Monday, August 29, 2016

Bruised noses...Blessings, Blankets, and Blackberries

Note to reader:
to me (mom)
Please tell everyone that love them and sorry that I can't email them
back today. I don't hate them :) just no time.
I love you!

Sister Sydney Jones
This is the jail here in Leicester. It's literally a castle. 

Rivers on the motorway.

Beautiful flowers.

Brothers & Sisters,
      I will be completely honest; this time last week, I wasn't sure that I was going to make through. Doubt and self criticisms filled my mind. But I was able to receive a Priesthood blessing from a senior elder here and the Lord provided me with the strength and comfort that I so desperately needed. I am so grateful for the Priesthood power! 
 **Please excuse how long this email will be. We had an incredible week and it made for tons of fun stories that I get to tell you about today!** 
       Sister Swasey and I had a week full of beautiful adventures! We were thankful to see them as a result of our faith and diligence in doing this wonderful work.
Madelon :) 
       We went to contact a referral whose name is Madelon (mad-a-lon). We teach her a little bit and then she starts to tell us about her life, little did we know that she was a contortionist! Mind you, she is in her late 80's! While we were sitting there being amazed, she lifts up her leg and nearly puts it behind her head! I screamed and told her not to, in fear that she would break, but nope! No shame! Following that great experience we had to take a selfie with the first contortionist I have ever met in my life. We are excited to go back and teach her again!

      Throughout the week, we found ourselves picking blackberries from ever bush we could find! Our tongues and teeth were stained purple, but boy was it worth it! We need fuel for the road, right? :) We even went as far as sliding the bikes next to a rubbish bin so that we could reach the big juicy ones at the top! And there are no accidents to report! :) 
      This week we have been studying our US States and Capitals in our free time (thank you Sister Wiesner). On the first attempt, we both got like 17 out of 50, but now we are aiming for 100%! Now ask yourself, are you a real American? Would you get 50/50 if faced with the same test right now?! I hope so! If not, get to studying. Also, enjoy some classic American cuisine for me too.  You know, a proper BBQ and some good 'ole American football? Oh how I miss it! 
      On Saturday morning we were playing basketball with some investigators and other missionaries and it was great! At one point I was passed the ball and went to drive to the basket, when my face met Sister Swasey's shoulder. Mercy. Needless to say, my nose is tender, slightly bruised, and headaches are a thing. Hahah man, it's great. Just thankful that it isn't broken :) Basketball memories! 
Blankets, nickers, and cookies.

Dinner picture in the English countryside.

      Following the basketball game, we were biking clear to the other side of our area when the heavens opened the dumped it over Leicester City! Wow. There were rivers running down the roads, cars sliding everywhere, thunder shaking the ground, and us...hiding under a pathetic excuse for a shade tree. We were soaked. We braved the weather and eventually got to a members house where we asked kindly "Could we borrow a napkin or two?" Haha. They laughed and invited us in. The told us to take everything off and they would dry everything for us. Yep. They through some blankets in the front room and we through our wet clothes out. Mercy. We sat there for two hours while it continued to pour and ate chocolate chip cookies and hot coco! The member sat in her recliner and chatted to us the entire time. Haha, it was a experience that I won't soon forget! 
Cooper Gardens! Yes. I love my dog. *Notice the paw prints on the left, that is no coincidence!*

      Yesterday as we were nearly home, we decided to go tract Drury Lane. We bowed our heads to pray at the street corner and Sister Swasey asked for us to pick two house numbers to tract between 1 and 10. When she concluded, we both looked up and said "3". We knocked on this woman's door and and she was such a delightful human! 83 and wonderful! We talked to her about her faith, life, etc. and before we could even ask, she said "So when you come back next time, you'll teach me more, right?" We stuttered and began searching for our planners. "Of course!" we exclaimed! We were nearly screaming as we walked back to our bikes! Ahhhh! What a beautiful miracles she was! 

      And now, we are on our way to COSTCO with a member and it will be great! I am so thankful for happy things. God has richly blessed me and I am so thankful! Being here is great and I so look forward to the last week that I am able to spend with Sister Swasey here in De Montfort. We will be celebrating Christmas, mostly because I love it, but also because we won't be together in December. We a pumped! 
      I hope you all have a blessed week and are continuing to look for the good! A member brought up the question yesterday, 'When you look in the mirror in the morning, you choose whether you will be happy or sad that day. Whether or not you realize it, you choose!' Choose to be happy and to do wonderful things! 

*Congratulations for making to the bottom of this email! Thank you for following my mission adventures and for living them with me. I know you are along for the ride and that makes every moment that much sweeter!*

I love you and I pray for you! 
                   God bless and take care! 

                                                         All my love,

                                               Sister Sydney Jones

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