<![CDATA[Sister Shields' Mission - Blog]]>Tue, 17 Nov 2015 10:52:34 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[-Vive La France- My thoughts on the recent terrorist attacks in France]]>Tue, 17 Nov 2015 18:17:11 GMThttp://sistershields.weebly.com/blog/-vive-la-france-my-thoughts-on-the-recent-terrorist-attacks-in-frane
This picture of Basilque Fouviere represents the pride France feels at a time when it has experienced horrible atrocities in Paris. This is the France I know with its strength, charm, and splendor.
Bonjour tout le monde, 
   I would just like to take a little moment to thank you all immensely for the support, many prayers, the strength, and the love that you have sent our way this past weekend. We are under tight restrictions, but we are safe. My heart has ached for my brothers and sisters who suffered here and my many prayers go out to them along with your's. It's incredible how despite all the turmoil that's been going on, we have managed to feel complete peace. I know this is thanks to all of those who are uniting in prayer for this land and the sweet souls who were affected by this tragedy. We know that if we have faith, we shall not fear! The work of the Lord will go on. And shall we not go on in so great a cause? 
   Ar the beginning of this past week our mission president gave us all a challenge to get as many amis as possible to church yesterday. It was by no coincidence that he was inspired to do this, in light of the events that happened this past weekend. We have already seen hearts turn towards our Maker and we know we can increase our faith in this difficult moment. Our president came up with a wonderful slogan to unite our brothers and sisters here in faithful worship of our Lord as we stand together against the evils of the world. It is as follows: 
Prier (pray) 
Aimer (love) 
Repentir (repent) 
Implorer (implore) 
Soutenir (support) 

Do it for Paris, do it for those lives of those who were affected, but most importantly, do it for our Lord. He will bless all those who come unto Him. 
   Vive la France! 🇫🇷
  -Sœur Shields 
As much as I will miss this country with its beauty and antiquity, teaching the wonderful people about Jesus Christ is what I will miss this most.
<![CDATA[Pictures from P-Day and Zone Conference: November]]>Tue, 17 Nov 2015 18:05:53 GMThttp://sistershields.weebly.com/blog/pictures-from-p-day-and-zone-conference-november
The checkboxes in this planner don't seem real; I have such mixed emotions right now!!
Learned Qi Kong from this awesome lady
P-day for President Brown's birthday
It's November: pumpkin pie for lunch
The numbers in the following pictures represent which transfer we are in. A transfer on a mission equates to a six week period. So you can do the math for each person holding up the numbers. The Elders threw leaves in this photo.
I will really miss the closeness we missionaries share while out in the field. It is a lifelong friendship.
<![CDATA[Till we meet again: Last letter from France]]>Tue, 17 Nov 2015 17:11:08 GMThttp://sistershields.weebly.com/blog/till-we-meet-again-last-letter-from-franceBonjour à tous! 
    I don't really have words to describe what I'm feeling at this moment at the end of my service as a full-time missionary. But I don't really like to think of it as an end. So instead I'll start from the beginning. 
    I've never formally described the story behind my decision to go on a mission, for many reasons. I won't include all of the details, as it is sacred and special to me and those who played a part in it. But I'd like to briefly describe to you how this all came to be. I hope you can find in this story a testimony of the reality that God knows the potential of His children perfectly. I hope you can see that He will, in a very literal sense, guide your life with His hand to help you reach that potential. 
    Growing up, I was a headstrong person who believed that I knew what was best for my life and didn't need other's direction. I had everything all planned out for how I wanted my life to go, and this plan certainly did not include a mission. As a senior in high school, I decided around Christmas that it was an appropriate time to receive my patriarchal blessing. So I did, and it was just wonderful. To keep a long story short, 7 months passed and I still had yet to receive my blessing back in the mail. In the midst of these 7 months, unexpected changes came into my life that were very difficult for me to accept. The entire course of the plan I had made was disrupted, and I felt like I had the rug pulled out from under me. I was at a very low point in my life, and didn't understand why I seemed to be suffering the trials that were being thrown my way. What I couldn't see at the time was the humbling process that was taking place in my heart. I was brought down so low into the darkness, so that I could recognize the light much more easily. I deeply yearned to see this light, and any way to escape the darkness. My Heavenly Father knew this. He knew I wouldn't have been receptive to the path of light that He wanted to lead me to, if He didn't humble me to the point where I'd go looking for it. 
