Thursday, April 14, 2016

CEREAL KILLERS



This week we had zone conference & we got to go to Hyde Park for it! So we decided to be the average tourist & wake up at 5am to go to a posh cereal cafe in London. We met another district in London & all went together. The place is called Cereal Killer Cafe (our district leader was so confused when we said we wanted to go there cuz he thought we meant serial killer not cereal killer...). It was pretty much just overpriced cereal, but I love cereal so it's okay. 

White Cliffs with the crew
So after being temporally fed, we decided to go to zone conference & get spiritually fed (sorry that's so cheesy). Zone conference was great though! Way better than posh cereal. We talked a lot about Jesus Christ & his atonement & I learned so much about how I can become a better missionary/disciple/person. I'm pretty sure I said this last week, but being on a mission is seriously the best because we are able to not only change our behaviours, but our natures. As we apply the atonement into our lives, we are able to overcome all of our weaknesses & become the person God sees as our potential. And the mission is (one of) the best places to do it! 

Sister Smith is finally leaving to her actual mission in Arizona
When I go home, it's not going to matter if I was the best finder in the mission, or a master teacher, or that I baptised the most people. What my family will see is the change the mission had on me. They will see the growth (spiritually, emotionally, & hopefully physically #short) I went through & the person I've become. They will never see that I had the highest member presents or the most people on date for baptism. They will only see the impact that my missionary service had on me, individually. 

Idk, I've just been thinking about that a lot lately... I'm sorry if that was confusing... It made more sense in my head, I promise. 

Anyways, random things that happened: 

- I got a package in the mail with an interesting looking skirt in it (it was see through). The package had no return address or letter inside. It was seriously just my address, UK postage, & a skirt. #solvethemystery of the transparent skirt
London Graffiti
- My investigator says he likes to meditate to receive answers to prayers, so in call-ins with my district leader I called him the master mediator & now everyone keeps saying medi-tater, like tater tots. 
- I keep wanting to talk all the time (like in lessons & finding) so Sister Carr was making fun of me & said "Sister Johannes is an independent woman who don't need no companion." Now we laugh all the time cuz we think we are so funny. 
- I'm really bad at telling funny stories. 
Sisters at the White Clifffs
- I went on exchange & we ended up accidentally posing for an advertisement for alcohol lol. 
- Sister Carr blew her soup up in the microwave (remember when I said I blew my hot chocolate up?) 
- We are going to have a baptism every weekend (besides conference weekend) until the middle of April! Yassss!!! 
- Two transfers ago I had to give a training in district meeting on patience, & this coming week I have to give another training on patience (& charity). Clearly I need to learn an important lesson. 
- I have been eating so many vegetables recently, my mom would be so proud. 
- We made a bet with the Elders that if we found a certain number of investigators by last Friday they would give me a smoothie, & we won, so now I'm going to get a smoothie. It's been over 9 months since I've had one. Crying tears of joy right now. 



Sister Sydney Johannes

WHITE CLIFFS & FLYING SPOONS


If I'm being completely honest, I have no idea what I wrote about in last weeks email, which means I have no idea what I'm going to talk about in this weeks email. 

I love being a missionary though! You are in an atmosphere where you can focus solely on the gospel & on others. One thing I've learned on my mission is the importance of forgetting myself in the work. When I dedicate my whole heart to the Lord, I am able to become the person God sees as my potential. I am able to be shaped into the kind of person I never thought I could be. And it's when I sacrifice my will for God's will that this change is able to take place. 

Anyways, the highlights of the week:

- Our friend from Brazil will be getting baptised on March 26th! She is inviting all of her friends & family to church & to meet with us as well. She is so amazing! 

- We got a referral from another sister in the mission & it was for an 18year old Albanian boy. We called him right away & set up an appointment for Saturday. When we taught him, he was so excited to be baptised & was willing to work toward the date of April 16th. After church in Sunday, we were talking with him & he says he believes Joseph Smith is a prophet & that the Book of Mormon is true, & wants to be baptised sooner! He also said he will serve a mission after he is baptised! 

- We visited an investigator of the elders & his mom to give her a Book of Mormon (because she is less active & really wanted a new copy). Oh my days. It was the craziest appointment. Their dogs were going psycho & kept jumping on us & fighting with each other. And the two people we were visiting never stopped talking. It was like they didn't even have to breathe between sentences, they were just a never-ending stream of words. They would talk over each other as well, so I would listen to one & sister Carr to the other. It was chaos. 

- My companion threw a spoon at my head (I'm gonna let you guess why).

