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

Monday, December 29, 2014

Livin' On A Prayer

So... It's safe to say that December pretty much didn't exist. How does time go by so quickly? I basically had an anxiety attack the other day thinking that I will be home this time next year... I love you all and can't wait to see you again, but there is no better feeling than sharing the gospel! It was really good to Skype you all this week though! I was happy to see you! P.S. Read all the way to the bottom because there are hidden miracles in this email.  I know it's long. Sorry, but not really. 
We've had some really great stories this week. It's the end of the month and the mom-mobile has been driven to Pittsford twice (65ish miles each way) and we live about 10 miles outside our area so.... We were SUPER low on miles. Amherst (the other area in our ward) used to be a biking area so the elders have a couple bikes in their apartment which they don't use because they now have a car and they're a trio at the moment, so we asked if we could take the bikes for the rest of the month. They absolutely refused. "It's not proper for sisters to be riding bikes in the winter". Yeah yeah.... We don't have any snow and it's been super warm lately. So basically this last week turned into Battle of the Bikes. We desperately needed the bikes to save on miles and they weren't going to let it happen so they tried giving us some of their miles (which we couldn't take because they needed them). Neither of us were going to cave. Friday we were so sick of it so we told the elders that we were going to pick up the bikes in the morning, no questions. Well Elder Walker who is as stubborn as I am, said "just let me make a couple phone calls.." Within 10 minutes the ZLs called. I was praying that meant more miles! Then I hear Elder Skinner talking to Sister McLaren and he says "How do you feel about miles?" We didn't understand so we asked what he meant and he said "well we're going to have to take some miles away next month.." I about jumped out of my footy pajamas (thanks Jeanne!) and then we hear all the elders on the phone laughing. It took them a few minutes but they told us that they were kidding and they gave us 700 more miles for the month. We definitely don't need that many but hey.. It was a tender mercy. Elder Walker became my new favorite. I don't know who he called or what he said but I'm secretly relieved that I don't have to try biking in a skirt. Whew!!
Christmas Eve was such a great day! We car pooled down to Pittsford with the elders. Everyone stuck their white elephant gifts and guitars for the talent show in the trunk of our mom-mobile and we went on our way. (Somehow Elder Walker managed to get a HUGE TV that he used as his white elephant gift... Super useful for a missionary haha) we sang to Nashville Tribute the entire drive which is the closest thing to country music that I'm going to get on my mission. (Mom if you can find their new cd called "redeemer", I would LOVE to get that!) the Christmas party was pretty great! A bunch of the sisters here played volleyball in high school so I snatched a ball and started peppering with one of them. Within 2 minutes half of the mission had gathered around to play with us. Haha it was a ton of fun! There were a few elders that were super good and I got to set them and DANG! They are good hitters! I miss volleyball a TON. But I will never regret my decision to not play in college. I know that I was meant to be here on a mission and I wouldn't have had this experience if I'd chosen volleyball. That makes me think of my farewell topic: "Sacrifice Brings Forth the Blessings of Heaven". At the time, I thought it was a sacrifice to let go of something that was my whole life, but the things that I've gained and learned and the happiness that I feel completely make up for what I thought I was losing and then some. I remember a quote from President Hinckley that said something along the lines of: "What appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment you ever make." My mission literally has been the best decision I've ever made. It's preparing me to be a much better wife, mother, teacher, and daughter of God. I know that sometimes it feels like we have to sacrifice a lot in the gospel, like with tithing or going on a mission or the word of wisdom.. Whatever it may be, I know that the blessings that come from that sacrifice will make up for anything you may be losing. The blessings may not come how you expect or desire but they come!
It was so good to see everyone for the Christmas party! I forget how much I love the sisters when I don't get to see them all the time. On the drive home, the elders pulled out the guitars and we sang the whole way home. 
Mom I know you were asking about Bill and Dee and what's going on with them. Well I have some good news. :) Friday, we went and did service for Dee and then since the weather was so nice we went for a walk along the Eerie Canal. We had a really great discussion with her. She told us how when she was in San Diego she saw the temple and thought it was so beautiful so they went in and she was saying how even though they could only go into the lobby, she felt like she was in heaven. She loved seeing everyone all dressed in white and the way she felt was so amazing, she couldn't even explain it. but when she couldn't go in any further she felt like she was being turned away from heaven so we talked about the temple and how sacred it is and the standard of worthiness for going there. I know she'll get to go back someday! I know she will. She loves us and she's really opening up to the gospel. That's not the only good news though. We talked to both her and Bill about how we were singing in sacrament meeting and guess who showed up at church?:) Bill and Dee! BOOYAH!!!!! I've never sang in sacrament meeting before but we decided that we'd sing since all of the Amherst elders have nice voices and Sister McLaren is a great piano player and then there's me. Haha so the elders and I sang Where Can I turn for Peace in church yesterday! I wanted to pass out. But it went pretty well. 
We were also expecting Eugene to be at church yesterday. He's the man I was telling you guys about on Skype that has cancer but chose not to have any treatments. He hasn't been to church in a while because of how sick he is but he had to come to church one more time so that he could be interviewed to receive his endowment on Tuesday. Well... He got sick that morning and wasn't able to make it. I wanted to cry. We had gotten him so excited about the temple and he was going to be going on Elder Walker's last day in the mission and it was going to be the perfect almost New Years present. Then a miracle happened. The bishop and stake president decided that they were going to interview him anyway and guess who's going through the temple on Tuesday?! I am seriously so happy. 
Finally last night after our dinner appointment, we realized our other plans for the night had cancelled on us so we were trying to figure out what to do so I suggested to say a prayer and we both felt like we needed to go see this sweet lady in an assisted living center and we had a great lesson with her and then we started talking to her aid. MIRACLE!!! She was praying for direction for a way to change her life and to find a place to go to church with her kids. She was praying for that right as we came! She's not normally Sister Stebbins aid on Sunday's so it was a TOTAL miracle. It was no coincidence that we were led there at that time! (I had always heard RMs tell stories like that where complete miracles happen but I haven't seen too many of those HUGE divine intervention moments on my mission. There are constantly miracles but they hadn't been so drastic until yesterday.) She loved hearing about the restoration and the Book of Mormon and wanted to meet with us again tonight! And she accepted the invitation to be baptized!! This is exactly what she needs and what she's looking for! Sadly she isn't in our area, so we're giving her to the Buffalo elders but that's ok! I got to be part of this woman coming to know the truth and I promised the Lord that I'd work my hardest no matter what the outcome, and he put me in this woman's path:) the elders will do a great job with her! As we were leaving, we were walking out to the mom-mobile and I started singing "living on a prayer" by Bon Jovi (sometimes worldly music pops into my head but I thought it was fitting!:) haha) the Lord will always inspire us and put people in our path that we need to touch! Never postpone a prompting!
Have a great week, and be the answer to someone's prayer!
Sister Amanda Nield

