Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Second Area Week 17- Now Thank We All Our God (11-25-2013)

Family and Friends!

It is Thanksgiving Week and I could not be more thankful to be a missionary! The ward that I am serving in is more than amazing. For example a woman from our ward is sitting with us for 2 hours so we get to email our family from the Family History Center. Plus there is a baptism in our midst! This Saturday at 7 Donna will be getting baptized by her son Brain who was baptized a year ago! Sister Cohen, Sister Manwill and I could not be more excited!
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Now thank we all our God
With hearts and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done,
In whom his earth rejoices; 
I thank Heavenly Father everyday for the opportunity that I have to be a missionary!  I think best of all is that He has blessed me to be a visa waiter!  The people that I have gotten to know while I have been serving here in Pennsylvania have changed my life forever!  I am so excited to be here can can't wait to continue serving more next transfer. (No word on my visa yet, I am hoping for the first of the year!)
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Who from our mothers' arms,
Hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of ove
And still is ours today.
I am eternally grateful for my mom and dad who set the example for me.  They used all of their hearts, mights, minds, and, strengths to teach me that Gospel so that I could be here today!  I look back at moments in my life and marvel at the patience that they had for me and how much they want me to do what is right.  I know Heavenly Father blessed me with my parents so that I could grow up in righteousness and share the Gospel with the world.  I know that I wouldn't be the missionary and the person that I am today were it not for my parents and their unfaltering love for me, their daughter!
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Oh, may our bounteous God
Through all our life be near us,
With ever-joyful hearts
And blessed peace to cheer us,
And keep us in his love,
And guide us day and night,
And free us from all ills,
 Protect us by his might.
Not only do I love this verse for myself, but also for the many wonderful people  that I am currently working with. Aja, as I mentioned last week is going through ever so many trials in her
life right now.  I see in her eyes that the weight of the world is on her shoulders and her knees are beginning to buckle.  But as we have gone to visit her and bring the Spirit back into her life, she has noticeably changed.  As we have borne our testimonies of the healing powers of Christ's Atonement, she has allowed hope to spring back into her life.  I pray that Heavenly Father will always be near her throughout her life, that He will grant her joy, love, guidance, protection and peace.

Donna is a wonderful lady.  She has taught me more than I feel like I have taught her.  Her testimony is so strong and she loves Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  She is so charitable and sweet and kind and loving.  She lights up when she sees us either at lessons or at church.  It is a privilege that Heavenly Father has granted me the opportunity to guide her towards the waters of baptism.  I know that she would have made it to this point regardless of the missionaries that served here, but she has been a blessing in my life.
Always remember to thank Heavenly Father for what He has given you, even the trails that you face.
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Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger tress.
The futher sky, the greater length.
The more the storm, the more the strenght.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow. 
Like President Monson said, in his talk " I Will Not Fail Thee, nor Forsake Thee" trials make us stronger.  So don't forget to thank Heavenly Father this week for the good and the bad, because if you don't know the bad the good wouldn't feel so great!
Remember the Lord loves you and the church is true! 
Sister Nay 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Second Area Week 16- Put Your Shoulder To the Wheel (11-18-2013)

