Sunday, July 30, 2017

My Homecoming & Karsten's Farewell

 For those who don’t know, I’ve just returned from serving a mission in the England Birmingham mission where I had the opportunity to serve in England and in Wales.

The verse I was given today was Mosiah 4:12, but I’d like to share part of verse 11 with a few changes
“I say unto you as I have said before, that I have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, known of his goodness and have tasted of his love and have received a remission of my sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in my soul, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness and his goodness and longsuffering towards you.”
Verse 13: “and behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true”

We were often instructed by our mission president to teach repentance with love. As a missionary I was able to see first hand the amazing power that repentance can have. It truly is the way to joy and is a way to continually lead us closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ.

In Alma 26:16 it says
“Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yeah we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.”

The last part of this scripture is what hits me the hardest, for I truly did not even know where to begin to explain the last 18 months of my life.

I have truly gained so much from my mission experience and had the opportunity to meet sooo many amazing people literally from all over the world. I was able to see firsthand the amazing power in doing the work of the Lord all day every day as I labored in his vineyard. One of my favourite things about being a missionary was looking back on our miracles and seeing how everything fell into place for someone to receive the gospel. It truly showed me our Heavenly Father’s desire for all of His children to receive the gospel and I loved seeing his plan in action. I’d love to share a few stories that helped me too see that plan throughout my mission.

One experience that came to mind came from my first area in Nottingham. I’m going to give a lot of background information that is probably unnecessary but to me it just shows how God is in all the details. One of my last days with my trainer we met an Asian man in town. He didn’t understand our purpose very well but we invited him to take some English lessons from us, which he accepted. We honestly didn’t really have any idea where to start but in building up a new area we were just excited for the chance to actually meet with someone. Soon I received a new companion who had a lot of experience teaching English and we began meeting with them a few times a week in their nail salon. We taught English, and sometimes they would even do our nails for free to thank us.  We would teach them English, and then using a Vietnamese and english pamphlet we would teach them the gospel and practice their reading. My new companion had also previously served in our area and we were having fun trying to meet some of the people she had taught in the past.

As we were living in a new area in a house that was new to missionaries, we decided to place a book of Mormon and some pass along cards and pictures in our window sill for people to notice as they passed by.

One day we received a phone call from a less active member we had been trying to reach out to. She was someone my companion had known very well from her past time serving there. First of all, this woman named Natalie asked if after all that time Sister Pascua was stillllll serving there. We explained that for some reason she had been sent back. She continued to tell us that for some time she had been thinking of returning to church but was quite scared. Then one day she went to get her eyebrows done and in the salon she saw some of the missionary pamphlets and our notes on their whiteboard that they had left up. She felt that nudge again to return. Then as she walked home she felt prompted to go another way and she told us she passed a house with a book of Mormon and a picture of Jesus in the window and knew that it was no coincidence and that she must call us.

Over my next few weeks in the area we enjoyed working with this single mother and her adorable little daughter through her repentance process. Although that was more of a personal process for her to go through, we were able to be the friends that she needed at that time to motivate her to come back.

Another single mother from Nottingham that is VERY close to my heart is named Catherine. When my trainer and I were both new to the area we had a very hard time trying to contact her. She had been being taught for a few months and all we knew was that she was golden and that she was on a baptism date. There was so much opposition in my time there but eventually we were able to start meeting with Catherine and her family and just fell in love with them. I loved teaching her children how to pray. Her daughter Isabel would beg me to help her write down a prayer on my ipad notes and I would help her say it at the end of each lesson. Whether she was praying for a pet unicorn, a pencil case or asking God to look over her forever they always melted my heart. Catherine and her oldest son both started to work towards baptism. In England it isn’t common for people to drive. It always amazed me at the beginning of my mission how mums would literally spend allll day walking to and from their children’s schools dropping them off and then back to pick them up. Catherine didn’t drive and so getting her to church was always difficult. Buses can be quite expensive and the walk was a bit far for the 3 children. But she persisted through much opposition and tried all she could to make it. My last week in Nottingham I was able to participate in the baptism of Catherine and Tyler which was one of the happiest moments of my life. That was the very beginning of my mission and that was a huge motivation for me to continue working hard. Catherine was found when 2 elders knocked on her door. One was known for his sweet babyface and she just couldn’t say no to them. Whenever I was knocking doors for hours in the rain, I would often be reminded that tracting did work and that there were people like Catherine waiting to accept the gospel. Being able to keep in contact with Catherine over my mission was a big blessing, being able to see how she is growing in the gospel. She is currently in the relief society in the ward and enjoying that calling.  Catherine and her sweet family mean so much to me.

