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. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

British Museum, British Library, and the Phantom of the Opera!

I went with Ashley and Janelle to the British Museum and Library yesterday. I am not really an artsy person, but I was amazed by the number of statues that the Greeks, Romans, and Middle-Eastern people were able to preserve. As I walked around the exhibits, I sort of wondered what it would be like to be walking around Greece in the country side and stumble upon a statue or two. It reminds me of a scene in the Little Princess when she climbs on top of this massive stone head while listening to an Indian story. To find these sculptures naturally where they were left is a privilege that I hope archaeologists remember as they go searching in mounds of dirt for these things.
One of the coolest parts of the museum was seeing the Rosetta Stone. I truly think it was inspired by God to be there for man to use for translation. It has truly changed my life and probably the lives of many others. The Rosette Stone has been used to translated Egyptian hieroglyphics and by doing so, has helped us obtain an small understanding of what ancient Egypt was like. The translations are also supplements to the scriptures. As we understand the history of these people, we will be able to understand the Bible and the Book of Mormon better.
In the museum, there was also a clock room. On the hour, the clocks were all supposed to go off at once. This did not happen, but I did not care too much. I just enjoy looking at clocks. I like them.
Oh yeah, and I totally saw Cleopatra except as a mummy. The kind that is wrapped up in strips, not the kind pushing a stroller.

We only visited one exhibit in the British Library - I think it may be the only one - and it was absolutely, fantastically wonderful. I am just going to make a list of what I saw and if it is on the list, then you know it must be important to me:

  • Beowulf
  • Jane Austen's writing
  • Oscar Wilde writing
  • Wordsworth's poetry
  • Thomas Hardy
  • Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Shakespearean tragedies and poetry
  • A prayer roll from Henry VIII
  • Music from Handel (I SAW THE "MESSIAH"!)
  • Mozart
  • Beethoven
  • Schubert
  • and the Beatles
  • the Gutenberg Bible. I think this may actually be the first printed Bible. I think Janelle and I stared at it with our mouths open for quite some time.
  • Early Qu'arns (sp)
  • Magna Carta
  • a very wrong map of Long Island. I wish I could have taken a picture for my dad
And then later that evening, we went to the theater and watched The Phantom of the Opera. That was truly an amazing experience. It was sooo cool! I loved the set and the lighting and the singing and whoo! 


Spiritually speaking, our professor related something cool to us. When the Catholics were kind of in power in Great Britain, the pope told his people to not tear down the pagan buildings/places that the Celts had made. He said to instead douse it with Holy Water and dedicate it to the Lord. 

This is what was essentially done with the idea of Christmas. Christ is believed to have been born in April and even people back in the early days believed that. However, we instead celebrate his birthday during a pagan holiday. We have replaced this pagan holiday with Christianity. Now before Christmas was Christian, it was a festival for the pagan's in which they celebrated light. By turning the holiday Christian through celebrating Christ's birthday on that day, they were not only able to change certain pagan traditions (we still have some probably), but they were able to relate Christ to being the Light. As LDS members, we often refer to Christ as the light and the life of the world. Easter was also originally a pagan holiday about fertility. Now when many of us think of Easter, we think of Christ. We have replaced another pagan holiday with Christianity and we can associate Christ with life, if you take fertility to mean the giving of life. So from this replacing of pagan traditions with Christianity, we have shown Christ to be the light and the life. 

This may seem very confusing. If you are really interested, I will try to explain it clearer later.

Well, off to bed with me!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hmm... what happened Monday?

Everything is mushed together!

Oh, I remember.

I climbed up the 500+ steps to the top of St. Paul's Cathedral.

I'm trying to make this seem like an accomplishment. The idea of someone ascending each of those 500 steps is enough to make a lady's jaw drop. In reality, it's nothing to the people who hike mountains/run marathons/balance a child on each hip while grocery shopping.

Enough said about the steps. The view is what I want to talk about and it was spectacular! I looked out into the distance and glimpsed Big Ben, Tower Bridge, the London Eye, and the tube station straightaway. Then I saw the Millennium Bridge (the one that got snapped apart in the sixth Harry Potter) and realized that flowing under it was the famous Thames. What a sight!

Besides that, I got some homework done and bought a ticket to see Phantom of the Opera. That's tomorrow night and I am super stoked.

What happened today?

Well, I, of course, went through three hours of class which turned out to be quite enjoyable. I feel like I learned much about the history of the English language and also, how to translate Present English into Middle English. I think I will not use this knowledge on upcoming essays.

Today we also saw Henry XIII. I do not like that man, but the play was very enjoyable, though a little hard to hear. I liked the costumes and the story and the fact that I was sitting in the Globe Theater.

