Monday, May 30, 2016

Be Not Afraid, Only Believe

 This girl and I have had some GOOD laughs! 
Dear family and friends, 

      Wow. How quickly did that week fly by for ya? It flew for us. We were so busy and barely found time to eat and sleep! The weather has been incredible this week! It felt like we were in Miami! Haha, okay, not quite that nice, but nice for Wales! We only had a few raindrops the whole week long. Miracles! We are told that this is our summer.. Hot, humid, and sweaty. Love it! :) 

Last picture in front of the legendary Caerphilly Castle.

       Okay, okay. The dodge (transfer news) is in! All weekend my mind just contemplated the possibilities of what could happen. I had extremely strong impressions that I would be leaving Caerphilly, but the more I talked to the members, the more my mind would wonder. 
ister Holman (wife of our ward mission leader) and baby Caleb! This little boy makes my world go round! He will be the first boy I hug when I come back as a civilian!

Our family picture with Flynn included.

I Kissed Flynn

My reaction after kissing Flynn!

     Yesterday as we were teaching Andrea and Lowri, the phone began to ring. I looked down to see that it was coming from the Assistants to the President. As I answered, we had a good chat and then he got to the good stuff! "Sister Jones, the Lord has called you to be a trainer." I'm pretty sure my heart stopped. They said that my lip began quiver and I didn't respond to the call for about 10 seconds. I was and still am completely struck down. I thanked him kindly and hung up the phone. Woah. I cannot explain the thoughts that went through my head. I just feel so humbled that the Lord is trusting me to train a new missionary, when I feel so new myself. I only have six months of experience, but that is enough for the Lord! 

     We received the rest of the transfer information a few hours later whilst sitting on my bed in our pajama's. The first news was that Sister Selwa will be staying in Caerphilly! Woah. She will be receiving Sister Sharp who is also from Idaho and is SO much fun! When he said that she would stay, it automatically clicked in my brain that I would be leaving and training my greenie in an area that neither of us knows. Yep, that's right! I'm whitewash training.. This does not happen very often in the mission, so I know that the Lord has placed an incredible amount of trust me as a missionary. No pressure. :) 

     As for where I will be going, I am heading to Leicester, England! I will be serving in the De Montfort Ward. EEENNNGGGGLLLAAANNNDDDDD! I am so excited! The thought of whitewash training is extremely overwhelming, but I am grateful that I will be able to spend 2 weeks there, while I wait for my trainee to come from the MTC. They have to do it this way because of the 3 week MTC change. So, this means that I will be with another trainer for the two weeks while we wait. Then we get to pick up our greenies!!! Aaahhhh! I'm so excited to meet this sister! When President Leppard said "We have plans for you", this is what he meant. 

    I have been praying for an opportunity to grow and the Lord has provided a way. Granted, this task seems quite I am only at the bottom of the mountain staring up, but I know that He will give me every possibly resource so that I may become who He needs me to be in this process. The Lord throws some good curveballs and I am ready to step up and take a swing. 

     My last Sunday in Caerphilly was more perfect than I could've ever imagined. Everyone was there! No family was on holiday or on business, so I was able to say goodbye to literally the whole ward! Such a tender mercy. Brother Williams invited me to bare my testimony after the rest hymn, so I made sure to grab some tissues from Andrea before going up. I got to the podium and just stood there for a second or two, taking in the beautiful sight. This is my Welsh home. These people have meant SO much to me over the past 6 months and I am very aware of their love for me. I don't know how many kisses and hugs I got from them all, but I sure felt the LOVE! The Lord provided great strength for me, as I only shed a few tears during the whole 3 hour block. 

     I can testify that His plan is the only one for me! I am so grateful for His guidance and the strength that can be felt through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have felt the love of my Savior, whilst in the grasp of the Caerphilly Ward. They have made this place a home and have treated me as their own. I owe them all so much and it has been an incredible privilege to serve here. I know that the ward will be left in good hands and that Andrea and Lowri will be well taken care of by the ward members. Caerphilly is Zion in Wales. Hands down, no questions asked :) 
The beautiful Sister Grant! I adore her!

Exchanges with the best.

