Today was Sunday. Such a beautiful day, but it took us 2 hours to get to church. We took the tube to Victoria and then the train to Penge E. We then had wrong directions to get to the church, which is at an elementary school, and barely made it to church on time. You have no idea how good it was to see missionaries as we were turning the corner. Here is a picture a few of us on our way home from church. We saw the tiniest car-- it could've been He Ping Ping's!
Tonight we also had a fireside and they talked about how peculiar we as BYU students are in the UK. We stand out by the way we dress and act. Our standards and morals shock most of the people here. The couple missionaries said that we open the doors for the missionaries here and are so grateful to have us. I have never felt more peculiar in my life, even when I lived in New Orleans and was the only mormon at a catholic school. I feel so out of place here, but I don’t feel like that at church at all. I have a ward family wherever I go. A Scottish sister read Ephesians 2:19 where it says we are no strangers or foreigners. Our differences are not so great because we have the gospel. Again, another sweet conversion story from this English guy from South Africa whose wife died 10 years ago and had 5 children.
Today was wonderful. I gained a stronger testimony of the gospel and god’s love for each of us. I felt that every thing came together for me since I saw the gospel in action in a different part of the world. I kept thinking in my head, “There is no way the gospel is not true.”
Saturday I slept in and we went to try to get into the wimbledom but that would be like a 6 hour wait so we just explored a little bit and then we went shopping at this awesome store called Primark where everything is so cheap. I got a couple of things and plan to go back soon. I will never go shopping on a Saturday again though because every store was a mad house with hundreds of people in each store. It rained on our way back to the centre and it felt so good! We also went to this thai restaurant called Kahns and bought my ticket to see Wicked next week and I cannot wait!
Friday was an amazing day. We went to the tower of London and saw King Henry the VIII’s tower. The history channel did such a good job at setting up everything. I saw the crown jewels and we ran into this famous guy from the tv show Lost, Daniel Day Kin. We then went exploring around the area and went to this sweet outdoor market called Borough Market. There were so many food stands everywhere with hundreds of people. There were tons of samples and interesting food. We decided to go for the kangaroo burger, which was so weird but surprisingly food. They put it on this really good bun, with mayo, mustard, and cranberry sauce. It was really good but I couldn’t bring myself to eat all of it. I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind that I was eating a kangaroo… weird. We ran into Shakespeare’s church, some pirate ship, the Tate museum with an amazing view of London, the monument, and we crossed the millennium bridge. My favorite part though was when we found a piano in the middle of this outdoor shopping courtyard and took turns playing it (except me cause I can’t play). We then started to form a pretty large crowd around us and every one was clapping and we were dancing and it was just amazing and so much fun especially when My friend Erika played Apologize on the piano and we were sinhing T pain in the background hahaha I have a video of it so hopefully I’ll figure out how to upload it.
Thursday we went to the Victoria and Albert museum, which was really beautiful. We also saw transformers 2 at a luxury theatre. Even though I didn’t like the movie, I still had the time of my life! We sat in the most comfortable leather seats with foot rests and people in the back were drinking wine and there was a café--- it was just so swanky… and pricey.
Wednesday was the first day of classes, which I am not looking forward to studying at all. We headed out to explore Picadilly and saw Big Ben and the London eye. We also went to the British History museum, which was so huge and kind of boring.
Tuesday was the day that we arrived and we were all so exhausted, but so excited! London is so gorgeous. Everywhere you look there is beautiful architecture. The city is sooo much bigger than I expected. There are so many people every where you go. I left my little camera in the taxi van from the airport and was freaking out when I called the driver and he said that it would cost 50 to 60 pounds for him to get it to me. I was on the verge of tears. I told the director and he said that was ridiculous and so he called the driver back and he said he was just kidding… what ever loser. I did get it back the next day—thank goodness. We live a block away from hyde park so we went for a walk and saw all of the beautiful gardens and the Kensington Palace which is where Queen Diana lived.
Overall, I am exhausted and have blisters all over my feet. It takes twice as long to get anywhere because of the tube. We spend up to 10 hours of walking everyday. But it is so worth it. This is such a great opportunity and I am learning so much. I love not having a phone and I am enjoying learning the culture and the customs here, even though they may seem weird to me now. All of the people on the program are so much fun and loving. I really am having a great time and every day I am so grateful to be experiencing these things.