|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!|
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!!
Sister Sydney Jones