Monday, August 16, 2010

Even closer!

So, I wrote the last blog post after waiting only two hours in the FCO airport. That was at approximately 1 pm on Sunday. Katelyn and I passed the time reading/talking about the Book of Mormon, playing Solitaire, and sometimes I hummed a hymn. Eventually we fell asleep on a windowsill… I’m not sure that I actually fell asleep for longer than 30 minutes at a time, but yeah, it was very interesting! I don’t think I will ever do it again.
Anyway, we eventually were able to check in. I was the first person to check in at that terminal! That was pretty neat, except my luggage came almost last.
I just got off the 10 hour flight to JFK. My head hurts and I am hungry, but I am very happy to be getting home.


On my way!

Obviously, Brandon hasn’t “proposed” to me yet because I don’t have a ring on my finger (according to Beyonce: If he wants it then he should put a ring on it!) I’m sure that will happen soon enough, but thanks for all the congratulations I have received from family and ward members who mysteriously figured out the circumstances.
It’s weird to think how much I am going to be growing up within the next six months. I remember when I was give and I was so excited because in five more years, I was going to be 10 and 10 was the highest I could count on all of my fingers.
And then I remember graduating high school and thinking: four more years and I get my Bachelor’s. I’m getting my B.S in less than a year!
Anyway, today Katelyn and I spent hours and hours in the airport and we are still going to be here for awhile. Turns out we can’t check in until approx. four hours before our flight. I was looking forward to sleeping on carpeted ground and I wish I had less carry-ons but I’m trying to take home souvenirs. J Because we have so much time in the airport and it is a Sunday, I’ve committed myself to reading/studying the Book of Mormon in 20 page increments and listening to Mormon Tabernacle Choir/EFY music.
Side Note: Not so much with the Book of Mormon, but people often comment on how quickly I read books. I actually read pretty slow, but for very long periods of time. Slow and steady wins the race!
Anyway, I was listening to “What Heaven Sees in You” earlier today and felt inspired. The song is unique in that it is focused on women and their blessings/covenants they make throughout their life. Some of these covenants I will make when I am endowed and then married in the temple. I know tat these commitments I am making to my future husband and God are forever. They are so sacred and holy and I intend to keep them the best I can. My endowment and marriage will be the most important things I do this year and among the most important things I will do in my life.
I’m so excited to progress with Brandon and to be a part of his life forever!
I am going to move in a new direction now without very much transition.
I would like to say this to my immediate/extended Crandall family:

  • We’ve sent out three wonderful missionaries to Hawaii, the Dominican Republic and Hungary (Joshua, McKay and Justin). Justin is still out serving and McKay and Joshua have returned with honor.
  • We’ve had two temple marriages (both in August 2009/2010 – Becca and Paige) and one on the way in December (that’s mine!)
  • Great-grandpa Russell Heath passed away in June 2009. We know he is happy and in heaven.
  • We’ve had the awesome company of my half brother, Josh, who I missed throughout my life.
  • We love and uplift one another.

We are choosing the “more excellent way”! I am not trying to boast in what we’ve accomplished as grandparents/parents/spouses/siblings/children/cousins, but I am excited that we are choosing the right. I can’t imagine heaven without any of you.

As for the Ormond side of the family – we recently had Grandma Carol pass away. It was sad, but I promise she is so happy where she is! J
These past two years, I have been able to reconnect with my aunt and her daughter and my uncle and his son. They are very good people. I am impressed with their kindness and generosity and especially with my cousins’ determination to choose the right. In a world full of corruption, evil, and dishonesty, they stand out as shining examples of good people who are not of the LDS faith. I love them very much and hope that I will be in heaven with them forever as well.
God truly loves us, doesn’t he? He gives us opportunities and blessings as we choose the right and he pours them so abundantly. Even through the hard times, I know he will be there for me and if I just look to Him and trust Him, it will all come out just fine. J


P.S. I think Brandon has rubbed off on me. There are smiley faces all over this blog post. And exclamation points. J

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The end of my European adventure

The end of my trip is here. Today I am going to board the train that will take me to the airport and then I will fly back home. It is all very bittersweet.

I spent the last few days in Rome going to the market, eating gelato, watching the river, and seeing the basilica. It was nice to just “hang out” and not be the tourist for once.

Here is what I learned from this study abroad and trip:

  • No matter where you are, people are the same. They like it when you smile at them and help them. They like familiar places. And every nationality is just as “crazy” as the Americans when it comes to being tourists or just people in general.
  • The gospel is the same all over the world. It is also the same throughout the universe.
  • I love staying in one place for longer periods of time so that I can really absorb the culture.
  • Cathedrals and churches are pretty and interesting, but I miss going to the temple and attending my ward. Although now I feel knowledgeable about certain ancient Catholic traditions.
  • I am such an internet-nut. J
  • I learned how to be more accepting of other people. There were girls with varying personalities in my study abroad group that I learned to get along with. It was good! I’m so excited to see all my new friends as I begin school this fall.
  • I learned about the English history: the Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, and Normans
  • I learned how to write in IPA!! I love doing this.

Despite all the fun and learning that I had, I am so excited to get home.

A major part of this is being able to see my family especially after the death of my grandma. I feel like we really need to become even more united with each other (we are already a pretty loving family). My other grandma and great-grandma are also coming out to see my family and my cousins in September. That should be very fun! I am excited.

And lastly, Brandon and I are going ring shopping on Tuesday. I bet you all know what that means. ;)

I am a very happy camper.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

last day in madrid, first half of roma

Last day in Madrid: The last day in Madrid was a Sunday, so I tried to be really careful with the things I did. Katelyn, Annie, and I went to a market. I didn’t want to buy anything, so I just watched the people so I could get an idea of the culture. I find the Spaniard to be very kind and fun people unless you are trying to move in a similar direction as one. There was a lot of shoving and pushing going on. I took many pictures so that my mom could see what it’s like.
After the market, we went home and got ready for church and packed up our stuff for check out. We checked out, hauled our 100,000,000 lb backpacks, and hobbled over to the metro. We finally came to our stop after a couple of changes and about a half hour. And then after another half hour of walking through a pretty sketchy neighborhood, we saw in the distance a man wearing a white shirt and tie. Bingo! We followed him the rest of the way to the mustard yellow church and sat in the back of the congregation. During the second song, some investigators came in with the sister missionaries and sat in front of us. Because Annie was translating the Spanish talks for me into English, the sister missionaries became interested in us and would give us half glances every 10 minutes or so. At the end, we talked to them and found out they were from Nevada and Utah and one of them knows Katelyn’s friend. It’s a small world. J
After church, we had time to kill before checking in at the airport. We talked for awhile in a local McDonalds (I was craving a burger and we didn’t have any food) and then we took a nice walk in a nearby park. It was beautiful and put all of England’s parks to shame. I wish we had parks like England’s or Spain’s in the US. After that, we walked for quite awhile to find a metro that would take us to the airport. We got there, found our left luggage, and camped out.

