Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bikes vs Sisters


This week has been a blur, and all of the days more or less just run together, soooooo I'll do my best at recalling the highlights!

We were supposed to have an exchange in Watford this week, but one of the Sister Training Leaders was sick, so that has been postponed to this week. Tonight we will be going there, and will be there throughout the day on Tuesday, then we head to London on Wednesday for Sister Searle's 3 week meeting (she's been in the field for 3 weeks... not a 3-week-long meeting haha), then we have a Zone Meeting on Friday. Ay, Caramba. It's going to be a busy week, but I'm looking forward to it!

I am still just absolutely loving training. Sister Searle and I are just like two peas in a pod, so it's been so much fun. And we've seen great things happen! It's quite funny because literally EVERYONE comments on how similar we are. Like mother, like daughter hahaha. But really, we are hoping SO BADLY that we will stay together for one more transfer! We shall see, we shall see.

Still battling with the bikes. I'm truly trying to see the positive side to them, but still struggling. I have a billion bruises on the back of my leg from the pedal hitting it. Oh, and at one point this week, my shoe just whipped off in the middle of riding and the pedal came around and hit me right in the Achilles tendon. P.A.I.N.F.U.L. And let me tell ya, being directionally challenged and riding a bike just do not mix because I can't be holding my iPad and riding at the same time (although I've made attempts...). Seriously, what should have been a 40 minute walk, took like 45 minutes on a bike. Where is the logical sense in that? We just try to hide our faces as we ride with the super good lookin' skirt-and-helmet combo. I can't even imagine what must be going through people's heads when they see us whiz by. I'm sure with time it will get better, and I'm building those leg muscles so I can't complain about that.

Saturday we went to Harlow again to do a big blitz as a zone. The weather was all over the place (what's new?) so we started in the rain and our coats, then ended in the sunshine sweating. Ahhhh England :)  It was way fun to be with the whole zone and to get to work with the members in the Harlow ward! We also had the pleasure of having a little fireside with President Jarvis, a member of the mission presidency. He talked about all of the different things that had to fall into place in order to have the Book of Mormon today, and the things Joseph Smith had to face in order to translate this sacred record. Man oh man, am I GRATEFUL that Heavenly Father blessed us with this set of scripture.

The only picture I got from last week... I'll be better this week!

On Sunday we had a lunch and a dinner appointment. At lunch with the Garnhams, we talked about mission meal experiences. Sister Garnhams once had a cat sit on her food as they were praying, and still proceeded to eat it all. I couldn't beat that one hahaha. For dinner we had an appointment with the SWEETEST Filipino family, and as we shared a spiritual message, the dad started talking about how when he prays for patience, he feels that his patience is tested even more, so he jokingly said "maybe I need to stop praying!" Then the youngest daughter who is about four said "Dad, if you don't pray I'll have bad dreams!!" Awwwww it was just the sweetest thing. It probably doesn't even sound that sweet, but ya just had to be there.

Today we were supposed to go bowling with the district, but my dreams got dashed when we went in and they said the next available time was 6:00pm :,( but I'm recovering. Better luck next week!

Love you all so much!

Sister Syddall

Monday, May 23, 2016

Stinging Nettle

Hello Everyone!

This week has just flown by, where to even begin? Well, I'll begin by telling you about a little shortcut by our flat that takes us to the main road that we walk down. When I arrived in Stevenage it was nice and cut off a good few minutes of our walk. It's a little path through the forest, and it's just been great. That was until every single plant {ever} just bloomed within the span of about 2 days, I swear. Every time we go down it, it seems like it's grown way more wild (Stevenage went from brown and bland to green and beautiful in like 5 seconds). So this week I had my first encounter with stinging nettle. And lemme tell ya, that stuff hurts sooooooo bad. Oh my goodness, my leg just barely brushed against it, but it stung for a good hour. So yeah, that shortcut is no longer in use. Sad day. We also saw a little kid fall off of his bike into a bush of stinging nettle. Poor kid.

