Monday, March 28, 2016

Rain, Miracles, AND More Rain :)

**Excerpt from Letter to mom first**
Dearest mommy,

  Hello!! Thank you so much for your email! It brightened my day. I am sorry that you had to go to woman's conference by yourself..that's no fun, but I'm glad you went! We don't get to see the broadcast until Saturday morning. Then we watch the first session on Saturday night. Then Priesthood session on Sunday morning, second session, music and the spoken word, then the third session on Sunday night. We don't even get to watch the last session because of timing and everything! Kinda lame.. But at least we get to watch some of it! It will be weird to watch it in the evening in a chapel in church clothes, but I am so excited for it! I know it will provide some answers and spiritual light that I may or may not know that I need. What a cool opportunity it is! 

Thank you so much for your Easter card! It was so fun to get mail! Sister Wiesners boyfriend, basically fiancĂ©, writes her a letter every single day. And send three at a time. So she gets mail every other day! Crazy sauce. So it was nice to see my mommas handwriting!! :) 

  A little more about Sister Wiesner, she has 6 older siblings and she is indeed the baby! She is 23 and her met her boyfriend at an FSY convention in Germany. He served in SLC and is 25 and currently serving on a bishopric in Germany! What?!? They really have such a cool, gospel focused relationship-such an example to me. They plan to be married in October when his brother returns home from his mission. Cool huh? Her parents are both converts and are now temple workers. Another fun fact, they are both older than grandpa! 72&74!! What?! I know.. 
  But anyway, she is still amazing and we get along so great. We just laugh and make up songs/raps about the gospel. We are working so hard and are just loving every bit of it. We've gotten so close this week and are just having the best time ever. I am truly bummed that she will be going home in just 4 weeks. She is teaching me so much. 

  I am so excited for Katelyn to come home!!! LOVE! It will just be amazing. I'm excited to see pictures of you all together! 
Thank you for your love and concern. The bombings in Brussels kind of put a halt on things here, but all in the mind of safety! We are grateful that President and Sister Leppard take such good care of us! It is a blessing to have them in our lives! Mom, I am continuing to have the experience of a lifetime. I am learning more and more each day, how I can become a better disciple of Christ and a better missionary. I am so grateful to be able to see myself growing slowly. Caerphilly has my heart and I am giving my all to make sure that I leave this place better than I found it. We found some awesome people this week that we are super stoked about! Prayers up! 
  I think about you often and love you to the moon and back! 

I'll speak to you soon! 
I'm not sure on the meaning of this one - maybe she missed pancakes?

**Now for the family letter**
Dear familia,
  I hope you all had a wonderful week! And if not, turn that frown upside down and make this week the best one possible!! :) 
  Hello from the wetlands! Mercy, it has just been dumping it the past few days! We often come home looking like wet dogs, but we are working hard and find those who have been prepared to hear this great word; so it is well worth it

  This week has been a normal missionary week with miracles bursting at the seams! But before I go on about miracles, I just want to express how much I love my companion. Sister Wiesner is the bomb! She has got a heart of gold and has a testimony like fire! She is bold and loving at the same time; which is key when doing this work. We get a long so well, it's scary sometimes. Like, is this too good to be true? There's got to be some dirt in this relationship somewhere?? NOPE! Just hard work and lots of laughs! 
  Laughing is key out here for many reasons..#1 If I'm not laughing, I'm not having fun. We find ourselves cracking jokes when we reach hard moments, just so we can bare them a little longer! #2 I think we would go crazy if we got stuck in the "missionary mode" and lost ourselves while do this work. Laughing and making the best of every experience we are given is apart of this once in a lifetime opportunity! Why not laugh and have the best miss ever? #3 Life is funner and rejection is taken easier when we are happy and positive! *I challenge you all to do one thing this week that makes you happy! Whether it be eating chocolate, going to the cinema, sitting down to read a good book...Treat yourself! When you are happy, those around you will be happy! :) 

