{mis-sion-ary, [noun] someone who leaves their family for a short time so that others can be with theirs for eternity}

Friday, December 11, 2015

"These Were Days Never to be Forgotten"

I know I've said this a million and two times, but I cannot and refuse to believe that this time is here! All week I've been bi-polar with feeling like this isn't even a real thing or freaking out because I don't know what I'm doing. It's definitely been quite the roller coaster!
These last 18 months have changed my life forever and I'm so grateful for the love and support that you've all given to me!
This last week was such a treat. We had a mission tour with Elder Schwitzer of the Seventy and his wife. We had an MLC with them and it was so wonderful to see this man, called of God talk about the work of Salvation. We are all part of the greatest work on earth. It was so wonderful getting to be with he and his wife in MLC and also for Zone Conference. Before Zone conference started, we had a "sisters meeting" with Sister Schwitzer and Sister Francis. Sister Schwitzer was talking about spiritual gifts. She was asking what spiritual gifts we have and which ones we'd like to work on and a sister from my group mentioned that she wants to work on trusting the Lord's plan with change. In response to that, Sister Schwitzer said something that I've thought about constantly for the last few days. "You shouldn't be sad about this season is ending. Look how great this one will be." It reminded me of a verse in Alma that I'd read a few weeks ago. Ammon, who is one of my great missionary idols, said "... for could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?" (Alma 26:1) The sons of Mosiah went to preach to the Lamanites who were titled as helpless, hopeless, and bloodthirsty. They didn't know what to expect going into this new phase of their lives, but looking back they could see all the blessings that were given them from God for trusting in His perfect plan.
Over the last 18 months I've learned to rely on God in all things, which is going to change the way I do everything when the time comes for me to return! I've truly learned of the love that he has for each and everyone of His children. And I've learned that there is no better way to come to know Him and His Son, than to learn to feel of Their love for His children.
Now I can say, as did Ammon "Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began." 
And I can say along with Oliver Cowdery "Where was room for doubt? Nowhere; uncertainty had fled, doubt had sunk no more to rise, while fiction and deception had fled forever.
I want to bear my witness that Jesus is the Christ. I know He lives. I know His atonement is real and all encompassing. I know that because of the love that He and our Father have for us, they've again called a prophet to allow us to have the fullness of the Gospel. Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. I can say that with no doubt in my mind. As I've come to know Joseph better, I've come to know my Savior better! I know that Thomas S Monson is the prophet and mouthpiece for God today. And I know that as we listen to his words and FOLLOW them, we will feel God's love in a much greater abundance in our lives! 
This Gospel is so good! Never take it for granted! 
I love you all and I'm so grateful for the blessing that it's been to have your love, support and prayers over the last 18 months!
I'll see you all soon!


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Power of the Priesthood

December.. December?! How did this happen?! The Christmas season is in full swing here in Palmyra! We've got Nativities from around the world on our table that usually has the different languages of the Book of Mormon at the Hill Cumorah. The Locals have Christmas lights up. Santa Clause is blown up all over the village. Christmas music is playing everywhere we go. I can't even believe it!
Merry Christmas Season to one and all!
This week has been so crazy! I've had a few moments of "this is my last ______" which kind of stresses me out. We had our last district meeting because we have Zone meeting next week with Elder Schwitzer of the Seventy, which will be so great to also have a mission leadership council with him. 
We had our last shift at the Grandin Building and Sister Hunter and I were both having a little freak out moment about going home. We've done so well and every now and then we'll have little flashes of "this is real life." So we were freaking out a little and I was also starting to get sick so I asked Elder Bradford (our site director) for a blessing.
I have LOVED being able to see throughout my life the power of the priesthood. God really works through his priesthood holders to help each and every one of us. There were some things that I'd been praying about for a couple weeks and after a pause in the blessing, Elder Bradford would, basically word for word answer the very questions I'd told to no one but God. if I had ever questioned whether or not God knew me, I can now say like Oliver Cowdery "where was room for doubt?"
I'm so grateful for the priesthood in my life! I'm so grateful for this time that I've had to get to know my Savior even better! I'm grateful for the time that I've had to learn more about His gospel. I'm so grateful for the time that I've had to be in the world, but so far distant from being of the world that my perspective on so many things has changed! I've become a lot more like Nephi who said "The things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto those who are not of the world." I have found so much more happiness in the things of God, and I'm excited to be able to take the things I've learned here on my mission and apply them at home!
One of my great friends told me a couple weeks ago that "change comes from God." As much as I don't like change, I know that as we change to become more like God, we'll be happy. Change is necessary for salvation! I hope to be able to continue to change for the better!
I love you all! 
Sister Nield


