Monday, June 5, 2017

Sacrifice Brings Forth the Blessings of Heaven

I'm thoroughly convinced that someone is playing a magic trick on my life. Time just seems to be disappearing before I can even blink! Because somehow it's already June and I know you're all dying to say "see you next month!" 

We had a beautiful week here in Banbury! Monday we were allowed to go back into the city and town centres so we just enjoyed some shopping. It was a bank holiday here so they were all secretly celebrating Memorial Day along with you! Monday night we just did loads of finding and nobody wanted to know. We then had a family home evenin with a sweet less active family so that was a boost. 

Tuesday was a pretty exhausting day! We spent most of our day in Wolverhampton on workovers with Sister Smith and Bateman. They're just so amazing and they are doing so great so we had a lot of fun. We taught some crazy lessons together while we were there. We taught this one guy from Pakistan and all of us went to that lesson and at the end he told my companion that out of all of us she thinks differently and that she has the most potential... and then he asked for our number and asked if he could come see us in and no.. sorry mate! Haha I was just dying it was so funny. Then we went and taught these spiritualists that believe in reincarnation and that was also a super interesting lesson. We made it back to Banbury for our usual dinner with the Walks that was just great as always! 

Wednesday morning was the start of our miracles. We felt prompted to stop by this former investigator named Nicholas who is from Zimbabwe that Sister Nelson had taught a bit when she was here before. He let us in and as we talked he asked is so many questions about the plan of salvation. We had a great discussion and then he ended up showing up to our games night on Friday which was a huge miracle! We taught him how to play Uno which was quite entertaining :) 

Then in the afternoon we went and taught the Garwoods about God's love for us. We had invited this new member that moved in to come teaching with us. They're a cute family from San Diego, but the sister ended up being sick the day of the lesson and we were kinda bummed. But then yesterday at church she bore a beautiful testimony about how much she had needed to study that this week and she was so thankful we had asked her to participate, even though she never made it. It was a good lesson and we were just able to share some of God's love for them and that was really special. 

Friday we had our mission leadership council meeting. We were there from 9-4 with a short break for a much appreciated BBQ! We never get those here so we were all pretty excited about that. As stated it was a veryyyy long meeting but it was so good. We spent the majority of it just counselling together about how to help increase the work here in the mission. It's such a privilege to be apart of these meeting with some of the most hardworking and obedient missionaries and you just never feel like you deserve to be there among them. It's very humbling to say the least and I always learn so much. We decided as a mission to have a special fast this Sunday for the work in our mission to increase and to be able to see more of our friends enter the waters of baptism. We've definitely been hitting a slump lately and we need lots of faith and hard work to change things around. Things are already changing around here and it's been touching to experience. 

Saturday morning we had a beautiful lesson with a new friend named Amina. She is from Ghana and she is a former we just called up one day and she was interested. When we called back she said she wanted to come to church but she got lost. So we went over and had a lesson with her and it was just amazing. She also has this adorable 18 month old daughter who was just running around crazy! One of us would keep her busy while the other one talked and we kept switching back and forth. One minute she was ripping off my name badge and the next she was literally eating our cards, it was just hilariously adorable. We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and invited her to be baptised! She accepted and it was so happy! We're hoping for it to be this month, but there's a bit of a language barrier so it may take a bit longer for her to understand everything. It was such a miracle though! 

After that didn't have any lessons or set plans so we drove out to one of our further areas, a little village called Chipping Norton. It was sooo beautiful and also so hilly, we both felt like we were in Wales again. We did lots of finding there and some Stopbys and just got a good feel for that area as it's previously been too hard for missionaries to get there without the car being here. 

Sunday was just a miraculous fast Sunday. We were at the doors just praying and waiting for Amina to show up but it was about to start so we had to go in. And we were just both praying so hard she would make it and I was just trying not to feel crushed. And then after the sacrament was done being passed one of the brothers that had taken it into the hall came near us and told us we had a friend waiting out in the corridor! The joy we felt was unreal to welcome Amina and her daughter to church. She just loved it and kept saying that church is good and she is so glad we are her friends. It was beautiful. 

Another beautiful thing was that dear old John Gooch bore his testimony three times... yes he got up 3 separate times because that's just him! Bless him! He said he has been trying to prove that the Book of Mormon is right for soooo long as he's been coming to church for 20 years now, and he talked about some reasons why he can now say he knows it is true. He asked us after church what to do now and we set a date for his baptism! It'll be this month if all goes well! He'll be going to the temple grounds with the stake this week and what better way to be prepared for baptism?! Literally a huge miracle and we're really excited to see how everything progresses. 

Something that has been coming to mind lately is the line from the hymn Praise to the Man, which says "sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven." It just popped into my head one morning and continued through my mind all week. Serving a mission isn't always the easiest, but the small things we sacrifice for this time lead to so much joy! We especially saw that as we fasted this weekend for an increase in the work. It was amazing how that prayer was answered so quickly and I know it will continued to be answered as we move forward with faith. 

Hope you're all enjoying the start to a lovely summer!

Sister Cebollero 
1.  The coolest telephone box ever!

 2. You can bet we put a Book of Mormon in this cute library!

 3. Wolverhampton Workover

4. The District

5. Our cutest little friend literally eating a card!

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