Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Goodbye Sister Wilson

Wow. Where to even begin. This week has been a crazyyyyy one, so imma dive right in.

So, taking you back to last Monday, the 18th. We planned a big party for Elder Packer, since he is going home tomorrow. Everything was nice and planned out for a barbecue at a member's home who lives on base. So the Elders and other Sisters in our district arrive, and we get ready to check into base, THEN we find out one of the Sisters didn't have a picture ID, which means she couldn't get on base. Since it was a barbecue, we didn't really have a way to transport it outside. SO, we decided to go out and do a blitz together before the barbecue since the other Sisters couldn't stay because it was literally impossible for them to get there. As we were driving everyone to a location, all of a sudden the power steering goes out. Poor Sister Wilson was mustering all of her strength to turn. THEN the ABS brakes went out. THEN the windows stopped being able to roll up. Then just about everything that could happen with the car, happened. Luckily we made it to the location to do our finding. We met a super great guy! He had the prettiest dog I've ever seen - German Shepherd/Husky mix. Look it up. Supa cute. After [our finding blitz] and saying goodbye to the other Sisters, we returned back to the base in our struggling car for the barbecue. It was a lot of fun to chillax and eat some burgers and watermelon. Super sad to not have the other Sisters there, though.

So take us to Tuesday. We had interviews with President and Sister Stevens in Norwich. It literally lasted all. day. long. Traveling there for 2 hours in the morning, being there for 6 hours, then traveling 2 hours home. Don't get me wrong, I loved every second of it, but man oh man was it a long day! President gave an amazing training about changing. And not just changing, but "changing aggressively." That was a phrase that Elder Kearon used in the conference we had with him. President focused on the fact that we need to be diligent and have a vision of what we want to become and what we want to accomplish. He shared a quote that I loved: "Why is it so critical to have a correct vision of this divine destiny of godliness of which the scriptures and other witnesses so clearly testify? Because with increased vision comes increased motivation." (Tad R. Callister) I have seen how true this statement is throughout my entire mission. When I really have a goal set in my mind, my motivation increases drastically, and I have the determination to work hard to achieve that goal. It was just a good day overall.

Wednesday was another crazy weird day. In the morning we were contacting the mission office about our car issues, and they told us to get it in the shop as soon as we possibly could. So quick rearranging of plans, and we were all settled to drive the rickety car to the shop... except the car would NOT start. Wouldn't hold a charge when it was jumped. It was dead. After hours of hustle and bustle, finally a nice old man that had moss growing on his teeth came to help us out. We ended up having to tow the car to Bury St. Edmonds and took a nice journey with our new friend Nigel. Then we were stuck in Bury for 3 hours before someone could come give us a lift. The really crazy happening of the day was that I woke up with a 4-year old song stuck in my head, and I told Sister Wilson about how random it was. THEN in Bury there was a street performer singing and playing his guitar, and BOOM he starts singing the song stuck in my head. What are the odds? Sister Wilson and I just looked at each other and were in awe hahaha.

Then we had to begin the adventure of not having a car in our area, which happens to just be massiveeeee. But, with the opportunity to walk a bit more, I have realised just how much I LOVE walking because then I'm actually able to talk to people, and take in the sun and enjoy the fresh (but very humid) air! So it's been a nice little break from sitting in a car from place to place. The only downside is that we just can't make it to certain places with public transport, and it's too far away to walk, soooooooo that puts us in a pickle. Luckily the members are great, and they're so willing to help.

The beginning of this past week was SO HOT. And SO HUMID. Fun fact for ya, since it doesn't get very hot very much in England, the concept of air conditioning of any sort in homes is just unheard of. So, being on the 3rd floor of our flat complex, and not being able to open windows because of the creepy crawlers (oh yeah, screens for windows are also a foreign concept) we have been DYING of heat. Falling asleep has been so rough. Thankfully, a member very kindly offered us a fan of theirs to cope. And let me tell you, that fan has just about saved our lives.

Sister Wilson and I have been working very hard to find new people for our teaching pool, and we met a man that was very open to us coming to tell him more about the gospel. We went to meet with him, and he expressed to us that he has been very depressed and has had thoughts about ending his own life because there is just nothing making him happy anymore. He has cancer, and he's living in a motel until the council housing can find him a more stable place to live. His daughter who has four kids has many health issues and is constantly in and out of the hospital. His parents passed away last year and he's just really struggling to find any glimmer of hope. We hope that we can help him see that he CAN have happiness if he relies on the Lord, and that the spirit will be able to comfort him. It's very humbling to see people in such meager circumstances, and it just makes my heart ache. I hope the gospel will change his outlook, and change his life.