     This week we had the opportunity to go on exchanges. I went with Sister Grant who is from New Zealand! We walked over 6 miles in the blazin' sun and had the greatest time in the world! Her accent is thee coolest and I was able to learn so much from her. 

     We also had the opportunity to have interviews with President Leppard which was incredible. That man is inspired and lives his life on holy ground. He shared wonderful insights with me and we were able to discuss the success in the Caerphilly area. As I relayed the experience that I told last week about how the Gospel Principles room was full with recent converts, less actives, and investigators, he reached forth his hand and said "well done." That moment was very profound for me and it was a great privilege to know that I have done all that I needed to do here and that it is indeed my time to go. 

      Andrea and Lowri are well on their way to baptism! We were able to spend yesterday with them and it was wonderful. I will miss them something terrible, but all will be well. Wanda came to church yesterday and she loved it! So did Melissa! We had four investigators at church, which is the most that we have had in Caerphilly for many years! Woot! Blessings, blessings! They amaze us with their grace and courage. We are so excited for them all! 

     With all these changes, I am comforted with the words from President Uchtdorf, "Be not afraid, only believe." I shall not be afraid, because I know whose hands my future is in. I can only believe that this change is meant to make me grow in all the ways that my Father in Heaven needs me to. This new adventure is incredibly exciting and holds a whole lot of new memories to be made! I am loving my mission and have loved everything up to this point. Sister Selwa has taught me much and has encouraged me to be a better missionary. I can ask for nothing less! 

       I hope that you all will be able to accept the changes that are sure to come in your life. Step up to the plate and be ready to swing! Those curveballs won't throw you off course if you only confide in your Heavenly Father and His Almighty guidance. We can do this! 

       Thank you for your prayers and the love that I can feel flowing from your words! I don't have time today to reply to your emails, but I will be sure to do so next week. We are now heading to the bay with the Williams and will have a barbecue there as well! It will be the perfect way to end my time here in Caerphilly. We are so excited! We will then end the evening with the Taylors and a long night of packing! Wish us luck! 

      Signing off from Caerphilly for the last time,

                                                                      Sister Sydney Jones

Monday, May 23, 2016

Food, Baptismal dates, and More Food

** First, a loving reminder from Sydney to Mom about proper and quick email responses **
 What is up with all the pictures and no words?!?! Where is the picture of the lovespoon on the wall? Did G&G's house sale yet? Can you please send me some explanations?
 I honestly just want to hear what is up. I need your words mom! Where you at? Two weeks in a row is unacceptable mother!! Come ooonnnnn!

Dear Family and Friends, 
      Behold! It has been another incredible week in the mission field! Gosh, I LOVE what I am blessed enough to do! I hope you all had a beautiful week and were able to counsel with the Lord in all that you did.

      Many, many miracles were wrought in the past 7 days! So many that I cannot fully comprehend the full measure of their heavenly nature! It began on Monday evening with the Taylor family; who we completely adore. They fed us well and challenged us to a mean game of Uno after Family Home Evening! All the women won at least once! Shout out to Sister Jenny Taylor for being a powerhouse of an Uno player! 

Laughing at our cute umbrellas, borrowed from the Boones....And how sick we are of the rain!

       On Wednesday, I had the privilege of giving training on how we can make our personal study more effective and more centered on our investigators. Our district leader asked me to focus on how we can receive revelation for our investigators, but for some reason I couldn't get past the importance of being spiritually prepared for receiving that revelation. So, I led the training with the idea that we can receive revelation any time, whenever we desire it. But, it is not that easy! We must first be worthy and be doing every single thing we can to have the spirit with us constantly. When our studies are consecrated and we are sincerely gaining a testimony of the doctrine, we will know that what we are teaching is true and our conviction in teaching it will be powerful! I undeniably know that when we give the Lord every single ounce of ourselves, that "He will do wonders among us". 
A Royal Guard helmet that a member had laying around the house.

Selfie on the bus on the way to do service for our lovely members! 

Selfie (sorry for all the selfies) of us after a long day at church.

