Monday, April 24, 2017

EBM Challenge week WINNERS!

Coming to you live from BIRMINGHAM! Birmingham? Yes, Birmingham! BECAUSE MY DISTRICT WON THE EBM CHALLENGE WEEK so we got to join the winning zone for their zone p-day. We aren't normally allowed zone p-days so this is a pretty big deal. 

Here's how it happened. 

So Monday we had a really chill p-day to relax from the crazy challenge week. We had family home evening with one of the Spanish families that we just adore. We gave them a gratitude poster to hang up and fill out this week. 

Then we were planning for some zone meetings when the AP's called us to tell us our district would be in the tie breaker to win challenge week the next day. The prize for the winning district was a mission hoodie and to go to the zone p-day so we were very determined to win!

We were told what the challenges were; to give away a Book of Mormon, give away 3 different leaflets, and invite 50 people to learn, and were told they would call anytime from 1-3 and that's when we could start. The idea was that whichever district completed it the fastest would win. So Tuesday afternoon we met in town with our district for a pep talk and some strategy talk and did some finding in town to see where it was the most busy and just pumped each other up. Then the call came and we caught fire! Because it was Easter holiday there were a lot of families in town so we went for them. It was insane and Sister Jones and I finished all 3 challenges in TWO MINUTES. We invited 50 people to learn about Jesus, gave out a Book of Mormon and 3 different leaflets on two minutes. Like this shouldn't be possible but we were just so excited to talk to everyone and it just happened. Anything is possible. I honestly don't know how that happened but it honestly did and our district finished within 3-4 minutes. Shout-out to our district for crushing it and working hard for the win! 

Tuesday night we got to have dinner with another cute Spanish family and we just love the Spanish members here so so much. They're amazing! 

Wednesday we had the Lichfield zone meeting in the morning. We were able to give trainings in the meetings on looking for what's next for our investigators and then a longer training on Becoming a Zion Mission. We talked about building unity and how everyone plays a piece in the puzzle to create Zion. We had taken down a scripture poster about baptism in our flat and cut it into puzzle pieces and taped them to people's chairs for an activity about working together to achieve our baptismal goal for the year. Watching the activity play out was really interesting. Even though we told them they all played a piece some still walked away from their chairs without bringing their piece. They wanted to help but didn't do all they could to help. Others sat right back down after doing their small piece to let everyone else do the hard work. It taught us a lot about unity as we watched the activity. It was a really good zone meeting and I enjoyed the opportunity to be more involved in it. 

We got back, helped a recent convert dye her hair and then went to a dinner appointment. Then we started planning our trainings for the other zone meeting. 

Thursday we had the Coventry zone meeting. It was also a really powerful meeting. For our training we talked about the challenge week and how to reach our full potential. We talked about the difference in our motivation and diligence during challenge week and how we can always work that hard without the focus being on a competition, zone p-day, a hoodie, etc. We talked about setting better goals, having more faith to achieve them and going out and working as hard as possible. The zone leaders trained on "shall I falter or shall I finish" a training that really stood out to us from MLC. It was just a good meeting on diligence and enduring to the end. 

From there we had exchanges with the Banbury sisters! I got to spend most of the time with Sister Mwoyosvi from Zimbabwe which was really fun. But Thursday night we traded and I got to go with Sister Gjika from Albania to have dinner with and teach our Albanian friend Kristina. And oh my days, what an amazing lesson! It was so good for them to be able to connect and talk Albanian to each other. Sister Gjika was able to bear powerful testimony of her conversion coming from a similar culture and we were just all filled with the spirit.... and also with way too much Albanian food.. Kristina cooked us a lot of food this week! 

Friday morning I did lots of finding with sister Mwoyosvi which was great because Coventry has a ton of people from Zimbabwe. We took the long beautiful drive back to Banbury to take them home and once again decided that the yellow fields of rapeseed/canola are most definitely the 8th wonder of the world. Then we had dinner with Sister Beazer and her family (She finished her mission and is back visiting the mission) at the chippy!

Saturday the weather was amazing so after playing basketball with the ward we went finding in the park. We stopped this lady from Kenya and pretty much without even asking she said we could have her number and come over sometime. And then she was just like no actually just come over now, I don't live too far away! So we left our car at the park and walked with her 40 minutes later we got to her house haha which ended up being right by our flat. We taught Carol the restoration and she loved it and before we even finished she asked when we were coming back to share more. It was a miracle but definitely one we had to work for because after we had to walk all the way back to our car at the park. 