Airport Stay/Ride

When we arrived in the airport, it was very quiet. Hardly anybody was there. We camped out by a couple of outlets to plug our computers in, arranged the carts and sleeping positions so that we could guard our stuff, and fell asleep. I woke up at about 2 am to find the whole of the airport populated with Italians and Spaniards. Families and people were camped out all over the place either sleeping or talking. The floor was cold, so I pulled out a sweatshirt and put it underneath me and fell asleep again. I woke up at about 5 am and the crowds were thinning. People had started checking in to the terminals (no one was allowed to check in until two hours before their flight). A couple of ladies came up to me and started speaking to me in a language I didn’t understand and kept pointing toward Katelyn and Annie. Being hardly awake, I managed to say, “Mis amigas?” One of them replied with, “Si, si!” I woke Katelyn up and the lady talked to her for a second and then made a motion with her fingers and eyes that meant “wake-up.” As they strolled away, I asked Katelyn what they said. She didn’t know. They were speaking Italian. We gathered our stuff together and got ready to check in.
After we checked in, we found the line for security. A few people piled up behind us and then these Spanish ladies decided that they would cut in right behind me and as we moved up the queue, they began to try to pass me. Being an American and liking the no-cuts rule, I tried to spread all of my stuff pretty wide so they couldn't pass me. I realize in retrospect that if I had let them pass me earlier on, I wouldn’t have had to worry the whole time. They eventually got around me and I gave them the meanest, nastiest glare I could muster. It was 5:30 am, mind you, and I hadn’t slept very well all night. My manners were not very good. Besides, they didn’t even notice and pressed on. Eventually I saw them no more and I went through security.
The flight was pretty uneventful except for the man who would push on and shake my chair randomly for long periods of time. It wasn’t that big of a deal. I had calmed down from earlier, so I just fell asleep. I woke up to see a few islands below the plane and a curve in the continent. We started to descend and I continued to look out the window at the beautiful sea and landscape. For those who don’t know me, I am a very, very big fan of the ocean. I love looking at it and playing in it and walking by it. J People tell me cruises are all about eating. If I ever go on one, I don’t know that I would eat very much, because I would be on the deck watching the ocean.
We finally arrived in the FCO airport. Annie was the first to leave and I followed her over to where the passport check was and the luggage claim. After we had gotten through and walked the area over three times, we realized that they had let us in to the wrong area. After talking to four security guards, we were finally about to leave the area and go to our luggage claim. It was stressful, but I had a good laugh about it. We found Katelyn and Rhiannon, who had been so kind as to grab my luggage and we set off to purchase a ticket on the express train.
We arrived in the Termini Station in Roma at about 11:20 am and walked the long, hot way around to our hostel. The man who greeted us was friendly and provided us with a map and things to do.

First Night in Italy

We crashed in the room and the three girls fell asleep while I sat up and internet-ed. I have trouble sleeping at midday. Eventually I did take a short nap though. When we were all up and ready to go, it was evening time. We walked over to St. Mary’s church and just looked at it and talked for about 10-15 minutes. It was still warm, but not hot and there were a few kids playing on the steps. We eventually got up, found an awesome pizza ristorante, ate, and then purchased some gelato. I got chocolate. Gelato here is nothing like you have experienced in the US, particularly in my state. It’s wonderful and creamy, but not too creamy and it’s refreshing in the best way. The chocolate looked like frosting and tasted like million dollar goodness. Right before we went to bed, we were serenaded with accordion and violin music while a man sang. It was beautiful.

Second Day in Italy

Katelyn and I took a trip around the Colosseum, the buildings around that area, the Pantheon, etc and went through piazza after piazza. We ate gelato near the Trevi Fountain and talked. It was a good day and pretty uneventful. Around 3 pm, we made it back to the hostel and decided to sleep. It was hot and we weren’t feeling very well. I had a cheeseburger and chatted with Brandon online throughout the evening and then I made a very exciting, important decision and went to bed smiling and happy.

Third Day in Italy

On this third day, Katelyn and I decided to go opposite the route we took the day before and head up toward the Piazza Navano. There were painters all over the piazza and I am thinking of going back and getting my mom one of the paintings. We then walked along the river, saw some pretty neat buildings and statues and ate Nutella lunches in a marketplace. We left to meet Annie at the hostel at 3:30 pm so that we would be in for the hottest part of the day and take our siesta. On the way back, we stopped at a couple of touristy shops (we’re trying to buy presents for you guys). In one of the shops, this Indian man noticed we were looking at some earrings and he tried to sell them to us, but we decided against buying them. He continued to speak to us and asked us where we were from. When he found out we are American, he began repeating over and over again, “I like Americans. Americans are good people.” He continued talking about how President Obama is a good man and we just kind of nodded our heads and said, “Thank you” repeatedly. I’m not sure about President Obama because I don’t know him personally, but I sure hope he’s trying his best to help our country. We asked him where he is from and like all Indians I have met, he is from Bangladesh. I am not sure what Bangladesh is like, but I am wondering why there are so many Indians in Italy and England. It’s something I should research.
We got back and napped/computed until about 6:30 pm when Rhiannon got back. Then we went to the That’s Amore ristorante and to a gelato place (it was the third time I had gelato that day). I think my favorite gelato flavor so far is black cherry. Reaching back into my memory, I think that Brandon’s dad said that was the best flavor as well… I can’t be sure though.
We came back and watched the Lizzie McGuire Movie. After that I was up until about 3 am trying to sleep and having a hard time because it was so hot. I ended up on the tile floor underneath the fan for about an hour until I was cooled off enough to go back to bed.
Oh, I forgot to mention this. When Katelyn and I were heading back, we noticed a fountain that people were putting their feet in or walking under the water. I was so hot that I got excited about this fountain that reminded me a lot of my childhood fountain in the Bethany Centre in Beaverton, Oregon. I asked Katelyn to watch my stuff, took off my shoes, and ran right into a bursting fountain water spout thing. Everyone else had been reluctantly getting wet, so when I jumped right in, the people around laughed and smiled. I turned around to Katelyn, put my arms up in the air and yelled, “Yeah!” And then I looked at this Indian lady who was smiling at me and I said, “Yeah!” again. She smiled and said something positive. I went in one more time and got pretty soaked. After we left, we noticed a sign that said to not get in the fountain and we would be fined if we were caught. I’m glad we weren’t caught.

Fourth Day in Italy

Today we are planning on going to more marketplaces and a swimming pool next to the river that is only 6 Euro after 3 pm. Yay! Earlier this morning, I walked over to the train station and tried to use the pay phone to call Brandon. Didn’t work, but I did find a grocery store and bought the sweetest, best peach in the world. Yum! Good breakfast. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Stay in Spain

Day #1


*Stepping out of the airport and feeling very warm! We dropped off our luggage at the airport lockers and continued on the metro to our destination near the city center.
*While shopping, we were given fake yellow daisies for free! :) I'm putting one in my hair today.
*We met the man who runs the hostel. He is very nice and recommended that we go to Jamonal for dinner. When we got there, we realized that there were pig appendages hanging from the walls and ceilings. Even though I am not a vegetarian like Rhiannon, I still felt very grossed out.
*In our hostel room, we have two balconies with tall doors. We left these open all night to cool ourselves down. The view was awesome!