      Sister Selwa and I had the opportunity to do over 6 hours of service this week! It was the first time that I mowed the lawn since I was back home! And might I add that Welsh grass never, ever gets dry! And this house was on a very steep hill, with a rather large lawn.. I started at the bottom and pushed the electric mower up the wet, grassy "mountain"; having to empty the back of it every 10 steps because it would get clogged with the wet green stuff. Whew! 'Twas a good work out to say the least! I love to serve!
KRISPY KREME IS IN CARDIFF, WALES! Mom, dreams really do come true!

      This week, we were WELL taken care of by the wonderful Caerphilly members. Goodness.. We had 10 dinner appointments in 7 days! Holy Moly. I have never been so full in all my life! Every night that we came back to the flat, we would just look at each other like the Grinch did at the last piece of 'Who-holiday-fruit-cake'; disgusted. Mmaaaannnn. So much for the "let's lose weight" goal that we set! Needless to say, we absolutely cannot complain. The members show their love to us by feeding us the most luxurious food on the planet and I love it. I thoroughly believe that the Lord allows us some extra stomach (or hollow leg) room to fit all the desserts and cooked dinners that we are given! Oh how grateful I am for that! Caerphilly is the place to be! Especially as a missionary! 

      Here's a story for the funny papers! While we were reading with Anthony this week, we came across the story of Joseph Smith praying in the forest. We asked him to read the next verse and he read it as follows, "Joseph knelt down to pray. As he began to pray, Santa tried to stop him." Ooohhhhh man! We had a GOOD laugh about that one! He paused after he read it and said "Well that's weird!" Haha yep! Silly Santa..

      Andrea and Lowri are still doing incredible! We were able to choose a DATE for baptism!!!!!!!! Ahhhhh!!!! July 2nd is the day of days! Absolutely beautiful. We were able to show Andrea the font and discuss baptism and when she told us that she was ready... Wow! Miracles. We just leaped for joy! She is so prepared and so ready to become a member of this true church! They will be baptized on the same day by wonderful priesthood holders of the Caerphilly Ward. My heart swells with great (humble:) pride, thinking of how incredible their futures will be!

       My heart is torn as transfer news comes this next Sunday, where we are pretty sure that I will be going..As I will have been here for 6 months. :/ Its hard to think about leaving after I have been able to do so much work here and have seen so many people grow and progress..on top of not being here for Andrea and Lowri's baptism. But, I know that the Lord has a plan for all things. I know that He prepares a way for all things to come to light. So, I shall trust in Him and wherever He needs me to go! 
We have spent our P-Day doing a scavenger hunt in IKEA!!! I had to come all the way to the UK to finally enter this heaven and boy was it worth it!

Ha. We staged a Word of Wisdom lesson in IKEA. These are our faces when they told us that we can't drink coffee. :)

Jumping photo fail. Took us 10 attempts to get this awful picture. Haha.

       Sunday, Sunday. What a glorious day! We had a lovely sacrament meeting where we were able to reflect on our week; which was great. Then we went to our Gospel Principles class where we walked in to find the classroom FULL! As I sat down, I was overcome with great confirmation that this was the fruit of our labours. A room filled with recent converts, less-actives, and investigators; a priceless moment as a missionary! All these months.. Five and a half months spent here in Caerphilly haven't all been for naught! I know that I have been here for many reasons and experiencing that room filled with those precious, chosen spirits was a defining moment for me as a missionary. It really is true; the Lord does make us instruments in His hands! I have seen that in my work here and I know that none of these miracles would be possible without the infinite and incredible guidance from God and His Son, Jesus Christ through the Holy Ghost. Oh how grateful I am! 

        Following church, there was a huge bike race in Caerphilly, so we had to spend the day in Pontypridd with the Williams, the Shucks, and the Wilkinsons! What a party. We had the privilege of having a beautiful cooked dinner and sharing our GOLD from church. Then we gathered into the study, around the piano and sang hymns for the rest of the evening. We all picked our favourites and sang them together. Mine was 'Abide With Me; Tis Eventide'. I love this song, because I always want my Savior to be with me, I always want to be worthy of his friendship and guidance. As we sang a few more hymns, Brother Williams said "Let's sing the Star-Spangled Banner!" There there we were, a bunch of mostly Welsh people, singing my countries National Anthem. They must love me or something ;) God bless America! 
 This week has been incredible. One that I cannot forget. I am so grateful for the members here that love us unconditionally, who truly treat us as their own. I have never felt more at home than I do in this ward. I don't want to think about how hard it will be to leave this beautiful place. Nevertheless, all good this! 

