our apartment

We ran across this door with no stairs when we were
tracting.  We knocked on it anyway.
No one answered.  :(

Some of the different candy bars they have here.
Unfortunately, I can't eat them, so we
gave them to some of the kids here in the area.

Sister Jackson and I

Another river here in Grand Forks