    The moment came when the Lord saw that my stubborn head and heart had been sufficiently humbled to the point where I'd accept His will for me. As Ether says, I was ready to receive the witness after the trial of my faith. It is then that I was informed that my patriarchal blessing had essentially disappeared from the data base, with no explanation as to how that was possible. So, I received a second patriarchal blessing. It is then that the Lord clearly directed me to serve Him on a full-time mission. The light at the end of the dark tunnel illuminated everything. Immediately, I knew it was right. It just took clearing the dark clouds before my eyes to allow me to clearly see the right path and desire to follow it. 
     And oh, how grateful I am that I did. 

    Brothers and sisters, something that I have learned is that if we wait until we're ready, we'll never begin. That is why I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father who knew that I would have never turned onto this correct path if it had just been left up to me. I am so grateful He loves me enough to have worked miracle after miracle to get me here, even if that process took a lot of tears. In the following months, I completed the paperwork for my missionary application. However, as the time came closer and closer for me to help build up the Kingdom of God, Satan attacked even harder and harder to prevent me from doing so. Fear overtook me, and I decided to put my mission papers on hold and resume them again in a few months, when I felt more ready. But my wonderful Father in Heaven knew better. Once again, His hand guided the actions that would lead to yet another miracle to lead me on the correct path.
    In February 2014, a large white envelope from the Church showed up in my mailbox. I can assure you this came as a complete and utter shock. I didn't understand how a mission call had come to me when I hadn't submitted my papers. Disbelieving and doubting, and mostly just filled with fear, I opened the call. I read these words: 
   "You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of     Latter-day Saints." 
I skimmed these words with a feeling of complete frustration and confusion. 
I then read these words: 
   "You are assigned to labor in the France Lyon mission." 
Never before in my life have I had a feeling of complete peace rush through every fiber of my being as I did in that moment. It was an all-encompassing, undeniable conviction from the Holy Ghost that this was indeed the path that God needed me to take. And with that assurance, I reported to the mission field in May of 2014. 
   To try to describe why the Lord moved mountains in my life to get me here would take an eternity to explain, mostly because I'm sure I'll still be finding more reasons even after this life. But let me just tell you what I do know about why I needed to be here these past 18 months. Because they have been the best 18 months for my life. 
   I believe Elder Renlund accurately describes the main reason why when he says that missions are about "the Lord, His work, and Heavenly Father's children." The Lord didn't require me to serve because He needed me, but because of what He could do through me. I needed to be here for these people. A mission is all about the people you serve. It is about bringing the Lord's love to them. That is what this work is--a labor of love. I know that each and every soul that I was an instrument in bringing to feel of God's love for them was a friend that I've known long before this life. My heart is overfilled with joy when I think of every friend that I found again. I had a family here in France all along, and I never would have found them if God hadn't led me to them. It is improving the lives of these precious souls that make this work the most gratifying and fulfilling thing I have ever done. Part of my heart will forever be left with each one of these dear friends. I will always have a home and family here. 
    Being a vessel of God to bring His love to His children gives God an opportunity to work on refining the vessel itself as well. That is another reason why I know God needed me to take this path. Sœur Shields' vessel really needed to go through a scolding hot refiners fire! It scares me to think that I would have continued on as the person that I once was had I not come on a mission. The lessons I have learned and the testimony I have gained are so crucially vital to helping mold me into the person I need to become. 
    As Elder Keetch says, "God can make more of us than we can ever make of ourselves." I testify to you that this is true. God knew that the path of this mission would give me the necessary experiences to teach me for the rest of my life how to become the person I'm destined to become. A mission is in no way your attainment of perfection. Rather, it's the training ground to learn how to become perfect one day. (And news flash, that's not going to be reached in this life). As Elder Waddel says, "What you have obtained through faithful service is meant to provide a gospel-centered foundation that will last throughout mortality and into the eternities." I have learned on my mission the potential God sees in me and what it takes to attain that. 
    This immense learning process has led to so much change. I've seen this within every soul I've met here--members, investigators, less-actives, companions, my family, and especially within myself. The most wonderful, sweet, fulfilling, joyous blessing of a mission is getting to be a witness of change. To have a change of heart is essentially the plan of salvation. It is the plan God has for each of us to be tested, tried, grow, mess up, learn, and try again. Thanks to the atoning sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, these many attempts to improve ourselves eventually lead to change. As the Lord told Ether, He gives us weaknesses that we may be humble, and His grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before Him. If we do this, He will make weak things become strong unto us. I am so grateful for this eternal truth. This is what makes what we have the best news we could ever share with others. 