       I am thankful for the opportunity that we have to be brave. To be bold. It takes a lot of courage to live righteously and to stand up for what you believe in. Bravery doesn't come cheap. But the reward for doing so, is magnificent! So, be brave! Be courageous! Be kind! And the Lord will do wonders among you! 

       Thank you for your prayers, your kindness, and your words. You build me up and give me great strength. I hope you all have a wonderful week. 

Taa-daa love,

Sister Sydney Jones

Monday, May 16, 2016

Puddles, Fish, and the "Ironic Priesthood"

Dear Family and Friends,

      Welcome to another week! Every time Monday comes around, I am floored! How is another week of my mission gone?! Nonetheless, it was a wonderful seven days. I hope you had a great one as well! 

     On Wednesday we had Zone Meeting which was brilliant. Some of my greatest insights came from a departing sister in our area. While reflecting on her mission, she could firmly say that 'biking up a hill is the best we can do' as missionaries. When you're staring at a massive Welsh hill and it's chucking down rain, the last thing you want to do is bike to the top! But, she testified that 'when we have courage enough to get to the top of the hill, that many blessings will be awaiting our arrival there'. I know this to be true! I have seen it! When we go just a little bit farther, the Lord will be there with open arms congratulating us for the journey.

      She also mentioned how the Holy Ghost has been her best companion throughout the last 18 months. Though sometimes we may struggle with companions or people in general, we always have the greatest one with us at all times. It is so important to recognize that we are allowed the comfort of the Holy Ghost to be with us always, but if we are not constantly striving for that comfort "ye shall not receive." If we want to feel the safety that the Spirit provides, we have to fill our end of the bargain; by following His commandments, reading our scriptures, and praying. And if you're not feeling this wonderful comfort that everyone is talking about, then take a look at the things in your life that are not in harmony with God and His principles. He wants us to be eternally happy, but we have to want it; then we have to do something about it! :) 

     As we were riding to Andrea and Lowri's home that evening, we exited the library the find golf-ball-sized rain drops falling from heaven, hitting us in the eyeball! Ow! We had to bike about 15 minutes away and had both only worn our thin rain coats. Mercy. As we rode up and down the hills, we couldn't help but laugh hysterically thinking about the memory this would make. We could do absolutely nothing to stay dry, so we just laughed! :) We showed up at Andrea's door looking like wet dogs. We had to wring the water out of our socks and tights, and have a lesson with towels wrapped around us! Good times! In that lesson, Andrea mentioned that when we first started teaching her, she thought that we were saying 'ironic priesthood' not 'Aaronic priesthood'. Ha! She was wondering what was so ironic about it.. Whew.. We had a good laugh about that one!

       Andrea and Lowri are doing very well and enjoyed another beautiful Sabbath Day yesterday! We had a lesson with them and the wonderful Williams on Saturday. I felt the spirit so strong and had an opportunity to testify of how her progression in this gospel and my progression on my mission were similar. We ask her after every lesson to take one step closer to her Savior. Though that step my not be easy to take, there is always a blessing behind it. On a mission, we are asked by Heavenly Father to get out of our comfort zones constantly so that we may grow and become who He needs us to become. We then testified of her strength and how brave she is for being willing to change her life, when she knows that this gospel is true! We love them so much and are so grateful for their examples. 
As Syd's mom ----  I have NEVER seen her eat her veggies, besides the occasional cob of corn.  *Even though its drowned in a bucket of gravy.

This girl couldn't even stand the smell of tuna...small miracles are happening :)

       Before their lesson, the Williams took us to have my very first experience of fish and chips at the chippy! Wooooaahhhhh. It was not anything like I expected it to be, I LOVED IT!  What? I know... I thought I hated fish too. But, I survived! Miracles are wrought people! While I was eating it, I was reminded of the experiences that my grandpa talked about whilst he was serving his mission in England many years ago. Eating fish out of newspaper, smothered in vinegar and salt! Listen to me, I sound so foreign! Hahah this experience is the absolute greatest! 

