Monday, March 27, 2017

A White-wash in and a White-wash out!?!

Last preparation Day was super rainy but we decided to go look around Stratford Upon Avon more and explore all the cute little gift shops. After preparation day we went and had a family home evening and dinner with a less active couple from Jamaica. She was rushing to feed us and said she didn't want us to have to run for the bus again and they just started laughing. The last week we'd shared a message, realised the bus was about to come and said goodbye. Then when we went to leave we saw it pull up to this stop down the road. Haha they said they'd never seen anyone run as fast as we did to catch that bus and that we were just in perfect sync sprinting for the bus. Haha so we shared a nice Jamaican meal and had time for a good lesson as well before we had to catch the bus home. 

Tuesday was absolutely freezing! We taught Juli English and about prayer in the morning. Then the rest of the day we spent finding and stopping by some less active members. We were waiting at the top of the only hill in our area and it was freeezing and so windy and we reaaalllyy needed to use the bathroom and we were waiting for a bus to take us home for dinner and companion Study. Well two buses didn't show up and we were just waiting and talking to people as they went by. Then this guy came around the corner and we talked to him and gave him a Book of Mormon and then right as he walked away the bus finally pulled up! Pretty much Heavenly Father knew he really needed the Book of Mormon and so he held the buses back a bit! 

Wednesday we had district meeting and it was swell. Then we went tracting for a few hours in the rain and found some new investigators. Our bus home broke down so we visited some less active members while we waited for the next one. 

Thursday my companion had her departing interview so we went with our STL's Sister Jones and Sister Romo to the mission office. While sister romo and sister Nielsen had their interviews we just chatted with Sister Leppard which was the best ever and played fetch with their cute dog Amber. And pretty much the whole day sister jones and I were just hoping and praying we could be companions next transfer. Then the STL's came to do some work with us and we ended up helping this older lady in the ward with her groceries. She's super posh and sent us on a wild goose chase. Sister jones and I went to get her list and the grocery money and she just talked forever and then we shopped and sister Nielsen and I brought it back for her. We helped her a bit around the mansion and she gave us a tour and told us about all the history. She lives in the most beautiful and historical mansion! We were just in awe! Then she said she would pay for our dinner for helping so we got Chinese takeout on the way home. Guys, Chinese takeout in England is the best thing ever! 

Friday the weather turned amazing and it was Red Nose Day! We went to follow up with this amazing potential from Ghana named Janet (shoutout to grandma, what a cool name!) and taught her all about the Book of Mormon. She's one of our new investigators we had this week. Then we went to Warwick and just talked to people in parks since the weather was so great and everyone was so happy! We had a dinner appointment with Mandy so we put on our red noses before we knocked and they thought it was so funny. We had the best roast dinner with pork, parsnips, peas, carrots, cheesy broccoli and cauliflower, and Yorkshire puddings of course! (Red Nose Day… It's a charity day and mostly just the kids schools celebrate it. And then on TV they had celebrities doing comedy to raise money… I think!) 

Saturday we taught some English lessons in the morning and then did a lot more finding in the park. Then we had a games activity at the church and played some board games. 

Sunday was Mothering Sunday in the UK! Shoutout to my mom and all of you that have been like mothers to me for getting me here! We taught the lesson in relief society on a talk from last general Conference and it got me so pumped for conference next week! 

Then after church we were just in the hallway talking to some less active members and then the phone rang.. and it was President Leppard! 

And he said "Sister Cebollero the Lord has called you as a sister training leader in the England Birmingham Mission." What what what?!? 

And Sister Nielsen and I were just freaking out all day because she's going home and we just got here so we were so worried about all of our friends here. 

Transfers are changing up so instead of getting phone calls with all the transfer dodge the zone leaders showed up with our train tickets! And I opened up the little envelope and I'm going to COVENTRY WITH SISTER JONES! God is so so good, we've been dreaming of this allllll transfer! I'm so so pumped for this transfer! My train ride is literally just 10 minutes away since I'm only moving one area up so I should be alright alone with all my bags. Yikes! 

The zone leaders are moving to Warwick branch and another set of elders is taking our area. So we're pretty bummed there won't be any sister here anymore! I have absolutely LOVED Warwick branch. I've loved the people and the history and the beauty and I'm really gonna miss it here. 

But I'm excited for all that lies ahead! The sister leaving Coventry is from Mexico and almost all of their investigators speak only Spanish. They've also started a Spanish sacrament meeting in Coventry. So pray for my Spanish A LOT! 

Hope you all have a fantastic week and enjoy general Conference this weekend! It's gonna be AMAZING! 

