Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Elkins, West Virginia: The Week of Meals, a Brighter Hope, and the Brush of Danger

7 Sep 2015

Hello my wonderful family and friends! 

This past week has been quite a bit better than what it has been lately. Both my depression and my anxiety have tamed down, and I am doing miles better than what I was just a week ago. I definitely have been blessed with where I have been placed and with the people that I have been interacting with for the past 2 1/2 months. I am looking forward to the rest of my mission with a brighter vision of hope and excitement. 

Up to this point in my mission we have not been fed a whole ton by members. We have a couple of homes where we usually can just drop in and they'll either make something for us, or we're welcome to the leftovers they have. However, this week we've had a meal appointment with someone almost every day. It has definitely kept us stuffed! If any of you were ever wondering, pepperoni rolls are a popular West Virginian dish. Look them up. 

This week has been quite amazing. We have been able to pick up quite a few people we may potentially teach through following up on referrals and following a dog to make sure it returned home safely. It wasn't the most common way of finding, but it certainly worked. We have also seen quite a bit of improvement as far as a rekindled interest and desire from a few of our friends (our new term for investigators we are using in the mission) who we've been teaching for a while. 

Scary and exciting story time! Yesterday, Sister Moea'i and I were on our way to a fireside at the church. As we were driving, the car in front of us got into the left-turn lane. Once we were parallel with their vehicle they suddenly swerved back into our lane. Sister Moea'i managed to avoid them (though that seems impossible due to how close they were), and almost flipped us in the process; however, she was able to correct it, and we managed to get out of there without a scratch on ourselves or our truck. We truly are being watched out for here in the field. I am so grateful that our Heavenly Father is there for us and is guiding us every step of the way. 

I hope that you all are having a wonderful Labor day! Have fun! Stay safe! Keep it classy! I love you all. 

Sister Thyme Nash :)

Elkins, West Virginia: Family Dramas, Missionary Sunday, and the Turn of the Season

31 Aug 2015

Hello all, 

This week has been quite the week. Shaniya ended up passing away on Monday evening. Since then that family has had quite a bit of drama which ended in us having to leave a lesson early due to the sister calling the cops on her brother. Another family in our ward has also been going through sudden drama with an unexpected separation and request for divorce. We have done our best to not be involved, but goodness, life is crazy. 

Though it has been a hectic week, we were able to find some peace yesterday at Church. We had the opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting yesterday. We met up with the Elders earlier in the week to discuss possible topics which would be beneficial for the ward. We decided on going with an overall theme of families. I discussed service in the home which was a really great topic that had lined up really well with past Ensign articles I had been reading earlier in the week. 

Another positive side of the week is the noticeable turning of the season. The leaves have started turning brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow. I'm looking forward to when all of the trees are covered in an array of these colors. Autumn is a wonderful time of year. 

Well, I hope that everything is going well in wherever you are in the world. I love you all and hope that everything continues working out. Keep it classy. 

-Sister Thyme Nash

Elkins, West Virginia: Zone Conference, Prayer over the Seafood, and a Girl Named Shaniya

24 Aug 2015

Hello friends and family, 

Today has been a very odd week overall. For those who have heard any rumors or who are not aware, I have been struggling with my depression and anxiety for the past couple of weeks. However, this has been the absolute strongest that my faith and hope in Christ and for the future has ever been in my entire life. I appreciate all of the prayers and kind words that have been sent my way. I love you all and I pray for you each and every day. 

While this week was a little rough emotionally and mentally, it was extremely strong spiritually. We had the opportunity this week to have Zone Conference and there hear from our mission president and other leaders. It's always great to be reminded that these individuals are called from God and are being inspired on how to best help us. After Zone Conference my companion and I went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. I stayed in Elkins with Sister Erickson. We weren't able to get a lot of lessons in, but it was nice to hear her input on some of the individuals we are teaching. 

