Monday, October 31, 2016

White Cliffs

Hiya everybody!

So today for p-day we went with a group of missionaries to a place called "the White Cliffs of Dover" and it was sooooo beautiful. But also soooooo exhausting. One of the elders had a monitor thing and he informed us that we walked almost 8 miles... up and down and up and down. So my apologies right from the get-go if this email is a bit brief, but I really can't think at the moment because I am pooped. And I only have some low quality ipad photos to share because I don't have a connection to a computer for my camera... so when I get the chance I'll try to send some from my camera. These pictures don't do it justice, so I suggest you just pop over to England to come see it yourself :) or google it. That could do it too haha.

This week has been good! We are currently teaching a nice chap named Richard who just called us and pretty much scheduled his own baptism date... haha such a great guy! We met him back when I was with Sister Topp as he was walking through town with a half gallon of chocolate milk, and we've been teaching him ever since! He is shooting for the end of November to be baptised, so please keep him in your prayers! It would be so special to see him make that covenant before I hop back across the pond.

The flat we live in used to be an Elders' flat, so there's all of this weight lifting stuff, and I have decided I am going to take advantage of it hahaha. Every morning I've been puttin' up some reps to try and get those toned arms and legs. I know 6 weeks will transform me ;)

There is a recent convert we have been meeting with that informed us that the only movie that's made him cry is Pokemon when Ash dies... and so of course he proceeds to show us... and of course I cannot hold back the laughter because it's a CARTOON. And ASH COMES BACK ALIVE. So now the recent convert thinks I have no feelings. But it's alright, he's over it. Seriously, how was I supposed to hold it together??

Zone Conference pictures... and a video :)

Highlight of the week was when we were meeting with J, a woman who has not come to church in a very long time. Sister Garcia was VERY tired, and J's home was VERY dim and VERY warm, so as we were talking, I would glance over at Sister Garcia and she was just dozing off every couple of seconds, and as soon as her head would fall, she would jerk back up super quickly. Poor Sister Garcia was trying SO HARD to stay awake. At one point J and I were talking, and Sister Garcia just all of the sudden started telling some story about how her brother was a very small baby when he was born, and her sister was really big. I was just trying not to burst out laughing because it was SO random and out of the blue. We had a good thirty minute laugh about it once we left. I think J just didn't know what was going on hahaha.

Okay, I realise this isn't short even though I said it would be... but it's probably a bit confusing, so I'm sorry about that! I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!

Sister Syddall

Monday, October 24, 2016


Hello hello hello!

Currently emailing in Starbucks sipping a £2.65 small cup of hot chocolate #ripoff. The things you'll do for wifi haha. This week has been pretty weird to be honest, getting back to the swing of things in Gillingham. It was quite a weird experience to serve in another area for a week, and then BOOM be back here. It was almost like a mini vacation... yet it wasn't a vacation because we still did missionary work... but I am still looking forward to what this transfer has to offer!

Sister Garcia is just soooo amazing! She's been on her mission for six months, but this is only her second area (just like what happened to me) so I know it is an adjustment for her. She just never has a negative attitude. She's such a trooper for keeping the smile on her face despite the [tons of] people that tell her this area is a bit... rough. She is indeed from Mexico (wasn't sure last week), and she's just so much fun and such a hard worker! I couldn't think of a better companion to have as I near the end of my mission. I know that we will see miracles here! And I'm learning some Spanish along the way! She's so great, though, and she said she'll make me some authentic Mexican food #score. I'm really feeling the hashtags today, so I'm just going to apologise in advance.

Also with a new transfer comes a new district! Some new faces, but also some that stayed. Elder Meier (my mission son) is still sticking with me. I think he'll stick around until the day I die (in mission terms of course). Elder Meas is staying as well! Just found out this week he can literally bark like a dog. Back home in Cambodia he had a chicken farm and he would scare off predators by barking like a dog, so he perfected it hahaha. I'll try and get a video this week for your viewing pleasure. And we got my good friend Elder Nakaima from the MTC! NO one probably recalls since it was so long ago, but he is HILARIOUS. Japanese people, man. They're the greatest. And I now have a fellow American, Elder Andrews from Boston. Everyone is great and this will be a super fun transfer!

