Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Leaving the Brazil MTC- Love You All (3-10-2014)

Tomorrow I am flying out for the real world again. We have had some awesome experiences that I think I might have to tell you later I don't have much time. But I just wanted to say that I love you and I am praying that I will survive the weather. Right now Manaus is flooding because of all the rain they have been having. I don't know what time I am flying out but it is really early. 
Thanks for all fo your love and support!
Love you
Sister Nay

Brazil MTC- Brasil (3-5-2014)

Hello Friends and Family
MTC is crazy we are the first group so everybody is watching us like hawks. Plus they send videos of us teaching to the brethern, no pressure! The language is hard but coming faster that I thought. I am ok. Just like I thought I am in a trio. 8 adn 9 comps!!!! By the end of the transfer I will have had 11 comps in 9 months.
If you think driving in PA is crazy think again! People in sao paulo drive like mad men, it is scary. the roads are super narrow and they ride each other's tails like nobody's bussiness. Whooo!

Went to the temple it was so great!!!!!!  I love it. Warm raining and the people are so sweet. 
We got to go to the temple today! Holy cow. It was exactly what I needed. I have been struggling with learning the language especially becasue the reast of my MTC district seem to have caught on better. But I know that Heavenly Father loves me and I am glad to be here. Next week I leave for the field again. I am in a trio so that makes comps 8 adn 9! I know Sister Kunkel from the first MTC experience adn Sister Shipp is just great. WE are the first distrcit ever to go back to the MTC after time in the field so we are the THING to be. All the teachers talk to us all the time. They send videos of us teaching to the brethren and pics of us doing everything under the sun. It is kinda funny. 
All the teachers are Brazilian so you either speak portuguese or go without. It was hard at first but I know that this is exactly where teh Lord wants me to be! I will be leaving for the field again next week. It is warm and humid, but I am totally loving it. One of my compaions was with me in the MTC the first time so that was fun. Yeah I am in a trio again. Sister Kunkel whom I know and Sister Shipp. All of us have been out for at least 8 months. There are some missionaries in our group that  have been out for over a year! but we finally made it to Brazil. The drivers are so crazy i am so glad that I don't have to drive but that we ride the buses!
Sorry with such little time I have been copying and pasting so I know that there are some of the same things!
I have been having a hard time because the over achiever in me doesn't like to be mediocre at something. Portuguese is hard! Plus I didn't really get to study for 4 months. I think the hardest thing is that i know what it is like to know what you are doing and how to do it. I know what it is like to be a great missionary and with the language barrier I just can't do everything that I could before and that realy frustrates me. But President Swenson has been super helpful and my profs are super awesome and so are my comps. Also we went to the Campinas temple and it was exactly what I needed that new video is awesome and the Spirit was so strong. Plus i learned so many new things! Can you believe taht I have been endowed for over a yaer now? Crazy right! Taht was exactly what i needed today.
The traveling here was fine. I slept okay. I was able to talk to the people sitting next to me on both flights. Elder Lowe and i actually taught the guy sitting inbetween us the plan of salvation together. We gave him a card to get a BOM. He was from Uruguy and mennonite.
Sister Nay

BRAZIL- Safe and Sound (2-26-2013)

Hey family!
I am safe and sound in the Brazil MTC. We are the first refresher course that they have here so we are forging new ground. Elder Lowe from the Provo MTC flew out with me and 4 other missionaries. We met Sister Kunkle form the Provo MTC and other missionaries at the Sao Paulo airport.  It is hot and humid and I am ready for bed and a shower but I am safe. 
For real we are the first refresher course in history so that's pretty cool. I am in a trio with Sister Kunkle and Sister Shipp that is companions 8 and 9 I will break 10 in two weeks when I get to Manaus. I will set many records on my mission. 2 missions 4 states 3 mission presidents overflowing US MTC and a new program at the Brazil MTC with unnumbered companions. Call me a modern pioneer. 
Love you all lots!
Sister Nay

Your Missionary's Arrival at the Brazil MTC (2-26-2014)

Dear Parents,

Sister Swensen and I are very happy to let you know that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil Missionary Training Center.  What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they begin their missionary experiences with us. We will surely take good care of your missionary.

