Monday, December 26, 2016

Dear fam,

      Wow, what a wonderful week! We have had loads of fun and have made countless memories. It actually seemed like the longest week ever, with all the crazy anticipation for yesterday. We had two Zone Meetings filled with games and presents! During the white elephant gift exchange I ended up stealing a Royal Family 2017 Calendar...woot!  Winning! We laughed A LOT this week! So blessed.
Wild horsies!

Swansea sisters are swaggy!

Christmas Eve tea with the David's! Nothing better than Chinese and
good company!

      So, there's this family here called the Prossers and he was just
recently released from being the bishop. We were over there for dinner on Wednesday night and all of the sudden, brother Prosser says "I have a very serious question for you, do you think High School Musical?" We both looked at each other and said "Of course we do!" Needless to say, the dinner soon turned into a musical with all of us singing 'Breaking Free' at the top of our lungs! Talk about a party. We were able to track down a HSM mug and give it to them for Christmas; their faces were priceless! This ward is the absolute coolest!
We were WELL looked after by our wonderful ward this year!!

The aftermath.

Chocolate and Shloer(Mormon bubbly)
 "If we timed it right, there should be a surprise out your door!" We have such thoughtful elders!!

Happy Christmas from a couple of nuns!

     On Friday night, we were out tracting and met a lady named Madeline.  She opened the door and told us that she was a Welsh Baptist. She had heard of our church before, but had a lot of questions. Initially she was quite abrasive and seemed as though she wanted to bash. But eventually she asked us a simple question, "So, why the Book of Mormon? Isn't the Bible enough?" OPPORTUNITIES! We testified that the BOM answers the questions that the Bible does not and how we need this modern revelation that will help us to return to live with God. This led to her asking if she could read the book and are are going back to
see her this week!! Blessings! The spirit truly does soften people's
      On the way back from Zone Meeting on Saturday, I told Sister Berrett that the only thing that I wanted for Christmas was a big glass of ice cold water. This is because most people here serve room temperature drinks or ones that have simply been refrigerated, but never with ice. Get this. We get to the Joneses house and Moira comes around the corner with, yes, a tall glass of Welsh water with ice cubes in it!  DREAMS DO COME TRUE! I jumped up and gave her the biggest cwtch (look it up) in the world! **Refer to picture below**
This woman reminds me so much of my mother! My beautiful Moira
Jones...we must be related, eh? Oh how I love her! She made my only
Christmas wish come true; a glass of water with ICE! Ahhh miracles.

      We went to the carol service later on Saturday evening and then went to our Ward Mission Leaders home for tea. Chinese take out! This family is such a blast. The night ended with us dancing and singing "Last Christmas" in their front corridor. Ahhhh, so much fun!

      On Christmas morning, we woke up at 5:30 and began opening our presents from the ward. We got lots of lotion, socks, and chocolate.  SO MUCH CHOCOLATE. Mercy. All our gifts were so fitting. We are so grateful! Our elders surprised us with a fake fireplace, a tree, and awesome gifts! We ended up eating cereal with them on our front porch and had a good laugh. We then went to our hour church service and then to members houses for a wonderful Christmas meal!

      Also, Skyping happened and it was beautiful. I ❤️ my fam! Technology is amazing.
Family is everything! #Skypedates

      I am so grateful for the spirit of Christmas that seems to be extra real as a missionary. Being able to be His servant on His beloved day is an absolute honour. I am grateful for His sacrifice and for his love. He is the reason that I am here. A humble babe lying in a manger became the Saviour of the world; what a story. We are blessed, because of Him! ⬆️ Praise Him.

"...and his name shall be called Wonderful, 
Counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, 
The Prince of Peace."    -Isaiah 9:6


Hilarious coupons from Sis. Berrett. She's not super lovey dovey and
she's quite it's perfect!

God bless and a Happy New Year!