Day #2


*We moseyed along for a large part of the day and looked at random vendors and shops. We also went to a museum that had a art piece that Katelyn and Annie wanted to see. I was more intrigued with some of the sculptures. There was also a middle part in the museum that was open to the air, so we sat and looked out on the city for awhile. That was very nice.
*At lunch (we had "lunch" at 5 pm), I ordered a hamburger and papas fritas (french fries - translated as potato fries, I think?) I received some scattered fries and two burger patties that were raw on the inside. I ate the fries and around the edges of the patties, left my money with Annie and Katelyn and decided to walk around the square while they finished their meal. I was embarrassed that I had eaten so little. While I was walking, I came up to this table with three heads on it. As I looked at it and passed by, one of the head yelled and started moving. I realized that it was a real man! I continued to walk around the square and watched some people doing pencil drawings and others painting for a bit before finding Katelyn and Annie. I decided I was going to go back and scare the table man, but as I reached him, he scared some other group and so he saw me. He then said to Katelyn as we walked past, "How are you, baby!" That was weird.
*We watched Return to Me, which was a very sad/happy movie. :)

Day #3


To be written later.

Last night, I stepped out onto the balcony and watched the people down in the square for about 15 minutes. Cars zoomed by and many people were taking pictures of each other. I could only see one star and it was probably a satellite. And then I just sat there and breathed in Madrid. I fell sort of half asleep on the balcony railing and felt very happy at where I was that moment. Me gusta Madrid!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I understand that people interpret the commandments differently, but here is one thing I would like to say for myself: Just because I am on vacation doesn't mean I'm on vacation from the commandments.

There you go, World.

Friday, August 6, 2010


I think the best feeling ever was when I stepped out of the plane and immediately felt heat on the terminal from the sun. Yes! Warmth! I love Spain!
I really do like Spain. I wish I could tell all that has happened and all that we are planning tomorrow, but then I don't want anybody to follow us girls around, so I think I will save that type of blogging until later.

Don't forget to check up on me! Who knows when I will blog again... maybe it'll be in an hour...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Well, it's off to Madrid tomorrow

Today was pretty awesome! We left York and went to an abbey and the Bronte sisters house before reaching Manchester. After a brief walk in Manchester to find some cold medicine, I decided that I don't really like the area and i am very glad to be going to Madrid tomorrow! Yay! Anyway, so nothing much is going on. I am getting pretty psyched to go school shopping when i get back because i have been wearing the same clothes over and over and over again. Time for a visit to DI!

Well, I miss everyone and I love you all for sure.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Oh, that venison!

I woke up with a migraine today and threw up all morning because of the onions in the venison last night. I am never eating  onions ever again. Ever, ever, ever.

So I spent the morning letting my stomach settle, organizing photos and then exploring a pretty portion of York with Katelyn. We walked along a river, went down Shambles street, and also bought a milkshake each. I got a chocolate one. Mmmm. The milkshakes they make here are more like really cold, frothy chocolate milk that has some ice cream in it. I am considering having some of that at my reception. Yum!

Here is something cool I learned in Scotland on Sunday. A lady quoted someone (someone important with the church) who said, "Do not judge someone just because they sin differently than you." Smart! I love that quote. I think I do that a lot. We all sin differently and we are all at different levels trying to improve. I hope that when people see my faults, they can step back and realize that I am trying to be a better person and that I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost and that I love the gospel.

I am so excited to go to these next few places on the list, but I am also very excited to get home!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hadrian's Wall, Durham Cathedral, York

Everybody has those days when you feel paranoid that nobody likes you and that you are ugly and mean, etc... Well, about four or five of us were feeling that way in the group today, including me. I kept trying to give myself pep talks and some space from the girls so I could calm down and read my scriptures and get a positive face on, but Satan kept hitting me low blows. I felt so lonely and wretched.

All of this mainly happened after a really short nap on the way to Durham Cathedral. It was a beautiful cathedral, but I don't think I looked at it very closely because I was sitting there wondering why no one wanted to look at the cathedral with me. And then I did find Lauren and Janelle, but got separated from them shortly after and ended up wandering Durham by myself and getting lost for about a half hour. It felt more like a few hours. Anyway, I got myself back to the coach parking lot about an hour earlier than we were supposed to go there, so I grabbed my Book of Mormon and decided to read it in the park nearby. I did that and felt somewhat settled and less angry at the whole situation. However, once the girls boarded the bus and started talking very loudly, I put my ear plugs in and tried to fall asleep again instead of being social. Katelyn noticed and made sure I was okay. This was greatly appreciated. I really needed to know that someone cared.

Anyway, on to better things:

Today we went to Hadrian's fort. It was pretty neat and we got to look at a cool river and play around. At this point, I was still a happy camper. We took a lot of pictures and just talked. The sun was out (which does not happen often in Scotland) and there was a good feeling around us. Because it was so good, I am sure Satan tried extra hard on us today.

Next, we went to Durham - I already talked about that

And then we arrived in York. What a quaint little medieval town! I love it. We had a Viking feast at one of the halls and ate real venison and then we watched a slideshow of the study abroad so far. I'm going to miss it all! I am sad to leave. We then had a small variety show which included a few skits, some readings, and a silly synchronized dance. I loved it all!

Still trying to get over those rough feelings, but I am sure I will wake up tomorrow to a brighter day.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Loch Lomond, Aberfoyle, Stirling and York

Yesterday was incredible! During our preparation class for this study abroad trip, I was assign to learn and give a presentation about Loch Lomond and Stirling. I was very excited to see Loch Lomond because I had learned that Loch Lomond has over 99 islands in it and one of them is populated with wallabys! Unfortunately, we were only given an hour to stroll around the "bonny, bonny banks" of Loch Lomond, so I didn't even have time to rent a paddle boat. :( But the Loch was so pretty and clean!

About 30 minutes later we stopped in a small tourist town called Aberfoyle for lunch. They also had a petting zoo and a birds of prey exhibit which I thought was pretty interesting.

Then we went to Stirling Castle. I loved the view we got from it! Stirling Castle is situated on the narrowest part of Scotland so that the guards could see when an army was coming (it didn't help that the English wore red coats!)

During the whole of the trip, our bus driver was telling us history and also making some jokes. He was so great! He laughs just like Justin, my brother. Throughout the ride, he would play for us different Scottish national songs. The official national song is "God Save the Queen" because Scotland is a part of Great Britain. Another one of the songs was "Loch Lomond." And the North American favorite (I think my group was the only North American group on board) was the song that goes, "...and I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more." That's was interesting to me because that was the song I was listening to when that guy turned left in front of my and we wrecked. Weiiiird.

When we got back to Edinburgh, we when to an Australian sports bar place for dessert and were carded! I've never been asked to show my ID before and I was weirded out. I guess it's because they sell drinks there? I don't know. They sell alcohol at Red Robin's, but I never am carded there. Oh well.

One of my highlights of the day was spending time with Emily and Janelle as we packed up our stuff to go to York and talked. I decided on a new nickname for Janelle. I had originally been calling her Janellie Bean every once in awhile (she approved) and then today the name "Bean" just slipped out of my mouth. We both agreed that it's a good nickname and so now I try to remember and call her Bean. I think I will still say Janelle fairly often though.

Anyway, my grandma's funeral was yesterday and I did not get to attend, but I hope everyone had a good, happy time. I am going to miss her very much.

