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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Can or Can't

So  a lot of things have happened in the last week. Way too much to even talk about!
It all started with last p-day when we went to the race tracks with an investigator that works there and we had a member come with us. We got to go see the horses and see what he does for work. We had so much fun and it was pretty nice to see horses again. I see as many cows here as I do in Utah, but it's been awhile since I've been able to be around horses. 
Friday was "Gathering in the Grove" for a whole bunch of different YSA groups in the North East area and up into Canada. I was serving at the Smith Farm and was able to take a bunch of them on tour and two different times I finished a tour and went back to have a few people from the Buffalo YSA waiting to say hi to me and one of them even brought me lunch! What a tender mercy to see them! I miss being in the YSA so much and I loved all of those people with my whole heart and it was so sweet that they thought to look and see where I was at to come visit me! 
We had a training from a couple people from the Missionary Department at our site meeting this last week. One of the things they talked about went along perfectly with the training that Sister Locher and I were preparing for our zone meeting. They said "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten." We've been thinking and praying for a while about what we were going to train about at zone meeting and I just kept feeling like we needed to train on having the faith to succeed. There have been multiple times in my mission that I've heard many people say "Oh such and such an area is so slow.. that's just how it is. it can't change" or "This area has never reached this many new investigators in a week, so we can't do it." It's really bothered me. The word can't has been way over used and it's way over used in the world today! So we decided to train on having the faith to succeed! 
Who really gets to decide if we can or can't do something anyway? There is nothing that is impossible if we have the Lord's help. The word can't should be used as a challenge. This is HIS work and if we do it HIS way than we will be an instrument as HE hastens the work. We don't hasten the work, but we have to make ourselves available to be the instrument. That involves having faith in Him, that He can do all things and that we too can do all things with his help. It was a lot of fun. Our Zone meeting was held at the Peter Whitmer Farm (Who else gets to do that?) During our training we started by having 6 different challenges. They ranged anywhere from a three legged race, to hula hooping, to 50 pushups. And as we went through each of the challenges we'd read a scripture (I'll put the list of scriptures at the end). We let everyone get their wiggles out and after we talked about what we can do to have the faith to succeed. HOW we can have the faith in Christ to trust Him enough to do WHATEVER He asks. No matter how hard it may be, now matter how awkward it can get, no matter how much sense it makes to us. We have to let go of what we were and give ourselves more fully to have the faith to succeed. "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten." 
As we were preparing this training I thought of all the things that I've accomplished just in the last 11 1/2 months that wouldn't be possible without the Lord's help. The fact that I gave a training at all is a miracle. Public speaking has never been my forte but I've loved to see how ALL things are possible with the help of the Lord. Not just some things, not just certain things, but ALL things.
And what better way to end the Zone meeting to have a testimony meeting out in front of the Log home where the church was officially organized? I feel like I've been on a spiritual high for the last week! Every time I'm at one of these sacred places I feel like I'm in a dream. How did I get lucky enough to come here to serve the Lord? I'm so blessed!
I love you all and hope you have a great week!
And make time to look up:
  • Moroni 10:23
  • Moroni 7:33
  • Moroni 7:25
  • Alma 26:12
  • Jacob 4:9
  • Philipians 4:13
Love y'all
Sister Nield


