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!
|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! Carpé Diem!
I'll talk to you all soon!
Sister Sydney Jones