My last 6 months in the mission field, I moved to the Coventry England stake. In those 6 months I ended up serving in 3 of the wards and fell completely in love with all of them. I was blown away by the miracles that I was blessed with in that time.

Recently I was on an exchange with a  new sister missionary and she asked me if looking back on my mission I remember more those people I taught that got baptized and if I don’t remember or cherish as much the experiences with others that I taught.

Unique to my mission was that I “whitewashed” 5 of my 7 areas. Meaning that almost every time I moved I was starting over an area with a companion that also had never been there. This was always difficult, but I grew to love the challenge and we saw many amazing miracles along the way. Because of this, I always felt like I was just in the beginning stages. When I would get to an area we would literally know no one. It was a fresh start with the ward, and usually meant an empty teaching pool.

I explained to this sister that I felt like a lot of my mission in these times I saw amazing miracles. God sent miracles along the way to help me keep going. To quench the droughts and the need to just teach someone, anyone. Most of the time these people were “one hit wonders.” We would have these amazing miracles, and then often never see these people again. But that didn’t take away from the fact that they were MIRACLES sent from God. My mission president's  wife would always tell us people needed to come in contact with missionaries 7 times before they were ready. And sometimes I was just one of those stepping stones in the plan that God has for them.

In my last 6 months I moved to an area called Warwick and found myself in the same situation I was in at the beginning of my mission in Nottingham. My companion and I were both new to the area and we didn't have a place to live in our area for the time being. So we were staying with some sisters in a neighboring area called Banbury (where I would later finish my mission) and we had to take a train in the morning and night to get back and forth. It's a bit hard to get settled into a new area and figure things out when you're not even living there. One night on the train we found out the reason (why I think) we were temporarily out of housing. When we got to the platform there was an earlier train home going through Banbury and we decided to take it. No sooner than we had decided that, the train was cancelled and so we waited for our original train. We got on the train, exhausted, running out of funds from all the travel and probably soaking wet there weren't any seats available so we were standing in the hallway of the train. This man who was there with us starting making conversation and the awkward small talk ensued.  We started to explain what we do as missionaries and he said something about his belief in strong family bonds. This prompted my companiont to pull out a picture she had on her ipad of different temples. We had a really good chat and then he asked if we wanted to meet up sometime. We were so excited until he said "so what do you guys want to do?" And so we reexplained our purpose and that when we meet up with people we teach them. And he said he wasn't too sure about that and we thought that we lost him, until he shared this with us. He said that two weeks prior he had a dream where he saw a a really bright light, and it looked like the buildings we had shown him. And he said that someone dressed in all white had told him that two people would talk to him about it soon and I'm just really freaked out right now. He asked if the white was significant and we said that we wear white in the temple. He told us he wasn’t even supposed to be on that train either.  We walked home about floating on air, amazed at the miracle that had just happened. Morgan was freaked out by this experience and we never saw or really spoke to him again, but it was still an amazing experience to help us know we were being placed in the right places at the right time as we started off our new adventure in Warwick.

From Warwick I had the opportunity to be in a leadership position and moved two more times with my 3 transfers left. First I went to Coventry and I just loved it there. The area was amazing, we were seeing so many miracles and I had a companion that was one of my best friends. Life was just good. When I found out I was moving again and whitewashing again I wondered why and what God had in store for me. Which brought me to some more miracles to finish off my mission truly feeling so much love from God.

I moved to Banbury and again was with a companion who had previously served there. We started working hard to build up a strong teaching pool and started to see many miracles. One of these was a very unexpected one!

