Monday, October 26, 2015


Hello, hello, hello!

This week has been good, and I apologise in advance that this letter is a bit all over the place... but let's just get right into it!

This week we had another appointment with our investigator named Raymond, the young-looking grandpa, and let me tell ya, this guy is soooooo hilarious. I think we were laughing for about half of the lesson. At one point he asked us what our full time job was, and when we told him that this is what we do for 18 months, his eyes got about as big as the moon. He was SO taken back by the fact that we do this full time and even more amazed by the fact that we pay for it. But we have had really cool experiences with him. He told us that after reading the introduction of the Book of Mormon, he felt he needed to read it. He has a strong desire to know if it is true. We are so excited to continue to teach him how the gospel can bless his life.

I think this picture proves that missionaries might just be the most unphotogenic group of people on this planet hahaha.

On Friday this week my companion got sick, so it was my first day being stuck in the flat all. day. long. And since I was NOT feeling sick, I didn't feel like I could sit back and relax, so I cleaned. And cleaned some more. Listened to tons of conference talks. Updated our area book. Studied the scriptures. And by the end of the day I truly think I was more exhausted than on a normal day in the field. But hey, our flat looked dang good haha!

On Saturday night we gained an hour of sleep which was sooooooo nice. But the not so nice part is that Sunday night Sister Mekonnen and I literally thought it was like 8:30pm and we looked at the time and it was only 5:15, and we were both like WHAT?! And it was so SO cold. Let me tell ya, England cold is wayyyyyyy different than Colorado/Utah cold. It's humid and wet and just plain coldddddd. And it's not even winter yet hahaha. Poor Sister Mekonnen is not used to any sort of cold weather. She came out on the mission in March, so she just hit the end of last winter, but the cold literally makes her bones hurt. It's all ok when we bundle up nice and warm, though. I will just be practically living off of hot chocolate for the next 6 months.

Something I am not a fan of is whatever their garbage (or should I say rubbish) system is here. It is just not good at alllll. Pretty much you just throw your bags out whenever they're full, and then they just sit in the open until workers come by and throw them into the dumpster truck. By garbage day the streets are disgusting. Seriously, there is just tons of stuff throughout the streets and along the sidewalks, and I pretty much just feel like I'm being contaminated by breathing in the air. And people drop a ton of stuff, so there's always nasty food spilled everywhere. Good thing we have the lovely pigeons to clean that all up (can you sense the sarcasm there?). That is my random rant about garbage. Moving on.

On Sunday night we got to go to bishop's house for dinner, and like I've mentioned many times before, the food is soooooooo good there. We had a whole crowd from the ward over with us. We sang happy birthday to the bishop, and to give you an idea of the diversity, we sang it in SEVEN languages: English (woohoo! I'm so cultured haha), Portuguese, Italian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Spanish, and Amharic (go Sista Mekonnen). It took a good chunk of time, but it was still so cool!

How do you get kids to love you? Let them play with photo booth haha.

This week I read an AMAZING talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland called The Grandeur of God. Elder Holland was recounting scriptures that give us an idea of God's love for each of his children. Beginning by recounting Enoch, he said,

"There, in the midst of a grand vision of humankind which heaven opened to his view, Enoch, observing both the blessings and challenges of mortality, turns his gaze toward the Father and is stunned to see Him weeping. He says in wonder and amazement to this most powerful Being in the universe, 'How is it that thou canst weep? ...Thou are just [and] merciful and kind forever; the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep?'"

"Looking out on the events of almost any day, God replies: 'Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands. ...I gave unto them...[a] commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood. ...Wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?'"

"That single, riveting scene does more to teach the true nature of God than any theological treatise could ever convey. It also helps us understand much more emphatically that vivid moment in the Book of Mormon allegory of the olive tree, when after digging and dunging, watering and weeding, trimming, pruning, transplanting, and grafting, the great Lord of the vineyard throws down his spade and his pruning shears and weeps, crying out to any who would listen, 'What could I have done more for my vineyard?'"

"What an indelible image of God's engagement in our lives! What anguish in a parent when His children do not choose Him nor 'the gospel of God' He sent! How easy to love someone who so singularly loves us!"

