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

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