Wednesday, September 9, 2015

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

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