Thursday, November 26, 2015

How Great Reason Have We

Hello again! Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Turkey Day! Happy Gratitude Day! Fallen leafMaple leafPoultry leg
Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays because #1: it inspires people to be more grateful. #2: it's a great way to kick of the Christmas season, which is my favorite. #3: it's socially acceptable to eat lots of food. #4: it gives me a day, set apart, to count my many blessings. 
As I've thought a lot about thanksgiving this week and what I'm grateful for, there are many, many, many things that make the list, and among the most important are:

A Heavenly Father who loves us. As missionaries the very first principle that we teach is that "God is our loving Heavenly Father". He knows us. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to return to Him, so He sent His Son to allow us to return to Him. 

A Savior who understands me. One of my favorite scriptures of all time is Alma 7:11-12. Not only was our Savior prepared for His call to perform the atonement, but he was WILLING. As He suffered, bled from every pore, died on the cross, and rose the third day, He didn't do it for ALL OF US as a whole. He did it for me, He did it for YOU. He did it on such a personal, individual basis, so as to be able to PERFECTLY and FULLY understand EXACTLY how to succor (give aid to) every single one of us with our diverse pains, sicknesses, temptations, weaknesses, sorrows, and sins. He understands. 

The Restored Gospel. Man, this is so broad. This includes, but is not limited to, the temple, the priesthood, prophets, apostles, the sacrament, the Book of Mormon, personal revelation, forever families, the plan of salvation, etc. I could go on and on. I've thought a lot this week about what life would be like without the hope of the restored gospel. Imagine a life without prophets. Imagine a life without knowing you'll see your loved ones again. Imagine a life not knowing that God is your Father and that EVERYTHING He does is to bless us and bring us back to Him. I'm so grateful for the hope that the gospel brings. 

Family and Friends who mean the world to me. You, each of you, has in some way or another blessed my life. I am so blessed to have the people in my life that I do. I have a family who loves me and supports me through everything. I have friends who have helped me to become who I am. All in all, you've had an influence that has changed my life. THANK YOU!!! 

Alma 26:35--- Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; --- we are so blessed for the things that we have in our lives. I just want to challenge you to keep that spirit of thanks giving in your life every day!!

I love you all and hope you have a great week! Let the Holidays begin!!!Christmas tree
Love Sister Nield