We met with a new Chilean family in our ward, and we are excited to start teaching their daughter to prepare for her baptism! The children literally speak NO English. Not a lick. So it will be very interesting to see how it goes! I have a feeling we will be using a lot of charades and pictures haha. I'll keep you all updated.

Had to eat steak and kidney pie again this week. Just thinking about it gives me the chills. That's all I have to say about that haha.

We had such an AMAZING conference with President and Sister Stevens. They focused on the culture of our mission, and what makes us stand out. Now, in the mission we have some things that make us a bit unique, like the fact that we wake up at 6:29am (not gonna lie, that one does not make the most sense to me), and a couple other things, but they went over a new motto for us that I LOVE:

Obedience is the price.
Faith is the power.
Love is the motive.
The Spirit is the key.
Christ is the reason.

And that's the mission all wrapped up into a little paragraph! I truly just LOVE this work. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the whole entire world right now! Even when people are flaky and we walk for miles and miles and it's cold and rainy, I still can't help but just feel so much JOY in this work.

OH, I don't know if I've ever mentioned this, but I apparently have this habit where I teach the lessons in my sleep...? I don't even know what's up with that haha, but every companion I've had has made comments on it. I don't even dream about teaching people, so I don't know where this is coming from. My poor companions that wake up to me preaching the good word.

Favourite tracting moment from the week:

*knock knock knock* old lady answers the door
Us: "Hello!"
Her: "UGH, religion? No, no, no. I will not talk about religion on my doorstep. I do NOT think people should be knocking on doors trying to sell Jesus. I know they all say that Christ did it, but if HE were here today, I don't think he'd be doing this. I am a Christian, and I am happy going to my own church."
Me: "Okay, how do you think we should approach people?"
Her: "Well... I don't know... but not like this!"

Ahhhhhh. The logic of people is just great, isn't it?

Today for pday we went on an adventure with the zone leaders (we were dyin to get out of Stevenage), and we ended up at some super old falling apart church (had a battle with a TON of stinging nettle) and then some MASSIVE gardens of an 84-year-old man that is apparently the cousin of the queen. It was seriously just breathtaking! The pictures won't even do it justice. Today the weather has just been perfect and warm and everything is just so green and pretty!

Well, LOVE YA'LL! Have a fantastic week!

Sister Syddall

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sister Searle, like Pearl

Hello everybody!!

I hope you have all had a fantastic and wonderful week! There have been some big changes over here this week, so I'll just get on with that!

My new companion's name is Sister Searle, and she is just AMAZING. I'm tellin' ya, I couldn't have picked a better one! She's from American Fork, Utah, and we just get along so so well it's insane. We are already freaking out about the prospect of being separated next transfer haha. And I'm really freaking out because that could very well happen due to the fact that this will be 6 months for me in Stevenage at the end of this transfer! Training thus far has been just amazing. There is such powerful faith in every new missionary, and we just see MIRACLES. It's been so fun to see her recognise all of the little miracles, and it has helped me open my eyes more to all of the amazing blessings Heavenly Father gives his missionaries!

Wednesday was such a crazy and tiring day! All of the missionaries had to fly in from Provo that morning (the Preston MTC was closed for some reason), so they were all EXHAUSTED. I was sooooo tired from the day before going shopping around London with Sister Hernes, so I couldn't even imagine what these poor new missionaries were feeling like! I was surprised at how nervous I was to meet my new companion. Before we met them, the AP's were like, "ok, so when you meet them you have to talk about your area and just make it sound GREAT" and with all these other missionaries being in areas like Canterbury or Cambridge or London, I was feeling the pressure to make Stevenage sound like it was happenin'.  I don't honestly know if I succeeded at making it sound that great... and then Sister Searle's first dinner experience was with none other than the man who wears short shorts. What a welcome to the mission! He even showed her both of his samurai swords. What a treat haha! But she's had just the BEST attitude towards the work, it's been great. She's so motivated to work hard and find those prepared for the gospel!

