I don't know if I've ever mentioned it before, but Banbury has a very distinct smell of coffee. There's a coffee factory here and in some parts of the area on some days the smell just hits you like a brick wall. Monday night after pday we got out of the car and it was definitely one of those moments. It was the smell of souls that needed saving hehe!
Tuesday morning we drove to Wolverhampton to pick up the sisters for exchange. They ended up having a flat check so we waited there a bit longer than planned and had companionship Study there while we waited. We rushed out the door with some unique sandwiches for lunch as we had some lessons to get back to and knew we'd hit some traffic. We enjoyed our peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches on the way back to Banbury haha. I got to spend the day with Sister Bateman which was just amazing. She just started training and her and Sister Hessenauer are so fun. We first went to follow up with someone I had met with sister Funk the week before and we got let right in! We taught this sweet Filipino woman the restoration and it was a great lesson. Then we had a good less active member visit and did a load of finding before and after dinner. We had some ice cream to celebrate the 4th of July to finish off our day. Happy Birthday to America!
Wednesday morning we drove the sisters to the mission office for their Zone interviews with President. Then we came back and did some finding. We were following up with some people and felt like we needed to go to town since no one was really in. Then we ran into our recent convert Rhiannon on her lunch break and it was so perfect since we don't get to see her much. We met a nice man and gave him a Book of Mormon. Then we headed to the chapel to help a member clean as everyone else that was supposed to help was poorly. After that we did some more finding and had dinner with Sister Walk. Then we had a tri-ward relief society service activity. It was Warwick branch, Coventry ward and Banbury ward combined... my last three areas of my mission so it was extra special for me! I guess that's the perk of having three areas right next to each other in a row! It was so fun to see some of my favourite sister's again and to catch up with them. We made school bag kits for the local refugees and it was a lovely activity.
Thursday we had our zone interviews in Coventry! My departing interview is coming up oh so soon but these were my last normal interviews. I had a lovely chat with both of them and they are always just so kind and encouraging. I have been blessed with an amazing mission President and wife who just love us all so much! From Coventry we drove to Bicester and followed up with some potentials there. It was just scorching hot and we did some finding as well. Then we taught the Garwoods about family prayer and church attendance before we headed home for dinner and companion Study.
Friday was my last MLC! It was combined with all the district leaders this time and it was in Solihull which was really nice. It was a powerful meeting as always. We watched these two amazing video clips, one about the growth of the church since the beginning of the restoration and one clip of people baptised in the last 2 months from all over the world sharing how the missionaries found them. They were both beautiful! We had a lot of discussions to counsel on and sister Nelson and I both had a turn to lead one. We headed back to Banbury and received a phone call of someone in one of our furthest parts of the area asking for a Book of Mormon! She sounded young, and it almost seemed like a prank call. It all made sense when we got there and her mum shared that her 12 year old daughter had called us wanting a Book of Mormon and was a little shy. They had seen missionaries and the daughter asked her about it and went online for a Book of Mormon! The mum wasn't too pleased but it was a cool miracle and we are waiting to hear back from them.
Saturday we had a unique service opportunity to volunteer at a school summer fete. We led the Tambola station which is kind of like a raffle. People would pay for a ticket and if it had a 0 or a 5 at the end they would win the corresponding prize. We were the busiest table at the fete and it was a great opportunity to meet lots of families. Some would note our accents, mention they had seen us in town or say something like "hey you talked to me the other day when I was walking my dog!" A perfect missionary service opportunity. It was a hot hot day and we walked away VERY sunburnt and exhausted!
Then we went tracting.. and the road we had picked just didn't feel right. So we left and another road caught my eye but I kept driving. Then I just had the slightest nudge to go back so much to sister Nelson's confusion I drove in a circle back to that road. We started tracting and noticed that some of the house numbers skipped but we couldn't see where the missing ones were. One of the doors told us his two neighbors might be interested and walked us around the back to where they were. The first door wasn't interested. Then who should open the second but our recent convert John's sister Sarah! She invited us right in for a break from the heat and a drink. She had been a special part of his baptism day and thought he had sent us over. She'd just printed off the photos from the baptism the day before and we went through them together. We had a lovely chat and left her with a Book of Mormon. Such a powerful experience of following the promptings of the spirit!
Sunday we had a great church service once again. Shafik, the man who walked in two Sundays ago was able to come again and really enjoyed it. After church we headed to tract near the school we had volunteered at in hopes of seeing some families we had met. We specifically prayed for that and both felt prompted to tract a certain street. When we were almost at the bottom a family opened that we had seen at the fete! They also invited us in for a drink and we had a great lesson. They have had a lot of deaths in the family lately and just stopped meeting with the Jehovah's witnesses so it was just perfect timing, especially since they had seen us the day before in a fun setting. Such a miracle!
The days keep counting down and the miracles keep coming! With just 2 full weeks left there's a lot of people to find and a lot of miracles to see. Thanks for all your prayers and support over the many months!
Sister Cebollero xx
Lunch on the GO! Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Fluff! Shout-out to traffic!!
FUN to see these two Elders from my first zone!!
Exchanges with Sister Bateman and Hessenauer
Manning the Tambola station at the school summer fete!
Having fun with my comp and Sister Bateman and Hessenauer!
My mission sister...Sister Carson!
STL picture at MLC!