The missionaries now have companions and are settled into their rooms.  They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study.  Their branch presidents and wives, will meet them this Sunday.  These wonderful couples are richly blessed as they work with, motivate, and interview the missionaries assigned to their branch.

The MTC has a full-time live-in physician to care for their health needs.  He is assisted by his able wife who is a nurse. We are also happy to report that the cafeteria food is plentiful, healthy and very good.

Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple.  This will be either Wednesday or Friday, depending on individual assignments.

Your missionary is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of many others. President Lorenzo Snow said: “There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children".  We love these missionaries as if they were our own.  We will watch over them carefully to ensure they are ready for a wonderful missionary experience after the rewarding time they will have in the MTC.

We thank you for preparing such a wonderful representative of the Lord.

President Robert Swensen and Sister Julie Swensen

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Third Area Week 26- Tell Everybody I'm On My Way (2-24-2014)

Family and Friends!

I don't really have much to say! I am off to Brazil after nearly half of the mission time! Whoo! I am Brazil bound!
What has been playing through my head lately is not a spiritual song and so I can't remember all of the lyrics. But here it goes:

Tell everybody I'm on my way
New friends and new places to see!
That is all I can remember folks but it is from the movie Brother Bear so if you want to hear it I am sure you all could look it up on youtube or something :)
But this week my companion and I have put our shoulders to the wheel.

Speaking of wheels... after pushing our car out of snow a couple of times we got our tires check and then got new tires. So that was a fun filled day. Thankfully Sister Matthews from the ward was willing to drive us around a bit.

We have done so much tracting and finding this week. Amazingly we have found a number of potentials that Sister Hathaway and her new companion will follow up with! So exciting! It is hard work but totally worth it.
One day while we were tracting we unknowingly tracted into a born again ministers house. That was fun. He tried to get pretty contentious with us. But we bore our testimonies and left calmly. It is so important that we testify with boldness and with the Spirit. That was quite the experience.
We also did service for the Muir family! We helped Sister Muir clean her house. Her son has a lot of health problems so they have been going to the hospital lately. It was so much fun. She is such a great lady and her kids are super cute. I love all these opportunites to serve others. I have come to love and desire to find people to serve each day. It is so much fun!
Well, next week I will be emailing from Brazil!
Remember the Lord loves you and the Church is true!
Love Sister Nay

I sing these lyrics to myself when I feel down:
For I believe that whatever the terrain,
our feet can learn to dance
Whatever stone life my sling
We can moan or we can sing!
Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful I am
Grateful, Grateful
Truly blessed and duly grateful!
They are just a few lines from a song I discovered on the mission!


Okay so the first one is about Manaus and the new temple that they have there. It is in portugues so have fun!
The second one was a tender mercy last week. I found it on the MoTab website. If you remember correctly. This is what inspired me to be a musician. Look at the horn section, Kamber is there. Wow it is amazing that that was 12 years ago and look how far I have come. It made me cry! Call of the Chamions with John Williams and the MoTab! Whoo!

Third Area Week 25- Let the Holy Spirit Guide (2-10-2014)

Family and Friends!

W-O-R-K is what missionaries do. Even in crazy weather like what we have been having. Like yesterday it was snowing super hard when we got out of church and we had to go home. Our apartment is up a hill like everything here in PA and we got stuck halfway up. So I had to get out of the car and push while my companion continued to drive. I never thought in a million years that I would have to push a mission car up a hill on a Sunday. Especially since I had pushed our car out of snow only 3 days previous at a members house. Everyday Brazil looks better and better. Except for the 100 degree temperature difference. We are consistently hanging out somewhere between 10 and 15 degrees out here!

Tuesday we had a pretty large dumping of snow and so Sister Hathaway and I spent about 3 hours the next day going around our neighborhood shoveling snow and scrapping ice off of cars. We ended up helping this cute little Chinese girl scrap off her car so she could get to school on time. She invited us over if we ever wanted genuine Chinese food. She was super cute and sweet. She is studying business at the university here.
So this week we have been working hard on finding new people to teach and working closely with some select investigators as well.