       I just shared this insight with a friend and I wanted to share it with all of you. Every time we pray and ask for His confirmation and guidance, it is as though we are giving Him a blueprint of our plans for ourselves. Telling him "I think this is the right decision for me, will you let me know?" When He has that blueprint in His hands, it might take him sometime to evaluate the plans; a day, a week, five months, two years!? In this waiting process, it is important to know that your plans/ideas for your future are in the hands of the Master Builder. He knows what is best for you. He knows what pathway to build for you, so that you may find your mansion in heaven! And when he feels the time is right, He will place before you the finished product; the beautiful path that you were always meant to take back to Him! And from that point, we are able to look behind ourselves and see that His hand was in all things! 

       God truly does know all the feelings of our hearts.He is sensitive to our wants and earnest desires. When we council with Him in what we do, He will only lead us on the right path. Only good can come from obtaining His guidance in all our decisions. I encourage you to do this. Even the little decisions can make a big difference in the grand scheme of things! So, look to the one who knows all; the Master Builder! 

       I am so grateful for this week and the many opportunities I had to testify of Christ and how through Him, we can all change. On Sunday, I was made very aware of how far I have come thus far on my mission, but also, how far I still have to go until I reach the feet of my Savior! There is so much more work to do for the people here in Caerphilly and on my personal progression...Time to get to work! 

      Thank you so much for all your words and prayers! I feel them! Have a great week and I will talk to you all shortly! 


Sister Sydney Jones

Monday, May 9, 2016

Surprise, Surprise!

*A small part of Syd's letter to me*

So exciting to hear about your planned road trip!   Will you stop in Nauvoo? Are you going to visit Katelyn's mission too? That will be so fun! I am excited for you! 
 It was so good to see you yesterday. As soon as you all came on the screen, I was just like dang! I feel like I just saw you all! It's crazy how quickly time flies! So good to see you all though. I was so grateful that gram Renee and Bai could be there too. That meant so much to me. Especially for Bailee to share that news with us all. So special. 
 I am doing very well here and am enjoying the few weeks that Sister Selwa and I have together. It is a great privilege to be with a sister that I can be an example to. It makes me want to try harder; especially to be more exactly obedient. I am truly grateful! 
 What are your plans for dads birthday? How old will he be this year? 43? Can you believe a year ago I was crowned prom queen? Talk about crazy sauce. Everyone in the ward keeps telling me that they love my blog, so keep it up ma! :) I'll give you the info and you give it to the world :) 
 Thank you for all that you do and I hope you have a wonderful week with work, you are beautiful and I love you!

Mother's Day is clearly the best holiday of the year!


Beautiful pano picture on the top of Abertridwr! 
Evening ladies and gentlemen! 

       I hope you have all had a beautiful Mother's Day weekend! I had the wonderful opportunity to Skype my family and best friend this weekend and it was glorious! As soon as I saw my family come up on the screen, my first thought was "Dang, didn't I just see you?" Wow! Time has absolutely FLOWN since Christmas! I just passed my 5 month mark and it is hard to comprehend how quickly my mission is going. It was lovely to see the fam nonetheless! They gave me great strength and the sound of my mothers voice seemed to sooth any and every worry in my heart! Boy am I grateful for modern technology! 
District meetings are the best!

Our faces before walking up a huge hill

       This week, nothing at all seemed to go as we planned.. Like nothing. Surprise, surprise! BUT, we had the privilege to see many miracles come forth as we were led by the spirit when nothing was working out. I know that the Lord places little hurdles in front of us constantly for us to grow. The moments where we are frustrated are the moments that God is asking us to jump a little higher or to look a little farther. Whether it be to find the correct path to take, to make the best decision over a good one, or simply to see if we are willing to follow Him. I know that when we trust Him and jump, that we will find ourselves on the other side of that hurdle, on our knees, thanking Him for His trust and love for us. He has a plan. And I know that all will be well! Because God is good, all the time! And all the time, God is good! 
Squad pics of us ballin today.