- We went to the White Cliffs in Dover! At one point, we got stuck & legitimately had to climb a cliff (not even joking, & it was tall, & it was scary) 

- I felt sick so I took NyQuil at 7pm (idk what's wrong with me for thinking it'd be a good idea to take it 3.5 hours before I'm actually supposed to go to bed).  I can't remember anything that happened since like 8:15 on & ended up falling asleep at 9:15.

Sorry for the disorganisation of this email. I love you. 





Sister Sydney Johannes

CANADA, EH?

Ayyyyyye! I'm halfway home! I can't believe I've been out for 9 months! It feels like I've only been in England for a couple months. Time seriously goes by so fast. 
In honor of reaching nine months ( Mission traditions are weird)

MONDAY We went to the Cathedral with the sisters from Gillingham (reunited with sister Wright from Colchester!!!), had McDonalds with the Elders, taught our miracle investigator, & went to family home evening with the YSA. We didn't have time to email, so we had to email for 10 minutes at the chapel during FHE, & then literally ran home so we wouldn't be late. At one point I turned around to make sure my companion was still there & I tripped. I ended up just sitting on the ground for a bit & Sister Carr just laughed at me. I was wearing three pairs of tights though, so my knees were protected hahahah. 

TUESDAY  We saw an investigator this morning with a recently baptized couple & the member told him it's okay to not come to church for six months. Sister Carr & I just looked at her like she was crazy hahaha. Oh well, it happens. We also did garden work for a couple hours & then went to Institute with the YSA. One of the recent converts told me that I am her favorite missionary she has ever met because I'm so adorable. This was right after I tripped & dropped my bag in front of everyone. 

WEDNESDAY This morning, we went to Herne Bay to try & find two potential investigators. One of them just told us where she worked (at a care home in Beltinge) so we roamed around to every care home trying to find her. While we were doing that, we found the beach & took pictures (of course). Then we tried to stop by another investigator who wasn't home. So we came home, saw one of our friends & taught her, then saw Pebbles, a recent convert, & talked about family history, then we went to get hot chocolate with one of the members. 

THURSDAY We had district meeting this morning & we had to give the Elders some crazy Chinese fruit because we tied in a challenge. The challenge was to see who could find more investigators & we both got the same number. So they gave us crescents as our gift. We also got Girl Scout cookies though! It was so exciting! After the meeting, we did a blitz with the Elders & found some cool people. Then we saw an investigator & put him on date! Then we rushed to another appointment & taught a family & during the car ride home we almost put her on date, but we arrived at the church so we didn't have enough time. 

FRIDAY We stopped by a family that was referred to us by our zone leader. They are so sweet! When we had first knocked, no one answered. So we were writing outas note to leave them when the mother walked up & invited us inside! They asked so many good questions & told us we can come again! Then we visited a couple less-actives with Elder & Sister Tuttle. 

SATURDAY Sister Carr woke up feeling ill, so we went to the drugstore to get some medicine, then we finished our weekly planning. All of our appointments for the day cancelled, so we did a lot of finding. We tracted & found a really sweet potential investigator from Italy! She let us come inside & shared with us that she used to be Catholic, but lost her faith when her first two husbands passed away. She's so amazing & so strong! 

SUNDAY We had church, then choir practice, then lunch, then twelve weeks, then finding, then a dinner appointment. We met a really cool guy from Canada as well. He says he needs friends, so we are now his friends. 



Sister Sydney Johannes

I'M A MOM

This week has been crazy. The first half of this email will be in Colchester, the second will be in Canterbury, okay? :) 

On Monday we saw four of our friends and put someone on date! In the middle of the day we got a call from President Stevens & that's when he gave me the assignment to follow up train Sister Carr! He also told Sister Lung she was called as a Sister Training Leader. We were both so surprised & nervous for our new assignments, & both so sad that we only got to serve together for one transfer. 

On Tuesday, we ate hot pot with our ex ward mission leader (where he wrote & emailed my weekly email for me haha). Then we went shopping trying to find a new bag, & didn't find one. Then, on our way to a dinner appointment, we ended up on the wrong bus. But a girl called Coral came to us & started talking about how she wants to learn more about Jesus Christ! Miracle!! Then we ate dinner with the Foster's & went to youth night to play indoor tennis.

We woke up at 6 on Wednesday to travel into London for transfers. We met our new companions & then I went to a training meeting for a couple hours. Then we bought Chopstix & traveled home. We got home at 5:40 & ate dinner, then went to meet the bishop.

I can't remember what happened on Thursday. Or Friday. But on Saturday we went to visit an investigator with a member who is preparing to serve a mission. It was such a good lesson & the spirit was so strong as we talked about baptism. Then, we went to the chapel for district council & on the way I ran across the road to stop three boys from Japan. Sister Carr was so embarrassed & they spoke almost no English hahaha. Then we went blitz finding with the elders & I got to find with my son (the elder being trained by our district leader)! We found a really cool atheist who is so excited to meet with us this week. Then we had a ward activity where we did a quiz night. We lost so bad. They had Sister Carr & I plus two children on our team & all the questions were about old British history. 