This talk is seriously so. good. I suggest that everyone take 15 minutes to read it! God truly does weep for us when we suffer, and rejoices with us when we do what is right. He wants us to make those decisions that will bring us eternal happiness.

I love you all! I hope your upcoming week is magnificent!

Sister Syddall

Monday, October 19, 2015

Come what may, and LOVE it!

Hello! Howdy! Hola! Bonjour!

I hope that you have all had a fantastic week! My week started out a little rough, but through the hardships there are always lessons to learn, which is what life is all about, right?! Although the beginning was trying and hard, I definitely have felt an immense amount of love and comfort from my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. The power of prayer is real, people! Take advantage of that gift, it will turn those hard days into brighter ones, I can promise you that.

Now on the to big change that has happened this past week. I'm no longer with Sister Bader (sad day), and I am now with Sister Mekonnen, and can I just say she is SO amazing. We have already had so much fun together and we work hard, which is the perfect combination in a missionary companionship! We are so excited to hasten the work even further in Hayes. And I haven't gotten us super lost yet, which is success I would say (thank you iPads and google maps haha)! Oh, and she is the first missionary from Ethiopia to ever be called to England, so having had a Swiss, and now her, I would say I've been blessed with the coolest comps of them allllllll.  I am so pumped for what these next 5 weeks hold!

So the day of transfers I was all anxious and nervous and scared and sad to be saying bye to Sister Bader. How it works over here is that you get a call two nights before and they tell you what will be going on. Then we all gather at a train station (which, can I just say, is more confusing than an airport) and swap around our companions. The morning of the transfers we thought that we had given ourselves a good amount of time to get there at 9:15 in the morning, but we quickly realised that lugging around 150 lbs+ of luggage between two weak girls was not the easiest task hahaha. We finally got on the tube and were super stressed because we realised that we would be almost an hour late. But we were mainly glad that our arms didn't fall off in the process. Luckily, when we would get to the long flights of stairs there were kind people who would help us out because I can imagine we were a sight to behold. We finally got to the gathering place only to realise we didn't even need to be in a rush because many companionships were still not there. Then began the wait. We watched as the number of missionaries there trickled down. Then Sister Bader shot off with her new comp and I was with another Sister. And then one hour passed. Then two. Then another 30 minutes. At this point it was just me and that one Sister with the Zone Leaders. Finally our companions showed up (they were more than a 3 hour drive away from where we were meeting, so we were forgiving haha), and then it was another 2 hour trip lugging around even HEAVIER luggage. Oh, and I can't forget to mention that as we got on one of the trains, I hadn't held on yet and it took off and I went flying. FLYING I tell you, into this man, and stepped on his feet. Embarrassing? Yes. Needless to say, when we finally got back to the flat, we weren't too excited to carry everything up the stairs, but we survived! Then we realised we had to go grocery shopping, so yet another 30 minutes of carrying around stuff. My arms were straight up noodles when the day came to an end. Exercise the next morning was not very productive due to the fact that I couldn't put any weight on my arms hahaha. But I am almost back to no soreness, woohoo!!

The rest of the week consisted of finding and more finding and teaching and more teaching. The funniest thing is how confused investigators get when transfers happen, since generally they don't get a warning because WE don't even get any sort of warning. But everyone has just automatically loved Sister Mekonnen because she is just FUN. I am so pumped for these next five weeks! I was a little jealous of her, though, because she just got transferred from an Air Force base, so she was surrounded by my fellow Americans and they were all gearing up to celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas, and they just do holidays a LOT bigger in the good ol' U. S. of A. But I still love my Hayes friends, so I wouldn't want to leave them :)

The sweet Senior Sisters <3 please ignore my awkward hair bump haha

After hearing David A. Bednar's talk a few weeks ago, I decided to study and listen to each of those wonderful talks he spoke about that were the last talks of some of our beloved Apostles. I was studying Joseph B. Wirthlin's Come What May and Love It, and I loved his closing testimony: "I know why there must be opposition in all things. Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives. We can learn to love it. As we look for humor, seek for the eternal perspective, understand the principle of compensation, and draw near to our Heavenly Father, we can endure hardship and trial. We can say, as did my mother, 'Come what may, and love it.' Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ." Although none of us are anxiously awaiting any of the trials that lay ahead, we can constantly be striving to love whatever comes our way. Even though it's not always easy to recognise, always look for what you can learn when hard times come.