Let the Holy Spirit guide;
Let him teach us what is true.
He will testify of Christ,
Light our minds with heaven's view.
One of our investigators is very special to both Sister Hathaway and I. She has progressed so much since we met her and she loves the Gospel. This week we really have been focusing on helping her recognize the Spirit testifying the truth of the Gospel to her. We have really been trying to focus on praying and asking God to know the truth of all things. I truly have come to know that the Spirit will testify to all of us if we but ask. We are told in John 14:26 that He will teach us all things and bring to our remembrance all things. As you go throughout life, remember to turn to God and listen for the promptings of the Holy Ghost and He will guide you to what you need to do.

Let the Holy Spirit guard;
Let his whisper govern choice.
He will lead us safely home
If we listen to his voice.

Earlier this week our phone was stolen at a local restaurant and the mission was unable to get us a new phone until this week. So Sister Hathaway and I have really had to listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost to guide us to where to be and where not to be. For, example we were going to visit a former investigator one night when both of us felt very strongly that we should not be in that neighborhood and that we should visit a family from our ward (congregation). I have never felt the Holy Ghost more strongly in my life guiding me to when and where I am supposed to be. I was recently told to let Jesus Christ be the pilot of my soul. And we can do that through the Holy Ghost and listening to His quiet promptings to our hearts and minds. I testify that if we listen to the Holy Ghost we will be guided to the things of God and we will be protected and comforted.
I hope that all of your weeks are great! I love each and everyone of you and I am grateful for all your support and friendship.
Remember the Lord loves you and the Church is true!
Sister Nay

Third Area Week 24- Through Heaven's Eyes (1-27-2014)

Family and Friends!
Another week has come and gone! I can't believe how fast life is going! The weather has been super crazy here the past week, we have been shut in three times and Church was cancelled yesterday. The temps have been in the single digits and Pennsylvania doesn't believe in plowing their roads, so driving is a no-no. Thankfully the apartment that I am in now is much warmer than my past one so I am happy. It is also a plus that my companion and I love hanging out with each other. Another blessing from being shut in is I get to obediently study Portuguese for the first time in 4 months! (President Topham asked visa waiters to refrain from studying their mission language a couple of transfers ago) But with being shut in all day, I get to study some!

So this week I have been inspired by the song "Through Heaven's Eyes" from the movie The Prince of Egypt. 

A single thread in a  tapestry,
Tho' its color brightly shine,
Can never see its purpose 
In the pattern of the grand design.

And the stone that sits on the very top
Of a mountain's mighty face,
Does it think it's more important 
Than the stones that form the base?

So how can you see what your life is worth 
Or where your value lies?
You can never see through the eyes of man.
You must look at your life,
Look at your life through heaven's eyes.

As many of you know, I have been waiting for my visa to Brazil for over 7 months now. I have had the great opportunity to serve in three different areas of the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission and I have loved every area and the people. Each time I never really knew the reason why I was in a place until I was leaving and sometimes I never knew at all. This past week Heavenly Father has let me see a reason for why I am still here in the US and not in Brazil. 
Literally 3 days before I was transferred here the Sisters picked up some potential investigators tracting. We officially pick both of them up my first week and last Monday we committed them to get baptized. Tammy and Perry are super receptive and are always bearing their testimonies to us about the principle that we taught them about the time before. We usually see them two or three times a week. This past lesson when we taught the law of Chastity to them, they were so receptive surprisingly and told us they knew God would help them live it. But getting to the point, after the lesson Sister Hathaway and I were talking and we realized that she was Tammy's missionary and I was Perry's. That they needed us both together as companions to learn about the gospel! God is so amazing!

A lake of gold in the desert sand 
Is less than a cool fresh spring.
And to one lost sheep, a shepherd boy
Is greater than the richest king.

If a man lose ev'rything he owns 
Has he truly lost his worth?
Or is it the beginning  
Of a new and brighter birth?

So how do you measure the worth of a man?
In wealth or strength or size?
In how much he gained or how much he gave?
The answer will come to him who tries
To look at his life through heaven's eyes.

Another family that we have picked up as investigators this week are the best friends of an awesome member. Their daughter had a tumor in her brain. So we have been teaching them about the Plan of Salvation and they have been super receptive. It is amazing when tragedy strikes how Heavenly Father watches out for us. They have faced so many trials in the past 6 months but they still have a very strong faith in God and Jesus Christ! They live a humble life, especially after all the medical bills, but they still have the strongest spirits. It is an honor to meet them.