    I especially realized this as I read the story of Legion in the New Testament recently. Thanks to Christ's grace and enabling power, Legion was healed, or as I like to say, changed. After this wonderful experience, Legion felt much like how I do now. Love and gratitude superseded all other feelings, and so he wanted to stay a little longer side by side with the Savior, to continue feeling His abundant influence. But Christ told him this: "Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee." 
    I know that my Father in Heaven wanted me to have these experiences so that I can now go and share them for the rest of my life. He has taught me what it takes to find true happiness, and the importance of sharing that with others. That is why I do not look at the end of my mission as an end at all. It is only the beginning of a new life of devoted Christ-like service. 
    I would just like to end by sharing a scripture that is dear to my heart. It perfectly describes what this past year and a half has been for me. I feel it no coincidence that this is the scripture I chose 18 months ago to be engraved on my mission plaque. It is found in Alma 36:12. 
   "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of 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." 
    I know my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ love each and every one of us more than we can imagine. All they want is for us all to be back together again as a big, happy family. That is why they lead and guide us each and every day, so that we may follow the path that leads to this most supreme blessing of all. I am eternally grateful for this service in which I have learned this truth and I will now work for the rest of my life to obtain it, and help others to as well. It has been the greatest privilege and honor to wear the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, every single day. Now I will forever wear it engraved on my heart. 
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and many prayers these last 18 months. I have felt strengthened by every single one. Que Dieu vous bénisse. 
         Au Revoir, 
         Sœur Shields 


<![CDATA[The Lord is my light]]>Mon, 09 Nov 2015 17:33:50 GMThttp://sistershields.weebly.com/blog/the-lord-is-my-lightSalut salut salut! 
    The very first thing I want to share with you that I am beyond grateful for this week is that one of my greatest friends here entered the waters of baptism on Saturday! Remember Gwenael from Annemasse? He has followed the Savior's example and has made his very first covenant with God. I am so excited for all of the doors that this will open up for him to a much happier life. I'm beyond proud of him. Mon âme chante en te louant Seigneur! 
    Alright, now I'm going to let you all in on something very personal that's been going on in the head of Soeur Shields lately. As my life as a returned missionary quickly approaches, I've had some fears. As a missionary, I feel as if I'm in a safe little bubble. I have the impression that there is an extra sturdy shield around me at all times, protecting me from the darts of the adversary. Much of this is in part to the way we live our lives as missionaries. We completely disconnect ourselves from anything that could be spiritually-harmful. So, I have this fear that once this calling is gone, my protective bubble will go with it. I'm not sure if you've noticed lately, but the world is getting more and more difficult to live in as a Latter-day Saint.
    But this week, probably due to my endless prayers concerning this matter, God calmed my fears. He did this by giving me experience after experience to show me that even as times get harder, my ability to stay true to Him can still grow stronger. In the words of Elder Stevenson, "Heavenly Father’s generous compensation for living in perilous times is that we also live in the fulness of times." Oh what comfort this brought my soul! I have no reason to fear whatever darkness may lay ahead. Why? Because I have the brightest light in my life! One that can never be dimmed! Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is that endlessly burning light for me, and for many. He can be that for you too! 
    If you want His light in your life, you must put in effort. If you were trying to build a fire to last an entire long, cold winter's night, would you ever stop tending to it? No. You'd certainly keep monitoring it, adding more tinder, blowing on it, adjusting pieces, etc. It takes constant effort to keep the flames alive. To keep the flame of the gospel in our lives ever-burning, we must consistently nourish our testimony. And yes, this is done through the primary answers: Study your scriptures, pray, trust in and follow God and His prophets, go to church and deeply ponder the Savior's sacrifice, keep the commandments, and share this message with others. Do all that you can to never let your flame die! 
    But as important as it is to keep the fire burning by adding to it, you would also be careful as to not let anything get near the fire that could extinguish it. You would take extra caution if winds started to blow, or if water got too close that could drown it. You can not simply add to the fire to keep it burning, you have to protect it as well from the inevitable elements that will come to try and put it out. This is a law of nature--for every positive force, there is an opposing force as well. 