When I had been living with the Banbury sisters in the previous story they always talked about this eternal investigator named John Gooch who had been meeting with missionaries for over 20 years in oxford and then in banbury. They called him "the gooch" and always would share his quirky text messages and experiences at church. They weren't teaching him on a regular basis and had just handed him over to the senior missionaries in the area to work with. After hearing so much about this strange man, I was eager to meet him when I moved to Banbury. To my surprise the quirky and strange man they had described was actally quite quiet and humble. He wasn't at all what I had expected. One week in elders quorum there was a lesson on home teaching. He approached the senior elder after church and said that was something he would like to be apart of. Something that he felt like he could help with. Elder Walk told him that he'd need to be a member and John said that he would rethink being baptised. He started to mention that desire to more and more members of the ward. John was quite an intellectual man and had a fascination with church history and also with the number 7. He had mapped out in a journal prominent events in church history and his testimony of the restoration stemmed from the fact that they all fell on this 7 year cycle he was intrigued with. Even if it wasn't quite in the normal way, this led him to a testimony of the book of mormon and a spiritual witness that these things were true. We felt strongly that he was ready to be baptised and worked with all of our might to make it happen. His one request was that his sister would be able to attend the baptism as she wasn't religious and he saw it as the only way to get her to a church. John's baptism was a very special day after 20 years of waiting. He bore a beautiful testimony and his sister and guests really enjoyed being there.

A few weeks later after a long day volunteering at a school fair we had a few hours left of the day to go out and knock on some doors. We were sunburned (yes that is quite possible in england) and exhausted when we pulled up to the street we had picked. It didn't feel right and as I pulled out, another street caught my eye. I kept driving and felt prompted to go back to it. To my companion's confusement drove in a circle back to that street. We started knocking on doors and noticed that a few of the house numbers were missing. There was a car park to our left but we couldn't see where the other houses were so we just kept knocking. We met a nice scottish man who rejected us, but we asked him if he knew anyone that we could try. He ended up showing us where those other houses were and saying he thought they would be keen to learn. The first door was a sweet polish family but they weren't interested. Then who should open the next door, but Sara Gooch! She let us in to give us a drink and rest from the heat wave. She shared that she had just gone through her photos from the baptsim the day before and had been thinking of us. We were able to leave her with a book of Mormon and when I saw her last week she was doing really well.

It was another amazing experience to be apart of John's baptism and then to tract into his sister to see again the plan that God has for all of His children to receive Him.

As I said earlier, it's impossible to explain the magnitude of blessings that I have received in these last 18 months of my life as a missionary.

A quote that has meant a lot to me on my mission is from Elder M Russell Ballard and says "Weaknesses become strengths, Challenges become opportunities, trials become triumphs and adversity becomes an adventure in the service of the Lord."

My mission has shaped me and brought me the greatest adventures and the best friends I could have asked for and for that I am eternally grateful. 


















Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The AIRPORT!

Tuesday was "trunky night" at the mission home. We had a barbecue and treats and then headed to a hotel right next to the Birmingham airport! The sisters all stayed there together in a few rooms. We left and explored the airport and the shops and even took a travel tram to "Australia." The next morning we got up early and flew from Birmingham to Amsterdam. England said goodbye with some pouring rain of course! We had a long layover in Amsterdam and then flew straight to Salt Lake City! 






























Monday, July 24, 2017

And that's a mission for ya...Sister Cebollero signing off!

Hi I'm sorry but the last few months of my life just VANISHED and somehow I'm coming home THIS WEEK. 

let's start from the top :)

Monday I had my last district pday at the one and only Warwick Castle! Sister Nelson and I had both been on previous occasions but it was new to all the elders in our district. We had lots of fun once again seeing the falconry display, traveling through time and exploring the posh castle. We also climbed about a bajillion stairs for a nice view from the top of the castle. England is beautiful. I'm obsessed with castles. Can we build a castle in the back garden mum?!? 

Since we were in Warwick for pday I took the opportunity to visit my friend Mandy that I had been teaching there. It was so nice to be able to see her again and visit with her and her family. She's missing sister missionaries a whole lot so hopefully Warwick gets sisters back soon :) 

Monday night we drove down to Bicester and saw the Garwood family for my last time. We used a new app we have that is a virtual chapel tour. They live pretty far from the church and don't drive so it was a perfect way to let them see what it is like and the different organizations. Such a fun family that I'm truly going to miss! 

Tuesday was a delicious day if not anything else. We spent the morning following up with just about everyone that we could think of and doing finding as we went along. At one door a man walking by stopped at the bottom of the path and waited for us. He cynically called out "ahh, nobody home??" And we said, no she is home! To which he replied "we'll see" and then our friend answered but her son was poorly. We walked down to the bottom of the path hoping for a miracle but this man truly didn't want to listen. It was so heartbreaking to hear him angrily tell us his problems with God and life and he wouldn't let us even try to share something. It's always SO sad holding the happiness of the gospel you know will help them when people won't even attempt to listen. One of the hardest parts about a mission for sure. 

