Tuesday, November 24, 2015

MIRACLES & CHINESE FOOD

Family & friends!

I'll start off by letting you know that SISTER CHOU & I GET TO STAY ANOTHER TRANSFER TOGETHER! We get to celebrate Christmas together in Colchester. It is a miracle. Sister Chou has been here for 6 months & sisters almost never stay longer than that in an area. We were both praying very hard that we could have one more transfer together, so when moves calls came we couldn't even contain how excited we were. 

Now I'll let you know of some other miracles this week (we were really blessed). Chris, the Chinese takeaway man, is on date to be baptised in December! We taught him about the restoration of the gospel on Tuesday. Sister Chou & the member we brought had a hard time understanding what he has saying, so I taught the lesson almost completely by myself. I could feel the spirit so strong as I was testifying to him about the Book of Mormon, so when we invited him to be baptised, he accepted! 
Cuz it's freezing in England now

On Friday, we stopped by a less actives home. We weren't expecting to be let in, but when he opened the door, he gladly invited us in. We spoke with him & his wife (who is not a member) for nearly an hour. Near the end, he was talking about how he never gets any visits from anyone in the church & how our phone call & visit were the first he's had this year. He then added that he never sees missionaries anywhere in Colchester. We told him there are actually six of us serving here & Sister Chou (being super cheeky hahahaha) told him that in order ..to meet them he has to come to church. When we left, he thanked us for visiting him & that he wouldn't be at church this week. BUT ON SUNDAY HIM & HIS WIFE CAME! All of the members greeted him & he loved it! 
Yesterday, Tan and his girlfriend made us Chinese food! It's not a miracle, but it was really good so I thought I'd include it in the email. I ate bamboo for the first time. 


Sister Sydney Johannes

Monday, November 16, 2015

CHINESE TAKEAWAY

Okay okay okay. Time is going by so fast. I say that every week, but it's so true. I cannot get over how quickly this transfer has gone by. In a week we have move calls again & I just can't believe it. 

Random things that happened:
-Our district had to do a musical number at Zone Conference this week. 
-Sister McLean, Sister Fitts, & I were finally reunited at Zone Conference. 
-After Zone Conference the Elders' gps stopped working so we got lost. It took us double the amount of time it usually does to get home. 
-Our investigator, Sabrina, is on date to be baptised on the 5th of December! She is from China & has no beliefs, but has such a strong desire to learn. Ahhhh I love her. 
-I had to go to a doctors appointment & waited for two hours for the doctor. We ended up having to leave to go to an appointment so we waited for two hours for no reason.
-Alaina, a recent convert, took us to eat at a really yummy Italian restaurant. 
-There is a castle in Colcheter & I finally took a picture of it. (See side pic) 
-It rains everyday. Every. Single. Day. 
-There are only 39 days til Christmas (I think)

Okay now I'll share a miracle with you! Every week we go into a Chinese takeaway shop to get dinner because we love Chinese food. One of the employees is a man named Chris who is English & a delivery driver for them. A few weeks ago we invited him to church & he said no. Then we saw him again this week & he said he is too busy to come to church because he is remodelling his home. I told him that we would be willing to help him anytime & he said he would call if he needed us. Okay now fast forward to Sunday! We were a bit sad going into church because none of our investigators were able to come, but when we walked in, Chris was there! He came to church all on his own! He said it was because we offered to help him, so he may as well come to church. He ended up staying for all three hours. He has been to many different churches, but he has never been to one like ours. He loved how friendly everyone was & how it felt like a family. He is interested in learning more & we set up a return appointment for this Tuesday! 

Missions are hard, but the miracles you see each day make the rough times worth it. This is the Lord's work. He is here to support each missionary as they dedicate their time & efforts to Him.  I'm grateful that I have this opportunity to share the gospel & that the Lord trusts me with his children. 

I LOVE YOU. HAVE A GOOD WEEK. KEEP BEING YOU BECAUSE YOU'RE THE BEST. 



Sister Sydney Johannes

ALMA 13:24

Ahhhh I love you all. Thanks to everyone who has sent me an email or letter. I cannot thank you enough for all the love you have shown me. 