    If I had to pick the most poignant and re-occurring lesson I've seen over and over these past 18 months, it would be this: Each and every time a soul has found the light of the gospel, the forces of the adversary begin to attack even harder to destroy that light. I saw that this week several times. With Michelle, (whose son told her he would never see her again if she keeps coming to church), we saw a true example of not giving into the adversary's tempting ploys to bring us down. Instead of buckling under this pressure, she has decided to only study her scriptures more, pray with even more fervor, fast much more frequently, and work to obtain blessings and direction with even more vigor. She just received her interview yesterday to obtain her patriarchal blessing. What better comfort and guidance could she ask for in this difficult time! I know she will find more comfort and joy in doing these things than anything else. God will surely bless her for turning to Him in these times, and her son's heart will soften. 
   On a less-happy note, we've also seen this lately with the recent convert Alexia that we've been working with. Ever since her baptism last month, Satan has worked ever-harder to bring her down. He knows how much potential she has for good, and he will do all he can to stop her influence from spreading. She has been pressured by the doubting opinion's of her friends and family, to a point where her testimony has been so shaken that she's stopped coming to church. I know for a fact that Alexia is not as happy now as she was when she was living in harmony with the gospel. It's evident plainly enough by the look in her eyes. But I also have no doubt that God can help change her heart and lead her back to the right path. 
    I've seen this clearly as well in the life of another recent convert that we work with often, also named Michelle. Ever since her baptism 8 months ago, there has been a lack of attention given to her and her needs, and she's really slipped under the radar. She tried to keep her flame burning, but as a brand new member of the Church, it was very difficult to do on her own. Recent converts are so fragile and need much help in getting their fire started and staying lit. Fortunately, the Spirit has guided us in learning her needs, which range from not even knowing how to pay tithing, to still drinking coffee. We're working with her on applying these gospel principles in her life so that she may soon go to the temple and partake of the greatest blessings imaginable. From the first time we visited her until now, I have seen her joy increase so much, and a very visible light has come over her as the image of the Lord is in her countenance. 
   One thing that I've really learned on my mission is to have a joy-ometer. What that means is that I can detect and really measure the joy that someone is experiencing in their life, just by looking at them and listening to them. And after speaking with thousands of people from every walk of life, one thing I will never, ever be able to deny is that those who stay true to God and live the gospel at all times, are those who illuminate and radiate true joy. I know for myself personally that working on fortifying my testimony every single day, and not allowing the darts of the adversary to attack it, has brought me the greatest peace and joy I've ever experienced. I am forever grateful for this opportunity I've had to learn how to build a testimony that will grow stronger as the world grows weaker. I know that I have no need to fear, because the Lord is my light. 
     Love always,
     Soeur Shields 
P.S. If ever you feel like your light is diminishing, try singing one of my favorite hymns: 

"The Lord is my light; then why should I fear? By day and by night his presence is near. He is my salvation from sorrow and sin; This blessed assurance the Spirit doth bring. 
The Lord is my light; tho clouds may arise, Faith, stronger than sight, looks up thru the skies, Where Jesus forever in glory doth reign. Then how can I ever in darkness remain?
The Lord is my light; the Lord is my strength. I know in his might I’ll conquer at length.
My weakness in mercy he covers with pow’r, And, walking by faith, I am blest ev’ry hour.
The Lord is my light, my all and in all. There is in his sight no darkness at all. He is my Redeemer, my Savior, and King. With Saints and with angels his praises I’ll sing.
The Lord is my light; He is my joy and my song. By day and by night, He leads, he leads me along." 

Soeur Kimber and I found this quaint place to eat at for dinner.
Enjoying the shops in Bellacour area.
<![CDATA[Going Forth]]>Wed, 04 Nov 2015 04:43:26 GMThttp://sistershields.weebly.com/blog/going-forth
Bonjour tout le monde! 
   C'est pas vrai! It's already November! You know what that means.....it's the month of gratitude! And boy do I sure have a lot to be grateful for. This past week I saw God's many miracles come to pass in the lives of so many of my friends here. 