I realise you may be wondering about what my fate is with transfers and... I'll be staying in Thetford! Unfortunately Sister Wilson will be leaving me, she will go to Northampton, BUT I'll get another great companion named Sister Hudson! I'll update you more about it next week! Stay tuned ;)

Sister Syddall

Monday, July 18, 2016



I'm gonna try to make up for the sad sad email I sent last week. I can't promise that it will impress... but... I will try.

On Wednesday this week we had a whole lot of time to find find find! I've got to say, finding in these tiny little villages has made me greatly appreciate the amount of people in Stevenage. We were just street contacting and met some nice people, but nobody was wanting to hear more. Then the people started disappearing off the street (the whole 5 of them haha) and we decided to try out some tracting. So we go to one of the few streets in Brandon and start tracting and literally NO ONE was answering their doors. Then after attempting like 7 doors, an old lady comes out and is like "why are you knocking on all these doors?! This is for 65 and older, none of these people will answer the door." So we were like "ohhhhkayyyy" and we tried our luck with another street. We were just going along, preaching the word, doing our thang, when a woman answers the door and is like "oh, I'm busy right now, but I can talk for a minute." So we start sharing about the Book of Mormon... and it all just went downhill from there. She started ranting on for a good 45 minutes, and we were lucky to get a few words in. She was very set that the Bible is the only thing we need, and she was not at all open to hear any answers. When it all came down to it, the only thing we could do was to bear testimony. It's interesting, because it's in these moments when people question my faith that it grows even deeper. I can feel the spirit just burning in my heart and I want so badly for these people to know about this wonderful gospel! But, we've all still got our agency, so I'll just keep testifying away, and hope the spirit will touch someone's heart as my companion and I do.

After district meeting this week we took "family pictures." I believe I've explained this before, but it may have been an eternity ago. So... Sister Wilson is my "step daughter," and she is Elder Packer's "daughter." Elder Meier is Elder Packer's "son," and since I'm the sister in the district that has been out the longest, he is also my "son." So we thought we could take an awkward Christmas card photo. And yes, I know it's a bit weird, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity haha.

Friday we headed to Colchester for exchanges with the STL's. I had the opportunity to be with Sister Wright and it was just SO good. I always learn so much from different sisters! We stayed the night, and Saturday morning we had the soccer game of ALL soccer games. I'm talking me, my companion, the Sister Training Leaders, another set of sisters, the Assistants to the president, the zone leaders, and another set of elders. It was a madhouse. And the grass was supa wet and slippery and the two attempts I made to actually kick the ball, I a) missed the ball like a noob, and b) almost slipped and killed myself. It was pretty crazy hahaha. My skills are not needed on a soccer team, but it was good fun!

We headed home on Saturday morning and helped a sister in the ward decorate cookies for her son's baptism. Again, just like soccer, that is not my strong point. All I was asked to do was write a simple CTR, and yet I struggled so bad haha. Then we rushed off to teach an investigator named David. He's the nephew of some members in our ward, and he's been here a little over a month. We've been teaching him the discussions, but he will be going home to Las Vegas tomorrow :( Hopefully the transition from us to the missionaries there will go smoothly. Then we rushed off to the baptism we had decorated cookies for, and ate loads of banana bread. Since the baptism ran a bit long, our finding time was cut short, but we KNEW if we had the faith, we would find someone prepared. When we were just about to end our finding, we stopped a girl from Lithuania and she was SO happy and nice! She's so excited about the Book of Mormon, and we will be seeing her again this week! Heavenly Father always answers those prayers, it's amazing!

I had a random allergic reaction this week to either cherries or fresh mango... haven't debunked exactly what it was because I'm too scared to try anything to find out. I was coughing and my throat was itchy and my whole body started to itch, so I took some Benadryl, and let me tell ya, that just about KILLED me. I was practically a zombie for the rest of the day, but I pushed through. I fought through the sleepiness, and am still here to tell the tale.