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Partake of His Salvation

Hello Friends and Family!
I'm still a little in Shock at the date and the fact that I'm now officially in my last transfer! Transfers are SOOO bitter-sweet! Sister Davis got transferred to the Canandaigua Ward! When we got transfer calls we both just cried and cried! I'm super excited for her though! I LOVED the Canandaigua ward! So she'll love it! My new companion is Sister Hunter, which is super great, because she was my MTC companion!:) We spent our first 3 weeks together and we'll spend our last 4 weeks together! We've already been having way too much fun! I'm so glad that I'll be staying here in Farmington/Palmyra! I Can't even begin to describe how much I love these people here!!! They have been such a huge blessing in my life!
A lot has happened since last Monday! We've seen a few miracles!
Last Thursday I went on exchanges with Sister Johnson, who also came out with me. By the end of the exchange it all of a sudden became so real that I will be coming home so soon! When Sister Davis and I came back together, she could tell I was worried about something and after telling her a little about how nervous I was, she asked if I'd like to get a blessing from one of the senior elders the next day. I told her that would be a great idea but I wanted Elder Selvage to do it. He and His wife are from Hyde Park and I just have a great relationship with them! We went to our shift at the Grandin the next day and SURPRISE! The Selvages were the senior couple we were serving with. When I asked Elder Selvage to give the blessing he jokingly said that we'd better start off the shift with that just in case it got "busy" haha. Well, we did the blessing. Without telling him ANYTHING, he said EXACTLY what I needed and within just about an hour, some sisters got sick and asked if we would go and cover at the Hill Cumorah. The Lord is SO aware of me! Even in my times when I'm probably being a little more dramatic than I need to be, He is still able and willing to provide for me!:)
Monday night, Sister Davis and I were driving home from an appointment with a less active at about 5:30 for a dinner appointment. Now, by 5:30 it's pitch black, and as we were driving down the streets I noticed that EVERYONE's lights were off. It was so dark! Then I realized the street lights were out too. ALL of the village and even part of the town of Palmyra was out of power. We showed up to our dinner appointment and asked how we could help her since the power went out right in the middle of her making dinner. Instead of what she was making we made salads and had her extra sugar cookies. YUM!:) haha As we talked with her, she talked a lot about the chaos that's going on in the world right now and I am just SO grateful for the knowledge that I have that Thomas S Monson and All of the apostles are called of God! They speak for God and as we listen and give heed to their counsel, we will be blessed! 
This week as I've been ponderizing and reading in Preach My Gospel about the importance of the book of Mormon, I've thought a lot about how I've come to know my Savior and what He means to me! The first part of my Ponderizing scripture (Omni 1:26) Says "come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of His salvation." Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He sent us His Son. His Son, Jesus Christ, loves us so much that He was WILLING to suffer more pain that we'll ever understand, to help us to overcome our sins, temptations, weaknesses, sicknesses, pains, sorrows, etc. ANYTHING negative that we have ever and will ever face, He's been there and experienced it on our level so that as we turn to Him, we can move forward and progress! But it takes our own actions and commitments to UTILIZE that atonement in our lives! We choose!
I've also been thinking a lot about what I've learned on my mission. One of the biggest things that I've learned is that this life is not about Perfection. That's something that I struggle with sometimes, being a perfectionist. It's not about Perfection, it's about Progression, which really just being better today than we were yesterday. And better tomorrow than we were today!:) I've never liked change, but I've grown to love it on my mission, because change is the only way to progression. There is no growth in the comfort zone!:) 
So I invite you all to read the talk "What lack I yet?" from conference and take the challenge he gives us, and then to ACT on whatever answer you get from the Lord! There is power in change.
I love you all!
Have a great week!
Love Sister Nield


