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

Monday, January 26, 2015

Spoonful of Sugar

I am constantly amazed at how much our Heavenly Father loves us! He is SO aware of each of us and everything that we're going through and will bless us with exactly what we need, exactly when we need it (and from what I've learned, not a moment sooner).
This last week was so full of miracles and happy moments and my heart is so full of gratitude! This story starts the first Sunday of January. We had a lesson in relief society about reaching our potential through change (kind of fitting for New Years right?) Well at the end, the teacher handed out a piece of paper and all it said was "One Little Word". On that paper we were supposed to write down a word that we wanted to work on for the year. Some people put faith, others patience, others scripture study. I put a lot of thought into it, since in the past I've basically sucked at new years resolutions, and I decided that the word I wanted to work on was "sacrifice". Since then I've studied sacrifice in the scriptures, read talks on it, etc. I've even picked a theme scripture for the year -- Omni 1:26. Ever since I've been working on sacrifice, I've felt like the Lord keeps putting situations in my path in which I have to sacrifice something. I've tried to have a good attitude about it, knowing that when we sacrifice things, it usually means something better is around the corner. 
A couple weeks ago, we sacrificed time in our area to go do exchanges in Dansville and Gowanda, but it didn't really feel like a sacrifice because we got to spend so much time with those wonderful sister and to help them in their area. We saw miracles! But since then, things have been pretty slow in our area. We've had to sacrifice dropping people who aren't progressing in hopes that the Lord will provide more people to teach, but it just didn't feel like it was happening! I kept thinking of my word, Sacrifice. Sacrifice: to sacrifice is to give up something we value for the sake of something of greater worth.
I felt like my sacrifice was enough. I felt like I'd given all I could to the Lord, but I was wrong. I had made the sacrifices but I needed to keep working hard. Sister McLaren and I work so hard everyday, but I was just expecting new investigators to just fall into our laps. Haha... if only it were that easy. And just because we were working hard didn't mean we could affect the agency of those we were talking to. We kept working so hard to contact as many people as we could in one day and to see how many people we could meet.
Like I said earlier, the Lord blesses us when we need it most and not a second sooner. Last week was such a miracle!:) Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were slower. We'd had great lessons with Tonya, Eugene, and we'd been trying really hard to meet with a few members of the ward to teach them something and ask who they knew that we could stop in and see. Thursday, we taught 4 lessons in 2 1/2 hours just by contacting member referrals and trying other people in the area.
Thursday night we were trying to find the house of one of the member's friends and there were two men on the street. We started talking to them, but they were in the middle of a business conversation so one of them gave us the cold shoulder and told us to try his neighbor Steve. My first thought by his tone of voice was "this is a joke." But we tried it anyway. So we knock on Steve's door and start talking to him and after the first thing he said i thought "Yep.. this really is a joke." He kept talking about how corrupt organized religion is and how God doesn't want it to be like that! Something he said made me laugh on the inside! He said "Men can get closer to God by praying in the woods than in a church building!" haha in my head I said "little do you know your right. I know a boy who went out to a forest to pray when he was 14 years old and he was called to be the prophet of the restoration of the Lord's church." We kept testifying that we know that our message is true and talked to him a little about prophets and after a minute he gave us a funny look and told us to come in. So we went in and taught him the restoration and he REALLY liked the idea of prophets! He took a copy of the Book of Mormon and said he'd read it and we're meeting with him again tomorrow. 
We met a lady named Alison. She and her husband are looking for a church for their family and she said we could come back because "who knows. Maybe this could be the one."  We met Nicole whose mom just passed away and wants us to talk to her about the Plan of Salvation. She wants to know like we do that she can be with her mother forever. We met Melissa who is getting into family history.
My favorite miracle though! We were having dinner at one of the less actives in the ward. His name is Brother Candino. He's the sweetest, most Italian man I've ever met in my life, but he got pretty offended and hasn't been to church since. But he loves the missionaries. He calls himself the spoiler (that's a self given nickname haha). He invites us over for dinner every now and then. We were over for dinner and we've had to be really bold with him lately and basically told him through mormon messages that he needs to let go of his pride and come back to church. I can't count on 2 hands the amount of times he's told us no. He knows the church is true, he just can't let go of his hurt. Last week we had left him Alma 34 to read (all about not procrastinating the day of our repentance). As we were in the middle of talking about it, his neighbor comes over to bring back a pot. So Bro Candino invites him in and we got to teach him. Now we have a return appointment with Anthony and his girlfriend and her daughter.:) Brother Candino was able to bear his testimony, which was really powerful! And one of our recent converts was able to bear her testimony as well! That experience must have been really good for Brother Candino because yesterday at church we were talking to the bishop about people and families we wanted to take with us to visit him and all of a sudden we see brother Candino walk in. BROTHER CANDINO CAME TO CHURCH!!! He hasn't been in so long and it was such a miracle to see him there! I about had a heart attack when I saw him! That was the best surprise I've ever had!
Our sacrifices really do make a difference! The miracles that come from our sacrifices are like spoonfuls of sugar to help the medicine go down. The Lord is aware of everything that we do and He will bless us IN HIS OWN TIMING if we do His will! Sometimes we even have to come to terms with the fact that the blessings may not come the way we expect or want or in the timing we expect or want. But I know that our Heavenly Father knows better than we do, what we need and when we need it! All he asks of us is to obey Him! We definitely get the better end of the bargain.
 Love you all! Hope you have a great week!
Sister Nield


