Tuesday morning we got up at the crack of dawn to travel to our zone Christmas conference in Rhiwbina. Let's just say when we walked out of our flat the rest of our mission was still asleep... and it was pouring down with rain. Also we had to carry a huge box of all of our older supplies and supplies in different languages that we don't need. We had a combined conference with Cardiff and Merthyr zone and had some lovely trainings from President and Sister Leppard. They even gave us a nice Christmas present! We had lunch and then our zone was in charge of doing A Christmas Carol. We practiced a bit in the morning but we mostly just improved and it turned out hilarious! It was lots of fun! By the time we travelled back it was really late and we were starving so we had some dinner and continued importing old teaching records into our area book app.
Wednesday morning we headed to relief society for a Christmas party with the sisters. We all shared different Christmas traditions and memories and had some mince pies. These mince pie things are interesting... like every time I see them I just think of mince meat and it grosses me out. Because mince meat in a little pastry pie just sounds nasty. But they're just fruity and not meat and it just throws me off! Anyway, it was a nice Christmas party and then afterwards we had a really good lesson with our friend Ann. She shared with us why she stopped coming to church and we had a powerful visit and hopefully she will start coming back soon! We visited Marcia after that and then we had ward coordination.
Thursday I celebrated my 20th birthday here in Wales! Who would have thought?! It was a great day! My companion made me a really nice breakfast in the morning. I opened the sweetest package put together by my family and friends. Thank you so much to all who made and sent gifts and wrote cards! The stack of cards was the most thoughtful gift ever, I loved reading them all! And of course, it absolutely poured and poured all day but I didn't mind. We had a district meeting to get to know our new district in the morning. We played card games and with my birthday luck I won them all. We got some delicious fish n chips for lunch with our district. Then we had a bit of time before our service appointment and were able to visit our less active friend Lynn who we haven't been able to see for a while. After that we did service for Iulia. Then we joined the relief society presidency in visiting some lonely and less active sisters to drop off a gift from the relief society. It was a really nice day and I just felt so much love! It's a rewarding feeling to spend a day which would normally be all about me, just serving other people.
Friday morning we did our weekly planning. Then we had an appointment with a less active member referral from another ward fall through. We had a prompting to phone one of our potentials and he was free so we went over and taught him a lesson! We shared the restoration with Reese and it went smashingly well. The spirit was strong and everything was going so well! And then we realised we had given out all our Book of Mormons and forgot to restock! Ahhhh it was the worst! But hey, it gave us an easy way to schedule a return appointment! Then we visited another nearby potential named Jean. She's the crazy old lady that keeps telling us we are too young to be away and that we must go home for Christmas. We did lots of finding and then had our ward Christmas party! Us missionaries were in charge of the spiritual part and Carol Service so we used some scriptures to tell the nativity story and sang some carols. Then we had games and food and it was a great night!
Saturday morning we went and tracted all over the hills on Pentwynmawr! We also stopped by some of our potentials. Then we had lunch and traveled to Caerphilly for some district finding. We handed out candy canes and invited people to the stake Carol Service and then we had dinner together. We travelled back to Blackwood and visited a member named Lilian who hasn't been too well lately.
Sunday after church we had our meal with the Mannings. They dropped us off to see David and Madalaine. She fell earlier this week and hurt herself so we didn't stay long. Then we were walking away to drop some things off and Chowa and Rahul saw us passing and called us over. They were literally moving out of their house right then! We helped Chowa tidy up a bit and then we headed home and they passed us and showed us their new home so we can still teach them! We really wanted to go to the stake Carol Service because Welsh choirs are Heavenly. We tried all day to find a ride and no one was answering. We said a prayer and then right when we said amen we got a text with a number we had asked for and they were able to take us! It was an amazing service and the carols really brought the spirit! We were so thankful to be able to attend! We had 2 new and young families move into the ward this week from Rhiwbina and they are so cool! Our ward is pretty old so it's super exciting. One of the new couples brought us home and we had fun getting to know them.
It's been a crazy week with all the meetings and this week will only get crazier! Starting on the 24th the ward has a nice dinner rotor for us with all 3 meals on some of the days until New Years. So far all of the Christmas Day plans have fallen through, but we should have some back up people we can go to. Thanks for all the birthday wishes again, and I hope you all have a beautiful Christmas! I can't wait to Skype!
Sister Cebollero xx
1. The Welsh Dragon
2. Visiting a castle on P-day
3. I love castles!
4. Love Sister McAravey!
5. The classic Great Hall district photo op
6. My Sisters!
7. Birthday Selfie!
8. The District on my birthday!
9. Love our little friends!
10/11. Christmas Zone Conference with Merthyr and Cardiff Zones