Crazy Ipswich Sisters
For pday, Sister Chou & I went to lunch with the Elders & then tried to help them buy matching companionship ties... Which they didn't even end up buying. Then we had a dinner appointment with Tan, his girlfriend, & some members who were moving to Utah a couple days after. 

On Tuesday we met a potential investigator from France at the Uni. Oh. My. Days. Most awkward lesson (if you can even call it that hahah) I've ever had. She decided to meet us at the bus stop, so we figured she would then walk with us to her flat. But no. We just taught a lesson standing next to the bus stop. We talked to her about what we do as missionaries & the Book of Mormon. At the end, Sister Chou asked if we could say a prayer with her, & then she got really awkward, & we felt awkward, & finally we prayed, set a return appointment, & went our separate ways. But oh man. It was such a weird lesson. 

On Wednesday we had a normal day, but had correlation at 7:30. We were the only missionaries that showed up on time. We ended up waiting with our ward mission leader for 30 minutes until the Elders could come. The other sisters weren't able to make it because they had lost their phone in London. So correlation started super late, but was so good. Our ward mission leader read with us Alma 13:24, which says: 

"For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory."
Sister Chou

He then applied this scripture to us as missionaries serving in Colchester. There are over 200,000 people in our area, if many are being prepared by angels to receive our message, why aren't we finding them? One of the key points we discussed was how a humble heart is necessary for true conversion. So there may be thousands of people being prepared, but if they aren't humble, they won't listen. Correlation honesty felt like a district or zone meeting. The spirit was so strong & our ward mission leader was able to motivate each of us to go find those thousands that are prepared. 

On Thursday, we had zone training meeting. The trainings that were given were so amazing, but there was a lot of tension among the missionaries which made it a hard meeting to sit through.  

On Friday, we had an exchange with our sister training leader, Sister Shegikyo. So we got to be in a trio again hahahah. It was also her one year mark, so we celebrated with cake & ice cream. 
On Saturday, the elders picked us up early in the morning to do service. We went to a member's home to tear down her house... Literally. She is remodelling her home, so we spent the whole time taking down walls. We also had dinner with the Bueno family! 

Sunday was good! We got to go into nursery to teach singing time, which was probably the highlight of my day. We also taught a lesson with the Elders, had lunch with a member, & did our weekly planning (two days late because we have been so busy).


Sister Sydney Johannes

Saturday, November 7, 2015

HALLOWEEN


I don't feel like typing out each day, so I'm just going to throw something together. Sorry if it's confusing. 

For pday, we went to the chapel with the Elders & made Chinese hot pot. Sister Faiv also taught me how to serve a volleyball so when we play with the youth I can amaze everyone with my (lack of) skills. 

On Tuesday, we went to London to pick up Sister Faiv's new companion, Sister Wright. We were all a bit sad because we were going to miss being in a trio, but it's been nice that we can now focus on the work & our areas a lot more. Sister Faiv & Wright are still in our ward, so we see them all the time & meet them for lunch or dinner a couple days a week. 

We are finding a lot of amazing people to teach & are excited for this month because we are expecting a couple baptisms (yay!!!!). Since Sister Chou can speak Chinese, we are taking full advantage of that & 90% of our investigators are from China. They have so much desire to learn & have helped build my testimony as we have taught each of them. Man, I am so pumped to see each of them continue progressing in the gospel. 

Halloween in England is not as crazy as it is in America. I honestly forgot it was Halloween until we got into town & I saw a couple children dressed up. Sister Chou & I had four appointments we were supposed to go to on Halloween, but every single one of them cancelled. So we ended up making caramel apples for the members with the Elders. They tasted gross, but it's the thought that counts hahaha. 

On Sunday, we got to teach the sunbeam class! Oh my days. Cutest kids I've ever met. They were all three years old & so excited to be taught by the missionaries. So excited that it was hard to calm them down & the majority of the time was spent telling them to stop climbing on the table & chairs. I don't know how primary teachers do it every week. 


Thank you for everything! Keeping being you because you're the best ❤️



Sister Sydney Johannes

BAPTISM & HOT POT

Oh my days this week has been crazy. We were busy all week this week trying to get everything prepared for tan's baptism that was on Friday. Also, tomorrow we are getting another sister! So I will only be companions with Sister Chou for the rest of the transfer. 
image2.jpeg
Elder and Sister Stevens

OCT 19TH After emailing, we ate crepes, did our grocery shopping, did some finding, & went to sleep early. 

