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

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