And that's why we share 
All we have with you,
Tho' there's little to be found.
When all you've got is nothing
There's a lot to go around.

No life can escape being blown about
By the winds of change and chance.
And tho' you never know all the steps,
You must learn to join the dance.

So how do you judge what a man is worth?
By what he builds or buys?
You can never see with your eyes on Earth;
Look through heaven's eyes.
Look at your life through heaven's eyes.

We may never know the impact that we will have in others lives. Our worth is infinite to God no matter what our position is in life. I have come to know that for myself. It doesn't matter where I am in life or where I have been. All that matters is that I have a loving Heavenly Father who knows of my potential. We are all children of God and He views us each the same way no matter how rich or poor. We all have a part in His eternal Plan of Happiness. This week remember to ponder your value to our Heavenly Father and how much He truly loves YOU!
Sister Nay

Third Area Week 23- New Area, New Opportunities, New Hope! (1-20-2014)

Family and Friends!

I have been so caught up in emailing all of you that I no longer have time to write my usual email! Oops!
I am in Greensburg,PA this transfer with Sister Hathaway. We get along really well, so I am looking forward to the next 6 weeks together!

Thank you for all the Birthday wishes! I will be turning 21 next Wednesday so some of you were a little early but thanks for remembering me!

I am excited to do the work here. Right before I got here Sister Hathaway and her old comp picked up 2 new investigators that have already come to church 2 times! They are amazing. We are planning to set them with a solid date tonight, so please pray for us! Tammy and Perry are really special and they truly have been prepared to hear the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! On Thursday we invited them to pray to know if the church is true and if they should get baptized. Yesterday I was sitting next to Tammy in Relief Society and she wrote me a note saying, "I know I want to be baptized." I am excited for the work to be done here.

Yesterday we had a really cool experience. We were dropping by a less-active after church to set up an appointment. As we were walking back to the car, I told Sister Hathaway we needed to go back and knock their neighbors door. Their neighbor let us in and we told her a little about the Church and she was pretty interested. We have plans to see her later this week and follow up with her. Heavenly Father really is looking out for His children and prepares their hearts of those who are ready to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

My new addy is:
216 Shenandoah Dr. Apt. 302
Latrobe,PA 15650

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

A note to Mom: 

I am okay, so don't worry. The Lord saw fit to test my willingness to be humble and as soon as I made the decision to I was happier. 
Sister Hathaway and I get along really well, I am almost afraid with your Brazil update that my comp in Brazil will be hard. Cause I had Sister Roberts who was a blast, Sister Valikoula that struggled, Sister Cohen who was a God send, and Sister Manwill that struggled. So with me getting along with Sister Hathaway I am almost afraid that the pattern will continue and I will have a hard comp next.

Tuesday night I laid on the floor in tears because I felt a strange sense of relief from getting transfered. I still don't know why President didn't take my advice, but whatever. I also cried because I felt like an awful missionary because I thought I was put as Jr. to a greenie. To be honest I still don't know what is going on there, but I almost feel like I am a follow up trainer. Her trainer wasn't very patient and she doesn't really know how to do somethings. I am guiding her in what to do. We have a lot of work to do on the area book and stuff which I have done in every area. I feel so much better, please dont worry about me! We get along super well and I am having so much fun. I feel so much better with the members of the ward and everything. I have already had some great experiences here and it hasn't been a week yet.

I have come to realize that Heavenly Father was testing me. He made it so I didn't know who was really in charge and thought it was my comp. to see how I would react especially after the last two transfers. My time with Sister Manwill was a shear uphill climb and my first night here was the last leg before some relief. The next day I watched a mormon message called the Will of God by D. Todd Christofferson based on a talk called Those Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth. I think I watched it like 6 times. I decided to change my perspective and choose to be humble and learn. After I made that decision, it felt like I finally broke the surface and I could breathe again after 3 months of feeling like I was being suffocated. I have been happier ever since.
Love you
Sister Nay

Second Area Week 22- Grateful (1-13-2014)

Family and Friends!

