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

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Don't Forget to Smile

Hello everyone! Thank yall for the birthday wishes! This was seriously one of my most favorite birthdays ever. This last week has just been such a great week! Just an FYI pday next week is WEDNESDAY. 
Saturday was our Ward Halloween party. All of us sisters dressed up as some Disney princess based on our clothing. I was Snow White, Sister Davis was Repunzel, Sister Stoddard was Elsa, and Sister Rogers was Anna. Not going to lie, we looked pretty great! We had so much fun with the ward! There is a sweet girl named Sarah who has some disabilities and she was also dressed up as Snow White and she had her Snow White doll with her as well so we got a picture together and she took me around trunk-or-treating with her. I can't even tell you how much love I felt for her!:) it just made my day to be able to spend that time with her!
Tuesday I went on exchanges with a set of sisters and we were doing service basically all day, which means I got to wear pants, ALL DAY! What a liberating feeling! Haha it was so wonderful! And one thing that has been on my mission bucket list since I got to the mission was going to Sodus point and walking out to the light house. Well guess what? Sodus point is part of their area and so for our lunch hour we went to the light house and got pictures and even talked to this great guy named skip. Cross that off my bucket list! We helped a member move, which always results in some crazy story. We and the elders cleaned out the house and got everything into the moving truck (finding a few more dead mice than I wish we would've), then we had to go to this warehouse where we had to pick up a few more things. I'd heard about insane asylums in Newark who had just discharged everyone, and this warehouse reminded me of an insane asylum. We were asking a member about it and they were telling us some pretty crazy stories, but turns out, it wasn't one of the asylums.
My birthday was such a perfect day! I woke up to balloons and streamers. I came down from getting ready to find that the sisters had all made me a delicious breakfast. We had district meeting and the elders had made a cake. We had a lesson with Norma and we're getting her prepared for the temple to do baptisms. She crocheted me a hat and mittens. She and sister Davis did a kick-line singing happy bday. We were able to do exercises with one of our less actives who has a lot of health problems. But the greatest thing of all, we were able to get Karen, Zoe's mom and Zoe and Noah to the Hill Cumorah. Karen has had some amazing experiences there before but has really distanced herself. She gave Zoe permission to be baptized and she even opened up about how she has thought about and wants to join the church, she's just scared of some of the commitments. It was neat though, to show her Gods plan (a video about families) and commit her to allowing us to do a family night with them once a week. That made my whole day! Their family needs the gospel!! They need it so bad and they're so close! And Zoe has been such a great example to her family! 
I'm so grateful for the challenge in conference to "ponderize". Every scripture that we've chosen each week has not only been exactly what we need but it perfectly fits the needs of the people we're teaching. This week the scripture is Mosiah 24:14. 14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions. The Lord is so aware of each of us and what we need and He's going to help us through the good and the bad. He's going to lift the burdens that we face even if we'd be strong enough to handle them ourselves. He loves you! 
I hope you're all having a great week! Love you!

Love Sister Amanda Nield

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Why Am I Even Here?

Another great week! What a wonderful place I live in! I can't get over how lucky I am to serve in such a sacred place! So many sacred things happened here and because of what goes on here daily, it's still sacred!
One challenge of this area is the number of fleas we see. Almost every home we go into has some animal(s) that's infested in the little critters... We got rid of the flea infestation in the White House about a month ago and SURPRISE! I woke up this morning with flea bites on my stomach and ankles... How they got to my stomach I'm not sure... but it's a little upsetting.
Also.. 'Tis the season for snow! We had our first snowfall last weekend and I couldn't decide whether to be so happy at how beautiful it is or cry at the fact that it's time to pull out the leggings.. Haha I guess there's some battles you can't choose!
I had a very eye opening experience this week that caused me to think and ponder "Why am I even here?" We've been working a lot with Norma's son Randy, and we took him to the Joseph Smith Farm and Sacred Grove this week. We really wanted him to understand that God knows him and that He'll answer his prayers! We were in the Log Home and we were upstairs, where the angle Moroni appeared and Randy just kept challenging everything we were saying, just to be difficult. We kept bearing testimony of the things that happened here. The more he'd challenge it, the more I had a little bit of frustration and impatience growing inside me. I promise, that despite how it sounds from this lesson, we all actually get along quite swimmingly. Finally he said "Why did you come here? Why is it so important for you to tell me about these things?" MAN! That question just hit me like a ton of bricks. Why AM I here? Why IS it so important to help him understand the restoration of the gospel? I'm so grateful for the challenge to "ponderize" in conference this month, because last week I was really focusing on 2 Nephi 31:20 
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastnessin Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a loveof God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
 So I read that to him, but the most important part comes in verse 21. 
21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is theway; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen There is NO other way to salvation. As I told him this it REALLY opened his heart! He took a big step back and realized that there may be something to the things we'd talked about. But also, it taught me something. I've always known how important this gospel was. I've always known this is the way. But it really hit me that THAT is why I'm here! I know that i have a responsibility to help my brothers and sisters know the way to return to live with our Heavenly Father again! I have a responsibility to bring others to Christ. We all have that responsibility. We have been given the greatest blessing there is on this earth and we have a responsibility to help our brothers and sisters to find that as well. I'd never been that bold with anyone before, but because I was bold, both Randy and I learned something pretty powerful!
Our Heavenly Father loves us all SO much and He's provided the way to return to Him! That way is through His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ! How grateful I am for the knowledge of that love. It brings such comfort to know that we are NEVER alone!
I love you all and I love this gospel with my whole heart! 
Have a great week!
Love Sister Nield


Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Unexpected

Missionary work is the greatest! Everyday is scheduled out so perfectly, but of course there are always unexpected things that happen every day! This week has been so full of unexpected twists and turns! Funny moments, inspiring moments.. It's wonderful!
It all starts when we were serving at the Joseph Smith Farm. We'd been pretty busy because so many people love to come out here to see the fall colors (I can't blame them.) Sister Davis would talk to one group as I talked to another as they all came to the Frame home at the same time. I had been talking to this family for a while. One of the sons was going on a mission to the same place in Brazil that our sister here is from, so we talked about that for a while as well. After a bit, they left and I started talking to a couple from Alaska and right before they left I realized the dad from the family before had come back in and was patiently waiting in the Parlor area of the home. I went over and started talking to him, pointing him in the direction of the Publication Site and as he stepped out the door he turned to me and said "Do you have a boyfriend at home?" WHAT? Who asks that?! I must have had a VERY confused look on my face because he said "One of my sons just got home from his mission and I want him to date someone like you." haha I just made it sound like I had much longer left on my mission than I really did to avoid the awkward topic of trying to be set up....
The next unexpected moment comes from later that day. We were still at the farm and hadn't left yet and this couple walked in. As they walked in, there was just this special spirit that filled the room. He looked so familiar and they just had this really nice look! They had the look of "Mission President and wife" except they didn't have name tags, so I decided as I talked to them, that I'd ask questions to figure out who they were. I found out it was Elder Bennett from the Seventy and his wife here for Rochester's Stake Conference! They were so amazing and as I talked to them, I just felt so uplifted! I could tell, just from talking to them, that they were called of God. As he left, he gave me advice that I'll use forever. "Love the Lord, Love the people, Love the work." 
The last unexpected moment that I'll tell you happened as we went to the family history center with James. He's been looking up family names to take to the temple! As we walked into the center I heard a voice that I recognized! It was Brother Osborne from the Canandaigua ward! He is one of my favorite people that I've ever worked with! He was baptized a little over thirty years ago and went inactive shortly after. He and his wife had been inactive for over thirty years before she passed away last year. A few months after her passing, he got this feeling that he needed to go back to church and then the missionaries showed up not too long after that! As we worked with him, he was so ready to come back to church! 
Just last month, he was able to go through the temple to receive his endowment and was sealed to his wife. He sat and talked to me about his experience there for about 10 minutes and then told me that he was going to be getting his patriarchal blessing this week!
It's so amazing to see how the Lord works with His children! He knows us all so individually and knows exactly what will help us to become the best that we can become! Sometimes, like with Brother Osborne, there are unexpected ways that the Lord will get us where He needs us, but we just have to trust in His perfect plan!
I Love you all!! Have a great week! 
Love Sister Nield