We went to six hours of church on Sunday because they had the YSA ward here in Canterbury. The Canterbury ward reminds me a lot of my branch in Colorado, so I loved meeting all the members!
 

Miracles: 
We were calling potential & former investigators & I saw someone named Ben. I told Sister Carr how cool he must be because everyone named Ben is cool, so we decided to call him. He was the nicest person I've talked to! He told me that he had unfortunately moved to the London South mission, so he couldn't meet. But when we asked if he knew anyone in the area who would be interested he offered to send us his friends addresses! Then he told us he was going through a faith crisis & was so excited when we offered to send missionaries his way. We gave him the address for Mormon.org & he committed to go online & request missionary visits! 

We got a referral from a missionary in America for his friend. After a week of trying to get a hold of her, she finally got back to us & we set an appointment for tonight! We met her at the chapel with a recent convert called Pebbles. We ended up teaching about the restoration of the gospel & she loved it. She said it was beautiful & was so excited to read the Book of Mormon. She accepted a baptismal date for March 26th as well! She told us after the lesson that she had been so excited to meet with us all week that she already skyped her mom (who lives in Brazil) to tell her she was meeting us & her mom is supportive! It's amazing! 




Sister Sydney Johannes

Sunday, February 21, 2016

HEY CANTERBURY


Yo familio!

This week has probably been one of the best weeks and the worst at the
same time! We celebrated Chinese New Year on Monday and it was a
success, 60 people attended which was way more than we expected and
everyone had a lot of fun. Our ward mission leader is great! The sad
part is that he got released as well this Sunday and now I am leaving
Colchester :'( I am getting transferred to Canterbury to follow up
train Sister Carr. Happy to face a new challenge but I have become
really attached to Colchester and the members!

Miracles for this week, we have 10 (TEN) PEOPLE ON DATE FOR BAPTISM!!!
I am happy that we are finishing on a high and are leaving this area a
bit better than how we found it πŸ˜„








Sister Sydney Johannes

I'M PRETTY MUCH CHINESE

This has been a very normal missionary week. It wasn't necessarily bad, nor was it super good. So it was average. 

MONDAY We went to Ipswich for a Zone Pday. We played sports & ate pizza. At one point we did this weird trust exercise (not really sure if that's actually what I can call it hahah) where I had to walk on all the missionaries' hands across the gym. That's a really bad way to explain it. So they held hands with another missionary & while they were standing up I had to walk across their hands.... Anyways, just know that it was scary. 

TUESDAY We taught someone today who speaks no English, so by "we" I mean "my companion taught & I pretended like I understood." Then we taught a few of our other friends at the university. A member who is 16 & preparing for his mission came with us for the last half of the day. In between a couple lessons, we bought pizza (I think that was the highlight of his day). Then we went to Youth Night & played games with the young women. 

WEDNESDAY This morning we went to the uni super early to meet a friend called Heydon. While we were teaching him, a girl came to us & asked if we were a part of a religious club on campus. We explained to her that we were missionaries & while Sister Lung continued to teach Heydon, I talked with Clara about what we do as missionaries. She was so interested & so excited to meet with us. After, we taught Heydon & put him on date for March 18th! Such a miracle! 

THURSDAY Today was Sister Lung's birthday! We went to a Japanese restaurant & Sister Lung ate sooo much raw fish. Then we saw a couple friends & put them on date! We had correlation in the evening & our ward mission leader brought cake & party hats. 

FRIDAY We had zone meeting & learned about the importance of the sacrament, both for the people we are teaching & ourselves. Then we had zone lunch at Subway & went back to Colchester to see our friends. 

SATURDAY We helped paint someone's house in the morning, then saw some friends. 

SUNDAY We taught the Plan of Salvation in Young Women's class. Then we went to visit an elderly member in a care home & sang to her, then we did weekly planning & had dinner at a member's home. 

MONDAY All day long we prepared for the Chinese New Year family home evening ward activity (that's such a long name). It was so fun & so many of our friends came to the activity! I'm a professional at making Chinese food as well hahaha. 





Sister Sydney Johannes

LIFE ISN'T EASY


Okay I've rubbish at keeping a journal this transfer, so I can't really remember what happened this week. But in short: 

- We had exchange & I went to Ipswich while Sister Lung stayed in Colchester. She put someone on date for baptism in February & I taught a 10 year old Portuguese girl & met a crazy less active Chinese member. 
- Remember when I said how creepy we were & that we find people through Facebook? IT WORKED! We talked to someone & he said he wanted to meet right then, so we met him & put him on date for February! It's crazy! 
Taniesha & her family were baptised! 

