Monday we packed and cleaned and did some shopping and then Sister Tartaglia said goodbye to Marcia. It was pretty sad that all 3 of the other missionaries in Blackwood were all leaving me!
Tuesday was the craziest transfer day of my life! The Manning's and Bishop picked us up in the morning with Sister Tartaglia's luggage and bike and drove us to the train station. We got on a rush hour train, packed right full and barely fit on with her stuff. We made it to Cardiff by 8:30 and the coach wasn't due to arrive until 10. Well 10 rolled around and 11 rolled around and still no coach and it was a very cold day in Cardiff! We found out the coach coming our way from Swansea was stopped due to an accident and wouldn't arrive for another 3 hours. Then the zone leaders thought we would all have to train with everyone's stuff to the mission office. Then President decided to order a coach from Cardiff for our zone and we waited for that to arrive. It got to us around 1, which is when it usually would have been arriving to the mission office. This meant we had a long day to wait in Cardiff for our new zone. The missionaries waiting went to a world buffet for lunch that was super good! Then I spent the day with Sister Jampapan from Thailand and Sister Mwoyosvi from Zimbabwe! The coach arrived very late and then it was up to me to get our new 3 Blackwood missionaries back and arrange lifts for all the stuff... no pressure! Because it was so late there weren't a lot of trains so we waited longer and then finally made it to Ystrad Mynach by 9! We all got picked up and we barely walked into our flat by 9:30!
Wednesday we had our service for Iulia. It's a pretty far walk and I didn't want to kill Sister McAravey on her first day so I thought we'd catch a bus halfway to Blackwood and walk from there. Well you know how it goes, no buses came! So we walked all the way there and were a bit late. It was good and we both agreed that cleaning is therapeutic! We had a nice lunch and then walked back up to Blackwood. We went to teach Gareth and taught about how to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. He's quite the knowledgeable guy and it shocked Sister McAravey a bit but it was a good lesson! Then we had lunch with the new elders at the chapel. After that we had a ward coordination meeting and filled everyone in on Blackwood. Then we travelled home and ran into a less active member we've been trying to contact on our way!
Thursday was an interesting day to say the least! We walked up to the chapel for district meeting but it never happened. The sisters from Caerphilly had some problems with the bus service from Ystrad Mynach and weren't able to make it. We waited for a bit and by the time they knew they couldn't make it the meeting should have ended. So we just had lunch with the elders and I filled them in more about Blackwood. Then we visited Ann and shared with her #Lighttheworld and it made her tear up! We were supposed to have a lesson with Jon but he didn't show up. We did some #Lighttheworld tracting to try and show people the video. Then we had a quick dinner and went to see David and Madalaine. This is where our #Lighttheworld service came in. Here we were teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ when Madalaine started going on about her toenails. SO WE CUT HER TOENAILS for our act of service.... that is true love my friends!
Then Heavenly Father blessed us for that interesting act of service because when we started walking from their neighbourhood we saw these two teenage boys and we thought we were about to get jumped. One of them walked up a dark path and the other one ran up to us and asked if we were the Mormons. And then he pointed to the path and said his friend needed Jesus.. and we both looked at each other like uhhh well we aren't gonna follow him up that dark path! So I just asked if he would come down to the street light where we were and talk. So this kid Brad called his friend back and we started talking to his friend Tim. Then Brad started talking about how one day he talked to the sisters at a bus stop for like 40 minutes and asked us for a Book of Mormon! After thinking they were gonna mug us this is not what we were expecting, such a random miracle!
Friday morning we went to follow up with some potentials in the Penllwyn who said morning time was best. Well it wasn't and none of them were in. We came back and had lunch then did our weekly planning. After that we travelled to Crosskeys and did some more Christmas video tracting. We were able to find some people who actually would stop and watch the video and got a few nice potentials! Then we tried to see Rita and Luvenia but they were both busy. We visited a member and shared #lighttheworld with them as well. Then we had a dinner appointment with our new friends James and his mum Cheryl. I didn't know if the appointment was going to hold but then they called Thursday night and invited us for dinner! We taught James how to pray and more about how to know that the Book of Mormon is true. He really wants to find out for himself if it is true and it went really good. They fed us a turkey roast dinner and it was delicious. They even gave us a lift back to Pontllanfriath!
Saturday morning we tried to work through some glitches on our area book planner app. The we did more Christmas video tracting and met some very pushy JW ladies who were stopping by someone they teach. The elders had to go to Birmingham Friday and cancelled their dinner with Jenny so she brought it to us for lunch on Saturday. It was a lamb roast dinner and it was delicious! Then we did some more tracting on our way up to Blackwood. No one seemed interested or even home which was weird for a Saturday. Then we got to Blackwood and stepped right in to a giant Christmas festival with carnival rides and everything and realised why no one was in! We went and visited Marcia and cheered her up. Then we bused and trained to the adult session of stake conference. We'd tried to get a lift but no one had really answered and so we just decided to train all the way there and only buy a single in the faith that we could get a lift back! The stake president offered us a lift back almost the moment we got there and it was an amazing meeting! It was all focused on missionary work and it was very powerful. President and Sister Leppard gave the most amazing talks and told some missionary stories from before they got called to serve that prepared them. Also our stake had the most amazing choir I've ever heard... like Mormon tabernacle choir amazing! Wales is known for their great choirs and I could definitely tell why!
Sunday we had managed to get a lift to conference with our relief society president and her husband who is our stake patriarch. It was another great session and the spirit was very strong. Then the Elliot's didn't just give us a lift home but invited us for lunch since our regular Sunday lunches had been cancelled for conference. They've been visiting their kids in the US for weeks so this was a good chance to get to know them better. Then we went Christmas video tracting again and had some miracles! First of all it was just a miracle how many people let us show them the video! Then we met a guy named Andrew who not only watched the video and listened to us explain what we help people with as missionaries but asked us how he gets started learning and when church is!! NO ONE has ever asked that... ever... and we were just a bit shocked!
Then for the next funny moment you must understand that most of the houses here have gates around them and we must open the gates to each house we knock on and shut it behind us before we go down to the house to knock. So we're just knocking on this door and all of a sudden this massive dog just bounds around the corner coming straight at us. And I just thought that someone had set their dog on us and it was going to be one of those missionary stories where we get attacked by a dog! And then this sweet old lady just comes around the corner and the dog was actually really nice, but man it gave us a heart attack!! Then we went and taught Chowa and her daughter just loves us so much and was waiting all day for us since we've been coming on a Sunday each week. We had call-ins and then I just tried to figure out the paperwork for my provisional license.
It's been a crazy weird week but it's been great! Sister McAravey is great and we've just hit the ground running! We're gonna see many miracles in this short 5 week transfer here in Blackwood!
Happy December and don't forget to #Lighttheworld leading up to Christmas! Service brings many miracles!
Sister Cebollero xx
My wonderful new companion Sister McAravey from Aftica
Spending the day with Sister Mwoyosvi and Sister Jampapan
Last selfie with Sister Tartaglia