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 3rd...so 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...

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