On Friday we had a lesson with the Bible basher of ALL Bible bashers. Oh. My. Goodness. We had set a return appointment with her the week before, and when we rang the doorbell she was like "ok, you can come in if you're only talking about Jesus. I don't want to hear ANYTHING about Joseph Smith." So what is the first thing that the member with us talks about?!? "Well, Joseph Smith..." Face palm. Then it just all went downhill from there. I have never had a lesson with someone essentially just yelling at us and telling us that we are wrong and that we are spreading the devil's word, and that we have been deceived... like wowza. I felt so bad that Sister Searle had to experience that on her second day! Honestly, it truly breaks my heart to see someone feel like that. It was making me frustrated as well, because in that moment when someone is denying what you KNOW to be true, you just want them to understand and give what you're saying a chance. The only thing we could do for this lady was to bear our testimonies. We both definitely learned a lot!!

The rest of Friday was so so great! We met some great people, and we taught this man named Sean who has such a strong desire to know if God is really there. The spirit was very strong throughout the lesson, and we were able to extend a baptismal date to him for June! We look forward to teaching him more. We went to the Azzarian's for dinner and they are just the BEST. They thought my birthday was May 13th rather than June, so they gave me birthday presents and a cake. Then they were like "well... we will do it again next month!" Hahahaha I just love them.

Saturday was a bit rough. All of our appointments essentially fell through, AND I burnt the heck out of my fingers. I may have touched a hot stove... but it's healing, it's healing. I may not have fingerprints, but it's healing. This was a very pointless and random paragraph. Just thought you like might to know of my stupidity.

I am so excited for this upcoming week! I am excited for this transfer! I am excited for the rest of my mission! I am excited for my life! I'm just excited, ok?! I love you all!

Sister Syddall

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Hello folks!

This week has just been so great! England experienced a heat wave, which just had me pleased as punch. To the English, a "heat wave" is like 70 degrees, BUT I'll take it. The weather has been so so perfect, and all of the trees have pretty flowers, and I didn't have to wear a jacket, and there was NO RAIN. It stays light until about 9pm, and I hear that in a few weeks it won't get dark until about 10. Ahhh it's just so great! My poor pasty white skin, though, I got a bit of a burn, but I suspect it will turn into a bit of a tan so all is well. England is just beautiful and green and flowery and it's just great! I've loved it so so much. But, like all good things, it must come to an end. Today it's just a rainy and gloomy day in London, but I guess that's a fitting send-off for Sister Hernes because it just wouldn't be London without rain, am I right?

Some other exciting news from the week is that I will be... *drum roll please*... staying in Stevenage! I will be training a brand new missionary! I am so so excited, but I gotta be honest, I feel a wee bit of pressure because this will be the girl's first taste of missionary life, so it's got to be pretty dang awesome. I am excited to meet her tomorrow and start a great transfer! I don't know who she is or where she is from at this point, but I'll let you all know next week.

This week has been a bit weird because it's felt like it's zoomed by, yet thinking about last pday it feels like that was a long time ago?? It's pretty unexplainable, but Sister Hernes and I have just been trying to take in every moment we have together! I have learned so many amazing and wonderful things from her and I am just so grateful for her optimism and attitude towards this work. She's just great and I'll miss her so much!

I don't have much time to write, but I hope the pictures suffice! I'll leave you with my favourite quote from a true English elderly man: "100 miles is a long distance to us, like 100 years is a long time ago in history to you Americans." Hahaha, I think I've heard more about the fact that America has no history than anything else! But I am still #proudtobeanamerican. Love you all!

Sister Syddall

Loving these sunshiny days! 

At a barbecue on Sunday. 

Yes, we DID buy matching skirts :) 

The sisters with roses are going home. Every sister companionship in our zone had a sister leaving... which is pretty unusual.

 Lunch on the beautiful steps in Stevenage after Zone Meeting. Doesn't this just make you want to visit this place to see the beauty with your own eyes? hahaha

Lou and Martin! Great people!

Sue and David :)

This is from a zone blitz that we did in Harlow. We all worked in that area for the day and saw some great success! AND we ate at Five Guys. I mean, what could be better?

Monday, May 2, 2016


Hello Familia and Amigos!!

