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

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Great Reason to Rejoice!

Ok.. So I'm apparently all disoriented on my days! I totally wasn't expecting P-day today until we started daily planning last night and I was like "Woah... when did that happen?" So it's safe to say the weeks just keep going by faster and faster. It's also really upsetting when people at the sites are ALWAYS asking how long I've been out and don't seem to be satisfied with the answer "a little over a year" so they have to ask the dang follow up question of "how long do you have left?" And when I tell them the answer is 99% of the time the same: "Oh.... you don't have to much longer" with an occasional add on from RMs "the last 6 months of my mission went by so fast..." I KNOW!! I KNOW IT GOES BY FAST! I don't need that reminder every day of my life!
So anyway! On to the week! Last week for P-day we went to hang out at Canandaigua Lake for our fun activity! It was so fun to be back in my old area and to get to walk around the lake for a bit! It was so pretty!
It's crazy how many senior couples are leaving!! We had two that left this week on the same day, so Sister Olsen and I were the head of the bubble brigade with some of the other senior couples who blew bubbles as they drove away. One of the couples was supposed to leave the day earlier and as we were serving at the Smith Farm, we saw them drive around the parking lot and go to leave, so we ran out and started running after them. When they didn't stop we rolled under the fence of the Farm (since climbing over would've been a bit harder in a skirt) and we chased them down the street to one of the other couples' home. With how fast I ran, I could probably be in the Olympics..
We met with Norma again! She is just the sweetest, little old lady! She's really struggling but every time she feels stressed, she reads from the Book of Mormon! When we saw her on Monday, she'd already read through Alma 11! I can't even believe here! And she always has the best questions! We're hoping one of the members of the ward will be able to get her a ride to church this week! She is just such an amazing seeker of truth!
But the GREATEST news for the week is that James is getting baptized on Saturday!!!:) On Sunday we had the craziest lesson with him! We had our Ward mission leader come with us and we were wanting to talk about some of the commandments but instead, after we followed up on his reading, our mission leader grabbed a sheet of paper and started talking about the line of the priesthood and how it was passed down from Adam. And he started talking about the temple and what happens inside. Thank goodness for the spirit because in my head I was like "What in the world is going on! When do I step in? This is WAY too much" But the spirit kept me from saying anything. After explaining the temple and the blessings there Brother Ward said "James, the Lord needs you here at the temple! The Lord needs someone like you, mature, with a sense of responsibility to hold the priesthood. So what do you need to do to get to the temple?" James: "Get baptized.." Bro Ward "So when do you want to get baptized?" James: "Well.. when can I?" WOW!!!!!!! We've been trying to set a date with him for the last 2-3 weeks! And all of a sudden he wanted to get baptized! He said he didn't work this weekend so we set the date for Saturday and he's all good to go! He has the interview tonight!!:) It's amazing because as we talked to James, he's just been waiting because he knows how big of a commitment it is to be baptized and he wants to make sure he's fully committed. And he's there!
My whole mission I thought that once I got a baptism, I would all of a sudden feel like a successful missionary. But now that I'm getting to see this baptism I realize that it had NOTHING to do with me! Sister Olsen and I worked with James, but he was converted by the spirit! It was all the Lord! The Lord prepared him and led us to him! It had NOTHING to do with me! A verse in Alma says "Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began;" How great reason we have to rejoice knowing that we have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives! How great reason we have to rejoice because of the blessings of the gospel! How great reason I have to rejoice to be a part of the Lord's work!
I love you all and I'm so grateful for the Love and support!
Have a great week! 
Sister Nield
P.S. pictures of Canandaigua Lake and my favorite fam from the Canandaigua ward at pageant!:)


Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Calm After the Storm

So Pageant is officially over. It was almost culture shock the day after it ended when we all of a sudden didn't have 3,000 people coming through the sites every day!
What a great miracle Pageant is though! Sister Olsen and I got to go a couple more times! We went Thursday night with Zoe (our 9 year old investigator) and her 6 year old brother Noah and their Mom! Oh they make me laugh! It was so fun to have Zoe see the Book of Mormon played out and to see her love for the people that she's been reading about! 
Then we went again Friday night as our free night for ourselves. It was so funny! We picked our seats and sat down. For about an hour or so before the show starts the cast members will go throughout the audience and share programs, a spiritual thought, and get referrals if people feel the desire to share them. As we sat down these to cast members who were both RMs start walking up to talk to us and then they see the name tags and their eyes get big and one was like "Oh... Sister Missionaries..." haha so we had them come share their spiritual message and as they left sister Olsen was like "They were totally going to hit on us until they found out we were sisters.." Sometimes I'm very grateful for the nametag!:) Of course as we were at pageant, we had to get salt potatoes! Salt Potatoes are basically the Western NY's own version of heaven. Then, NY's opposite of heaven is the mosquitos... and other bugs. Friday I got some weird bite on my foot and all of a sudden the next day it got pretty swollen... I HATE BUGS!!
Earlier Friday, we'd been serving at the Joseph Smith Farm.  Halfway through the shift, I was standing in the Log home, talking to guests as the other 3 sisters were outside talking to people and in walks this man and his wife and 3 daughters. They were wearing the cast shirt so I thought they must've been members of the cast. He looked SO familiar though... I just kept talking to them and after a minute I realize who he looks like and I looked at the nametags on their lanyards and realized "OH MY GOSH!! THIS IS ELDER DUBE FROM THE SEVENTY!!!" On the inside I was freaking out and about died, but of course on the outside I kept my cool and stayed calm and collected. I got to sit and talk to one of the two African American members of the Seventy. No big deal! haha
Ever since, things have been slowing down at the sites. It's been nice to spend more time in our area again! We've been meeting with Norma quite a bit and she's read through Jacob 5 in the Book of Mormon. That's her go-to when she's feeling stressed! It's amazing that she recognizes the peace that comes from the word of God!:) 
I love being a missionary! I love knowing that this message that I share can change lives! What a blessing it is to see people change as they come to know their Savior even better than they already did! I LOVE WHAT I DO!!!
How can so much happiness and heartache come from the same thing? I don't know but I'm sure grateful for it!
I love you all and am so grateful for your support! 
Love Sister Nield

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Pageant Week

I can't believe that pageant week is almost over! It's gone by way too fast but it's been a total blast, so that's great!
During pageant, we've been having the Buffalo Sisters staying with us during the weekends which means my baby Sister Rogers comes to stay with us, and the other night we had Sister Hunter and Sister Davis staying with us and we got to take them out on the roof to watch the fireflies! My favorite part is watching everyone as they struggle to get  back in the bathroom window! haha It looks hilarious! We have the greatest sisters in the world in this mission!:)
Last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we served at the Book of Mormon Publication Site for 10 hours each which was great! I love that site so much! On Friday we had a few buses and 2,220 people throughout our shift! Saturday we had even more. I love being able to meet all these people and to be able to show them how amazing these places are! While at the Publication Site we had to give 15 minute tours, which meant walking up about 85 stairs between 30-35 times per shift. All I'm saying is I better have thighs of steel after this last weekend. Haha 
Saturday night we got James to go to pageant with us!:) He loved it! And it was wonderful because we took him to meet President before it started. Once we got them all introduced this is how their conversation went: President: "So you're working with these wonderful sisters. Are you working towards baptism?" James: "I'm thinking about it..." President: "That's wonderful I would love to attend. When's your date?" James: "Uh... I don't have one. I'm still looking into it." President: "Well how am I supposed to put it on my calendar if I don't have a date?" haha Oh how I love President! And because he's such a nice man, James felt totally comfortable with that conversation:)
Then we've spent a lot of time at the Farms this week. Monday and Tuesday at the Smith Farm and Wednesday at the Peter Whitmer Farm. EVERY TIME we're at the Smith Farm it rains. It's rained SOOO much this summer which is great (it's cooled everything down and it hasn't been too humid) but I'm not a fan when I'm at the Farms... Then yesterday at the Whitmer Farm the high was 69 degrees... This is seriously the mildest summer I've ever experienced and after this winter I think I deserve it. ;)
Yesterday as we were at the Whitmer Farm, we were giving tours to one of the 7 buses that we had and I was talking about the 3 witnesses. These men got to have such an amazing witness that they got to share with the world! THE WHOLE WORLD! They saw the angel Moroni and the gold plates and they heard the voice of the Lord telling them this work was true. And yet all three of them eventually fell away from the church. 2 came back, but it just shows that miracles don't produce a conversion. We have to constantly be building and fortifying our testimonies so that when the hard times come, there is nothing that can break them down. A conversion is a continual process. You're never completely converted. There's always more to learn; more room to grow. I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I get to serve in these amazing sites and to be able to consistently see how they help people to build on their testimonies. More often than not, they don't produce a converting experience, but they can help people to feel the spirit and build on their faith. What a wonderful place!
I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Love Sister Nield