Adios from Warwick for the last time! 

Sister Cebollero

1.  We will miss teaching our friends in Warwick!

 2. Such a beautiful house!!
3. Love these friends so much!!

4. Happy Red-Nose Day!

Monday, March 20, 2017

14 months in the British Isles

Monday we went to WARWICK CASTLE! It's owned by an amusement park company so it's a very magical place and we felt a bit like we were at Disneyland! We toured the castle, saw a bird of prey show, went through a maze, went time traveling in the tower to learn about the history and had a mighty fine time with our district! District p-days to castles are always the best! 

Monday night we went again to try by a less active family from Jamaica. We'd tried a few times and they had never opened the door. We got on the bus and when we got off this guy also got off at the same time. And then we both started walking towards this house and seeing our badges he was like "hey sisters! Are you coming to my house?" And it was their son and he got us in! The father is one of the previous branch presidents and the branch really needs them back at church. We got to know them a bit and we're going back this week to have family home evening with them. Then we contacted a media referral who had asked for a Book of Mormon. He had met elders in Coventry and wanted to learn more so that was exciting! We stopped by a former investigator but he was away in India.. but then his granddaughter let us in and we taught her and gave her a Book of Mormon as well! It was a great night! 

Tuesday we had the best meal ever! Our recent convert Maybel cooked us Filipino food and her homemade spring rolls are to die for! When we left we felt like we never needed to eat another meal again we were so full! Then we met our new friend Juli. He is from East Timor (one of the many places I'd never heard of in the world before my mission) and we are teaching him English.. and the gospel of course! It's kinda a struggle but we both really enjoy teaching English. 

Wednesday was a beautiful day and we had a great lesson in the park with Kabber. Leamington Spa has this beautiful park called Jephson Gardens and we've been finding and meeting there for lessons a lot. Kabber is still super excited for his baptism and even came to church for the first time this week! We also did more service Wednesday to finish taking down the wallpaper we started on last week. 

Thursday was Sister Nielsen's 18 month mark so I made her some pancakes shaped like 18 to celebrate! We had a great zone meeting in Coventry. Sister Nielsen and I were asked to give a training on receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost to the zone and it went really well. Sister Nielsen and a few others had to give their departing testimonies so that was sad! Then the rest of the day we took loads of buses! We had a lesson and some finding in Kenilworth and then we did some finding in Leamington and then bused way down to the university for a dinner appointment and back! 

Friday morning my companion got some bad news from home and so that was really hard and kind of a downer! But we were still able to go work and yeah it was actually a pretty rubbish day but some good things happened as well! Like we went to follow up with our new investigator Kate and taught her the restoration. And we helped her trim her bamboo bush! Then we had flat inspections and a dinner appointment with our friend Mandy! She cooked us her famous lasagne and once again we were stuffed to the brim! Then we went to meet Cheng and we had a member come to the church so we could teach him there. But he got confused and thought we were going to meet outside and cancelled since it was raining. We're dying to meet with him so we were bummed! And then we couldn't get a hold of him and an hour or two later he just texts us and all he says is "Our Lord Jesus loves you." Haha thanks Cheng. 

Saturday we mostly taught English! We taught our friend Maria from Portugal and after our English lesson we taught her the restoration. And in my broken Spanish and her broken English she explained how she is a spiritualist and the different hours of the night we can talk to angels... but she's interested in coming to church. Her hardest thing is understanding English but at the end sister Nielsen said our closing prayer and Maria got sooo excited. And she started talking to me in Portuguese/Spanish/English and said “O understood, I understood! She prayed to help me with my English and I understood all she said!” So that was a tender moment! Then we taught Juli some more and also taught him how to pray. Then we tracted a bit on our favourite road and got some more new investigators. Then sister Nielsen was able to Skype home from Mandy's house to talk to her family so I had a lesson with Mandy and her cute granddaughter. 

Sunday all 4 missionaries in the branch spoke about faith and it was happy because Kabber came for his first time! 

I don't know what's crazier, the fact that I've now been in England for 14 months or the fact that this is the last week of the transfer already! As the days fly by faster and faster I'm realising just how thankful I am to be here in England as a missionary! This is sister Nielsen's last week as a missionary so it's gonna be a good one. Transfer calls are this Sunday and who knows what'll happen next in this crazy adventure! 

Love you lots! Sister Cebollero 
1. Our Knights in shining armor!

