Monday, March 27, 2017

To Be or Not To Be.

A Selfie for my Mommy on U.K. Mother's Day


Dear fam,

      Transfer news is in and Sister Romo is being transferred to Mexico City! She departs Wednesday morning bright and early. And I will be getting the one and only Sister Cebellero!! Woot! I was praying and actually predicted our companionship. We are pretty pumped! We have served around each other a ton and I am so excited to learn from her! 
Our beautiful investigator Kristina (left)
and her best friend Sarah (right). We love these ladies!

Our wonderful Sandra. 
This is Sarah's mom! She joined the church 3 years ago and
 we are now teaching her mother :) Amazing.

The amount of times that we have had to go to
stinkin' KwikFit this transfer has been insane!! Car troubles are a 👎.

African dance parties after exchanges.. Holla. 

      The bummer about transfers is that we only have two sets of sisters that we are over! Only two! One in Lichfield Zone and one here in Coventry Zone. We need more sisters in the mission field!! If you have been thinking about serving a mission, but haven't made up your mind yet..THIS IS YOUR SIGN!! We need you out here! The Lord needs you on His team! There is nothing like Sister Power! Serve a mission! It's the greatest thing you will ever do! 
 Screenshot of us practicing for our Sacrament debut. Lol.
 Biggest struggle ever. It turned out great though! 
   
Eating traditional African sadza with our hands!!
Sister Mwoyosvi knows what's up!

Red Nose Day! Don't really know what it was for, other
 than it is for a charity and it was a good reason to wear red noses!
That's Sister Cebellero next to me :) 
     Elder Langi, Elder Turnbow, and I sang in church on Sunday. We chose 'Abide With Me; Tis Eventide' and it turned out lovely. Our practices were ridiculous and hardly ever focused, but we were able to pull it together for Sacrament. Holla. 
      We went to Banbury on exchanges this weekend and had a wonderful traditional African meal. It's kind of like cream of wheat that takes a gelatin form and you use it to scoop up the other food on your plate. It is supposed to be eaten only with your hands and it was so fun! I love experiencing so many different cultures!! :)




     The Spanish dinners this week were awesome and we enjoyed spending our last moments with the Latino families! This ward is awesome and will miss Sister Romo so much. I am excited for Sister Cebellero to be here and to use her Spanish in this ward. We are finding so many Spanish families that are ready to be taught and accept the gospel! 

Saturday morning sports in Cov-love.

      We taught a lesson to Kristina with Sarah on Thursday and it was so cool! We were so bold about baptism and receiving her own answer to her sincere prayers. She opened up about some of her concerns and wep were able to address them by using the scriptures and it was AWESOME! When you're just sitting in a lesson and a scripture comes to mind, it is thee coolest. I'm grateful that the Lord is using me to help to meet the needs of others. I know this truly is His work and can only be done with His Spirit. 
Sister Harrigfed's masterpiece! So cool, right?

 Our picture from MLC on March 3rd. Amber is my bestie.

     We went to Stratford-upon-Avon today!! It is the birthplace of Shakespeare. It was such a cool experience. We were able to see his grave, his homes, and the streets that he walked. The village is beautiful and there were countless thick American accents that filled my ears! People from all over the filed into the cobblestone walkway and it was a joy to be a tourist amongst them all. Quite fascinating to see his home, to see the font where he was baptised as a baby, and to see the reenactment of some of my favourite plays. The souvenir shops sure got the best of us today! How many people get to visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare and to walk the streets that he walked? Amazing. I want to go into Journalism/English when I return home, so this was an absolute thrill for me! Such a privilege to experience it all. 

     Yesterday was British Mother's Day and all of us missionaries were holding back tears during church. Haha, nah. It wasn't that bad, but bad enough to fill our minds with thoughts of our precious Mum's. So grateful for an awesome mom whose example means the world to me!! :)

           Sister Sydney Jones
Stratford-upon-Avon



Shakespeare's childhood home.



His Baptism font and grave.


Proper toilet use.  (:







Monday, March 20, 2017

Hallelujah for the good times and growing pains!