Family and Friends!
I hope this week has been a great one, cause I know that it has been for me! The snow has come (but only stayed for 3 days)! We have been working hard and "putting our shoulders to the wheel."
The world has need of willing men
Who wear the worker's seal.
Come, help the good work move along;
Put your shoulder to the wheel.
Put your shoulder to the wheel; push along,
Do your duty with a heart full of song,
We all have work; let no one shirk.
Put your shoulder to the wheel.
Last week was awesome and we got so much work done. In true fashion, Satan worked hard on the hearts of the people that we work with and our week didn't quite live up to last week. But in the end it was still awesome and I can truly say that I saw God's hand in our lives multiple times a day this week. The important thing is that when these moments come up, we must continue to work hard and endure to the end. I think the coolest thing to see was the power that servents of God have in the lives of so many. There are currently 7 missionaries serving in the Washington Ward not including the office Senior Couple. It is a testimony that there are countless young people so willing to take up the work of missionaries, but also that the members are so willing to share with their friends what they believe!
The Church has need of helping hands,
And hearts that know and feel.
The work to do is here for you;
Put your shoulder to the wheel.
Put your shoulder to the wheel; push along,
Do your duty with a heart full of song,
We all have work; let no one shirk.
Put your shoulder to the wheel.
As I said this week was really awesome! I have felt so many times since I have come out on the mission how important it is for me to be here. There are countless people that have touched my life and I hope that I have been able to touch some lives as well. I know that the work and calling of a missionary is sacred and important in Heavenly Father's plan for each of us. We had the opportunity to meet with a less active family this week that in the past missionaries hadn't been able to get in very often. Sister Cohen has a pretty good relationship with them, but they had been hard to get a hold of. Anyways I had the opportunity to share my experiences that I have had as a music major and the Cagnon's really opened up. Sister Cohen was suprised had how comfortable they felt so soon after meeting Sister Manwill and I. I know that we are all called to serve in specific places at specific times to help those around us come closer to Jesus Christ!
Then don't stand idly looking on;
The fight with sin is real.
It will be long but must go on;
Put your shoulder to the wheel.
Put your shoulder to the wheel; push along,
Do your duty with a heart full of song,
We all have work; let no one shirk.
Put your shoulder to the wheel.
This week has been really interesting as well. Aja, a recent convert, has been struggling as of late. Her grandmother passed away and many other trials have come her way in such a short span of time. I can tell that the adversary is working hard on her and that her faith is being very strongly tested. I know that it is not by chance that at the time of her deepest trials and needs Heavenly Father has put 7 missionaries within a 7 mile radius of her home. We are all cheering her on and have been trying to lift her up as she makes important choices in her life.
Then work and watch and fight and pray
With all your might and zeal.
Push ev'ry worthy work along;
Put your shoulder to the wheel.
Put your shoulder to the wheel; push along,
Do your duty with a heart full of song,
We all have work; let no one shirk.
Put your shoulder to the wheel.
I mentioned that Donna has a baptism date on November 30th in my email last week. She is going so strong and is an example to me and those around her. She is so dedicated and has a great testimony! In fact in most lessons she ends up teaching us about what we are talking about. She is already sharing what she has learned with her friends and has invited them all to her baptism. I have been amazed at how amazing she is and how ready she was to hear the gospel!
We are so excited for how the work is moving along here in Washington and can't wait to see the further blessing that Heavenly Father has in store for the people here! 
It snowed all Monday night and Tuesday and left a couple of inches. There weren't any accidents that I noticed and the roads were pretty clear. Sister Cohen is a great driver. She is going home next month and she is from Utah so she can drive in the snow. So don't worry, I am in good hands! I was going to send pictures but I left my plugy thing at home, so I can't :D
We had fun in the snow though. I am sure we will be shoveling snow at some point. We are so excited for the season!
Remember the Lord loves you and the Church is true!
Sister Nay

Second Area Week 15- When Faith Endures (11-11-2013)

Family and Friends!
This week has been full of tender mercies and faith building experiences.
First of all I want to testify that doing your visting and home teaching is so essential to the Work of Salvation! We have had the blessing to begin making contact with a number of less-actives from our ward that the missionaries hadn't visited in many years. The most amazing thing to me is that these families that we met with were being visited by home and visiting teachers consistantly and they had a love for the Church. Various circumstances have led them to falling away, but they still love the Church and the Book of Mormon. They feel loved and cared about by the ward and are more receptive to the missionaries because of it.
Second of all, I have the best announcement a missionary wants to make! We are having a baptism on Saturday November 30 for Donna! Donna is one of the best investigators that I have worked with (aren't they all). Her son and daughter-in-law are members of the Chruch. Donna has investigated the Church on and off before, but she really feels like this is the right thing for her to do. We have had like three really awesome lessons with her the past week and a half. The Spirit is always so strong with her. She has an awesome testimony and just lights up when she talks to us. She actually taught us lesson three! We gave her the Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet and she studied it and taught us, it was really cool. She also came to the Super Saturday that the Relief Society did and she made some friends! She actually started talking to members without us! She never misses coming to Church and she absolutely belives that it is true and this is the decision that God wants her to make!
One of the most special moments of this week was a thing that we started with the Williams family. Amy, Brittany, and Heather are less-active members of the Church. Amy has breast cancer and recently found out that her chemo stopped working. They have been going through a lot and really struggle. We started stopping by every night on our way home to have family prayer with them. They say that they can feel a difference in their home and their interactions with eachother when they pray as a family. They called us and asked if we could help them find a ride to church because they don't have a car. Their hometeacher gladly dropped by and picked them up. Brittany's boyfriend, Joey, even came and stayed for the whole three hours. It is really cool to watch the Gospel of Jesus Christ change the lives of those around us!
I cannot be more thankful for the area that I am in right now. We are so busy and have so many things to do each day, we hardly have time to breath! It is such a blast! I am learning to balance more than one lesson a day which is helping me prepare for Brazil. The one shout out that I have to make is that Sister Cohen and Heavenly Father have been working on this area for nearly nine months. Yes, Sister Cohen has been here for half of her mission. But, her hard work and her faith have brought this area to this busy point. There are many places that hard work and many prayers have to be said before much can be done. So when we let our faith help us endure, miracles WILL happen and God will be with you every step of the way!
I will not doubt, I will not fear;
God's love and strength are always near
His promised gift helps me to find
An inner strength and peace of mind.
I give the Father willingly
My trust, my prayers, humility.
His Spirit guides; his love assures
That fear departs when faith endures.
So Jeff that I told you guys about a couple of weeks ago is getting baptized this Saturday at 2 in Logan! The address is 565E 100S Logan, Utah. It would mean more than the world if at least Bethany and Ken could make it! Jeff is an awesome guy and the lesson that we taught him was one of the biggest highlights of my mission thus far! Please let anyone else that you know know, I want his baptism to be well attended!
Remember the Lord Loves You and the Church is TRUE!
Sister Nay