Monday, January 19, 2015


Wow! This week has been so busy!! I can't believe how fast it went.. I'm seriously so lost on how it could possibly already be Monday. I'll never understand the concept of time. Last week I kept getting the days mixed up, thinking that really it was supposed to be Wednesday when it was Thursday (except it happened every day of the week). It absolutely amazes me that a week can fly by without me realizing it, but also that 10 minutes can feel like an eternity when it's 8 o'clock at night, it's snowing, and it's -10 without adding wind chill. What normal person goes outside when it's that cold? Missionaries...
Last week we really only had a half pday because we drove down to Dansville to do exchanges with the sisters down there. Sister hunter (my MTC companion) is one of the sisters down there right now and I got to do exchanges with her!:) Sister McLaren and I prayed for a long time trying to figure out who needed to be with who and it turned out that sister hunter and I NEEDED to be together! Aside from the fact that we were able to help each other with some of the difficulties we've both been facing lately, it was so cool to see how much we've both grown as missionaries. Haha there have been MAJOR improvements in our teaching since we've been in the field. :) Dansville felt like a little piece of home. It's a little farm town, with lots of fields, probably more cows than people, and hills (it's the closest thing to mountains that I've seen in 7 months). The only things that I had heard about Dansville was that EVERYONE has cats, and you'll never leave an appointment without some kind of animal hair on your clothing. The rumors were true haha. We saw one guy who had 2 dogs, 4 cats, 3 birds, 2 gerbles, and a bearded dragon (obviously all the hair came from the bearded dragon). There's another lady in their area who has 26 German Shepards not including the 16 puppies they have right now. They have lots of fun service projects!:)
Sister hunter and I had a super cool miracle and it was such a tender mercy to me! We went to see 2 of their less actives and both didn't show up, so we had all this time so we decided to go tracting in a part of their area that they don't go to much. We came to this one house and this little old man opens the door. My first thought was "that looks like grandpa Nield." Then we started talking to him and I asked what his name was. You'll never guess.. Carl!! So I told him that's my grandpas name. And he asked if it was with a c or a k so I had to explain that both grandpas are named Carl. One with a c and one with a k. We started talking about families and he started bawling. His wife and his 2 daughters all died within a couple months of each other last year. So we talked about the plan of salvation and he wants the sisters to come back! Right as we left, there was a penny on the ground. Grandpa was there. :)
Then we made our way to Gowanda that night! (Slumber party 2 nights in a row!) I was super excited to go to Gowanda! Part of their area is part of the Cattaraugus Indian reservation and I've wanted to serve there since I got to the mission and I finally got to spend a day there! Sister Petersen is one of the sisters down there!:) it was so good to see her since she was basically my step-companion our first 2 transfers. I did exchanges with her companion, Sister Williamson, though, and once again we NEEDED to be together! She's been going through some things that I had been going through a couple months ago so I was able to help her and she was able to teach me a lot! I feel so lucky to be a sister training leader because I get to go on all these exchanges and learn SO MUCH from all these sweet sisters! We got home Wednesday night around 10. So we had a long couple of days! Full of miracles though!
Then we had zone meeting on Thursday and sister McLaren and I are the only sisters in the whole zone. Haha so for our training we had to find a way to keep all the elders entertained. Haha we used treasure maps and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Needless to say, we had a very captivated audience and we're now the favorite sisters in the mission. No big deal.
The best thing I learned this week is to BREAK the RULES. I know that sounds bad, but not to break the rules of the mission or the commandments but to break the rules that we set for ourselves. I've heard the phrase "oh that's just how I am. It won't change" more times on my mission than ever before. I've even been guilty of that. "Oh this area is slow, we'll only get ___ lessons this week because that's what it is on a normal week.." This week I wanted to really push myself and Sister McLaren. We were out of our area for more than half the week because of exchanges and meetings and 6 hours of church. But we set really high goals anyway, knowing that we could accomplish them even if it's not typical. All it takes is some hard work and dedication. The only thing stopping you from reaching your potential is YOU. Don't set limits for yourself because that keeps you from living up to the potential that our Heavenly Father sees in you. Break the rules; let yourself be willing to change; don't set limits for who you can or can't become.
Have a great week everyone! Love you all! 
Sister Nield 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Building Zion