Monday, December 22, 2014

Math on the Mission ---> Multiply, Never Divide‏

Ok ok so before I talk about this week I've got to talk about last week! Sister Rogers was called to be a trainer so I'm a grandma now! Wahoo!!!!:) I'm getting OLD. I'm so happy for Sister Rogers! and her baby is from Thailand! She was soooo nervous but I know she's going to do such a wonderful job! I'm so excited for her! It was so sad knowing that I had to Leave her though!  We got so close during that time together!
It really started to snow in Irondequoit a couple weeks ago... My hair would freeze when we'd go out into our area. And there were a few times that I thought I was going to have to amputate my toes because of frostbite. (Hahaha all I wanted was to go somewhere warm on my mission. The Lord has a sense of humor!:) haha
It was a hard week having to say goodbye to everyone. My heart was broken. That is something that I will openly say that I STRONGLY dislike about a mission. I've spent the last 6 months of my life getting attached to these people, building their trust, feeling God's love for them, and trying to help them feel that as well, and then I have to leave them. Between the ward and the people we were teaching, my heart was completely torn to pieces to say goodbye! I was pretty upset about it. It didn't seem fair. I was so scared that I wouldn't love the people in my new area as much as I loved the people in Irondequoit! That was my home. But the Lord knows better than we do, what we need, who needs us, and where we should go. 
Last Sunday night I got a call from President (as the 4 sisters in our apartment were making a music video). My heart dropped because Sister Rogers had already gotten her training call so all president had to do next was choose sister training leaders, district leaders and zone leaders. I got the call to be a sister training leader which is so exciting and terrifying at the same time. I'm thrilled to do exchanges with the sweet sisters, but terrified to do trainings at zone meetings and zone conferences. I feel too young in the mission for that! But the Lord knows that I need to learn to serve and love others better, so that's why I got this call. :)
Then Monday morning transfer calls came! I got called to go to the Clarence/Amherst area which is right outside of Buffalo. It's a full pros area so I'll be doing only proselyting while I'm here since we're about 2 hours away from the sites. My companion is Sister McLaren. She's been out for 10 months. She grew up in Belgium and England in a military family. We're going to see a lot of miracles together! I'm excited. 
So Tuesday we went to transfer meeting and carpooled out to good ol' Clarence with the elders in our mom-mobile (aka the mini van). It was awkward at first being in the van with just us and a couple elders but it was a really good experience. Elder Walker was telling us all about the people we'll be working with since he'd been serving here for the last 3 transfers. And remember that fear that I had that I wouldn't love these people as much as the others? Ya... That feeling was ridiculous. Just as he was telling us about these people I KNEW this is where I needed to be and I could already feel my love for them growing. Over the next few days the elders came with us to a lot of the people they'd been teaching so we could carol and they could hand us over and introduce us. All these people that I have met so far are sooo wonderful! I had heard that the Amherst ward was the promised land and from day 1 that was confirmed. We have dinner appointments every single night. The members are so willing to do missionary work and come teaching with us. It's so wonderful. This area is so different from Irondequoit. The houses here are probably worth more than my life (and tracting here is super out of my comfort zone) whereas in Irondequoit 75% of the people were on welfare. It's a HUGE difference but I'm already in love with this area. 
Everyone is so excited to have sisters here. All the sisters are in the Rochester or Palmyra stakes so that they're closer to the sites and so to have sisters out here in Buffalo is pretty crazy! We're the only sisters in our zone. Everyone has warmed up to us so quickly though! For example Elder Walker was telling us on the drive up here about Bill and Dee. Dee loves having the elders over and she's been so open to the messages but doesn't want to act until Bill is there with her. He said that Bill hates talking about the gospel and only talks about hunting. But after we had caroled to them, I started talking to Bill. Just asking simple questions and getting to know him and eventually it led into a gospel conversation where we talked about the restoration. I was amazed! It was so funny because Dee was in the kitchen talking to the elders about how she couldn't believe that Bill was talking to us. And Bill looked at The elders and said "You guys never explained it that way before. This makes a lot more sense!" I felt so bad because Elder Walker will be going home mid-transfer to start school so this was kind of his last time to see them and I didn't want him to feel bad that almost everyone had been warming up to Sister McLaren and I so quickly. But it really showed me that were really supposed to be here. The Lord knew sisters needed to be out here. 
There was no reason to worry about whether or not I'd love these people. I've seen in the last week that love is multiplied. Never divided. There's no such thing as loving too many people. The Lord will always place new people in our lives at times when we aren't sure we can love them as much as anyone else, but just because you've learned to love others, doesn't mean you can't love more. There's no limit. LOVE IS MULTIPLIED, NOT DIVIDED
I love all of you so much! Thanks for being a part of my life!
Sister Nield
Ps. I'll see some of you Thursday when I skype!Victory handHeavy black heart
Pss. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!Christmas treeWrapped present

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Innkeeper‏

First of all. The Doctors appointment went great! You have no need to worry! It was really funny (probably more funny for me than for you) but I was explaining to him my symptoms and he was doing some tests with my balance and different things of the sort. And he said "well you seem healthy so that's good. We can almost rule out tumors ." Hahaha sister Rogers and I shoot each other a look saying "wow.. Thanks doc. We hadn't even thought of that one." So that was funny. He did have a hard time figuring out what he wanted to do because I don't have the typical symptoms of a migraine, but he gave me a migraine medication that has been working pretty well, so that's good.
Second of all. Transfers are next week. Chances are, I'm not staying in Irondequoit. (That means if I don't email next Tuesday, I got transferred and my pday is on a different day. Pdays differ for the sisters depending on which area you're in! So don't freak out and email president again!;) haha) I'm pretty bummed because I love it here! This is my training area! 2 transfers with sister Andrus training me and 2 transfers training sister Rogers. There have been SO MANY wonderful memories here. But it's ok. The Lord knows where I need to go and there are more memories to make in other places! It'll just be super weird being somewhere else for Christmas. Good things are ahead though!:) I'm excited!
So this week we've had a couple funny incidents. One of my favorites happened just the other day. We were going to see this lady but thought we'd park down the street and knock on some doors along the way, so we parked in this empty lot by a house. We walked up the street, met some great people, talked with the lady for about a half hour and then walked back to the car. As we were getting into the car we hear "why are you parked on my lot?" So we turn to the house and there is this little old lady (she had to be in her 90s) and she just starts yelling at us and waving her cane! I should've felt bad, but I was trying too hard not to laugh at this adorable old lady yelling and waving her cane!:) haha it was so funny! 
The Yesterday we met a couple really great people!:) we knock on this door and this lady comes to the door. We try sharing a message about Christmas and she doesn't want to hear it but her husband comes to the door and pushes her out of the way and says "Go BYU!! I love Brigham Young!!" I thought there was a criteria for BYU fans of either living in Utah or being LDS, but boy was I wrong. This man LOVES BYU. he was very adamant that he's not going to change religions but he's a huge cougar fan! So I'm hoping we were one knock closer to him wanting to hear from missionaries :) he was a hoot.
And also yesterday, we met this little old man named William. He was in his late 80s and doesn't hear to well so I had to stand really close and talk pretty loud. We were talking about Christ and Christmas and all of a sudden he says "you have nice teeth." Hahaha I didn't really know what to say to that so i said "thanks! So do you" and he said "yeah, but honey... Mine are bought." Haha I about died. And then after talking to him for another couple minutes he said "honey, I've been praying for someone to come to my door. And I think they're here." I started thinking the heavens had opened and this man was a miracle and then... I hear a voice behind me. It was a maintenance man coming to put up Williams Christmas tree. Hahaha
Laughter is the greatest thing!:) without it, missionary work would be pretty hard because you have to learn to laugh at the rude people or else you'll just get discouraged. Haha like yesterday, we met this man who was very apposed to the church. He was so intelligent and had studied theology and was trying to talk about contradictions in the Book of Mormon and then he said "Moroni is a phony" but his pronunciation of Moroni was Moronee so he said "Moronee is a phony" and I couldn't help but laugh. I kept myself together until we walked away and then I about died!
This week I have been reading through the new testiment about Christ's life and birth. And as I was reading about his birth i started to try to put myself in the shoes of different people from the story. Mary, Joseph, the wisemen, the innkeeper. And obviously by the subject line of this email, I want to talk to you about the innkeeper. As I put myself in the innkeeper's place and looked at the story from that perspective I came to a realization. We are all inn keepers. We all decide whether or not there is room enough for Christ in our lives (inn). Not just during the Christmas season, but every single day. What things do you do to make room for Him? Christ gave His life for you, so I would challenge you to dedicate more of your lives to Him. I know life is busy but I also I know that lasting and eternal joy will come as you make Him the center of your life. :) He loves you and wants to be a part of your life, so what kind of innkeeper will you be? The innkeeper who makes room for Christ in the chaotic craziness of life? Or the innkeeper who says their inn is full? You get to decide!:) That's the beauty of life.:)
Love you all!!:) have a great week!
Love, Sister Nield

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Temples, Testimonies, and Turkeys‏