Yesterday I started looking at pictures from when Grandma, Mom, and I travelled up to Oregon and Washington. Grandma looks so great in those! It's so weird how something can happened to someone and their health suddenly plummets. It's hard to believe that she is gone from earth. I have made plans to visit her grave when I get back.

Anyway, I miss everybody very much!


Saturday, July 31, 2010

To the Lake District, Glasmere, and Edinburgh

Thursday: To Lake District, England

After studying poets like Wordsworth and Coleridge, I was very excited to spend some time strolling along one of the lakes in the Lake District - a place where many poets found inspiration for their writing. Before leaving Stratford for the Lake District, I checked my e-mail and learned that my dear grandmother passed away early in the morning on Tuesday. I love her very much and I will miss her, but I know that she is happy.

So, like Tuesday, Thursday was a very reflective day for me. I spent the evening walking and talking with Janelle and Lauren. I had some tears, but tried to hide them. Our hostel was basically on the lake and it was very nice to hear the water as I felt asleep. I felt very peaceful.

Later that night I felt very sick and nauseated.

Friday: Exploring Lake District/To Edinburgh, Scotland

The next morning in the Lake District, I woke up and still felt pretty ill, but decided to go on a little walk with Chloe. We found this National Trust land so we entered the gate and then explored inside. There were a couple of swans that let us get about five feet close to them, so we sat and watched both for awhile. Then we went wading in the lake and played on a rock.

When we got back, we packed up and got ready to go to Glasmere for gingerbread and to see the daffodil fields that Wordsworth wrote about in his poems.

The gingerbread was pretty nasty. It wasn't gingerbread cookie, it was literally ginger bread. I gave all that I bought away to people who actually enjoyed it. The ginger and me being sick made me feel even sicker as we travelled the four or so hours to Edinburgh. It was an enjoyable ride, though, because the girls and I had a lot of fun just talking and sharing ideas. :) I like my friends!

Saturday: Sites in Edinburgh

I LOVE SCOTLAND! It's so beautiful and I can see the ocean from Castle Rock. I learned that Castle Rock is actually an old volcano that caved off one end. Originally, there was a lake around the rock, but they drained that away in the 1700s and now there is a cute little park. I think I would have liked the lake, but the park was pretty cool, too.

So here is a list of things we did today:

*Saw Edinburgh castle
*Bought something awesome for my boyfriend because his grandma and ancestors are from Scotland
*Went to Greyfriar's Cemetery
*Ate at the Elephant House (this is famous because the author, JK Rowling, started writing Harry Potter while eating in the back room of this cafe).
*Saw a few monuments for famous writer people
*Went to the Sir Walter Scott monument
*Shopped but didn't really find anything. I think I am trying to save for when I get back to the United States. I want to go through all of my clothes and give what I don't wear either to Deseret Industries or my sisters. Then I will find some things that I really think look great on me and get those instead of trying to find something here that I will need to lug back home.
*Ate dinner at the hostel
*About to go up to Arthur's Seat :)

Love you!


Friday, July 30, 2010

Wrote this before i learned my grandma died

Day in Stratsford: I am pretty happy because of certain events that occurred yesterday (Brandon and I got back together - I have a boyfriend AND I love him!) Yesterday was also a hard day because I found out that my grandma who has lived with my family for over 12 years is even closer to dying than I had previously thought. On Monday, she hadn't eaten since Friday. I don't know how she is doing and I don't have internet to find out. So I will probably call home today and ask Mom.

Well, today we departed London. I was kind of sad, but I am very ready for a new adventure. We went to a many places which included Windsor castle (The Queen's baby pictures look so much like Jessica's baby pictures!), Shakespeare's mother's house (I fed a vulture there out of my hand), Anne Hathaway's cottage (I didn't go inside. There was a woodland nature walk on the grounds, so I did that instead), and Stratford of Avon. In Stratford, we saw Shakespeare's birthing place and his tomb. Then we went on to the hostel.

Today was altogether a very reflective day for me. It was a chance I had to reach into myself and decide what I am really like and what I really like to do. I am not saying that I am not myself around all of you. I think I'm just trying to reconnect with my personality in a way that isn't restricted by anybody, meaning that it could only come out when I am with myself and Heavenly Father.

I have observed a few things about me (this is about to be pretty serious/boring... so go ahead and skip) :) :

* I think I really connect with God when I am out in nature. This is especially so when the foliage is similar to Oregon's (like at Anne Hathaway's cottage). I really feel comfortable and happy walking around orchards and fields and shrubbery. I think this has a lot to do with my upbringing. First, it seems that in many houses i lived in, there was a large backyard that i could explore and spend the day in. I am also reminded of all the nature walks, mountain drives, hikes, and picnics my family used to have. I didn't know it then, but they have really made me appreciate family togetherness and closeness with God through nature.

* I discovered that I really, really do not care for most board games or card games. There are a few exceptions: Nerts, Battleship, chess, checkers, war, Uno, Phase 10, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Pretty, Pretty Princess, Curses, Scrabble, Blockus, and Trouble. I know that like seems like many games, but out of all the carious kinds of games out there that is actually very small.

* I like making forts and can't wait to help my children make them

* I have discovered that Im scared to death of being "great" and because of the anxious feelings I have, I let the things I do be mediocre even if I could do better. I will overcome this and I hope it shows in my relationships with friends and family, school, and of course, my knowledge of the gospel and the way I live it. (I have been really working hard on that last one the past couple months and I think I am seeing progress.)

*I also realized that i do really want to be a mom even more than I want a career. Of course, I am still going to try my best to be a PA and once my kids are grown-up, a doctor, but I realize that my most important responsibility will be raising my children. I'm excited to do this! I also decided that if I am going to be a mother, then I am going to try to be the best mom ever.

List (and I know it's long and probably I will never be amazing at all the things on the list, but I will try! I will also try not to be naive)

*take child rearing, family, and marriage classes with my spouse and utilize those principles in the home.
*Create a spiritual, happy atmosphere in the home that encourages learning. This can be established through regular family scripture study, prayer, FHE, family meals, and BYU Football celebrations.
*Read to my kids
*learn how to cooke and sometime let the kids have dessert before dinner.
*learn how to garden
*learned how to do food storage stuff
*learn to sew better
*read books so that i continue to learn about spiritual and secular things
*Be an awesome soccer or whatever mom ever! (although, I DO like soccer and running best.)

*I also learned that i need to be more aggressive about wanting to learn new things. I think that I get lazy because many things came basically to me when I was young. I don't remember really having to work for knowledge expect in Mr. Porter's 5th grade math class that we were learning crazy high school math in.

Well, sorry to bore you with so much stuff about me. You want to be entertained, right? Should I write a poem? I think yes.

Oh, Peter Rabbit,
I saw you in the corn today.
Did Farmer tell you, "Git!"?
I watched you as you hopped away.

Your little white feet,
where did they wander you off to?
A meadow of wheat?
Where, my little bunny foo foo?

Don't worry, Peter Rabbit.
I'm carried there, too.
A place I dream of when I sit,
When I'm feeling blue.

Green and gold, in my mind at least.
With booby-trapped forts;
music swings from branches of trees.

Red-yellow roses and
a porcupine to boot!
My own elephant to ride
and a room full of loot.

