Monday night was my last night living in Nottingham! After P-day was over we headed to see Catherine and the family to have family home evening and to say goodbye. Pretty much Catherine and I both lost it and were crying, it was so hard. I love them SO much! But thankfully it was just a temporary goodbye. Then I packed up my life in Nottingham and tried to get some sleep.
Tuesday was so so crazy! The sweet Hulse's picked us up in the morning to take us to the Nottingham train station and to wait for the coach. I will miss them so much as well! We waited for the coach and all the other missionaries leaving the zone to arrive. Said goodbyes to my best friends in the Nottingham zone and we were off! Sister Spangler and I met at the mission office and she hadn't even heard we were whitewashing so that was a bit crazy and she hadn't been told about the trio in the future either. Not gonna lie, as we waited we got lots of "hmmm Stamford...well you can do it!" And, "Wow...(insert long awkward pause)...good luck!" So that didn't help much with our nerves. The last sisters here had a really hard time and a lot of challenges recently. But we were still excited! Then we got back on the coach to Leicester where our car was waiting for us. We got to the city of Leicester and they handed us the car keys. Since Sister Spangler is still legally able to drive here until July we did rock, paper, scissors to see who would try first, because we were both a bit terrified. She drove first and we took Sister Wadsworth and Sister Jones, who will be training in two weeks to their area with their luggage. The original plan was that when Sister Jones gets her trainee, sister Wadsworth would come here to Stamford. We followed the zone leaders there which was easy. After that they said it's about a 40 minute drive to Stamford, the address is in the GPS...good luck! And we were off… My turn to drive! Driving in England... Wow! The roads in England are SO narrow and small so it's a bit terrifying but we haven't died yet; and it was raining so hard! But it was a beautiful drive through the very green country side of England! We had a really hard time finding our flat and where to park...pretty much we don't know any laws about driving or parking here. But we finally figured something out around 8 o'clock and got all the luggage moved in. We were so exhausted that we unpacked our bedding, took a look around and went to bed.
First full day whitewashing Stamford! Sister Spangler has whitewashed 3 of her 4 areas now, so that's a bit more comforting! But we still feel SO lost here so that's always an adventure. We spent the morning trying to decipher the different area books. There was a lot of recent paperwork missing but we found a separate area book behind the couch that put some important pieces together. We had about one page of notes from the last sisters here that we had to decipher as well. Sooo much information to take in! We had no food in the flat so during lunch we had to go find the cheapest and closest grocery store to do some shopping. Then we set out for a dinner appointment. I was the designated driver the first few days because my license is still valid the longest. Their address was nonexistent because they live in a new house. So we were a bit late and trying to listen to their directions on the phone without knowing anything about the area to use as a reference point. But we found it okay! We had dinner with a young couple, the husband is from Utah and served a mission in the EBM. We had a barbecue and they were really fun and very kind.
Thursday was equally as crazy...or even more so by the end of the night. I finished unpacking all of my stuff when we got up. We had district meeting in Peterborough which is about 30-40 minutes from Stamford. There are 3 sets of missionaries in that ward. Our district has 4 sisters; all from Utah. Then we have 4 Elders from Texas, California, Brazil and New Zealand so it was really fun! We got stopped in heavy traffic in the middle of the English countryside for a long time on our way back. Then we visited the branch president's wife to meet her. Then we stopped by the McKee's, who are awesome! President McKee is on our mission presidency so I've met them once before and they are so lovely. Then we found our way to our ward mission leader's home for dinner. His wife is from Germany and they have the cutest and funniest kids! After dinner we had a coordination and he gave us the low down on missionary work in the branch and loads of other information. This is where my life got turned upside down...again...haha. So during our meeting we got a call from the APs asking to talk to me. And they said they need another trainer for the group coming in two weeks and President has asked me to TRAIN! In just two weeks! Whitewashing a whole different area!!!!! Ahhhahahahahahhhhhhh (insert mini heart attack) what is my life?!? Yeah. Wow. So I'm going to leave Stamford in two weeks to whitewash train in Stourbridge ward in the Birmingham stake. So yeah wow I'm still in shock…CRAZY!