This weekend we were able to have Stake Conference with Elder Herland, a general authority from Norway. The adult session on Saturday night was amazing. He said that "we all come to church because there is something wrong with us and we want to change. And we know this is the only place we can come on a regular basis that will help us to become better." Sunday our stake had booked a conference centre and when we showed up we felt like we were either at a concert or prom. The room was filled with twinkling lights. We got there early, the same time as Elder Herland, and he just looked at us and said "welcome to the celestial kingdom!" We thought the twinkly lights would turn off but they left them on for all of stake Conference.. it was out of this world as our dinner appointment later explained! It was great to be able to hear from two powerful general authorities in just two weeks. 

As we left the conference centre to our surprise we also found some dinosaurs, making this the most interesting Stake Conference of our lives. 

It's already the last week of the transfer and time is counting down for the both of us so we have to make every minute matter!

Love you all!

Sister Cebollero x

 1. Our winning hoodies!!

 2. Coloring hair for our friend Georgie!

 3. Coventry Zone Conference

4. Lichfield Zone meeting

5/6 .  Love teaching in Spanish!

7. Lichfield Zone meeting

8. Missionary Leadership Conference!

 9. So fun to have lunch with former Sister Beazer!

10.  We did it!! 50 finds!

11.  Dinosaur spotting after conference!

12.  Our twinkling stake conference!

13.  Exchanges with Banbury sisters

14. Feed the missionaries instead!

Monday, April 17, 2017

A mission is like walking on water

Guys guys guys. Shoutout to Karsten because I've been waiting allll week to find out that my brother is GOING ON A MISSION TO MEXICOOOOO!  

So now let me tell you about my week! .... CHALLENNGGEEEE WEEEKKKK! 

I remember writing last year that the England Birmingham Mission challenge week should be called miracle week. And that's true, but it should really be called FAITH week. If I've learned anything this week it has been that when we have righteous goals and do EVERYTHING on our part to reach them, God will always provide the way to achieve them. We were extra blessed to have our mini missionary Annie with us for most of the week... until we found out that the church has stopped mini missions. So here's to one of the last mini missionaries in the world!  

Tuesday we were able to have interviews with President and Sister Leppard. We talked about personal testimony- where it is and where it still needs to grow before I go home. The challenges for Tuesday were to ask for 5 referrals, have a member pray about a street and knock 20 doors on that street and find two new investigators. Tuesday we did a lot of tracting and it took a lot of faith to find those two new people to teach. Towards the end of the day we had been tracting for hours and still needed to find one more person. Our time was ticking down as we had to leave shortly to a dinner appointment. After knocking almost an entire street this woman came out and as she did so the door shut behind her and she was locked out... God literally locked her out of her house so she would give us a chance. She knocked and we talked as she waited for someone to come and she was interested in having us come back another time as she was quite busy. Then when the door opened she suddenly changed her mind and invited us in! We shared the #princeofpeace video and she said "I've never really had peace in my life" and started asking us about the plan of salvation. God truly provided in the last moments after a day of working as hard as we could, this was such a tender mercy to us we almost started to cry! 

Tuesday night we had a combined lesson with our investigators Sandra and Kristina at Sarah's house. We had dinner and watched the women's conference together and they both absolutely loved it. Sandra said it was everything she's ever known all her life- summed up! Sarah gave her mom a set of scriptures and Sandra had made a scripture case for Kristina's set and it was all so tender and sweet! 

The challenges were rough for us Wednesday but with God's help we made it through! We were asked to contact 2-part member families we haven't worked with, find a new family to teach and all write our testimony in a Book of Mormon and give it away. We had a lot of lessons in the morning which kept us pretty busy. In the afternoon we tracted for 2 straight hours trying to find a family. We were able to give out our 3 Books of Mormon but we just weren't finding that family we were meant to find. We had to go to our dinner appointment and our mini missionary was like oh I had a feeling we should go visit my brother and his family, they live around here. And so we did and they're a beautiful family and they want to learn more and it was a huge mini missionary miracle. Never miss a prompting from the Lord! Then we had a full English breakfast for dinner at Georgies!