Second Area Week 14- Sweet is the Peace the Gospel Brings (11-4-2013)

Family and Friends! 
There have been so many miracles this week! Unfortuenately the computer that I am on is slow, so I am not going to write much.
Tuesday we made some contact with some families on the outskirts of our area and they were very excited to see missionaries. They also had very good visiting and home teachers. It was very fun to meet with them and we are excited to continue visiting them.
Sunday was the best because so many people that we visited came to church! I know that the truthfulness of Jesus Christ's gospel brings many people from different walks of life peace and joy!
Sweet is the peace the gospel brings
To seeking minds and true.
With light refulgent on its wings,
It clears the human view.
 Its laws and precepts are divine
And show a Father's care.
Transcendent love and mercy shine
In each injunction there.
Faithless tradition flees its pow'r,
And unbelief gives way.
The gloomy clouds, which used to low'r,
Submit to reason's sway.
Remember the Lord Loves you and the Church is True!
Sister Nay

Second Area Week 13- I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go (10-28-2013)

Family and Friends!
This might actually be the shortest email I will write. As you know transfers were last Tuesday and I was being transferred. I am currently serving in Washington, PA with Sister Cohen and Sister Manwill! YAY!! I love the two of them and I am sure that we will all work together well. Sister Cohen has 2 months left and Sister Manwill just got done with her training. They are both awesome Sisters and they love the work! I am excited to get to know them better and learn from them!
Washington is a booming area for the work, there are two sets of Elders and us in one ward. I can tell that the Lord has big things in mind for this ward, they are really into the work. I have gotten to meet some of the less actives and investigators that the Sister's have been working with, but there are so many I still haven't met them all. They are all wonderful and special people and I am so stoked for the potential for growth personally and for the ward!
In lieu of transfers I choose I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go as my theme song for the week...
It may not be on the mountain height
Or over the stormy sea,
It may not be at the battle's front
My Lord will have need of me.
But if, by a still, small voice he calls
To paths that I do not know,
I'll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:
I'll go where you want me to go.
I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,
Over mountain or plain or sea;
I'll say what you want me to say, dear Lord;
I'll be what you want me to be.
Perhaps today there are loving words
Which Jesus would have me speak;
There may be now in the paths of sin
Some wand'rer whom I should seek.
O Savior, if thou wilt be my guide,
Tho dark and rugged the way,
My voice shall echo the message sweet:
I'll say what you want me to say.
There's surely somewhere a lowly place
In earth's harvest fields so wide
Where I may labor through life's short day
For Jesus, the Crucified.
So trusting my all to thy tender care,
And knowing thou lovest me,
I'll do thy will with a heart sincere:
I'll be what you want me to be.
It was extraordinarily hard for me to leave St.Clairsville. I fell in love with the area and the people that we were working with. All of the people there took a chunk of my heart with them. However, in His loving kindness Heavenly Father helped me to know that I was needed elsewhere and my "work" so to speak in Wheeling/St.Clairsville was done. I will never forget the people that I met there and the lessons that I learned from each of them! So I looked up to my Heavenly Father and knew that wherever He sent me was where I was supposed to be! I am so excited to be in Cannonsburg/Washington, PA and to get to know the people better. Also, Sister Cohen has had three visa waiters and all of them have recieved their visas after serving with her, so I think she is a touch of good luck ;) I am confident that the three of us will serve together well and that miracles will happen in the area as we serve together in unity.
The weather has offically turned! It has snowed (but not stuck) twice and there is a pretty brisk breeze. The leaves are starting to fall and the striking colors are starting to fade and the inevitable winter will soon set in. But, not to worry because "I am walking in sunlight, when the whole world's covered in rainclouds. Finding the truth and living it out loud! When you know what's right, its like walking in sunlight" I am excited to be here and I wouldn't have it any other way!
So I don't know if you guys remember telling you about a guy that we taught a couple of weeks ago and he was from Logan. But we recently found out that he will be baptized in Logan on November 9. I don't have all of the details, but Jeff is really important to all of us who taught him. I was hoping that those of you in Utah or who have people you know close to Logan, could get to his baptism in my stead. I would like for there to be a representation of the missionaries that taught him the first lesson. It would really mean a lot to me if we could get a couple of people to go in November to his baptism! Tell everyone you know and maybe we can make this work!
Here is my new addy:
Sister Nay
100 1/2 Wilmont Ave
Washington,PA 15301
Because these places are so old and they have rebuilt some buildings, instead of renumbering the whole block they just add 1/2. Its weird but whatever right? I did chuckle at it when I first got out here.
Remember The Lord Loves YOU and the Church is True!
Love you all!!
Sister Nay

