Well. Week #1 in Canandaigua = WONDERFUL! All the great things that I've heard about it are absolutely 100% true! The ward is amazing, the people are amazing. Change is always pretty scary for me, but it turns out to always be a good thing. I miss Amherst with all of my heart, but I also love Canandaigua!
Sister Hall and I work really well together! We both have a great desire to work hard and see the miracles that come from that! This last week was full of meeting lots of new people! This has been the first time that I've been new to an area that my companion isn't new. Sister Hall got transferred in the transfer before me, so she's been able to help me to get to know the people and members!
We got to meet with one of the less active families in the ward, the Labombards. Oh my goodness, I LOVE that family! There are 4 kids in the home and 2 of them are the strength of the family! Patrick is a senior in high school and he's planning on going on a mission after he graduates this year. Thank goodness for the other young men in the ward who've been great friends to him and helped motivate him to go to seminary every morning. Then there's Elizabeth. She's a freshman in high school right now and I had the chance to sit down and talk with her and get to know her better. She decided recently that she also wants to go on a mission. Sister Labombard amazes me. She hasn't been to church in awhile, but she wants the church for her kids. She wants them to have the happiness that comes from the gospel, and it's been amazing for her kids to recognize that in her. 2 of the 4 kids have responded pretty well to her desire for them to have the gospel.
It got me thinking this week about the influence that parents have on their children. Parents typically see the influence (good or bad) that their children's friends have on their lives, but rarely see the influence (good or bad) that THEY have on their children's lives. Yes, I will agree that friends play a huge role in the attitudes and behaviors of kids, but I will argue that the biggest influence is in the home. Friends come and go throughout the years, but, in most situations, parents remain the same!
I thought about the stripling warriors in the Book of Mormon and how impacted Helaman was by the influence that these young men's parents, especially mothers, had on them. He said: "Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers new it." I am so grateful for my parents and the things they've taught me. For helping me to know the importance of the Gospel and for helping me to understand the role of the Savior in my life! I don't know what it's like to be a parent, but I've seen, especially on my mission, the affect that a parent can have on their children without even realizing it. If you're a parent, never underestimate the influence you have. Even if you're not a parent, never underestimate the influence you have.
"Nothing will bring greater joy and success than to live according to the teachings of the gospel. Be an example; be an influence for good." --N. Eldon Tanner
I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Love, Sister Nield
P.S. I'll be off Facebook for a couple months, so keep me updated on what's going on!:)