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My Joy is Full

Oh what a week! The ups and downs of missionary work make this experience quite an emotional roller coaster! But it's so true that the greater sorrow we feel, the greater our capacity is to feel joy! I've seen both this week!
This Sunday, Sister Locher and I were getting everything prepared for Becky's baptism this weekend. We talked to the ward council to make sure she had home and visiting teachers, we talked about getting her involved with family history work so we can get her to the temple asap. And 20 minutes before church started, she texted to tell us she couldn't make it... She had to go to the ER for a pulled muscle in her back. Sister Locher and I were so broken hearted! We were so happy that she was going to be able to make it and we were teaching the lesson in sunday school and we were planning on introducing her to her visiting teachers. Satan has really been working so hard to keep her from getting baptized! We moved the date back a few weeks to make sure we can get her to come consistently. But it'll all work out! I've really learned to trust God's plan!
Since she wasn't able to go to church, she also wasn't able to go to the Nashville Tribute concert that night! So we found another one of our investigators to go with us and we rode up with a member who's leaving on her mission in a month and then met our investigator there! It was seriously like a dream come true for me!:) The Nashville Tribute Band is our missions favorite band, especially for their tribute to Joseph Smith! We had so much fun and it was a nice way to feel happy after being devastated earlier that day! 
Monday was another really happy day! We were able to do exchanges with the Geneva sisters and I was able to be with Sister Eyre, who I had done exchanges with in Gowanda when I was serving in Amherst. It was really cool for both of us to see the changes that we've both had over the last couple months! It's always fun getting to talk to the sisters about what they're favorite part of their mission has been and what they've learned! All these sisters are so wonderful and they set such a good example for me! I'm so glad that I get to learn from them! It's helped me to be a better missionary! 
As much as I love exchanges, I really love being sister Locher's companion! We have so much fun together and we're both praying that I don't get transferred! We've become such good friends and we just work so well together and it makes the work so much better when you can do it with your best friend! 
We had interviews with President yesterday. We talked a lot about how things have been going and he always knows exactly what to say! Whether it's to help me be motivated to be better, or to help me be happier, or whatever it is.
This week I've learned that even when things are frustrating and even when it can be extremely discouraging, that there are ALWAYS reasons to find joy. The Lord blesses us with so many tender mercies and with so many opportunities to find joy and happiness, it's just up to us to look for them. We can either be like the purple tulip who gets droopy really quickly, or we can be like the yellow tulip who's perky and happy. It all depends on where we focus our energy. Do we look for the things that frustrate us? Do we find ourselves being unable to focus on the positives? Or do we look for the good in all situations? I was reading in the Book of Mormon the other day and I was reading in one of my favorite chapters (Alma 26). Ammon and his brothers all went out to preach the gospel and along the way they all faced some pretty intense struggles, they were so depressed that they wanted to turn around and go home, but as they relied on the Lord, they were able to experience more joy than they knew was possible.
11 But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.
 12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boastof my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.
There may be hard times, but like Ammon says, "MY JOY IS FULL, YEAN, MY HEART IS BRIM WITH JOY, AND I WILL REJOICE IN MY GOD." Love you all and hope you have a great week!
Love Sister Nield


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mother's Day and the Middle of May

Holy Moly.... Every day I am just more and more amazed and shocked and sad that time just never seems to slow down! It feels like just yesterday I was skyping for Christmas and now I've already skyped for Mother's Day.
You can definitely tell that summer is on its way out here in Western New York. The humidity makes it feel like you're breathing water, the temperature has been in the 90s the last few days, we're getting huge thunder storms. It's wonderful! I love it here! And I'll take the 90 degree wheather over -35 any day! haha
Also the sites are really starting to pick up! We've been getting quite a few guests and it's only going to get busier and busier as the school year starts to wrap up and people start vacationing! I am so glad that I get to be here for the summer! I love being able to serve in these sacred places and to be able to talk to people about the wonderful things that happened here!
I had a really neat experience yesterday as we were serving at the Joseph Smith farm. It was about time for us to leave for the day and we had a lesson with Becky planned so I was getting pretty excited. And then this younger woman comes in all by herself. I greeted her and she said needed to use the restrooms. So we were about to leave and the senior elder that we were serving with started talking to her when she got out of the bathroom. She was on her way to Colorado. She was stationed at one of the military bases here in New York and was on her way to a different one in Colorado. As he was talking to her I just felt like I needed to go out and talk to her, so I did. We started talking and I found out she'd had a couple elders that had met with her twice before she left and she heard the sites were here and she really felt like she needed to stop in. So I offered to take her on tour. As we entered the log home, we talked about what she remembered from the Joseph Smith story and she'd remembered quite a bit. So we went out and stood on the back porch and I recited the first vision for her and she started to get tears in her eyes. I let the spirit sink in a little before asking how she felt. She talked about this peaceful feeling she was feeling and we told her it was the spirit. I then asked her what it would mean for her if this all was true. And she said "Everything... This would mean everything to me." I sent her out to the grove and she was so excited to pray about Joseph Smith in the place where Joseph knelt and said his prayer. These sites are so sacred and whether or not you're a member, they have the power to change lives and strengthen faith. I'm so blessed to get to serve here! 
After, we went to the Hill Cumorah and we had a lesson with Becky. We went through the baptismal interview questions with her. She's right on track for May 23!:) It was so great! One of the questions asks if she understands and is willing to make and keep the covenants made at baptism. A while ago, when talking about covenants I told her that we always get the better end of the deal with covenants, so when we asked her this questions she said "Well that's an easy question. Of course, plus like you said, we always get the better end of the deal" We really do. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much and is so excited to bless us! 
I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!
Love Sister Nield