Leaving Ohio (10-21-2013)

Love you all (yinz) 

Brother and Sister Michelli, Austin their grandson, and me

Me adn Heather Stillwell, one of my most favorite less actives that we work with. She is a little less accountable and has wild health issues but the sweetest and biggest heart I have ever seen! I will sorely miss her!

My lovely little District
Elder Almond, Sister Valikoula, Sister Roberts, Me, Elder Glover

The nursing home we volunteer at! Love these people so much!!!!

The ladies that I love so much!
More of the ladies that I love so much!

The Boles

The Crosby's


The biggest sweethearts ever!

(insert picture here)
Lots of love need lots of love given to us! They are the best!

The Underwoods 
(insert picture here)
By the way Hazel said to tell you mom, that you raised a good girl.
Sandy the activities director at the Beacon House
The Vanstones...
My surrogate family! I have never laughed or cried so much with people other than you guys! "There is a timeless place for them in my heart. How I could love them this much, I don't know. I know that I knew them before..."
See the Nashville Tribute Band's CD Trek, I took a little creative license.

First Area Week 12- Transfers and The Lord is My Shepherd (10-21-2013)

Family and Friends,

Somehow another transfer has gone by! It seems like yesterday I was sending a similar email saying that I didn't have my visa and I would be staying in St.Clairsville. Well, for all you who are waiting to hear... No visa yet, but there is still hope for another transfer! Also, I will be leaving St.Clairsville and moving on to another area. I will let you all know by next week my new whereabouts!

So yesterday in Sacrament Meeting I was feeling extraordinarily grateful for everything that Heavenly Father has given and taught me while I was here in St.Clairsville. Especially for the previous day's events and I opened up to the Lord is My Shepherd. As you all know not every moment on the mission are happy ones and the beginning of our week was a little bumpy. Needless to say many appointments fell through and even a couple of less actives yelled at us. But in the midst of all that Heavenly Father still managed to bless us more than we could imagine!

The Lord is my Shepherd; no want shall I know.
I feed in green pastures; safe-folded I rest.
He leadeth my soul where the still waters flow,
Restores me when wand'ring, redeems when oppressed,
Restores me when wand'ring, redeems when oppressed.

Thru the valley and shadow of death though I stray,
Since thou art my Guardian, no evil I fear.
Thy rod shall defend me, thy staff be my stay.
No harm can befall with my Comforter near.
No harm can befall with my Comforter near.

In the midst of affliction my table is spread.
With blessings unmeasured my cup runneth o'er.
With perfume and oil thou anointest my head.
Oh, what shall I ask of thy providence more?
Oh, what shall I ask of thy providence more?

So I think you will all remember me saying that our finding activity kinda didn't work. While that really stunk at the time and we couldn't see how anything good could come out of it. We were able to make some contact with a less active that we had been trying to get a hold of. He ended up saying that he wanted to come to Church but he just needed a ride. So we called up the closest family to him and they willingly accepted to bring him to church. I will save what happened on Sunday for last!

One of our very favorite families the Finks are some of the best member missionaries I have met. They love sharing the Gospel which they found about a year ago. They called us up on Saturday afternoon and said that they had a friend in town that really wanted to talk with us. Now the coolest part... When we planned our day the previous night before, we planned in such a way that we could accommodate this sudden and welcomed invitation. So we ended up doing everything that we had planned plus this unexpected lesson with the Fink's friend!