   First I'd just like to talk a little bit about a dear inactive sister we've been working a lot with named Alda. She doesn't come to church because she lives over an hour away and has to work almost every Sunday. She has Nephi-like faith though. When we first started working with her, she was extremely sad and felt pretty lost. We figured out some ways to attend to certain needs she had, and it's made all the difference. One of those needs was the fact that she wanted to pay her tithing so badly, because she hadn't paid all year. She felt this guilt looming over her and she wanted that inner-peace knowing everything was squared away between her and the Lord. So, her daughter was able to catch a ride to stake conference last week with some friends who were in town visiting them. She brought Alda's tithing with her. They ended up getting completely lost and only managed to catch the last 5 minutes of conference, but they didn't mind at all. Her daughter was able to hand over the tithing to the bishop. That made the entire long trip well worth it for them. I noticed a real difference in Alda, as she felt that true peace that came from keeping this commandment. I'm so grateful for the commandments, which are given to us by a loving Heavenly Father as a means to be able to bless us. 
   Her faith and commitment in obeying the law of tithing isn't the only reason she has found more joy lately. Her faith also allowed her to be healed. She has back problems which caused her constant pain. A few weeks ago we took the elders there with us, and they gave her a priesthood blessing to help her cope with the pain and to reduce it. Well, she told us this week that ever since the blessing, she hasn't had a single pain in her back. The priesthood is real, and for those who have the faith to benefit from it's power, their lives can be much improved. I know this is true. I'm very grateful for the priesthood authority and power that has been restored to the earth. 
   We also saw a miracle as we were out street proselyting this week. It was pouring rain and cold, and we were trying to stop people on the street to talk to us. I actually prefer the bad weather during this, because people are so astonished that we'd actually try to stop and talk in those conditions, that they're willing to listen just out of mere curiosity. We didn't see any immediate success with those we talked to, but we knew if we just kept marching on we'd find a miracle. We had to keep showing God that He can trust us with His work, and therefore open up the windows of heaven upon us. 
   We were contacting as we searched for the home of an inactive family that we found on our ward list. Well, we get to the address and we see a row of townhouses. We go to each door, and they're all marked with the family's last name, and none of them matched this family's name. We were a bit discouraged and confused. But as we were walking out, we realized there was one more door on the other side that was unmarked. We decided to give it a shot and just knock on it. Lo and behold, it was indeed this family we were searching for. They let us in and told us that just the day before, they had been discussing how they hadn't seen missionaries in a long time and wondered why they didn't come by anymore. Needless to say, we fixed a RDV with them and are excited to start working with them. I'm grateful for a Father who leads and guides us by the Holy Ghost to be an answer to someone else's prayer. 
   Lastly, this week I saw real evidence of the battle that is raging between the adversary and the followers of Christ. It is no coincidental pattern that right as someone has found light and truth that leads them to Christ, that Satan starts trying to attack even harder. Our dear Michelle (inactive of 30 years who has made a complete comeback) received some tough news this week. Her eldest son, who is atheist, told her that if she continues coming to church, his family would never see her again. She was devastated. She couldn't understand why her son would say such a thing when he saw how much happier she has been ever since she has come back to church. And that's exactly what we had to explain to her--it doesn't make sense! Satan doesn't want her to be happy, and he certainly doesn't want her to continue coming closer to Christ. He's putting every hurtle out there to get her to fall. But this sister also has Nephi-like faith. She came to church yesterday and with teary eyes assured us that nothing could come between her and God. She knows that if she's obedient to His commandments, she will be blessed. God can't help her son's heart soften if she's not showing her faith in Him that she believes He can do it. And faith is manifested by obedience. I'm so grateful for this sister who has shown me what it means to be a witness of God at all times, in all things, and in all places. 
    This is a wonderful time of year to really reflect on the many blessings you have in your life. I invite you to give many prayers of thanks to our Father in Heaven this month. I hope you will look for His hand in your life each and every day, because it is there. One of the greatest blessings I have to thank my Father for right now is for these past 17 months. I have no way to express the magnitude of my gratitude that He called me to serve. It has brought me the greatest joy. It has simply changed everything for the better. 
   Love always, 
   Soeur Shields 

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<![CDATA[Le Livre De Mormon]]>Wed, 04 Nov 2015 04:26:34 GMThttp://sistershields.weebly.com/blog/november-03rd-2015]]><![CDATA[Halloween Party  at the LDS Institute in Lyon]]>Mon, 02 Nov 2015 18:16:42 GMThttp://sistershields.weebly.com/blog/halloween-party-at-the-lds-institute-in-lyon
We had a wonderful time gathering with the Young Single Adults in downtown Lyon for a festive Halloween party!
