Monday, August 1, 2016

Macaroni and Chocolate Cake

Helloooooooo familia and friends!!!!! So. This week has been super duper wacky. Let me walk you through the craziness.

Like I mentioned last Tuesday, Sister Wilson was being transferred and Sister Hudson was coming here. We got all prepared that day for the move and had a lovely dinner with one of my FAVE families everrrrrr, but for some reason, that whole day I was just feeling sooooo tired and had no appetite. The struggle was real. So we get home that night and planned, and then I was just like "ok I have GOT to go to bed" and so then, only an hour after falling asleep, I awoke, and let's just say my stomach was NOT feelin' good. I guess a nice little round of stomach flu decided to hit me, so I was awake allllll night long. It was a party, lemme tell ya. I finally got one hour of sleep, and when I woke up again I knew that traveling for two hours on a train (and that's only one way) was not going to agree with me, so we called up Sister Stevens and she said to NOT travel. That would not have been a pretty sight, I'm sure. Finally I was able to get some actual sleep and a nice member brought me some Gatorade and saltine crackers (thank you America). It was a very long night/day, and I felt horrible that I caused this jumbled up mess with transfers, but, by some miracle, Sister Wilson and Sister Hudson were simply just trading places, so it only affected one companionship.

Thursday morning I was feeling well enough to travel, and we finally made it to transfers! Turns out that one of the members in Sister Hudson's previous area was just PRAYING so hard that she could just have one more day with her, so I guess if me getting sick was the way her prayer was answered, I'm ok with it hahaha! We also got to pick up our car finally (even though neither of us could drive yet haha). We headed back to Thetford and had a dinner appointment. My sense of appetite hadn't fully returned, but the family we were going to were known for making light, healthy meals, so I thought my stomach could handle it. I still hadn't eaten a full meal up to this point, but I was feeling alright. So we arrive and the first thing that comes out of the member's mouth is "ok, I'm just warning you this is not a healthy meal tonight." THEN she pulls out this huge pan of creamy, cheesy, gooey homemade mac and cheese. Now normally I would be jumping for joy, but I was a wee bit nervous as I dished up my plate and began eating. And this was HEAVY stuff. With each bite I took I could feel my stomach saying, "HALT. STOP. DON'T EAT MORE." But I didn't want to offend the member and didn't want to mention that I had been sick, so after very many smallllll bites, I finished what was on my plate. At that point I was just saying HALLELUJAH that I survived, THEN she brings us these massive slices of rich, dense, cream filled chocolate cake, which again, I would normally loveeeeee, but my stomach was already in shambles. Then she jokingly says "this is going to be like Matilda, and I'm going to force you to finish this cake" and I nervously just start laughing and, once again, start in on my little bites. I {almost} finished the whole piece, but I just couldn't do it. I knew one more bite would've been the end of their nice clean white carpet. I managed to hold it down, but my heart was definitely racing, and I was just constantly thinking of all my escape routes if I was going to.... toss my cookies haha. That was definitely a night I won't forget.

FINALLY by Friday I was feeling almost 100% better and we were able to go to district meeting and have a full day of missionary work! Man, did that feel good! Saturday morning Sister Hudson had to drive with an instructor for three hours so that she's legal, and then we again were able to be missionaries! What a good feeling. Being sick makes you a lot more grateful for all the amazing things we get to do each day!

Sister Hudson is great! She's from Washington and has been out on the mission for 3 months. She's getting more and more comfortable with driving on the wrong side of the road, and she's been so great! I think we will have a wonderful transfer :)

Now, let's leave this on a spiritual note! I was reading in Helaman 5, and then I was reading from the Institute manual, and came across a quote by Elder Bruce C. Hafen that connects with verse 12:

"Someone once said you can't visually tell the difference between a strand of cobweb and a strand of powerful cable - until stress is put on the strand. Our testimonies are that way, and for most of us, the days of stress for our testimonies have already begun. It may not be the death of a loved one. We might not yet have been asked to give up something that is really precious to us, though the time for such a test may well come to us by and by. Our current stress is more likely to come in the form of overpowering temptations, which show us that a shallow acceptance of the gospel does not have the power to cope with the full fury of the powers of darkness. Perhaps there is a mission call to a place of illness and disappointment, when we had planned on a mission to a place of unbounded opportunity. Or perhaps there are too many questions to which our limited knowledge simply has no answer, and those who claim to know more than we do taunt us with what appears to be a persuasive certainty.

"When those times come, our testimonies must be more than the cobweb strands of a fair-weather faith. They need to be like strands of cable, powerful enough to resist the shafts of him who would destroy us. In our days of stress and trouble, we must be built 'upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, ...that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, ...and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you, ...because of the rock upon which ye are built.' (Helaman 5:12)"

I just simply love this! We know that as a part of mortality we will face challenges and trials and obstacles, but if we make our testimony that powerful cable, it will be able to withstand those times that the adversary attempts to defeat us. When we build our foundation upon Christ, nothing can overpower us.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Love you all!

Sister Syddall

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