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Power of Fasting

Well, hello again! Another wonderful fall week has passed here in New York! The leaves are changing more and more each day! It's so beautiful! If the entire year would be like this, I think I could live here! (Too bad the winters are so bad!) haha
We have had such a great week! Miracles have been happening all over the place! First and foremost! Transfers were this week! I was totally expecting to get released from being a Sister Training Leader because I'd been doing it for the last 7 transfers. So as we were getting ready Monday morning, I kept waiting for the call from President to release me. We waited and waited. We started our studies and waited and waited and then the elders called to give transfer calls. So that meant that I wasn't getting released. Elder Keller made it sound like Sister Davis was leaving, but SURPRISE! We both STAYED!!!:) I can't even explain how happy this makes me!!! There had been so many amazing things that happened this week and I just wasn't ready to leave this area! It was so cute! We went over to Norma's that night. I was rude and told sister Davis we should tell her we were both leaving, and she almost started crying. She kept asking "what did I do wrong?" I couldn't take it anymore and told her we were both staying and she JUMPED and SCREAMED!:) She almost fell over from being so happy! It was the sweetest thing!
We had been fasting and praying that Zoe's mom and dad would soften their hearts. They love us coming over to talk to Zoe and Noah, but they really haven't had any interest in joining in. They have had so many faith building experiences, but just won't act on it! But this week Karen came and sat down with us and opened up about a lot and we were able to get her to agree to come to the Hill Cumorah with us this week to watch a video! She'd been there before and felt the spirit SO strong in the Christus room! 
We've also been fasting and praying for Randy (Norma's son) to soften his heart. He is thoroughly convinced that he has no interest in changing, but it was so cool to see the light in his eyes change as we talked with him about the Book of Mormon and how God loves him! And he had read through the Plan of Salvation pamphlet we'd given him and he said he wants the "Celestial plane", and it's been amazing in just the past couple weeks to see how much he's softened! And Norma is SOO good at bearing her testimony to him!
I've especially learned on my mission the power that fasting has! I can't deny that power! It brings us so much closer to our Heavenly Father. It allows us to be just that much closer to Him as we sacrifice something that we view as so important and turn to Him in prayer. I fasted this last weekend for Conference. What a blessing to be able to hear our prophet and apostles speak to us! They are men of God! I want to invite each of you to find a talk that was given in this conference and to study it and APPLY it. Give heed to the council they give and see how your life improves! 
I love you all! I am so grateful for the love you've shown me!
Have a spectacular week!
Love, Sister Nield


Thursday, October 1, 2015

He Knows Me

Fall is in full force! I've had to pull out the cardigans, the boots, and even sweatshirts for our morning runs! Time just doesn't seem to ever slow down!
This week has been so full of so many tender mercies that have really shown me how aware our Heavenly Father is of each of us and our wants and needs. I love a verse in 3 Nephi 13 (verse32) that says "For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things." As I was reading that this week, it really hit me how much He loves us and it showed throughout the week through a few different events.
First, some things had happened that I was really upset about. It was kind of a bummer day and I was trying to fake it till I made it. Luckily, it's hard to stay upset while serving at the sites. We were at the smith farm and this group came in who told me they were from Bear Lake Idaho. I asked what part and they said Georgetown. So I told them that my grandparents lived in Montpelier. Turns out the man had worked with Grandpa in the mines! That brightened my day so much and to hear him talk about what a great man Grandpa was!:) Tender!
Then at the woman's broadcast Saturday night, I loved how President Uchtdorf really focused on how we need to CHOOSE to be happy NOW! Now is the time to be grateful and happy for the things that are going right because if we wait until things are perfect, we'll never be happy.
Monday as we were serving at the Hill Cumorah, it was pretty slow so Sister Davis and I decided to go into the back room and we hurdled the benches. We just ran around for about 20 minutes and it was so fun!
Tuesday, I got to take an Elder from the Atlanta Georgia mission and his parents through the Smith Farm. It was so fun to be able to talk to him about missionary work and what a blessing it is to serve the Lord and to know that even after the mission, the work isn't done.
As I've been thinking a lot about how to fully consecrate myself and to get the most out of the last 2 1/2 months, there were people who came to the sites, including the previous mission president and his wife, who were so inspired with the things they shared with me! One of the things that really struck me from what President Christensen shared with me was "Take advantage of your morning program now. Implement it when you get home. Pray your heart out, study your guts out, and go to the temple frequently." December 16 will be here before I know it, but you can bet your bottom dollar I'll give everything I've got here until then!
I love you all and am so grateful for your support!
Have a great week!
Sister Nield