On a slightly light-hearted note, my companion and I were eating at a restaurant that the Bishop owns (we eat there for free once a week). After we had gotten our food I said a prayer over it as we normally do. Neither one of us thought much of it until a gentleman at a nearby table came over and told us that he was impressed to see such young people praying in public over their food. He said he appreciated the example we were setting for our generation. We were able to share that we were missionaries and exchange contact information. We are hoping that we will be able to see him again at some point in the future. 
On a more somber tone, there is a little girl out here named Shaniya. She has a rare allergy, and through a medical mistake a few years back she became paralyzed from her chest down. It also caused her brain to swell and she has been restricted to a hospital bed for a while now. On Saturday we received a call from her older sister saying that she was in the hospital and was not expected to make it through the night. Her mother prayed that she would make it through Sunday because it was Shaniya's 12th birthday; she has made it that far. Though there is no more brain activity, her heart is still beating slowly. Any prayers out to her and especially her family would be much appreciated. I know that she is going to return to her Heavenly Father and she will be free from this illness that has held her down for so long, but it is still a difficult time for her loved ones. 
I know that our Heavenly Father is looking out for every single one of us. He answers our prayers in ways that we do not expect, and He never turns his back on us. The only time when we don't feel His presence is when we turn our back to Him. Never be afraid to turn back to him. Repentance should not be a scary word. All that it means is change. Change to be better. Change to grow. Change to feel His love and show your love in return. I love you. Your Heavenly Father loves you. Never ever forget that. 

Sister Thyme Nash

Elkins, West Virginia: Baptism, Stringing Beans, and Faith as a Mustard Seed

17 Aug 2015
Hello everyone! 

Today marks me being on a mission for 2 months, so that's pretty exciting. It definitely has been one of the most amazing experiences that I have had. Sometimes I'm not sure whether I'm needed out here more for helping others grow closer to Christ or for my own growth toward Christ. I have never found myself relying on Him more or having stronger faith in Him, even if it is "like a grain of mustard seed). 

In other news, I've gotten pretty decent at stringing beans from being here. It seems that everyone and their grandmother's dog does canning over here and grows their own food in some way. A couple of the members in our area have accepted our help in stringing beans and have told us random things about canning. It's always fun to learn new things I suppose!
This past week has been rather busy with preparing for a baptism we had on Saturday. Haileigh Grace Cross was baptized on Saturday, August 15. Saturday, August 15 also marks her 8th birthday, so she was able to be baptized on her birthday just like I was. We have been teaching her and her sisters for a while now. Her two older sisters were baptized a year or so ago, and neither of her parents are members. It was great to see that she wanted to take that step toward baptism and for the amazing faith she has even as a rambunctious little girl. Her and her sisters have been such faith builders for me because they have such a strong desire to go to church and to do their absolute best in everything. I don't think I was ever that motivated at their age to go to church or do the programs that helped me grow closer to Christ, but seeing the faith and love they have has increased my own love and faith in the gospel. 

I would encourage every single one of you to consider your faith in God. I think it's easy in this day and age to forget how much He has done for us. Every single thing that we have is a gift from Him. Everything. Even challenges that we experience are blessings because they build and mold us to be the people that we are today. There is nothing that I am more grateful for right now than the tests of my faith because they have made me so much stronger spiritually than I thought I could ever be. Never lose hope. Never lose faith in that Divine Creator of ours who never makes mistakes. You are meant to be here at this time to serve a specific purpose. No one else could do exactly what you're doing right know, what you have done, and what you're going to do. You are unique and one-of-a-kind. Never forget that He loves you and that I love every single one of you. 

Stay strong! Stay blessed! 

Sister Thyme Nash

Elkins, West Virginia: Transfer Week, Hospital Visits Galore, and the Adventures of Four Missionaries Going on a Hike

12 Aug 2015
Hello all! 

It has been a pretty great, though slightly hectic, week and a half. We have been keeping ourselves super busy with teaching all of the people out here! Just kidding... but we have been keeping ourselves busy with teaching. There's nothing too significant to report on that front. All of the people we are teaching are progressing slowly but surely. 

We did end up going to the hospital quite a bit this past week. Don't worry; my companion and I are perfectly fine. Someone in the ward had a baby so we went to visit that family a few times. We also tried to visit a couple of others who had recently been admitted to the hospital for various reasons. They're all doing well now, but it was odd how many times we ended up going out there. 

The highlight of the week was probably this morning. One of our ward members to both the Elders and Sister here in Elkins to go hiking. It is absolutely gorgeous out here. We went up Bickles Knob and climbed a fire tower. We also trekked through the woods a ways to find a couple of caves. It was extremely fun and absolutely beautiful. It's amazing to look out at nature and think about how God created all of it. There is not a day that passes here where I don't remark how beautiful the sky and trees are. We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful place. 

I hope that everyone is doing well! Stay amazing! Stay in school! Always say please and thank you! Wash behind your ears! 

Never forget that you are a beloved child of our Heavenly Father! 

Sister Thyme Nash

Elkins, West Virginia: Fireside, Cooking, and the Epic Adventure of Two Sick Sister Missionaries

3 Aug 2015
Hello everyone! 

This past week has been quite the adventure for my companion and myself. Yesterday, August 2nd, we had a fireside that we were hosting, so the majority of our week was devoted to preparing for the fireside and to teaching the wonderful people here in Elkins. 

