Monday, April 17, 2017

"Please forgive our sins..and the sisters..."

100 invitations to learn...✔️

Dear fam,

 Mercy! Where do I even begin.


     We has SO much fun and really enjoyed the opportunity to fulfill the challenges that were asked of us. Of course we had Annie (Sister Caupain) with us until Thursday, which made the whole week even sweeter!

      We began the week with interviews with President. It was going well until he brought up the H word. Yeah, you know the one...He asked me about my plans and what I want to accomplish before I go home, etc. It was a super surreal moment that brought out all kinds of funny feelings; sweaty palms and shortness of breath! But no water
works...I'm holding strong so far! ;) I am so grateful for a Mission
President who genuinely love me and not only cares for the success of my mission, but for the rest of my life. I know that his counsel is
inspired and I sustain him with my whole heart!
Annie Caupain's candid masterpiece.

 Trio life is grand.

      We went tracting after interviews to try and find 2 new
investigators. We knocked over 50 doors with absolutely nothing to
show for it. With only 5 minutes to spare we knocked on the very last door on Abbeydale Road. Karen opened the door and kind of invited us back, but didn't want us to come in right then. All of the sudden the door slammed shut and she was locked out of her house! Woot! Miracles!

     When her roomie finally came to open the door, we had already talked to her for 5 minutes and her heart had softened. She invited us in and we were able to share the Easter video with her! New investigator! Woot! It was amazing! I could've cried... :)
Marshmallow's the little things in life. (excuse my bed head:)

      That evening we went to Sarah's home to share a meal with Sandra do Kristina. We watch the Woman's Conference and they loved it! Following dinner and the lesson, Kristina's 5 year old son Junior knelt down to offer us the closing prayer. Kristina whispered sweet words into his ear and repeated them, until it got to "Please forgive our sins....he added...."and the sisters." Hahaha we died. Bless him. Must've thought we needed to repent for something! Cheeky boy.
 Tracting with my girl one last time!

More of us... (:

 On Wednesday we had to:
        1) give out 3 Books of Mormon with our 
             testimonies written inside, 
        2) add a new family to our teaching pool, and 
        3) stop by two part member families. 

We tracked for HOURS without any luck of finding a family who wanted us to come back and teach them. I swear our legs were going to fall off. Annie kept our enthusiasm high and we continued knocking. As the evening was coming to a close and we had an appointment to go to, Annie looked up in the back seat and said "Hey! My brother and his family live in Coventry, could we stop by them?" We both screamed and looked at each other and said "Of course!" We had to be quick though. We rolled up to the flat complex and scurried to the door. Lauren and her two little kids opened the door and let us share a message with them. It was AMAZING. Miracles everywhere!

      Thursday was BIG! We had to 
        1) get 100 ITL's, 
        2) give away a BOM with a members testimony in it, and 
        3) give out 10 Books of Mormon. 

ITL's are invitations to learn, meaning after the introduction of who we are, simply asking them if they would like to learn more about Jesus Christ and His church. It was tough going! The first 50 went quickly.
In front of the old cathedrals in Coventry. Little did we know that our new
investigator Karoliina was standing in the background! So fun! 

This kitty came tracting with us for about 6 doors..
 Haha almost ran into someone's house! Missionary kitty!

      We went to Coventry City Centre and just talked to people for an hour. It was awesome! We had some cool miracles. We stopped a woman named Karoliina from Finland. We introduced ourselves and she proceeded to tell us that she used to come to our church and learn from the missionaries...Man. Sister Cebollero and I just look and each other with tears in our eyes. We immediately felt the love that God has for her and how badly He wants her home. It was incredible. She became a new investigator and we set up a time to see her tomorrow at 12:30 pm! Woot! Miracles!
Mi compañera Hermana Cebollero!

Sister Cebollero's brother got his mission call this week! He's
going to the Mèxico Saltillo Mission! Woot!