  The first miracle would have to be Pat. She is an older woman who we tracted into and she has a heart of gold! She has a little puppy (12 years old) named Meg that I just adore! We were able to teach her about how this gospel will change her life and the importance of our callings as missionaries. She was overwhelmed with great excitement as we told her that we would come back and teach her! We look forward to inviting her to attend General Conference this weekend and know that there will be many things said that will stir about a mighty change in her life! She is a miracle to us! 
  The second miracle was found whilst tracting, Jan and Phil! Legends already! We actually stopped by the home and Phil said that his wife wasn't home yet, so we continued down the houses and intended to come back. Whilst on our way back, a China-sized wind gust came and turned Sister Wiesner's umbrella inside out. When this happened, we heard hysterical laughing from the teenage boys down the road.. Funny thing is, we talked about being mocked that morning before we went out and it actually happened! Turkeys. Anywho, as we stopped and attempted to fix the umbrella, we looked up to see Jan pulling up in her car! What?!? We just looked at each other and kinda ran over to her.. At first she was reluctant, as she had a tart to make (come on Jan, a tart? Haha), but she eventually invited us in where we were able to share the #Hallelujah Easter video with her. She looked up from the screen and said, "That. That was powerful!" When she said that, my whole body was covered in *tinglies* and I could feel the spirit so strongly! Her eyes were permanently opened wide and she was like a sponge, taking in every ounce of what we were speaking to her about! I love sponges! We were able to leave her with an invitation to pray to know if this is the right step to take in her life and we hope to be able to teach Phil next time as well! 

  The third miracle came on Friday morning in the form of Sister Holman, our Ward Mission Leaders wife. The night before at coordination, my badge fell off somewhere in their home. But I didn't realize it until we were already home. This situation is normally not a big deal, but when you ruin your other badge by putting it in the dryer....all of the sudden that one, single badge is like gold! In the morning, I waited patiently while the Holmans searched their car and their home for this badge and it seemed like hours! Needless to say, we were going to see President that day and going without a name badge is just not an option. Haha. So, I found myself on my knees, just pleading for their guidance and direction and all of the sudden, I hear the phone ding and Sister Holman had found it! Under the stinking dining room table! Oh my word. I fell straight to my knees in adoration for them and for the Lord. It might sound like a small, simple miracle, but this miracle change the course of my day! The grass seemed a little greener, the chocolate seemed a little sweeter, and the rain seemed a little wetter, but I was SO grateful that the Lord provided that experience for me! As missionaries, we pray for things often, because we need that answer immediately. No time to delay Heavenly Father, I need this answer now. So that we may know which way to go, which door to knock, or how we can help the people that we meet. These moments provide great building blocks for my testimony to rest upon when I feel weak. I am so grateful to know that God is aware of me! 

  The fourth miracle came last night at Easter dinner. We had lamb, roasted potatoes (kind of a staple here), mint jelly(take it or leave it), Yorkshire puddings, broccoli and cauliflower, and the grand finale.....brussel sprouts. Ten of them. On my plate. Aaahhhh and there wasn't enough gravy to drowned them in! Tragedy! So, what did I do? Grab some chunky apple sauce(they eat it on lamb here) and pour it over the little devils! Granted, it did taste pretty gnarly, but I survived. Hahah miracles are wrought and brussel spouts are still disgusting! It made for a good story nonetheless! I hope it provided a little laugh for you as well! :) 

  All in all, I was so grateful to have had time to reflect on the life of my Savior this week. His sacrifice is one that will forever change the course of my life. He is the reason that I am here in Wales. He is the reason that I can repent and feel of the redeeming love that is His Atonement. He is the reason that I chose to serve a mission, to share His light to the people here in Britain. Gratitude for Him is something that I will constantly try to master every day of my life! He is the King. The Almighty God. The Prince of Peace. What a cool guy huh? I challenge you to get to know your Savior on a personal level. Pray to Him. Love Him. Because He loves you! 

  I feel it a privilege every single morning to wake up at 6:30am and begin the Lords work here in this chosen land. The mission life is the life for me, the only one I see, and I absolutely LOVE it! This Gospel is true! No better work. Sister Wiesner have a great week ahead that I cannot wait to begin! Thank you for your prayers and concern! I hope you all have a wonderful week! 