Well folks.. Another Week has come and gone. I don't have a ton of time to email today because we're getting ready to go do exchanges down in Dansville and Gowanda. There are so many perks to being a sister training leader! I get to spend a day being companions with someone totally different and I get to learn from them and serve them and help them in anyway I can!
A lot of good things have been happening lately! Sister McLaren and I made a good enough impression I guess because the Williamsville YSA branch, that meets in the same building as the Amherst ward, asked to have us serve with them as well! The other day we were finishing up a
lesson and noticed as we were walking away that we had a missed call from President. No matter how many times I see his name pop up on the phone, it still manages to give me a heart attack. When we called him back, he told us about a meeting we needed to go to for the stake and how we should just let them know that we are serving in the Clarence area and in the YSA and that we'll be doing exchanges with Dansville and Gowanda. At this point we had no idea that we were actually going to be serving in the YSA but as a companionship we had talked about "what if".. Then President so nonchalantly says that we'll be serving there. What a great blessing that I get to serve in 2 different units! Haha It makes sundays a little complicated though. Ward council from 8:30 - 10ish amherst sacrament mtg at 10, after sacrament we have to do splits. one of us goes to gospel principles and relief society and the other goes to branch correlation and branch council, then the branch starts at 1:30 then sunday nights we have ward correlation. As if Sundays weren't already the most stressful day of the week, now its basically ALL meetings!
We do have quite the YSA miracle though. We had taught a lesson to this girl who was YSA age. She's an aid for one of our members in the Amherst ward. We started by teaching Sister Stebbins and then taught her aid the restoration, she really liked it and said she wants to start building a relationship with God. We were also trying to figure out how we would hand her over to the YSA elders and then we found out that we get to be YSA as well! HUGE miracle because Friday night we went to see her again and we started teaching her the plan of salvation and she kept asking these great questions and she asked us how we knew that this was all true. The spirit was so strong in that meeting, I will never be able to explain it! And we committed her to be baptized on February 14! Tonya is such a miracle for me! She really wants to know if it's true and it's so great that she works with Sister Stebbins so often because sister stebbins wants to read the Book of Mormon with her and pray with her. She has been such a powerful member missionary! Please keep her in her prayers! She really needs the gospel in her life!
I'm sorry that I don't have a ton of time! But now you at least know I'm alive. No need to email the mission Pres mama!;) haha Love you all! have a GREAT week!
Love Sister Nield