A black flying squirrel,
the villain, of course.
A shining white knight
and one valiant horse.

A bright star lit sky.
Homework's in a stash.
Don't worry, I did it.
No one had to ask.

I play on my branch
and realize I'm alone.
Is that what I want from the world?
And then I go home.

Back to the spot
where I sit on a rock
with me and all of my
people-deprived thoughts.

What am I running from?
Growing up, perhaps?
Is that what you hide from, Peter?
Don't keep it under wraps.

Everything is okay, Peter.
You're growing up inside.
And when you are older,
you'll be glad you didn't hide.

Life is worth experiencing --
every sorrow, happiness, and whim.
And part of life is living
and growing up within.

I figured it all out
when I sat on that branch.
I'm ready to try and
give it another chance.


First day in Liverpool: We left Stratford today to go to Liverpool, so I had all morning on the bus to do some thinking, which freaked me out a lot, but ended up being pretty good. 
Janelle, Lauren, Ashley, and I went to visit the maritime museum at Liverpool and looked around the area. I loved it! I miss the ocean. I really enjoy it. 
I love Liverpool!
We went on another walk at night and it was just gorgeous. So basically enjoying the ocean breeze in Liverpool!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Check Out Monday

Actually, we are checking out tomorrow. I'm happy/sad that I am leaving London and off to other English/Scottish things. Anyway, a lot of random things happened today that I was just not emotionally ready for. One of them is that my grandma is getting worse and if she doesn't start eating soon, she will probably die pretty soon. It worries me, but I also need to remember what amazing things she will be able to do and see once she dies and is with her husband and daughter.

Anyway, I am sure I will cheer up pretty soon here. Just start saying those prayers for me and I'm sure all will be good very quickly.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Longest Blog Post Ever: France and Last Sunday in London.

This is probably going to be quite a large blog post since I was in France for so long and then had an AWESOME Sunday! I am going to subtitle areas, so just find what you are interested in and read that part. Or you can read the whole thing.


As you can imagine, traveling with a big group of girls can be kind of loud. We try to be considerate of the people around us but sometimes our voices carry more loudly than we think. While on the chunnel (train that goes under the English Channel via a tunnel), we were all chatting with each other (there were also other people talking, too) when we heard a long Shhhhhhhh. The car suddenly grew very quiet and a man from the back said out loud, "I didn't mean for everybody to be quiet..." Turns out he was just shhhing his son next to him and we all heard and immediately became very, very silent. We all had a good laugh afterward.

We got to the French... it's not a nunnery, but it's ran by nuns... I will call it the French Hotel for Girls. FHG for short. It was already dark and raining, so we decided to just visit the Arc de Triomphe and walk down the Champs Elysees. France is beautiful. The sidewalks were wet from a recent rainfall and sprinkles were still dropping from the clouds. The sun set exactly under the Arc while people strolled along the Elysees. It was very romantic. I fell very much in love with Paris that evening.

The nuns were very kind to us and I even learned to say 73 in French and count to 10.


Okay, first of all, I woke up and realized that I had dreamed about Robert Pattinson. He's Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and Edward Cullen in Twilight. I don't normally think about him and was very surprised that he showed up in my dream. Haha, it was great because he still had some of his vampire powers from Twilight (like super strength) and I told him that we couldn't get married until he was baptized and that he had to be in the church for a certain amount of time so that I would know he had a testimony. I woke soon after that and was happy to get that dream out of my head.

The rest of the day went very well.

I ate a chocolate croissant for breakfast. A pizza and Fanta (Lemon) for lunch and a McDonald's burger for dinner. I think the pizza was my favorite!

The first place we went to was the Concierge. This is where the French aristocrats were kept before they were executed during the French Revolution. It was very interesting to read the information and I even saw Marie Antoinette's cell!

Next was San Chapelle. This church was absolutely amazing. It is rumored to have the most beautiful stained glass in the world. I have pictures and you can decide that.

We then visited Notre Dame. There were many gypsies around it trying to get us to read postcards about their sad lives and give them money. I think I would have felt worse for them if I hadn't seen them congregate and look at each other's funds. Notre Dame itself was pretty magnificent! There were not any gargoyles that I could see, though, contrary to the Disney movie.

After eating near the cathedral, we went to the Musee D'Orsay and saw some pretty spectacular art. Among my favorites were pieces from Monet and Van Gogh and this beautiful room. It looked like a very ritzy ballroom with chandeliers all over the ceiling, panels, and crown molding with gold leaf.... And it had eternity mirrors. This is where you put two mirrors across from each other in a room and when you look into one, it seems like you are looking into an endless amount of mirrors. There was a random moment when I was in the large room all by myself and I tried to pretend I was in a Celestial Room instead. I can't wait until I am endowed!

At this point, we decided that a stroll around some gardens would be nice and we ended up walking the whole 6+ stops back to the FHG. Before we got home, I noticed a man selling paintings of the Eiffel Tower. I had already seen many men trying to do this on the way, but felt like I was too scared to try to haggle in French. This time as I looked at the man's paintings, he started to speak in English to me. I was surprised and asked him about the paintings and he helped me look through them. He said one of the big paintings would be 65 Euro. Well, I definitely did not have that to spend, so I said I would give him 20 E for the painting. He acted as if I were being really cheap and I said, "Nope, that is all I will spend. A man offered me a painting like yours for 30 Euro." This was true. The man reduced the price to 44 Euro for me and I gave a little and said 22 E. We then settled on 25 E. Now I have this beautiful painting of the Eiffel Tower and I wasn't even scammed! Yay! I haggled with a French guy!

We got back and slept for awhile and then went to see the Eiffel Tower. This was way more exciting to me than I thought. I was warned by reviewers that it would be boring, but I definitely didn't think so as I ran up the 100+ steps to get a good view from the middle of the tower. The view was beautiful! I loved being out there.

That night I finished the Book of Mormon. I could not put it down. I read through 3 Nephi, thought about stopping, then continued on to finish Words of Mormon and Ether and by then I thought, why not? And I cruised through Moroni. The thing is, anyone can read fast or sit and spend a chunk of time and finish the Book of Mormon quickly. People do it. But this was an amazing experience for me because it helped me realize why I love the Book of Mormon so much. I love it because I know that it is true and I know that when I read it I feel the Spirit. I know that as I read it, I am learning from the ancient peoples' stories and I will try not to make the same mistakes that they do. If I do make those mistakes, I have learned from the Book of Mormon that I can repent and be forgiven. I love the Book of Mormon because it is the word of God.

If you ever feel alone or lost, read the Book of Mormon. If you are discouraged and facing adversity, read the Book of Mormon. If you feel like everything in your life is good and you are happy, read the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is for every moment in your life: the bad times, the good times, and the ordinary times. It will teach you true things and you will live a better life because of it.


I definitely slept in until 8 am on day three, and it felt so good! I love those days.

I am going to write about the trip to Versailles like it is a movie trailer that tells the whole story:

NARRATOR (manly voice): Five girls (quick close-ups of Lauren, Janelle, Jazlyn, Candice, and Ashley) and one bug.... (very close-up picture of a giant fly/bug/thing)

NARRATOR: in a garden.

(Movie title appears through cool slideshow techniques. It says: BIT AT VERSAILLE. Fade out. Crazy, awesome music starts playing while scenes from Day Three randomly appear out of order.)