2. Warwick Castle in springtime!

3. I love castles and daffodils and castles with daffodils!

4. Companion inventory like...

5. Warwick is my FAV!

6.  Starting on our quest to find the golden investigator!

7. My District

8. I'm in LOVE with my area!

 9. 18 month pancakes for Sister Nielsen!

10. Coventry Zone

11. British Church signs....

Monday, March 13, 2017

Spring is in the air in Warwick!

Last Monday we went and explored the grounds of Kenilworth castle in our area. It's England's largest ruined castle and it was so beautiful! It is closed for the season so we just walked outside the walls and admired the beautiful countryside surrounding it!

Monday night the miracles started rolling in! So last week I shared that story of seeing our friend Kabber on the bus and he was talking to a former investigator. Well the story continued! So Sunday night we had put a load of formers into our map to stop by throughout the week. Monday night we visited this guy named Danny and we started talking to him. He was talking about how close he had been to baptism and the problems that had held him back when all of a sudden he was like hey how is Kabber doing? And we recognised him then as the guy on the bus that Kabber was telling about the Book of Mormon! He said since then he'd been thinking a lot about church and still has that desire to be baptised and asked us to meet him the next day! Well a few minutes after we left he called and said... "hey sisters, when we meet tomorrow can you bring President Bain (the branch president)? And can he baptise me TOMORROW?" And I think at that point we went into shock and said we could definitely talk about it tomorrow but probably couldn't make it happen that soon!

And that's when we checked our map to make sure we were still in England and hadn't transported to South America. The rest of the week was full of miracles as well!

Danny really wanted us to bring one of the brethren teaching so he could connect and make friends his own age. But small branch probs we couldn't get ahold of anyone so we brought this older sister named Enid. Well he walks in and he's like no way, are you Bajun? And we're like... what the heck is that? And it turns out they're both from Barbados so they really hit it off! We had a great lesson with Danny Tuesday and more throughout the week and we're so excited to see where things go! He thinks we're the nicest people ever and is thoroughly convinced all Sister missionaries should become nurses here in England for more positive and more uplifting service! 

We were able to do lots of service this week which we were thankful for. Wednesday we helped some members to strip their wallpaper and that was super fun! Then on Saturday we helped our ward mission leader build a new fence! It was pretty intense because we had to build it and then lift it wayyy up over the posts to slide it in and it was so heavy! 

We decided the road that our new investigator Molamma lives on is the Promised Land! We were tracting there Thursday night and we tracted into a former investigator who asked us to come back in 10 minutes. So we went to the next door all excited and that family just let us in as well! Two houses in a row! It was a single mum and her daughter and we talked about the Book of Mormon and then helped them with some wallpaper as well and set a return appointment. Then we went back and taught the other mum and set a return appointment with her! What what?!?  *checks map again to double check we're still in England* 

We got to have dinner with our friend Mandy twice this week! On Wednesday she invited us over for her son Jamie's 30th birthday dinner. We got to meet all her kids and her cute grandkids and it felt just like being at grandma's house with all the cousins! Her son Jamie was thinking and realised he's her only child that hasn't been baptised so he started asking us why baptism is important! Then on Friday we went and Mandy cooked a delicious roast dinner and we taught the plan of salvation to her and two of her adorable grandkids. 

The weather this week has literally been a dream! It has been warmer and warmer and so sunny! And we took our coats off for the first time since like September and walked around and it was sooo happy! 

This week we had a really great zone conference combined with the Leicester zone. We had great trainings by President, Sister Leppard and the APs. Sister Nielsen and I got picked by the APs to do a role play in front of everyone. We invited President and Sister Leppard to be baptised and put them on a date! Woohooo haha!

We had to pick one day this week to stay in until 6 and deep clean our flat. We chose Friday and it was the only day it rained so that was lucky! We scrubbed and cleaned all day and killed lots of spiders and our flat is looking great! 

Kabber is still doing great! He's telling his friends about his baptism date and even showed up to our lesson with a friend this week to see if we could teach him too!

The biggest miracle of the week is our friend Cheng! He is Chinese and almost got baptised a few weeks ago... he is sooo close! But since we came here he's been busy job searching and has been in London most of the time for that. We have been texting him scriptures everyday and we've just been dying to meet him! Well he showed up at church yesterday and he is the happiest Chinese man ever and loves happy people! He was like ohhhh if I knew you were both American and so happy I would have came and met you three weeks ago!  He was just nervous to meet two new sisters but our excitement to meet him made a good impression. He said he feels so much happier when he comes to church. He's basically got one foot in the font and we're excited to meet with him this week! 

Today we're going to explore Warwick castle with the district... life is SO GOOD! 

