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

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