Thursday the challenges were intensified. We had to invite 100 people to learn about Jesus Christ, give out 10 Books of Mormon and one of them had to have a Members testimony in it. I was so pumped for this one because Sister Nielsen and I tried inviting that many people to learn a few times last transfer but we'd never quite made it to 100. We were very prayerful with this one and as we prayed we promised God that we would talk to everyone in our path and just asked that he would place those in our path that were prepared. And we just went and started talking to everyone and the Lord provided a way! In our first hour in town we invited 50 people to learn and handed out 5 Books of Mormon. And we seriously had so many miracles! Like a woman from Finland who used to meet with missionaries, she misses coming to our church and said she would LOVE to meet with us again. This was another moment where Sister Jones and I just had to hold back tears, tender mercies are so real! We had so many miracles Thursday as we spent most of our day talking to people in town. Then we reached our goal of 100 invitations to learn and 10 Books of Mormon!

Then we had a sad moment where we had to take Annie to the train station and send her back to Rugby! We dropped her off and a few minutes later the Derby sister's arrived to spend the night with us before our big conference the next day. Sister Swasey and Koivisto hadn't talked to 100 people yet so we helped them finish it off. We ended our day having 144 invitations to learn about Jesus Christ. And I loved every minute.

Friday we were blessed to have a quad zone conference with Elder Phillips from the area seventy. Funnily enough he's the uncle of my district leader so that was pretty special! The conference was AMAZING. Elder Phillips focused on Jesus Christ the whole day and it was so powerful. The AP's gave a training on using the atonement as our motivation using the donut/push up object lesson and that was also very moving. One of my favourite quotes from Elder Phillips was:

"Sometimes serving a mission feels like what it must have felt like for Peter to walk on water- the miracles are beyond us. We don't understand them, we can't comprehend them - We must just keep our focus on the Saviour to keep moving forward."

After we dropped off the Derby sister's we realised it had been a week since we'd just been together as companions, which usually doesn't happen! So we took a selfie to celebrate!

Saturday we had to invite 2 people to be baptised on a specific date, give out 25 gospel of Jesus Christ leaflets with a member and invite 30 people to church! We had a ward sports activity in the morning and then did some district finding in town. We brought Georgie with us and just talked to everyone, inviting them to church and giving out the leaflets. We had a crazy day and couldn't meet with any of our friends so we literally just invited people in town to be baptised. Sometimes you've just gotta be bold! Then we went to the mission office and met the Lichfield zone leaders to plan the Lichfield zone meeting. The drive was beautiful and we're obsessed with these fields!

Sunday was a beautiful Easter Sabbath! It's definitely a special time of the year to be a missionary. We had some 4 miracles come to church and sister jones and I sang in the relief society lesson. The challenges were to have 3 investigators at church, invite 5 members to feed you and have 2 friends on a baptismal date. We were 100% all week but we didn't want to force anyone on a date that wasn't ready so we prayerfully missed that one. We had a nice Easter dinner and then met with the Stratford zone leaders to plan the Coventry zone meeting. I'm so excited for our zone meeting this week, they're gonna be good!

All in all it's been a great week. We've worked extremely hard, exercised a lot of faith and we've seen a plethora of miracles! 

Shoutout to my brother again, I'm just SO EXCITED!

Love you all!

Sister Cebollero Xx 
 1. Sister Jones and Sister Cebollero

 2/3. Watching the video of my brother opening his mission call to Saltillo, Mexico!!! 

4/5.  Beautiful England!!

 6. Tracting all over!

 7/8. We love our Mini missionary! Sad to say goodbye to her!

 9. Talking to everyone!! 

10. 144 invitations to people to learn about Jesus Christ in a few hours! 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The dream mini missionary trio in Coventry

Hello again from Coventry! 

Last Monday we explored the Coventry Cathedral Ruins with our district. The cathedral was bombed during one of the wars and the outer shell is all that is remaining. It felt like walking into Italy, probably because the weather was so nice haha. Then we tried to have a pajama party to watch the last session of conference but sadly we couldn't get it to work. 

Monday and Tuesday really taught me a lot about the power of the Book of Mormon and the priesthood. We had some very very interesting experiences but thanks to the power of the priesthood we've been healed in the form of uncontrollable laughter. Yes,  Sister Jones and I just can't stop laughing. Lessons, ward coordination, you name it.. it's literally uncontrollable. It's bad...but so good! And the Book of Mormon just never ceases to bring me peace no matter what is going on around us. I LOVE IT. 