Taa-daa love! 
Talk to you next week! 

Sister Sydney Jones

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Sunshine and Miracles

Fam-bam and friendly-friends,
 Hello from the land of miracles! How has your week been? I hope all is well and you are looking forward to spring coming! What are your plans for Easter? Let me know all of the things! :) 
This is Sister Beazer from Canada, she is a LEGEND

  This week has been one of countless miracles, a few tears, and so many laughs! It started with Sister Scherf being transferred on Tuesday morning.. That was pretty tough. It was hard think about her leaving, let alone having it actually happen. It was hard and my tummy was filled with knots and all sorts of worries. Was my new companion going to be fun? She only has six weeks left, will she want to work hard? Will she do things differently than me? I had all these questions running through my head as we spent the day on splits in Cardiff and I was just a worry-wort! And as soon as we got to the train station, I was just stoked to meet Sister Wiesner!! 
I have no idea what these pics are about, but she is having fun!

  We have each other a big hug and grabbed her baggage and bike set off into the unknown. Mind you, I've only been out for three transfers and all of the sudden I have to know where we are going (trains, buses, streets, etc.) and I can't just follow my trainer around! No pressure.. Hahah I was just/still am a little terrified of it all, but we made it to Caerphilly unharmed! :) Woohoo! **Small victory dance** I could survive in the city no problem!
  As soon as we got off the train, all three suitcases, two rucksacks, and a bicycle..we experienced our first miracle together! We were coming down into Caerphilly city center and a girl stopped us and asked if we were from America. Of course I said "You bet I am!" It was a young girl, only about 16. Her name is Seren. We talked to her for a good 20 minutes on the street and goodness, we were both amazed at her interest in learning more about what we do and why we were so happy!! We set up a return appointment and walked away on cloud nine.. It was a testament to me that Sister Wiesner is definitely here for a reason. That many miracles will be wrought through our hard work as a companionship! Needless to say, Seren is AMAZING and we were able to see her this week and she will hopefully be in church this Sunday!! Please keep her in your prayers! :) 

  Now, a little (lot) about my amazing companion... Sister Wiesner is from Basel, Switzerland! Her last name is pronounce 'Veesna' and she is 23. She has been out for 17 months, so Caerphilly will be her last area. She went to school before she came out and is going back for more in Business. She played on a competition BASKETBALL team at home and is a total beast!! Aahhhhh! I know. She's awesome. I am a little over a centimeter taller than her, darn it. Haha but we just get along SO well! This girl is filled with talent. She can play the piano and violin, sings like an angel, and is super athletic. She can literally 'run and not be weary'. She ran a few miles the other day and didn't break a sweat.. Oh, and she can rap in Swiss-German like a boss! I'm. Sending a video so you can see! I'm pretty sure she's superwoman or something. Hah, but we seriously work so well together and haven't felt the smallest bit of contention, whatsoever. It's amazing! I am so grateful to be serving with her here in the Land of Miracles! 
  We have been able to combine fun with hard work this week and it has been such a blast! The miracles have just kept coming.. We were able to contact quite a few formers this week and found 3 new investigators! We were so grateful! It is amazing how every single experience we are having, leads to another person or member. We both feel so privileged to see the change in the people that we are teaching. That is a feeling that will never, ever get old; see in the spirit touch a heart and bring about a mighty change!! Ahhhh, best job in the world! 