Then we went and had lunch with our member friend Mel from Zimbabwe that we recently started working with. She cooked us some reaaalllyy good African food! It was so filling and we helped her do alllll the dishes afterwards. Which was nice because we always offer, and hardly anyone ever lets us help! Let people serve you!!!! 

We then drove to Bicester and did lots of finding. We tried following up with some families we had met as well. After that we went to eat with the Liddell family, one of our favourite families here. They excitingly told us we were having ribs, which is just super American of course. But then it was going to take a lot longer to finish so they ended up taking us out to an Indian restaurant that was just divine! There we were with the cutest American family eating the most amazing Indian food. The Indian food here is something else I will miss so I was super thankful we got to go.  #blessed  

Wednesday we taught Amina for the last time probably. Amina has a lot of flat mates who are also from Ghana and she has been talking with one of them about what we do. He came up to us and asked us for our number and if he can come to church with us! It was so cool to get a referral from our sweet friend Amina. 

Then we went to Wolverhampton to do a Workover. I got to be with sister Hessenauer which was just a party. And guys. We BIKED. I felt like I truly came full circle Wednesday because I LOVED IT. Many a days biking brought me tears throughout my mission, but Wednesday they were thankful tears I couldn't hold back! Thankful that I could power through and endure, thankful that I was enjoying the wind in my hair, and thankful for the last 18 months as a missionary in England. You just feel like a real missionary on a bike hehe. 

Thursday was my last district meeting. Sweet Elder and sister walk brought lunch for the whole district for a goodbye party. The AP's even joined us and we had a really nice meeting talking about the amazing miracles we have seen this transfer. I was able to close with the thought on Christ. 

Then we went to teach our miracle friend Shafik and we could not find his house. He wasn't texting back and we were driving in a new housing development in circles trying to find house #70 on a road where we could only find up to #35. We were getting so discouraged and right before we were about to give up and move on, he texted back and we were able to find his house. He is SO solid. He is just so spiritual and really has that desire to improve in his life. He also adopted us as his daughters because he doesn't have any.

We had been texting almost everyone in our phone to invite them to an activity on Saturday when we received a text from a woman named Angelina from Zimbabwe asking if we were free to meet in town. Guys, we have literally been trying to meet this woman for the 2 transfers we have been here but she has been too busy. #MIRACLE! We went and met her and had a lovely discussion. She has been taught many years ago by missionaries but slipped through the cracks with a transfer change and stopped coming to church and investigating. Her work is slowing down now so she's going to start having us over regularly again... and feeding us African food so that's a plus! 

Thursday night we got fish n chips for dinner to celebrate my 18 month mark and Sister Nelson's 15 month mark which happened to fall on the same day! It was also delicious of course. So much to miss! 

Friday morning we had flat inspections, our car got fixed and we did our weekly planning. And then we drove to the mission office for my departing interview. The zone leaders had passed on the wrong updated time for that so we were 45 minutes late with traffic but it all worked out fine. It was a beautiful interview as I was able to reflect back on my 18 months here in the EBM with President Leppard. He pulled up my house on Google Earth and had it up on the screen the entire interview. Ahhh. He gave me some great counsel for moving forward and it really helped me to feel peace about moving on and coming home. 

Besides the amazing interview *tender mercy* one of my favourite groups of sisters had their trunky meeting so they were alll at the mission office when we finished with their companions and I got to say goodbye to a lot of my favourite missionaries I hadn't been expecting to see again :) so fun! 

To top off the day we did some finding and had our last dinner with the Walks! I'm gonna miss my adopted grandparents here so much! 

Saturday our ward had a majestic summer fete *carnival/fair thingy*. It was complete with a bouncy house, slip n slide, BBQ, games and so much more. It was also completed with a HUGE rain storm.... noooo! We moved as much as possible inside the church basement and had an inside BBQ and activity. It still turned out really nice! Our friend Shafik came and loved being able to get to know more of the members. We helped with the clean up after and got absolutely drenched through taking down everything outside. We came home, changed and we're back off to do some tracting. We drove to a cute little village called Chipping Norton and tracted a few streets to finish off the night. 