This week I had some interaction with my least favourite species, cats. #ew (sorry for all you cat lovers out there). We went to a couple of homes and they all had cats, and for some unknown reason they were ALL over me... jumping on my lap, rubbing up against me, the works. I am VERY allergic to cats, so immediately my eyes started watering and I started sneezing, but I tried to hold it back. Man oh man, that affected me for nearly 2 days. But I'm willing to take some allergies on if it means preachin' the good word.

We also went out this week and couldn't find our normal set of keys (ok fine, I'll be honest with you, they were upstairs and I was too lazy to go get them #thestruggleisreal), so we grabbed the backup set and upon our return to our flat, realised that the key to the flat was BROKEN. Now who would keep a broken key I just don't know. It resulted in doing our mega long weekly planning session in the hallway where lights automatically turn off about every 2 minutes. It was a joy. But someone came and saved us, so all was well.

Well, folks, I love being a missionary! I love my Saviour. I am so grateful for this opportunity I've had to be serving as a missionary because I don't think I would have quite the same appreciation for the Atonement if I was not here. I truly do "stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me." I have been reflecting on last year when I was really struggling. It was the first time I had ever struggled with any depressed feelings, feelings of anxiety, and honestly just feelings of mental distress. I was feeling like I was treading water, but that I had bricks tied to both of my feet and was slowly sinking. Each day was filled with pleading to my Heavenly Father that these feelings of sadness would go away. And then, in a way I can't quite describe, happiness started creeping back into my life. I received a priesthood blessing and was promised that I would be able to return to my happy self. When that blessing was promised, I started seeing things in a new light. The Atonement began to change me. I felt the healing of Jesus Christ. Each time I took the sacrament I could literally feel a weight being eased from my shoulders.

Something interesting that I found in my studies this week was in Alma 7:12: "And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." I learned that "succor" literally means "to run to." As I reflected on my experience, I was able to see that Jesus Christ was literally running to me. The Atonement is something that is so magnificent and indescribable, but it is something that I am so eternally grateful for.

Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

I you all! Have a wonderful week :)

#love #peace #happiness 
Sister Syddall

Tuesday, October 18, 2016



This week has just been so good. So, SO good. I have to say, I was a bit nervous to be in a trio and how the dynamics would work, but I have just absolutely loved every second of being with Sister Johnston and Sister Yau! Sleeping on a majorly springy mattress on the floor has been totally worth it. Oh, and not to mention the plus of actually having a shower. Oh, how I'm going to miss that when I go back to Gillingham :')  Oh yes, and even though you've probably already realized (due to the fact that this is a day late) it was transfers this week! I will be heading back to Gillingham 2nd Ward and my new companion will be Sister Garcia!! I believe that she is from Mexico...? At least from what I've heard. It will be fun to get to know yet another culture! As I thought back through my companions, I realised how I have had the opportunity to learn about so many cultures... Switzerland, Ethiopia, Norway, England, Hong Kong, all the wonderful American companions, and now Mexico! Pretty cool! If I'm wrong about where she is from, I'll let ya all know next week haha.

Where to even begin with this week though? Canterbury is simply BREATHTAKING. I'm not kidding you, when you walk around the main street, there are just all of these old beautiful castle-like buildings, and it's just such a charming lil place. We also got to go a few times to a place called Whitstable, which is right by the sea. It had so many cute little boutiques and cafes (even though we couldn't go in... #proselytinglife). Serving for a week here has made me realise how plain most of the places I've served in are... but hey ho, that's alright! I still have a special bond with my small, plain towns. I'm pretty sure as I have explained to a countless number of people why I am here for one week, EVERY SINGLE ONE has said, "oh... I'm so sorry you have to go back to Sittingbourne..." But that's ok, I'm pumped!

