Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sister C and Sister T walked, and walked, and walked...


September 19:
I'd love to write you all a super inspiring and positive letter about the work here in Blackwood... But all the lessons in church yesterday were on honesty and I don't think a lot of positive fluff would really accurately describe the week we had. Some weeks the work is just kinda dead no matter how hard we try! But the important thing is that we try! And oh boy did we try, try, try! 
Monday night we were meant to have a lesson with Jon but when we got there he was feeling sick. We talked for a bit with him and then we went to visit some less active members and formers who weren't in. 
The quote of the day Tuesday from my lovely Italian companion was "we walk mileage for them and still they reject us! Is this not our love?!" I could say this for almost every day this week but I felt like we walked all over the world on Tuesday. We walked an hour in the morning to visit some formers in Oakdale but they weren't in. We did get caught in a big thunderstorm though.  It was the first lightning I've seen and thunder I've heard in the last 8 months so that was...uh yeah…being in rainstorms when we have to walk really far is not really our thing. From Oakdale we walked to Blackwood; which was almost another hour, to have our coordination meeting with Brother Pritchard. I haven't seen many Ford Focus cars on my mission but they were everywhere this week…I think I miss my car. We walked another hour to do service for Julia, a definite highlight of our week! She is so lovely and gives us great advice from her mission and about motherhood. We crawled... JK…walked…another hour to see our friends David and Madeleine. We had a lovely lesson with them and then we said we'd go home for a late dinner and they kindly offered to order us all Chinese food! #miracleoftheweek
Wednesday we had zone meeting in Cardiff so we took a very early bus and train to get there. It was standing room only on a very crammed train and we basically we're all so squished we could barely breathe. The church in Cardiff is right in the city centre in an office building so we got to walk around Cardiff a little bit. I love cities and Cardiff was lovely! Zone meeting was great and I knew most of the missionaries in this zone from previous zones so that made it extra fun to see them again. We played a fun game to get to know everyone in the zone and had some powerful trainings. We trained and bused back and had a visit with Marcia who is also lovely. We stopped by the church for youth and had a nice visit with the primary president about how to help the Davise family (the family of 6 that we are teaching) when they come to church with the children. We are starting to have this problem where it gets super dark super early and our flat is on the other side of some very dark woods and we have to pass through the path to get to any members and really to visit anyone we teach because there is no one near us that we can see. We left the church to come home for dinner and planning and by the time we got to the path we ran through it with the light of our dinky little missionary block phone... It's a little sketchy so we'll probably need to figure out how to go around the woods so we don't have to walk there in the dark.
Thursday we had to walk all the way back to Marcia's because we took our planners out to show her the cute covers and left them there by accident #oops {Quote of the morning: "This is Blackwood sister! Sweat, hills and punks!"} Punk is one of sister Tartaglia's favourite words. But it's true, we have a lot of "punks" here. We stopped at the flat for a quick lunch and to rest our feet then trekked to Newbridge to have a lesson with our friend Eric. He's 90 and he told us about how he's died twice so he's pretty cool!  We took Sister Manning with us and she brought a bunch of pictures of her grandkids in the Middle East to show him. That went like this as she pulled them out of a folder: " ah here is my granddaughter...this is my grandson.... My other grandson.... Ahhh here's a picture of Joseph Smith, what a marvelous lad.... Oh yes and here's my other grandson."  I found it quite entertaining that she had a random photo of the prophet in with all the pictures of her grandkids!  I love welsh people!  Then we took a train to Llanhilleth to see Amy D. and the kids. She fed us dinner and we had a lesson with Amy and her older kids. Amy's husband joined the church a few years ago and when they moved they had no contact from the church so she recently referred herself online to keep learning about the church. She doesn't remember a lot from the lessons so we started with going over the restoration. 
Friday morning, we did our weekly planning and then had lunch. Then we went out into the chilly weather (the weather this week was so bipolar) and we went to find some formers and potentials but they either weren't in or definitely weren't interested. So we ended up doing a lot of finding. Then Jon called and cancelled our lesson because he was poorly. So we walked up to Blackwood and visited one of the sisters in the ward, Lilian. Then we came back and another sister, Jenny and her husband picked us up for dinner. They will have us every other Friday and it was delicious. We had a lovely roast dinner and peach tart pie thing for pudding. Jenny has a whole wall of cabbage patch kids and a cool collection of exotic dolls. They dropped us off in Oakdale to try some potentials and formers there but they also weren't interested. It was very cold and getting dark so we rushed through the Forrest and Sister Tartaglia had language study. 
Saturday was another day where everything falls through and no one is interested. We tracted and tried some other means of finding for about 3 hours and only one person showed a little interest. We stopped to chat with the Jehovah Witnesses at their stand for a bit, nice people. We took a bus, since the trains were down, to see an investigator and his mother and then they dropped us. We did more finding there while we waited for the next bus replacement back. Then we walked up a big hill to visit the Mannings and we made calls together to find rides to church for Sister Manning, the Davise family and us… #miracles. Then on our walk back home we ran into Jon who was still poorly so we walked with him to the store. We had a quick dinner and language study and crawled into bed exhausted. 
Sunday morning Amy called and the kids had all been sick all night so they couldn't come to church. We quickly cancelled all the rides we'd arranged for them. We sat in for the YW lesson because we only had one young woman there. Then we had an Italian lunch with Brother and Sister Spragg; lasagna, salad and garlic bread. We had a nice apple pie for pudding. And then they wanted us to practice teaching on them and they chose lesson 5 which is on Laws and Ordinances. We usually don't get that far here before we get dropped so it was good to practice that one and Brother Spragg threw us some really hard questions. We have been studying a big lesson on how to help people stop smoking for our friends we are teaching (and pretty much everyone we have here in Blackwood) and we were going to start that but they called and cancelled because they were poorly as well. So we had the Spraggs drop us off to visit Marcia and some other members up in Blackwood. Then we had call-ins and a late dinner. 
Thankful for my car at home, my comfy bed at night, the little heater in our flat after a cold day and good companion conversations to help with the long journeys in the land of Blackwood. Hope you all have an exciting week and that you never have to walk as much as we do!
Love you all!
Sister Cebollero
England Birmingham Mission
Xxx 

Waiting for the train from Cardiff

With Brother and Sister Spragg on Sunday
 
Zone Meeting in Cardiff (definitely one of my favorite zones! There are a lot of missionaries from my old Nottingham Zone. My district leader from Stamford in our zone leader!)

 Sister Tartaglia and Sister Ceb
 
So happy to be near my MTC comp Sister Sharp!!

Car selfie

With Jenny

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