Monday, February 13, 2017

The end of a great Welsh adventure!


Mondayyy Sister Smirnova and I decided to go on an adventure to find a new castle to explore! All these members had told me about the "pink castle" or the "fairytale castle" which is actually called Castell Coch so we decided to check it out! It was magical as castles are and exquisitely decorated! I've said it before and I'll say it again, I just love castles! Then we went back to Blackwood and did our groceries and errands and then emailed! After p-day we went to see Jon. It was bitterly cold and rainy and for the first time in 6 months I went inside their house! His partner Gemma hasn't been very well so usually we just teach on the doorstep so we don't disturb her. It was a great lesson!

Tuesday I had my driving theory test in Cardiff! Thank you all for your prayers because I've never felt so calm in a test before! And I passed with very high marks so that was a huge relief! When we finally made it back from Cardiff we made lots of visits to less active members and formers to introduce my new companion and help her to get to know the area better.

Wednesday morning we had a Book of Mormon Study class for our relief society activity. I really enjoyed studying the scriptures and hearing all of the wisdom of our favourite old ladies haha. Then we went and did service for Iulia and had lunch together. I'm going to miss this service every week and especially her cute little daughter Lizzy! I've been serving in Blackwood for over half of her life now so that's crazy! Then we went and had coordination and started planning some cottage evenings that we can bring investigators and less active members to.

Thursday was an exciting day! In the morning we went and visited some less active members. Then we came home and had our quick lunch and had companion Study. It's kinda weird to have companion study in the middle of the day! Sometimes we forget to plan it or don't really have time for much so it's been an interesting adjustment! One of Sister Smirnova's goals for this week was to learn how to ride a bike! We're supposed to help our companions reach their goals so Thursday we commenced bike riding lessons in our little car park... because it was the only flat place I could think of in our area. I've never taught anyone how to ride a bike so it was pretty hard! And also she's tiny and all the bikes in our flat were too high. But she still gave it a go and we had fun practicing. She'll be a pro in no time! Then we went and taught David and Madalaine more about the plan of salvation. They had us stay for dinner and ordered us some Chinese food. Madalaine has been in hospital so it was good to be able to see them again.

Friday we had zone meeting in Rhiwbina! We talked a lot about the new schedule and key indicators and had some very spiritual departing testimonies from those going home next week. Since lunch is only 30 minutes now we had lunch in the middle of some meeting as a way to help keep it that short and it was a nice break in the middle of all the trainings! We came back and went up to Blackwood to visit some less active members. We stopped by a few and got in a few and had some short lessons. Then we stopped by Marcia and had such a spiritual visit! If I've been in Blackwood for so long to help one person, I can say it's been Marcia! I've seen an amazing growth in her and she has helped me to see and feel the reality and love that encompasses the atonement of Jesus Christ. She's like my grandma BFF and we both cried at the thought that I might be leaving Blackwood.

Saturday morning we woke up to snow on the ground! A huge surprise and huge flakes were floating down until noon! We had to fit in our weekly planning in the morning since Friday was crazy. Then we had a quick lunch. Sister Smirnova is really worried about all the trains we have to take in this area, so I helped map them all out for her and wrote down all the routes we take to places and helped her try to understand it more. Then we went to meet our district for some district finding. We were a bit scared to tract at first because we realised we had the rugby times wrong and theee biggest game of the year (England V. Wales) was just about to start and we didn't want to get yelled at for disrupting that. Rugby is like a religion in Wales! But we had planned to find together and we knew it was a good thing to do so we went ahead anyway. I went with Sister Olsen and we met some nice people for the elders. And surprise, we didn't even get yelled at.. almost...but it's fine! It was our district leader's birthday so we went and got dinner as a district. Then we came back to the flat and I helped Sister Smirnova finalise and translate her talk for church.

Sunday church was amazing! The spirit was so strong and the speakers were all about missionary work and the joy of the gospel. Sister Smirnova was given the topic "faith of the pioneers" and as we studied throughout the week I helped her to see that as a convert she is a pioneer that led the way for part of her family to join the church.  And as missionaries and members we are all pioneers! She was petrified that no one would be able to understand her but as she told her conversion story the fear left her eyes and she really lit up the building. Not all the ward members can fully understand her but I know her talk really helped them to see her sweet spirit and the love of the gospel that she has. After church we went to eat at the Mannings and Sister Manning didn't cook a heap of Brussels sprouts for her first time in 6 months and it was a miracle! And also they accidentally left the trifle frozen and we didn't have to try and manage half of a huge trifle after a mountain of food so that was another miracle! Then we made some visits and came home for dinner and Call-ins and to await the transfer news!

And here it is! After almost 7 months in Blackwood I am leaving!! Seriously all day I was beginning to think I would stay for another transfer since Sister Smirnova just got here last week. I just felt soooo calm and I never feel calm on dodge night so I just started to accept the fact I was probably staying longer. So when the District leader told me I was leaving I was a bit shocked... and then pumped because I already LOVE my new companion and I'm going somewhere I always wanted to go! I'm going to Warwick branch with Sister Duncanson! Aka my British BFF from the MTC! Back to England I go, and Warwick branch is in Coventry zone and I've never been to that zone so that will also be cool! I've heard there's a castle in Warwick and  Stratford Upon Avon is located within my area!!!! ... which for those of you who do not know was the birthplace of Shakespeare! So lots of cool history and sights coming soon to my pdays! I'm still a bit shocked to actually be leaving but I have the peace of confirmation that this is the right move for me. I LOVE BLACKWOOD and it breaks my heart to leave after so long! How does one even start to pack after 6 months?!?

Stay tuned for this next adventure as I head back to England! Love you all lots, thanks for all your prayers this week for my driving test and my kidney stone. I'm feeling loads better!

Love you! Sister Cebollero xx

AND the craziness continues! I just heard from the AP's that I will actually still be going to Warwick but my new companion will be Sister Nielson from Utah! It's her last transfer and we will be WHITEWASHING!!! What an adventure! 
1. Sister Smirnova and Sister Cebollero enjoying the Castell Coch on P-day! 

2/3. Also known as the "Pink Castle" or "Fairytale Castle!

4. Loved the ceiling!

5. What a view!

6. Love those castle windows!

7. The classic Tag picture of course!

8. Posh, posh, posh! I want to live here!

9. Cardiff Zone Sisters

10. Cardiff Zone

11. For Catherine! We all served in Nottingham 4th ward

12. My new friend Rhiann in her traditional Welsh costume...shoutout to Jenny!

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