My last Sunday was really good as well. I was asked to give a talk on my favourite Book of Mormon stories and what they mean to me. Basically the hardest topic ever... tooooo many amazing stories to choose from. Thankfully it all came together alright :) we also had the privilege of teaching YWs to our 3 beautiful young women here. Which was just a blast and a half! We taught them about their baptism Covenants and what promised they made and were made to them. After church we had a munch and mingle with all the leftover food from the fete! It was really nice to be able to sit and talk with a few more families that I'm really going to miss. So many goodbyes!

Then we went off tracting, only interrupted a few times to hear who is coming to replace me in Banbury. After finding we drove to meet the zone leaders and pick up my train ticket for tomorrow. 

And that's a mission for ya. Literally. AH. 

I know this is already long *isnt it always?* but I just wanted to finish by saying how truly THANKFUL I am that I was able to come here to the England Birmingham Mission 
to serve the Lord for these last 18 months. It's hard to put into words all that I have learned and gained from this amazing experience. But I know it has changed me forever and greatly solidified my testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. This truly is His work. These miracles wouldn't be possible if it wasn't. I feel like my mission can be summed up in this quote from M. Russell Ballard which has become a favourite of mine. 


"Weaknesses become strengths,
Challenges become opportunities,
Trials become triumphs,
And adversity becomes an adventure
In the service of the Lord." 
-M Russell Ballard 


It truly has been the greatest adventure and I'm sad to see it come to an end! It may have taken a while but England and Wales truly will hold a piece of my heart forever! 

Signing off for the last time, 
Sister Aubri Cebollero xx

SEE YOU SOON AMERICA!!! 

P.s. 

*SO much room in my suitcases but TOO much weight...PRAY FOR ME!* Happy Pioneer Day! I'd definitely be one of those Pioneer women who tried wearing multiple layers of clothes to bring just a bit more along... hmmm not a bad idea 😉 

 1.Warwick Castle!! Last P-day on the mission!! 
2. Playing dress up! 

3. Mirror district selfie

4/5/6. Warwick castle in summer!



7. Sistas

8. Gonna miss visiting all these castles :')

9. What a fun district!

 10. Biking with Sister Hessenauer in Wolverhampton

 11/12. Indian Food with the Liddell Family

 13. The last district meeting!!

14.  Our adopted Indian father, Shafik

15. The faces of two sisters on their 18 month mark! WHAT? We did it! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

"We're specialists in the gospel of Jesus Christ"


GUYS I ONLY HAVE 2 MORE OF THESE TO WRITE. okay freak out done. It's fine. *ask my mum if you want info for my homecoming on the 30 of July!* Let me tell you about our week! 

Monday night we finally got to teach Amina again! She was away for 3 weeks visiting some friends in London so we missed out on 3 weeks of lessons. We had to move her baptism date but she's back on track for that! We took a member Margaret with us who is just soo sweet. Then we did some tracting and nobody was interested but then this random Indian takeout driver got out of his car and just asked us what we were giving out and asked us for a leaflet so that was cool! 

Tuesday we drove to Walsall for workovers. I got to be with Sister Chenna and it was a blast! We started out doing some finding in town and met this amazing prepared woman named Sarah and gave her a Book of Mormon. Then we went and taught the first lesson to one of their new investigators. She was definitely more skeptical than sincere but we really felt the spirit as we testified to her. Then we just got soaked in the rain doing more finding. Sister Nelson and I came back to Banbury and taught Amina the law of tithing.

Wednesday morning we went and followed up with this woman from South Africa that we had found. She let us right in and we had the most amazing lesson on the restoration! I could just tell such a difference between her and the lesson I had the day before. She also asked a lot of questions, but she listened sincerely and really wanted to know the truth. It seemed as though the restoration answered every concern she had about Christianity. She said that she hadn't ever met Mormons before us and when she asked around everyone told her to steer clear and stay away from us. So she asked us why! And we were like, "we're just 20 year old girls helping people come closer to Christ. We're harmless!" Haha lol. But the spirit was just so thick when we shared about the first vision and the Book of Mormon. And she just was so focused and into it and just was shocked she had never heard of any of this before. Such a good lesson!