Friday was pretty much the same as the rest of this week. In the morning we weekly planned and had lunch. Then in the afternoon we visited members and tried not to get too lost and figure out driving. The branch president's wife has a market stall selling dog biscuits so we helped her take that down and pack up their van. We had a really good English dinner called “Toad in the Hole.” It's like a giant Yorkshire pudding with sausages poking out and it's served with gravy and veg. It was delicious! Then we had to figure out how and where to put petrol (gas) in the car which was another adventure I'm too embarrassed to go into.
Saturday morning we went to part of our area for some district finding. It took our district an hour on the train to meet us there so we're quite a ways out here in the country! Sister Spangler and I did a little tracting and street contacting. Then as we were about to have district lunch all together, we got a call to go home so our oven could get fixed. Did I mention the sister's oven here blew up last week? (Apparently the boiler here is broken as well which explains why we have been so cold... I find all the broken boilers in this country!) After the oven was fixed we had a quick lunch and contacted some former investigators. Then we headed to Nottingham for Catherine and Tyler's BAPTISM! It was so amazing to see them be baptized. Catherine was still terrified of the water but she was so happy after and as she watched Tyler. She told me they had the flu this week and they didn't go out the last two days. But they woke up feeling fine and when the kids asked if the baptism was still on she said I am not changing this again, we are doing this today! And she was so so happy they did. Wow they're amazing! I had been asked to give a talk on the Holy Ghost and I had a horrible cold and cough all week so I could barely talk but it went okay. We also did a musical number with the missionaries. It was seriously the highlight of this week and the last few months working with their family! All of the hard times and stress was more than worth it to see them be baptized. Wow I love them SO MUCH! It was also really cool because Sister Pascua's new companion was the last sister in Stourbridge; my future new area, so she was so excited and told me a lot of helpful things! #Tendermercies!
Sunday in Stamford branch was also Sister Spangler's birthday! It's a bit awkward when you're with a new companion that you don't really know…and then they have a birthday. And then you live in the middle of nowhere and know no one to help her have a special day. But I did mention it to a few members and they put it on the branch FB page and so many members we didn't even know brought her sweet gifts at church. She was so touched she was in tears! I had the opportunity to bear my testimony in sacrament meeting. The spirit was so strong and this branch here is amazing. One sweet old woman in the ward came up to us after and handed Sister Spangler a gift. Then she pulled some fresh honey out of her bag in a bottle and said "sweetie, your voice sounds terrible! My husband is a beekeeper and you need this honey!" It was so kind of her. We had an amazing roast dinner with the oldest woman in the branch from Germany. It was so delicious! We visited formers and also had a nice visit to get to know the branch president.
Mission life is quite the adventure! I've got a terrible cough and no voice now. It's been an absolutely crazy week but it's been amazing as well. I am truly so happy! I'm nervous about everything ahead this transfer but I know with the help of the Lord it will be the best adventure yet!
Love you all so much!
Extra prayers this transfer that I don't mess up this poor new missionary!
1. Sister Cebollero went back to Nottingham for Catherine and Tyler's Baptism
2. Saying Good-bye to Catherine and her sweet family
3. With sweet little Isaac
4. Last Day with my BFF Sister Pascua
5/6. Fun to come back to Nottingham for the day and see Sister Pascua and Elder Vaitoa
7. Awesome Baptism Day!
8. Elder Shumway was one of the missionaries that found Catherine and was able to come for her baptism
9. My new companion Sister Spangler from Utah and my temporary district in Peterborough
8. Sweet German sister in the Stamford Branch. Famous for her delicious mashed potatoes, she fed us a delicious meal and wanted a picture for her missionary book!