Fall in France!
I never thought much could top a North Carolina fall--and very little does! But the fall colors surrounding a beautiful ville (town) makes a beautiful scene.
We all had such a great time!!
Soeur Kimber and I went as twins--sort of. She was me and I was her!!
<![CDATA[PHotos from October...My time is Winding down]]>Sat, 31 Oct 2015 02:09:35 GMThttp://sistershields.weebly.com/blog/photos-from-octobermy-time-is-winding-down
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Lyon.
Stake Conference in Lyon
Art Museum in Lyon
I love the beautiful shop windows and entertaining street performers.
Puppet shows are common on the streets in the Bellacour area
Living in the second largest city in France has allowed me a lot of opportunity to meet all sorts of people and situations that I didn't always see in the small towns.
<![CDATA[We're Joyfully, Joyfully, Marching to our Home]]>Tue, 27 Oct 2015 01:50:29 GMThttp://sistershields.weebly.com/blog/were-joyfully-joyfully-marching-to-our-homeBonjour à tous! 
   It was a really awesome week here. There are two things in particular that I'd like to share from this week. It's not something you've never heard before...but it's something that has been so re-occurring on my mission, that I think the Lord is really trying to tell me something. He's made a few particular messages very clear to me, because I think He never wants me to forget them. For this week, it is these two principles: 1) hard work and trust in the Lord brings miracles and 2) this work can not be done successfully without the help of members! 
   So, I just wanted to share some cool stories to illustrate. So we had planned to go have a FHE with a sister in the ward, but unfortunately she cancelled right before we left. So, we did our back-up plan instead, which was to try to go find a potential ami that was referred to us. Well, we get to her apartment, and after getting through the front door, there's another door that is locked that has no way of opening unless you're a resident with a key. So, we just said a prayer that someone would come in or out the door so we could slip in. As soon as I had said the words "amen" a lady came through the door, allowing us access. God is so cool! But, it gets better. We then knock on the ami's door, but there was no response. So, even though it's not super enjoyable, we decided to knock the door's of the apartment residents there. That usually doesn't turn out well, as people don't like being disturbed. 
    We knock a few doors, getting a few "not interested" responses. One really sweet lady opened it and then sadly gave us the same answer, and so we started down the stairs as she closed the door. Half way down, she opens the door back up and yells out, "wait! Ok, ok, come on in." So we go in, and end up teaching this lady for a good while. She was extremely curious and open to all we taught her. She kept telling us that she felt a "light and peace" with us, and she wanted us to come back. She even made out a little snack bar for us after a while because she didn't want us to leave. It was pretty cool to see how and why God puts us in the places He does at the very moments He does. Every little action throughout the day is done by His hand, so that we're working on His timing, in His way, with those He has prepared for us. When we think all is going wrong, or the future prospects don't look to be the most favorable, that is when He is setting us up to receive the "witness of our faith." If there were no test, there could be no reward. 
   A million more cool things happened this week, but the last one I'd like to share is the wonderful work of a family who really understands what it means that "every member is a missionary." Their name is the family Orieux, and they are some of the most jovial Africans I've ever met. Out of the goodness of their own heart, they invited us over with our ami Veronique and her children. We taught the Tree of Life vision to help Veronique see that it is through following the gospel path that she will find true and lasting happiness. This lesson wouldn't have been nearly as powerful without the Orieux's help. The dad drew out the whole vision and explained it step by step. They related personal stories, analogies, and taught her in a manner that I couldn't have. They could see things from her perspective as fellow parents, and since they come from the same culture. They related with her family in ways that I can't. Especially important, they opened their hearts and home and made her feel loved and important. They became genuine friends. 