- We had a really good lesson with a part member family we are working with & the mom (who is not a member) came to Taniesha's baptism & felt the spirit so strong. She wants to be baptised! 
- We had a service night where we packed boxes of food to give to the refugees in Calais. It was a fun night & my arms are super buff now from lifting all the heavy boxes. 
- I hit my 8 month mark! 
- I sing all the time. No joke. At church: singing. In a lesson: singing. Knocking on doors: singing.  Exercising: trying to sing but failing. Raining: singing. Sunny: singing. I don't even care anymore if people hear me sing because I know I'm terrible & I've embraced it. 
- Our friend who was baptized called the Melchizedek priesthood the mel-cheese-adek priesthood in his testimony lol. 

Okay now I'll share something I learned this week/this transfer/throughout my whole life:

It is necessary that we go through trials & hardships in order to become more like our Heavenly Father. In all things there must be opposition, but when we face that opposition & overcome it, we are able to learn & grow. We are able to become the person that our Father in Heaven sees us to be. Missions aren't easy, life isn't easy, & choosing to be a disciple of Christ will never be easy. But we can find comfort in knowing that after every trial, comes a blessing. Each challenge is leading us down a path to the best blessings. So never give up, just keep going. 





Sister Sydney Johannes

θΏŽηŒ΄ζ™šζœƒ

AHHHH I love and miss you. Thanks to everyone who has sent me emails recently. I cannot thank you enough for all the support you have given me. This week was pretty normal, nothing too special or too crazy.

MONDAY We went bowling with our district! I've wanted to go bowling my whole mission, & I finally convinced everyone to go. Yasssss. 

TUESDAY This morning we had district meeting, then went to lunch at a Chinese buffet, then to the university to teach our friend named Andrew. He is from New York! Seriously one of the only Americans I've met since coming to England hahaha. 

WEDNESDAY The best part of this day was that our recent convert, Liu, bought us lunch. We did a bunch of finding as well. In the evening, our district came together to watch a worldwide missionary broadcast. The leaders talked to us about teaching repentance & baptizing converts. One of the most powerful statements I heard was said by Elder Anderson. He said that if we speak of Him, Jesus Christ, He will speak of us to our Father in Heaven. As missionaries & representatives of Jesus Christ, we need to "always keep His name on our lips." We need to use every opportunity we have to share about Him & His resorted gospel. 

THURSDAY Today was an average day. In the evening we had a dinner appointment with the Watling's, but ended up accidentally arriving 40 minutes early. We decided to stop by a former investigator that lived in the area to make the most of the time. When we got there, she immediately let us in & was so excited to see us. We talked about her experience with missionaries in the past & she said that the reason she had stopped meeting with them before was because she had no time with the job she is working. But she recently got a new job & has time to meet with us again! She also shared that normally she is not back from work at the time we stopped by, but today she finished early! It was amazing that the Lord has provided both us missionaries & her with time to see each other this day! 

FRIDAY Today we met an older member in town to teach with us at the university. Oh my, she is so full of energy & loves life. It's impossible not to smile when you are around her. When we got to the uni we taught a 7 Day Adventist & committed him to baptism. Then we were supposed to teach two investigators at 2 & 3, but they both slept in... Until 3:30. Sometimes teaching uni students is hard hahahah but I remember doing the same thing when I was at byu, so I can understand them. Later that evening we also had a dinner with a part member family & they made us Indian spinach curry with fish & it was so good (MOM I ATE MORE FISH!!). 

SATURDAY Today we were supposed to teach one person, but they blocked our number, so we are lunch with the member we were with, Jason. He told us he wanted to study fashion & then critiqued our outfits hahaha. We saw some other people, & then made cookies for the ward. 

SUNDAY We had ward council & church. Four investigators came to church! It was a miracle because we didn't think they would all be able to come! After, we went to visit a care home & sang with the elders. Then went to the Bueno's home for lunch. 

RANDOM THINGS
- Because we are a Facebook mission, & we are in a university area, we have to start using Facebook to find investigators. So we add a bunch of random people, then message them & eventually lead it to a gospel conversation, then we set appointments, teach them, & baptize them (hopefully). It's so different than normal finding & I feel so creepy doing it, but we have gotten a few really good investigators by doing it. 
- Sister Lung & I are planning a ward activity for Chinese New Year & it will be sick. 
- OUR FRIENDS ARE GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY!!! 


I love you all. Keep being you. 


Sister Sydney Johannes