Monday, September 26, 2016

Life is a merry-go-round...

Instagram it.
British clock tower and dark English skies.


      This week was a good one. We had quite a few challenging moments, but were able to overcome them :) We worked very hard to follow up with loads of potentials, walking far and wide to contact them all. As a result, the shin splints from my greenie days have found me yet again, but all is well! We are meeting some amazing people and are being well looked after by the ward.
I'm actually terrified of horses..but this pony was rather nice and didn't smell too bad.

      We met a former investigator named Jayson who was so pleased that we stopped by. He expressed the difference that he felt in his life as a result of reading the Book of Mormon and has a desire to have that with him again. A.k.a. The spirit. So, we have an appointment with him on Thursday and he said he will be coming with us to General Conference this weekend! Woot! I don't say this very often, but I know that this man will accept the Gospel into his life and be baptized. I know it. It was a spiritual experience that I know the Lord provided me with. I look forward to helping Jayson understand the spirit more fully in his life and help him to progress towards baptism. Oh and he's only 22 and owns two businesses already. Such an amazing man! Good things to come! 

Annnddddddd...8 inches later, I finally cut my hair after 9 months. Meet Natalie, the woman that restored my faith in hairdressers. My actual biggest fear is getting my hair cut, so I was grateful for a calm, experienced hairdresser. We managed to actually teach her while getting my hair cut! Woot! #missiongoals

I saw this sign and literally thought I stepped into the ghetto.
Not SPOILED, but SPOILT. Haha, England is great.

      On Friday, we had 5 minutes until the bus would come, so we decided to hop on the merry-go-round at the park adjacent from us. We set our backpacks down, Sister K gave it a spin, and we were off! All of the sudden we find ourselves surrounded by a group of 12 year old turkies (adolescent boys) who proceed to take turns seeing how fast they could make the merry-go-round go. MERCY. My lunch was nearly spewed all over them. All the while, I was contemplating how we were going to explain to President how our backpacks got stolen while we were on the merry-go-round. After about 2 solid minutes of torture and threatening, Sister K flew off (unintentionally) and I came to a stop. We both staggered to our backpacks to find that everything was intact, body parts and iPads, thank heavens. It turns out that they weren't complete turkies, just having a laugh at our expense. But we did end up teaching them about the word of wisdom, so that was great! Ahhh, good times! 

Birmingham Zone...Our personal secretaries called us just as the picture was being taken.
 Our mission fam! AP Wagner and DL Zegarra.
Nothing better than family! 

     I am so excited for General Conference this weekend. The Woman's Session that we watched last night was brilliant. I know that when we bring questions to the Lord and desire them to be answered this weekend, that he will do just that. He will provide us with the help that we need. Full up your cups this weekend and come listen to a prophets voice! Thomas S. Monson is inspired and will lead us home. Let the spirit influence you for good. 

I found a Pomeranian and fell in love. #puppylove

      I hope and pray that you all know how much the Lord loves you. As a missionary, I have the opportunity to see people as Christ sees them. Granted, it isn't always easy and that love isn't cheap. But it is a profound experience to love someone past all of their imperfections. God loves us perfectly and only desires to hear from us. Talk to Him. Confide in Him. He will make you whole! 

 On Saturdays we eat at chippy's and go finding.

      Have a beautiful week and know that you are so prayed for and loved. Thank you for your prayers and love. I feel it! It is getting quite cold over here, the wet and rainy season is upon us! Time to strap on the wellies and get to work! 

God bless and take care.

All my love,

Sister Sydney Jones 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Long Live the Queen

Pretty sure this is the building of Law & Justice in the centre of Birmingham.
Our Flat


      This week was beautiful! We went on exchanges in Harborne with Sister Tenney and Sister Barrett. It was a much needed time to grow and learn from our inspired STL's. Sister Tenney told me that we would be biking and I was SO excited, because we don't get to do that here in Stourbridge. They gave me this small boys bike that had a dodgy seat that wouldn't stay up while I road (mercy) and little did I know, we would be biking 5 miles nearly all uphill in the rain. Hahah it was probably the hardest bike ride of my mission thus far! I was on the verge of tears when we happened to pass a member who was waiting for the bus. "You are amazing! How do you do it?! You got this! Way to go sisters!" 
     Ahhhh man, he was my hero for that small moment. Just when I could've sworn that I was going to kill over, the Lord provided me with this brother who reminded me that I am, in fact, a sister missionary and I can conquer a lot more than an English hill on a bicycle! 
Old Birmingham church

Library in Birmingham

I took a replica of our screen saver!! Woot! How crazy is this?!

The bubble building! This building was our family desktop screen saver for over 3 years before I got my call and we had no idea that it was in Birmingham, England. Now I'm here. Crazy!