We don't get to do a whole lot of teaching here so it was special to be able to teach the restoration and testify to two different people who had never heard it before two days in a row. And especially on Wednesday just to feel the difference and the sincerity as she listened and honestly wanted to know if it was true. 

Thursday we had a super quick district meeting then we headed to Coventry for an exchange! I got to spend my last exchange in my last area with Sister Romero from Australia! It was so much funn! We started off by getting to teach a lady from Nigeria named Joy. It was so special because I actually found her on one of my last days in Coventry and never got to teach her! We taught a beautiful plan of salvation lesson and she was so thankful to learn about the fullness of God's Plan. Then we did some tracting and had some members bring us some really good homemade Chinese food for dinner. And then we went and visited a member named Carol from china and read the Book of Mormon with her. 

Friday morning we got to see one of my favourites in Cov, Georgie! We did personal progress with her at the park. But then it got a bit cold so we went into subway and tender mercies, another adorable member Athena from Hong Kong was working there! She was so excited to see me and told me she's about to move back for summer. It was really sweet because last I'd seen her she was really worried about what to do and now she has a clear direction and was so happy! We did some finding in Coventry town centre which just brought back loads of grand memories! The Cov love is real! We made it back to Banbury for our monthly games Night which was fun. We had a few families come and played a mega game of UNO that got pretty intense! Then our polish friend Henry showed up right at the end so we gave him a spontaneous chapel tour that was really nice! He told us we had a bright light about us and that we were specialists in the gospel of Jesus Christ and he trusted us with his questions. What a humble seeker of truth! 

Saturday morning we had an amazing visit with a less active member from Zimbabwe. She said she recently set two goals, one to come back to church and the other to go to the gym more. And we showed up at just the right time to help with that. She's going to feed us African food on Tuesday and come to church with us next week when she is off. We've been trying so hard to find a less active member that is ready to return and she is who we've been searching for! Then we had a great lesson with a cute family that used to be taught by missionaries. Sister Nelson and Crandall found them on exchanges this week when they were tracting and they invited us back. They were talking a lot about how much they admire what we are doing and what a sacrifice it must be. But as I look back at this time as a missionary *not only has it gone soooo fast* it hasn't been a sacrifice, but truly a blessing in every way. It was cool to share that with them and talk about why. And then we Weekly planned and planned out my last full week as a missionary *insert panic* SO WEIRD!

Sunday was beautiful! Amina was able to come to church after her long trip away. The Relief society lesson on service somehow got sidetracked to a discussion on time and how fast it flies. *insert everyone staring me down during the lesson as visitors made continual comments about the end of their missions and returning home* awkward. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It's fine. After church we did a load of finding once again! 

It's been another quick week. An also an exhausting week... but that also might just be an accumulation of the last almost 18 months. I'm really feeling the wear and tear! But no worries, we've got a full week ahead of us to work hard and lots more miracles to see for my last week as a missionary! 

Love you all! 
Sister Cebollero xx
 1. Walsall Workover

 2. Exchanges in Coventry with wonderful Sister Romero from Australia

3. Georgie bought us cakes!! 


Monday, July 10, 2017

"That is the smell of SOULS that need saving!"


 I don't know if I've ever mentioned it before, but Banbury has a very distinct smell of coffee. There's a coffee factory here and in some parts of the area on some days the smell just hits you like a brick wall. Monday night after pday we got out of the car and it was definitely one of those moments. It was the smell of souls that needed saving hehe! 

Tuesday morning we drove to Wolverhampton to pick up the sisters for exchange. They ended up having a flat check so we waited there a bit longer than planned and had companionship Study there while we waited. We rushed out the door with some unique sandwiches for lunch as we had some lessons to get back to and knew we'd hit some traffic. We enjoyed our peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches on the way back to Banbury haha. I got to spend the day with Sister Bateman which was just amazing. She just started training and her and Sister Hessenauer are so fun. We first went to follow up with someone I had met with sister Funk the week before and we got let right in! We taught this sweet Filipino woman the restoration and it was a great lesson. Then we had a good less active member visit and did a load of finding before and after dinner. We had some ice cream to celebrate the 4th of July to finish off our day. Happy Birthday to America! 