 Zone Meetings are the coolest

Dear family and friends,

     On Wednesday evening just before nightfall, Sister Romo handed me something through the window and I went to roll it up and it just fell. Just fell man! I jumped, screamed, and my jaw was just left hanging open. Talk about a worst nightmare in one of the wettest countries in the world! We called the elders and they did their best to fix it, but we ended up having to take it to Birmingham to the dealership the next morning and wait for it to be fixed. Talk about a whole day being messed up! Then, later that day, we had to drive the Wolverhampton sisters back home. So, all in all, I drove 150 miles!
      Yikes. It isn't much in America, but over here it just seems like so
much more! Especially when you are stuck in traffic. My knees were screaming at me. Nevertheless, the window is fixed! :) Hallelujah.
The window.
Waiting for the window to be fixed.

     On Thursday we had Zone Meeting and Sister Romo and I gave a training on Judging and Gossip. It went well and was really needed. To explain the effects of gossiping, we dropped a feather on the ground representing something negative and untrue about another person. Then, we took a feather pillow and forcibly dropped it on the ground and the feathers went everywhere! President Leppard explained: when we get to the Judgment seat of God, will he ask us to turn around and collect every feather before we can enter into his kingdom? In other words, go back and make reconciliation for all the bad things that we said about other people? That's a lot of feathers!! It was a very visual representation of this verbal addiction to judging and gossip. It totally opened my eyes to how I treat other people, in front of and behind closed doors.
 The aftermath of Sister Bateman's crazy first exchange! :)

      Also, I got sunburned on Thursday! It was blazin'! SO HOT. Like 60 degrees. Hahah it was great! So nice to have a bit of sunshine in this part of the world. We loved it..

      We've stopped by a few part member families this week. A few in particular, they opened the door and told us that the member we were looking for wasn't there. They engaged us in a short conversation and in the middle of it, we heard a cough coming from the next room. Both times, the spouses faces went red and they scurried to close the door.
      Haha...we just assumed that they were not interested! Come on people, if you're gonna lie, at least lie well!

      We have been meeting a lot of people from France, Albania, Portugal, India, and Brazil. The greetings in these countries are all so different. Some you don't hug and just give a hand shake, some you hug and give one kiss, some you hug and give two kisses, and others it's three kisses! Ahhh. And if you misjudged the amount of kisses, it can get awkward REAL quick. They are all so wonderful though. I'm SO grateful for the kindness that they show to us though! Incredible people.
Tish. A South African babe.

      Since it is Sister Romo's last week, we will be eating at all the
Spanish families in the ward this week. Which means I get to pray in Spanish in all of their homes! What a privilege. I am so excited. The prayer is just a bonus in top of the incredible food that we will be eating! Woot! #itsokay   #idbejealoustoo

       It's quite the experience to be an instrument in the hands of the
Lord. Some of my fondest memories come when I walk out of an
investigators home, look at my companion, and just say "I don't
remember a word that I said in there!" It is the coolest experience to
be in that moment and know that the Lord is using you to testify of
His church! And you just know it's not you because the words that you are saying would never fall out of your mouth without a little help from the big man. I am grateful for those moments, as they remind me who is in control. This is His work, not mine.
My Welsh parents came and surprised us with.....

A steak as big as my face. #triedtofinish #couldntdoit

       I got a call on Friday night from Brother Martin, asking me to speak 
in church. I accepted willingly, even with the short notice. I
prepared well and felt good about my talk, until Sunday morning at
9:49a.m. We were just standing there greeting people and guess who walks in...none other than President and Sister Leppard. My mouth just dropped. They came just wanted to come to our sacrament to see a few of the perspective missionaries in our ward. OF ALL THE DAYS FOR ME TO SPEAK. Yikes. I took a few deep breaths, Sister Romo said a prayer and all was  well. Little did I know, it was a homecoming of a kid in our ward, returning from South Africa who totally served around Elder Tyrel Phillips of all people! Small world! The chapel was FILLED and I was the first speaker. I stood up, testified of the divinity of Christ through the Book of Mormon, and encouraged everyone to pray to know if
the BOM is true. It was amazing. Another one of those "He's in charge, not me" moments. After the meeting, President had to scurry, but made sure to shoot a thumbs up before he left. Holla. That was good enough for me. Bishop White said I reminded him of Shiblon in the scriptures. Bold but not overbearing. That was pretty cool. It was a great experience overall.