       Miracle of the week! I received an email from an unknown address on Wednesday and as I began to read it, my heart stopped! It was from a woman named Jenny who I sat by on my way to Manchester from Newark, New Jersey five months ago! She said that she has been following my blog ever since and still has the little card that I gave to her. She thanked me for getting her through the flight and back home to the UK. But really, she helped me to get through that traumatizing moment of leaving my family and entering the new strange world of being a missionary. I was so thankful to hear from her and plan to keep in contact for the rest of my mission! :) Tender mercies are everywhere!
The one and only Sister Selwa.

Beautiful path in Blackwood.
      Andrea and Lowri came to church yesterday and we're looking as beautiful as ever. The ward is wrapping their arms around them and it has been such a pleasure to see them grow in this gospel. Sister Selwa spoke in church about the importance of acting on our faith. It's nice that we go to church on Sunday's, but what are we doing every other day of the week to strengthen our faith? I challenge you to look at the areas of your faith that could use some strengthening. None of us are perfect, therefore we must continually be striving to change ourselves and come closer to Christ. 

Meet Flynn. He is Andrea and Lowris pet tortoise. He scares me so bad. But he's nice.
The Caerphilly food festival.

Us by the library.
       Something else that I learned in Relief Society that really stood out to me was about tithing. A sister brought up how every time she pays her tithing, she is putting a deposit on her mansion in heaven. How cool is that?! We are promised that we will be given mansions in heaven if we live righteously and do all that God has asked of us! So I challenge you to do your part in paying your deposits on your beautiful mansion in heaven! Can you imagine the blessings that would come if everyone in your home, ward, or stake would pay their tithing? Can you imagine how quickly the church would grow? I know that much comfort and peace comes from paying our tithing! I pray that we can all heed this council. 
          A beautiful tree and me. (:

       I am so grateful for the blessing of being a servant of the Lord. Seeing people change and come closer to their Savior is an unspeakable feeling. It is such a privilege to be here in Wales, serving with Sister Selwa. I know that there are many miracles still to come to pass in the next few weeks. I am so grateful to be here! I know that this church is true! The Book of Mormon is the word of God! Jesus Christ is our Saviour! 
5. Hahahahaha. This picture makes me laugh. "I shot the sherriff"

       I hope and pray that you all have a wonderful week ahead of you! Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, emails, and letters! I cherish them! Forgive me if I haven't gotten back to you, I am working on that! :) 

I will talk to you all soon! 

Taa-daa lovelies, 

Sister Sydney Jones

Monday, May 2, 2016

5 Months of Miracles!

Dear family and friends,

      Hello hello! I hope you all had an excellent week! I have felt very reflective the past few days about my life before the mission and how incredibly blessed I am. I have had the privilege of growing up in a wonderful town filled with great people who have helped me to grow into who I am now. I know that I would not be on a mission right now if it wasn't for the influences that I had around me as a youth. So, thank you for encouraging me to me to change. Thank you for helping me to make memories that I can hold on to for a lifetime. Thank you for blessing my life! :) 

     The beginning of this week was hard, saying goodbye to Sister Wiesner was like saying goodbye to my best friend from home.. Man. She taught me so much that truly will bless the rest of my mission. She was a legend and I will greatly miss her. 

      Sister Selwa is wonderful! We had some great experiences this week that helped us to see Gods hand in our work. I can tell you now, obedience equals blessings! I can testify that when we obey the laws that have been set in place by God, that we will be a happier people! I encourage you to look at your life and actions and see how you can improve in your obedience. 

      We were visiting a member on Wednesday and we asked her little boy to say the closing prayer. He promptly sat down, folded his arms, and shut his eyes ever so tightly. He took a big breath in and began the prayer with, "Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the sun, thank you for my mom, I love her so much, and I love the girls. They always play with me and I love them. I love my brother. I love my mom. I love myself...." Hahahah mercy. What a character. We are taught that we should love ourselves right? :) Trey is the man!

     We were able to begin a 21 Day Book of Mormon Challenge with a few of the members. This challenge gives us specific scriptures to read each day and they are meant to strengthen our testimonies of Christ. It is brilliant! One night, a less-active called us and she said, "Right, Sista' Jones? Okay. I cannot read about any more Nephites tonight! There's 32 more chapters! That's a lot of Nephites to read about it one night!" After I composed myself, I let her know that she only had to read 32 more verses and she came back to earth. She gave us a good laugh! 
Williams/Schuck Families

Wanda the Wonderful!

