Monday, November 18, 2013

First Area... Wheeling West Virginia and St.Clairsville Ohio (8-5-2013)

Hello Family!

Here is an update on my first week out in the field.

The flights... Both were good and longish so I got to sleep okay. They were uneventful and on time. There were 32 of us missionaries so it was kinda crazy.

I am in Wheeling West Virginia and St.Clairsville Ohio. The Elders cover WV, we just go to Chruch there. All of our areas are in Ohio. The Elders we share the ward with seem really great. The ward is actually really small even though the list is forever long. They have tons of inactives. Like more than half the ward... Zone meetings and stuff are in Pennsylvania. I am on the Ohio WV statelines. I am so excited to work with less actives, it is just getting a hold of them, we spent all day Friday trying to find them but they either didn't answer the door or yelled at us. There is a Rob Gardner song on We Must Sing about bringing Sheep to back to the Fold and it has always been one of my favorites!! I really am excited. I have always felt drawn to rescuing the strayed and weary. I just hope that I can do all that God needs me to do!!

Studying is good. There is a Sister in the ward that served in Brazil a while ago and she offered to talk with me. She is a resident at the Hospital here. And I am working mostly on grammar, I write out sentences and say them out loud. I also read from the scriptures a lot. I am in an English area with not even a Spanish speaker in sight. That is all in the cities and I am out in the country.

My companion, literally just finished training. I asked her yesterday if she would go through the training book with me when we had time, that’s about all I can do. They train you now so that you can train within 12 weeks, which is how long she has been out. Lots of people are training right when they get done because of how many there are...She was here for a transfer and her trainer was LAZY... so we are both committed to getting the work done and finding and stuff like that.

President and his wife are nice and great just not super welcoming. They had about a weeks’ notice before I got here so more could have gotten done to welcome me. They need a testimony of visa waiters and I don't know how to tell them about it. They are great and awesome to the assigned missionaries here. But being here definitely is trying my faith in regards to my testimony of waiting for a visa. Mission President... I meant that he kinda made me feel like a foster kid in the foster care system. Not really wanted and stuff. I am not getting trained, just threw me out into the field. There was one other visa waiter that came with me and it is the same with her. He assigned us our companions before we even got there and "his missionaries" he spent 24 hours getting to know before he assigned them their comps and areas. I didn't even get an interview (well I went into the office and he told me my comp), plus he had nowhere to put us the first night so we both went to  the other Sister's new area for the night because mine was way faraway.  They also keep saying that I am not supposed to be here. I AM supposed to be here. If I weren't I would have a visa. Heavenly Father wants me here for some reason so... Like I said it feels like being in the foster care system in regards to President. Foster parents "agree" to take these kids in and care for them, but really they are just in it for the money. I think president accepts us because he feels it is the right thing to do not because he wants to... He basically told me he didn't know what to do with me. TREAT ME LIKE A MISSIONARY, I AM. I WAS CALLED AS A MISSIONARY AND ASSIGNED TO BRAZIL!! The place is secondary. I really wish I could just throw all that at him, but he is my president and I need to be respectful... I know I am supposed to be here, it is hard to be told constantly by everyone else that I am not...

I am not getting formally trained which kinda irks me... But, the President was nice enough to let me come to his mission. Everyone keeps on saying that I am not supposed to be here. But I know that if I was supposed to be in Brazil right now God would be able to get my visa. I am here for a reason, I am supposed to be here. I have been trying to let that roll off my back.... Oh yeah I am in Ohio and West Virginia, I only go to Pennsylvania for Zone meetings and stuff right now.
It is amazing here in Ohio. So beautiful and green!! I am so excited to be here and get the work of the Lord out there and done!! It is super green and hilly here. I am actually getting really carsick every day because the roads are so twisty turny. The weather is super mild. I had hoped that it would be more humid, but it is hardly more humid than home right after it rains. I love it though. It is so beautiful and I have gotten to see some amazing views.

The ward seems great, they need a little push when it comes to member involvement though. My comp and I are working on that. My comp is great and I finally got up the courage to ask her to go through the training manual when we have time. I don't know why they aren't training me, what the heck. She said she would help me. We get along really well and she seems to be pretty obedient. There have only been a couple of times where I thought we could be doing something more productive. I feel really bad for her though. One of the inactives that she had been working with before I got here passed away Thursday and she has been having a hard time. The ward has really bad retention and stuff. They have like 300 on the list and only like 125 active. So we really are working on LAs in the area and making contact with them. We are also working on finding strategies. The Sisters who were here before wasted lots of time with the same 5 people and didn't even keep good records of what they did. So we are working on getting all that updated.

There are hardly sidewalks around here. It is like way out in the country, like where mom and dad but green!! The area book is crap. The area has only been open for a short time and the missionaries before didn't think it was important I guess. We are going down the ward list right now looking at less actives and stuff. We haven’t been super successful making contact though. We will keep trying.  All the finding techniques that I learned in the MTC are for Brazil and won't work here very well.
Friday we ate up a ton of miles visiting a part of our area that has never been visited by missionaries since it was opened earlier this year. All the Less Actives weren't home, but we did get to place one BOM when we were tracting. It was super beautiful out there. I would live there in a heart beat.
We had our one investigator come to Church yesterday, so that was way cool. There is a lot of work to be done so I am way excited to get busy!!

Funny story: So Friday we went to Jacobsburg and Shadyside, which are both at the edge of our area. We were driving down a residential road, now keep in mind all this area is like where mom and dad live but major green, and this pack of friendly dogs runs in front of our car! So my comp stops and asks me to get out and get them to move. So I did. They were all super friendly don't worry... Plus they were well cared for dogs, nicely groomed and fed. Anyways so I tried to throw a stick to get them to move, but all they wanted was attention so I walked away from the car and they followed. They were jumping all over me and were so cute!! But I was wearing a sky blue skirt and a light yellow shirt so I was covered in paw prints, Sister Roberts was laughing so hard. It was kinda funny, I will admit...

So I got on email from Church headquarters asking me to ask my parents to not intervene with my visa application. Does that include Brother Dink efforts? I really want my visa as soon as possible and I don't know if his intervention would cause a problem.

Every time I back up the car or go tracting, I have a little "Oh  my gosh I am a missionary!" moment.
I am reaching the end of my time on the computer!

Here is my address:

600 Trabar Dr. #23
St. Clairsville, Ohio 43950

Love you all and write whenever you can!!
Sister Nay

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