Wednesday, October 21, 2015

TRIPLE THREAT

OCT 13TH This was my last pday in Bedford. Wanted to cry real tears all day. We started our day by trying to see two investigators but they both cancelled last minute, then we emailed. After, we did some shopping & then went to a museum/art gallery with the Elders. The museum itself was kind of boring, but being with everyone made it a lot of fun. After that, Sister Top & I went to meet Ben (one of the many investigators from the same church) , Tim (Australian), & Josh (Australian) at a cafe so I could say goodbye. Then we went to Lesley's for dinner & I nearly cried when I hugged her goodbye. Man, I just love Bedford. 

OCT 14TH Transfer day! We woke up at 5:30 & got everything ready to go. The Elders met us at our flat to help us get my bags to the train station. On the way, one of the wheels on my suitcase broke, so that made the rest of the day difficult. Then we all said goodbye & we went into London to meet everyone else that was moving. Transfers makes me want to give away everything I own so I don't have to lug it around the London tube. After we finally got to Hyde Park Chapel, I met my companions (Chou from Taiwan & Faivakimoana from Australia) & we headed to Colchester. Sister Faivakimoana also had three bags & one of her wheels was broken as well. So it was the hardest time trying to get all of our things to our flat. On the tube, a nice mormon couple from Idaho helped us move all of our bags & get to our train. Truly a miracle. 

Then we got to the flat & it was sooooooo dirty. Oh my dang. So the first thing I did was clean. Then we ate lunch, did some finding, & went to correlation with the Elders (Alvey from Utah & Isaksen from Norway). 

OCT 15TH We had district meeting this morning & the infamous trio (that's us) had to do the gap (teach a principle in two minutes using a scripture, question, & commitment). It went well, considering we practiced working in unity during our companion study that morning. After the meeting, Sister Faiv & I played on the piano. She played music while I freestyle sang. Hahahahah it was too much fun. Then we went to go see a potential at the University of Essex, but he never showed up, so we did some finding instead. I found a really cool investigator from China named Li while my companions talked to another investigator (perks of being in a trio). 

They already think I'm nuts
OCT 16TH Started our day with weekly planning, & we all realized how hard we have to work to build our teaching pool this transfer. Then we went to visit a 92 year old woman I'm our church named Macey. While we waited for her, Sister Chou taught us some Chinese, & we sang a million different hymns. After seeing Macey, we went to the university for an appointment with Li, but she had to move the appointment to a different day, so we saw a recent convert instead. Then we did some finding & came to our flat for dinner. Then we went to the chapel to play volleyball with the youth. 

OCT 17TH Today we went to the university to eat lunch with Tan, who will be baptized on Friday! He made us Chinese food & taught me & Sister Faiv how to eat with chopsticks. After, we went to visit a less active & her family. Then we ran to our flat & the Elders picked us up to go to stake conference in Ipswich. 

OCT 18TH We went to stake conference at the University of Essex this morning. Man, so good. I also got to see Sister Fitts (one of my MTC companions) because we are in the same zone now! After, they had a meeting for all new & returning members. We brought Tan to it so we had to stay as well. As each of them was sharing their conversion story, the spirit was so strong. It made me so proud to be a missionary & have the privilege to share such a life changing message with people. After the meeting, Tan had his baptismal interview so we just hung around the University. Then we went to our bishop's house for lunch with the Elders. After, we went to go see three members & none of them were home. 



Sister Sydney Johannes

Monday, October 19, 2015

TACOS & OTHER GOOD STUFF

I'm 1/4 of the way through my mission & it honestly feels like I got to the mission field yesterday.   When people say your mission goes by really fast, they aren't joking. This transfer is already over & I'm leaving Bedford. I am crying real tears because I'll miss all the amazing people I've met. AHHHH Bedford. Best birthplace ever. I'm going to Colchester, kinda near the coast I think. I will be in a trio for two weeks & then one of the sisters will go train & whitewash an area