      Now for one of the coolest moments of the week!! We went by a former investigator and found his wife to be home. We chatted for a while and found out that she belonged to a baptist church back in North Carolina. God bless America! She invited us back and we got talking. She mentioned that she used to know some Mormons that lived next to her back home on Meadow Lane. As she sat there pondering, I said a little prayer that she would say 'Kerry and Ann Lee'. And guess what she said?!!?! Oh my word. I about died! Kerry and Ann are my great aunt and uncle that we had the opportunity to see just over a year ago in Raleigh, NC. She said that she used to play with their kids all the time and that they were the kindest people on the block! It was so fun to hear the connection we made; especially with her thick Southern/Welsh accent! I was floored that someone in Caerphilly, Wales would know one of my family members in the states. That moment was so precious to me! Her name is Wanda and we are now teaching her and her husband Dennis! It is most definitely meant to be! This world is small people! And even smaller within the church! :)

      On Sunday, our beautiful Andrea and Lowri came to church and loved it. They fit in with the ward so well and we just love being with them! I had the opportunity to bare my testimony about how much I have loved serving in Caerphilly, my Saviour, and my wonderful companions. After sacrament, two different members told me that my accent is changing. Ooohhhhh boy! I was SO taken back and I honestly don't know if it is true, but I'll definitely role with it! :) I'm going to be a whole different person by the time I get back, mom! 

      After church, we were able to go to the Williams home and talk about the GOLD that we received from church. My gold came from a testimony of a young woman who said, "There are a lot of people who will disappoint us these days, but Christ is not one of those people. And we will never disappoint Him!" I loved this. How true it is! He is always there, awaiting our voices to ask Him for help. My other gold came from Relief Society when Sister Wilkinson stood to bare her testimony and talked about Christ. She said that after He rose from the dead, He folded the linens that covered His body and face. They were folded perfectly and placed on the stone. She then referred to an ancient Jewish tradition in which when the master of the home needed to leave the table in the middle of a meal, he would fold his napkin and place it beside his plate; signalling to the servants that he would be coming back. The Saviour knew what He was doing when he folded those linens. He will be coming back! As she spoke these words, shivers went down my spine and I had a witness that He truly will be coming back to us! The Messiah saved us from sin and He will save us from this sinful world. What a beautiful testament that was to me! 

      This week has challenged me to strengthen my faith and trust in my Saviour. He wants to help us, but we need to allow Him that opportunity. I am so grateful to know that I have a best friend who is constantly considering what opportunities to place in my path. I am grateful for the experiences that grant me the chance to grow and change. I am grateful to be serving a full-time mission here in Wales, for there is no where I would rather be! God is good! Oh so good! 

      Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your examples to me. I hope you all have a wonderful week and focus on how you can improve your current situations. You are the makers of your own destinies! CarpĂ© Diem!

I'll talk to you all soon! 

Taa-daa lovelies, 

Sister Sydney Jones

Taa-daa Switzerland, Hello Zambia

Dear family and friends,

       Hello! How are you all doing? How did you do with stepping back from social media? Were you able to see a difference in your life because you decided to do something other than scroll through Facebook? I hope so! I challenge you to continue to 'ween' yourself from the addiction that is technology in the 21st century. I promise you will reap of the many blessings that are sure to come your way by doing so!