OCT 20TH Today we walked a lot. We went to visit an older member, but we took the wrong bus & had to walk from my the end of that route all the way to her home. When we got there, she didn't answer when we knocked on either of her doors, but we could hear and see her inside. Finally, Sister Chou yelled at her through the window & she let us in. She gave us homemade apple pie. Also, she has a son who is a bodybuilder & has a million pictures of him on her walls wearing nearly nothing. But she also has one of his trophies, so I took a picture with it. 
After seeing her, we went to visit a less active & oh my days. This family is crazy. The mother and father are both converts, and the two girls are not baptised. When we walked in, the mother was smoking & then the two girls (15 & 16) lit their own cigarettes. They all just chilled in the living room smoking with us there. We weren't even able to teach them a lesson because they were all besting each other up the whole lesson. Plus, the mother is very blunt & told me she doesn't like Americans at all & nicknamed me 'picky' because I told her I don't like seafood. Anyways, she hated on Americans & me for 20 minutes. When we finally left their house (because the daughters wouldn't let us leave), the younger one was waiting at the bus stop with us & almost started three different fights with random pedestrians. We probably looked like a mob because there were so many of us & the girl was just yelling at everyone. We also had a ward trunk or treat party!

OCT 21ST Today was just a normal day. We went university finding and found a ton of potential investigators. We just stood in one place & stopped every Chinese person we saw. We just asked them how to say "can we be friends?" in Chinese & then they let us be their friends. Later in the evening, our mission president & his wife came to our ward so sister Stevens could share her experiences as a general authority with the relief society.

image3.jpeg
Awkward District Family Photo
OCT 22ND We started our day by going to district meeting & I had to give a training. Still praying that some day I will be able to communicate properly in front of a group of more than 3 people. But hey! It wasn't as scary as my first one, so I'm getting better hahahah. After that, we practiced the musical number we will be singing at the baptism. Then we had to run a million errands so we could figure things out for the baptism. After, we taught a lesson to tan with the horigans (members) & they fed us soup. Then we went to do family home evening with a new family in the ward & they fed us weird African spicy ocra slime soup with mashed rice. It was interesting. Then we went to the chapel for correlation with the elders. 

OCT 23RD YAYAYAYAYYA TAN'S BAPTISM!!!! We started the morning by visiting an elderly member named macey. She broke my heart when I hugged her because she started crying & asked me to pray she can get her hearing & eyesight back. Then I started crying. After all that, we ran to a million different Chinese shops to by food for hot pot at the baptism (hot pot is when Chinese people boil water, put spices in it, then put meat, veggies, & noodles in it for a few minutes, then eat it). After, the elders picked us up to take us to the chapel. We chopped all the veggies & filled up the font. Then we had Tan's baptism! The spirit was so strong. I'm so blessed to have been a part of his journey. He is such a great example to me & has strengthened my testimony more than I thought possible. He brought his girlfriend & friend, who were both really interested, so we will start teaching them this week. After the baptismal service, we ate hot pot with the ward! 
OCT 24TH Today we had weekly planning, which was intense because #triolife & companion inventory don't mix well. Then we had lunch & went to the library to do our progress record. After, we took a 40 minute bus ride to an island to see two less actives. Neither one of them were home though, so we walked to the coast. It was so cold & raining so hard, but we got to go to the beach so it's okay! After, we visited a member with 7 cats. 

OCT 25TH This was my first time at church in Colchester! It was exciting meeting all the ward members. In the morning, a potential investigator named Sabrina texted us to see how she can come to church. It was such a miracle because we hadn't followed up with her (I know... We are terrible hahah) to come to church! So she came & we set up another appointment with her :) then we taught the young women class & it went really well, & made me miss young womens. After church we went to visit the less active that hates Americans. She said a lot of other rude things to me & can't stand me just because I asked her how long she has been a member for. Anyways, she's a child of God & is probably a very lovely lady if you aren't American hahahah


image1.jpeg

Sister Sydney Johannes