  Another daily miracle was the Welsh SUNSHINE!! Sister Wiesner brought it with her from Birmingham and it hasn't left since! Absolutely no rain this past rain! We were rejoicing every single moment! 
  This week in general was just prime. We worked hard, that hard work showed in our numbers, and we were witnesses to many miracles. What more could one missionary want?!? Not much.. Every night we got back to the flat, Sister Wiesner and I were absolutely speechless. Struck down. Not knowing how to properly thank our Father in Heaven for the blessings that we granted us. What a cool feeling. 
  I know that this work is sacred. It is so important. We are doing all we can and are so grateful for the members that bless us with their help. Do you know the missionaries in your area? Are you inviting them over for dinner? Are you going out to teach with them? Are you giving them referrals? Let them know that you want to support them! You are the key to bringing solid converts into this church! Please go out of your way to help the missionaries in your area!! We really appreciate it! :) 
  All in all....I'm still speechless and so thankful for the trust that the Lord has placed in Sister Wiesner and I here in this part of His vineyard. It is such a privilege to be working so hard to spread this great word. My testimony is growing each day and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here. I am truly having the time of my life. 
  I know this gospel to be true. I love the power that comes from it. I love the scriptures that help me to understand my purpose here on earth. I love the comfort that I can feel just by praying to my Heavenly Father. I love my Savior and the time that we have this week to reflect on the final hours of His life and His glorious resurrection. What a blessing it is! 
  I hope you all have a lovely week and enjoy your Easter Sunday with your beautiful families. Again, if I didn't respond to your email, please know that I read it and I am so grateful! I will do my best to respond as soon as I can. Thank you so much for all you love, support, and prayers! It means more to me than you know! :) 
  Take care and I'll see you soon! 

Tada love! :) 

Sister Sydney Jones


Last time together as a family! Love these kids! :)

Kindr Nutella hippopotamuses. Holy moly........My suitcase will be FILLED with these when I come home! 

We hiked to the top of Caerphilly Mountain this morning! It has become and will forever be a tradition here in the Caerphilly area! :)

Sister Wiesner pulled her water bottle out of her backpack and we have the same one!!! Crazy sauce! (Shout out to Betsy!)

I put my hair in a bun for the first time in a while.. And I had to take a picture. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Taa-Dah Love! TRANSFERS.

Hello hello beautiful people,

  How have you been? 
I feel like time is just flying right on by and it's crazy to think that life just keeps going on at home. What's the haps? How are your dogs, pigeons, horses, families? Let me know! 

  Well, we will just start off with a bang. TRANSFER NEWS! We received a call on Friday night from President Leppard. He said "Sister Scherf, the Lord has called you to be a Sister Training Leader. Will you accept?" I ran around the flat while Sister Scherf was calm and accepting her call. As she hung up and I calmed down a bit, we just started to cry! Ahh. It was just hard to realize that we were being separated! She really has become my best friend in the last three months and it's hard to imagine this work and Caerphilly in general without her by my side. It will not be an easy transition, but I look forward to hearing about her experiences in Nottingham, England! I know she will be an incredible leader and guide the sisters to improve themselves and reach their missionary potential! 
  I, on the other hand, will be leading the area and be getting Sister Weisner from Switzerland! WHAT?!? I know right.. Foreign's everywhere! Hahah, I'm kidding. But I am so excited to meet this legend of a missionary! She is coming from being a Sister Training Leader(STL) in Harborne, England and this will be her last transfer(6 weeks) in the mission. I feel so privileged to be surrounded by such incredible missionaries and look forward to learning Sister Weisner's wise ways! (ha) It will be yet another crazy adventure!
  This week, Sister Scherf and I have worked diligently and were able to contact 56 former investigators and 33 less-actives! It definitely kept us busy and we were worn out by the timeSunday came, but we were able to sit by two of our investigators in church, as well as our recent convert Anthony! So....we were pretty stoked about that! :) 
  We are excited to see the wards help in all the we are doing. They are so willing to fellowship and be a friend. We are so grateful for the love and support that they have given us. with Sister Scherf leaving, we were about to see most members and get lots and lots of hugs! It was a sweet, emotional experience!
  While studying this week, I came across a scripture in John 14:18 that says "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." It is so simple. Yet, so full of power! I know that the hard times that are sure to come in our lives will not last. Heavenly Father gives us Trials so that we may learn from them and once he feels we have done so, He will relieve that pain from us. But while we are going through those difficult moments, He will not leave us. He is there. He will come. But only if we are willing to submit to His will and do what He asks of us. It is such a blessing to know that He will always be there; rain or snow, fire or storm, the good and the bad. Always. 