      So get this, we had a lesson with an investigator on Thursday and we were pumped about it! We make ourselves at home and after the prayer we open our eyes to see our ankles covered in these little black bugs. They were jumping everywhere! They could only have been one thing, FLEAS! Ahhhhh. Her 3 cats had contracted fleas and her house was plastered in them. She acted completely calm (I would be mortified) and told us to put our legs up on the couch during the lesson (are you kidding me?) So while we read and tried to keep our concentration, I was checking Sister K for fleas and she was doing the same for me. Following the lesson, we got out of there as soon as we could and ran to the nearest alleyway. We found them in our socks, down our shirts, and in all the nooks and crannies. After checking my shoes, I look up to see a darned flea on Sister K's FACE! Ahh! Talk about major heebie-jeebies! Sister Leppard sent us straight home to bathe in some tea tree oil and burn our skirts. Okay, that last part was a little dramatic, but we did contemplate it. 

      On Friday, we had one of the most successful days of my mission. We knocked on a potential investigators door and she opened it right up and let us in! She had a beautiful new baby named Roxanne and let us teach her and her husband about the plan that God has for us. They were so excited and invited us back to teach their whole family (5 kids) this week! And the best part is: they don't work on Sundays! Woot! Say hello to church, Moss family! 
And on Wednesdays we wear pink...and eat pancakes.

The Davis family from SLC came to visit Stourbridge this weekend! It's was so fun to be around American youth that are our age! Made us miss home for a small second.

Sunday evening selfies ✌🏼

      We met so many wonderful people that truly boosted our spirits and reminded us how incredible this work is. It is such a privilege to share this unique message. We have quite a few return appointments with people this week that we are SO excited about! 

       I have said this once, but I will say it again; laughter and obedience are the way to a happy life. Sister K and I have been so diligent this week and have found countless moments to just laugh and enjoy life! As long as we are obedient, we will be happy. If we are able to find one thing to smile/laugh about each day, we will be living life right! I promise you can work hard and love it too! :)

      We spent our P-day here in Birmingham city centre with the Davis' and it has been so fun! I am loving every second of my mission, especially the beautiful country in which I have been called to serve. This ward is great and Sister K and I are getting work DONE! Stourbridge is ready and so are we! 

Beautiful England

Ponds, trees and geese

      Thank you for all your support, letters, emails, and prayers. They mean so much to me. I couldn't do this without the support that I receive from you. God bless you and keep you well. 

This church is TRUE! 

                     All my love, 

                            Sister Sydney Jones

Monday, September 12, 2016

Stourbridge reminds me of Wales

Last picture w/ Sister Swasey and King Richard III. Aren't we cute? :)

Dear family and friends,
      Transfers came and went. Saying goodbye to Sister Swasey was the hardest thing since leaving home. But she is doing well! It was a pleasure to see all the missionaries at the mission home and my beloved Sister B. She is now an STL and killin' it in Coventry. 

Sister Knudsen, my new trainee
Stourbridge missionaries. Elder Stephenson and I are big deal.

      I picked up Sister Knudsen and we made our way to Stourbridge, England. She is from Jerome, Idaho and her family is currently in Korea while her dad is in the Army. We are pretty sure that we probably played each other in basketball back home. We h
have gotten along great and are working hard here in S-Bridge. 
The famous Birmingham building! We found it! 

     The ward is as small as they said it would be! The are literally 30 people. 3/4 of them are elderly ladies over the age of 70 and named Mildred, Margaret, or Mary. There are only 7 Priesthood holders, so we are thin on the ground. Our bishop gave us a special assignment to go out and find a new bishop! Haha no pressure. He has been the bishop for 6 years, but there is no one to take his place. So we are working hard to find the elect potential priesthood holders here! 
Stourbridge reminds me SO much of Wales! Misty rain and rolling hills. <3

     We had a cool experience on Saturday. We both prayed about a street and it took us 4 times to finally get one that matched. The street was Bright Street. We knocked on the first door and the ladies happened to live there were cousins to a member of our ward. They invited us in and sat us down to their table and fed us a HUGE meal. They let us share a message with them and then send us on our way. The food was wonderful and Jean and Megan made our day a little brighter on Bright Street! 
Skittles night. I made it into the woman's finale and then choked. But it was great fun nonetheless! :)

     That night we play Skittles. Which is like bowling but with wooden pins and balls. It was great fun and we had American pancakes as well! The ward is great and I am excited for all that is to come here in Stourbridge. The members are already taking such good care of us and I am so grateful. 

   Fun fact: Stourbridge is famous for the art of glass blowing.

   Fun Fact #2:  I have to get used to yet another accent.  Its crazy how they change from town to town!

The Spors! From Utah. They have the thickest American accent ever! He served here over 50 years ago and was assigned to come back here. So wonderful.

      I am thankful to be here and have to pinch myself most days. England is beautiful and it is such a privilege to be serving the Lord with all of these wonderful people. I am thankful for the Spirit and the guidance that I am allowed as His servant. 
      I hope you all have a beautiful week and are continuing to find much joy and happiness in your lives.

