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

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