The fireside ended up turning out quite well. Our theme was "Hold to the Rod" based on the story of the Iron Rod in 1 Nephi 8 in the Book of Mormon. We started with an activity where we took over 1,000 feet of twine and wrapped it all around and through the church. We then blindfolded the people there and had them hold onto the twine, following it. All the while they had people trying to persuade them to let go of the twine and others informing them of possible approaching dangers (tree limbs, curbs, etc.). The whole idea behind the activity was to represent life. Those trying to persuade represented the temptations of the world, while those trying to guide represented the Holy Ghost. The twine was the Iron Rod (a representation of the word of God) and showed the way back home. It was a very powerful experience. We then had a couple of speakers who did an outstanding job discussing what the Iron Rod is and the importance of it. 

The only downside of the week is what I like to call "The Epic Adventure of Two Sick Sister Missionaries". On Tuesday evening, I came down with a pretty bad cold; however, we continued powering through and I managed to keep going by keeping myself stocked on tissues and cold medicine. On Friday, I woke up with little to no symptoms; however, Sister Moeai woke up with a terrible migraine, so half of our day was spent staying home. The next day my cold came back with full force. I'm convinced it left on Friday just so I could help my companion with her migraine. By the time the fireside rolled around on Sunday, my cold symptoms were gone, but Sister Moeai had gotten my cold and was still dealing with mild migraines. She is still not feeling well, but I'm hoping she'll feel better within a day or two. 

All in all it has been a pretty good week. Don't expect another exciting update of my life until Wednesday of next week because next week is a transfer week, so my P-day isn't until Wednesday. I wish you all the best and hope life is treating you well! 

Sister Thyme Nash

Elkins, West Virginia: Cabbage, a Picnic, and Rainbows from Rainstorms

27 July 2015
Hello anyone and everyone, 

This past week has definitely been a crazy one in my area. It was one of those weeks that were so busy that they flew by. One moment it was Monday; I blinked, and it was Sunday. Even with all the craziness though, it was a wonderful week. 

Monday went pretty well. We had a district-wide P-day, so we all got together as a district and played volleyball. We also celebrated a birthday which involved quite a bit of eating and celebratory singing/blowing out candles. After the celebration, the Elders in our area, my companion, and I helped one of our less-active members move. She lives closer to the church now, so hopefully she'll be able to come more. 

Tuesday was a busy day of teaching and service for one of our investigators. It was great to be able to serve some more and continue to stay busy. 

Wednesday consisted of some community service at Catholic Charities. They give food to those in need, so it is always wonderful to help out with that. They received some food donations that day, so we were helping organize and put all of those away. After we had put some Walmart donations away, a rather large amount of cabbage and cucumbers from the prison was dropped off. The cucumbers were ridiculously long, and every head of cabbage was larger than my head. It got to the point where we were trying to convince everyone who came in to take a bag of cucumbers and cabbage. 

Thursday was spent preparing for a ward activity later on in the day. The ward was having a Pioneer Picnic. We had a pretty good turn out. Some of our investigators were able to come, and it was awesome to see them and the ward members bonding and getting along. The area where we had the picnic was absolutely gorgeous on top of that. 

On Friday we had a district meeting and taught, taught, and taught. 

Saturday was our rainstorm day, though not in a literal sense. While the clouds did not darken and a torrent of rain did not come down from the sky, certain events lead our spirits to be slightly weighed down with our own storm clouds. We were dropped by three investigators who we thought were progressing quite well. Both times they said that they liked having us come over, but they were happy with where they were and what they had. We tried to stay positive, but the experiences really weighed on our hearts. 

Sunday, however, was our rainbow day. While none of our investigators made it to church, we had a large turn out of less-active members. It was absolutely wonderful to see the chapel fill up and to see the smiles on their faces when they entered. After that we were able to pick up three new investigators and receive some referrals from some really amazing less-actives. Not only did we have all those blessings, but we were also able to get one of our investigators on date for baptism. 

Sometimes we have to go through the rainstorms in life in order to see the rainbows. This was definitely true for the ending of our week. Though our "hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us," (Alma 26:27). We were blessed way more than we could have hoped for because we relied on our Heavenly Father and continued on with faith. We wanted to turn back, but we pressed forward and continued teaching. When we are met with challenges, we must be patient and look forward to the blessings in store for us with a firm hope that we will obtain these blessings. 

I love you all! I hope that everything is going well wherever you are, and I hope that you will be able to experience many rainbow days. 
Sister Thyme Nash