Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Week Down Miracle Street

The Jones & Swasey Show:

Rough Video:

**Response to my notifying Syd her dog Cooper survived after being hit by a car**
Dearest mum, 
 My heart hurt to hear about my baby getting hit by a car. I'm so sorry that you had a miserable few days. I would have too if I was there. I am so grateful that he is okay. Gosh, I miss him. I'm sad to hear that his tail is broken. What do they do about that? I hope he gets back to his normal self soon. I cannot believe that daddy was just going to shoot him. Heartless turkey. Of course he made it! He's a champ! :) Thank heavens.. That must have been so hard for you mom. Thank you for taking care of him. I know he loves you so much. I hope that he remembers me when I get home in less than a year! :)

Sydney Sick  & Singing Video:

Dearest Fam,
Hello from blessed Leicester, England! The work is moving forward and we are seeing tender mercies left and right! Our numbers were higher than they have ever been before and it was a blessing to see the fruits of our labors! 
The sweet, sweet elderly :)
On Tuesday, we were able to meet with our newest investigator Callum. We met him while teaching his mom in her home and he totally stopped cooking his steak so that he could sit in on the lesson! What? I know.. Golden, right? :) Our first lesson with him was incredible. He asked all the right questions and even some that made Sister Swasey and I think a little bit. He is a clever 24 year old who has a lot of ambition for his life. His biggest goal in life is to have a family and lots of kids! How cool is that? Anywho, he came to church yesterday wearing a white shirt and a red tie, already looking like a member! Sister Swasey explained nearly every ounce she could during Sacrament, just because he kept asking questions about everything. He is very inquisitive and has a desire to become the man that the Lord needs him to be. We are excited to see him again tomorrow and follow up on his Book of Mormon reading! :)

Thank you, Asda, for reminding me where my heart is! I love and miss
you all! Continue living it up in Zion!
Sister Jones and Sister Swasey brushing each others teeth for points:
     On Wednesday, our district leader's bike got stolen and so we were with them trying to deal with that situation when a guy walked up to us and we started chatting. His name is Kole (pronounced Kolay) and he is originally from Africa. We started talking about what we do and he said "Could I come to your church?" MAN! Of course you can sir! We were so excited! And guess what, he was there yesterday! In his proper African dress too! So cool! He is a teacher and it turns out that one of his students is in our ward. Small world. He, too, asked loads of questions and I was able to give him a run-down of everything in Sacrament. It turns out that he is just outside of our area, but we are excited for him to progress! 

Gelato with the crew
       And for the main event of the week, we went to meet with an investigator named Gordon. We took our ward mission leader and his wife with us. Before this, we knew that he had come across some Anti-Mormon stuff and was ready to write us off, but I asked if we could meet with him one last time. So, as soon as we sat down, he began to go off on all types of doctrine and facts that he thought we didn't know about and we sat and listened. Brother Plater piped up and tried to explain the doctrine to him but he would not listen. Needless to say, the Spirit was gone instantly and he started to get very loud and verbally abusive. Pointing at Sister S and I, he said "You know what, I feel sorry for you girls. Your parents have blindsided you into this church and you will never know what the truth actually is....." and so on. At this moment, my chest was heavy and I kind of wanted to throw the table across the room, BUT we didn't participate in any violence :) I sat up on the sofa and took the opportunity to testify to him that I most definitelydo know what the truth is and I know exactly how it has blessed my life. I told him that I was never forced to do anything by my parents, that they simply put the opportunity in front of me and that it was my choice to take it. Following me, Sister S testified as well of the truthfulness of this word and it was a powerful moment for us all. *Proud trainer moment* Whether or not this man felt or understood our testimonies was beside the point. We knew that his mind was not going to be changed. But, we did have the opportunity to testify to him that we knew it was true! 
Having some fun with the Photo Booth! :)

Elder Boogy's birthday bash!

      At Zone Conference this week, I took the opportunity to bear my testimony on this very happening. I said that there will come a time in our lives and definitely on our missions that our testimonies will be challenged. That we will have to choose a side; right or wrong, black or white there is no in between! We have to know, for ourselves, that what we are teaching and testifying of is true! Otherwise, our testimonies will be shaken and Satan will have won the fight. It was an incredible moment for me as a missionary; to see a man so filled with hatred, anger, and false knowledge about this Gospel. As he attempted to show us his Youtube and Wikipedia "proof", I stood up and left the room, Sister S following. Our testimonies were not shaken, but only strengthened by this incident. We couldn't help but feel sad for how hard his heart was. Nevertheless, we learned much!
Biking is great fun!  The sun is Out!

 We have worked incredibly hard this week and have seen so many miracles come to pass. We are looking forward to seeing more this week! We are so excited for all that is to come. We are working with some very promising people that we are learning to love so much! I am grateful to be here in England, sharing the one thing that makes me the happiest! There is no where that I would rather be. 

Have a great week! 

God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good!

Much love from the EBM



Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Lord DOES Provide!

Frog Migratory Crossing...what the?