    I'll let everyone in on a missionary secret...We are instructed in Preach My Gospel to teach with members in every single lesson if possible. We also keep numerical record and report to our president how many times in a week we taught with a member. Why do we care so much about this? Because every single person who has entered the waters of baptism has also entered the ranks of the Lord's army! The Lord's army needs people of every walk of life and every background, because they will be able to relate to someone who is searching for the gospel in ways that others cannot. The Lord knows that. Yes, as His full-time representatives, we the missionaries are set apart to be able to teach with power and authority. But God also gives us instruction as to how we will teach with this power and authority, which is why He asks us to teach with members. You are the key! You are set apart with power and authority to teach too! And you stay! Eventually, we will leave, and these amis need a friend they can continuously turn to when they are in need. Please be that person to the investigators in your ward! I must admit, I prefer the French word for investigators--"ami." That means friend. Look at these children of God as your friends, and I promise you'll be able to make a difference in their lives. We often say that a missionary is called to a specific area to meet certain people. This is true. But have you ever thought about the fact that you are in the specific area that you're in because the missionaries have a certain someone who needs you? I promise you this is how the Lord works. This is the way! Join the ranks. 
    Have a great week, and a very Happy Halloween! Go do some work for the dead ;) 
Love always, 
Soeur Shields 🎃]]>
<![CDATA[See What God Hath Done]]>Tue, 20 Oct 2015 01:48:31 GMThttp://sistershields.weebly.com/blog/see-what-god-hath-done​Bonjour à tous! 
    It was a busy first week of the new transfer here! We got so much accomplished this week. We both know this area pretty well now, so we were able to just hit the ground running. Even though you're very tired at the end of the mission, you've also got a whole new sense of the value of your time. Every minute is now more precious to me than ever before! I'd like to just talk about three cool experiences in particular that we had this week. 
    So, winter decided to roll in rather early here in Lyon. We've had a lot of RDVs fixed for each day, but of course there's always a bit of time here and there in between appointments where we've got some time to kill. So what do we do? Street proselyting. You just walk up to people and ask if they'd like to know more about the church. Sometimes God is funny...when each of these moments arrived this week, it just seemed to always fall on the part of the day where the wind was the most bitingly cold and the rain was plummeting the hardest. But do we let that stop us? No! And what's even better is that we actually even had fun doing it. We chose to laugh at the ironic misery of the conditions, because as Sister Roney says, we knew it was the "perfect storm for miracles." Your attitude makes or breaks every situation. Life is so much more enjoyable when we choose to look at it through grateful and positive eyes. Even though very few people were sincerely interested, we got to show our faith and trust in the Lord. By doing hard things happily, we show God that we love Him and trust there's a better and higher reason for doing these difficult things He asks of us. He can then entrust us with His larger purposes, because He knows we're instruments willing and worthy to carry out any task He gives us. 
    Next I want to share a very cool lesson we had with our awesome sister Michelle (the one who is making a huge comeback to the church after years of inactivity). We went over and she explained to us how they were already out of money for the month, and she began to panic over how she was going to feed her kids for the next two weeks. She was really scared and began praying to God to ask for help. Then suddenly a thought came to her mind, and she remembered that she had paid her tithing on fast Sunday. Immediately an all-encompassing peace came over her as she realized from the Spirit that everything was going to be okay. She said, "I realized, silly me! Why on earth am I worrying? I've got God's promise to have the windows of heaven opened to me and to be provided with even more than I need. Since I paid my tithing, I know everything will work out." She then explained how not long after, she happened to stumble upon a little savings she had put aside a long time ago and had forgotten about. It's exactly enough to get her through the end of the month. Also, she took seriously creating food storage when she learned about it not long ago. She had stocked up and realized that that food would be more than enough to get them through the rest of this month. Do you see everyone how God's promises are real? When He says that if we do our part, He'll do His, He means it! As my dad says, "we can't afford not to pay our tithing." The blessings are too great to forfeit. 
    The last thing I wanted to share was a cool lesson we had with one of my favorite recent converts, Diogène. He received his patriarchal blessing yesterday, and so we gave him a lesson the day before about these special blessings. This lesson just really reiterated to me the gratitude I have for my own personal blessing. I would not be here as a missionary if I hadn't received my patriarchal blessing. I would have missed out on the greatest experience I have ever had. I wouldn't have ever thought of considering serving a mission. I promise you, God knows us so much better than we know ourselves. He sees us for who we can become, He knows our potential, and most importantly He knows what it will take for us to attain it. He knew this is what I needed to help me reach higher and become more like Him. I am eternally grateful for that sacred patriarchal blessing that was given to me, that led me to the track God needed me to be on. I encourage all who haven't received their's to prepare to do so and to receive it when the time is right. For those who have their's, read it often and ask God to help you live up to your potential described therein. He can make of us what we never even imagined possible. 
     I hope you all have a most wonderful week! 
Soeur Shields ]]>