Love you lots! 

Sister Cebollero xx 
 1. We built this fence!!

2. Strong enough to build a fence!

3.  Danny, Sister Nielsen, Me, Sister Enid Edgehill # Legends!

4.  Twinning is Winning!

 5. Kenilworth Castle

6. Such lovely view of the castle!

7. One day I'll go in! 

8.  We LOVE England!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

I got sunburnt in ENGLAND!

Monday was a rainy p-day and the rain kept coming all week long! It's been super back and forth from sunny springtime to windy and rainy. One day was super sunny and when we came in for dinner we realised both our faces were sunburnt! It was the strangest thing ever! A sunburn in March... in England nonetheless! I hardly ever get sunburned and that is what living here has done to my skin. 

This week I got to go on exchanges with Sister Romo from Mexico. She will be going home at the end of this transfer with Sister Nielsen and she came and stayed in Warwick with me from Tuesday to Wednesday. Tuesday night we got some calls from our housing agency that some people were coming on Wednesday to work on the water pipes and that we would need to stay in the flat from 8 am to 1 pm on Wednesday. We were bummed because we had a lot of lessons and things planned for Wednesday and we ended up having to cancel all of them. Thankfully the workers got finished a lot earlier and we were able to go out and find and visit some people. 

We had a funny miracle with the Book of Mormon as we went to visit a less active member. We had to create all new plans when we were able to go out and after stopping by some investigators that weren't in we felt we should try a less active member nearby. She let us in and told us this funny story! She had just quit smoking three days before and was feeling a lot of boredom and the urge to smoke again. So she started to clean her closet out when all of a sudden a Book of Mormon fell off the top shelf onto her head. And as she sat there confused the buzzer for her flat literally rang right then and we were on the other end! 

Thursday was probably the best day we had this week! We started off with a really good district meeting, the last one for our senior couple in our district. Then after lunch we met Kabber in town and taught him the first part of the plan of salvation and invited him to be baptised! So he's working towards a date now and he's really excited. Then we went and stopped by some potentials but had some extra time so we started tracking. 

Our mission has dubbed march the "power of the word" month and we are focusing a lot on the Book of Mormon in our finding and teaching. We've been asked to carry a Book of Mormon in our hands whenever we're finding....which is pretty much all the time! So we started knocking on doors and this lady Molamma answered the door and invited us right in! She is from India and at first I just assumed she would be Sikh. (There's a beautiful Sikh temple by our flat and so there's a large Sikh population here). But it turns out she is Christian and we taught her the whole restoration and she loved it and really wants us to come back! 

Then we went and had dinner with our investigator Mandy which was delicious! She used to be a member so she pretty much knows everything and we just shared about the first vision and all the blessings that has come from it. She found her written testimony from when she was baptised before and let us take it home to read and man it's powerful! Also when they found out Sister Nielsen was headed home soon they booked us for a dinner and lesson every Friday in march! Best family ever!

Another funny story was on Saturday we were on a bus headed to teach Kabber again when he got on the bus with a friend. We waved as he got on but he didn't see us and it was quite a full bus so he didn't notice us and they sat in the back. He started saying he was going to meet some sisters and that we'd given him a Book about Jesus that was another witness of Him. And how he's preparing to be baptised and wants to change his life. And then it turns out the guy he was talking to was a former! So he was like oh yeah, Mormons! And then he told Kabber that he's in good hands. Haha and we were just dying trying not to laugh and listening to them talk about us. Saturday night we received a text message from him asking what the word "wroth" means and asking us to please get back to him about the "manner of this word." Haha and then we reminded him to pray and he texted us his prayer word for word.

Sunday we had an amazing conference for the Northern Europe are. I think it included the UK, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. It was broadcast from Salt Lake City and we got to hear from Elder Ballard and some general authorities. Elder Ballard gave an apostolic epistle just for the saints in Northern Europe. It was so powerful to hear his specific counsel, warnings and blessings for this area of the world. 

Cadbury Dairy milk Oreo now has a mint and peanut butter edition so that made up for all the rain this week! We got to sleepover with the STL's in Coventry for the conference Sunday since Sunday bus schedules start super late. And needless to say we bought a whole collection to try all the new flavours hehe!

ALSO! We found out this week that the guy who played Mr. Filch from Harry Potter lives in our branch boundaries... one of the members sees him at Tesco sometimes... So basically our new transfer goal is to find him and baptise him! Wish us luck 😂🙈 

Love you all! Sister Cebollero xx 

2. District selfie with the zone leaders

3. Our district

 4. So many rainbows this week!