Monday, April 25, 2016

Last week with my Mum!

My final week with Sister Butler has come to an end! What an amazing two transfers together!

Tuesday we visited Jane in the morning. Then we did a lot of street contacting. We had a really good dinner with the Johnson family. Then we had an amazing lesson with Miriam and Tim about the Plan of Salvation. Then we started teaching an English class for some Vietnamese people that live by us. They are so nice! Sister Butler and I had no idea where to start or how to teach them English but it went really good!

Wednesday was my three month mark in England, I can't believe how fast it has gone! We watched a conference talk with Jane in the morning. Then for lunch we got some burgers and ice cream in town to celebrate. We street contacted and then had a district meeting. Our district is like a little family. We've grown so close and I love them all so much. Then we taught English to the Hungarians in our ward. We were invited to have dinner with our new friend Irum. She is from Pakistan and it was the best food I've ever had! She made different kinds of curry and Asian food and it was all heavenly! She is so prepared to receive the gospel and it was truly a miracle that we met her last week during challenge week. We also met her sister and brother in law and found out that they not only used to meet with the elders but they live on our street! We're so excited to meet more with both families!

Thursday was the Queen's birthday so there were lots of celebrations going on. We visited Jane in the morning. Then we had ward coordination at the church. We had a good visit with a member who has been poorly. Then after our dinner appointment we went to see our good friend Lindsey from the ward for her birthday. We took her brownies and she gave us some flowers to plant in our garden.

Friday, Sister Butler and the other sisters in our zone going home had to go to Birmingham for their departing interviews. So I was in a trio exchange with Sister Scherf and Sister Dignos. It was a really fun day and we had a good time together in the STLs area. Then Sister Butler and I rushed back to our area for our dinner appointment. We went to volleyball and celebrated a young women's birthday after the game night. 

Saturday we biked all over back and forth all day long! It was so exhausting! We helped the ward move a member into his new house, taught a few lessons and then went back to help move again. We tried to take some shortcuts from the different towns but kept getting lost. We had more lessons in the afternoon and a dinner appointment. Then we visited Alicia and did some service for her. We had a lesson with Catherine as well that was so great! She said we've become a part of their little family. The kids are really sad that Sister Butler has to go home. We've seen so much growth in them the last few months and they are doing so good! 

Sunday we did weekly planning while Sister Butler packed for most of the day. We had a great dinner with the Thomas family. Then I found out who my next companion will be! Sister Pascua-Duzon from EspaƱa (Spain) will be my next companion! She was Sister Butler's last companion and previously served in this ward for 6 months when the sisters had a flat in Beeston.  Everyone will be so excited to have her back because we hear about how much they love her all the time. It was so crazy because at dinner with the Thomas's they had actually all joked about her coming back here and being my companion so we couldn't believe it was actually happening. Elder Vaitoa and Elder Wallace are also both staying in the ward so our little family is mostly staying the same!

It will be sad to see Sister Butler go but I'm excited for the change and all that awaits this next transfer! Love you all, have a lovely week!
Sister Aubri Cebollero 

1. Happy Birthday to the Queen from Nottingham 
2. Celebrating 3 months in England

3. Giant Sister Exchange for departing interviews (Back: Me, Sister Scherf from Holland, Sister Walker from England, Sister Mousely from Utah, Sister Melville from Scotland, Sister Gillette from Arizona, Sister Butler from South Carolina, and Sister Dignos from Phillipines

4. The Thomas Family in Nottingham

5. Our ward volleyball group

6. I "mustache" you a question? Are you my new companion? Meet Sister Pascua-Duzon From Espana (Spain)! She will be my new companion this week when Sister Butler leaves and we just happened to pose together for this picture a few weeks ago! 

Monday, April 18, 2016

"Challenge Week" = Miracle Week

CHALLENGE WEEEEEEK! Aka miracle week for the EBM! This week we had a mission wide challenge week for the first time ever! Each morning we got three challenges from the APs and one from President Leppard. It made for a really busy and exhausting week, but also a week of miracles. Each day we would get voicemails and hear all about the miracles happening all over the mission as missionaries completed these challenges. Sister Butler and I made a goal to get 100% on all of the challenges and with the help of the Lord we were able to meet our goal! 

