Monday, May 22, 2017

Blessed in Banbury

Monday we had a district pday in Stratford Upon Avon just exploring all the Shakespeare sights once again and then we had a nice picnic lunch. We rode with Elder and Sister Walk who are just adorable. Serving with a senior couple in your ward is basically like serving a mission with your grandparents right down the road. Sister Walk loves to give us life advice haha. After pday we just tracted and tracted allll night and found a cute new family to teach. 

Tuesday we were asked to help with the new arrival of a missionary who had been serving stateside waiting for a visa for a transfer and was finally coming to England. Let me just tell you that on Tuesday the traffic near Birmingham was insane. It was just a huge mess around the mission office trying to get anywhere. They had found a World War Two bomb near Birmingham under a train station that had never gone off so none of the trains were running and people were being evacuated hence extra traffic. Our other Zone Lichfield was trying to have their interviews at the mission office but no one could even get there so we were trying to help with that as well. We helped move around some sister's and I got to see my trainee Sister Knudsen! It was really sweet because I was beginning to think I wouldn't see her again before I went home. Then sweet Sister Baker arrived for Sister Harrigfeld to train and we helped her get all settled and the sweet office senior couples fed us some lunch since we'd been waiting all morning. Then we had to figure out how to get them to Worcester from the mission office without going on the motorway and that was a struggle. Lots of waiting and rerouting but we finally got them there! It ended up taking our entire day when we had planned to be in our area for once. But sacrifice brings blessings and we received a media referral of a Chinese girl who was taught last year in Leicester and had almost got baptised but then moved to Banbury! Luckily we made it home just in time for dinner and coordination at the Walks home with our ward mission leader. 

Wednesday was another equally crazy day! We had workovers planned in Walsall with Sister Funk from my group and her absolutely adorable greenie from India, Sister Chena. It was just pouring down with rain and I figured by the time we drove there it would stop but it sure didn't! I was with Sister Funk for the day and we drove to the top part of their area that they hadn't made it to yet. We did some member Stopbys and some finding and got very wet, but not as wet as Sister Nelson and Chena! It's always fun to work with the sisters in their area for a few hours. 
When we got back to Banbury we had been finding in the rain alll day so we decided before we did some finding for our area we would stop by a less active member. Well she wasn't in but we realised there was a former investigator named Emma right around the corner. She was someone I had heard a lot about when I was staying in Banbury for a bit a few transfers ago as she had been on a baptismal date. We felt really prompted to stop by as the sisters hadn't been in contact for awhile. She swung open the door and just looked stressed and not too happy to see anyone at her door as she expressed she was very busy. Well I had to use the bathroom after the travel back from Walsall so she let us in and when I came back downstairs she invited us to stay for some herbal tea. She had been to a funeral the day before and started asking us a lot of questions about the plan of salvation. She said we were just so happy like the other sisters and asked us what to do to have that in her life. We started teaching her the gospel of Jesus Christ focusing on repentance and baptism. It was honestly a lesson where every question she asked led perfectly to the next thing we wanted to share. When we explained repentance and baptism she just expressed that we had explained it in a different way than the other sisters. In a way that she really connected to and understood on a personal level. We invited her to be baptised and she said "I'm in, where do I sign?!" Haha it was literally just amazing how she really needed this right then and we were just in the right place at the right time to share it with her. It was a huge miracle. 

Thursday we did have a lot of time in our area and we did lots of finding. We followed up with a lot of potentials as well. We had a lesson with a family that's been taught for awhile about the tree of life. The mum is so ready to be baptised, she's like Lehi in the story. She's tasted the fruit, she knows it's true and she wants her family to feel the same way before she is baptised. We related it to them and it was a powerful lesson. It really helped us to understand the mum better and she expressed some of her expectations in waiting for the rest of her family and their concerns. Then we visited the cute family from Portugal and gave the kids the children's Book of Mormon and they just were so happy. They started reading it right away and asking us questions about it. Their mum still isn't too interested but we have a feeling their excitement will help with that. 

Friday we had the Coventry zone conference. We gave our training on being declarative missionaries again because President and Sister Leppard had really liked it and asked us to repeat it. Then our other training we gave was on urgency without anxiety. All the responsibilities we have as a missionary can bring both a feeling of anxiety and urgency and so we talked about how to constructively use those to be better each day. Both trainings went really well and the Leppard's were very complimentary. It was a relief to have them done! I just absolutely love Coventry zone and it was fun to see my last district and especially Sister Jones and Olsen. I may or may not have cried a bit when Sister Jones gave her departing testimony, but it's fine! 

We made it back to Banbury with a little time to tract before our ward game night. No one was interested until the last house we met this amazing woman who not only wanted a Book of Mormon but went on to tell us when she's free next week so we could come back. Amazing! Then no one showed up for games night so the walks asked if they could take us to dinner #definitelyyes. So we went to this Italian restaurant where they'd talked to the owner before and asked us to bring some Books of Mormon! So we had dinner and the whole time Sister Walk was just planning out how we should give one to our waiter. So after dinner we went up and gave our sweet waiter a Book of Mormon and she wants to meet with us soon! Miracles! 

Sunday after church our dinner appointment was literally in America. Okay not literally but it sure felt like it! It was the off base military housing and the whole neighbourhood just reallllyyy felt American and so did the houses. Soooo weird! 
I felt like we spent most of the week on crazy missions driving through rain and dodging traffic but we also saw many miracles along the way! Life is good and there's many more adventures to come! Also this week I hit 16 months... AHHHHHH! 

Love you all!   

Sister Cebollero 
 1. The district in Stratford upon Avon! What's up Shakespeare?
2.  Literally in love with Stratford upon Avon!!

3.  Shakespeare had no idea this would apply to missionaries!

 4. Shakespeare got baptized in this font...or sprinkled on!

5.  Love Shakespeare

6.  Here he lies!

7.  My girl Sister Knudsen who I trained!!

8. Exchanges with Sister Funk...we go home in two months!! Time is flying!

9. Exchanges in Wolverhampton

10/11. Coventry Zone Conference

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