I can't really remember what happened on each day of the week. So I'm just going to throw an email together & hope it makes sense. 
We are teaching six people from the same church, & each of them is slowly progressing. One of them, Phil, was very argumentative when we first met with him, but his heart is slowly being softened. We taught him the Plan of Salvation this week & he was actually letting himself learn something new, when he normally tries to bible bash us. The member we brought with us, Marcia, bore her testimony on the Plan of Salvation & I followed with mine. You could see, as he was listening, that the Spirit touched his heart. AHHHH so neat.
We are also teaching someone named Ben, and when we were teaching him the second time his friend Tim, from Australia, joined in on the lesson. And the third time we taught Ben, Tim & another friend, Josh, joined in. They are all YSA age & a lot of fun. They ask so many good questions when we are teaching so it is so exciting for me & Sister Top. 

One day I made really good tacos for lunch. They were honestly the best tacos I've ever eaten.
AHHHH! Our investigator/part-member family's dog had puppies! See the picture of me waiting at the bus stop. Every time we go to visit the Millers we miss the bus & end up having to wait for over 40 minutes. 
Oh & on Sunday we went to the church that all our investigators go to! It was weird. It was good being able to see how other churches are run though. One of the members we met named Evan was so paranoid that we were there & kept questioning Phil on why he was meeting with us. We also met another guy named Tim (there were like 6 Phils & 5 Tims at this church.. so crazy) who is from Oklahoma. He was interested in meeting with us & Phil sometime. He asked me why I decided to serve a mission & what my testimony was, so I told both of them that I know the Book of Mormon is true, & because of that, I know Joseph Smith was called by God to restore His church once again on earth. I went on for just two minutes, but the Spirit was so strong. Both of them were so surprised, but you could see that they felt the spirit. So neat. Sister Top was telling me afterwards how impressed she was with my confidence & boldness that I used when I bore my testimony. 
I also gave my first training at district meeting this week! It didn't go as bad as I thought it would, but could have been a lot better. Good thing I have 14 months to perfect my training hahaha.
I also dropped my bike & the handlebar stabbed into my foot. Flipping heck. Hurt so bad. 



Sister Sydney Johannes

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

#LDSConf

SEPT 28TH Today was my four months mark! Crazy it's been that long already. We started off the morning by studying, cleaning, & emailing. Then we ate lunch, bought some bread, & fed the ducks (as usual). After, we went to Lesley's to clean her fish tank for her. 
SEPT 29TH Today was really long. My back has been hurting really bad since I got to the field & today was the worse day so far, & it was the day we did the most walking. We went to Biggleswade & tried to contact some less actives but none were home. Then we contacted a referral & she wasn't home but her son was so we got his phone number. Then we went to dinner with the Hopcrofts
 (I love them).
SEPT 30TH We went all over town today because we had so many appointments. We had an appointment with Phil (one of the many people we are teaching from that one church). He was a lot nicer this time. Then we had an appointment with Ben (another one of the members of that church) & his realy cool friend from Australia was there & was really interested. He is our new investigators so we are now officially teaching 7 members from the same church hahahah. Then we had correlation with our new ward mission leader and his wife. 
OCT 1ST We had to wake up at 5:30 to go to zone meeting in Northampton. The meeting was so powerful & the spirit was so strong. After zone meeting, our zone leaders took Sister Top & I to the bus station because he had to bring a vacuum cleaner with us back to Bedford, but the zone leaders got really lost on the way. When we finally got to the station, the Bedford Elders met us & we found out that Elder Fisher had gotten punched in the face by a drunk Irish man. Then we road the bus home & immediately got an another bus to go to a dinner appointment. 
OCT 2ND We had weekly planning, then we went to go visit a less active & her two sons. They told me that Kanye West was going to run for president, so that's neat. Then we ran to all of our investigators' homes to invite them to General Conference. 
Doreen! She is an older lady we sing to a couple times a week
OCT 3RD We started our morning by going to Northampton to watch the Women's Session of General Conference. Then we came home & watched the Saturday morning session of Conference with Lesley & her friend. The time difference is so weird though because we were watching it at 5pm hahaha.
OCT 4TH We stopped by some less actives & then went to the chapel to watch the Saturday afternoon session with the Elders. Then we went to Milton Keynes (which is where S
ister Yucra is now!) to watch the Sunday morning session.
Ever since my grandpa passed away I have been praying to know that he is okay & happy now, & it wasn't until today that I received my answer. President Nelson & Eyring talking about the death of the three apostles & testifying that they, along with other loved ones, were safe & happy, dwelling with our Heavenly Father, strengthened my testimony of the plan of salvation. I know that our Heavenly Father has created a divine plan for each of us that allows us to see our loved ones again. I know that my grandpa is here, supporting me as I serve the Lord & I know I will see him again.