Holiday season already? Bizarre! There's no way I'm ready for it! It hit me just the other day that my 6 month mark is next week! How is that even possible?! It does NOT feel like I've been gone for 6 months! It's gone by so fast! It feels like just yesterday that I entered the MTC! Oh how things have changed! It's been amazing to see how much I've grown in the last 6 months! I read journal entries from the MTC and its a day and night difference! I'm so grateful for the experience of being on a mission! I have learned so many things that wouldn't have been learned any other way!
We set up a little Christmas tree in our apartment, so mom, it's ok that I wasn't there to set up ours this year cause I'm still getting the practice in!:)
So before I talk about the week, let me clarify the doctor's appointment so you don't freak out! I've just had some headaches for the last couple months and the mission nurse just wants me to get it looked at because all of the things we've tried so far haven't worked. It's ok though! It's not a big deal. No need to worry about me!:)
This week has been so wonderful! Wednesday we got to go to the temple! Once a transfer isn't enough, but I'm so grateful that I get to go at all! I feel so bad for all the missionaries who don't get to go at all during their missions! I'm really blessed! It was such a beautiful night! It was snowing and I got some pretty great pictures! Being in the temple is such a wonderful experience! It's always so nice to feel the love that our Heavenly Father has for all His children and to be able to receive revelation for what I can do for His children here in Irondequoit! After we got done at the temple, we went over to the Smith Farm. The only other time I'd been to the Smith Farm at night, in the dark, was during the summer when the Fireflies come out! But let me tell you something! That place is almost just as peaceful as the temple! Walking down Stafford Rd in the snow was magical! No one but the Sisters that serve here will ever really know what this road is and how sacred it is! I've had so many revelatory moments walking up this gravel road after a tour. This road is more than just a road, just like the sacred grove is more than just a patch of trees. It's a sacred place that you never really understand until you serve here!
I remember a moment at the beginning of my mission where I was having a hard time. For the first time in my life I questioned my testimony of Joseph Smith. It was so intimidating having to testify of him daily in these sacred places, and for the first time, I didn't know if I really had that testimony or not. For days I was frustrated. For days I struggled. But one day, I finished up my tour and bore testimony that Joseph Smith really was a prophet and that the things that we talked about really did happen and that God really does answer our prayers. After I sent this family into the Sacred Grove, I started walking back up Stafford Rd. and I prayed as hard as I knew how and pleaded with Heavenly Father to help me to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I begged to have my testimony confirmed. I remember this moment as if it was yesterday! I got to the point in the road where if you look one way, you can see the temple and if you look the other way, you see the sacred grove and looked at the temple. With tears in my eyes, I knelt down and prayed out loud. And I received my answer. I can't even explain the feelings of peace and comfort that overcame me. At that moment I KNEW that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he restored our Savior's church to the earth! I KNEW that my Savior Jesus Christ is the head of this church and that He knows me and is aware of me! That is one of my fondest memories of the last 6 months!
Thanksgiving was great! One of the senior ladies from the ward had us over! It was a lot of fun! We really enjoyed it and we had a great dinner! (Not as good as back home, but good;) ) There is so much to be thankful for!:) Live in thanksgiving daily though! Don't let your gratitude disappear now that Thanksgiving is over!
So the church is doing a "He is the Gift" initiative for Christmas, where we talk about how Christ is the reason for the Christmas season! It's so amazing the effect it's had on our work!:) People LOVE to talk about Christ this time of year! So share your testimony of Christ and invite someone to go to christmas.mormon.org!:)
I love you all! Have a great week!
Lots of love!
Sister Nield

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

8 ft under--or 60 degrees‏

I'm sure many of you have heard about the weather conditions here in western NY. More specifically in the Buffalo area. They got pounded with 8 feet of snow. Being right between Lake eerie and Lake Ontario creates a lake effect, causing more snow. However, 8 feet of snow is an entire season of snow that fell in the course of 2 days! Luckily all the missionaries there are safe. They've been looked inside for the past few days (I'm not sure if that's for safety precautions or if that's because there's a wall of snow blocking their doorways). Now,we've gotten snow in Rochester, it accumulated for a few days and we had maybe 3-4 inches. So we didn't have a problem with the lake effect here (at least not yet). Then all of a sudden, BOOM! Saturday, it was 40 degrees. The majority of the snow melted. Sunday it was about 50 degrees and rainy; all the snow melted. Then yesterday. Yesterday was heaven. We hit 60 degrees yesterday. Too bad today it's back to 35 degrees. The wind chill here is brutal. Thank goodness for gloves and coats.
This week was full of many wonderful surprises and events. First off we had zone conference this week!:) I LOVE zone conferences! And this conference we had the Rochester east zone (that's me) and the Rochester west zone combined. The Rochester west zone only has elders because there aren't any full-pros (only proselyting areas for sisters) areas open in that zone right now. So we had 4 companionships of sisters and then a LOT of elders. We have zone conference from 9-4 so for one of our activities the 2 zones split up and created our own title of liberty. Haha greatest thing ever! Ours looked pretty sweet! Our sister from California wrote on it graffiti style and it just looked awesome. But then the roch. west zone leaders get up to show theirs and Elder Littlefield, who just got transferred out of my district last transfer, had written on their title of liberty "the buffer zone" and he said: "there are 2 reasons why we're called the buffer zone. #1 we're obviously the stronger zone and #2 we're here to protect the buffalo zones from the sisters." Hahaha I about died. And if you knew Elder Littlefield, he's the biggest softy in the world. So as soon as he says that he really quickly says "not that we don't love you sisters. Cause we do. But. You know. It was just a joke..." Hahaha I thought it was hilarious! It was also so wonderful to spend the day with President Francis and his wonderful wife! They are such a blessing to this mission. It really hit me hard. Sister Francis was
talking about what a blessing it is to serve in this mission. What a sacred place to serve. And then she said: "only 167 people out of the 7.2 billion people in the world and 15 million members of the church, only 167 people get the opportunity to serve here NOW!" It's so neat to think about how the Lord trusted me to serve here in this sacred place. What an honor!! A lot of changes are being made in the mission to help us be more successful. We've been trusted to serve here, so we need to be the very best that we can be. Change is good. Hard sometimes but it's good. It was so crazy! After talking about all the changes that we're making in the mission now, President announces that he has a big announcement to announce at site meeting (we have site meeting every Wednesday night at the Hill Cumorah with the site directors which are like mission presidents over the sites. so President Francis
isn't usually here unless it's super important). All of the sisters were freaking out about what's is announcement could possibly be. You'll never guess what the announcement is. This is seriously
changing my entire mission!! "All sisters who aren't in the 12 week program (training and trainer) will be full-pros (no sites) for the winter months. November-March." My first thought was "that's awesome! More time in the area = more people to teach = more success" but then I started thinking about it and it kind of broke my heart a little. Unless I'm training, I won't get to finish my mission in the sites, unless you guys come pick me up so I can take you on tours. My heart is so split between being in the area and being in the sites. There really isn't anything quite like giving a great tour. My heart really is in the sites. I love being out in the area and teaching and meeting so many people. I love that and I get so excited every time I get to go into my area. But those sites are so special. The spirit is so strong. Being able to testify that joseph smith is a prophet on a daily basis in a dedicated place has been a highlight of my mission. Joseph Smith has become my best friend. I get to hang out at his house more often than I'm at my own apartment. I've really come to know him and love him as a prophet of God. He really did restore Christ's church to the earth. I know that with all the assurance of my heart. So I'll survive not being in ththe sites for a few months but I'm praying to finish my mission there! Presidents announcement is definitely a good thing for the mission though!:)
One last announcement!:) our family came to church this week!!:) They're so ready for this gospel!:) I have never seen someone more prepared!:) I love this family so much and I was so proud of the ward for being so friendly! They did a good job of welcoming the Skerretts!
Well I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving! Stay safe! And choose the right!:)
Love Sister Nield

