Hiya! A very MERRY CHRISTMAS yesterday and a HAPPY BOXING DAY from us here in the United Kingdom!
Monday our district went to the Caerphilly castle with the district! It's the same castle I went to last transfer but it was still amazing to see it again! Like I said before, I just love castles! It was a bit rainy this time around and we were a bit rushed. We had an appointment scheduled that was going to cut our p-day short a bit so we really needed to get back to Blackwood and email which takes quite awhile with the travel here. But the train we were meant to take was delayed and then cancelled. So I just prayed and then I had a feeling we should check the bus station next door and there was one just leaving towards Blackwood! We all got a bit motion sick on the bus ride back but we just wanted to email so it was fine! Then we met with the Cwmbran ward relief society president and her husband and they took us out for dinner! A ysa (young single adult) sister they've been helping to reactivate just moved into our boundaries so they introduced us to her. It was really nice and Chantell is our new bff! We waited with her for her bus and got to know her a bit and she's super nice!
Tuesday we were meant to do service but it fell through and really freed up a lot of our time! Good thing we plan with back-up plans! We took the chance to follow up with a lot of our potentials we've met using the light the world video. Then we did a lot of finding and met some great people! It's been hard with the holidays because we meet these awesome people but everyone is just swamped! It'll be nice to follow up when things calm down a bit after the new year! After we had dinner the STL's came over for our exchange and I went to Merthyr Tydfil with Sister Berrett! It took us awhile to drive back and then we visited a recent convert and some potentials.
Wednesday morning we tried to stop by some of the sister's investigators but none of them were free. Then we contacted some of their referrals and got some Christmas gifts for our companions during lunch. Then it started absolutely pouring it down with rain and we had planned to do some tracting. Well President and Sister Leppard have really been emphasising that we are ALL weather missionaries so we prayed about a street and cheerfully ventured out. Hahaha and the first door we knocked on ended up being an older active member and sister Berrett didn't realise it so we had to go in and had a visit with her. Then we asked her for a good place to continue tracting and she referred her neighbour. Well she gave us a giant hug when she realised we were from her friend's church and welcomed us in. Then she told us all about their little village and her husband and pointed to the spot where he had died and talked and talked. And unfortunately by the time we were able to share something and leave we had to drive back to Blackwood! When I got back we went to visit Marcia and she asked for a blessing so we decided after coordination our ward mission leader and the elders could pop over. Well we walked from her house to the church and waited and nobody showed up and the elders weren't answering. We finally got ahold of someone and our meeting had been cancelled and the elders had forgotten to tell us! But they were still able to come give Marcia a blessing and it was a really special experience.
Thursday morning we went to follow up with some potentials but they weren't in so we stopped by a less active member we tracted into miraculously last week. We had a nice visit getting to know her and really felt the spirit. Then we did some tracting and had another appointment with Chantelle. We met her at a cute little cafe and she bought us these really good ice cream sundaes and we talked about her conversion. Then we went to Iulia to do some service. Then we walked home and had a late dinner and made a few phone calls.
Friday morning we had a return appointment with someone Sister McAravey met on exchanges but they never showed up! We stopped by some members to try and coordinate some things for Christmas and then we went finding! It was absolutely pouring and we found ourselves caught in a huge storm. We came home completely drenched and it looked like I went swimming in my clothes! Jenny wasn't feeling well but it was our week for dinner and her husband brought us over a nice meal. After we ate we did our weekly planning.
Saturday morning was amazing! We went to a member's home for breakfast and joined her less active daughter and non-member granddaughters. They really went all out for us and it was so sweet! We had a typical English cooked breakfast with sausage, bacon, eggs, toast, and beans. We pulled open the Christmas crackers (it's a super fun tradition here... I don't think we have them in the states) and they had different numbered whistles inside and we played some Christmas carols with them! Then I used their guitar and we played and sang more carols and had a lesson on Jesus Christ. They dropped us off at the train station and we travelled to Rhiwbina for our zone Christmas meeting. We had a testimony meeting that was very powerful and then afterwards we had a party! We had pizza, did a white elephant gift exchange, played chair football and then we got our packages and letters from home! Then we travelled back and had a late dinner. Then we pulled our mattresses out of our bedroom and into our main room by the Christmas tree and watched The Testament and ate some popcorn that my mom sent from home and had a fun little Christmas Eve sleepover!
Sunday was no surprise, a very rainy Christmas Day! We woke up and read Luke 2 and then we opened our gifts from home and from the members. We were truly spoiled and felt so much love the whole day! Then we got picked up for church and just had a one hour sacrament service. The Spragg's were having us over for lunch but they hadn't prepared anything so they dropped us off at our flat to wait and we took the opportunity to take a glorious nap. Then they picked us up and we had a delicious Christmas roast dinner. They made traditional Christmas pudding which was interesting, I'm not sure what was in it. Then they took us to Hannah and Jim's to Skype our families! Best Christmas present ever of course! Even though it was hard to be away from family, I feel so blessed I was able to spend this Christmas season as a messenger of Christ. He truly is the best gift I could ask for in my life.
We have another crazy busy week ahead with the holidays, loads of meals with members, a general authority visit and transfer calls this Sunday! I've never stayed in an area longer than 3 transfers so stay tuned to see what happens!
I'll talk to you in 2017!
Sister Cebollero xx
England Birmingham Mission
We love our Christmas Jumpers!
Christmas Eve Breakfast!
Thanks Gma Connie for the Christmas tree!
I love the street name the Spragg's live on! Try to say that!
Messy hair...Don't care! Windy Wales!
P-day playing games at the church