This week has been a bit crazy, but it has also been way good, so let's just get right into that!


Last Monday in the evening we got to venture over to Watford again for an exchange with the Sister Training Leaders, and that is always fun! Luckily, some very kind members from the ward were willing to give us a lift there, so it saved us about 1.5 hours on the journey. We worked in Watford for the day on Tuesday, and I had the opportunity to work with Sister Fitts. I also had the pleasure of riding bikes... Now, don't get me wrong, it's nice to get from point A to point B a lot quicker, BUT riding a bike in a skirt is not a very easy feat. I'm pretty sure I spent more time looking at my skirt and adjusting it than I did looking ahead. That may be why I ran into a garbage can... but that's besides the point. The important part is that I'm alive and I got a good leg workout in for the day. I did not realise until I got on the bike just how much coordination a person could lose over such a short period of time. Man, was I wobbly! But with time I got a bit more stable. Oh, and I can't forget to mention that, although the day started out bright and sunny, it started SNOWING while we were riding?!?! We were just like "where the heck did this come from??!?!" But, as always on exchange, I learned so many great things and I was able to set some goals, which is always wonderful!

The Azzarians - they are so great!

Wednesday we had a dinner appointment where we made the food for a recent convert and her husband. What could be better (and easier, for that matter haha) than tacos?! I've gotta say, I didn't even realise how much I truly missed tacos! The lack of Mexican food here is quite disheartening, but hey, at least they have some good curries! Oh, and I have to say the most entertaining thing of the night was me trying to explain to these English people what PUDDING in America is. I came to the conclusion that it is a dessert-type thing that is commonly packed in school lunches, having a consistency a bit thicker than custard. They were just baffled because to them it's just any type of dessert. BUT fun fact of the day: in this neck of the woods, apparently "pudding" means that it is a large quantity, and "dessert" is more commonly used for a small quantity. At least that's what they told me. If it's incorrect, don't quote me on that haha.

Thursday we got to have the funeral for Sister Hernes... even though she still had two weeks left (that's besides the point)! We had some nice speeches and sent her off with none other than a personal rap song (because who doesn't love a good rap?). The zone leaders weren't able to come, so there was just four of us, BUT it was still a blast. I'm so sad my Norwegian pal will be leaving me in just a week :'(  I've learned so many good things from her! She's such a powerful missionary.

The whole crew is here...

Sad day

I also heard the most English phrase I have EVER heard at a dinner appointment on Friday: "If you toot your hooter 3 seconds after the light turns green, I'll sit on my bonnet and watch the birds fly by!" TOOT? HOOTER? BONNET? It kills me hahahaha.

With our main guys in the back haha

Kathy - the hilarious Chinese sister. She is such an angel. She has a heart of gold and just serves EVERYONE! I hope to be as great at serving as she is someday. And of course ANDREW! He's doing great :)

With Mother's Day coming up THIS SUNDAY, I thought it would be fitting to share my favourite quote about moms :)  This is from October 2015 by Jeffrey R. Holland:

"Bear, borne, carry, deliver. These are powerful, heartening, messianic words. They convey help and hope for safe movement from where we are to where we need to be - but cannot get without assistance. These words also connote burden, struggle, and fatigue - words most appropriate in describing the mission of Him who, at unspeakable cost, lifts us up when we have fallen, carries us forward when strength is gone, delivers us safely home when safety seems far beyond our reach. 'My Father sent me,' He said, 'that I may be lifted up upon the cross; ...that as I have been lifted up ...even so should men be lifted up ...to ...me.'

"But can you hear in this language another arena of human endeavor in which we use words like bear and borne, carry and lift, labor and deliver? As Jesus said to John while in the very act of Atonement, so He says to us all, 'Behold thy mother!'

"Today I declare from this pulpit what has been said here before: that no love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child."

I am so grateful for all of the wonderful mothers in the world, and especially those who have touched my life and been an example to me! And I'm grateful for the number one mama in my life, Mama Tina! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, MUM!

Have a great week everyone!

Sister Syddall