We had a district meeting right off the bat, and what do you get when you get together an American, an American, an American, an American, an American, an American, and a Chinese?! The Canterbury District hahaha! A little bit different from the diversity of the Gillingham District, but it was still a party. I've also had the opportunity to be around the Tuttles, a senior couple, a little bit more, and they're just so great! They've fed us, given us lifts to places, and I can't even count the amount of cookies Sister Tuttle has made for different events. She has made more than 600 dozen cookies since they've been here serving (about 9 months). Wowza.

We had quite the experience this week of going to a place called Faversham, which is in Canterbury's area, to teach one of my investigators, R. He lives in the Gillingham 2nd Ward boundaries, but works in Canterbury's, so we decided to meet at what I thought was a restaurant near the train station. When we arrived, the whole place was just wild. There was some parade going on with all of the towns in Kent, and it was just a madhouse. What we thought was just a nice lil restaurant ended up being a pub, and it was soooo hectic and we couldn't spot R there. We began a mad dash around town to try and find him, and when we couldn't get through to him and didn't see him anywhere, we were about to give up. But I felt like we should check the pub one more time, and lo and behold, he was in there, sipping his cup of coke, patiently waiting a good 45 minutes for us. He had forgotten his phone so he had no way of contacting us. Through the noise we tried to see how he has been feeling as he has read and prayed and come to church. We had a whole lesson planned, but the setting definitely was not conducive to the spirit, so we kept it short and sweet... and learned the lesson of never teaching in a pub again!

On Sunday we had a cool opportunity to hear from a Rabbi at a fireside. He has attended a few temple open houses with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, and is associated with a lot of wonderful leaders in the church. He is a good friend of Elder Tuttle's. This Rabbi told us about his journey of finding the Jewish faith and taught us more about ancient temples and the sacrifices they offered. It was very eye-opening, and a cool experience!

Being in the Canterbury Ward has just been fantastic. I made so many great friends so quickly, and I am sad I won't really see many people again :(  I'm crossing my fingers that we will have Stake Conference before I go home so I can see them all! I HAVE LOVED BEING HERE! But the Lord needs me back in Sittingbourne, and that will be wonderful too.

I'll leave you with a sweet expression Sister Yau taught me: "sau sang la" <3 ... you can all take a guess at what it means hahaha. But really "O OI LEI"... that means I LOVE YOU ALL! Have a great week!

Sister Syddall

OH! I FORGOT TO WRITE ABOUT THIS! We got to go to a Japanese restaurant and eat some authentic food, and after I finished all of my food, I realised I had this picture of my dad! I decided to recreate it with what I had left :)  It made me decide that I love Japanese people and I want to go there someday!! And the food was delicious.

(before our food was gone haha)

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Three Amigos


So. This week is bittersweet because my lil Brit Sister Topp is leaving me to go to Hawaii :(  I'm currently writing this email on the train journey to London to drop her off and say adios. Sad sad day. But I am very excited for her and the many great adventures that she has ahead!

Now I'm gonna be partying it up in a trio! I will be serving in Canterbury for 10 days and will be with Sister Johnston and Sister Yau! Sister Johnston is from good ol' Texas USA, and Sister Yau is from Hong Kong. This will bring me back to the good old MTC days of being in a trio!

This week has been really good! In our area we've been going through a bit of a dry spell. It's been a tough transfer trying to find people to teach, and it's been a big struggle getting people to come to church because the location is not very easy to get to. And I've come to find on my mission that people don't really want to have to TRY very hard. HA, it's great... BUT this week I wouldn't say we got a flood, but we definitely got a lil sprinkle because our pal R was FINALLY able to come to church! We found R a few weeks ago, and he has not been able to come yet, but HE CAME THIS WEEK. And he loved it. And he wants to come next week and... I won't be there ;') but the ward will take good care of him!

