Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude


It was transfers week, which is somewhat a stressful time, but I must now inform you that I am moving... on to serve another wonderful six weeks in Hayes with Sister Mekonnen! Did I get you there? Probably not, but its fine hahaha. I am seriously SO PUMPED that I get to be here for another six weeks! The first third of my mission will be spent in this wonderful place, and I wouldn't want it anywhere else :) and not to mention, we have not one, but TWO Thanksgiving dinners this week, WOOHOO!

So this week once again started off with a lot of time in the flat, and oh my goodness, I have never been SO antsy to just be outside! Luckily the senior Sisters were able to help out a bit and I was able to get out of the flat with Sister Reeder to go to district meeting on Tuesday. I had been asked to give a training, so I told Sister Reeder that if she got to our flat at 9am, we would be able to make it to the chapel by 10. She and Sister Jackson arrived, and then we were off. Little did we know it was going to be quite the adventure haha. We got on the train and were just makin' our way to Wembly, and after a few stops they announce that there was a passenger accident on the tracks at one of the stations ahead (so sad) and that it would be terminating early. Now I have only come to district meeting ONE WAY every single time, so Sister Reeder and I were just sooooo lost. Also I must mention she had brought a huge box of treats for the  missionaries, and I offered to hold it for her, and my arms were KILLING me. So we were just frantically asking everyone how to get there, and after taking another underground line and two buses, we finally arrived at somewhere I recognised, at Wembly Stadium... on the wrong side (and this place is hugeeeee). We then proceeded to walk about a mile and we FINALLY made it there... and hey, we were only an hour late hahaha. Turns out they waited for us sooooo I was still able to give my training, and all was well.
The wonderful senior Sisters AKA our BFFs

BUT THEN as we were leaving district meeting it was SO dark outside and it was just raining and raining and raining. That morning I didn't think it looked like it was going to rain, so I took my umbrella out of my bag (smart, I know). A couple of the Elders were offering me their umbrellas before we left, but I figured I could make it. So Sister Reeder and I start walking and I realise that it was raining A LOT harder than I had presumed, and I was still carrying this large awkward box and Sister Reeder was trying to share her umbrella with me. A 4'10" person trying to share an umbrella with a 5'10" person doesn't work too smoothly haha. So I just gave up and let the rain pour down. Then we just kept walking and I heard footsteps rapidly approaching us and so I turn around and it was two of the Elders SPRINTING to give me their umbrella. It was just about the sweetest thing ever. Granted, I was already pretty much soaked, but very kind nonetheless haha! There was a lesson learned in all of this: n-e-v-e-r leave anywhere in England without an umbrella!

On Wednesday Sister Mekonnen was feeling a bit better, so we were able to go out with the senior Sisters on exchanges. I went with Sister Reeder to meet with a less active elderly lady, and Sister Mekonnen and Sister Jackson went to do some finding. Sister Reeder and I had a great time and lots of laughs, but her tooth started to hurt her soooooo bad so she couldn't stay out for long. So Sister Mekonnen and I switched back and then went to a lesson to teach "the law of tithing" dun dun DUN. This is always a lesson that's a lil stressful to teach because people's reactions are just unpredictable. But thank goodness the couple we were teaching was SO understanding about it! They told us that they knew they would receive blessings if they lived this commandment!

Saturday night we really wanted to go to a Stake event. They were doing an International Dance thing where each of the wards had prepared a dance number and were performing for everyone else, and everyone was bringing different types of food. Hayes Ward was performing a Brazilian dance (who would've guessed? ;)). So we were trying. and trying. and trying. to find a ride but EVERYONE'S car was full, and it's impossible to get there on public transport. We were feeling a bit discouraged, especially due to the fact that it was FREEZING cold. Just tons of ice cold wind. My hands and feet were completely numb and my nose looked like Rudolph. I'm not even exaggerating when I say this is the coldest I think I have every felt in my entire life. Since we were planning to go to the Stake event, we had to completely set out a new plan. We decided to go see an investigator that we've had a bit of a hard time contacting. We were finally able to catch her, but she was just about to head to work, so we didn't have the opportunity to have a lesson with her. So feeling even a bit more discouraged, we decided that we would stop by a potential investigator that lived nearby and we were just PRAYING that something would work out because it had been a long day. We knock on this guy's door and a super sweet woman answers and tells us to come in while she gets this Samuel guy. We hear her yell up the stairs, "Pastor Sam! Some missionaries are here to see you!" and then we go in and sit in their living room where another man is sitting. We start talking to him and it turns out he is the founder of their church. He was the head pastor, and this Sam guy was a junior pastor. We started to talk to them about the Book of Mormon because they had some questions, and it kind of turned into them just saying how we should be promoting the Bible and not the Book of Mormon, and I was getting a little annoyed honestly. Then Sister Mekonnen read a scripture from the Book of Mormon and their eyes got all big because BOOM the Spirit filled the room. So we left them two copies of The Book of Mormon because they want to read it, and headed out. When we started to leave their little apartment complex, Sam yells out and is like "wait! Pastor's wife made dinner for you!" So we go back in and she had prepared a full-on meal which was way good. Way spicy. But way good. And so the night actually turned out pretty great! The Lord definitely sends miracles in those times when nothing seems to be going right! He knew we needed to be there that night.

Sister Mekonnen loving the fall leaves

 We were trying to take pictures with the swan... it did not really work too well haha.
But you can also see the massive amount of leaves that are everywhere here!!!

The wild swans that we see everywhere! I get so excited every time I see one haha.

I LOVE this time of year. It's truly an amazing time to reflect on how much we have each been blessed in our lives. A wonderful time to thank our Heavenly Father for all that He has blessed us with. I hope that you all strive to have an attitude of gratitude as you celebrate Thanksgiving with your loved ones! Even when times may be hard, there are still so many blessings! I love this quote from President Uchtdorf:

"Perhaps focusing on what we are grateful for is the wrong approach. It is difficult to develop a spirit of gratitude if our thankfulness is only proportional to the number of blessing we can count. True, it is important to frequently 'count our blessings' -- and anyone who has tried this knows there are many -- but I don't believe the Lord expects us to be less thankful in times of trial than in times of abundance and ease. In fact, most of the scriptural references do not speak of gratitude for things but rather suggest an overall spirit or attitude of gratitude."

"It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach?"

"Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I'm suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances -- whatever they may be."

Now I must shoot off as we are going to the one, the only COSTCO. Imma go get me a hot dog :) LOVE YOU ALL! Thank you for the prayers and support!

Sister Syddall

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