I love you all! I hope you have a fabulous week!

Sister Syddall

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Helllllo everyone!

So I am sorry that last week I totally failed to inform you that it is transfers week and that I wouldn't be emailing until Tuesday... even though none of you were probably concerned haha... Ok, well, carrying on. So if you're on the edge of your seat just DYING to know what my fate will be for the next six weeks......................... (Is the suspense building?) well I will be staying in Hayes for my THIRD transfer and I am pumped! Sister Bader will be leaving which is the explanation of the title of this letter :'( but I will be getting a new companion named Sister Mekonnen and she is from Ethiopia! I am way excited to meet her, but I'm also flipping out a little on the inside because I am scared like none other since this area is HUGE and I feel like I'll never know how to get anywhere but that's life haha. This new transfer really creeped up on me. Like how on earth have two transfers already gone???!?! But hey, new things are exciting I guess! The motto I have heard from every. single. missionary. in. the. world. was that the days are long but the weeks are fast. That literally is the most accurate statement I have ever heard.
This is my missionary "family." Sister Bader is my mom, the eyebrows aka Elder Cook is my dad, and Elder Williams is my brotha. I find this whole family thing quite odd, but it's whatever hahaha. And also don't mind that my name tag is practically falling off.

Alright, so I've got a funny little story for y'all. A couple of weeks ago Sister Bader and I were tracting, ya know, just doing our thang, when we met this man named Raymond. He had just woken up when he answered the door so he asked if we could come back later. We tried him again and his family was all there so he asked if we could come back later. We tried him again and his family was all there so again he asked if we could come back. We tried yet AGAIN and he had a huge group of friends over, and so Sister Bader and I were like "Ok, we are going to try ONE MORE TIME" and so we went and he finally could let us in and talk to us! I was thinking every time that we met him that he was 25, maybe 26, but then he started talking and he was like "yeah, I just want to be the best example I can be to my kids and my grandson".... and we were like WUTTTTTT?????? So turns out he's like 10 years older than we had assumed. He's still a very young grandpa but it was seriously just mind boggling.

So this week we had the opportunity to do a service project for a less active member in the ward. We went to help her clean her home, and I am not passing any judgement here, but.... it was the messiest home that I have ever been in. I have never seen so many toys and clothes and shoes and dirty nappies and plates of old food in one place. Thankfully we recruited the help of the senior Sister missionaries in the ward, Sister Reeder and Sister McCann. They are seriously the funniest companionship everrrrrrr. We haven't really done much with them these past two transfers, but man-oh-man how much I regret that! Sister McCann is going home next week after serving in various missions for 4.5 years (she served in Nauvoo before London) and a new companion for Sister Reeder will come out. Luckily we've still got Sister Reeder to bring a whole lot of laughs. We all went to town cleaning that house. I have never seen people as fearless as those two in scraping off mould from the counters and picking up every single crumb off the floor (most of which were actually stuck to the floor). They were such a huge help and we finally made it possible for the member to have a kitchen table to eat on! I would measure that as a success. But it will be interesting to see the home's condition the next time we go to visit...
The prettiest little canal by our flat. Isn't it just the cutest?!?!?!

On Saturday morning we finally had the opportunity to watch the General Women's broadcast! Two weeks late is better than never, right? It seriously was so amazing. Beforehand the stake put together a breakfast with pancakes and eggs and bacon (which is way different than American bacon fyi) and beans that are essentially just in tomato sauce (pretty much their version of baked beans which is a staple breakfast item over here) and hot chocolate. It was so fun to talk to some sisters in the stake and be unified as we watched those inspired messages with others from all around the world (just at a completely different time haha).

Saturday night we had the exciting opportunity to have a lesson with a Jehovahs Witness. That was very interesting if I do say so myself. I don't know how familiar you are with that religious group, but they have some interesting views to say the least and it pretty much turned into her sharing with us about their church. That is not the first time that someone has tried to turn around and teach us, and I am just so glad that I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church that has the complete fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When I hear other people's beliefs, my testimony becomes more and more deeply rooted because it really just. makes. sense. It's as simple as that.

