Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Elkins, West Virginia: Challenges of a Burned Face, Elder Kopischke, and Goodbyes

Dear family and friends,

This has been quite the odd week in the mission field. We had the opportunity to listen to one of the members of the Seventy. Elder Kopischke (https://www.lds.org/church/leader/erich-w-kopischke?lang=eng&role=05) was absolutely amazing. At the beginning of the conference we had with him he told us to write down a question we had. He told us that he did not have an agenda for the conference, and he did not know what he was going to talk about, but he promised that every single one of our questions would be answered. One thing that really stuck out to me was that as he was making this promise he told us, "The Spirit will only reveal what we are ready to receive." Elder Kopischke's promise held true for every missionary I talked to afterwards. It was an absolutely amazing experience.

After the conference my companion and I had the opportunity to talk to his wife while I waited to have an interview with our mission president. She was such an amazing spirit, and I had the chance to brush up on my German speaking skills since she's German. We were truly blessed to have the opportunity to listen to these amazing people.

In other news, this will likely be the last week on my mission. This may come as shocking news to some of you, but I have been struggling severely with my depression and anxiety recently. I have prayed and fasted about this decision, and the mission therapist and doctor both agree with me that I need to go home on medical release. BUT I do not want any of you to think that I regret a single second of the past 5 months. It has been a blessing to be able to help those in Elkins, West Virginia for the time that I have been here. I have grown so much individually, and my testimony in the gospel of Jesus Christ has never been stronger. I know that even though I'm going to have to take the missionary tag off that I will still be wearing a missionary tag. As Elder Neil L. Andersen said, "If you're not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your heart-- painted, as Paul said, 'not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God." I know that I will continue to be a missionary for the rest of my life. Serving our Heavenly Father never ends. I also know that this decision has been guided by our Heavenly Father, and while I do not know why right now, I do know that following the Lord's will is the most important thing we can do on this earth.

On a lighter note, at the beginning of this week my wonderful companion, Sister Roberts, convinced me to buy a standard face wash because it would "make my skin softer". I decided to give it a shot, and it ended up burning my face. I ended up bringing a small container of aloe vera everywhere we went so that my peeling face didn't freak too many people out. It is all healed now though. And no... it did not burn Sister Roberts face. We both laughed for quite some time about that.

I hope that you all have an amazing week. If you were planning on sending anything to me this week I wouldn't recommend it, but I do appreciate the thought. :) Thank you all for the love and support that you have shown me on my mission.

The church is true.
The book is blue.
Heavenly Father loves you.


Sister Thyme Nash

Elkins, West Virginia: Testify of Christ, Missionary Work, and the Atonement is Real

Hello all!

This week has been a pretty standard one in the way of missionary work. My companion and I have been teaching our friends and slowly helping their faith grow. It is great to see the little moments that show how Christ is influencing their lives. The smallest feelings of peace and understanding become huge moments in a person's eternal progression.

Christ and the Atonement have been a major element of my thoughts and studies this past week. While I can not fully comprehend how Christ felt everything that we have ever felt and ever will feel, I do know that he did. We can not understand everything that God does, but we can trust in Him. Knowing that Christ knows exactly what I feel and what others feel has brought peace in my mind when I don't know how to help someone else. I know that He will help me understand and give me the words necessary to help these people.

My "ponderizing" scripture this past week was 2 Nephi 25:26 (again). After thinking about it for two weeks, I have summarized it to: "...we talk...rejoice...preach...prophesy... and write of Christ..." As Christians, this is what we need to be doing. Taking upon ourselves the name of Christ means that we are going to be as Christlike as we can be, and we're going to involve Christ in every aspect of our life.

This next week I'll be "ponderizing" is Mormon 5:23. "Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God? Know ye not that he hath all power, and at his great command the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll?"

I hope that you all have an amazing week. I love you and hope that you all continue to do well.


Sister Thyme Nash

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Elkins, West Virginia: Halloween, Peeling Pears, and Transfer Week

Hello family and friends!