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Winter Is Here‏

So just a heads up, if I come home without a nose, we can blame it on winter. I didn't know that it was possible for winter to be so cold... It doesn't even matter how many layers I wear, I'm going to freeze! Haha But bring it on... I'm ready (I have to tell myself that to convince myself it's true.)
Now onto the important things!:) Miracles happened last week!
Miracle #1: We met Alfredo!!! We were trying to find one of the former investigators in our area book and Alfredo was out raking his leaves. As we started walking over to talk to him, he looks up, points at us and gets a big smile on his face and says "MORMONS!" Haha.... I've never had that happen to me before. I've had plenty of people think we're jehovah's witnesses and I've had plenty of people recognize who we are (but they usually hide, not get a big smile). So we went over and talked to him. He has a couple friends that are members of the church. He's from Puerto Rico and is very Christian and was very willing to allow us to come back and talk to him about the restoration. We left him with a pamphlet and he was pretty excited to read it. He also kept saying "Lots of people around here don't like to talk about Christ but they need it! They need you!" haha I just thought to myself: "You have no idea..." haha
Miracle #2:Joe. Joe is a miracle!:) We went to lunch at this pizza place and we were looking over our lesson for someone and this man came in and sat down at a table close to ours so I said hi and started talking with him. He asked about our name tags (I LOVE NAME TAGS! THEY BRING UP SO MANY CONVERSATIONS!!) He asked if we were nuns since our name said "sister" so we talked to him more about the church and we gave him a pamphlet on the restoration as well and we talked about prophets. We asked the waitress for the check and she said "Oh Joe already covered it for you" so we were able to tell him thank you before he left and the waitress was telling us that he's a regular, he's ALWAYS there and that she's NEVER seen him do that for someone before so we must've really made a good impression on him! It's so neat to see how nice people are because they can recognize us as servants of the Lord.
Miracle #3: At first it's not going to sound like a miracle, but it has a happy ending I promise!:) So we had just left a lesson and were trying to talk to some people in the neighborhood (which is kind of hard now that it's FREEZING and SNOWY and everyone wants to stay inside). But we ran into this mailman. He's from Wyoming and we started talking about his religious beliefs. Out of nowhere he goes off on how we're wrong and we're going to hell because we don't believe in Christ and how we are trying to take people away from the truth. I have not once, up until this point, experienced a rude person, but this made me sick to my stomach. it didn't matter how much we tried to bear testimony, it didn't matter what we said, he didn't want anything to do with it. I was baffled. And it made me so sad that this man's heart was so hardened that nothing could change his mind. He had said some things that really upset me and I was literally sick to my stomach. The spirit was completely gone. I have never felt so uncomfortable in all my life. The spirit has been something that I've gotten so used to that once it was gone, I felt so distraught. So sister Rogers and I went back to the car and right outside my door was a penny. :) For those of you who don't know, pennies come from heaven and I've got some pretty great people in heaven. I knew that Grandpa and Uncle Kevin were there looking out for me. Sister Rogers and I said a prayer and started reading from the Book of Mormon and almost instantly the spirit started coming back! That strengthened my testimony on the power of the word of God! I KNOW that the Book of Mormon really is the word of God! We all need to read it more! Take advantage of it!
Miracle #4: Our sweet family!:) I love them so much! They had to cancel our appointment on saturday and weren't able to make it to church on Sunday, but I made muffins on Sunday to take to them. Then last night we were able to go over and teach them the plan of salvation. Oh my goodness! The spirit was so strong! It was so cool to see the change in Steve when he realized the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ covers him on such a personal and individual level. And it was so cool to talk to Veronica about the spirit world since she had lost her mother a couple years ago. This plan that God has for us is perfect! He knows us better than we know ourselves and He knows what's best for us!
I am so grateful for the decision I made to come out here!
Love you!
Love Sister Nield

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Let Your Light Shine!‏

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere we go. (Sing in a loud obnoxious voice and pretend that I can sing it as a missionary)

Well folks. It's not really beginning to look like Christmas since it's about 60 degrees right now but we got our first snow last week! I may or may not have cried. Jk I didn't cry. I just had to turn on some Christmas hymns to keep from crying. It's almost worse than Cache Valley here in New York. One minute it's sunny, the next it's dumping snow, and the next it's sunny again while its continuing to snow. Talk about bipolar weather. If it could stay fall forever I wouldn't complain! But winter does mean Christmas which means people are in the spirit to talk about Christ more which makes missionary work just a tad bit easier! And mama, I don't know what I want for Christmas. Sorry.. Surprise me!:)
Ok now down to business! What a stellar week! So transfers happened and I am staying in Irondequoit as you know. I'm really happy to be staying! I love this area, I love the ward, I love the people that I meet, I love my district. This is home! And some miracles are really starting to take off!
One of my favorites is the family were teaching right now! What a blessing to be able to have met them! They're so prepared and they don't even realize it! This gospel is exactly what they need! So after our appointment with them last week (which was super intense. Sister Rogers explains it like drinking from a fire hose but I LOVED IT!) They come from a catholic background and they are genuinely seeking for greater light! Guess who has that light? I do!!:) And they don't want to jump into anything without making an informed decision which is great! They just need to act on the commitments we give. When I asked Steve what it would mean for him if the Book of Mormon was true and if Joseph Smith was a prophet, he gave the golden answer. He said, I'd want to get as involved as possible and share it with others! Well after that intense discussion about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and a whole array of questions, we got invited back for Sunday dinner! They made homemade spaghetti (YUM). We started talking about the Plan of Salvation and somehow we ended up teaching tithing and the Word of Wisdom! Haha it's so funny how Christ has been preparing them! Veronica is allergic to alcohol as of about 2 years ago and hates cigarette smoke and thinks it's disgusting. and Steve quit smoking when their first son was born 12 years ago and has had a case of beer in the frige for about a month and a half and hasn't touched it. Haha he says he hasn't felt the need to drink. But he likes his wine but said he'd give it up if he knew Joseph Smith was a prophet. The real struggle with him is coffee. Haha they asked if they could come to church with us Sunday and he asked if there would be a break somewhere in the 3 hours that he could get a cup of coffee! Haha he's not too thrilled that we don't drink coffee, but once he knows Joseph Smith is a prophet, that won't even matter!
As a mission, were really cracking down on making sure people are being invited to be baptized no later than the 2nd visit. I've heard a few people talking about how that can be awkward for some people, but honestly it's so great! It shows these people that we have an objective. We have a purpose and it's important enough that we bring it up before they even have a testimony! And one thing I've learned is that it's better to feel awkward than to feel regret. Feeling awkward only lasts a little while and there are so many miracles that can come from those awkward situations. Miracles are endless. I just wish that everyone had the attitude of Steve. If he knows it's true he wants to be involved and share it! People! We have the TRUE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST!!!! We know the path to eternal
life and salvation!!!! And how many people really take full advantage of every missionary opportunity that's laid in front of them? Not many! I know I was horrible about that at home! But STOP IT! Why would you NOT want to share this amazing knowledge with people around you?! We ALL know someone who isn't fortunate enough to have the gospel in their lives! We all know a lost sheep who has strayed from the church! Invite them to meet with the missionaries! Invite them to church! Invite them to read the Book of Mormon! I don't care what you invitethem to do but INVITE THEM! How great will be your joy if you are the means of saving a single soul! Yes. It may be awkward. But maybe it won't be. President Francis always says that miracles happen on a daily basis and I can testify that they do! I know that with all of my heart! I've been keeping a little journal to list miracles that happen every day and guess what? They're limitless! Don't let regret even be an option! Share your light with someone who needs it! Your light won't grow dimmer by sharing, but it'll make the light in the world even brighter!
One last story! This was a huge miracle this week! I was serving at the Smith farm and this lady comes in (which in and of itself is a miracle because it's so slow now that it's almost winter). But her
name was Christine Johnson from Brigham City, Utah. We got to talking and this woman is so amazing! She told me that she's on what she calls her "quest". Her husband passed away on September 5 of this year and since September 18 she has been traveling, going to every single temple in the U.S. and Canada. So far she's been to 35. This woman is so strong and she taught me so much more than I think I taught her. She was such an inspiration. She's on her quest, but what quest are you on?
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!
Love Sister Nield

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dequoit for life! Or At Least Another Transfer.‏