(Fast shots of girls roaming through big, beautiful house. A quick shot of them eating. Another quick shot of them about to take a picture next to a statue of a man with a square jaw (kind of like Brandon's!)

JANELLE: Ow! (close-up of Janelle looking intensely at her arm)

(A fast shot of Jazlyn looking up with bewildered eyes and another of Lauren slowly running toward Janelle.)

ASHLEY: What's wrong?

JANELLE: (close-up shot of Janelle with narrowed eyes) (Slowly says...) Something bit me. (She looks off at something in the distance and the other girls match her gaze).

(Shot of the sky with nothing there.)

JANELLE: It's swelling! (Shot of Janelle's arm as a red bite appears with a circular swelling around it and then a large diameter of general edema).

(Shot of Candice speaking in French to a museum man while Janelle holds up her arm.)

NARRATOR: In theaters August 2010.

So basically, Janelle got bit by some horrid bug and we decided to cut the trip short and not look at the rest of the gardens. This is too bad, but I like Janelle more than trees anyway.

Once Janelle felt better and the swelling had gone down, we decided to trek on over to the Louvre and see what we could find. We picked out these works of art and just saw those because we didn't want to spend the whole rest of the day there. These are the pieces we saw:

Code of Hammurai, Seated Ramses II, Aphrodite (Venus de Milo), Borghese Gladiator, Psyche and Cupid, The Wings of Victory of Samothrace, the Mona Lisa (of course), Napoleon III apartments, coronation crown of Louis XV, The Lacemaker, and Ruben's Room.

My personal favorite is the Psyche and Cupid statue. I am not normally into mythology, but this love story is so tender and so much like Beauty and the Beast to me, that to see the statue made me really happy.

The story goes something like this: Aphrodite doesn't like Psyche because she is very beautiful and many men fall in love with her. So she sends her son, Cupid, to scratch Psyche with one of his arrows and makes it so that she falls in love with a monster or something. Cupid turns himself invisible and is about to scratch Psyche when she is sleeping, but she suddenly wakes up and looks at him straight in the eyes although he shouldn't be visible. He is startled and accidently pricks himself with an arrow and falls immediately in love with Psyche. He decides not to follow out on his mother's orders. Aphrodite then makes it so that no mortal man can fall in love with Psyche, and Cupid retaliates by not shooting arrows at anybody.
Psyche's parents are very concerned that no one is falling in love with her, so they talk to an oracle which tells them to leave her up on a mountain. They do and she is whisked away to a castle with invisible servants and is married to the man of the castle who is Cupid except that he is invisible.
She is allowed to stay there as long as she doesn't see Cupid, but she doesn't know who he is, so one night she creeps into his room and lights a candle and sees him and is whisked away to Aphrodite's castle.
Aphrodite decides to test Psyche and won't let her back to her husband unless she completes three impossible tasks. Through the help of many, she is able to complete the tasks and Cupid and Psyche live happily ever after.

After the Louvre, we ate at this amazing French restaurant that serves Italian food. I got lasagne carne (doesn't taste as good as yours, Mom!) It was still yummy, though. I went to bed happy.


This fourth day in Paris was supposed to be very relaxed and it was in the morning. We took a nice boat ride down the Seine and then had some crepes afterward. We shopped along the touristy places near Notre Dame as well and bought ice cream. It then took us about two hours of navigating to get to Montemartre and by that time, we were all pretty tuckered out. I got myself a cool Brazilian Jersey for any sports that I go to and a picture of Sacre Coeur. I hope Kevin U. is satisfied. It was beautiful!

The train ride home took forever, but I lived and we finally got back to home: London. I was surprised by how much I missed the familiar streets and the English language. In fact, I was so ecstatic, that I ended up having a weird conversation with the man at the register in TESCO. Since Janelle and I had both bought soccer jerseys, we thought we would wear them when we went to shop for groceries. I mentioned to her and Ashley while we were in line that someone would probably think I was Brazilian because of my skin color. Sure enough, the first thing the man at the cash register asked was, "Are you Brazilian?" This is kind of how our conversation went:

ME: No. I'm American. I just like Brazil.

MAN: (Smiles and continues to check out my groceries)

ME: I'm learning Portuguese and it's really hard, but I love it! I think it would be so fun to go to Brazil. I think I want to go there this summer and help some orphans there or something. If that works out. (I am very excited and passionate about what I am saying).

MAN: (Continues to smile) Good. (Leaves to try to find another container of grapes that will scan better).

ME: (Realizing that I just had a conversation with myself, I became very sheepish) Well, have a good day! Bye. (Runs to Janelle at front of store).

The end.

SUNDAY - Last Sunday at Hyde Park Ward.

First of all, I just want to say that I am serious about this Portuguese thing. I am going to learn Portuguese and then someday I am going to go over there and do some helping.

Second of all, I really want to write for the church, but I don't know how to start doing that. I have many things to say and reiterate and cool things to share, but I'm probably too young and inexperienced to write about those things and have Desert Book publish them.

Thirdly, church was amazing! In sacrament, a man from Salt Lake City spoke on feeling the Spirit. His name is Brother Ostler. He used one of Marion G. Romney's talks as a base for his talk. I think my favorite part was when he talked about serving others. He told us a story about Elder Eyring's father (the man the Eyring Science Center is named after). In his late eighties, Hal Eyring had intense bone cancer in his hip area. One day in church, they passed around a sign-up sheet to go weed some onion patches. Hal signed up even though his bone cancer would cause him pain. While weeding, the pain became so great that Hal was forced to drag himself around on his stomach. Yet, he still smiled and laughed and talked with the people he was serving with. At the end of the day, he found out that the row he had picked had already been sprayed and the weeds would have died the next day anyway. He laughed and made a joke out of it and then went on his way. When Elder Eyring asked him how he had such a positive attitude, Hal said, "I wasn't there to pick weeds."

I hope that in situations like that I realize that I am doing things for the right reasons (serving others to feel the Spirit).

Anyway, I am getting very tired now. One last cool thing that Janelle told me about: When people write Xmas, it's not bad. It doesn't mean that are replacing Christ's name with an "X." The X is actually a sacred symbol in Greek that means Christ. If we write Xmas with that attitude, then it is perfectly fine and very correct.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On my own..

Well, I thought today was going to be wonderful because for once, I was allowed to go on my own to visit some sites and I thought I would be little Miss Adventurer and go see London. This is what happened: Went to Primark on Oxford Street to get a good, cheap purse so that I could bring chocolate home to all my friends and family. You all probably like that. Man, that place is like a gargantuan beehive. I was being pushed and shoved around by all of these small ladies! I must not be drinking enough milk. Anyway, I got in and out as fast as possible. The next thing I attempted to do was visit the Tower of London. Just the outside of it. I wanted some good pictures. When I stepped out of Tower Hill station, it was there in all of its glory, so I took a picture of it, walked around a park for a second and walked back into the station. 

