Monday, March 6, 2017

100 days left to serve the Lord in the EBM...

Dear loved ones, 

      Well, it's 4pm on March 6th in Coventry, England and the sun is STILL shining!! Blessings! We have had an awesome week with some pretty cool experiences to tell about. I am settling in here in Cov-love and am excited to see all that will will be able to accomplish in Sister Romo's last 3 weeks. 

      In district meeting this week, Elder O'Hare reminded us of the greatest joys that we experience as missionaries. One of them being able to hear an investigator pray out-loud for the first time in their life. There is nothing like it!! Sometimes they stumble with their words or they are self-conscious, but it is always amazing! "Dear God, how are you? Thanks for my life, you've richly blessed me. I hope you can help me to change so that I can find happiness." I love it! Or when people realise their potential as children of God, their eyes illuminate and their spirit is filled with love. Nothing can stop them in that moment. And being able to make eternal friends in a foreign country is probably the neatest thing ever. I am so thankful! 
Sister Nielsen's last exchange!!
Such an incredible sister! So much fun.

Me & Sister B
We snagged an MLC pic on our 15 month mark..<3

 Awesome old English houses! Gosh, I love this place.

      I have been humbled greatly this week and reminded of the saving grace in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. My shortcomings and daily mistakes seem to stack up quick, but the Atonement is there for us to use 24/7, 365! How grateful I am that I don't have to live with the guilt and turmoil of my everyday sins. I know that the redeeming power of Christ's Atonement is REAL. I feel it and I know it can help even the worst of sinners. 

      We saw Kristina this week! She has been learning from missionaries for about 3 years now and is INCREDIBLE. Her best friend Sarah, a recent convert, came with us and we had the incredible opportunity to testify boldly about the transition that she needs to make in her life. We shared personal experiences and let the spirit guide the whole conversation. We came to the simple conclusion that she needs to learn more about her Saviour in order to understand why she needs to be baptised. Then she just said, "Well, let's learn about Jesus then!" Ahhhhh! So we will be going through His life and the sacrifice that me made for her specifically. Pray for her! :) 

      We went to Warwick Castle today and it was SO cool! The inside was fully furnished just like my favourite TV series Downton Abbey! The castle was huge and so intricate. The wax figures were cool too. Our district unity is off the charts. We are going to Shakespeare's birthplace in the next few weeks and are SO looking forward to it! 
Many - Many more pictures of Warwick Castle at the end of today's blog

       I received my official travel arrangements for the 14 of June 2017 this week. Yikes. It is getting real. My mom informed me that I have 100 days left today.. I am overwhelmed and constantly reminded of how much time I have left when members ask how long I have been out. It feels like only yesterday that I was getting on a plane in Idaho Falls and heading into the unknown land of the mission field. I was terrified and homesick, but I had a fire in my bones and I'm grateful that the same fire that led me to leave my family for 18 months, still resides in my bones and it is what will carry me to finish this journey with honor. What an absolute privilege it is to be here!
 Warwick Castle! Absolutely beautiful..

      We had a special Northern Europe Area Broadcast yesterday for church. Elder Ballad and a few other general authorities spoke specifically to us. It was pretty cool. They gave us a lot of warnings as saints here in this part of the world. They encouraged us to continue strengthening our testimony of the Book of Mormon, for it is the only thing that can and will keep us afloat in perilous times. I am so grateful to know that this book is true. A man challenged me on his doorstep yesterday, saying that I only "believed" and could never actually "know" that it is true. Granted, he was totally drunk, but I took the opportunity to tell him that I, indeed, have received a witness on multiple occasions that it is true and that I could never and will never deny it! Those moments make you stand a little taller as a missionary and I am so grateful for them! 

       God bless and may your testimony of the Book of Mormon be strengthened as you commit to reading it daily. I know that you will come to love it just as I have. And if you have never read the the Book of Mormon before or haven't picked it up in a while, I encourage you to do so! You have nothing to lose and only everything to gain! 

      Peace & love from Cov,

                  Sister Sydney Jones

 Warwick Castle! Absolutely beautiful.

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