One of the challenges on Monday was to have a member pray about a street for us to tract, tract the street and report back to them. We asked a sister to do this for us and she gave us six streets to tract near our house. We found a few families to teach when we tracted Monday night on those streets and it was definitely where Heavenly Father wanted us to be that night! 

Tuesday we had to take a selfie with 7 random people, write and take a thank you note to the bishop, find and teach 2 new investigators and find 4 potential investigators. We did more tracting in the morning. Then we had lunch with the Ross family and did service for them. We had a nice dinner with the Ford family. Then we taught Miriam and Tim for the first time. They have been married for one year and are so fun to teach so it went really well! We took the thank you note to bishop and joined the young women for youth night at the park. 

Wednesday was a very busy day! The challenges were to visit two part member families we had never contacted before, have a member come to a lesson, and have a dance off in the street with a stranger and video it. We had coordination in the morning. Then we rushed to a lunch with the Khwaja family. We had high tea finger foods so it was a very British meal. Then we taught Catherine with Sister Ford which was amazing! It turned out that Sister Ford was in the exact position as a single mother when she joined the church and was also afraid of water, just like Catherine! The spirit was so strong with Sister Ford there to testify! We had dinner with President Gray and his family and they were able to give us two less active part member families in their area to go visit. We were having the hardest time finding someone that would agree to have a dance off! But we finally found a lady who agreed and I had a dance off with her. 

Thursday we were to invite 6 people to church who had never been before, take a member finding for 30 minutes, give out 3 Books of Mormon and have a stranger draw a portrait of you on a pass-along card. We had district meeting in the morning. Then we took a returned missionary finding with us and it was really good! We had a crazy busy day but were still able to accomplish all of the challenges.

Friday was the wettest day I've ever experienced in my life! It was extremely rainy all day! One of our challenges was to pet 10 cats! We usually see so many cats but because of the downpour it was SO HARD! We had 3 members write their testimonies in Books of Mormon and gave those out throughout the day. We also committed Catherine and Tyler to a baptismal date in May! But we were having the hardest time with the cat challenge. After volleyball it was still pouring, we had to be in soon and we still needed four cats! We remembered a member near us had three so we biked in the pouring rain and rushed there. Then we saw that her neighbor had a cat in the window so we knocked on their door and asked to pet it. We were completely wet when we got home!

Saturday we were to teach six lessons, find five potentials by showing them our family history fan chart, and teach the restoration in a member’s home we'd never been in before. We had a lot of lessons already set up so that one was really easy. We had a good visit with a family to talk about the restoration in their home. The family history finding was really cool because every conversation we started with that the people always turned it to religion without us even bringing it up!

Sunday I gave a talk in church on the sacrament. The Italian bus driver Tito that loves us came to the last part of church! Our challenges were to get 5 dinner appointments for the week, stop by two members, get two referrals and contact them and find two new families to teach. We accomplished the first three really easily but we were having the hardest time finding two new families and we were quickly running out of time. We prayed and told Heavenly Father that even if we found two families we would keep tracting and not go home because we'd finished the challenges. We found two amazing families! And the next door we knocked on we tracted into a less active member we'd been introduced to and had been trying to get ahold of for a few weeks! It was such a miracle! 

We found out Sunday night that we tied at 100% with a few other companionships so this morning we got a call that the first to find a potential and call in would be the winners. We're still waiting to find out if we won, but we're feeling really accomplished for getting all of the challenges done. It was so hard but we did it! 

Have a great week! 
Sister Cebollero
1. Wollaton Hall where Batman was filmed

2. #the district

3. L to R: Sister Butler/South Carolina, Sister Cebollero/Utah, Elder Vaitoa/Samoa, Elder Wallace/Utah, Elder Kmetzsch/Utah, Elder Wagner/Washington
4. Wollaton Hall was beautiful inside and out! Inside, there were a bunch of taxidermy animals, like a giraffe, gorilla, lion, etc.

5. Such a beautiful home! 

6. Sister Butler and Sister Cebollero in front of Wollaton Hall, where they toured today on P-Day. Sister Butler finishes her mission next week.

7. Panorama of Wollaston Hall

8. Deer Park at Wollaton Hall (Aubri's grandma emailed the Deer Park and asked what kind of deer were in the picture because Grandpa really wanted to know.  They replied they were Fallow Deer, not native to England but were introduced as early as 1st century AD from SW Asia.)