Here is something to know about the tube: When we got to London, our professor used some of the program money to buy us all month passes to the tube. Before you can actually get in the station, you have to press your card against this pad and then these plastic/rubber/something doors swing open and let you through. I wasn't in a rush, but I was going fast and so when I put my card down, I accidentally let the lady in front of me through and then I got stuck in the doors. I am sure it was a hilarious sight for everybody watching me. I can just imagine them saying something like, "Hey, look at that American! We should watch this over and over again on the security cameras." Anyway, eventually I got unstuck after nobody would help me and talked to the service guy who told me that my card said I was inside the station. He let me through but gave me a weird look. Anyway, it wasn't that bad, just not what I was expecting.

I got home and had Subway for the first time since leaving the USA. Yum! I love Subway. The bread is so fluffy! :) It's funny because Justin wrote a letter that said he just barely had Subway for the first time in Hungary. So I guess we're more alike than we look.

After doing a little bit of tidying, I did an aerobic workout in my room combining all I can remember from turbo kick class, track and field workouts, and Kathy Smith. It was good. I took a shower and attempted to memorize some verbs in Portuguese and then fell asleep. And here I am now. 

Today was actually pretty wonderful. Besides the tube station thing, everything went pretty smoothly. 

Here are a few cool things from class today and the day before:

1. Yesterday, our professors were talking about the thee, thou, thine, etc... usage which was used back in the day of King James I. Nowadays, that language seems kind of distant and formal, but we are expected to pray in that language. When we use those words, it seems like we are addressing Heavenly Father in a way that we actually wouldn't address a father. When I talk my earthly father (Scott), I don't ever say thee or thine. 

Here is the interesting part: Back in King James' time, there was also a formal and informal language that they used when addressing people. Thee, thou, thine, etc... was actually informal for that time period! That means when we address Heavenly Father, there is a familiarity there. When we speak to Him using thee and thou, we are using our words to create a conversation similar to what family members or friends would have with each other. Doesn't that just make perfect sense? So when we address Heavenly Father using those words, we are doing two things: we are respecting Him and we are acknowledging that He really is our Supreme Father.

2. Okay, so I found out today in class that I might speak a little differently than most people. Apparently back in the day, it was considered higher class to say the "g" sound in the ending "-ing." -ing sounds like eenguh. Most of us nowadays totally leave that off because it is easier for our mouths to say in' and omit the "g" completely or you might say a silent "g." Dr. Lonsdale pointed out three of us who all come from different places in the States who he has noticed say the "g" at the end of our -ing words. One of them was Lauren. She is from Southern California. Apparently, in her schools (K-8th) they really hammered down on speaking correctly and she had to do vocal exercises every day with her class. He then pointed out Erica, who is recently from Maryland... I can't remember where she was before that. And then he said my name. I had kind of thought I might say the "g," but I wasn't sure. I don't know if our family says the "g" or if it's from Oregon or Spanish Fork. Probably not Spanish Fork. They leave out so many letters. Anyway, I think I just decided one day to speak better. That's why I say come-fort-able, not cump-ter-bul and inter-est-ing, not in-trest-ing. Weird, but kind of cool. It's always nice when someone points out something unique about you.

3. THIS IS FOR ALL OF YOU PERFECTIONISTS OUT THERE: Haha, I know a lot of you, so listen up. Dr. Hallen said something amazing in class today and that was: Live and perfect yourself as you go. Don't wait until you are perfect to live. 
This is a positive attitude that many of us should have. Will you ever be happy if you are waiting for yourself to be perfect before you will live life to its fullest? No. And that is not what Heavenly Father wants you to do. That is why we use the Atonement. When we make mistakes, we can clean up. Every day I clean and tidy my room because it gets messy. Every day we make little mistakes and sin and our room becomes a little dirty. When that happens, we can repent daily and get our rooms tidy again. So basically your "room" is your actions and thoughts. If you don't do anything at all, maybe your "room" won't get dirty, but you will never grow or learn from your mistakes and in the end, you will have to repent because you buried your talent. You dug yourself in a hole and sat there and didn't help anyone or do anything. Now is the time to live life and to try to perfect ourselves along the way! We have one chance at this probationary mortal life and we should do something good with it. 

4. Sorry, about that little schpeel (sp?) above. I wasn't thinking about anyone in particular, I just had a rush of thoughts and this is one of my journals so I thought I would write it all down. The fourth thing is a story that Dr. Lonsdale told us in class. 

When Dr. Lonsdale was younger, he heard a small knock on his door and upon opening, found three little children staring up at him with their wide eyes. One of them said, "Hi. Can we interview you?" 

He let them in and after a little more conversation found that they were supposed to interview someone about their job and somehow they had chosen to interview a linguist. One of the questions they asked was: "What is the saddest thing about your job?" Deryle had never been asked this before and hasn't been asked since. It was the question maybe only a child would think of. 

Deryle thought for a moment and said, "When languages die. That is the saddest part for me." 

The children were inquisitive. They asked, "Why is that sad?"

Deryle explained to them how languages and dialects just die out and nobody speaks them anymore and how it is a sad thing for him, probably because he loves languages so much. At the end of this conversation, the children were in tears. They didn't want languages to die. Don't worry, though! They cheered up after a bit more talking.

This really made me think. I don't want languages to die either and I am sad about it, but probably not to the extent the children were. Their perfect innocence touches me. I want to be more like them.

Anyway, this is my last post until Saturday night! 

To family and friends and, you know, why not everybody in the world? 

I love you!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Almost Paris!

Yes, it is almost time for our group to embark on a little trip to Pearee (Paris). I'm excited. I am also not taking my computer, so don't be scared if messages from me begin to be scarce.

Today was pretty awesome, but I had a small migraine, so it made it hard to enjoy things for a long time.

Four of us, Ashley, Candice, Janelle, and I, went to Samuel Johnson's house. He is the creator of one of the first dictionaries! (I love words.) Anyway, one of my favorite pieces of information I learned about him was that he was in debt often and that when the constable would come to take him to debtor's prison, he would barricade the door with his bed and yell, "This is my sanctuary!" Or something like that. I thought it was great.

We also walked around Covent Garden, which I thought was pronounced Convent Garden for about six months. It's a pretty neat marketplace. They were selling antiques, fine jewelry, and food. There were also many street performers there. I wish I would have taken pictures!

I spent the rest of the afternoon planning tomorrow, talking to Katelyn, and getting groceries. At seven, we had a fireside about WWII in England with President Chittock. His remarks were very interesting. I especially liked how he talked about the little covered underground houses they would make in the backyards to protect them from shrapnel during the air raids.

After the fireside, we had a tea party. (Herbal, of course, but I didn't have any.) I like tea parties. There were many goodies which I promptly tried to exercise off in my room by doing aerobics. I was interrupted when Silja and Katelyn decided to dance in the room instead. Since dancing is a good workout, I tried to dance with them, too. I don't think I did a very good job at it, but it was fun to try for a little while.

Tomorrow is going to be a big day. That is all I will say for now. :)


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sleeping Sunday

Actually, I tried to nap about three times on Sunday and kept thinking of something I would rather do and so I would get up and do that thing instead.

After an emotionally hard week, Sunday came and I was so excited. I got up early so that I could get ready and have extra time to read scriptures. Reading scriptures in the morning is so good! Reading scriptures at night is so good too. Last night during the fireside, one of the girls said, "It's hard to know when to read your scriptures - you can choose when you're tired or you can choose when you're tired." Choose both!