Well everyone. I've made it through 3 transfers. Transfer calls came this week and I'm staying in Irondequoit for another one. (I knew I would since I'm training) but I'm so happy to be staying. This place feels like home to me. Ghettos and all. I love the people here, I love the ward (even if I wanna hit them upside the head sometimes for not talking to investigators like they should), I love the sisters that I get to serve around here. Dequoit is the gangster name for the area according to Elder Haines, one of the ap's in my district. What a goober. I loved my district last transfer and I'm sad that it's
changing so much. AP Haines is going to train for his last 2 transfersin Tonowanda and elder little field (our DL/ ZL) is going out to Batavia to follow-up train. But all the sisters are staying the same!:) That's nice! I don't know the elders that are coming in but I've heard here pretty nice so hopefully we have a good transfer. Sadly with transfers, that means that sisters go home. That's one of the things that is so bittersweet about this mission. ALL of the sisters get to know each Orr and love each other and we all become so close, so when transfers come around and sisters leave, it's so sad!:( but once Sister Andrus's group goes home, there will be 7 months where no sisters go home because there were 7 months where no sisters came in. That means that after January, I will be in the 3rd oldest group of sister in the mission. There were only 2 groups that came out before my group. That's weird because we're all still so young in the mission.
My birthday was wonderful! I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend it. So our less active, Traci, brought her daughter who's 18, to lunch with us. Traci is the only member in her family, but her husband has been taught everything. He had cancer and his health was really bad and the elders gave him a blessing and now he's cancer free. The whole family has a testimony of the priesthood and the church but they're too comfortable in their lives right now. Not even being cured from cancer changed his mind. Crazy man..;) I love them. But we went to a little bakery for lunch and Shaylee just started asking all these questions about the church and we got to teach her the restoration and
it was so cool because Traci was helping us answer the questions and she kept saying "We believe.." That's huge!!:) she still has such a strong testimony! And she was so glad that we were able to answer
Shaylee's questions because Shaylee's has been searchingly for God in her life. That made my birthday WONDERFUL! So I've already sent the pics but for Halloween, all the sisters in our district dressed up like zombies. Oh my gosh! It was so funny! We weren't allowed out after dark so we had district meeting instead. Well our district leader jumps out of the primary room to try to scare us but once he saw our faces, he got a little scared. It was super funny. We got a few really good pictures. Finally after 3 weeks we got in contact with Lorraine again. She fell off the face of the earth for a while and wouldn't answer her phone, wouldn't answer her door. And one day I felt like we needed to try her one more time before we dropped her. So we went to her house and knocked on the door and she opened it and invited us in like nothing had happened. As we talked with her, we found out that she didn't want us to come until she'd done more reading in the Book of Mormon so we could have a good discussion. So we're hoping that she'll find the time to read. She needs to make time. But we're hoping that she'll have a spiritual experience while she reads that will confirm to her that it's true!
The big miracle for the week: since I came to Irondequoit there was a family in the formers section of our area book that I felt like we needed to go see, but with how crazy summer was and how few area days we had, we'd never gotten the chance to stop by. Well now we've switched to our winter hours at the sites which gives us a few more hours to get into our area so sister Rogers and I decided that we were going to go over and see them! They were so excited to see us and so excited to invite us back! They still keep in contact with the sisters that had taught them years ago.. The only thing keeping them from baptism is that his family is very catholic. But we know that the Lord will bless them if they obey Him so we're hoping that they'll continue to be enthusiastic about meeting with us, and that they'll take the steps they need to progress. And their kids are super sweet. I'm so glad that I know that my family can be together forever and I hope I can help their family become eternal as well!
Now that it's time to think about Thanksgiving, start thinking of all the things you're grateful for! I want to hear what everyone is grateful for, so let me know!:) I'm thankful for all of you! Thank you everyone for the prayers. They are felt! Thanks for all the love and support! Know that I love you all and I'm so grateful for you all in my life!
Much love,
Sister Nield

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Where He Needs Me To Be

Well here we are again. Emailing. I feel like I was just doing this yesterday. I know I've said that a million times but seriously... Time goes by way too fast.
To start off. I didn't get to see Elder Holland... I'm still a little bitter, but I'll move on eventually. I was at the Hill that night and he went to the Smith Farm and the publication site. Of course the Hill wasn't on their list of things to do so I sat at the front desk, and while Sister Rogers and I waited for visitors, I threw a pity party by watching his conference talks between tours. Haha I'll admit it was a "Laman and Lemuel" moment for me. Not my proudest moment. But all is well. Our car was in the shop for 4 days. Walking 30 miles to and from Palmyra was rough. JK, the sisters in our apartment carpooled with us which was great. It was a bit hard though since we didn't get to have a lot of time in our area. Numbers for the week were a bit low, but hey, we won't go over on miles for the month;) haha that was secretly a tender mercy to have our car in the shop. We got cut on miles this month and we didn't know what we were going to do since we were scheduled opposite of all the sisters we could carpool with and driving to and from palmyra is about 20 miles over our daily limit. But putting our car in the shop helped big time!:)
Yesterday was an area day. I love those!! They used to make me nervous, but I love going out and seeing people now. Yesterday we had so many plans. We had people to see, a service project, streets to tract, former and potential investigators to contact, a couple referrals to find. The whole shebang. Well, our service project cancelled. Our referral's address doesn't even exist. NO ONE on the street we tracted was home. Lorraine (our wonderful sister with a baptismal date) wasn't home. She's cancelled our last 3 appointments. I'll admit, that was another Laman and Lemuel moment for me. I murmured. I was so frustrated that Sister Rogers and I have been doing everything we can. We've been making an extra effort to be EXACTLY obedient, we set goals, we make plans, we have these righteous desires. WHY ISNT IT WORKING OUT?! Well I'll tell you why. It was at that moment that I heard a voice inside my head that said "you aren't where I need you yet". BOOM! Just like that I was humbled. The Lords timing is perfect. That doesn't mean things are going to go the way we plan, but the Lords plan is MUCH better than what we ever plan. Sister Rogers and I said a prayer asking where the Lord needed us. We felt the need to go see our other referral now. So we went. We've tried this referral at least 4-5 times and she's never home. Well we show up at her house and she had just gotten home from work and was getting things ready to leave. Had we tried her earlier, she wouldn't have been home. Had we waited until later, when we were planning, it would've been to late. She would've been gone. I wasn't where the Lord needed me yet, but he led us exactly where we were needed in the right timing. We got to have a great lesson with Kimberly and set a return appointment. We also got to see quite a few other people. One of my favorites was Greg and Nanon. They just got married a couple months ago. Nanon has been a member for 20-30 years and Greg is born again Christian, but he LOVES the missionaries and he LOVES the Book of Mormon. We got to have dinner with them and really talk about the restoration of the gospel and it was one of the first deep doctrine lessons that I've had. He was asking a bunch of great questions and it was wonderful. Well he didn't even wait for our invitation to church and invited himself!:) this is one of those times where it's more than ok to invite yourself. And they said we have to come back for my birthday!:) they are so great! We've gotta get him baptized before he moves back to Arizona. He's so ready! Over all. Yesterday, our numbers were higher for our key indicators than all of last weeks! The Lord has a special place for each of us and if things aren't going the way we're planning, then we aren't where He needs us to be yet! Seek His guidance in EVERYTHING!! It makes the world of difference! Then I took Sister Rogers to Nick Tahou's to get garbage plates today!:) giving her the true Rochester experience!:) haha they're really good! She loved it! When I bring everyone back here, garbage plates are mandatory!:) then there's college club soda where you get 24 little bottles of homemade soda for 8 bucks and it's in this super sketchy warehouse. It's like the perfect place for a kidnapping in a horror movie. But it's totally safe:) don't worry!:)
I love you all!:) I hope you have a stellar week and really... Find out where the Lord needs you!
Love Sister Nield