9. The deer at Wollaton Hall

Monday, April 11, 2016

Bangers and Mash and a Bike Smash!

Another week in Nottingham has come and gone in the blink of an eye! 
Monday night after P-day we had family home evening with the Priest family. Sister Priest has five kids and her oldest son is getting ready to start his mission forms. We did the lesson on general conference and then they were in charge of the game. We played the pie face game! Sister Butler got creamed in the face the first time she turned it every round and it was really funny. We had a great time with their family. 

Tuesday morning we visited Jane again to keep cheering her up. We're getting less and less terrified of all the parrots! One even sat on my head during the lesson. Then we went to the Ross home and watched President Uchtdorf's conference talk with them. They really loved it and Sarah really recognized that the talk was meant for her. We visited Flora again and we have been re-teaching her the lessons. And of course we can never leave until we've finished off tons of sweets and ice cream. And Tuesday our boiler got fixed (and it's still working so yay!) 

Wednesday we had a double district meeting with another district that President and Sister Leppard came to! The training they gave was really good and it was so great to see them! The whole mission got new phones that are really posh and so that was exciting as well! And I got an Easter package from my family that had Girl Scout cookies in it so it was pretty much like Christmas! 

On Thursday morning we had ward coordination. Then the elders showed us a biking shortcut to a neighboring town because we were running late to meet a less active member for lunch. We rushed there and we were so exhausted from all the biking that day. And when we got there she called and cancelled. So we just biked back home to have a quick lunch there. Then we biked all the way back to that area to visit some referrals we needed to contact. We had a really good dinner appointment with Sister West and ate bangers and mash! Then we had the best lesson ever with Catherine! We followed up on tithing and taught about fast offerings. And we brought Bishop with us because he is a pretty recent convert and has had lots of amazing experiences from paying tithing. Her ten year old son Tyler was really involved and has really been wanting to be baptized since the Elders first went over. It was such an amazing lesson and Catherine and Tyler both agreed to fast on Sunday about what day to be baptized! 

Friday we had a zone conference in Nottingham. There was lots of really good training and Sister Butler gave her departing testimony since she will be going home in two weeks. We visited some members and went to volleyball that night. Then we did the old type of missionary exchanges. Sister Scherf came to our area to stay with me and Sister Butler went to her area, which meant I was leading out for our area for 24 hours. 

It was so weird to not be with Sister Butler at all on Saturday! Sister Scherf and I visited with Jane and the Ross family. It went really well with both of them. We did lots of tracting and street contacting in the rain. Then we got to have dinner with the Thomas family! They are the best! 

We had a really great Sunday! Catherine was unfortunately unable to come to church but her and Tyler still fasted at home which was really cool! The fast and testimony meeting was really powerful and I love this ward more and more each week! We visited with Catherine after church. And I had my first bike crash…I'm a little bruised but okay! The roads are very narrow and cars park on both sides.  A car was coming so I popped onto the sidewalk.  My wheel turned too fast and hit a cement barrier.  It turned and hit a really nice white car and I went head first to the ground. It left a black mark on the car so we knocked on doors to find the owner and washed it off. It didn't scratch the car so that was a relief. The car owner was nice and wasn't worried about the car and was glad I was ok.  I'm a little purple but I was more worried about the car. Later we did weekly planning. We had dinner with the Maxwell family. Their dad is the only member and they have three boys. They're really cheeky and quite a funny family so we had a great time. 

This upcoming week is the first ever mission wide challenge week so it will be a really exciting week! 
Love you all! 
Sister Cebollero 
1. Daffodils are everywhere!!

2. This bus was going to Gotham city and had an advertisement for Batman vs Superman.  So funny!

3. Love to my bro Jackson!

4. Nottingham Zone

5. Jane's parrot likes me!

6. Sister Scherf from Holland and I roasting mallows!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Conference Weekend with Catherine!

Monday night we had family home evening with the Brother and Sister Hulse because it was a bank holiday so the ward one was cancelled. Brother Hulse gave a really good lesson about the sacrament. Then we tried to play a British trivia game but none of us did very well. It was quite funny and we had a really nice time with them. 

