Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Animal Farm, an awkward kiss, and English lessons

Hello party people!!

How was your week?? Good? Good. Well I feel like it's been a while since I last emailed... and I also feel like a lot has happened, yet my brain does not seem to be functioning and I literally can't think of where to begin or what stood out. I guess I will try to recount my days backwards and maybe that will jog my memory as I go along.

SO this past weekend was Stake Conference! It was just so so soooooo amazing and good and wonderful, and I just really really loved it! Elder Dryden, an area Seventy, came to the meeting and the points that he shared really stood out to me. He said, "Faith is not an option - it is absolutely crucial ~ critical to our eternal life and exaltation ~ without it, we will not acquire. If we wish to increase faith, we NEED to increase devotion. We NEED to increase obedience. If we determine to be more obedient, it will require us to increase our devotion." WOW. That's all I can say. Obedience is truly what it all comes down to. He then talked about our devotion to read the Book of Mormon. He told us to "NEVER put away the Book of Mormon. You cannot afford to. The study of this book should be a lifetime pursuit." Throughout the whole conference they focused on increasing our own faith and fulfilling the Europe Area Plan which is 1) Bring a friend  2) Find an ancestor  and 3) Become temporally and spiritually self reliant. It was wayyyyy good.

Saturday we got to go to a member's home who actually lives outside of the ward boundaries (woohoo, living the wild life), but don't be concerned, we got permission (because I know you were all very concerned hahaha). BUT they live in just about the most BEAUTIFUL little village I have ever seen! I'm not kidding you, the whole drive there was just rolling hills and beautiful flowers, and I just decided I wanna live there. But then I reconsidered due to the fact that it is literally in the middle of nowhere. Oh, and you know the book Animal Farm? Well, frankly I don't blame you if you don't because that book bored me to tears in high school, BUT the author literally lived next door to the members, and the setting of the book was right where they live. And on the drive there we drove past where they filmed part of the 8th Harry Potter movie. That's pretty cool, am I right?!

On Friday evening we had dinner with some hilarious members from the ward. They introduced us to the "Hello" missionary video which I know you've all probably already seen (link here). Sister Hernes and I have literally been singing that non-stop. It's hilarious and a bit sad how accurate it actually is hahaha. I think my favourite line is "It's no secret that 3 hours of church is a heck of a long time." I still laugh like an idiot every time I even think of that.

Thursday we had a district meeting and I had the wonderful pleasure of giving a training (always my favvvvvvvourite thing to do...) and then on our way home, what should have been a 15 minute train ride took us THREE hours. There was an accident at the Stevenage train station so everything was put on HALT. We had a lesson with a new investigator that we REALLY did not want to miss. Luckily, we were able to make it just in time and had the BEST lesson with him. Sister Hernes said it was one of her top three most favourite lessons from her entire mission. The spirit was so strong, and he has such a strong desire to do what is the right thing, and to know what is right. We have a good feeling about this one!

Hmmmmm what else... we had some random dude probably in his 20's or something kiss us on the cheek. It wasn't like the friendly little English greeting kiss on the cheek, it was a full-on kiss on the cheek.  That was definitely super duper weird hahaha. Sister Hernes and I were just like "what the heckkkkkk?" And to add to the weirdness, missions just amp up a person's awkwardness level about 500%, so it was probably a hilarious sight.

Sister Hernes is studying for some English exam that she has to take for University 10 days after she gets home, and the words she has to learn are just ridiculous. Here is a random selection of the words she has to know: adhere, combustible, cubbyhole, doggedly, jack-of-all-trades, proliferation, retail apparel. Do you see a pattern in these words? Neither do I. Like cubbyhole?! Seriously? It's quite entertaining trying to use these words in a sentence. I am not the best at it hahaha. It makes me have new respect for my elementary school teachers who just whipped out sentence examples for all those spelling tests.

Well, that's all I got for this week! Love you all!

Sister Syddall

*Post post note from Tina*

I received this fun message yesterday ~

Good morning, Sister Syddall!!

This is Rebecca from the Canterberry Ward. My sister, Elizabeth, left last week to visit her in-laws, President and Sister Stevens, in London. She attended church yesterday with your beautiful daughter. She commented what a great missionary she is!

Shilo's quick email message to us about this meeting:

Hello mama and papa! Guess what? President and Sister Stevens' son and daughter-in-law were here and they live in Parker! I just happened to get to meet them since it was our Stake Conference and President and Sister Stevens were speaking at it (what are the odds, right?). They are friends with Zach Leak and Alisa and her husband! It was so funny because right when President and Sister Stevens came in, they were like "hey, we have some people from Parker here!" As I talked to their daughter-in-law she said "Alisa told me to look for you, but when I saw the picture of the 200+ missionaries I didn't think we would actually meet!" Her name is Lizzie and her sister is actually in the Canterberry Ward.  ...It's a small world!

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