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Success Comes in Many Ways

Well... The time we've all been waiting for is here. And by the time WE'VE all been waiting for, I mean the time I've been waiting for. PAGEANT is officially here! They have the dress rehearsal tonight and opening night is TOMORROW!!! I can't believe it! It's been so crazy to drive past The Hill as we're driving to an investigator's home and see the stage get all set up in just a matter of days and now to see cast up there every day practicing!:) AAAHHHH!!!:) It just brings me so much joy! I keep looking back to my journal from last year and thinking about all the great memories from pageant last year! It's just such a great time of year!:)
All of the missionaries are required to go at least once so we all get to see it and then we can go 2 more times with investigators. What better way to learn about the Book of Mormon than to see it acted out? And my absolute favorite part is when Christ descends!:) Oh my goodness! The spirit is just so powerful! It's also really interesting to see the contrast of walking past the protesters and just feeling really yucky, and then to walk into the area where all the chairs and the stage are set up and immediately the spirit changes. :) 
This week has been quite the week! I was successfully able to make it through this week without getting fleas. You'd think that wouldn't be an issue... but it's a major issue... There are a few people that we visit where they have WAY more animals than should be legal and more often than not, the homes and the animals are less than sanitary. Haha
Monday we went and saw one of our investigators. You could see the fleas on her dog and it kept scratching and biting itself. When we went back the next day she'd also taken in a stray cat that also had fleas. Over the next couple days we've seen a few other people with flea covered animals and they're so open about it!! AHHH!!! We were teaching this one lady and her dog jumped on the couch and was sitting between Sister Olsen and I. As soon as she told us it had fleas, I tried my very hardest to not have a super disgusted/terrified look on my face and I kept inching away from the dog. For some reason it was super attached to me. It kept scooting closer and closer. It would start itching itself so I'd push it away very discreetly but it just kept coming back. Everytime we left these places I couldn't help but feel itchy and Sister O kept teasing that with how much hair I have, the fleas are probably making a nest on my head! haha BUT... I was successful in not catching them! Success can come in very different ways. 
However I was unsuccessful in the mosquito area. I have 22 mosquito bites all over myself, from my face to my feet. Welcome to Western NY..
I've also been studying Christ like attributes recently in PMG chapter 6 and today I was studying hope. "Hope is an abiding trust in the Lord". I was also reading in Alma where the people who believed Alma and Amulek were being thrown into the fire. After awhile, Amulek asks Alma if they'll also be cast into the fire. Alma's response is amazing! He says "Be it according to the will of the Lord." He has so much faith in the Lord that he knows that IF they are cast into the fire, that the Lord's plan is perfect. If they were to suffer those things, it would be ok, because the Savior knows what's best. We also have to have that kind of hope. We need that trust in the Lord that all things will work out the way they need to. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and the effect that it's had on my life and the effect that it has the potential to have in the lives of every single person on this earth if they will just read it with an open heart! The things we can learn from that Book are amazing! They truly will bring us closer to our Savior!
I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Love Sister Nield
P.S. the pictures show my mosquito  bite on my face and our "Pageant starts tomorrow face"


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Another Crazy Week

Hey y'all! Another crazy week!
The sites are starting to get pretty busy and it's been so fun to meet so many people. Being at the sites has been one of the greatest blessings of this mission! Pageant starts next weekend! CRAZY! I can't believe I've been here for a year! 
Last week was kind of a bitter-sweet week. So Benjamin's baptism didn't work out... We've got some things that we're working through with him since we found out he hadn't been completely honest with everything. Sometimes I feel like I'm already a mother. All I want is for these people to be happy and then they have to go and do dumb things and it drives us nuts! So when we try to help them they get all upset and then we get frustrated. They have NO IDEA how much we love them! haha... maybe one day they'll understand! So Mom and Dad.. Thank you for being patient with me through my entire childhood.
We also met with Zoe again. She's our adorable 9 year old that we're working with. The first thing she said to us after our opening prayer was: "I have a question.. So... How would someone.. umm.. go about setting an appointment to get baptized?" haha She is so sweet. So we got to talk to her for a little while. Her parents met with missionaries for FOREVER so we're hoping that once they allow her to get baptized, they'll want to become more serious about it as well. 
We were also able to go to the temple this week with one of the members here. She got baptized a couple years ago and she's great friends with all the sisters so it was so great to see her so happy! The temple really is a house of God where we can feel the spirit! That was much needed this week! 
We also had exchanges with the Fairport sisters this week. Sister Flores and I had such a great time. Our evening ended by crawling out our second story bathroom window to sit on the roof and watch the fireflies! Fun fact: if you hum Carol of the Bells, the fireflies look like one of those houses at Christmas time with lights that flash to music.
For the spiritual thought for the day, I'd like to share one of my Favorite scriptures: And moreover, would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaventhat thereby they may dwell with God in state of neverending happiness. remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it. 
I've thought a lot about this scripture lately with all the changes and craziness that are going on in the world. But it all comes down to being willing to keep the commandments of God. That's where true happiness will come. No matter the world says or does, We will always have a loving Heavenly Father who will consistently be here for us and bless us when we do what we're asked. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. 
I Love y'all and hope you have a fantastic week!
Love Sister Nield