Jeff is an incredible man. He lives in Logan, Utah of all places and has almost exclusively LDS friends. He grew up Baptist and felt like some sort of something was missing in his life. When we began to tell him about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon, he was touched beyond words. He said that he felt that all of the questions that he had and all of the loneliness was taken away by the Spirit of God while we spoke of what we believe in. He eagerly accepted an invitation to get baptized and even more eagerly accepted the opportunity to come to Church the following day.
Another tender mercy of this week was an incredible idea to contact a lady that asked for us to teach her but a week later backed out. Elizabeth is very crafty and we noticed that she made a beautiful wreath the last time we saw her, so we asked if she could teach us how to make it to give to one of the members in a nursing home. She was so excited that we asked her to teach us how to do it. We are going to her home later tonight to learn!

There were also so many other amazing events of this week, but I don't think I have enough time to write them all down! But let's just say Sunday was the best!

Sunday was better than I could have imagined. Brother Drummond was able to come to Church thanks to the Bertoch's. We had our first meeting with our new Ward Mission Leader and we could not be happier with the potential of growing with the ward. Jeff came to Church and loved every minute of it. The Boles, whom we have been working with for quite some time where there too! The Vanstones came even though they had just returned from a very long trip. And the ward was just happy and vibrant! It was the busiest Sunday that we have had in a long time. Everyone wanted to talk to us and we felt like we were just running around barely getting to everyone in time. It was a very happy day.
I think the best part of Sunday though was after Church. The Bertoch's had signed up to feed us dinner that night and we were really excited to go. About an hour before dinner Brother Bertoch texted us and asked if it was alright if he invited Brother Drummond over for dinner. Just in case you can't imagine our reaction... ANY MISSIONARY IN THE WORLD WOULD BE MORE THAN EXCITED FOR A MEMBER TO REACH OUT TO A LESS-ACTIVE! So Brother Drummond was at our dinner appointment with the Bertoch's and we couldn't be happier with the willingness of the ward members to go above and beyond in fellow-shipping a less active.
I also had the opportunity to say my final goodbyes to the Vanstones. If you all can't tell by how much I talk about them, they are very dear to my heart. Words cannot describe how much I am going to miss them or any of the other people here in St.Clairsville. I can say that without a doubt, the hardest part of the mission for me is having to say goodbye to those that I have grown close to!
So while this area has been really tough at times I can say with the fullest conviction in my heart that the blessings have ALWAYS outweighed whatever didn't work out!

I challenge you all to remember the Savior, Jesus Christ, in the midst of your afflictions. Because the best and sweetest of blessing come during or shortly after the darkest and yuckiest of time.
Remember the Lord loves you and the Church is true!
Sister Nay

First Area Week 11- How Gentle God's Commands- (10-15-2013)

Family and Friends!

This past week has been pretty interesting. We had quite a few canceled appointments, a couple of potentials, mission tour with a member of the Seventy, an exceptionally long companionship inventory, and a very low attended finding activity. Amongst all of these things God has still managed to teach me that it is all for my good or the good of someone else. :D

How gentle God's commands!
How kind his precepts are!
Come, cast your burdens on the Lord
And trust his constant care.

Beneath his watchful eye,
His Saints securely dwell;
That hand which bears all nature up
Shall guard his children well.

Why should this anxious load
Press down your weary mind?
Haste to your Heav'nly Father's throne
And sweet refreshment find.