This past week has been quite the week here in Elkins! Last Monday was rather busy after I sent out my emails. We had a district p-day where we carved pumpkins and did tie-dye. It was extremely fun! Sister Roberts and I then had to rush to a ward family home evening we were having. We didn't have a large turn out of people, but it was still lots of fun. We helped them carve pumpkins and we related it to the light of Christ and Matthew 5:14-16.

The rest of the week consisted of running around, serving, and teaching. We had the opportunity to serve a variety of people this week. We helped someone paint their trailer which resulted in "Elegant Charcoal" paint being all over my hands. We also helped someone else peel pears... which resulted in pear juice all over my hands and smelling like pears for a few hours.

Halloween was rather odd this year. Instead of the normal Halloween festivities, we were helping out at a funeral. The services went well, but it did not connect in my mind that it was Halloween until we got home later that evening.

So, this week is transfer week... and surprise! Sister Roberts and I are staying in Elkins because we're still doing training. None of the Elkins missionaries are going anywhere for another transfer.

This past week has been hectic, so I haven't done the best job with "ponderizing". Thus, I am "ponderizing the same scripture again this week.
2 Nephi 25:26
"And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."

I hope that you all have an amazing week! Never forget that Heavenly Father loves each of you.


Sister Thyme Nash

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Elkins, West Virginia: Week of Tuesdays and Fridays, Teach Me To Sing, and Hope as an Anchor

Hello family and friends!

This week has been a rather long week, but it was a good week as always. Every day either felt like a Tuesday or Friday because those always seem to be the longest days of the week. People either canceled lessons last minute or just weren't home, but we were still able to see quite a few inidividuals to serve and teach.

Last week our Relief Society president asked the elders if we all could sing on Sunday. The elders didn't end up telling us until halfway through the week. We struggled for a little while to figure out what song would help all of our voices not sound too horrendous together. We ended up choosing "Teach Me to Walk in the Light". It ended up going a lot better than I thought it would be, though I'm pretty sure that my face was beet red the entire time.

Last week I chose to "ponderize" Ether 12:4. The end result of my "ponderizing" is: "...whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope...maketh an anchor to the souls of men..." I never really thought of hope being something other than a wish for something, but hope involves more than wishing. Hope involves action (just like faith does). When we hope for something we choose to do what we can to make it a better world and live on the right hand of God.

This week's "ponderizing" scripture is 2 Nephi 25:26. "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."

I hope that you all have a wonderful week! You are absolutely wonderful, and I am so grateful for the influence you have played in my life. Keep it classy.


Sister Thyme Nash

Elkins, West Virginia: Believe in God, First Frost, and Why Sister Nash has Obsessively Been Reading the Book of Mormon

Hello family and friends!

This week was a pretty standard week. We did not have anything too out of the ordinary occur, except for the weather. We had the first frost of the season on Saturday, and I discovered that humid cold is a lot different from dry cold. Luckily, I was prepared with my winter coat when we were out and about and a blanket to bundle up in for when we were home.

A large portion of my study time this week has been focused on reading The Book of Mormon. I have never been this dedicated to reading scripture throughout my life, but I have seen the influence that it has played throughout this week. At times when I normally would be fumbling in my mind for an answer to a question, I was given the answer through scriptures that I had read previously that morning or week. We are promised that "...it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say" (D&C 100:6), but part of that promise is that we need to do everything in our power to have the resources for the answers to come from. Reading scriptures daily is essential to live in the world today. With so much around us, the scriptures bring solid direction and instruction where everything else brings chaos and confusion.

As I "ponderized" last week the only lasting statement I came with was: "Believe in God". It's a simple statement, but it is "...by small and simple things [that] great things [are] brought to pass" (Alma 37:6).

"Ponderize" Scripture of the Week: Ether 12:4

"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."

I hope that you all have an amazing week! Never forget that through belief and faith comes hope which is an anchor to our souls. I love you all and am always thinking about and praying for you.