I can't believe another transfer has come and gone. Tomorrow is transfer meeting and yes I am getting transferred (not to Brazil)! The Lord has a need for me in Pennsylvania so I will stay here through the bitter cold and snow, then go to the extreme heat later :) I want to thank you all for your love, prayers, and kindness. It indeed has been a great learning experience for me to serve in Washington these past three months. I am sad to leave but at the same time I am excited for the new adventures that await in my new area!

I've got a roof over my head,
I've got a warm place to sleep. 
Some nights I lie awake counting gifts
Instead of counting sheep. 
I've got a heart that can hold love,
I've got a mind that can think.
There may be times when I loose the light
And let my spirits sink.
But I can't stay depressed
When I remember how I'm blessed.

Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful I am.
Grateful, grateful,
Truly blessed and duly grateful.

Well mostly a warm place to sleep. This Tuesday the temps where in the negatives so our apartment was pretty cold. We were sitting in an apartment at 50 degrees all day. So I guess you could say that is warm. 
I also have learned the power of saying grateful prayers. Sister Roberts told me once that when you are having a hard time, say a grateful prayer. Pure gratitude and your attitude will change. So whenever you are feeling down and your spirits sink, say a grateful prayer and you will always feel better.

In a city of strangers
I've got a family of friends.
No matter what rocks and brambles fill the way,
I know that they will stay until the end.
I feel a hand holding my hand.
It's not a hand you can see.
But on the road to the promised land,
This hand will shepherd me,
Through delight and despair,
Holding tight and always there.

Grateful, Grateful
Truly grateful I am.
Grateful, Grateful
Truly blessed and duly grateful.

This area has had its ups and downs. But it has been a great pleasure and honor to serve in Washington. I have met so many people that have changed my life. Donna is a bright spot in my time here. Each lesson with her I feel like she has taught me more than I taught her. She was so ready for the gospel to be in her life and her testimony of the Savior lifts me up each time I see her. Gretchen is a God send. She has taught me so much about the power of the atonement in each of our lives and the love that our Savior has for us. I feel like I have made a true and lasting friend in her. The Cagnon's have brought so much laughter into my life. They are hilarious and just fun. But most importantly Sister Cagnon gives what I call "mom hugs". If you have never had a mom hug then you are missing out. They are the kind of hugs that just wrap you up in love and comfort and make everything bad go away. 
Most importantly, here in Washington I have learned to look for the Savior's hand to hold. I know that as I allow Him to pilot my life, it will always go in the right direction. We as imperfect human beings sometimes don't understand what His purposes are, but if we trust them then it will all be worth it. He will guide us to the promised land and he will always be there through delight and despair. Look for His hand because it is reaching for yours.

It's not that I don't want a lot, 
Or hope for more, or dream of more. 
But giving thanks for what I've got
Makes me so much happier than keeping score.
In a world that can bring pain
I will still take each chance.
For I believe that whatever the terrain
Our feet can learn to dance.
Whatever stone life may sling
We can moan or we can sing.

Grateful, Grateful
Truly grateful I am 
Grateful, Grateful
Truly blessed and duly grateful!

I hope all of you have a great and fun filled week!
Remember the Lord loves you and the Church is true!
Sister Nay

Second Area Week 21- Will We Forget (1-6-2014)

Family and Friends!
I can't believe that holiday season is over, it seems like it just started! Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's just flew by. No word on my visa yet, but there is always hope. In the meantime, serving in Pennsylvania has been a great blessing and learning experience. I meant to send this song for my email last week, but with Sister Cohen's departure, it seemed fitting to pay tribute to such an awesome missionary!

First this week has been full of wild adventures and crazy winter weather! My favorite was Thursday in which we spent all day in McDonald, not the restaurant, and then hit a mild winter storm on the way home. Needless to say we decided to go home early. While we were in McDonald we were able to do so much work! We made contact with some less active members and we were really well received. Sometimes its convenient for it to be cold outside because people take pity on the poor Sister Missionaries:D We also visited a member of the ward whose mother was one of the first members in Washington County so we got some great historical background on the ward!

Our recent convert Donna continues to amaze us. She truly has taken the call from 2 Nephi 32:3-5 to feast upon the words of Christ. She has taken it upon herself to read the entire Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price and the Doctrine and Covenants. Her desires to learn more about the gospel and the history of the Church is amazing! I love the lessons that we have with her! We also got to play with her month old puppies this week was such a blast, they are so cute!