      Woah, I am so grateful to have an American companion that I can celebrate this glorious day with! 
     I looked up at Sister Swasey in the middle of studies this morning and said in a quiet whisper, 
                 "Sister, I love America!" 
      Mannnn, the patriotism is flying high over here in Leicester! Actually, I'm pretty sure we're the only ones in the centre of town wearing red, white, and blue...but it's fine. We LOVE America! We sang the Star Spangled Banner to begin studies this morning and are having a super American dinner tonight with a senior couple from Idaho, the Crumps! Woot! 
Elder Crump and I are celebrating the 4th of July with the lovely Sisters Jones and Swasey with hamburgers, fries, fry sauce and chocolate!
---SIster Crump

     AND, to add to this beautiful 4th of July madness, we received a beautiful surprise this morning from my former STL from Washington, Sister Sorensen! Sister Swasey called me over to the window only to see her and her family waving from down below! I was screaming all the way down the stairs "She's American! And it's the Fourth of July!" 
Sister Sorensen this morning! Isn't she lovely?'

     We had a wonderful reunion and they offered to take us to the grocery store so we didn't have to bike with the groceries on our handle bars. Needless to say, we get there and they pay for our groceries and send us on our way with water bottles, oranges, huge Cadbury chocolate bars, all their extra change, and a ride home from the store in a CAR! Are you kidding me? Gosh.. After we said our goodbyes, my heart was absolutely full of great gratitude for them and the tender mercy that they were for us today. They didn't even have to buy our groceries, the simple fact that they were American was enough for us! Thank you Sorensen family!! We love you! 

      Boy has this entire week been incredible! I was able to semi-recover from my cold at the beginning of the week, which was difficult. Being stuck in the flat as a missionary is rough! My desire to get back to work was like having an itch, I just wanted to do it! But the Lord provided us with great miracles after I took the time to rest. 

     We were able to stop by an old referral from a member and begin teaching a family of 7 from Zimbabwe. My word. We taught the two 12 year old twins about Jesus Christ and their testimonies afterwards about this great man, could have put many to shame! Sister Swasey and I looked at each other with great astonishment at how prepared they were to hear about their Savior. We came out of the home not quite comprehending what we did to deserve such a mighty blessing, but grateful nonetheless! 


The Williams. My Welsh parents.

      The biggest event of the week happened on Saturday as Sister Swasey and I arose early, had a 3 hour train ride, and were able to witness Andrea and Lowri's baptism! We met the wonderful Williams family at the train station and had a good long hug! They then took a tour around the bay and made a pit-stop at Caerphilly Castle. I now have a picture with my greenie in front of my greenie castle! That moment was so surreal for me. God is good! 

Caerphilly Castle! Coolest moment ever! 

 We then went to the Williams home to indulge in their glorious food. Following the meal, Sister Williams brings out the HUGE goblets of ice cream, again! What else would it be? :) My greenie, just like the rest of my companions, nearly finished the whole thing. I know, I'm a total weakling. But is was wonderful to be in their home again and to feel of that 'homie love' that I have been craving ever since I left Caerphilly. 

      We then hopped in the car and headed for the baptism. We whole way there I could not contain my excitement and nerves. We pulled up and I was able to surprise the ward members completely and absolutely adore. The tears came and fell and we all rejoiced greatly! I received a warning that Andrea and Lowri were coming, so I hid around the corner. As I heard them get closer, I stepped around only to see Lowri's eyes light up and Andrea say "Sister Jones!" Woooaahhhhh! My heart was FULL! I held them both so tightly felt absolutely privileged that I could be there for them. The service was beautiful and the time came for the baptisms. Brother Williams was the chosen man for the job. Lowri went first. Seeing that beautiful little girl in the font was amongst the greatest experiences I have ever had. Her innocence and grace was beyond me. She came up with a big smile and just glowed. Next was Andrea. She was so poised and so sure of her decision. As tears came down my face, I felt it such an honor to have found and taught these two precious daughters of our Heavenly Father. That moment will go down as one of the most rewarding and beautiful of my entire mission! 

     Being back in Caerphilly, especially with my greenie, was incredibly surreal. To surprise the members and Andrea and Lowri was SO cool! Sister Swasey recorded the surprised faces in a video and I relive it every time I watch it! 
 I am just absolutely, positively grateful for the miracles that we have seen this week. It was not a usual week by any means. The miracles were heightened to the "cloud 9" category and we soaked up every second of it! This mission is a miracle in and of itself. There is no where I would rather be, even though it is the 4th and I LOVE this beautiful holiday, this is where I need to be. Sister Swasey and I are learning and growing together, here in England. It has been a blast and I know there are many more wonderful moments to come! 

Italian Gelato in England on America's Independence Day :) #redwhiteandblue 

On our way to CAERPHILLY! Mom, we love this picture, so we hope you do too :)

I tried a pickle for the first time in my entire life. Mercy. So grateful that the Lord provides strength to the weak in stomach.

     I know this work is of eternal importance. This church is true. I know there is a purpose for every soul under heaven. I challenge you to pray to know what your purpose is. I promise you it will be completely individual to you. God is good and he does provide a way! Have a great week!! 

                                           Love sincerely, 

                                                  Sister Sydney Jones