Monday, February 27, 2017

Sunday Will Come

**I thought I would include some of Syd's letter to me first, Oh how I miss this girl!**

Dear mum,
Had a cool experience at interviews with President this week. He asked
me what I wanted to accomplish before I go home. I told him that I
want to obtain charity and understand the Atonement better. He then
took me to the scriptures in 2 Peter 1 and taught me that there are 9
steps to obtain charity. I'll let you study that for yourself. But
then he sat back, took off his glasses, and said "The interesting
thing is, you already have what you seek. You have charity and you do
understand the Atonement because I have seen you using it. You are
strong and of a good courage. And that exact reason is why you are
here in Coventry. We felt very inspired to send you here."
Now, that was about a full 2 minutes of President complimenting me and
that is something that I have never really experienced before. It was
amazing. So cool to know that I wasn't just moved because both my
companion and I had our licenses. Reassuring to know that he has seen
the change in me that is sometimes hard for myself to see. I have been
studying a lot about these phrases/scriptures a lot this week and I
know that he was inspired to share them with me.
We spoke about how the previous relationship with the ward and
missionaries has not been the greatest and that there is a huge lack
of trust. 
 He said "That is why you are
here. I know you can bless and strengthen the member relationships
here. I have seen you do it in other areas where you have served and I
know you will do the same here." :)It's true. Member relationships
have been a very vital aspect of my mission. I know that when the
member relationships are strong, they will give us their friends to
teach, they will fill our tummies with food, and they will retain the
people that we baptise in their ward.
I could just feel the level of trust that he has for me. Now I know
what he, specifically, expects me to do in this area, other than just
baptizing converts. I look forward to repairing some broken bridges
from past and building new friendships with the people
here in Coventry. The best way to get to know someone is to serve
them, so I am excited to give my all the them! They people are lovely
here. It's a massive ward. 150+ each Sunday. So it will take a while
to get to know them all, but I am up for the challenge!

I am so grateful for the Atonement, that I have been able to
understand my short comings as well as others. I am constantly trying
to change and learn. I am grateful that I can kneel at the end of each
day and ask for forgiveness for when I "lost my cool" with my
companion for a second or when I cursed the guy that cut me off on the
motorway. I know they are just minor things, but when I am able to
take care of those minor things right away, they don't build up to a
bigger problem. It is a process. This is a gospel of constant change
and revelation. I am so grateful to be challenged to change and grow
when I am in difficult situations. I know that even when my world
seems as though it might come crashing down on Monday afternoon, that
by Friday morning, I will feel God's love and reassurance for me. The

tough moments won't last forever! :)
Dear fam-bam,

       Well, we had one heck of a week. Beryl came to the chapel to do family history on Thursday. She was looking for her long-lost auntie and only had her husbands name. She pulled out her information and set it on the table and guess what the husbands name was?! Joseph Hiram Smith. No joke.. **freak out** We met Beryl while doing family history and she has absolutely no idea about the church because we are not aloud to preach in the F.H. center. She doesn't know the significance behind the name, but we soon hope to tell her! 
Our beautiful mini-missionary Annie! So much fun!

Just havin' a laugh with good 'ole Buddha!
I know you'll appreciate this mum. And, yes, of course I rubbed his belly :)

Georgie's 22nd birthday spent at WING WAH.

       Annie from Rugby came on a mini-mission with us this week. SO MUCH FUN! She will be receiving her call this coming week and we are so excited to see where she will go. Turns out that she is the girlfriend one of my good mates in the MTC, small world. 

       We went to WING WAH for Georgie's 22nd B-day. She a recent convert here in Coventry and is a ball full of joy! We had a good time with her at her party on Saturday as well. Love this girl. 
Beautiful old building in Banbury. No idea what it is, but it sure looks nice! :)

On our way to deliver Georgie's birthday present! All strapped up and safe.

A screenshot from a video we made while tracting in the middle of storm Doris.