   Transfer news is in! As Sister Wiesner departs back home to Switzerland tomorrow, I will be staying in Caerphilly and will get Sister Selwa from Zambia Africa! She has been out on her mission for about 9 months and will be such a blessing to this area! I am so excited to meet her and get to work for the 5 weeks that we have together! It will be great! I've heard she ia a wonderful missionary, can African dance and is super hilarious; basically my twin. Hahah okay, but seriously, I am so excited! I know we will get along great and that the ward will love her!
 This week was one for the books! We were able to begin the week with Sister Marsden (from Shelley, ID) and Sister Sorensen (from Seattle, WA) on exchanges in Myrthr Tydfil. It is always so good to see how other sisters work, to be able to learn from the "seasoned veterans" of the mission! ;) Sister Sorensen helped me to realize that we need to be patient with ourselves.
      As missionaries, we are often looked at by members and others as these 'perfect beings' that have never and will never made a mistake. Which, they have a right to believe, simply because we are the Lord's servants and we are held to a very high standard! But sometimes (all the time) we see every little imperfection as a huge set back in our eternal progression. We allow ourselves to nit-pick the small shortcomings and often get caught up in dwelling on them. But, as missionaries, there is no time for that! We have to learn how to fix and repent from our mishaps and move on, because the Lord needs this work to be done and His time is precious!
      We need to know that it is okay to make mistakes and to see ourselves come short. It is definitely a whole lot easier said than done, but when we know that we have a Savior that is willing to pick us back up, all will be well! I can testify that when we put our trust in Him and are willing to be humbled and submit to His will; that He will guide us in this world. He will help us to find our way back home to eternal perfection. He is the key! And His Atonement was freely given for you and me! Use it. Use the strength that it will give you. Don't be so darn hard on yourself. "You are doing better than you think". You are chosen children of promise! You are not perfect yet! But work towards that end unceasingly and you will be blessed!
      And now for our biggest miracle of the week! Our investigators Andrea and Lowri were able to come to the ward activity on Saturday and they loved it! At the end of the activity, Lowri asked her mom if she could come to church! She said yes and we were able to sort out a ride for them. When 9:00 came, we were calm but so nervous! We walk in and they are already there standing with quite a few members just getting to know each other! They looked so comfortable. They looked like they were home! It was beautiful to see! We had a wonderful sacrament meeting and afterwards we noticed that Andrea was quite overcome with the spirit. Her eyes watered and hardly any words let her mouth. Before we asked her any more questions, we made sure she was okay and that it was a good cry! Haha. Assured us that everything was okay and she didn't really know what was going on with her emotions. It was incredible! We had the best opportunity to explain to her that this overwhelming feeling was a confirmation of where she needed to be. It was so tender and I was so grateful that the Lord provided us a way to have that experience with our sweet Andrea. We know that there are great things to come for these beautiful girls in the next few weeks! They are anxious to learn and are willing to do all that they need to, to please their Father in Heaven. What a blessing they are to us!
      We have been able to see mighty miracles wrought this week simply by believing that they will come. A sister in our zone taught me that when we expect the miracles to come, that we will be able to see even the smallest of miracles bless our lives! When we do our part (all that God asks us to do) we are allowed to expect those miracles; because they do come! We give our all to the Lord and He showers us with blessings! Pretty fair deal huh? :)
      I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to share the last six weeks of Sister Weisner's mission with her. She is my sister. She has taught me how to be bold and how to reach to my potential as a missionary of the Lord. She has helped me to realize my shortcomings, but that it is okay to experience this growing moments. She has encouraged me to be better in every single way possible. We were able to share some of the best laughs of my life and some wonderful memories that I will hold dear forever. She has an incredible life ahead of her and I know she will always have the Spirit of the Lord in her life!
      I hope you all understand how much I love this woman!! :) She is golden! By far, the best missionary the Swiss Alpes ever sent out! I know I will see her again and that we will be lifelong friends. How blessed can I be to know her??
      I am sure excited to see what this week will hold. I am so thankful that I am able to continue serving here in Caerphilly and that Sister Selwa is on her way! Let another transfer of miracles begin!! :)
      Thank you for your words and letters. I am ever so grateful! This mission is flying by, does anyone know how to slow it down a bit? Nearly five months and counting.. Wow. This is the Lords work. This church is true and it is growing. I know that we have a sacred calling to share it with all the world and I feel so privileged to be sharing it with the wonderful people of the UK!
 I hope you all have a wonderful week and hope to hear from you soon! Please let me knkow how you are doing! :) I'd love to hear.


Taa-daa for now

Sister Sydney Jones

Our lovely district

The Swiss and I.

Beautiful Andrea and Lowri.  (Don't they look like members already?:)

Missionaries in the Rhwibina Chapel

So bummed she's leaving.

Sister Taylor looking golden as ever!  (This woman makes thee best cooked English dinner on the planet!)

West Side!

Ice cream that I talked about last week!  I LOVE this picture of us.

Sister Sorensen that I went on exchanges with this week.

Tommy Cooper, famous comedian.

Us by the castle