Thank you for all of your support! I love each of you so much. Continue being you because you are amazing ❤️


Sister Sydney Johannes

GRACE & MERCY

SEPT 21ST Sister Top was feeling ill, so after emailing, grocery shopping, & haircuts (I cut all of my hair off) we took a nap & I made cookies for less actives & investigators & made calls for the rest of the week while she rested. 
SEPT 22ND We started our day as usual, but had to leave the flat at 9:15 so we could run by Tesco & pick up some medicine for Sister Top. Then we went to the train station to meet our sister training leaders for exchange. Sister Top went to London with Sister Grant & I stayed in Bedford with Sister Epicoco. We did ton of finding together & also stopped by Lesley's home to do service & share a message. We met soooo many strange people while we were finding, but also some really amazing people, so we are excited for all of them.
Sisters Grant, Top, Johannes, Epicoco
SEPT 23RD Sister Epicoco & I walked to the train station at 9:30 & waited for 15 minutes for the other sisters to come. Then we exchanged back & Sister Top & I rode our bikes straight to district meeting. We were late, & Sister Top was ill, so it was an interesting meeting. After that, we had district lunch with everyone & then we went home so Sister Top could sleep. After that, we went to a dinner appointment in Sandy with a really adorable family. Then we came home & did planning & went to sleep early.

Sister Epicoco & I
SEPT 24TH This morning we visited our investigators Winnie & Mark & taught them about the Book of Mormon. Then we went to our investigator Bloo's home. We watched the restoration with her & halfway through I thought about my bag & realized I didn't have it. Turns out, I left it outside in my bicycle basket for over 30 minutes & no one stole it! Our investigator said, "Wow! God must really be on your side!" Hahahha. After that, we went to the chapel to send a message to another one of our investigators, & then we went home for lunch. After eating we walked to visit an old lady named Doreen & we sang to her. Then we came home & made a cake for someone's birthday & a lovely member brought us dinner.

SEPT 25TH We had weekly planning in the morning & then ran to a potential investigator's home for a lesson but no one was home (typical). Then we went back to our flat for lunch & on the way met a 17 year old Jehovah witness girl. She was so lovely & we are teaching her next week. Then we had a lesson with Ben! He is so awesome. He is the happiest person I have ever met & so nice. He kinda thinks he's a prophet though & was making predictions about us & said it came from Jesus. He said I am a peacemaker & can enter into areas of trouble &, with the joy that's in my heart, bring tranquility & peace. He also said that I will bring the Kingdom of God once again onto earth. Ehhh? Okay Ben. Then we had a dinner appointment with the Nendik's & Sister Fourie came along as well so we could celebrate her birthday together. 

SEPT 26TH This morning, we met a girl in our ward (Elly) in town & got lunch, then she spent the rest of the day with us. We went to teach a man named Phil who actually goes to the same church as Ben, Winnie, & Mark. The lesson was interesting because members of this church are so knowledgeable about the bible & have very strong beliefs. I love teaching each of them because I learn so much. There is so much that I can learn from each of my investigators, sometimes I feel like they teach me more than I teach them! After that lesson, we met with a few more investigators & then Elly's mom came to pick her up. Then we met the Elders at a members home & emptied her pool for her, then ate dinner. 
SEPT 27TH We had to be at the church at 7:30 am this morning to go to ward council. After that, we had church. There were soooo many people at church this Sunday it was so exciting! After church we had a Munch & Mingle (it's like a potluck lunch) with the ward. Then we went with Sister Evan, the relief society president, to visit Carol (recent convert) but she wasn't home. Then we came to our flat & had some food, then went to visit Lesley. 



Sister Sydney Johannes