 View from the flat. On Friday the sun was out ALL DAY!
 It was BIG news here! #blessed
      Most of the week was spent tracting hundreds of doors with 98.99% of people not wanting to know. Talk about discouraging. On Sunday morning, I gave the prayer to start our planning and just asked the Lord for one person. ONE. We just needed to find one person that wanted to listen. At that moment I received the prompting that we needed to stop by a potential named Rosa and invite her to church. Keep in mind that it was 9am and neither of us have ever done this before on our missions. We were terrified to knock the door, but we did. She accepted us graciously in her sweet Portuguese language and accepted our invitation to church. We called a member that also speaks Portuguese and they rushed over to pick her up for church! This was the first week that we put on a Spanish sacrament meeting, so it was perfect for Rosa! She could understand most of it and Sister Romo's Spanish totally came in clutch. She was our one. She loved church and we will be seeing her on Saturday!
I got a picture with the naked lady.. Hahaha super amused :)
Lady Godiva

       And then! One of the Spanish members brought along their friend Maria who has Faithfull studied the Book of Mormon for years, but always finds it hard to come to church. She explained to Sis. R that she wants to be baptised more than anything.. AMAZING MIRACLES. We were able to have translators for both of them throughout the church meetings and they were well fellowshipped. 
       This all to me just meant that sometimes we have to wait all week to find those miracles. BUT, Sunday will come. "The day of mercy" will always come after a storm. The storm/drought cannot hang on for ever! We needed to be patient and trust that the Lord would provide a way for us to see miracles in our area. Rosa and Maria were well worth the wait! Such beautiful sisters with so much eternal potential! We are so excited about them. 

       So, I spent most of the day yesterday not understanding 70% of what was being said around me. Español everywhere! With Sister Romo going home in a short 4 weeks, I am in a crash course to learn Spanish!!! It has been fun. I want to get to the point where we only speak Spanish in the flat. I haven't been set apart to preach the Gospel in Spanish, but I pray that I will be supported in my endeavours to learn as much as I can in the next few weeks! 
The cathedral that was bombed.. Actually SO cool!The remains of Coventry Cathedral.. So cool!
(See about a million pictures after her email of her visit to Coventry Cathedral)

       We went to the Coventry Cathedral today. It was so cool! Originally built in 1423. I'm not sure that I've ever seen such an old building! It was bombed and destroyed in World War II, but the outer shell remained. The history in this country is amazing to me. We will have the opportunity to go to Shakespeare's home and Warwick Castle in the next few weeks! I so look forward to that!   

       My time here is quickly slipping through my fingers. I feel as though these Mondays are coming around faster than ever and there is not enough time in the day to find/contact all the people that I wish to contact!! It's scary how soon these next 16 weeks will fly by. I pray that I can fulfill my calling in this short amount of time. I know there will be someone for me to find, even up until my last moments on this British soil. So, it is time to get to work! Thank you for your prayers, love, and support! I couldn't do it without you! Have a blessed week and remember that your 'Sunday' will come! I promise you! 

           All my love,

                      Sister Sydney Jones

About 187 steps to the top

Monday, February 20, 2017

Christ says, "Give me ALL."

4 Brunettes=A Party
Dear fam,

 So, once upon a time, I arrived in Coventry and found out that we
were having a Baptism in 5 days. WHAT?! It was crazy busy and I'm still a little stressed from it all, but it was great! Her name is
Jen. She is an incredible woman who has found meaning to her life
through the Gospel. I totally feel like I swooped in and shouldn't
have any credit for her baptism, but it was a privilege to be apart of
the experience. It was the closest Sister B and I will ever get to
serving with each other; sharing a baptism...pretty cool. S/O to Sis.
B & Romo for doing all the work ;)

 Sister Romo is 29 and from Mexico City. It was been fun to be with a Mexican and to be speaking Spanish as much possible! Hah I want to get to the point where we only speak Spanish in the flat. She has been able to use her Spanish a lot with Portuguese and Guatemalan families.  I kind of just stand there, smile, and say "Holá" whenever there is a moment of silence. Hahah you gotta do what you gotta do! I have a goal to learn as much as I can from her before she goes home in 5 weeks! It will go so quickly!
Jen's beautiful day ❤️

The 4 sisters that had the privilege of teaching her.
Thornton came from Stamford and Belnap came from Harborne.