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

General Authorities Galore

Um.... it is NOT already half way through October.... That's impossible! And fall has pretty much fallen... Everything is starting to look dead! haha But I still Love New York!
This last week was a pretty successful week!:) We got to see a lot of wonderful people! We met a wonderful couple! Their names are Clara and Therman!:) They are so cute! They went to the Gladys Knight Devotional and absolutely loved how spiritual it was and they took a lot from it!
Today we had to take our car into the shop, so we're going to be doing a lot of walking! BUT most of our success comes from walking! That's how we find most of our people which is great!
This last weekend was Stake Conference and boy was it good! We had Elder Allain Allard of the Seventy there to speak to us! It's so funny! When it comes to General Conference and Stake conference there's always one topic that I know is going to be talked about that I dread! However, it's always a good spiritual kick in the pants when they talk about family history work! I just know that I'm really bad at it, so it really does feel like a kick in the pants. But at least I have something I know I need to work on! (Let's just add that to the list;) ) haha But his talk was really great! And Bishop Boyer and his daughter Sabrina and her friend that they just converted (Sho) all spoke in the Saturday night session! They did so great! Way to represent Rochester 1st!
Then Yesterday! WOW!!! What a powerful day! We had Elder Hamula of the Seventy (the one who gave a SUPER wonderful talk on the sacrament in conference) come talk to our mission! He is such a powerful speaker! So much inspiration and personal revelation came from that meeting with him! It really made me feel like I need to step up my game as a missionary! Work even harder than my hardest!:) It was so motivating! His wife was so sweet! After an hour or so, we got to go have a drink/bathroom break and she and I were both getting a drink so I got to sit and talk with her 1 on 1 for a few minutes and between the 2 of them, I have never met anyone who is as humble and down to earth and loving as they are! It was so great!  There is nothing like shaking a general authorities hand and having them testify to you that the Savior of the world knows and loves you! Talk about powerful!
I want to add my witness to his, that I know that our Savior lives! I know it with every fiber of my being! Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world and through Him and only through Him, we have the opportunity to return to live with our Heavenly Father! All men will return to God to be judged. But not all men will be able to REMAIN with God. What can you do to REMAIN with Him? As we think of the Anti Nephi-Lehi's who "buried up their weapons of rebellion", think of what your weapon of rebellion is! What is keeping you from being completely, totally, and exactly obedient? Find those weapons. Be brutally honest with yourself. Commit to change. And bury those weapons, and never lift them up again! But, We can't be perfect. We all fall short. That's what our Savior is there for! HE LOVES YOU! He loves YOU! He wants you to take advantage of that beautiful gift he has provided for you! So what are you waiting for?
Then coming on Thursday is none other than Elder Jeffrey R. Holland!:) WAHOO!!! He's coming for a mission president seminar being held in our mission so he and a bunch of mission presidents and their wives will be touring the sites. Wouldn't it be so cool if I got to say that I took Elder Holland on tour? Ya... That would be pretty sweet! I'll keep you updated!
Training is going well! I'm learning a ton and she's learning a ton and we're learning to work well together! Sister Rogers is very sweet and so willing to work hard and I really appreciate that!
We're having a meeting with Lorraine tonight about the Word of Wisdom and a few other commandments! I'm so excited! She's going to be one step closer to baptism! One step closer to her loving Father in Heaven! I am convinced that there is no greater calling than the one I've got right now!
I love being a Site sister! Whenever we finish a tour at the Smith Farm, we get to walk back up Stafford Rd after we've just sent a group out to the grove. It's a wonderful 4-5 minutes to think about how your tour went, what you can change, what you did well. Just the other day I had a tender mercy! I like to say a little prayer in my heart as I'm walking back up the road. As I was walking back, the lyrics "I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck...." popped into my head. Tender mercy because I knew that Grandpa Nield was walking up Stafford Rd with me:) I love those moments that prove to me that there are hosts of Angels watching over us!:)
I love you all! And I hope you have a great week! Remember that someone in New York loves you! And Someone in Heaven loves you!:)
Love Sister Nield

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fall Has Fallen

Well I guess it's officially fall. And the trees are REALLY starting to change color! I'll send pictures so you can see how beautiful it really is! I'm in the most beautiful place in the world!! And the part I'm not too thrilled about-- I had to wear my coat for the first time this week! BOO!! I'm not ready for winter! I'm going to need a much better coat once winter hits but for now this wool coat will do!
Conference was this weekend!!! HOW GREAT WAS THAT?!?! Oh my goodness! So insightful! I've always heard there isn't anything better on a mission than watching conference. But I'm going to change that a bit and say there's nothing better on a mission than watching conference at the Joseph Smith Farm! There's just something about listening to our living prophet in the place where the restoration of our church happened! It gets to me!:) There were so many great talks and I've started to try to apply it to my life/work.
This last week has been filled with both miracles and challenges so we'll start with the challenges to get the bad news out of the way.
Esther dropped us... I've had a really hard time with that. I keep feeling like there's more that I could've done to REALLY help her see the importance of the restored gospel! She was so prepared and maybe if I had taught something differently it would've helped. BUT-- all these wonderful sisters keep reminding me that she has agency and gets to choose for herself and I have no control over that. (I'm not going to lie... Sometimes satan's plan sounds pretty nice-- I would like to take away people's agency sometimes so they can accept what has brought me so much joy!) But I've learned something life changing this week with Esther. As appealing as satan's plan sounds to missionaries sometimes, our Heavenly Father's plan is so much better! He gave us our agency, not so we can earn our way back to Him, but so we can show Him that we want to be there! He wants us to want Him. He's not going to force us to come to Him, so I just have to trust that somewhere along the line, Esther will run into missionaries again and she'll be more prepared then!
MIRACLE TIME!! Exchanges!! Exchanges are so wonderful! I went with Sister Newson yesterday and boy is she a great missionary! We went to U of R and walked around since she's serving in the GVB (Singles ward). It's so different because on campus, we aren't allowed to proselyte, so when my instincts want me to go and talk to all these people about the gospel and I'm not allowed to, it's a bit challenging. So we walked around and made our presence known, hoping people would ask questions. NOTHING.... But we had an appointment to go to so we left and went to see Kash. Turns out he wasn't home. Well, we started knocking doors and it's a bit different from the GVB standpoint because we get people ages 18-30 so we can't really poach in other missionaries areas but we knock anyway looking for YSA age.. No one answers.. How does this involve a miracle you might ask? Well, we realize we're on the street with one of the referrals that they'd received so we knock on her door and she's the only person to answer her door! She's not YSA age but we decided to teach her then hand her off to the other missionaries. OH MY GOSH!! She is so prepared for the gospel! We taught her the restoration and read from the book of mormon and she talked about her kids in jail. It was so cool for her to realize that the gospel can really help her! so she's totally open to having new missionaries to come over!:) Then we had a lesson with a guy named Peter that night. I have never had so many questions about such deep doctrine in my life! He'd read an anti book and was sad that that's the only impression he'd had with 'Mormons' so he wanted us to come clarify things and MAN was he intelligent! He asked some pretty crazy questions but it turned out really well and he now realizes that mormons aren't so crazy as he thought!
Everything is going great out here! I can't believe how fast time is going! My Birthday is in just a couple weeks! 20 years old?! WEIRD!!! But I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Love Sister Nield

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mommy Me

Well everyone, Tuesday was transfer day. So to explain the subject line, I am now a mother. Feel free to keep reading because I'll explain that in just a minute. So the last week has been one of the craziest weeks of my life. I knew it would probably be my last week with my mom, Sister Andrus. Training lasts 2 transfers and it's pretty rare to stay with your trainer for 3 here. So for the last week or so, I'd been pretty nervous about transfers. I wanted to know where I was going, and who my companion would be. All of these sisters kept saying: oh I feel like me and so-and-so are going to be companions. And I didn't feel that. I had NO IDEA. Then I'd also heard that President would be making calls for trainers so I was excited to see who'd be training the 5 new sisters. Since I was just finishing my training didn't feel like I would be training. Well Thursday we were on exchanges and sister andrus calls and says we had 2 missed calls from president. I figured it would just be him calling to ask her to be the site trainer (kind of like an assistant to the president but for the sites and it's a sister instead of an elder). Then sister petersen's phone rings and guess who's name is on the screen? President Francis. I can't explain to you how stressful that is. My heart about pounded out of my chest. So we answered and in his cheery voice he asked to talk to me in private. Once again. That's very stressful. So I took the phone off speaker and he said "Sister Nield, The Lord has seen fit to call you to be a trainer. Will you accept that calling?" Part of me wanted to say "no, I'm not ready." But I accepted the call. The last few days have been interesting. Sleepless nights, stressful days. I've been humbled beyond any explanation. The goal of training is to be able to have the trainee ready to train in 12 weeks. I knew that was the goal and I worked towards that but I never thought it would happen. But it did. I'm a trainer and I found out who my cute new sister is Tuesday. :) Sister Rogers. She is the epitome of happiness. She is always smiling and so loving! She's exactly what I need! I'm really gaining a testimony that the Lord puts us with the people we need most and with the people who need us as well. I needed sister Andrus!! And now I need Sister Rogers, for reasons MUCH different than the reasons I needed sister andrus. I'm am thrilled for this calling to be a trainer. I'm scared out of my mind but it's definitely an adventure!! Sister andrus taught me that the only constant in life is change. And I HATE change. but that's the only constant. So I've been learning that The Lord cares more about my growth than my Comfort zone. These next 2 transfers will definitely be a growing experience and I'm so excited!:) the Lord trusts me with this precious daughter of God and he's trusting me with all these children of of his in Irondequoit. It's stressful to know that their salvation is in my hands but he trusts me so I've got to trust myself!:) Mom, next time you don't get an email right away, don't email the president... Hahaha my pday can change with transfers!:) be patient ok? I'm ALWAYS going to write you!! Congrats to Derrick and Celeste on the engagement! My bro is all grown up! Wish I could be there but this is where I need to be!:) I love you all so much!! Have a wonderful week!
Love Sister Nield

Thursday, September 18, 2014

One year down, one to go! Congrats, Elder Johnson!

Happy Hump Day! Elder Johnson has been serving the people of France for a year now! Sister Nield has a little message she wanted me to share for him.