Monday, January 5, 2015


Hi there!:)
I'm going to start this week with one of my absolute favorite moments from my mission! Brother Eugene Taylor WENT THROUGH THE TEMPLE!!! I can't even explain to you how hard I prayed for that to happen! With his health, I was praying that he would have the strength to be able to make it that morning. Sister McLaren and I got a ride down with one of the families in the ward and the moment we pulled into the parking lot, i knew that everything was going to be ok. It was such a special day. Eugene was baptized 30-40 years ago and went inactive shortly after his wife died 30 years ago. Then about 2 years ago, a wonderful sister missionary knocked on his door. He yelled at her because he thought she was a JW and she gave him a little sass because that's how she is and he decided he liked her and let her in. She came out for Christmas and for the session so I was able to meet her and spend some time with her. She said something good can come from my sass, cause it happened for her. :) WAHOO!!! Eugene's session was PACKED!! There are only 42 seats in the room and there were about 50 people there. I got to go through for Eugene's grandmother and what a special experience that was!:) After the session we went into the sealing room and waited for him. We were waiting for a while and Bishop leaned over and said "they just walked in. The spirits are here." We got to watch as Eugene was sealed to his wife, his parents, and his grandparents and Bishop was right! The spirits were there. My favorite part was watching Eugene's face as he was sealed to his wife. I've never seen a man so happy before. Except now he keeps talking about how he's ready to "go home" now. I'm not ready for him to do that. I was talking to Tairsa (the sister who found him after 30 years) about how I hope that I get to see someone that I teach go through the temple and she told me "Just treasure this moment, because you never know what will happen to the people you teach. I never thought Eugene would come back to church and I certainly never thought I'd be sitting in the temple for his endowment." I loved that! You never know what kind of seeds you plant and you never know when it's going to blossom. 
HAPPY NEW YEARS!!! Holidays don't exist as a missionary except Christmas... haha (they almost seem like a waste of time now.. sad.. I know) --Brother Hernandez who was a less active member of the ward was hospitalized a couple days before New Years. His heart stopped and his brain function declined, so for New Years Eve Sister McLaren and I went and sat with Sister Hernandez at the hospital. She's been having such a hard time because he's non responsive. Since only 2 people are allowed in to see him at a time, she told us to just go back and see him. It was amazing because we were just talking to him. He's not awake and not responsive but we just talked to him and I pulled out my Book of Mormon and read Alma 40:23 to him and his eyes started to flutter and he started moving his arm. Then we sang the last two verses to "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" and he just kept moving and as we said a prayer he had his hands all the way over his head. He knew we were there:) That was a sweet tender mercy.
One of the many things that I've learned as a missionary is that there has never been anything that has made me as happy as sharing the gospel. BUT there has also never been anything that has broken my heart so much. Before my mission, I did as many things as I could to keep myself from being vulnerable so that I wouldn't get hurt. I wanted to avoid as much pain as possible and kept my heart pretty reserved except on a few occasions. I learned pretty quickly, once getting into the mission field that that wasn't going to give me any success. I had to open my heart WIDE OPEN so that I could love these people the way our Heavenly Father loves these people, which is GREAT! I've never felt so much love for people I didn't know. As a missionary, the only way to touch these people is to give your love so freely, the way the Savior did (I'm still working on having more Christ-like love).. Having that kind of love for people is a spectacular thing. I've made friends that I'm going to have eternally. The only downfall is that it makes it very easy to have my heart broken.  And when it hurts it REALLY HURTS!!:( If you couldn't already tell, i may have had a heart breaking story this week. Long, sad story short: we went and saw this lady, she was looking for religion, we taught her, she was acting super interested, set up a return appointment on her own, gave us her number and asked us to text her good passages from the Book of Mormon. The next day when we texted her passages, she tells us to never contact her again, delete her info, etc (dang agency). Talk about tearing someone's heart out, ripping it to pieces, throwing it on the ground, and stomping on it. I didn't get it.. And if I'm being honest, I may have had a Laman and Lemuel moment.. I was so frustrated that Sister McLaren and I have been working so hard and we've been working so well together, I've been exactly obedient and it just felt like NOTHING was working out! Satan started working his magic and was making me feel like what I'd done wasn't enough. Even though I'd done my best, it wasn't enough. That's a very discouraging feeling that doesn't just happen on a mission. What more could I be doing? Where was I falling short? One of the greatest things I learned from that was "Ok... so maybe there IS more that could've been done. But I did my best, and just because there's more to be done, doesn't mean that what we've done isn't enough." Sometimes life can be overwhelming and we feel like our efforts aren't enough but your efforts are enough. ALWAYS! If you rely on the Lord and do your best, your efforts will always be enough. It also taught me that miracles don't cease to be miracles if the next day it doesn't work out the way you planned. She was still a miracle (again... dang agency)
Last story which is tied for #1 on my funniest and on my least favorite mission moments lists. Friday we went in for our state inspection on the mom-mobile. All was well and we were cleared to go. Not even 2 hours later, the charging system (battery) light comes on on the dashboard. We called Elder Clement, the elder in the mission office in charge of cars, and told him about it. By this time, it was too late to take it back into the shop and he wanted us to take it to the dealership to be checked out because of the warrantee and it was closed for the night. Saturday was full of places to be and people to see so we couldn't take it in then so he told us to wait it out and try monday, it should be ok until then. (This is when being an hour and a half away from the mission office isn't fun...) Sunday, we drive it to church and it starts freaking out on the way there but we made it safely! Along the way, there were probably 2 or 3 other lights that came on... After church we decide that we're going to go see some people but we texted the Zone Leaders to make sure they had jumper cables just in case it died while we were somewhere. We make it about 4 miles down the road and it starts freaking out again so we pull off onto a side street and sit for a minute. Then the Car dies..... It dies... So we text the Elders so that they knew and could come help us. Now... A good missionary would use this as a missionary opportunity right? Of course. HAHA guess what street we were on? The street we'd tracted the day before and had MANY people who were NOT interested. It was also the street where sister McLaren and I slipped on black ice, I hyper-extended my knee, and she hit her tail bone pretty hard. In 24 hours, I've never hated one street so much. The elders came and jump started us and we didn't feel safe going to see anyone so we decided to follow them to the church. Right as we're about to turn into the church parking lot, 3 other lights including the brake light came on (our dashboard looked like a Christmas tree) and the mom-mobile broke down in the middle of the parking lot. WOW! That was such a miracle that it waited until we were safely in the parking lot and it taught me that the Lord doesn't just care about all these hundreds of thousands of people here in western NY but he cares about ME too! I sometimes forget that with how focused I am on the rest of His children but it was a good reminder. I also think He was trying to teach me humility because I Really didn't want to ask for help haha The Lord works in mysterious ways  Hahaha And it's a good story that i can laugh about now.
Hope y'all have a cheerful week! LOVE YOU
Love Sister Amanda Nield