And then I did my laundry. Three pounds. That's about $4.50. There goes three cookies. Or two plastic boxes of strawberries. Four frosties. An undershirt. Perhaps, a French pastry?

Places to go after I am done with my no-crazy-sugar-week: Hummingbird Bakery and Cocomaya.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

My Stomach

So I think I have been losing weight, but who really knows?

The thing is that I am addicted to sugar.

At the food festival in Wales Friday, Janelle, Chloe, and I were discussing how addictive sugar is. One of us commented, "It's like I have a candy bar and then I am seriously looking for my next treat an hour later!" Someone else said, "I'm going to get back to the States and go to the ice cream shop every day and be disappointed because it's not gelato."

Last night as I was drifting off to sleep, I wondered how I could treat my body better. It does a lot for me. Almost everything, actually. Maybe I am working off the calories I consume each day as I walk circles around London, but more than just my fat cells are factored into this. First of all, frequent eating without drinking water in between leads to cavities! I want to take care of my teeth. I want them to be shiny and sparkly for as long as possible. Second, think of all the work my liver and gallbladder are doing to break down fat! I have already had a mother whose gallbladder was full of gallstones and a grandmother whose gallbladder contained an aggressive cancer. The second situation is very deadly. I want to live! I want to be around for awhile so that I can be with my family on earth. And third, my boyfriend reminds me of this all the time, I do not want my arteries clogged.

I feel that it's not good to be addicted to things. Even sugar. I have decided to take a week off the extra stuff: chocolate, crepes, ice cream, cakes... I've already enjoyed a lot of that in Europe. It's time to enjoy other types of food. I want to see what a week does for my body and then I want to see what two weeks does. Obviously, it's okay to have things in moderation, but if I have a candy bar at this point, then I will have another tomorrow... I need to establish self control first and then break some rules. I think that is the best idea.

I can do it!

Back home!

Yes, "We're back home!" is what I said very loudly as we entered our flats yesterday evening. Bus rides all over the countryside tend to leave me aching for a bed to stretch out on and chocolate. Thus, coming home makes me very excited. I will be excited squared when I get back to the States and have the option of chicken or french toast for dinner. Today I almost ate canned mac and cheese and instead opted for bread and peanut butter (mm!). I hear from my brother in Hungary that the food there is superb. I should get my invisibility cloak on for a small trip to Budapest.

Anyway, while our little trip did wear me out, I was able to visit the most remarkable things!

Yesterday, we traveled to three places: Bath, Salisbury, and Jane Austen's home in Cha..... can't remember the rest of it. In Bath, we entered the Roman Bath museum area and were guided by an audio tour. It was so cool! I tried to think of all the different types of people who could have used the baths. I began to think of the story where Jesus heals a man who has been sitting near a bath for years trying to make it to the healing waters, but never actually gets there. After Jesus heals him, he betrays Christ. Poor man.

In Bath, three other things happened: 1.) I ate the most awesome pastie. It had Thai curry in it with coriandur. It made me miss my boyfriend and his family because we've had coriandur curry a couple of times at their house and I had never eaten it before then. 2.) Katie and I visited the Victorian Art Museum and watched the river for a bit. It was fun to reflect. 3.) We watched a guy balance a unicycle on his chicken. Wow.

When we were in Salisbury, we visited St. Someone's Cathedral and the Magna Carta building. I took many pictures of the tombs and memorials in the cathedral so that I could share them with people trying to finish their genealogy.

Jane Austen's house was awesome! She is by far my favorite author. It was very neat to see where she lived.

A couple of days ago I did a high kick to see if I could reach a leaf with foot and my back popped into place (it has been out of place for some time). It felt so good the rest of the trip, but then when I got back, I was putting away something and it popped back into the wrong place again. It's killing me now. :( That's all right. I'll try those high kicks in my room for a little bit and see if I can get it back.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Past Three Days

Quick catch-up bullet list:


  • Met up with Wales group to go look at a burial site and St. Fagan's area. I remet a girl from my hometown, Taalin (sp?). Anyway, she is chemistry buds with one of my other friends, Tom. It was a cool connection. I also remet another girl from my freshman ward named Laura. I remember her testimony from one Sunday. It was a testimony about how as we try to do the right things we will progress and spiritually mature. The burial site was cool. We kind of learned a Welsh song that went something like: Belay me Daniel Belay me Daniel something something Am Beth Am Beth something something. 
  • Hiked around the Castle Coch because a wedding was going on inside.
  • Went to the Castle Coch. This place is very special to me. As I was touring, I was feeling faintly familiar with the place and the names when I saw the symbol of a crane next to the name George Burges. George Burges and another person living at the castle, Lady Margaret, are both ancestors of mine. I think that the cranes depicted around George Burges are actually on my Crandall family crest. I loved the castle so much, I wanted to buy a painting depicting it (for only 9 pounds!), but it was rather bulky and I didn't think I could preserve it very well on the way back to the States. I decided that I will show Justin a picture of it and have him paint it for me. He would love to do that, right? ;) This reminds me of an experience my Grandma told me about when she was walking down the streets of Norwich - she felt like her ancestors had walked the same streets that she was walking on. When she got home and told my great-grandma about it, she said that in fact, her ancestors were from Norwich! How exciting! I feel like I just had that same experience.
  • Got home and decided to go shopping. Got six shirts and a skirt for 18 pounds. Came back to the hostel for a rest and then left to go to the food festival. I tried sheep's milk ice cream. Better than cow's. I bought an organic Wales black beef burger and a rich chocolate pudding cup. Both hit the spot. Also saw a guy being strapped to a stretcher with blood coming out of his head. I had to suppress my urge to bandage his wound.

  • Woke up at 3:20 am to visit Stonehenge so that we could see the sun come up over the stones. Unfortunately, it was a misty/rainy day, but the stones were so cool! I loved them. We took many pictures.
  • Went on a hike up to the Tor. This has something to do with King Arthur and it is really cool. I went on my own personal hike there and felt very energized for waking up so early. 
  • Went to the Glastonbury Abbey. What a beautiful place! The abbey is kind of in ruins, but there is a huge park around it with a garden, a pond, and a lake. I just wanted to spend the whole day there! Only had 30 minutes, but it was so worth it. A definite place to come back to. 
  • Went to Tintern Abbey. This was even more spectacular than the Glastonbury Abbey. I think what made it so special to me was the poem that William Wordsworth wrote about Tintern Abbey. Thank you, Becca, for introducing our class to that poem! I loved it and wish I had time to write a poem while I was there.
  • If you haven't noticed already, there were many places we didn't have a lot of time at because we were kind of late. I was sad that many people did not want to go to some of these places, but many had stayed up later than me.
  • Arrived in Cardiff and went shopping with Lauren and Janelle. Got a skirt and sweater and some flowers for my hair. :) We saw a guy getting arrested and while he was getting arrested, a woman he was with would go up and kick the police in the tush. It was weird to watch.
  • Took a long walk with Lauren and got to know her  better. It was very enjoyable!
Two days ago:

  • Left London very early to get to Avebury to be close to see Stone Henge in the morning
  • Stopped at Stoarhead and didn't have much time! This is the place where Pride and Prejudice was filmed (the scene where it is raining and Mr. Darcy declares his abnormal love for Elizabeth and she refuses his marriage proposal). This was a HUGE park. I could have spent hours wandering in there. Definitely one of my favorites during this trip. You can rend holiday cottages there! I highly recommend something like that.
  • Got to hostel and the lady wanted all of us to pay 50 pence for everything. She was funny, but stingy. We actually went to the town of Avebury and looked at older stones and some goats. I bought some White Chocolate with Vanilla Bean. That was good. I played life size checkers with Chloe and I won. She was really good though. It was luck. Silja found some little green worms that had blown into my hair.
  • I rode in my first taxi ever.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Two Plays

Here is pretty much what happened yesterday:

* Talked to Brandon on the phone (I finally memorized the phone number to call, my pin number, the 00's, the country code, the city code, and Brandon's number.
* Went to class and learned tons about Indo-European and Germanic languages. Because Justin is in Hungary serving his mission, I tried to remember something cool about the Hungarian language. There are only a few ways in English that we could say sing. Sing, sang, sung. In Hungarian, the word for sing can be adapted into many, many more variations. Another cool things I learned in class has to do with agglutinative languages. In this type of language, you take a word and you just keep adding different parts onto the word until the word means enough to describe what would take us a whole paragraph to write.
* After class, Janelle, Erica, Katelyn, and I rushed over to that crepe place I was talking about earlier. This time Janelle and I split a ham, cheese, and pepper crepe and a banana et chocolate crepe. I really cannot wait to get to Paris. This food is magnificent!
* Janelle and I then went to the Natural History Museum. First of all, those museums are crazy with the toilets. We followed a path of arrows for about five minutes before we reached a bathroom. Besides having  toilets, the museum also contained tons of fossils, stuffed animals (taxidermy kind), rocks, plant life, butterflies, etc. It was cool. I got a present for Mom and Brandon there.
* After the museum, Janelle and I went back to the crepe place and got ice cream. I splurged a little on the sugar yesterday, I know.
* We then went to the grocery shop with some other girls from our group who we saw inside. I found the best tasting strawberries in the WORLD there. They are so red and sweet and regular-sized. Since I finished shopping first (which seems to happen a lot) I waited outside the store and a man from Bangladesh began talking to me. He asked where I was from and I said America. He asked why I was there and I said to study the English language. I guess he was confused as to why I would travel all the way over here to study the english language in britain when I could study it in my home country. I told him briefly that people from the States and the English speak differently. He asked for an example. This is how our conversation went:

Me: Okay, so when I say "car," I say kahr. The English say something like kawh.
Guy: Yes, American voice comes from the chest.
Me: Yes and the English sound like.. Well, I say I am going to the tube station. The English say (I said this in a high voice) I ahm goin'to the choob stahshun.

* Up and decided to see Les Miserables. Best play ever!


* Talk with Brandon
* Class
* Macbeth play - a very interesting, weird adapted play. Very interesting.
* Victoria and Albert Museum with Janelle
* Ben's Cookies
* Homework

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday in London

Today was my first day in our London ward. The testimonies were very touching and I counted at least nine different ethnicities in the congregation. The first American to bear her testimony was a woman who was wearing red, white, blue, and black. She explained that the red, white, and blue was to celebrate the U.S.'s independence from Britain and that the black was mourning for the Mother Country who lost America. It was pretty funny.

During what would normally be sunday school, the bishop (or maybe it was the stake president..) pulled us aside and kind of explained to us that since we wouldn't be here long, we would just attend the ward and help where needed. He also said something like: Today you are probably wishing you were eating BBQ, lighting fireworks, and drinking sugary-carbonated drinks. This may be the first time you are away from your family, friends, boyfriends, and home during this holiday. However, when you are away from the places you feel most secure, you may make this an opportunity to find out who  you are. I challenge you to go on a walk to the park and to sit there and think, if only for a few minutes: "Who am I?" and once you figure that out you might answer the question, "Who is God?" and then answer, "Who is Jesus Christ?" In those few minutes, you have answered for yourself these questions and you can board that plane home and know who you are, who God is, and who has saved you.

Anyway, it was really touching. I cried.

After church, I did go to the park and contemplate these things. This is what I came up with. Who am I? I am a princess of the Most High King or in other words, Heavenly Father. I am a sister to my siblings and a daughter to my parents. I am a friend. I am a peacemaker. I am a student. I am a lover of good books. My nature is divine and my soul is immortal.
Who is God? God is my Heavenly Father whose sacrifice and love for me has given me a family, a body, immortality, and a chance to live with Him again. God is all powerful. He knows everything and He is perfect. We are all His children and Christ is His Begotten Son. Heavenly Father loves me perfectly and knows what is best for me. If I trust in Him, I know I can become my best self.
Who is Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ is the most perfect man ever to be born on this earth. He glorifies Heavenly Father and loves us so much that through much pain and suffering He made an intercession for us. We can purge ourselves of our sins and become clean and whole so that we can enter God's presence at some point. Christ is our Brother, Redeemer, Savior, King, Light, and who the gospel often centers around.

After the park, four of girls went to watch Evensong at Westminster Abbey. The abbey was absolutely full of stone graves and we noticed that Sir Isaac Newton was buried there. The music was pretty cool and I felt like I was living in more ancient times. However, I prefer our chapel and our ordinances because I know that they are correct.

I finished my fast and had the biggest peanut butter and jelly sandwich of my life. Wishing that there was a waffle or two in the mix.


Room for the Restoration

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

This begins the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.

When separated from our mother country, we created room for freedom of religion. We created a nation on which the people decide on how it is run. This is the kind of foundation our Father in Heaven needed to begin the Restoration of the gospel. 

I love the United States of America. I am not oppressed. I can worship my God how I want and attend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am free to write and learn and to live. My voice matters. 

I know that my country was chosen as a place to restore the gospel because of these freedoms. I know that the first latter-day prophet, Joseph Smith, truly saw God and His Son. I know that he translated the Book of Mormon and that it's doctrines and principles are true. I fully believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior and Redeemer of all mankind was spit on, mocked, and finally nailed to a cross where He died for us all. I know that after three days, He was resurrected and reunited with his body. I rejoice in the fact that He lives and that through His death, we can come unto Him and repent of our sins.

There is no other way to live with God again but to follow and become a disciple of Jesus Christ. You must come to Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. You must repent of your sins. You must surrender yourself to God and let Him help you become the best person you can be. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.