This week we went on two workovers. A workover is when we go to another sister's area for a few hours and just help them with finding and build them up. On Wednesday we went to Wolverhampton and I spent the day with Sister Bateman from Mapleton! She's a very new missionary and we just went out to do some Stopbys and finding and just talked to everyone that we passed and had some really cool miracles. Then on Thursday we went to Banbury and I was with Sister Mwoyosvi from Zimbabwe. We just had a short amount of time to spend with them so we went tracting. We prayed about where to go and found this little Close of houses and literally every single person that opened their door was interested and we were amazed. We met this cute mom who said her daughter has been asking her about heaven and other gospel questions and it was adorable. We shared the #PrinceofPeace video with most of them and set up some return appointments for the Banbury sisters. I love getting to spend time helping the sister's in their areas, it's been a blast! 

Friday I went to my first MLC (Mission Leadership Council). It was a big one because they invited all the district leaders to attend as well. We had some really good trainings and counselling sessions where we discussed how to improve as missionaries. President Leppard gave a really good training on enduring to the end and we talked about having the faith to finish and to not falter as we go throughout our missions. He talked about how the Saviour is the upper light; the lighthouse. And how we are like the lower lights that direct the ships into the harbour. He talked about how we need to be in line with His harbour and the final destination He wants for those that we teach so that we can do our part to lead them back to Him. It was especially fun because all the sisters in my MTC group are currently STL's so it was a glorious reunion for all of us! 

Saturday our life got extra exciting and we got blessed with a mini missionary named Annie, (Sister Cupain) She is Ghanaian but grew up in Holland and now she lives in Rugby which is near to Coventry. Her mission papers will be submitted in May so we're helping her get ready! Basically for a mini mission she got to choose how long she wanted to spend with us, she got set apart as a missionary by our stake president and just gets to stay with us and see the ins and outs of missionary work to be more prepared for a mission! WE GET HER FOR 6 DAYS AND IT HAS BEEN A BLAST. I think we're just constantly laughing, she's hilarious! She's been with us since Saturday and we have her until Thursday so bring on the mini mission miracles! 

Saturday we had a pretty busy day with Sister Caupain! We had a big ward service project in the morning painting fences and a shed. Then we had our ward sports activity and the weather was AMAZING and we all got really sunburnt but it's fine. Honestly the weather this week has been remarkable. Honestly it felt like summer and we all got some mighty fine tan lines. We taught the members how to play kickball and we had some random people walking by that all joined in and so it helped out with finding as well! Then we went to Toby Carvery for a roast dinner which was the greatest idea ever. And then we headed out tracting and Sister Jones and I took a few houses for Sister Caupain to get used to it and then let her have a go. And it all started off good, a young adult came out and he was actually really interested in seeing the Easter video. Then the door opened and the dad walked out, whom we had coincidentally just given a passalong card to on the street.. And then the window opened and we thought maybe the mom was also interested. She wasn't. She just started swearing and screaming and it was pretty intense and terrified poor Sister Caupain, bless her. So that was her first door experience! No worries though because we helped her to keep going and met some great people! 

Because of conference last week this was my first Sunday in Coventry ward and man it is a big ward compared to my other areas. To give you an idea of how much bigger it is, out of all 6 areas I have had this is the first chapel to have pews! We had a really nice time at church and then we had a stake fireside on the Book of Mormon. All the missionaries in our zone sang The Iron Rod and it was a very powerful fireside. 

And now for the most exciting news of all..


We're gonna win. Wish us luck, it's about to get real intense! Last year Sister Butler and I just barely lost the tie breaker and we're not about to let that happen again! We're PUMPED! 

Love you all, have a fab week!

Sister Cebollero xx 

1. Introducing our mini missionary...Sister Caupain!

 2. After church with our mini missionary!

 3. Cathedral Ruins
4. Statue in the cathedral 

5/6. Like walking into ROME

7. The district

 8. The Lady Godiva statue in Coventry...famous for riding naked on a horse to protest taxes!

9. Tiki Jesus

10.  Toby Carvery, this is how you do a roast dinner!

11.  STL group photo

12. My MTC group takes on MLC!

13. Comp reunion with Sister Sharp!! I swear we just left the MTC!

14. Banbury workover

Welcome to Cov Love!

Last Monday for pday we just did some shopping in town... mostly for English chocolate for Sister Nielsen to take home hehe.  After we emailed we went and visited some of our favourite people in Warwick to say goodbye. Everyone was really shocked we were both leaving after only 6 weeks... us too! We visited Mandy and she was so upset because she won't be able to feed the elders. Then we went to say bye to the recent convert Maybel and her daughter Maya. We spent the rest of the evening packing and making notes for the Elders taking over our area. Warwick was so so good to us and I'll miss it loads! 