Monday, November 9, 2015


I'm actually really glad that I didn't send a weekly email last pday because not a ton has happened in the last 4 days!
Thursday we had Zone Meeting and Interviews. Sister Davis and I gave a training during Zone meeting, but we were also at the church all day doing a training+ipad checks for interviews for our Zone. Later that night we had a Stake Correlation meeting. So Thursday was JAM PACKED in meetings. 
Friday was Mission Leadership Council. That took the Majority of the day and then we had weekly planning. 
Saturday we had a stake relief society conference that we took a less active to and then we served at the Hill.
Then Yesterday consisted of church, serving at the Hill, and studies.
So since I didn't write an email last week I can fill you in on the tender mercies of the week before! We met this awesome lady that we've started teaching! I felt like I was in Rochester again!:):) She's the sweetest african-american lady and she just has so much spunk, except the difference is that she can actually stay focused on our lesson!:) Her Name is Stacey and she's honestly one of my most favorite people EVER! Every time her phone rings during a lesson, she'll pick it up and say "I can't talk right now, I'm studying with the mormons." Or she'll say "Hey I'm learning about Joseph Smith. I gotta go." The last time we were at her house, we were teaching the plan of salvation which was perfect because a couple years ago her daughter was killed, but then her phone starts ringing and it's her son who's in prison, so of course she picks it up and tells him she'll have to talk to him later cause she's meeting with the mormons. Sister Davis and I giggled a little and you can hear him on the other end saying "Are they girls?" and Stacey just died!! She was like "These are good girls! They don't wanna date YOU!" When she hung up the phone she was like "Man! He's White girl CRAZY!" Hhahaha every time we're there, we just have such a good time!:)
Dennis is also progressing pretty well now! He wouldn't read from the Book of Mormon. He wouldn't come to church, but one day we got him to come to the Hill Cumorah and we showed him the Restoration and talked about how we have a prophet on the earth and by the end of the lesson he said "You know... You've sparked an interest. I HAVE to read this book!" What an answer to my prayers! 
Then one of my favorite stories from the sites last week. I was serving at the Smith Farm and this young family comes in. Mom, Dad, two little kids. So I asked the little boy what his name was. "E-L-I. Eli." "How old are you Eli?" "I just turned 5" His mom told him to tell me when his birthday was and guess what? October 28!:) We became INSTANT BFFs:) We went out to the Log home and talked about Joseph and the first vision and Moroni. Then we went to start walking to the Frame home and he challenged me to a race. So he and I raced to a couple different benches along the way and he beat me each time (I guess our 3 mile run every morning isn't doing too much for me). Then, my favorite, we went into the frame home and talked about how Joseph buried the plates under the fire place and he gets down on his knees on the fire place and starts touching all of the bricks, he grabbs one and pulls it up and says "Heavenly Father protected the plates huh?" and I said yes He did. He looked at me with the cutest little questioning face and said "Well... are you going to show them to me or what? I'm waiting..." hahaha what a sweet child! But he knew the Lord kept His promise with Joseph, He knew the Lord would do the same for us! Such a great tour! I love kids!:)
I don't know how much longer I'll get to be serving in the different sites since it's slowing down quite a bit, but I'm so grateful for the peace that comes from these places! I've had some time, in the quite moments to really feel the spirit for ME! That's been such a comfort! I love the scripture that says "Be still and know that I am God." (D&C 101:16) It's in those moments when we can be still that we really come to know and feel God. Those are the most tender moments on my mission. When I've had those moments or when I've seen others experience those moments for the first time or for the first time in a long time. 
I love you all and hope you're all doing well!
Transfer calls come next monday so I don't know what will be happening for me last transfer since it'll be a shortened transfer, but I'll let you all know!:)
Love Sister Nield



Thursday, October 29, 2015

Don't Forget to Smile

Hello everyone! Thank yall for the birthday wishes! This was seriously one of my most favorite birthdays ever. This last week has just been such a great week! Just an FYI pday next week is WEDNESDAY. 
Saturday was our Ward Halloween party. All of us sisters dressed up as some Disney princess based on our clothing. I was Snow White, Sister Davis was Repunzel, Sister Stoddard was Elsa, and Sister Rogers was Anna. Not going to lie, we looked pretty great! We had so much fun with the ward! There is a sweet girl named Sarah who has some disabilities and she was also dressed up as Snow White and she had her Snow White doll with her as well so we got a picture together and she took me around trunk-or-treating with her. I can't even tell you how much love I felt for her!:) it just made my day to be able to spend that time with her!
Tuesday I went on exchanges with a set of sisters and we were doing service basically all day, which means I got to wear pants, ALL DAY! What a liberating feeling! Haha it was so wonderful! And one thing that has been on my mission bucket list since I got to the mission was going to Sodus point and walking out to the light house. Well guess what? Sodus point is part of their area and so for our lunch hour we went to the light house and got pictures and even talked to this great guy named skip. Cross that off my bucket list! We helped a member move, which always results in some crazy story. We and the elders cleaned out the house and got everything into the moving truck (finding a few more dead mice than I wish we would've), then we had to go to this warehouse where we had to pick up a few more things. I'd heard about insane asylums in Newark who had just discharged everyone, and this warehouse reminded me of an insane asylum. We were asking a member about it and they were telling us some pretty crazy stories, but turns out, it wasn't one of the asylums.
My birthday was such a perfect day! I woke up to balloons and streamers. I came down from getting ready to find that the sisters had all made me a delicious breakfast. We had district meeting and the elders had made a cake. We had a lesson with Norma and we're getting her prepared for the temple to do baptisms. She crocheted me a hat and mittens. She and sister Davis did a kick-line singing happy bday. We were able to do exercises with one of our less actives who has a lot of health problems. But the greatest thing of all, we were able to get Karen, Zoe's mom and Zoe and Noah to the Hill Cumorah. Karen has had some amazing experiences there before but has really distanced herself. She gave Zoe permission to be baptized and she even opened up about how she has thought about and wants to join the church, she's just scared of some of the commitments. It was neat though, to show her Gods plan (a video about families) and commit her to allowing us to do a family night with them once a week. That made my whole day! Their family needs the gospel!! They need it so bad and they're so close! And Zoe has been such a great example to her family! 
I'm so grateful for the challenge in conference to "ponderize". Every scripture that we've chosen each week has not only been exactly what we need but it perfectly fits the needs of the people we're teaching. This week the scripture is Mosiah 24:14. 14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions. The Lord is so aware of each of us and what we need and He's going to help us through the good and the bad. He's going to lift the burdens that we face even if we'd be strong enough to handle them ourselves. He loves you! 
I hope you're all having a great week! Love you!