Oh, this week I got stung by a wasp and it just sat there on me. I started freaking out sooooooo much, so I was like "Sister Topp!!! Get it off of me!!" She just stood there in fear, not knowing what to do hahahaha, so I finally mustered up the courage to slap the wasp off of me. I wish I could have seen this from someone else's perspective. Oh, and to make matters worse, it essentially stung my armpit. Score.

This week we also had interviews, and talking to President and Sister Stevens is just always such a treat! They're the greatest. I love them so so much! And we got to watch FOURTH FLOOR LAST DOOR again, so I was one happy camper!

LIFE IS GREAT THOUGH! I am excited to serve in Canterbury for a week and to see what I can learn while I am there. Being a missionary is simply the best thing in the whole entire world! I love it with all my heart :)

Sister Syddall

Post post: a little later today Shi sent some more fun pictures from her day in London... YAY!

Monday, October 3, 2016


Familia and Amigos!!!

My lone picture this week... the zoneeeeee

This week has been... well quite ordinary, to be honest with all of you. Except for... GENERAL CONFERENCE!!! Man oh man, that was just out of this world. If you didn't get a chance, I highly suggest you go to and listen to the talks. It was overall so motivating and it just felt like I was persistently slapped in the face with the Spirit. And that is one good feeling, my friends.

One of the talks that really inspired me was President Uchtdorf's in the General Women's Session (yes, we are a little late getting that). I loved his focus on faith. One of the questions that I went to conference with was how I could continually strengthen and build my faith, and his talk immediately made me feel the assurance that the Lord was aware of my question, and it was answered so beautifully. And of course I loved the FOURTH FLOOR, LAST DOOR. Gave me some good motivation in the missionary work. The miracles come after we put in all of our effort and have FAITH. I wish I could tell you all about some cool experience we had with the last door this week... but it hasn't happened quite yet. But I'll be sure to inform you when it does!

Here is a section from President Uchtdorf's talk that I loved:

"Faith is a strong conviction about something we believe -- a conviction so strong that it moves us to do things that we otherwise might not do. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

"While this makes sense to believing people, it is often confusing to nonbelievers. They shake their heads and ask, 'How can anyone be certain of what they cannot see?' To them, this is eveidence of the irrationality of religion.

"What they fail to understand is that there are more ways to see than with our eyes, more ways to feel than with our hands, more ways to hear than with our ears.

"It's something like the experience of a young girl who was walking with her grandmother. The song of the birds was glorious to the little girl, and she pointed out every sound to her grandmother.

"'Do you hear that?' the little girl asked again and again. But her grandmother was hard of hearing and could not make out the sounds.

"Finally the grandmother knelt down and said, 'I'm sorry, dear. Grandma doesn't hear so well.'

"Exasperated, the little girl took her grandmother's face in her hands, looked intently into her eyes, and said, 'Grandma, listen harder!'

"There are lessons in this story for both the nonbeliever and the believer. Just because we can't hear something doesn't mean there is nothing to hear. Two people can listen to the same message or read the same scripture, and one might feel the witness of the Spirit while the other doesn't.

"On the other hand, in our efforts to help our loved ones experience the voice of the Spirit and the vast, eternal, and profound beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ, telling them to 'listen harder' may not be the  most helpful way.

"Perhaps better advice for anyone who wants to increase faith is to listen differently. The Apostle Paul encourages us to seek the voice that speaks to our spirit, not just to our ears. He taught, 'The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.'"

Loved this talk.

Sorry my email doesn't have a lot of jazziness. I'm trying to think of what I could do to spice it up...

I found out that the punctuation mark "." is not called a "period" here, it is called a "full stop." I got the weirdest response from my foreign pals over here when I tried to call it a period.

Also, the chapel here is constantly FREEZING. Typing this email has been a struggle because my fingers are moving at the speed of a snail. I felt like I was in the tundra throughout all of conference, but it was still SO GOOD.

OK I love you all! Have an amazing week!

Sister Syddall