      We accomplished the 100 ITL's and gave out all the BOM's. We were absolutely shattered, but we did it! We took Annie to the train
station that evening and not 10 minutes later, sweet Sister Swasey and Sister Kovisto joined us in Coventry! What a sweet reunion that was for us! Such a  tender mercy to see my girl once more before I return home in a few months. We had the privilege of going tracting with them and it was just like old times! We caught up on the events of the past 11 or so months since we've been together and it was beautiful. She has grown so much, spiritually and physically! It swear she has gotten taller! I'm so proud of the missionary that she has become and the work that they are doing up in Derby. What a blessing.
And this is what we call a field of rapeseed! They use it to make
oil over here and apparently it smells something awful, but the view

 Badge picture with a field of rapeseed as the background!

      The next morning, we headed off to our quad zone conference! We arrived early to see many of the missionaries that we haven't seen in AGES! So good to see them all. We had the privilege of hearing Elder Philips from the area seventy. He is actually Elder O'Hare's uncle, which was totally weird and cool. His training was focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We knew that we loved the Saviour and us by the way that he spoke and the many tears that filled his eyes. He encouraged us to examine our lives and to find those things that we need to put on the alter of God. He said to do whatever it takes to make that change and then don't go back. Just don't. To repent, make restitution, change, and move on! The spirit was powerful and the call to repentance was clear. It was amazing. I am so thankful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and for the freedom that it indeed provides for me. I know that there are many things that I need to change to become closer to my Saviour and I know it is only possible through Him!

      On Saturday, we had to:
         1) invite 2 people to be baptised on a specific date, 
         2) invite 30 people to church, and 
         3) hand out 25 Gospel of Jesus Christ leaflets with a member. 

It was a good hard challenge, but we did it! When we were nearly done in town, but needed to find one more person to invite to baptism, we pulled Georgie aside and asked her to pray for us to find this specific person. She asked Heavenly Father to let the spirit pour down so that we could find this person! We said 'amen', as you do, and began to walk into town. All of the sudden I see this man come out of no where with a Chicago Bears shirt and hat on. I did a double take and totally said "Hey! The Bears! Wow!" Haha I was speechless. If that's not a sign from God, I don't know what is. ;) We hardly ever see people wearing American sports memorabilia here, so he definitely caught my eye! We chatted with him for a bit and then asked casually invited him to be baptised. He looked at us like, 'Woah, I didn't think I'd be getting invited to be baptised on my way to work this morning!' Haha, but he said maybe!  Ha! He didn't want to give us his information, but was so kind about it. He took Book of Mormon and we can only pray that something miraculous will come out of it! :) #goChicagoBears
      Oh, also, it was my half birthday on Saturday. We celebrated with Chinese takeout which actually didn't make me ill, so that was amazing! :) 🎉
      And yesterday was Easter, which was beautiful. The chapel was filled and the praises were sung! Unfortunately none of the people that we invited came, but agency is a beautiful, terrible thing! We can't force them to come and take away their agency, otherwise our freedom to chose would have to go as well! At least they all now know where the chapel is! ;)
And this is what we looked like at the end of challenge week...DEAD.

Our killer district. #challengeweek

      I am so grateful for my Saviour Jesus Christ and for the life that he has given to me. I am grateful for the sacrifice that he made so that I can be made clean again. I, like us all, have a sinful past that has only been able to be made clean through His blood. What a blessing it is to learn of Him and to have His name on my lips always as I share His word. That an incredible honor it is to aide Him in this work. I know this church is true and I love it with my whole heart. I am grateful for a wonderful companion who always encourages me to be and do better. I feel so fortunate to have all that I do! I hope you feel the same amount of gratitude that I feel for our Saviour! Have a blessed week!

-"Ya'll want bacon?" (after we just returned home from a DA)
-"I'd marry Jesus.....can I say that?" (no, no you cannot Annie!)
-"Eat up as much as you possibly can, don't worry about spiritual
obesity." (holla)
-"Nice prospects for us in your church, eh?" (a group of African
chav's after we invited them to learn about Jesus) (look up the word chav if you don't know what it means)
-"Was it just me or was conference playing 'Wrecking Ball'? (Annie
fell asleep and Junior was playing Miley Cyrus in the back room, haha)

            Signing off from Cov-love,

                                  Sister Sydney Jones
Sister Manefiega :) reunited!

Swasey girl!

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