I want to say how proud I am of Kyle!! I can't believe it's already been a year! Time is flying by too quickly! I am so proud of him and the amazing missionary he is! He's set such a great example for me, and he's helped me so much since I've been in New York! Whether it's been advice, support, or by example, he's helped me so much. I'm working to be the kind of missionary he is. He gives 110% everyday and never complains! He's always working so hard, and that makes him a successful missionary! That's not even putting into consideration all the hearts he's touched since he's been in France! That just adds to his success! I'm so proud of him and can't wait to see what he accomplishes in the next year of his mission!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Joys of Being a Missionary

Well not a ton has happened since the last email. This week went by a little slower but it was still good. Last P-day Sister Andrus and I went up to see Lake Ontario, which is right up the road from our apartment, and we went to Sea Breeze Amusement Park. (Of course since we're missionaries we couldn't ride any rides, but we just looked at it!) This area really is so beautiful!
We even got to have our District Meeting in the Sacred Grove. How many missionaries get to say that they have meetings in the Sacred Grove?? Not many! I am definitely in the best mission there is. Just sayin'!;) haha
It's amazing to me that every week, I get to see miracles coming from the hard work that is being put into this area. We've been trying to get Esther to come to church with us for a few weeks and guess what? SHE CAME THIS WEEK!:) I was sitting down talking to one of the members in the ward, getting to know her and all of a sudden I hear "PPSSSSTT" so of course I look up even though I wasn't really expecting it to be anyone for me and Esther was standing there, all dressed up in a cute dress and high heals since she's so classy. I was so excited to have her there and she was so amazed at how many young people were in the church! I hope all the youth back home realize how special they are! And I hope they realize the example that they are to others!
Yesterday, we had another area day. This time, we parked the car and walked for our area day. It's pretty funny how what would take 5-10 minutes to drive, takes 25-30 minutes to walk. The area seems so much bigger when you're walking it. But it gave us the chance to be able to talk to a lot more people. I love the people that I get to meet here! The first person we ran into was George. George is this cute little old, catholic man. He was working in his garden and we asked if we could help. He declined but he let us go look at his backyard that he'd landscaped all by himself. He put in a fountain and named it "Lake Lisa" after his wife. He was such a friendly little man. We talked a little about what we did as missionaries and he still seemed uninterested so we walked on. We realized that we'd taken the wrong street so we had to walk all the way back up and we stopped to talk to some people across the street from George. They brushed us off and sent us off on our way (not too surprising) but as we passed George's house he said "Did those idiots give you the cold shoulder?" haha one day missionaries will get to him! Hopefully I got to plant a seed.
Then later on in the day, we ran into this girl. Her name is Angie. We talked to her for a few minutes and got to know her, then started talking about what we do as missionaries and she started to tear up and said "You know... it's such a coincidence that I ran into you right now. I work from 2 am- 10 am and then I'm usually in bed by 5 but I felt like I needed to come out and check the mail and I ran into you.. It's just interesting that it all worked out this way because I just found out that my dad has cancer." She asked us to pray for him and we had the opportunity to talk to her a little bit about the plan of salvation and forever families. I feel so bad that for so long, I took that knowledge that I have of forever families for granted.. I don't know what I would do if I didn't know that I could have my family forever.
Never take your testimony for granted. There are people who would LOVE to know what you know! Cherish that testimony and have the courage to share it!! What's the worst that could happen from sharing it? People say they aren't interested? Ya... rejection doesn't always feel nice, but think about the alternative! What if they said they were interested in knowing more?? What if because of something YOU said, someone was able to come closer to their Savior? Just think about that!
Anyway! I hope everything is going well back home! I love you all and hope you have a great week! LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Miracles & Blessings

How is it possible for time to go by so quickly? It doesn't seem real that time can go so fast! But, another week has come and gone and there's really nothing we can do about it! Thank you everyone for the many prayers that are sent this way! They make a huge difference!
We've seen some great miracles this week! One of the simple ones happened just last Wednesday. We were leaving one of our training meetings and I got the feeling that we needed to take the freeway instead of the back roads, which we never do because it's bad on miles. But right as soon as I got that thought, Sister Andrus said "I feel like we need to take the freeway tonight." So we did and didn't think much of it. Well as we were getting closer to our apartment, we were passed by about 10 cops who were flying down the road, lights and sirens and all that jazz. That was really weird, but we found out the next day that there had been a shooting in the area that we would've driven through that night! And who knows what would've happened, I'm sure the Lord would've protected us, but because we followed the promptings of the spirit, we avoided the situation all together!:)
Yesterday, we had an area day so we got to spend the whole day in our area rather than going from the sites to our area for the last hour or so of our day. We had a lesson planned with this less active named earl. The elders in our area had talked to us a little about him and made him seem like he was the most depressing man in the world. Well we get to his apartment with our cute RM sister in the ward, sister Marino, and we knocked on his door. He took a minute to answer the door because he's really sick and can barely walk. That's why he can't come to church. But he was SOO thrilled to see us! We had such a great talk about hope and faith and he absolutely loves sister missionaries! He could talk for hours about the sisters that converted him in 2004. It was amazing how I went in expecting him to be a certain way because of things that someone else had told me, but reality was much different! I've now learned to NOT have an opinion made about people based on other people's words. We have to make up our own minds about what we think and expect and believe! The Lord didn't judge the woman who had commited adultery but he said "let he that is perfect cast the first stone." And he, being perfect, didn't cast a stone. There's more to people than those things that we hear and we never know how inaccurate those judgements are until we find out for ourselves! SO: Refrain from gossip! It doesn't do ANYONE any good!
Then we also got to meet with one of our new investigators! He just married a member so he's pretty much GOLDEN! As we talked about the restoration it all just clicked in his brain! He kept saying "well of course Joseph would need AUTHORITY from God. We can't do anything unless we have authority." and He was totally into the priesthood and he LOVES the Book of Mormon. He was like "why WOULDN'T we need another testament of Christ? That just makes sense." He's so great so hopefully we'll really get him to progress and take those steps needed for baptism.
We had zone conference this last week which was SUPER uplifting! What a blessing to spend time with so many wonderful missionaries and our fantastic mission President and his wonderful wife! They're such a blessing to this mission! Before we left, President, who's this super tall, always happy and smiling, super friendly man, puts his hand on my shoulder and says "sister Nield, Always remember to be happy." Something so simple has made a big impact on me. ALWAYS remember to be happy. People are a lot more likely to talk to you if you're smiling. There are times when I get frustrated, but then I remember: ALWAYS remember to be happy. And it turns everything around. So this week, Remember that happiness is a choice and remember to be happy!:)
Love Sister Nield

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lessons Learned

One of the most frequent questions I've gotten the last week is what I've learned since being here! Wow, that's a loaded question!
The number one thing that I've learned since I've been here is that Christ's atonement is so much more personal than I ever knew it was! I knew it was personal and I knew that He knew me and loved me, but I've never had a stronger relationship with my Savior than I do right now. He's been able to help me see how to help these people! His atonement provides that knowledge because He's been there and He's felt what they feel! He just wants them to come to Him. I knew coming on a mission would be hard work, but I thought that having a solid testimony would make it easier. What a rude awakening to realize that my so-called strong testimony needed a lot more strength. And man, being in these sacred places has really added to that testimony that I have!
I've never had to rely on Christ more than I have here in New York! I have to rely on Him to help me make my teaching powerful and clear so that all these people that I meet can FEEL the truthfulness of this gospel. I have to rely on Him to make sure that my testimony is where it needs to be so that when I have to constantly bear testimony to all these people that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. That through him and the restored priesthood, we have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I never knew how much I needed to rely on Him.
But now I know! Christ has become my best friend. He's never left my side!
I feel the love that He has for all these people that I get to meet with. WOW!! There is nothing more powerful than feeling that Christ-like love for these people who don't even know that love is there! And to feel that love for people who push your buttons to the limit, Who frustrate you because they don't keep commitments, who can't seem to grasp the concept that we aren't just asking them to do these things just to do them. To feel the love for them despite those frustrations is the most miraculous thing I've ever experienced!
This week has been a really good week! We've been able to see some miracles here in Irondequoit. We met a Jehovah's Witness who wanted to meet with us, so we've been preparing for that. But we've also been trying to meet with members in the ward to get to know them all. We were planning on going to visit with this one sister after church sunday, but she was sick and we didn't know what which member we wanted to see instead. All of a sudden, this cute senior sister comes up to us and starts talking about how she was a Jehovah's Witness for 25 years. Out of no where she brings this up! WHAT A MIRACLE!!:) so we got to talk to her after church to learn a bit more about JW's and it was super useful!
Today, A bunch of us sisters are going to Nick Taho's. It's a place here in Rochester. They have a local food called a garbage plate. It doesn't sound too appetizing from the name, but I've heard they're actually super good so I'm super excited to go get one! You'll have to look them up!:)
i was reading a talk by Elder Holland today because he'll be coming to the mission next month (right before my birthday!!:) ). It's called laborers in the vineyard! It's a super good talk and everyone should read it! But I'll just share a thought from it! "However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don't have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have NOT traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ's Atonement shines." Talk about powerful!:) Elder Holland is such an amazing speaker! That quote applies to everyone! Christ's atonement is there for each of you on such a personal level that I can't even explain it! USE IT!!!! There is no more beautiful gift than the gift that Christ provided for us! Don't let that gift go to waste!!!
I love you all and hope this week is fabulous!!
Love Sister Nield