At church, we had a wonderful lesson on family scripture and prayer and FHE from one of the sisters. I am glad that even though my family is going through a hard time right now, they still do their scripture and prayer and sometimes FHE. Elder Ulisses Soares from the First Quorum of the Seventy also spoke to us on having a broken heart and a contrite spirit. This really helped me, especially after the hard week. I took a lot of good notes that I will post later.

I came home and did some gospel studying and also decided that I need to learn Portuguese. I don't know how I am going to do it, but I will learn it. I hope that someday I will be able to go to Brazil and help the poorer parts of the country by administering to their health. I will also find a way to buy an abundance of apples to give to everyone.

I noticed one of my readers checking back on my entry entitled, "My Stomach." I assume they did this because I mentioned eating at the bakery before my week was up. After certain events this week, I was offered quite a bit of desserts, a few of which I had and only because my heart had been broken and I am a girl. Because I am going to Paris this week and definitely want to sample the amazing buttery and sugary food there, I have decided to just moderate what I eat. I feel that I can go without sugar if I want to. I'm not addicted and I am especially not addicted to sugar when I stop thinking every day, "I can't have any sugar." So, we'll see how this goes. The fact is, only eat until you are satisfied and then stop.

Last night, Aimee and I had a good discussion on the quality of our education and how a lot of it depends on what we are willing to put forth into it. I'm excited to implement these ideas in the coming semester. I decided to sign up for fewer classes because if my grandma is still around, I want to be there for her and not always at the library.

Today is looking to be good. :) And there is so much to be excited about.

<3 Jazlyn

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Portobello Road and The Cambridge Cafe and The Museum of Childhood and The Hummingbird Bakery and the Elders...

Today was the day that I finally slept in - until 7:30 am. It was bliss! I had crunchy peanut butter toast and the best strawberries (2 pounds for 2 cases, if I haven't told you already). 

After a leisurely morning, Katelyn and I left to go shopping at the famous Portobello Road. Our directions from the Notting Hill station were: ...just follow the crowd of people. Seriously. You will get to Portobello Road.

I found a cool watch and a pretty dress and was about to get my dad this really cool chessboard but decided against it because I can't remember the last time I saw him playing chess. The road was super crowded but I was amazed! It felt like an actual market. I don't think I've been to one of those before.

We then travelled about 12 stops to Bethnal Green so that we could go to the Museum of Childhood. We found a small cafe there called Cambridge and ate the cheapest, best, most missed American meal ever. I purchased a cheeseburger and a pancake with ice cream on it. Both were delicious and cost me less than five pounds altogether.

Three things about the Museum of Childhood: 1. Katelyn and I got to play with toys and we decided to make puppets and do a show for her birthday. We also discovered that we don't have imaginations anymore.
2. We found the toy that is full of little needles that aren't sharp... you know the kind. You gently press your hand on one side and on the other it makes an imprint of your hand.. Anyway, there was a human-body-sized one of those. I know this must be very confusing, but it was very awesome.
3. I found these earrings that I didn't get because they were 20 quid, but after speaking with the cashier for a little bit, I learned that they were delicately made with very thin origami paper. It seriously did not look like it. I loved the earrings so much that I secretly decided to become very good at origami so I could duplicate the little tulips and dragonflies that the person had created.

Hummingbird Cafe: Not as wonderful as it was hyped up to be, but they had good devil's food cake.

Janelle and I went to the Creperie (it happens a lot) and while we were sitting there talking, I saw two elders walk by. I didn't think to say hi because I forgot I was not in Utah. At the last second, I raised up both of my hands and said, "Elders!" They instantly turned to us and said, "You're members?!" One of them was Elder Espinoza from Kearns. The other said he was from Brazil. He pronounced it the American way, so afterward I said, "Oh Brawseel!" They were excited about that. Thank you, J. Fenn, for your Portuguese lessons. I asked him about where he lived and about the piranhas and anaconda snakes. He told me some funny things. I mentioned that my ex-boyfriend went to Belem and talked a little with him about how there is or isn't air conditioning in that area. It was fun. They gave us Portuguese pass-along cards (they are Portuguese speaking elders for the South Kensington ward). Apparently, if we say Oi! Tudu vay (that's how it sounded), then the Portuguese would love us. I will be saying, "Oi" as I travel then. Otherwise, how will I find these Portuguese people? :)


I looked up "European Adventure" on Google to see if my blog would come up. I guess my title isn't very original because about 9,750,000 sites came up. 

Friday, July 16, 2010


Today we left at 7:55 am to visit Oxford University! We toured around the city, Hertford College, in the Oxford University Press, Christ's Church College, went to St. Mary's Cathedral and then walked around the city.

During my winter semester last year, I took a HIST 202 class. The professor required that each student choose and read a text from a list of about 5-10 different books. I chose Soul Made Flesh by Carl Zimmer. I highly recommend this book. Not only is it about the rediscovery of the brain (Thomas Willis), but other people's discoveries. These include: William Harvey, Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke, Nathaniel Hodges, William Petty, Christopher Wren, and Rene Descartes. One of my favorite anecdotes in the book is about how William Harvery discovered that blood moves in a circular pattern around the body.

As I have trekked around Ireland, Wales, and England, I have seen the actual books and documents that these men wrote on as they tried to piece together how the body functions. I feel so connected to them, especially as a science/med major. I even found out that Thomas Willis graduated from Christ's Church College with an M.A. and I went there today! I know that these men had to be inspired by God to discover these things and I am so glad that they had the courage to stand for what they knew to be true. It's very amazing.

There is one spot in Oxford that is dedicated and never paved over. This particular place is where two men, Nicholaus Ridley and Hugh Latimer, were burned for defending what they believed was the only true church of God. As they were burning, Latimer encouraged Ridley by saying, "Be of good comfort, Mr. Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out." This reminds me of the many courageous men, women, and children who were put to flames for their testimonies of the scriptures. I hope that if the day ever comes, I will be just as brave.

Hertford college was pretty neat. Now that I think about it, I don't remember much except that they have a huge stained glass window in the chapel with William Tyndale in it. He is the guy who decided to translate the Bible in English and he was murdered for doing so, but because of him, King Henry VIII was able to distribute Bibles for even the poorest farmer to read. (Although his intentions had more to do with his numerous wives than with sharing the gospel with the world. No matter his intentions, though, this was an important turning event for Christianity.)

Here is what I learned about the Oxford University Press: they are constantly working on the next dictionary. They have people read books for them and find words that aren't in the dictionary already or meanings that have changed and then these people spend hours changing the OED. The man we met with has been working with the longest entry ever to be added to a dictionary so far which is the word "run." We use run in so many different ways that he has spent from November until exactly today trying to find each way we use the word run. 

We visited Christ's Church because, of course, the Great Hall from Harry Potter is situated there. We actually got to walk in, take pictures, and then leave. On the way out, we stopped to see where we could exit and this old British man said, "Move along." Loitering laws??

We then went to see St. Mary's Cathedral which was pretty cool, but I think Lauren and Janelle got more out of it than I did because they recognized some of the people who were either buried there or connected to the cathedral.

And lastly, I bought an Oxford sweatshirt. I could have resisted, but I didn't and I'm glad. It makes me look very slim. :)