Sister Thyme Nash

Elkins, West Virginia: Trusting in the Lord, Who Among Us, and Cat in a Ditch

Hello Family and Friends!

This week has been quite the week in Elkins. It seemed that with every day my faith and patience were tested further and further. It showed to me that the scripture I had chosen to "ponderize" was especially needed for the week. The end result of my "ponderizing" turned into: "...the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord. And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage." This scripture was especially important at helping me press forward throughout the week. With each day a new challenge was placed upon those we are teaching and upon ourselves. We visited the hospital more times than I'd like to think about, and we visited one of our friends who had broken her femur in three places in a car accident.

The trials of these individuals really pressed on both my and Sister Roberts' hearts. As appointments fell through and people were hurting, I did become rather frustrated. For a moment "our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back... [but] the Lord comforted  us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren... and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success" (Alma 26:27). Instead of crying out in anger I decided to say a prayer and ask our Heavenly Father what we needed to do in order to stay effective in hastening the work. After a moment of silence I decided we needed to go tracting. I'm not sure how many fruits will come from our labors that day, but I do know that by continuing on in patience and faith we were able to forget the stress we had been experiencing and go on with a new brightness of hope.

Moral of the story: "Ponderizing" works and patience is actually pretty important.

Another great outlet I found was returning to writing. For any who do not know, I absolutely love writing. It was one of my favorite hobbies before I came out on the mission, but I haven't felt inclined to write for the past few months until earlier this week. I wrote a poem entitled "Who Among Us" and related it to Christ's atonement and the redeeming power we can find through it. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring the notebook I wrote it in, so I might share it next week instead.

One fun little story this week involves one of the wonderful older ladies we've been teaching out here. She's eccentric and sometimes says the oddest things. The quote from her for the week is: "When I die I want them to put me in a cat costume and bury me in a ditch. They bury the cats for free."

I hope you all have an absolutely amazing week! Lift up your head, and have faith through your trials. You will be strengthened and carried through them, even if you don't realize it until 50 years down the road.

"Ponderize" Scripture for the Week: Mosiah 4:9

"Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend."

Have a great week everyone! I love you all and continue to keep you in my prayers. Believe in God!


Sister Thyme Nash

Elkins, West Virginia: Forest Festival, General Conference, and Enjoying the Rain

Hello family and friends!

This was definitely a rather eventful week here in Elkins, West Virginia. The Forest Festival was in full blast this past week, so traffic was extremely bad throughout the week. We avoided the festivities due to our booked schedules; thus, street contacting was not a large part of our week. However, we still had an absolutely amazing week.

On Tuesday we had the opportunity to help someone move. The work went well because she already had all of her stuff packed up in boxes, but the only problem was that it was pouring outside. We decided to do our best with tarps for the boxes and hoodies for ourselves to keep everything dry. The boxes did end up getting a little wet, but it was probably the easiest moving experience I've had thus far on the mission. We got entirely drenched through, but the rain wasn't cold and we still enjoyed ourselves with serving.

The highlight of the week would have to be General Conference. It was an absolutely amazing conference with countless inspired insights. A large theme that I noticed throughout was the emphasis of aligning our will with God's will. I know that life becomes a lot easier when we decided to let our Creator take care of things. Obedience to His commandments is key to this principle.

Another thought that stood out to me was the idea of "ponderizing" a scripture each week. For any who were unable to view conference, 1. You ought to because it was absolutely amazing! and 2. "Ponderizing" was defined as a combination of pondering and memorizing a passage of scripture each week. I have decided to take this challenge and would love to hear insight on any scriptures you have decided to "ponderize". This week I will be focusing on Mosiah 24:15-16:

15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.

As I previously stated, I would really love to challenge all of you to "ponderize" a scripture a week and share your insights with others. I know that by filling our mind with uplifting thoughts and messages we will be able to fight against temptation and be strengthened through our trials.

I love you all, and I hope that you have an absolutely fantastic week!


Sister Thyme Nash