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Another Week in Irondequoit

Hello everyone! Another week has come and gone! I can't believe how fast time is flying! It blows my mind!
This week wasn't the most eventful, but it was still a great week! So Sister Andrus and Sister Kasparian (one of the Webster sisters) are the sister trainers and so they have to go on exchanges with other sisters, and normally they'd be companions, but since they're both training me and sister Peterson, they do exchanges and sister Peterson and I will be together! So this last Friday, sister Peterson and I went out into Webster (about 10-15 minutes outside Irondequoit) and Sister Andrus had sister Sumsion with her in Irondequoit. They went and saw Mary (one of our progressing investigators). Finally Mary said she wants to get baptized!!!! That's great news right?! haha well... She says she wants to get baptized next spring! Oh my goodness! haha She feels like she has to know EVERYTHING before she's baptized, so we've got to help her realize how important baptism is and why faith is important! But we're making progress with her! That's always good!
The leaves are starting to change colors out here! The trees must be confused cause it is NOT fall yet! But honestly, they aren't even completely changed yet and I can already say, there is NOTHING more beautiful than a Western New York fall! The colors are GORGEOUS!! I'll have to send pictures once the sacred grove is completely changed! It's gorgeous!!
We went to see Esther this week! It had been a couple weeks since we'd been able to see her! She is so sweet! She was telling how much she missed us and how she is always so happy when we come talk to her! Well as we were leaving, she decided that she really didn't like the bags we were using to carry all our stuff so she runs upstairs and comes down with all these expensive purses! She would not let us leave until we took a new bag to put our stuff in! And these are all designer bags! She had Coach and Gucci and a whole bunch of other super expensive bags! They were more expensive than any article of clothing I've ever gotten in my life! But she would not let us leave without one! We kept saying we couldn't take them but she was very adamant that we need better bags to carry our things in. So needless to say, I now have a coach bag!
My spiritual thought for this week is a quote by President Uchtdorf. He said: "There is a beauty and clarity that comes from simplicity that we sometimes do not appreciate in our thirst for intricate solutions." We often times make life a lot more complicated than it needs to be. As we turn to our Heavenly Father, He has a simple plan set up for each of us and He'll be more than willing to lead us down that path if we put our trust in Him! So put your trust in Him. Take the paths that He has set for you. Remember that He can see the whole map when we can only see down the street!
Love you all! Have a great week!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Door Bells and Wedding Bells

Well what a week!
This week we were in the sites a ton, so we didn't get the chance to be in our area too much, but Wednesday we had an area day. We had planned out 13 people to drop in on since we didn't have a lesson planned for Wednesday and then we planned to knock on doors around these people while we were there if things fell through. We thought that should be great considering we only had about 6 hours. Well we start driving around (I'm the driver now, so be prepared for me to come home driving like a New Yorker). By the end of the 6 hours, we had rang the doorbell of EVERY SINGLE person's home that we'd planned for and then quite a few more doorbells. Want to know how many people we got to talk with? Take a guess.... You'll never guess... 1. 1 person in 6 hours and over 20 doors. (I guess 2 people if we count the catholic lady that yelled at me) haha I was so frustrated! I wanted so badly to share the gospel with all of these people and the only person that we really got to talk to was this really sweet lady in an assisted living center. Haha so the area has been pretty slow lately. Not too fun, but we're working our hardest to pick up the work!
Then Friday, we got to go to the wedding of a girl that sister Andrus had met at the beginning of her mission! It was such a beautiful wedding! I love temple weddings! That was a great way to spend our morning! It was super neat because none of the brides family is LDS and the grooms family is from Tonga so he only had a couple people there so sister Andrus and I were 2 of about 8 people in the sealing room. Quite a bit different than our family weddings, right Ma?
One thing that Sister Andrus and I have really been focusing on lately is recognizing spiritual promptings and acting on them and also trying to recognize miracles that happen in our daily work. My biggest miracle for the week was at the Smith Farm. I was giving a tour to this mom, dad, and son. He was about 17-18 so I asked if he was going on a mission. His response was a little hesitant and he said "I've thought about it but i'm not sure yet." I felt prompted to tell him the story of how I wasn't originally planning on going on a mission. I told him that I was planning on playing volleyball in college but as I prayed about it, it didn't feel right and I  just felt like I needed to come on a mission. And I told him that I miss volleyball SOOO much, but I would never do it any differently. His parents were looking at me with dropped jaws. Come to find out, he was debating on whether to play volleyball in college or not. He's from Pennsylvania and plays on a high school and club v-ball team and wanted to play in college. So I got to talk to him about my experience, and my story and He now wants to go on a mission.:) I never knew that my story could affect someone so much! After not getting to see anyone on our area day, it felt nice to know that I was still fulfilling my purpose as a missionary.:)
Always look for miracles in your lives! They happen every day! Don't let a miracle go unnoticed!:) I love you all!
Sister Nield


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Transfer Week

So do you think I'm getting transferred? We got calls this Sunday night and I'm staying in Irondequoit! YAY!! I love this area! I love the ghettos, the people, it's so green here... Just everything! I'm excited to stay here for at least one more transfer and then we'll see what happens in another 6 weeks!
To start off this email, I want to start by giving a message to Mamma and Dad:
THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH for teaching me how to clean! I'm appalled at some of the homes that I've seen! And living with the 3 other sisters, I've really seen how important it is to know how to clean, and be organized! So thank you so much for making me do all those chores that I always hated! I now know that it wasn't just a form of torture, but it has helped out a ton being here and it'll help out a ton when I have my own home!
So this week was pretty fun. Sisters Andrus and Kasparian (one of the sisters who lives with us) are STL's so they had to go to a meeting this weekend and so sister Peterson (who came out with me from the MTC) had an area day by ourselves! We were both super nervous because a lot of our time has been spent in the sites so we haven't had an area day without our trainers before. So I had to drive the car. It felt so weird getting behind the wheel! But OH MY GOODNESS! We had so much success! The Lord really can work miracles with the weak and simple! As long as we're humble enough to let Him take over, he can work miracles through us! So we only had 2 hours in the area because of our district meeting and our studies but in that 2 hours, we contacted 5 people and got 4 return appointments! For this area, that's really great!
Then this weekend, Sister Andrus and I get to go to a wedding in the temple. This girl that she had met at the beginning of her mission that was a recent convert is getting married on Friday, so last transfer, our temple trip was her endowment session and this transfer it's her wedding!:) I'm super excited!
The Irondequoit Elders had a baptism on Friday and Esther was supposed to come to that, but she called about an hour before and told us that she couldn't make it because of some things that came up with her daughter! That was super sad! She's so prepared though! I'm so excited to see her again!
Yesterday was a really great day! Sister Andrus and I have a TON of fun together! We got done with our shift at the Smith Farm/ Sacred Grove and we were heading home and we saw one of the senior couples taking a walk up the road. So we thought we'd be funny and drive up behind them and honk the horn. So we did. Well, Elder Draper about jumped out of his pants! I about peed my pants from laughing so hard! Sister Andrus was crying from laughing so hard. Sister Draper didn't even jump but Elder Draper about died! haha We were laughing so hard for the full hour that we were driving home! I got super lucky with my companion! We have a lot in common and we work really well together!
Well, I love you all! Hope you have a good week!
Love Sister Nield