       I would like to challenge you all to find comfort in His words and seek for His help in all that you do. His plan is far greater and more miraculous than you could ever imagine. Trust in His divine hands; for they are there to heal, to mold, and to hold you up. You are loved. You are cherished! Believe that. Treat yourselves as such. True sons and daughters of a loving Father in Heaven. Woah! :)

       I am so grateful to be here in Caerphilly and to have been blessed to be trained by Sister Scherf. Her patience and love for me is incredible. I cannot fully express how thankful I am for her and how much I will miss her. I know we were placed in each others paths for a reason and we will truly be friends forever! 

       We have seen many miracles this week and have had many moments that reminded me just how precious this experience is. Whether it be pretending to play basketball on the top of a hill in Wales, eating Simpson doughnuts for lunch, or simply by taking cute pictures with the members that have blessed our lives so much...This work is amazing! I am having the time of my life and I wouldn't want to be anywhere but here! 

       Thank you for the words of encouragement, the cards, the letters, the pictures, and the emails! I am ever so grateful! Please keep them coming! Forgive me if I have not yet responded to you yet, I am reading them, but it is just so hard to find the time to write back amidst this crazy work! 

       I am so excited to see what this week holds! I can't wait to get to work with Sister Weisner and be able to send you cute pictures of us together! I hear she's taller than me, WHAT?!? Holla! It'll be lovely. 

       Thank you all again for the prayers and the love! I think of you often. (:

All my love from The Phil,

Sister Sydney Jones  

Sister Scherfs two recent converts. Wendy and Sam. They were wonderful!

Chilling while the food was in the oven!

Basketball in WALES! Super sweet. I love this picture. My one true love! 

Shootin' 3's and takin' names!

Sister Taylor who makes the most incredible cooked dinners and parsnips! Ahhh she is an angel. I seriously have adopted her as my Welsh grandma...

Us being cute in a park, on some swings..
Eating lunch in the park, overlooking the castle.
The missionary life.. Having to pee and only being able to find a toilet on somebodys pavement. Strruugggg.

The District on the way to The Big Pit Museum last Monday.

Us at The Big Pit (A coal mine) It was SO cold and so full of history! Wearing trousers is weriddddd. 
Beautiful Wales.

A cute yellow car.

Cute girls and Simpson doughnuts.

A true British girl...We went out for BBQ ribs and I ate them with a fork and knife. Hahah. You'd actually be really proud of my table manners mom! I am so darn proper now!

At a coal miners museum (look up the great Senghenydd Coal Mining Disaster) And there were over 64 people who died with the last name Jones.. Absolutely crazy! Most people we stop on the street start asking about my accent and then see my last name and are like "Oh! You're a Jones! You're from Wales! Let's be friends!" Okay, not all of them... but it has happened :)
Us at The Big Pit! Again, wearing trousers was weird! 

ANTHONY IS THE MAN!!! (Isn't this picture the cutest?)

Park pitstop

Nathan is the other man!!! 

Elder Page and Elder Jones! Elder Page goes home tomorrow and Elder Jones is from Finland! He will be with Elder Ofasi in my zone! I will be able to see him every Sunday! Super excited!

he Hutchinson family... We love them so much. He was our old ward mission leader.

Finding out about transfers. Happy/sad moments.

Monday, March 7, 2016

3 Months and Counting!

Dear fam,
 Hello! How has your week been? I hope all is well across the pond..

My "3 months and going strong" picture! I actually think I look quite tired, but that's a missionary, right? 