 God bless and God speed. 

                               All my love,


                                                  Sister Sydney Jones

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

"Goodbyes are hard to do, hard to do."

Welcome to Monday! 

       So, I'm halfway done with my mission as of the that's terrifying. No time to waste! Only lives to change! :) 
The dodge is in. I will be leaving the beautiful Sister Swasey in De Montfort and I will be moving on to Stourbridge (pronounced Star-bridge) and will be follow up training Sister Knudsen. All I know about this area is that there are lots of old people, which is good because I love old people! It was just white-washed two transfers ago, so there will still be a lot of work to do. I prayed that Heavenly Father would give me an opportunity to grow more and He did not let me down. I know things will be well and I will be supported. 
From Sister Crump on Monday:  "Last picture together"
       This week has been one filled with lots of tears and "last times". Man. I LOVE SISTER MCKENZIE ASHLYN SWASEY! I will miss this girl more then I can begin to express. She has consistently challenged me to change and to be the best missionary that I could possibly be. I cannot thank her enough for the strength that she is to me. It has been a blessing to be able to do this work with someone that has become my best friend. We have worked incredibly hard and have seen many fruits of our labours come to pass. I have never laughed harder or eaten more BBQ sauce with a single human, than I have with Sister Swasey. Our friendship is built upon this Gospel and the common love for BBQ sauce. And folks, that is a foundation that cannot fall! 
       I have not trained Sister Swasey, she has trained me. She has taught me so much and never failed to let me know that I am loved. She is an excellent missionary that I had the privilege of serving with for the past 3 months. I will miss her so much, but I know she will continue killing it here in De Montfort! 
So I told Sister Bailey that I loved Cafe Rio and she just went for it! It was SO good! I think I had like 4 sweet pork tacos.. No shame. I love these people! 

The wonderful Boltons. They are English through and through. You walk in their home and it is just classic English with the cats on the footrest and everything. We adore them.

Lynn Green. A legend here in Leicester. A walking miracle and the sweetest woman on the planet! 

The Atkin family! We love them and they love us! So blessed to have been apart of Callum's conversion.

      The time that I have been able to spend here in Leicester has been great! It was such a change from Wales, but the culture shock soon settled. I have learned to love the English people, as well as people from all over the world! Leicester is so diverse and because of that, I now consider myself officially "cultured"...only because I grew up in little ole' Idaho of course :) The ward has been great and we have gotten to know so many of them so well! Goodbyes are probably one of the hardest parts of the mission, but it comes with the calling so we mustn't complain! In all actuality, it is a "see you later" verses a terribly sad goodbye. 😀

Our outstanding Christmas tree! Over 8 feet tall! Isn't it beautiful?

The Berwicks! 

      We celebrated Christmas this week and it was great! Every morning we woke up, switched on the Christmas tree lights, and opened a small gift purchased at the local 'Poundland'. And it turns out that this countries version of the dollar store actually sells pretty impressive things. I now have a whole bag of chocolate that I absolutely did not need to haul all the way to Birmingham tomorrow, but it is great nonetheless! We actually ended up getting each other the same pair of socks that say "One in a Minion" Aweeeee. I know. So cute. It was great and we loved singing Christmas music all week long! Now we will, with pleasure, put it all away until December 1st! :)
      I am so thankful to was sent to re-open this area back in June. I was absolutely terrified and couldn't, for the life of me, understand why the Lord would send me to do such a thing when I barely knew how to be a missionary! Now, looking back, it hasn't been the smoothest ride on the struggle bus, but it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. I know all of this is because my Savior gave me the strength that I needed, while God led me by the hand to where I needed to go. I couldn't have done it without my wonderful companions and the strength from deity that I so desired. 
       And now, it is time for me to pack my bags and move on over to the Birmingham Zone to serve with another Idaho girl. I know many miracles are waiting to be seen in Stourbridge! There are so many preconceived notions about this area and I am listening to none of it. Every area has the ability to be great and I do believe that attitude has a heck of a lot to do with it. So, I say this with all the gusto that I possibly can, Stourbridge is a land of miracles and I cannot wait to find them! :) 
RUBY! That moment when the dog is cuter than you....❤️ is this not the best picture ever?

      Smiles all around people! Transfer day is tomorrow and it will be great. My beautiful Sister Belnap is now an STL and I will be sure to take loads of pictures with her at the mission home! It will be good to see other missionaries that I haven't seen in a while and get ready to serve in the chosen land. I am excited and ready to be challenged. 
      I hope you all have a beautiful week and remember that there is a plan for you. You are unique and you have a divine purpose that you have been sent to earth to fulfill! Remember to be positive and that your attitude DOES matter. You choose whether you will be happy or sad. Change your mindset and focus yourself on the good! All will be well! :) 

Peace and blessings fam,

                           I love you! 
                                Sister Sydney Jones
Don't forget to hold on...