His goodness stands approved,
Unchanged from day to day;
I'll drop my burden at his feet
And bear a song away.
So for the past month we have been handing out flyers and posting flyers for a movie night that we had at the Church on Sunday. We were going to watch Finding Faith in Christ as a finding activity. We invited members of the ward to invite friends and just enjoy a night learning more about the life of the Savior. Well, people's perception of Mormons out here isn't that great. Sunday came around and we set up for the movie night. One family showed up, the family that we had eaten a late lunch/early dinner with not even 2 hours before. It was kinda tough, it kinda felt like we were that socially awkward kid in high school that threw a party and the only kid that showed up was the nice Mormon girl who took pity on us. But, amongst it all there were lessons learned and friendships forged. The family that showed up was a family that we didn't really have a relationship with. Because they showed up we were able to get to know them better and establish a better relationship with them. It was pretty cool.
One of our less actives that we have been working with for a while was in the hospital last week. Her name is Heather. She is so sweet but doesn't have the best grip on reality in the world. She has diabetes and her blood sugar was in the upper 400s so she was obviously hospitalized for a time. We were able to go and visit with her and read her favorite chapters from the Book of Mormon with her. She was released yesterday. She called us yesterday and she was so sweet. We told Bishop that she was in the hospital and so he called her. She said to me, " Sister Nay guess what?" I said, "What Heather?" She said, "Bishop called me! Can you believe it? Bishop called ME!" She was so amazed that the Bishop cared about her, it was so sweet!
A recent convert couple in our ward feeds us every Thursday because they love missionaries so much. Brother Fink is a very bold man who loves the Church so much! Anyway last weekend he met a young man that was "looking for more in his life" and invited him over for dinner with the missionaries. Brother Fink really took Elder Nelson's "Ask the Missionaries" talk from two conferences ago to heart and told him to ask us all the questions that he had. Basically Cody is searching to be more spiritual. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he is coming over on Thursday again to meet with us. He truly is searching for God and Jesus Christ in his life! Member referrals match no other finding approach in the books!
Friday we had Mission Tour with Elder and Sister Arnold from the Seventy. The entire day was spent on how we could be better missionaries. So naturally, no missionary left that meeting feeling adequate. But we all did learn some things. I learned that as I commit people to living the Gospel I need to be more bold. Direct, yes or no, commitments are way more effective than shyly suggesting that they do something. I also felt that I could strive to work better with the ward council. Communicating with them, weather or not they ask, is key to hastening the work.
Like I said before, we had an exceptionally long companionship inventory this week. Due to some of the events at Mission Tour (that had nothing to do with Elder Arnold), it was apparent that the companionship was sitting on the rocks. It turns out that one of the companions was struggling with personal issues and was nitpicking the behaviors of the other two companions, but she was internalizing them instead of saying anything. So things kinda boiled over. We ended up talking for quite a few hours and things settled down a lot. It turns out the root of the problem was MAJOR differences in how the three of us grew up and there were lots of misunderstandings with one of the companions. But, as we talked it through with the Holy Ghost, love and understanding re-entered the companionship.
This week has been tougher than some of the other weeks, but as my companions and I have relied on Heavenly Father, things always have a brighter side. Lessons can be learned from even the yuckiest of circumstances.

The time has come for us to say goodbye. Another transfer has past another Monday/Tuesday gone. I love to hear from all of you and wish you all the best! Hear from you next week!

Remember the Lord love you and the Church is True!
Sister Nay

First Area Week 10- Serve Where You are Called (10-7-2013)

Serve where you are called, not where you have been or where you might be. Serve where you are called.’” —President Thomas S. Monson

I know that this isn't the typical hymn that I send as the title of my emails, but it is something that I feel people need to understand. In my preparations for General Conference last week I had the opportunity to read an article about this conference being President Monson's 50th. In an interview after President Hinckley passed away and right before he was called as the next prophet and president of the Church, President Monson stated the quote above. While he meant it in regards to callings within the Church, I also read it to mean waiting for a visa. There are many that I have come across that have a very different idea of what waiting for a visa means. Some people say that your mission doesn't start until you get to your assigned mission, others have said that visa waiters don't care because it is not "their" mission. I know that what President Monson said is true. As missionaries, members of the Church, or as believers in Jesus Christ, we should serve where we are and not think of where we have been or where we could be!

I love being here in Ohio and I love the ward. It is a struggling ward that has had a lot of struggles and hardships in their past and it saddens my heart to hear some of the stories that I have. Sister Roberts and Sister Valikoula and I have been working really hard and we have been putting a really concentrated effort into less active work. So far we have yet to make contact with any new less actives, but I know that as we go forth with faith and continue to work hard, Heavenly Father will provide a way. We also have been really focusing on Brother Vanstone, who is really blossoming in his testimony of the Church.

I think my favorite thing about the mission is seeing all the miracles that Heavenly Father puts into our lives and the lives of the people that we work with. Two district meetings ago we role played a situation where a person comes up to us in the store and knows us but we don't know them. Well, that was divine inspiration because exactly that happened last Monday when we went grocery shopping. A young man approached Sister Valikoula and started talking to her about the Church. Soon Sister Roberts and I joined the conversation. Come to find out, Troy, is a member of the Church who recently moved back into the area after 4 years of military service. He has a job that keeps him from coming, but he was pretty receptive to us and coming over when he is off work.