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Prayers Are Answered

Every time I come to the library to email, I ask myself "How is it already P-day again?" I feel like I just emailed home and like there really haven't been any major changes since last week!
But good things are happening here in NY! Sister Locher and I are working so hard to keep Shortsville on fire even while we're at the sites! It's so fun to be able to share the gospel with one of your best friends! It makes the work so much more enjoyable! I'm pretty sure everyone thinks we're weird though because we just laugh... ALL THE TIME. We have so much fun!
We've been able to see Becky a couple times! I love her so much! She's such a great example of faith to me! She's been going through some super challenging times, but she's been staying so strong and she really relies on God with everything she has! I love listening to her pray because she just pours out her whole heart! Sometimes I feel like I've taken the power of prayer for granted because it's something that I've had my whole life.
We got to talk to Becky a little bit this week about the power of prayer and we talked a lot about how our Heavenly Father answers prayers. It was so fun to be able to look back on my life and to see all the different ways my prayers have been answered. Some took years to be answered. Some weren't answered the way I wanted them to be. And some were miraculous answers, but they've all been EXACTLY what I NEEDED at exactly the right time!
Sister Locher and I had a really funny story with prayer this week! Haha Yesterday we had a shift at the Book of Mormon Publication Site, so we finished our studies and walked out to the car. We start driving and we pull out onto main st Canandaigua and I see something move on the dashboard. It's safe to say my fear of spiders hasn't left me! This spider is the size of a quarter and its black, hairy, and has neon green fangs. I'm not kidding, it was seriously the ugliest thing I've seen in my life! So I'm trying not to have a heart attack, and sister Locher pulls out her water bottle to try to scare the spider so it won't come to my side of the car. We made it about ten minutes before the spider gets close enough to the windshield that the water bottle can't touch it and it scurries over to my side! At this point I'm hyperventilating. But it gets worse. It doesn't just stay on the dashboard, it crawls up by my window right above my head so I screamed and pulled over and jumped out of the car. I've never gotten out of a car so fast in my life. Sister Locher and I are both dying. She tries to kill it but it doesn't die. It falls onto the steering wheel and crawls inside! INSIDE THE STEERING WHEEL! As we're freaking out, this man pulls up in a golf cart and asks if we're ok! When we tell him it's a spider he chuckled and rolled his eyes a little and he definitely recognized us as missionaries because he said "Just pray about it!" haha Good answer...
I made sister Locher pray because I felt like it would be a little inappropriate for me to pray for something to die, so she prayed that it would stay in there until we got to the Grandin Building. So we get in the car and go to our shift. As we come out I'm trying to give myself the courage to get back in the car. There was no spider in site so we get in. I told sister Locher as I turned the car on, not to tell me if she sees the spider until we're parked so I don't cause an accident and as my hand goes to put the car in drive she yells WAIT! The Spider was on the handle! I about peed my pants and got a card and flicked it off and it was down by sister L's feet! haha You'd think her first instinct would be to step on it, but now she takes the Book of Mormon in her hands and smashes the spider! Haha We got some weird looks from the people in the parking lot, but I learned that the Book of Mormon can help in ALL aspects of our lives and that God hears and answers our prayers, no matter how little and insignificant they may be. :)
I love you all! And hope you have a wonderful week! Don't forget to pray!
Love Sister Nield