Oh, I can't believe I haven't mentioned Elder and Sister Park to you yet!!! They are the senior couple here over the military relations, and they are just SO great! We have FHE with them every Monday evening, and they help us out all. the. time. Ahhh, I just love them. They're so fun! Elder Park is just about the funniest guy ever. I don't have a picture of him right now, but I'll be sure to get one. Elder Park taught us how to play chess, so that's exciting haha!

Today we are having a barbecue for Elder Packer because he goes home next week! AND it's super sunny AND it's super warm AND we get to play frisbee, so what could be better?! I hope you all have a super duper fantastic week! Love you ALL!

Sister Syddall

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

1 year already gone?!

Hello everybody!

So... I can't believe this has come, but I literally have zero time to compose an email this week!! I can just say that this week was great! Right now we do not have a whole lot of people to teach, BUT that's ok! Gives us the opportunity to find find find! We've met a few really nice people, and we will continue to search. I love being a missionary. I love sharing the gospel. And I love my Heavenly Father and Saviour more than words can describe. I hope you all have an amazing week!

I promise I'll give you all something more to work with next week! Love you!

Sister Syddall

The sisters in the zone :)

 The member that got me a cake to celebrate my 1 year. So sweet!

Me and the comp.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016



Happy 4th of July everyone! I hope you all have an amazing time celebrating with fireworks and hotdogs and hamburgers and SUN! This week has just been a blur (pretty sure I say that every week haha) and super super fast, so I'll try to recount the highlights!

A car selfie for good measure.

This week we had the opportunity to hear from Elder Kearon of the Seventy. It was so great to be able to hear from him again just a few short weeks after we heard from him and Elder Oaks. This conference was so great! We began by hearing from Sister Stevens and she focused on lighting the fire of faith within ourselves. Then we heard from President Stevens and he talked about the power to baptise. Then we heard from Elder Kearon and he talked about... well... practically every aspect of missionary work haha! I think he had a solid three hours of talking to us (with a subway and water break in between, of course). It was just so good. Something that I loved that he focused on was that being happy is a part of our nature. In essence he said "I don't care if you say you're not a morning person, or you're too shy to talk to people. Because we have the gospel of Jesus Christ and a testimony of the Plan of Salvation, happiness is automatically a part of us. So show it!" He challenged us to "attack the day" from the moment we wake up to the moment we lay back down at night. He challenged us to pray more earnestly for the people we are teaching. He challenged us to "become the message." He challenged us to show gratitude for the hardships we face while in the field because that is what will make us grow and learn. He challenged us to overcome the natural man tendency to judge those we see, and to talk to everyone and to invite everyone to learn of the gospel. He said, "We WANT to smell the aroma of cigarette smoke on those who walk into our chapels. We want to see tattoos and piercings. We want to have people of ALL TYPES learning about the gospel message." This is only a fraction of what he went over with us. It was truly an amazing meeting and the spirit was so strong.

Me and Sister Mekonnen!!!!

We also had a ward 4th of July campout with the two wards at a campground this weekend, but of course, since it's light until 10pm, we missed the fireworks and patriotic festivities :(  BUT it was still great to talk with members and so many of them had invited neighbours and friends, so we were able to meet some new great people! On Saturday evening we went with a couple of recent converts to the celebration on base, but once again, because of the light, missed the fireworks, so it was a bit of a letdown, BUT we were still with great people!

A lady just casually walking her pony. It's the norm.

Each week of church I start to love going to two wards more and more. Fast Sunday was especially special because I got to hear two testimony meetings, and the spirit is just always so strong! I love having so much time to feel uplifted by the spirit with so many great people. Bring on 9 hours. Hahaha just kidding, that might be pushing it. Then we had a dinner appointment with a family and we got to have a legit Filipino dessert and it was sooooooo good. The ingredients were: plantains, sweet potatoes, tapioca, coconut gel, coconut sport (whatever the heck that is), ice, ice cream, and then the special Filipino touch: PURPLE YAM straight from the Phillipines. I have no idea what that is, but it's heavenly. So so so good. So good. The closest thing that can give you a small idea of the taste is something called "Ube" ice cream. If you find it, I suggest you try it right now!

Well, I'm sorry I don't have more exciting stuff to speak about, but we are on our way to go hiking (in this flat, flat, FLAT place hahaha) and have a picnic to celebrate FREEDOM. LOVE YA'LL!

Sister Syddall