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

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