Wednesday morning we drove the sisters to the mission office for their Zone interviews with President. Then we came back and did some finding. We were following up with some people and felt like we needed to go to town since no one was really in. Then we ran into our recent convert Rhiannon on her lunch break and it was so perfect since we don't get to see her much. We met a nice man and gave him a Book of Mormon. Then we headed to the chapel to help a member clean as everyone else that was supposed to help was poorly. After that we did some more finding and had dinner with Sister Walk. Then we had a tri-ward relief society service activity. It was Warwick branch, Coventry ward and Banbury ward combined... my last three areas of my mission so it was extra special for me! I guess that's the perk of having three areas right next to each other in a row! It was so fun to see some of my favourite sister's again and to catch up with them. We made school bag kits for the local refugees and it was a lovely activity. 

Thursday we had our zone interviews in Coventry! My departing interview is coming up oh so soon but these were my last normal interviews. I had a lovely chat with both of them and they are always just so kind and encouraging. I have been blessed with an amazing mission President and wife who just love us all so much! From Coventry we drove to Bicester and followed up with some potentials there. It was just scorching hot and we did some finding as well. Then we taught the Garwoods about family prayer and church attendance before we headed home for dinner and companion Study. 

Friday was my last MLC! It was combined with all the district leaders this time and it was in Solihull which was really nice. It was a powerful meeting as always. We watched these two amazing video clips, one about the growth of the church since the beginning of the restoration and one clip of people baptised in the last 2 months from all over the world sharing how the missionaries found them. They were both beautiful! We had a lot of discussions to counsel on and sister Nelson and I both had a turn to lead one. We headed back to Banbury and received a phone call of someone in one of our furthest parts of the area asking for a Book of Mormon! She sounded young, and it almost seemed like a prank call. It all made sense when we got there and her mum shared that her 12 year old daughter had called us wanting a Book of Mormon and was a little shy. They had seen missionaries and the daughter asked her about it and went online for a Book of Mormon! The mum wasn't too pleased but it was a cool miracle and we are waiting to hear back from them. 

Saturday we had a unique service opportunity to volunteer at a school summer fete. We led the Tambola station which is kind of like a raffle. People would pay for a ticket and if it had a 0 or a 5 at the end they would win the corresponding prize. We were the busiest table at the fete and it was a great opportunity to meet lots of families. Some would note our accents, mention they had seen us in town or say something like "hey you talked to me the other day when I was walking my dog!" A perfect missionary service opportunity. It was a hot hot day and we walked away VERY sunburnt and exhausted! 

Then we went tracting.. and the road we had picked just didn't feel right. So we left and another road caught my eye but I kept driving. Then I just had the slightest nudge to go back so much to sister Nelson's confusion I drove in a circle back to that road. We started tracting and noticed that some of the house numbers skipped but we couldn't see where the missing ones were. One of the doors told us his two neighbors might be interested and walked us around the back to where they were. The first door wasn't interested. Then who should open the second but our recent convert John's sister Sarah! She invited us right in for a break from the heat and a drink. She had been a special part of his baptism day and thought he had sent us over. She'd just printed off the photos from the baptism the day before and we went through them together. We had a lovely chat and left her with a Book of Mormon. Such a powerful experience of following the promptings of the spirit! 

Sunday we had a great church service once again. Shafik, the man who walked in two Sundays ago was able to come again and really enjoyed it. After church we headed to tract near the school we had volunteered at in hopes of seeing some families we had met. We specifically prayed for that and both felt prompted to tract a certain street. When we were almost at the bottom a family opened that we had seen at the fete! They also invited us in for a drink and we had a great lesson. They have had a lot of deaths in the family lately and just stopped meeting with the Jehovah's witnesses so it was just perfect timing, especially since they had seen us the day before in a fun setting. Such a miracle! 

The days keep counting down and the miracles keep coming! With just 2 full weeks left there's a lot of people to find and a lot of miracles to see. Thanks for all your prayers and support over the many months! 

Love you!
Sister Cebollero xx 

1. Lunch on the GO! Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Fluff! Shout-out to traffic!!

2/3.  FUN to see these two Elders from my first zone!!

4.  Exchanges with Sister Bateman and Hessenauer


5. Manning the Tambola station at the school summer fete! 

6. Having fun with my comp and Sister Bateman and Hessenauer!

 7. My mission sister...Sister Carson!

8.  STL picture at MLC!

9. Traffic selfies!