I think the greatest blessings of being a missionary is the opportunity that we have to watch as the Spirit of the Lord works on the hearts of men and women. There is a woman that we are working with that has let us into her home, but not her life until recently. She and her son have endured the evils of this world far beyond what should have been. Yet through it all her heart has been touched by the Spirit and she has opened her heart to what we teach. She was so excited to see us this week and also to share with us the verses that she found in the scriptures. As she told us of her faith and how much hope she finds in Jesus Christ, I couldn't help but be brought to tears. She is a very special woman and I cannot help but look up to her. We truly are brought through trials to help us remember to look to our Savior. One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 8:35,37-39 which reads," Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. " We will never be forgotten by our Savior, Lord, and King. Let us all strive to remember Him throughout this year as we move away from the Christmas season!

A heart that's been closed may be opening tonight
A soul that's been lost might believe it's been found
But six months from now on a warm summer night
Will we pause to remember that night in December
When we promised ourselves we'd keep the spirit all year round
Will we forget the promises we resolutely made
Will we forget to thank the Lord for all the gifts He gave
We'll say it's human nature, but something seems amiss
When there is just one time of year reserved for nights like this.
Six months from now on a warm summer night
Will we even remember that night in December
When we promised ourselves we'd keep this spirit all year round
Will we forget the feelings, will we forget to sing
Will we forget the Christ child came and gave us everything
We'll have a hundred reasons why we have set aside
The memories of this season when His spirit touched our lives
But He who came to save for all eternity
Has not forgotten those who need His mercy to be free
And though the number's greater than the sands upon the sea
There is no time of year that He's forgotten you or me.
He has not forgotten us on any lonely night
He has not forgotten that our joy requires His light
He has not forgotten those who are homeless as we He
He has not forgotten you; He's not forgotten me.
Sister Nay

Second Area Week 20- Three Kings Found the Lord (12-23-2013)