Another miracle is related to dropping investigators with faith. Ohio is a slow moving area for missionary work and we had very few people investigating the Church anyways. All but one of the people we were working with were not truly interested in the message of the Restoration and after prayer and fasting we decided to drop them even though we had no idea what we were going to do with the time that we had. Last Sunday our ward had a fast to help the missionaries find people to teach. Yesterday, one of the members of the Bishopric, Brother Fink, came up to us and said he had 2 new people for us to teach! He made friends a young man and his fiance that are looking for more in life. He pretty much said, "Ask the missionaries, they can help you!" and invited them to dinner with us on Thursday at their house.

I think my favorite was last night though. Yesterday morning I began reading the Book of Mormon like I always do for personal study. I got the distinct impression that I needed to read the introduction, the testimonies of the 3 and 8 witnesses, Joseph Smith's testimony, and the brief explanation of the Book of Mormon. So I did as the Spirit directed and read all of that stuff at the front of the Book of Mormon. Yesterday, we watched the afternoon session with our investigator, Brother Vanstone and his family. Afterwards, they fed us dinner. As we were wrapping up dinner, Brother Vanstone started asking us all kinds of questions. One of them he asked about what the difference was between the small plates of Nephi and the large plates. I knew the difference, but because I followed the Spirit that morning during studies, I could show Brother Vanstone where he could go to read about all of the plates mentioned in the Book of Mormon. It was so cool!

General Conference was absolutely amazing! I loved every minute of it and was so glad for the members of the ward opening their homes so the missionaries could watch it. I really like Elder Dube's talk on Saturday morning and Russell M. Nelson from the Sunday afternoon. I can't wait to have a hard copy of all the talks and reread them! I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and I am so grateful for technology that allows all people everywhere to hear his words no matter how far away they are!

Remember The Lord Loves You and the Church is True!
Sister Nay

First Area Week 9- Savior Redeemer of My Soul (9-30-2013)

Family and Friends!

This has been one interesting week. Yesterday during sacrament I read this hymn and it sincerely moved me. I have always loved it, but yesterday it touched my heart and soul in a way that it never has before.

Savior, Redeemer of my soul,
Whose mighty hand hath made me whole,
Whose wondrous pow'r hath raised me up
And filled with sweet my bitter cup!
What tongue my gratitude can tell,
O gracious God of Israel.

Never can I repay thee, Lord,
But I can love thee. Thy pure word,
Hath it not been my one delight,
My joy by day, my dream by night?
Then let my lips proclaim it still,
And all my life reflect thy will. O'errule mine acts to serve thine ends.
Change frowning foes to smiling friends.
Chasten my soul till I shall be
In perfect harmony with thee.
Make me more worthy of thy love,
And fit me for the life above.

First off, Fall is coming in all of its splendor! Including bipolar weather and changing leaves. Last Monday I thought I was going to freeze to death and then the next day I was sweating again. I guess Ohio just can't decide if it is Fall or Summer still. I vote for more summer weather due to the nature of the clothes that I have with me. All summery things that are really thin, I guess I was optimistic about getting my visa before the weather started changing out here. Thankfully one of the ward members knowing that I was prepared for the Amazon and not Ohio cleaned out her closet and gave me some of her old sweaters. God definitely provides for all of us in our times of need, even if it is something as trivial as a simple sweater.

So you know how last week was so amazing. Yeah well Satan thought it was too cool, so he kinda crashed our party... Don't worry Brother Vanstone is still doing awesome, but he was the only one we actually talked to. Everyone else cancelled on us so we spent a lot of our time working on the Area Book, which was in shambles when we got here, and finding. So we got stuff done, but not what we thought we were going to. But that's okay, the Church is still true! Plus our testimony of back up plans was strengthened! Whoo!

The Relief Society General Broadcast was on Saturday night and it was totally awesome! I especially loved the talks by Sister Linda Reeves and President Monson! I am so excited for General Conference this coming weekend! I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. He is the president of God's Church here on the earth today and through divine inspiration and revelation he guides us all. I know that President Monson is a special witness of Jesus Christ and that he is His living prophet here on the earth today, just like Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. I also can't wait to hear the wonderful counsel that he and the apostles of God will give to us this coming weekend. I encourage you all to watch it and listen to their words! All you have to do is go to and you can hear for yourselves a prophet of God here on the earth today!

Remember the Lord loves you and the Church is true!
Sister Nay

First Area Week 8- With All the Power of Heart and Tongue (9-23-2013)

Family and Friends!!

I know I say it every week, but it has been another great week here in Ohio! The tiny miracles of each day are what make life so sweet to live. So I know this song isn't sung very often at Church, but I love the words! And for those of you who know me pretty well, Rob Gardner did a pretty awesome arrangement of this song :D

With all the pow'r of heart and tongue,
I'll praise my Maker in my song.
Angels shall hear the notes I'll raise,
Approve the song, and join the praise.