Tuesday morning our boiler stopped working again...surprise! It was quite a rainy and cold day. We visited a member named Jane and her seven parrots to cheer her up. Then we went and visited the family in the ward from Indiana because we really needed some America friendliness after a long day of street contacting. It was just what we needed and we had a great discussion about conference. Then we had dinner with a returning member and taught her the restoration. 

Wednesday we visited with Jane again in the morning. Then we had ward coordination. We visited a less active member. She hadn't heard that there were sisters in the area again so she was so shocked and excited when we knocked on her door. We had a really good dinner with a part member family. Then we went to teach Catherine about tithing. As a single mother it will be very hard for her, and she was very troubled about it. But she was willing to pray about it. 

Thursday was a very busy day. Overall we visited 12 less active or part member families throughout the day. We biked all over our area and it was really productive day! We had so many great visits. The members that made us diner made a homemade lemon meringue pie and it was heavenly! 

Friday morning we had district meeting and lunch. Then we went to the Ross home to do service for them. They took us to the Hulse's for our missionary stew. We took some members cookies because their son has been in hospital. Then we went to volleyball at the church. We had a really good turn out! 

Saturday morning we visited with a referral from another ward. Her name is Beverley and her husband recently passed away. She has never been religious so she wasn't sure if it is her time yet, but she was very touched by the message we shared with her. We had been struggling all week to find Catherine and her three kids a ride to the stake centre for conference and we finally found someone who was willing. Then we had lunch with the Khwaja family. Sister Khwaja used to be a chef so everything she cooks for us is amazing. We had vegetarian lasagna and homemade garlic bread. She invited a family friend that just moved into the ward and has been less active for the last few years so it was really great to get to know her. Then we headed to the Nottingham chapel for general conference! From 5-7 pm we watched the Saturday morning session live. It was so good! We got a text from Catherine that she was still very troubled about tithing because ten percent of her income is what she puts toward her housing each month. She said that she didn't think she would be able to meet with us again. We were walking down a footpath with the elders to a tram when we got her text so we all knelt down and prayed. We asked her to still come to conference and continue to pray about it and she agreed! We love her so much and we were so thankful that our prayers for her were answered. 

Sunday we biked around gathering booster seats for Catherine's kids to be able to ride to conference. Then we bused to the stake centre. From 1-3 pm we watched the Saturday afternoon session that had been recorded because it had been on too late for us to stay up. Catherine and her three kids came to that session and they really enjoyed it! Then we all had lunch at the church. From 5-7 we watched the Sunday morning session live.  It was such an amazing conference! We weren't able to watch the Sunday afternoon session so I'm really excited to read all the talks we missed. A member gave us a ride home and we did our weekly call ins. Catherine sent us a message that she was so glad she came to conference, and so were we! It was truly an answer to our prayers that we were able to put together a ride for her family. 

We really focused on getting to know a lot more of the members and less active members and so it was a really great week. We still don't have heating, but the hot water works long enough for us to shower, so we're happy with that. Someone will come tomorrow to look at the boiler again so hopefully we can get it fixed permanently. 

Sister Cebollero 

1. Sister Cebollero holding one of Jane's parrots. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The BEST "Good Friday"

This week started out a little rocky but overall we had a really good week! 

As a missionary your entire day to day life seems to revolve around the agency of other people. Tuesday was one of those days where everything seemed to be going wrong and it was all out of our control. In the morning we went and volunteered at the horse stables again. It's really hard work and like I mentioned last week, really smelly. We were completely exhausted when we finished and it was only noon. Then we finally got to teach Daniel again. We taught him the plan of salvation and it went pretty well! That was the good part of our day! Then we needed to get to a member’s house for dinner. We were on a bus there because they were going to give us a lift to the church for a meeting. They let us know they couldn't and they live about an hour walk from the church. So we headed back to get our bikes and rushed there as fast as we could. We thought we were just a few minutes late but there had been a miscommunication about what time we were coming and so they thought we were very late. Then we got a call from a member who had also made us dinner. We had told her we could only do Wednesday but she got confused and thought Tuesday so she was disappointed as well. Then because we had to bike we completely missed the church meeting. Sometimes people seem to forget that while missionaries represent the most perfect person to ever walk the earth, we ourselves are not perfect. Whitewashing into an area really makes you realize this because we have no source of passed down knowledge of the area to help us. We don't know the shortcuts from village to village and sometimes we are late. We were being really hard on ourselves Tuesday night due to everything that went wrong so the Elders gave us a blessing when we made it to the church and it really helped. Then we got some Ben & Jerrys and cried it out and that helped as well.