Merry Christmas Family and Friends! 
So for those of you who don't know about my family's Christmas tradition of going to the Forgotten Carols, this song is my favorite from it!
Somewhere beneath the glitter
That comes this time of winter
In many souls there is a cry
They may not clearly say it
But in their hearts they pray it
And you can see it in their eyes
I cannot find my way
I cannot find my way
I cannot find my way at all
There are so many voices
So many different choices
I cannot find my way at all.
As a missionary I have never been so aware of those many souls who are trying to find their way in this dark world. Sister Cohen, Sister Manwill, and I have spent some time reflecting on the miracles of the last transfer and a half together (mostly because Sister Cohen is going home on Friday). We have seen so many come back to the fold as we have tackled less-active work. Yesterday it was our own little Christmas miracle to see so many that we have been working with come to chruch. We also had the opportunity to watch as some of them as they took the next step to stay longer than sacrament meeting,which they had never done before!
You truly can see it in the eyes of those who are seeking for a light in the darkness. I have also gotten to see how the light begins to radiate in their eyes as they find it! My favorite is Thomisina. Thomisina has been struggling for a long time now to come back to the light. Saturday we had the opportunity to see the light come on for her. We could see in her eyes that she couldn't find her way, but as she read the scriptures that light began to radiate through her eyes! She was actually excited and almost giddy. Thomisina came to church the next day with the light still gleaming in her eyes!
There were three kings
Who followed the star of Bethlehem
They came from afar
To praise and honor him
The light which beckoned them
To seek the Lord of men
It calls to you,
It calls to me
We cannot find our way
We cannot find our way
We cannot find our way at all
There are so many choices
So many different voices
We cannot findour way at all.
Each of us have times in our lives where we have to search for the Lord in our lives. Sometimes we may be far away from the light and other times it only grew a little dim in our hearts. But, we will always have that star to light our own way back to Him. Aja is the hot topic of most of my conversations now. She is a bright young woman who found the Gospel in June, but she has had an onslaught of trials that have pushed her faith to the limit. We have watched as she has struggled and struggled. While she is not out of the dark yet, so to speak, we know that she knows what she needs to do. She can see the star (prayer, reading scriptures, going to Church) and she knows that she must follow it to get back to where she wants to be.
We're not alone
We have a star that shines today.
The love He gave Teaches how
And shows the way
That light, it's clear to see
If we have faith and believe
Three kings found the Lord
And so can we
Lord, help us find our way
We need to find our way
Lord, help us find our way back home
Three Kings found the Lord
And so can we!
Gretchen is one of my favorites! She has come so far. Her life has been darker than most and her struggles have been deeper than many. But we can see that slowly she is accepting the Lord's love back into her heart. Saturday afternoon we decided that we needed to drop by and see her. When we got there her son was over at someone else's house so she could wrap his Christmas presents. Naturally we offered to help while we talked. That was the best hour of my life, we had so much fun! In the end our conversation turned toward the Savior and the Book of Mormon. She wants to teach her son about the truths that she has learned from the Gospel. I know that Gretchen is not alone on her journey back to finding peace and forgiveness, Christ is standing at her side waiting patiently for her. He is showing her the way back to Him weather she knows it or not.
And if you've lost your way
That light burns bright today
And it will shine eternally
Three kings found the Lord
And so can we!
In the Christmas season, ponder how you can find the Savior as the three kings did. We all can have Him more fully in our lives regardless of our calling, religion, or age. This week as you read the Christmas story from Luke, open presents, and spend time with your family remember WHO this is all about and HOW you can accept Him more completely in your own life! The light of His love will always shine on for us to see and follow, choose to follow it!
Remember the Lord loves you and the Church is True!
Sister Nay
You know you are serving a mission in Pennsylvania when...
You drive up to a less active's home and you see the woman you where there to visit yelling at her sons about something, but you didn't recognize that it was her as you approached the house. So you quietly walk past the situation, trying not to be awkward. Then you and your companions realize that it was her and you wait awkwardly in the yard. You finally figure out the reason why you don't recognize her is because she got dentures and looks way different with teeth at the ripe old age of 50! You continue to walk to the front door, but notice a deer leg just hanging out on the ground. As you walk into the house, their pug is chowing down on a piece of fresh, bloody meat on the couch that you sit on. So you make your way to the couch and force yourself to sit in the nastiness hoping that it doesn't get on your skirt. Then her husband walks in the room weilding a knife, saying ' We are butchering a deer, do you want some?' Then he startes to go on about how cool this special knife is. You teach your lesson and then as you walk out you go see the deer. In the kitchen there is not just deer meat, but an entire deer carcas sitting on the kitchen table. Only in Pennsylvania folks!
I thought I would share a little bit of our adventures in Washington, PA!
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Second Area Week 19- Like Ten Thousand Legions Marching (12-9-2013)

Family and Friends!

It is another blustery day in Washington, PA! Snow has been falling and so has some really nasty rain. But it is all worth it to save the souls of Heavenly Father's children (plus it doesn't hurt that we drive a car).

Like ten thousand legions marching 
Moves a mighty band of youth,
Boldly taking to all people 
Zion's glorious song of truth.

Out of every nation surging
Sons of Joseph Israel's band
Now they spread salvation's message
In the tongues of every land.

Far across the might waters,
Reaching every waiting shore,
Seed of Abraham and Jacob
Like a mighty lion roar.

Come, ye nations, out of darkness; 
'Tis the time of Christ's return.
Heed the Restoration's message;
Let its light within you burn.

So as all of you know the number of LDS missionaries around the world has exploded since President Monson announced what we call "the age change," it really is like ten thousand legions marching out to share the gospel. 
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So at the start of this new transfer my companions and I made some new goals. The people that we have been working with are mostly not going anywhere and would prefer to stay in the religion that they are in which is just fine, but we have a specific calling as missionaries. I love to teach people and bring them closer to Jesus Christ and share my testimony with everyone. We also recognize that our purpose as missionaries is " To invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end." There comes a point when the full extent of our purpose isn't being filled that we have to drop in faith trusting that the Lord will provide people with prepared hearts. That is where my companions and I stand today. We have dropped in faith and with that same faith we know that God will help us find those with hearts ready to hear the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ! 

In fact we have already seen that come to fruition in our lives. After dropping two investigators that we were teaching and spending two days doing the typical Mormon Missionary tracting, we felt like we should visit a former investigator family. They immediately let us in and we were able to teach a lesson that day!