Tuesday morning we got all our luggage gathered and made our way on the bus to the train station. Transfers have changed so instead of meeting as a zone and getting a coach to the mission office and then a coach to your new zone like we used to we just received train tickets and had to get to our new area on our own! Luckily our trains were leaving from the same platform. Sister Nielsen's train left first so I helped her on and said goodbye and she was off. 

And I swear my mission is zooming by as fast as that train she was on to the mission office to go home. 

That's when for the first time in 15 months I was all ALL ALONE with no companion. AHHHHHH. GUYS IT WAS WEIRD. I don't know how I'm going to be a normal human again in 3 months. This last transfer was gone in the blink of an eye and this transfer is only 5 weeks so it'll be even quicker! 

Luckily enough some people helped me get all my bags on the train and it was only a 10 minute train ride to my new area hehe. Sister Jones and I rejoiced to have a companion again and we were off in our car to work by 11 am! Guys the last few transfer days have taken me until 9-9:30 pm to get to my new area or new companion so it was nice to be able to get straight to work! 

Coventry is the biggest city I've served in by far. I need to sign up for my driving test and driving in this city looks terrifying. Have you ever seen a 5- lane roundabout?!? They're insane. Because I'm used to whitewashing this is also the most established area I've served in. We have loads of people to teach from all over the world and this ward is by far the biggest I've served in. 

After we dropped off my luggage we went and taught our Hungarian friend Barbara using an app which translates the discussions into different languages so they can hear it in their own language and understand. We taught the plan of salvation and when we asked her what she thought she said "I don't believe- I know." 

Then we had dinner with our friend Sandra, her daughter Sarah is a member and we had a lesson with them after the meal. We shared the gospel of Jesus Christ and she told us she's been thinking a lot about the atonement lately. And then she started talking all about how she believes Jesus Christ was chosen to do all of this for us before we came here and that we all chose to come here.. she even used the word "preordained"... guys she's never even learned the plan of salvation, we were blown away! She said she feels like she's getting closer and closer to the reason she was meant to come here, something is close she just doesn't know what it is. But we all know what it is.. BAPTISM! 

We invited two of our friends to be baptised on Tuesday and they are praying about it so we will see how it goes! 

Wednesday we met some of the Spanish members, met with a recent convert, and did some finding. We had dinner and a lesson with our friend Kristina from Albania and her food was really good. She is Sarah's best friend so Sarah was also at this lesson as well. We showed her the talk "We Never Walk Alone" by President Monson and at the end she was just like "there's just something about this man, I just don't know what." We knew what! 

It's was really amazing having these lessons with Sandra and Kristina and seeing the spirit work in them. They're so very close and they're both amazing! 

Thursday we had district meeting and we have the best district leader I've ever had. It was a really great meeting. Then we all did some district finding and the zone leaders brought us some supplies and they pulled up right when this lady rejected us. Well after talking we went back to knocking.. and accidentally knocked her door again. Oooppss. Just giving her a second chance! 

Friday we had some multicultural food! The member that fed us lunch was from Zimbabwe. Then I got to practice my Spanish when we had dinner with a family from Venezuela. President gave us permission to have language study so we can practice our Spanish for our Spanish investigators. It's going well and kinda coming back! 

This weekend was General Conference and it was the best thing ever! We got to watch the women's session recorded and the Saturday morning session live on Saturday night. On Sunday morning we didn't have to go to the church until 1 so we did our weekly planning and pulled our desk next to the balcony and it was sunny and beautiful and we got sunburnt. Then we went and watched the Saturday afternoon session which was by far my favourite session, soooo good! Then we got to see the Sunday morning session live and hear our dear prophet Thomas S. Monson! 

Go check out the #PRINCEOFPEACE Easter initiative! I know I felt a lot of peace listening to general Conference and its peace only the Saviour can bring! 

Love from Coventry! 
Sister Cebollero 

1. Spring is in the AIR! My new companion Sister Jones is awesome!!

 2. You know you're meant to be companions when you have had the same bedspread your entire mission and the same Christmas jumpers (sweaters)....the pre-mortal comp unity!

 3. Saying good bye to friends, my companion and Warwick!
4/5.  The new pound coins!!


 8. Weekly planning in the SUN!

 9. The car life is a good life!

10. The District!