All my love,

Sister Sydney Jones

(Part of Syd's letter to me received at 1:41 am 12/26/16)

Dearest Mumzie!  
      I know it is super early, we are off to have a full English breakfast with the David's and then to the Williams and then on to Dobby's beach in Pembrookshire! I'm so excited! It will be great!! 
      Thank you so much for the wonderful Skype date yesterday!! It was so much fun! I was so grateful that Ty, Jen, and the kids were able to make it as well. So much fun! I loved all the questions too, they made me think :) .......... We have been very blessed this year and have had a ton of fun! We are looking forward to this week and all that will come. Please pray that I will pass my Theory Test on Thursday at 7pm. I will need them! I hope you all have a good week. I can't wait to hear about Katelyn's experience in Cali. Sydney.
Look where I have been today! Pembrokeshire!
The beach where Dobby died!!


Old American Ford truck and Welsh grassland

The Williams!!

Feat. Sister Berrett as Dobby
& Sister Jones as Harry

"You're a wizard Harry!"

LOVE This Girl!

The sun really does shine in the UK!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Happy Christmas from Wales!

Christmas present from President & Sister Leppard. Cool eh? #EBM 🙂


Hello fam! 
       It is a chilly day here in Merthyr. We have had an extremely busy week with lots of memories made! The highlight of the week would have to be our ward Christmas party titled "Welcome to Bethlehem". It was fantastic! We all came traditionally dressed and wandered around the markets to find turkey & beef baps and Danish buns! Then the members acted out the nativity, while Sister Berrett and I sang in the angelic choir! The spirit was felt, the food was delicious, and the kids loved it! Such a fun idea.
7 legs, 2 hijab's, and a redhead.

       Welcome to Bethlehem in Merthyr. 
          Such a magical evening! 

The relief society Christmas party and a visitor from Caerphilly! #JONES

Elder Wagner and I.

Naughtier or nice?

Such a fun night! Rhian is the coolest.

The Joneses! How cool are they??


      We had exchanges in Cardiff this week with Sisters Nkomo & Jampapan. What a blast! Sister Nkomo is going into physical therapy when she gets home, so she gave us both awesome back massages! Woot! Then we painted each other's nails and went to their sauna in the morning. FYI: don't go in one of those death traps unless you want to feel as though you are suffocating.. Not my favourite experience ever.. But other than that, it was an awesome exchange! 
Trunky meeting! 6 months left!! 👐🏼 Love these sisters!

      This week I had my Self-Reliance (Trunky) Meeting. It happens when you are 6 months from going home. It consists of 6 hours in a chair, taking tests, making partial resumes, and trying to figure out what the heck we are going to do with our lives. Most people had 3-4 pages of possible career options... I had 28! WHAT?! My results consisted of a fish farmer, bricklayer, playwright, barrister, microbiologist, and very few logical options. MERCY. This is a call for help! Hahah, what do you think I should go into when I get home? Any in put would very much appreciated. :) 
Welsh hills and SHEEP!


I got my learners (losers) license! Woot!

       I actually finished the Book of Mormon this morning, which was a very tender experience for me. I have been filled with gratitude for everyone that died so that this book could be placed in my hands; and therefore, shape my entire life! I challenge you all to involve the Book of Mormon somewhere in your New Years resolutions! I can testify that it will only better you and benefit your family!
Exchanges with the best in Cardiff! Sister Nkomo & Sister Jampapan 🤓
Exchanges with Newport!

       This week I was reminded that before my mission, I really relied on my mother for everything. Any question or bump in the road and she was only a call away. But, as a missionary...that luxury is basically gone. We are left to sort out those bumps in the road with the big man upstairs. It is not an easy adjustment, but it is one that causes us missionaries to completely rely on our Heavenly Father; a man in whom we have never seen, but know is there. I am grateful for the humbling experience that it has been to realise that I cannot do this on my own, that I do in fact need His help. I know Him better because I need Him and the help that he constantly provides for me. I testify that He is only a prayer away! He will never leave you! He loves you! He is the Almighty. 