The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored on the earth today! We have a living prophet guiding our Church with Jesus Christ at the head. I have chosen to come out as a missionary because I know in my heart that this is so true! I want others to have that same truth and knowledge in their lives. I also know that the Gospel will bring peace and joy and happiness into the lives of those who accept it. I love the Christmas season and the opportunity that it is to remember Christ as we celebrate Christmas. We can remember that He was born, that He lived, that He died, and most importantly rose again! Let us all remember what Christmas is truly about and that we can share our knowledge with those around us!

This is a really cute video about the real meaning of Christmas!

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

Second Area Week 18- God Movies in a Mysterious Way (12-2-2013)

Family and Friends!

This week has been a week of trial and a week of mighty miracles. I am truly grateful for the love that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have not only for me but for all of the people of this world. I have seen how much God our Heavenly Father does move in mysterious ways to bring us to our heavenly goal and home!

I think every missionary encounters a transfer where life is just a little bit tougher than normal. I have been struggling a bit and my companions have truly been exactly what I need right now. In a nutshell I have had a growing anxiety of going to Brazil, especially after my mission president asked all visa waiters to discontinue language study. I feel under prepared and scared of what it will be like when I get there and I know that it will be a definite change in my life. Don't get me wrong, I still want to go and I know that Heavenly Father has called me here and there for specific reasons. That doesn't mean that I haven't had to acknowledge fear of the unknown world of Brazil.
But Christ in His infinite grace and mercy has provided companions and other people in my life that have made my life easier. The love that I have felt this transfer has been great and I know that Heavenly Father knew that I would be facing this trial and provided a way for me to face it with friends at my side. I have been taught a lot about patience, love, and charity this transfer and I know that Heavenly Father has a greater purpose for me learning these attributes than I can see right now.

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Missionaries are truly privy to miracles in their lives and in the lives of others. My new and dear friend Donna was baptized on Saturday night by her son. Entering the waters of baptism is a beautiful and precious moment in anyone's life. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has put Donna in my life. I feel that she has taught me more than I have taught her about the Gospel. Last Wednesday, we committed her to reading the Book of Mormon in it's entirety. When we saw her Friday night, she was 20 pages away from finishing it. She had decided to read it all the way through from the beginning in 2 days! She was finished with the Book of Mormon by the time she was baptized Saturday night. She has also read the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price all the way through as well. It truly is a blessing to have Donna in my life!
I had the opportunity to talk to Donna after Church on Sunday and she shared a very tender moment with me. She had said that she has felt so much love and forgiveness in joining the Church. She also said that she really didn't like the Christmas season because of tragedies in her life, but she was looking forward to this Christmas. Not only can the Gospel of Jesus Christ bring healing and forgiveness, but it brings hope and a renewal of life!

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I testify that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer! He is our Guide, our Friend, and our Brother. I know that as we turn to Him and let the healing powers of His atonement enter into our hearts and souls, that we can truly change and become more like Him! He brings the hope that every human desires to have in their lives. He brings love and kindness.

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Ye fearful Saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev'ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan his works in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.

God truly does work in mysterious ways!  I know that even though we go through trials and sometimes we even suffer, we are promised by Him bounteous blessings.  As we enter this Christmas season let's not forget what and who it is really about! Remember the Savior in your times of trials and He will be standing right beside you!

Remember the Lord loves You and the Church is True!

Sister Nay


I will be staying here in Washington, PA for another transfer. Sister Cohen will be here until December 27 when she goes home and Sister Manwill and I will finish off the transfer in a duo! I am excited to stay in this ward and learn and grow here. I know Heavenly Father is keeping me here for a reason, and I hope that I can fulfill my purpose!
The walk elders who just got here last transfer are being taken out and so are the Wanysburg elders who were our DL and comp. They are shutting down the Wanynsburg branch and they are being assmilated into the surrounding wards. And the walk elders are going who knows where. Elder Doyle has been called as a district leader and Elder green ( a visa waiter) is being thrown around like the rest of us waiting on the Lord's timetable and learning patience for our President.
Sister Nay
I can't wait to talk to y'all on Christmas!!!! (around here they say y'inz, but I don't like it)

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The Strapazzons breed dogs on the side. These puppies are 2 weeks old! They are so cute! They literally were the size of my hand and I have small hands!
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