Monday, April 4, 2016

4 Down, 14 To Go!

Us browsing the shops in Cardiff and we came across this HUGE marry go
round! This is us today :)

**Part of letter to mom first**
Dear momma-bear,
  Tears are currently filling my eyes! Ahhhhh. Home. Katelyn Grace Jones, HOME. oh how I long to see this precious moment for myself. It is hard not to think about such moments without longing to be there.. Very hard. I knew this time would come, but it kind of snuck up on me and took me by surprise! I don't quite know how I will handle it all, but I will hopefully receive permission from the AP's to call Sister Scherf on Saturday, just because she wants to see how I am doing. Sweet of her. 
  But all these plans and ideas just make me so excited for you all! I am so thankful that Sarah will be there to capture every single moment! Such a blessing. How cool would it be if K and Emma could see each other in the airport! What? How awesome would that be? And about her getting an old companion for a roommate?!? Holy moly.. Dreams do come true! She will be so stinkin' excited! I would love that.. All my companions so far are either foreign or getting married ASAP when they get home; or both! Hahah so maybe I'll have a single American companion sometime in the near future ! ;)
And conference....Wasn't that just the most rewarding 8 hours of your life?! Mercy.... I loved it so much! I felt like I was in a spiritual swimming pool, soaking up all the spiritual goodness! I have only seen the first three sessions and the woman's session, so thank you for letting me know that Jeffery R. Holland will be speaking! We were wondering if he would! Unfortunately, we will just have to read it when it comes out in the Ensign, but good things nonetheless! I will talk more about it in my family letter.

My Welsh name tag finally came!

Hello family and friends!
 Did you enjoy conference or did you enjoy conference?? I don't know if it could've been any better! We still haven't watched the last session because of the time difference, but we look forward to reading it in the next few days! It was definitely weird to watch conference in the evening at the chapel, especially because I've only ever watched it at home in the comfort of my pj's and couch! But, I enjoyed the spirit that filled the chapel and the wonderful opportunity it was to hear from the Lords leaders, apostles, and dear prophet- President Thomas S. Monson. What a joy it was! 
Beautiful Caerphilly Castle at sunrise, whilst on our journey to play basketball at a local park! 

 My favorite talks would have to be Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Sister Oscarson spoke on the importance of understanding that this church is not just a social club, that it isn't a part-time commitment, nor just a nice place to go on a Sunday. This gospel requires work. Your either moving forward or you're moving backward, there is no in between. If you don't feel yourself growing spiritually, you are most likely moving backward. I loved her challenge to search the scriptures instead of the Internet! Oh how wise is her counsel! Please heed this!
 President Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke on how we can be spiritually rebuilt through repentance and binding our hearts to our Heavenly Father. His talk wroght a change in me; to help my Father in Heaven to find those sheep that are lost so that they might be rebuilt! I know that He will find them, but we are litereally His hands here on earth and that is what we are here to do; help Him to find the one! What a joyous calling this is. It is so specific and is not a calling that should be taken lightly, therefore we must heed every single prompting that we receive! Needless to say, I aboslutely enjoyed this glorious conference weekend! 
The Big Cheese! Apparently Caerphilly is known for making cheese? Who knew!

 This week I have been taken ill by the nasty flu bug going around the UK. It's terrible, but the Lord has definitely given me strength to endure and accomplish those things that He has asked of Sister Wiesner and I. We faced a lot of adversity this week, but I am grateful for the learning experiences that it provided for us.
 A few miracle experiences come to mind when I think of the last week.. On Wednesday afternoon, we were out contacting and decided to take a little short cut through a huge field....At the beginning, the grass was green and beautiful, then came the mud out of no where! We started walking down a small slope and all of the sudden BOOM. Down goes Sister Jones! Mud. Mud everywhere! And I mean everywhere! So, we had to walk 30 minutes back to our flat so I could shower and it kind of dampened my day, if you know what I mean. But I was privileged with the following experience that totally made up for it! :) 
  On Wednesday evening, we were teaching a couple about the Restoration and it was my turn to speak. So, naturally I took over speaking and all of the sudden I realized that the words that were flowing from my mouth were not the words that I had intended to speak! They were about something completely different, but I could see the eyes of the mother begin to water and I was quickly assured that the spirit had literally flowed through me at that moment. The gift of tongues is REAL! And the Lord will fill our mouths as long as we "treasure up the words" then, we are promised that He "will give us the words in the very hour" that we need them to "touch the hearts of men"! How neat is that?! I testify that if we our everything, "He will give us all that he hath"! I know this to be true.
Us in front of the Welsh sign at the chapel. Neat huh? 

  On Thursday evening, we had no dinner appointment, so we found ourselves in a convenient store and came out with BBQ Pringles and chocolate milkshakes. (I know, mom, terrible life choice) And it turned out to be okay! We went over to a corner shack filled with old cigarettes and beer bottles, just to escape the wind. As we were eating our humble Pringles, I looked down at the garbage around us, only to see a FIVE POUND NOTE lying amidst the rubbish!! What? Talk about miracles! 

We couldn't help but relate this experience back to our finding efforts. How we will always find more people who are not interested, then those who are! And the ones who are interested will be harder to find because of the opposition surrounding us and this true gospel. But when we do find them, the are like GOLD. Priceless above all! What a cool opportunity to learn! BTW, we did end up spending this money on pizza making supplies, so it went to a good cause ;)
Spitzbueben cookies! Sister Wiesner is a master baker and surprised me with these on the morning of my 4 month mark! :) 

  As I reflect on the last four months, I am in awe at how fast my mission is flying! Am I learning enough? Doing enough? Becoming who God needs me to be? I hope so! I am amazed at the grandeur of this calling and the incredible opportunity I have to be on this beautiful island; serving the one who gave me all! I have 14 glorious months left and I intend to give every ounce and breath to the wonderful people of Britain. For the Lord has called me here for a mighty purpose! :) 

  I am excited to hear that my best friend, Bailee, has received her call to the Ohio Cleveland Mission leaving June 15th! Woot! Spreading the great word! Also, that my beautiful champion of a sister is returning home from her mission in just 5 days! Where does the time go? She has been such a strength to me over the past 18 months and I am stoked to see her begin the rest of her non-missionary life! :) 
*I think we get a pic of this because its her favorite color.

  I am grateful to be here and am so thankful for all your love and support from back home! It keeps me goin'! I hope you all have a wonderful week and continue to ponder on the words we received in General Conference! 

Peace and blessings.

Taa-daa lovelies, 

Sister Sydney Jones

Right after I fell in the muddiest mud hole ever!

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