 Coventry is incredibly diverse, almost as much as Leicester. People from all over the world and loads from South American countries. Driving here has been an interesting experience. I've only ever driven in Wales, so this big city is a big change! Sister Romo can't drive, so I am designated 24/7. We almost died 3 times the first night with a car full of luggage and two bikes on a dodgy bike rack, but the Lord did provide! :)
Last meal in Ponty! S/O to Bernard for giving me a steak as big as
my face! :) And yes, I did finish it all.

 On Wednesday we had an evening full of miracles. At 7pm, we began knocking doors. We met Sajid, taught him about Jesus' Atonement, and got a return appointment. Knocked a few more doors and came to the Vintila family from Romania. They invited us in and learned that they spoke very little English. All of the sudden Sister Romo started speaking in Italian and totally taught them a lesson! Again, I sat smiling and focused on the feeling of the spirit in the room. It's amazing that the gospel and the spirit are the same, no matter what language it is preached in. We are going back on Wednesday evening to teach them again!
This dodgy bike rack was holding on only by Sister Nielsen's
sheets. Talk about the scariest drive EVER.

 We came back to our flat to find that the power was out in our
complex. We began lighting tea lights and tried to find a torch(flashlight). We heard our neighbours open their door, so we went to talk with them. Beena proceeded to tell us that she has always wanted to learn from the sisters, but never really had the opportunity to ask. Her son Akshay told us that he learned about Mormons in his R.E. class. We told them to hold on for a second while we ran into our flat to grab a Book of Mormon. Little did they know, we visited an Indian member of our ward earlier that day and asked the father to write his testimony in Hindi, inside of the BOM. That very same evening we were able to hand that same Book of Mormon to Beena and her son. As they read from it, there eyes lit up and their appreciation was clear. We had the opportunity to teach them yesterday after church and it was POWERFUL. Such a fun lesson to teach! They had so many questions and the best part was, Beena asked "How do I get involved?" Ahhhhh. We are so excited to see them this Saturday and then for them to meet the member, whose testimony written in the BOM lit the fire of
their testimonies! MIRACLES.

 The Coventry ward is wonderful. So welcoming and full of love.
Everyone has been quite disappointed that I am not Sister B, but they smile and hug me anyways. :) Bless. I know that I am her to find those who are prepared here in Cov. I pray that I can do as much as I possibly can while I am here.

The newest lawn ornament outside of the Coventry chapel. #classy

 It has not been easy, but it is because I am experiencing a little
bit of what the Saviour did. Rejection, disappointment, hypocrisy,
sin, frustrations, etc. My only hope is that I will be able to handle
all of these trials like the Saviour did. My bishop sent me a letter
last week saying, "Smile. Deep breath. & let the Lord work through you to touch the lives of others." He can't work through me if I am
frustrated; therefore, it's up to me to change. I know that as I use
the Atonement, I will be sustained..that I will be humbled and drawn closer to my Saviour.

 The motto for our district this transfer is: "Christ says 'Give me
all.'" by C.S. Lewis. Not an ounce, but everything. All of you. He
wants every flaw and imperfection. He wants 18 months, not 15. He wants a dedicated saint, not only a Sunday worshipper. He wants someone who isn't afraid of sharing their beliefs. He wants the elect, the prepared, the humble. This quote will most definitely be the one to get me through the last few months of my mission, as my body is slowing down and trials seem to never cease. I will give Him my all, because He already did the same for me!

Have a blessed week,

Sister Sydney Jones
For your enjoyment....Photobooth is hilarious! (:

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sister Jones Gets Transferred Yet Again!

I can't fully explain it, but this place has stolen my heart.