      Happy Christmas from Wales! I hope you are all enjoying the madness that is this Christmas season. It is so easy to be consumed with every last minute item and the havoc of trying to plan the perfect Christmas meal! But I pray that you will remember to keep Christ in Christmas this year. When all the wrapping and tinseling is done, be sure to make your home a place that the Saviour would like to stay on his special day. Remind your children of the true meaning of Christmas. And may it be very merry and bright! :) 

  Enjoy this beautiful week! 

                        Sister Jones

Saturday, December 17, 2016

My Welsh Heart :)

Dearest faithful readers,

      What a week to be had! Wow. I am amazed that Sister Berrett and I are still standing after this past week. We have been running on fumes, but it has been great! We had 2 zone meetings and my first exchange. We gave our first trainings together as a companionship and they went beautifully. So fun to be with someone that you just click with. 
 My beautiful Anne. Is this photo just the cutest?? 

Cardiff & Merthyr Zone meetings. LOVE these missionaries! 

      We gave a training in Cardiff about the question "Are you the missionary that your mother thinks you are?" It was such a fun topic to plan a training around. We raised a lot of questions and had the missionaries thinking about the qualities that their mothers assume we have as missionaries; hard working, obedient, honest, faithful, etc. We talked about how we can achieve these qualities and strengthen our testimonies at the same time. It was great! 

      My first exchange was with Sister Wadsworth (former companion) in Caerphilly! I ended up seeing nearly all of my favourite members while there in a space of 24 hours and nearly all of them were not planned. We went tracting with Sue, Blodwen remembered me, had dinner with Andrea & Lowri, coordination with Brother Holman, enjoyed a hot cocoa at the Wilkinson's, surprised Anthony, saw Anne getting off the bus in town, ran into a former investigator, Deb took us out for a burger on Caerphilly mountain, saw Deb & Phil a few minutes before leaving exchanges, and was still able to have an incredibly successful exchange. The miracles that were flowing absolutely took me by surprise. I was so grateful. 
Andrea & Lowri...❤

 Just a cute family photograph of my first exchange in Caerphilly. 

      It was amazing to be back in my greenie area and to see how it had changed, but also how it stayed the same. It was fun to be with Sister W and to see how we had changed and progressed as well. I know that I am absolutely meant to be back here in Wales. I know that I have a Welsh heart (it has Jones written on it). I love this land and the people that reside here. I AM HOME.
My dearest Deb and I on a sleigh ride. 

Lunch w/ the Williams

      I love the sisters that we are working with. We have 5 teams and they are all wonderful! South Africa x2, Zimbabwe, Australia, Thailand, Arizona, and Utah. So fun! Before exchanges, Sister Berrett and I are writing and recording each team their very own song. I know, right? I'll send a few home so that you can hear em! 

      On Thursday we went to follow up with a less-active member and found that she didn't live there, BUT her mom did! Turns out that she was a member, not on our records, but definitely a member! She said that she still reads the Book of Mormon, keeps the word of wisdom, and tells people about her faith. When she told us this, I took a deep breath and just said "So, what's keeping you from coming to church?" Ahhhh. Long story short she ended up inviting us in, we taught her a lesson, and then she invited us back! Woot! We are excited to work with Pam this week.

      I have been studying the last few days of Jesus Christ's life this past week and have been filled with an overwhelming amount of gratitude for Him. He knew that Judas and Peter would betray Him, but He still loved them and eventually forgave them. What an incredible example of ultimate forgiveness. I am so grateful that I can be forgiven for my sins and be freed from those things that with hold me from being happy. What a perfect time of year to be grateful for our Saviour and the life that he has given to us! 
District breakfast.

      We had a lot of things going on this week and it was quite exhausting, but we were still able to find 30 potential investigators! I know that miracles/baptisms don't just happen in certain areas, but in fact, they can happen anywhere...all according to our faith! 

      I am continuing to love the absolute craziness of my mission! Sister Berrett and I have found the balance of fun and hard work, which indeed keeps us going. The Christmas spirit is thick in the air and people's hearts are open to the word. No better place to be, than here in Wales. 
        Bless you all and have a beautiful week! 

Oddi wrth,

Sister Sydney Jones