Sunday was Elder Warburton's birthday, so after church our bishop's wife ran up to us and was like "I didn't know it was his birthday!! Oh no, you all HAVE to come to dinner tonight to celebrate!" So after two appointments that we were very excited about, which BOTH happened to fall through (ah, the disappointment) we were able to end the night off with a delicious meal and fun times at Bishop's house! It's always a party when you're with a bunch of Brazilians and Italians hahaha. I also found out from Elder Sowah that my Ghanian name is "Yaa". I think it has a nice ring to it, so I may just go by that from now on hahaha.
The bishop's daughter made little party bags for Elder Warburton's party and they literally just had string in them hahaha but it was still so sweet.

Well.... that's about all I've got for this week. I'm sure that next Monday I'll lots of great stuff to excite you all with, since I'm sure this week will include a lot of getting lost and adjusting and learning! I love you all!

Sister Syddall

Monday, October 5, 2015

Better than Super Bowl Sunday

Hello Friends and Family!!!

How's it going? It's been another superb week this week, and it has been SO sunny, which has just made me super happy. Besides today... it's been raining/misting/sleeting, but we {almost} made it a whole week with nice weather! I can tell winter is rapidly approaching, which is gonna be colddddd. Apparently it gets dark at like 4pm in the winter here, which is a bummerrrr, but I'm sure I'll adjust in no time!

So, what could be better than Super Bowl Sunday you may ask???? Well, my friends, GENERAL CONFERENCE SUNDAY is the answer! I have received quite a few questions pertaining to how general conference weekend works here with the time difference, so I will give you a little outline:

  • 5-7 pm on Saturday we watched the Saturday morning session live at the Stake Center
  • Sunday morning/afternoon we went to a member's home and watched the Saturday afternoon session and Priesthood session (and they fed us a proper English breakfast, and then a proper Ghanian lunch which was SO good)
  • Sunday night we went to our Bishop's home to watch the Sunday morning session live
  • Today we decided to meet up with some Elders and we will watch the Sunday afternoon session!
But oh. my. goodness. The talks that were given at conference were truly SO inspired. I could feel of the Spirit so strongly as I heard those messages. I can't even choose any specific talk that stood out to me the most because every single one held such precious truths! Of course I loved hearing from our beloved prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and his comments about how we can let our light shine; "We become examples of the believers by living the gospel of Jesus Christ in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity... As we do so, our lights will shine for others to see." I love him, and the loving service and guidance he has given the church over all of these years! I also loved hearing the three new apostles that were called. I felt the Spirit so strongly witness to me that they were called of God as they bore their humble testimonies. I invite all of you to go to and read (or re-read) these inspired talks! I promise that they can inspire you, and answer questions that you have.

I got hit in the head by a pigeon this week and can I just reiterate... I. Hate. Pigeons. They are literally the dumbest birds on this planet and they just walk around like they own the world. They don't even fly away if you walk right next to them, so I'm constantly watching my step because I don't want to be a bird murderer. But my heart dropped to the floor when that dang bird hit me.

Hmmmmmm, so not much else happened this week out of the norm... I did visit a psychiatric ward, which was quite the experience. I've just got to say I have a lot of respect for doctors that work there because that is not an easy job. We've had some really good lessons this week... We've done some service... We had a zone meeting... And yeah, that is really all! The work keeps progressing and I still grow to love it more and more every day!

The whole zone... just like one big happy family :)

Now for some random facts:

I do not think that I will ever obtain a liking for fish. It just is not happening for me in the slightest, and we get fed it all. the. time. I feel bad telling people I dislike fish, so I just smile through the pain :,) I even tried shrimp, which in my opinion just tastes like rubber nothingness. One meal had three different types of fish in it, I could see the scales and all, and it seriously tasted like I put the whole dang ocean into my mouth. But I SURVIVED!

I also get asked regularly if I am from somewhere besides the United States. Generally people guess France, but hey, I'll take it. I'll just respond "oui" when people ask me lol.

Well everyone, that's all for this week! I hope you all have a fabulous week ahead!

Sister Syddall