My goodness, I'm gonna miss this place. <3


      Haha. Life is crazy. Dodge came in at 9:33p.m. last night. My assumptions were right and I am being transferred to Coventry, England! My new companion will be Sister Romo from Mexico City! I will be following Sister Belnap, as she is moving to Harborne. It will be great! Uhmm, another 1 transfer area has been hard to swallow. I am honestly just praying that this will be my final area. 10 companions and 6 areas later and I am struggling to find consistency. It has been hard. I just have to remember that there is somebody in this new area that the Lord needs me to find. I know that He is aware of me and has a plan in store. 
Grandma Taylor makes these dolls for the missionaries in the Merthyr Zone!!
Hahaha gotta love her!

 Owners didn't like us and neither did the chihuahua.. :)

Ponty chapel

       When you're only in an area for 6 weeks, it's hard to understand why you are even there. I have asked myself this question all week long and had no comforting answer until Saturday evening. The confirmation came in the form of a less-active sister who phoned to tell us that she wasn't going out to drink with her friends! Two nights in a row! Ahhhhh! So amazing! We rejoiced together and I had a tender moment of realization that she was the reason that I was sent here. I know that the Lord has a plan!
Traditional Thai rice. SO good!

Vera, (next to me), was a bond girl! She was a juggler in
 Octopussy, met her husband in the circus,
did ballet on the top of an elephant,
 and is completely AMAZING! So fun! 

This is how bloated I was after that Subway sandwich.

      On Wednesday, we went to Subway and I enjoyed a foot long sandwich. It was nice for about 30 minutes and then it tried to kill me. Poor Sister Romero was frantic as we ran around for quite along while until I found some relief. Long story short, I am now gluten-free. I have built up an intolerance to gluten in this country in the past 14 months. Yikes. It has been a rough transition and the realization of all the things that I cannot eat has been incredible. No pizza, no bread, no pasta, no comfort food. :) Wow. Haha I'm sure you can imagine how hard this has been for me, but I know that the Lord is strengthening me at this time. I am already feeling SO much better. It will be hard, but I am so grateful to be feeling better. If any of you are g.f., I would appreciate all the advice that you have to give!! :)

My beautiful Anne had me over for dinner on splits in Caerphilly.
Love her so much! 

 Cardiff Zone Sisters! So much love!!! 

Our beautiful Christine.
She has become an absolute treasured gem of my mission!

 That same night, we were able to see a potential named Anthony. We got to the door, only to find out that he wasn't home. As the words choked in my throat, I asked his wife if we could come in NOW and teach her instead. She hesitated and then invited us in! Woot! We taught her the Plan of Salvation and the spirit was incredible! Anthony came home halfway through the lesson and we were able to extend powerful commitments to them both! Ahhhhh. So cool! I know the sisters will take great care of them!
Last Zone Meetings in Wales. Lovin' em.

LOL. Hahah every time we see this car we just have to laugh. 
                           Funny British cars.

Sister Romero was my first greenie as an STL.
Love her so much! #Aussielove

      We were able to see the beautiful Christine Shah three times this week. She has been blind for 15 years from a freak accident when the doctors accidentally cut her optic nerve. She never sued or anything because she knew, afterwards, that she was always meant to be blind. Amazing! She is the most positive, loving person I have ever met. She has never been blind to me. I am so grateful to have met and learned from her in these past 6 weeks here in Ponty. I know that our reunion in the spirit world will be unlike anything else. We are kindred spirits indeed. 

      I am so grateful for the time that I have had to serve with Sister Funk here in Pontypridd. She has taught me so much. I am grateful to have been reminded to be patient, to listen, and to be genuine. White-washing has been an experience and a half and I know that Sister Sharp will fill my shoes with no problem! I know that Ponty is in great hands. This ward has been wonderful and I will miss the people so much.
Happy Valentines Day!

A district full of elders and two little sisters :)

British selfies! :)

      It has been an absolute privilege to serve in 3 different areas in Wales. More than half of the missionaries here don't even set foot in Wales. There is a reason that it is so close to my heart; my ancestors have walked these roads and the Welsh blood runs thick through my veins. These people have welcomed me into their homes and let me become apart of their families. I couldn't ask for anything more. How blessed am I? 

All my Welsh love,
Sister Sydney Jones