      We have had quite a few days of consistent, good, hard work. We are finding new people and inviting them to come closer to Christ with every word that leaves our mouths. Sister Romo's last week already has nearly every hour planned, which is cool. We will be busy and happy, which is good.
 A 'point and shoot' kind of toilet. Totally weird. The lack of t.p.
was real. Lol. :)

This goes along with the previous photo quite nicely. This pub is
on Butts Road in Coventry. There is a Butts Park and Recreation
ground. Hahahaha. It's great, isn't it? :)

My beautiful MTC teacher. So cool to see her. (She knew the
Reynolds family and just happened to hear me speak!)

       I am grateful for this sacred time to serve the Lord. The hard days seem to never end, but they eventually do. We always overcome and we always learn something new from our trials. I am grateful to know that God is aware of me. I know that whatever happens this coming Sunday with transfer dodge will be good. Just good.. He has plan. And all will be well! The weeks are speeding up and the time is ticking! Not a second to waste!

           Cheers from England,

                           Sister Sydney Jones

Monday, March 13, 2017

I can do ALL things



First a part of Syd's letter to me this morning and our discussion about the initiation of the Sacrament and the Garden of Gethsemane in Luke Chapter 22.  
Take a few minutes to study, if you can :)
Hey mom! 

Thanks for all the updates. I loved your insights about Luke 22. Go and read a talk called "The Purifying Power of Gethsemane" by Bruce R. McConkie. I read it this morning and it's talks about how Michael (Adam) is that angel! So amazing, huh? Also, it talks about how the Saviour was led away with a rope around his neck and President Leppard stated that no where, to his knowledge, does it state that Doctrine. Thus hinting at the fact that Elder McConkie has had the privilege of "seeing/witnessing" that moment by the power of God. And he shared that information with us. Amazing. I loved the talk.

Dear fam,
       Good, busy week here In Cov-love. This is gonna be short because we just got done ballin and are going to dinner with my favourite Welsh humans, but just know that I am loving my mission still.. I'm not getting too trunky and I'm still finding joy in this hard 18 month
journey!

     Sister Romo is 15 days from her departure. She is so excited for home!  Hahah sooo hard to not be jealous! :) but we are looking forward to a great week here in Cov.
Sister B working her magic.

Work overs w/ our sisters in Wolverhampton. SO FUN.

     On Tuesday we were at the Bird's for dinner. We decided to do the teabag example of our burdens being made light. (I light a teabag on fire and it floats to the sky before it burns my hand) As soon as I lit it on fire, the little girl coughed and it fell sideways, nearly to the ground. HEART ATTACK! By the grace of God, I was able to catch it with composure and carry on with the application of the demonstration. My heart was going SO fast and I was just a lot terrified that I would ruin their beautiful Egyptian carpet. Hahahaha mercy. The Lord provides. Lesson to be learned: Dont light things on fire when you are sitting next to children. :) #survivors
My mission daddy is going home.
Peace out Wag-daddy.

Exchanges with my mission granddaughter.
She's the coolest. :)
     
He's gonna kill me, but this is Elder Johnson...or Spiderman...lol.
     We had Zone Conference this week with Leicester. It was an incredible opportunity and privilege to be taught by President and Sister Leppard. As he carried us through his trainings, the Lord testified to me that he truly was an inspired man of God. I know that he is led to direct this mission only by the power and authority of God. Our mission culture is changing and we are beginning to see more success as a result of the change. Amazing. There are great things ahead!
6 hours and 5 bags of rubbish later...Spring cleaning

     I have had ample opportunities to use the Atonement this week. It was 
my goal to use it more in my life this past week and boy did I have opportunities! Yikes. So many mistakes, things that I did or didn't do, thoughts, actions....the list is endless. I am grateful for the
purifying power that came when Christ suffered in the Garden of
Gethsemane just for me. Just for a small moment, he suffered for me and all the mistakes that I will ever make. And because of that, I can be free. I am grateful for the countless second chances that he
provides for me. He is the Almighty healer. The only one that can heal these terrible spiritual wounds and prevent us from darkness. How grateful I am for that!!

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." 
                                                                                        -PHIL 4:13
I haven't taken a selfies in months... Here ya go. :)

     I love Coventry and the people that we are working with. We are seeing miracles and are so excited to continue to work hard. I know that they will come. I know that we will find the elect and bring them towards the waters of Baptism. I know this is the work of Salvation. What a privilege it is to be apart of it.

      Have a great week and make the most of each moment that you have with those you love and doing those things that make you happy!!

              All my love,

                        Sister Sydney Jones