Wednesday was a bright new day! We were going to teach Blaise but he didn't show up and we were unable to get ahold of him. We went to visit our friend Sam, who has been coming to volleyball each week, at his work. We wanted to try an English chocolate bar that we hadn't had yet. So we all picked one out and we gave him a piece to try. As he was chewing, he was like… oh this better not have nuts, I'm allergic! And it did, so we felt soooo bad! We basically almost killed him but I think he is fine. Then we taught our friend Lacey for the first time. She's from AMERICA! She was born in Alabama but moved to England when she was 10. And she's just so friendly and she has a young son! We shared an Easter message with her and she really liked it. We visited Flora who of course overloaded us on hot cocoa and sponge cakes. And always ice cream or we aren't allowed to leave. She was offended by a member nine years ago and is still holding on to it. We're trying to help her forgive and recognize the importance of coming to church. Then the STLs picked us up to stay over and use their showers. 

Thursday we had district meeting and it was really good! We traveled back to our area ad decided to do a power hour of talking to people in town. As we turned the corner out of our street I stopped a man and we started talking. He said "wow, as soon as you girls turned the corner I could tell you had something I don't have- you are just so happy!" His name is Rob and we had a great conversation and he was really interested! Then we taught Catherine about the word of wisdom. She is just progressing so great! She came up with the idea to buy a brand of tea she doesn't like so when her friends come over and want some she won't be tempted!  After that we went to visit Sarah and Jim Ross again who has cancer. We made them homemade macaroni for dinner. 

We had such a GOOD Friday! (Haha see what I did there?) but really, Good Friday was like the best. In the morning we met with a returning member and we brought her flowers because we felt bad about not making it for dinner Tuesday. She had felt bad as well and bought us chocolate Easter eggs. Then we went to Beeston for a town Easter service and parade with all different faiths and met the Elders there. We needed to get lunch but we didn't know what to do. We started walking towards Subway and as we passed a chip shop, Elder Wallace was trying to decide if that's what he wanted to do instead. This English man came out of nowhere and was like yeah, you definitely want a chippie! And ya know what I'll pay! I'll pay for all of you, come get whatever you'd like! And we were like why?? And he just said "well don't you spend all day doing good?" And we said yes. And he just said well there ya go, it's my turn to do something nice. And he just paid and before we could even talk more he left! It was so cool because we hadn't planned for lunch and had forgotten to pack some. And on the bus Sister Butler said the Lord will provide and we'll figure something out, and we did! And it was also the most beautiful sunny day all day! And then we got a call that our heating and hot water was all sorted out! So many miracles! After volleyball the STLs picked us up for exchanges. 

Saturday we had exchanges all day. We cleaned their church in the morning for some service. Then I went with Sister Mousely for a lesson but they didn't come. So we tracted a road called Alma road! Then I went with Sister Scherf to help a recent convert who is a single mother clean her house. We walked back to their house in the biggest downpour of rain I've ever experienced! We were soaked through! Then we made dinner and did 12 weeks study. Then since she is from Holland she had to do language study so we watched part of Meet the Mormons. Then they took us back to our warm house and we moved our mattresses up to our rooms again!

Easter Sunday was so great! One of the hymns we sang at church was I Know That My Redeemer Lives and the spirit was so strong! It truly brought the real meaning of Easter in. Catherine came to church and she really loved it! Sister Butler gave a talk on the resurrection and it was really good. Then we taught sharing time in primary about Easter. After church we visited the Ross family again and they made us lunch. Then we did our weekly planning and had dinner at home. 

I am SO EXCITED for conference this weekend! I've been studying the talks from last conference and I can't wait to receive more inspired guidance from the Prophet and apostles! We don't get to watch every session due to the time change, so enjoy every minute for me! Have a great week! 

Sister Cebollero 

1.An Easter treat from a ward member

2. Tracting with Sister Mousely on Alma Road

3/4. Having Chippies with the Elders after a nice man offered to buy us all lunch for helping others!