 This week has been a great learning opportunity for Sister Scherf and I. The experiences that we shared brought us even closer together as well as closer to our Savior.
  Each day this week we received three challenges from our zone leaders. They were all meant to push us out of our comfort zone and give us opportunities to share the gospel. Some in particular were: stop someone by complimenting his or her mustache, give your companion a foot massage, pet 7 cats, make up a handshake with an old person, tie a random persons shoe, hug a random person, and have lunch with a stranger.
  The last challenge gave us a chance to eat fresh French brioches (sounds posh huh?!) with a woman by the castle. We had an amazing conversation with her about how 'Pure Christlike love flowing from righteousness can change the world' (Jeffrey R Holland). We came to the conclusion that the world would be a much better place if people would go out of their way to have lunch with random people on the street or in a shop. Can you imagine the change this would ensue?
  Well now you can! We want to extend this challenge to all of you! Share your lunch with someone you meet. Go out of your way to brightens someone else's day (cheesey, I know) and please let us know how that goes... :) I promise you will be and are a blessing in someone else's life!
  Now for the moment that challenged both Sister Scherf and I. Some issues surfaced with a recent convert here and we were unfortunately involved in the sticky situation. It was hard to not see the situation as a negative one, because it was so hard for us both at the beginning. But we were able to find guidance through the spirit to be able to handle the moment that tested us so harshly. We were brought closer together over this unfortunate matter and were able to see the hand of God in this situation. I am so grateful for my Savior who provides much needed strength for me when I feel like my faith is being torn. He is the mender of all things and promises to give us strength and build us up when we feel as though we've been knocked down.
  I know that he wants nothing more than to help our faith to grow. He needs us to be strong and valiant when times get hard, so that we may stand as beacons for those who cannot find their way on their own. I know that the influence we have on others is incredible. There are opportunities all around to serve and to ensure we all make it back to live with our Father in Heaven again. So, be an example, even when you feel that others are not looking. Smile when it rains. Laugh when it snows. Encourage those around you to be the best they can be, simply by loving them. Become the person that God needs you to be, so you can bring others along for the journey! 

Dragon outside of the castle! Yes, there is actual steam coming from his nostrils! Sweet huh?!

  This weekend, two of Sister Scherfs recent converts came down from Nuneaton, to take us out to dinner! They were both so lovely and we were able to chat and have a stake! Ooohhhhhh man. The first stake I've had since being out in the field! Rib-eye. It was brill! It was fun to be in a restaurant with normal people. Hahah, we don't get out much do we? Following dinner, we went to the stake talent show and it was amazing! The talent here in the Cardiff Stake is incredible! We felt so privileged to be there to enjoy the evening with the people that we love so much!
  Yesterday was Mother's Day here in the UK and (my mother doesn't know this, but I could've chosen to Skype her yesterday instead of the American Mother's Day...but I definitely didn't. Sorry mom!) it was lovely! There were pink ribbons plastering the town in honour of the mothers and everyone was out and about, enjoying the raaaaaiiiinnnnn! Lovely it was. Absolutely lovely! 

Our random lunch date! She was awesome!

  At fast and testimony meeting, I stood to bare my testimony and began with "Good morning everyone! I cannot even tell you how hard it is to hear you all talk about how wonderful your mothers are, whilst mine is on the other side of the world! It is so hard, but I am so grateful to be here in Caerphilly and to be blessed with such wonderful mother figures here! You have taken us under your wings and have given us every single opportunity to feel our mothers love. I am so grateful that my mother taught me to have a love and a desire for this gospel. Without her example, I might not be out here in this beautiful land sharing this great word!" Etc....
  Needless to say, I am eternally grateful for my mother and the incredible woman that she is. (I miss you so!) I am grateful for the women at home in my stake and the wonderful friends who have richly blessed my life with their examples. And lastly, I am so thankful for the blessing that these women here in Wales are to me. I love this ward. I love this town. This is my temporary home. It has my heart and so do these wonderful people! With transfers just around the corner, I pray that I will be able to stay here just a little while longer; so as to continue the work forth here in Caerphilly (Philly, the Phil, Caer...) Good times. 

One of our members came back from America with HIDDEN VALLEY RANCH!!!! Hahahah such a cool surprise! She also brought Reeses bunnies for Easter! Absolutely made our week! 

  Anywho, this week has taught me much and has given me many opportunities to fall at the feet of my Savior and ask for strength and guidance reguarding those things that tested my faith. I know that these challenging moments are there for us to grow from and to be strengthened by. I am so thankful for Sister Scherf and the best friend she has become to me... How did I get so blessed? She's awesome and I love her to bits. I am loving each day here and the moments that challenge me to become better. This experience and adventure is such a blessing! I am having the time of my life! The absolute best time!
  Thank you for all the love and prayers! I feel them! And I am praying for you too! Keep the faith and continue forth. Talk to you soon!

  I love you!
  Taa-daa! :)

-Sister Jones