Love Sister Amanda Nield

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Why Am I Even Here?

Another great week! What a wonderful place I live in! I can't get over how lucky I am to serve in such a sacred place! So many sacred things happened here and because of what goes on here daily, it's still sacred!
One challenge of this area is the number of fleas we see. Almost every home we go into has some animal(s) that's infested in the little critters... We got rid of the flea infestation in the White House about a month ago and SURPRISE! I woke up this morning with flea bites on my stomach and ankles... How they got to my stomach I'm not sure... but it's a little upsetting.
Also.. 'Tis the season for snow! We had our first snowfall last weekend and I couldn't decide whether to be so happy at how beautiful it is or cry at the fact that it's time to pull out the leggings.. Haha I guess there's some battles you can't choose!
I had a very eye opening experience this week that caused me to think and ponder "Why am I even here?" We've been working a lot with Norma's son Randy, and we took him to the Joseph Smith Farm and Sacred Grove this week. We really wanted him to understand that God knows him and that He'll answer his prayers! We were in the Log Home and we were upstairs, where the angle Moroni appeared and Randy just kept challenging everything we were saying, just to be difficult. We kept bearing testimony of the things that happened here. The more he'd challenge it, the more I had a little bit of frustration and impatience growing inside me. I promise, that despite how it sounds from this lesson, we all actually get along quite swimmingly. Finally he said "Why did you come here? Why is it so important for you to tell me about these things?" MAN! That question just hit me like a ton of bricks. Why AM I here? Why IS it so important to help him understand the restoration of the gospel? I'm so grateful for the challenge to "ponderize" in conference this month, because last week I was really focusing on 2 Nephi 31:20 
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastnessin Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a loveof God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
 So I read that to him, but the most important part comes in verse 21. 
21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is theway; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen There is NO other way to salvation. As I told him this it REALLY opened his heart! He took a big step back and realized that there may be something to the things we'd talked about. But also, it taught me something. I've always known how important this gospel was. I've always known this is the way. But it really hit me that THAT is why I'm here! I know that i have a responsibility to help my brothers and sisters know the way to return to live with our Heavenly Father again! I have a responsibility to bring others to Christ. We all have that responsibility. We have been given the greatest blessing there is on this earth and we have a responsibility to help our brothers and sisters to find that as well. I'd never been that bold with anyone before, but because I was bold, both Randy and I learned something pretty powerful!
Our Heavenly Father loves us all SO much and He's provided the way to return to Him! That way is through His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ! How grateful I am for the knowledge of that love. It brings such comfort to know that we are NEVER alone!
I love you all and I love this gospel with my whole heart! 
Have a great week!
Love Sister Nield