I'll sing thy truth and mercy, Lord;
I'll sing the wonders of thy word.
Not all thy works and names below
So much thy pow'r and glory show.
Amidst a thousand snares I stand,
Upheld and guided by thy hand.
Thy words my fainting soul revive
And keep my dying faith alive.

So this week we taught our normal people and didn't pick up any new investigators, but we were able to finally start teaching a less active family that we have been talking to for 2 months. The Davis family has an 8 year old who hasn't been baptized and they haven't come to Church in so long that he really has no idea about anything. But when we were teaching the message of the Restoration he got so excited. He started flipping through the Book of Mormon right there, it was way cool! Now we are just trying to get them to come to Church.

It was Sister Robert's birthday this week and let's just say that it was really awesome! One of our former's remembered that it was her birthday and invited us over for dinner and brownies. We got to talk to them a little bit and they want us to come back and teach again! It was way cool! Also one of our less actives said that she wants to come to church. She has some really bad medical problems that confine her to her home and last time the Sisters asked her if she wanted to go to church she threw a wild fit of reasons why she couldn't go. On Sister Robert's birthday she said if she could get a ride with someone she would come! We also went to another area in Ohio to talk to the Young Women about going on missions. Don't worry we got President Topham's permission. The YW were great and 3 said that they want to go on missions, it was way cool!

Also this week one of the less actives that we are working with came with us to the lesson with our new investigator that we picked up last week, Linda. Michelle and Linda have been friends for a long time, so Michelle offered to come with us. I truly believe one of the best ways for a less active to decide to come back to church is for them to be involved in helping us teach others and bearing their own testimonies! It was way awesome and I know it helped Michelle a lot.

It has been all I can do to save the best for last. I know this week sounds pretty great anyways, but the events of yesterday morning could possibly be one of the crowning moments that I experience on the mission. Our ever strong investigator Brother Vanstone, who is married to a member, has made incredible progress in the past week. For some background, Sister Roberts committed B.Vanstone to not drinking beer for just one football game this year just to try it. That was about 4 weeks before I came and he was not into living the Word of Wisdom at all.  Well, football season has started and he has watched many games. On Monday, B. Vanstone told us that he hasn't had any beer yet and he wants to go the whole season without drinking! If that doesn't take your breath away then just wait until you hear what happened yesterday morning. 

Yesterday morning I was calling all the people that we are working with to see if they were coming to church. When I called the Vanstones, Brother Vanstone said that his wife was sick and his step-son was not coming but he was on his way. It took all that I had in me to not fall to my knees and cry while I was still on the phone with him. Amongst many other things, Brother Vanstone was coming to church alone! He never has done that in the 5 months that missionaries have been working with him. Brother Vanstone came to church on his free will alone! That alone would have made my week, but that is not all! 

After a beautiful Primary Program for Sacrament meeting, Brother Vanstone asked to talk to us. I am going to give some more background. Brother Vanstone has PTSD, ADHD, and slight dyslexia so he has struggles to read the Book of Mormon on a regular basis without listening to it. He told us that he has been reading it everyday, without listening to the CDs that we gave him. WHAT! I was so ecstatic, but it only gets better. About 2 months ago, right after I got to this area, we found out that he had never prayed and we have been struggling to get him to do so ever since. Again, it was all I had in me to stay calm and react in a dignified manner when he said this... He told us that he had started to pray and that even though he feels pretty awkward doing it, he is going to keep trying! I have never been so grateful for the power of prayer in my entire life. We have been praying ever since we found out about his prayer problems that he would find the strength and the courage to pray, and he finally has! 

Heavenly Father loves each of us so much and He sends angels both human and heavenly to minister to the hearts of the children of men. I just can't believe that He has allowed me to see some of the greatest miracles on earth. While healing the sick is really awesome, changing the hearts of men is beyond amazing to watch! So, " With all the pow'r of heart and tongue,I'll praise my Maker in my song. Angels shall hear the notes I'll raise, Approve the song, and join the praise. Amidst a thousand snares I stand,Upheld and guided by thy hand. Thy words my fainting soul revive And keep my dying faith alive!" Not only do I praise my maker for all of the wonderful things that He has allowed me to witness, I know that even in the midst of some of the most discouraging moments He stands right beside all of us. He allows us to see these touching moments of life to keep our faith alive to keep going!

Love you all! And Remember the Lord loves you and the church is true!

Sister Nay