Life is full of opportunities to serve the beautiful people around us.
Well guys, I am finally in London!
Thursday morning, the 11th, we started out by driving our ElboBus to Brussels where the train station is. We took the Eurostar that goes under the Channel and I was told I slept for the most part. At the station, a pair of LDS missionaries walked by and of course we all waved at them yelling, ‘Hey Elders!’ Turns out a couple of the girls in our group actually knew them! Crazy.
We arrived and split off into smaller groups as we made our way to the London Centre. We took the Tube, London’s underground subway which is very similar to the metro in Paris, to one of the closer stops and walked a few blocks from there to get where I am now. The Brigham Young University’s London Centre.
If you feel so inclined and want a letter from London, feel free to write to me. Maybe include an extra envelope and stamp so you can actually get one back…
The London Centre is wonderful. I’m in a room with seven other girls all piled on four bunk beds, with one drawer and one small closet each. It’s actually a great change from living out of my suitcase though, so I’m grateful for the extra space. I’m on the bottom bunk and there are little notes covering the boards above me.
This place is compact width wise but has a LOT of stairs. I have to go up four flights of stairs to get to my room. My thoughts towards these stairs? Bring it.
We start classes on Monday. I have one class that day. Mondays and Wednesdays I have one class, Tuesdays I have two classes, and Thursdays I have three classes. Friday classes, you ask? Oh right, I don’t have any.
Friday evening we went to a BBC Symphony Orchestra concert. It was wonderful, but no surprises there. At the end of the performance, they did an opera sort of story about a clockmaker and how his overly flirtatious wife seduces a poet, a banker, and a muleteer. At the end, while we all applauded for the performance, I turned to my neighbor and asked her if we were really just clapping for adultery…
Saturday morning I went on a run through Hyde Park. I reread that sentence a few times, letting it soak in. It’s been hard realizing that I’m in a foreign country. I mean, obviously I know I am, but really grasping the idea and fact that I am truly in London, has been a challenge. It’s a dream I thought wouldn’t come true so soon, but here I am. In London.
The run was refreshing, to say the least. It was a struggle getting back up all the stairs though. Around nine o’clock we met with a local Bishop to get our ward assignments. He was from one of the two stakes in the area and only had the assignments from his stake. The other half of us are assigned into the Hyde Park Stake. So today, instead of going to my ward, I went to the Hyde Park ward with about half of the students who also didn’t get their assignments yet.
I’ll get back to that in a second. After the meeting, a couple girls and I walked to Portobello market. It was so much fun! There were a lot of people—we got some pastries (of course) and fish and chips on our way back to the Centre. It was soo good. I would put a picture of the market up, but the internet is being slow and I have dinner soon...priorities.
We had to go quickly to be back in time to get our tickets from the professors to see a matinee showing of Shakespeare’s Richard III at the Globe Theatre. Yeah. Read that sentence again. One more time.
One of the actors also was the actor who played Barty Crouch Sr. in the Harry Potter movies, so that was really cool. We finished off our evening with going to Oxford street and looking at potential shopping areas. I took ‘pack lightly’ a little too seriously and have no clothes. But no worries, I will soon. We finished off our evening with chocolate bars, loud conversation with lots of laughter, and peanut butter facials.
Not that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed the experiences of being in different wards, it was so nice to be in one that speaks English. Especially the hymns! I love singing and even more when I don’t feel like I’m butchering the words. During the third hour, we met with the Stake President, who is very young and very strong in the gospel. He was very kind to us, answering any and all questions we had, and giving us tips on how to experience London. I got my ward assignment to be in the Whitechapel ward, along with two other girls in my program. Next week is Stake Conference, so I won’t be at Whitechapel for another week after that.
I’m really excited to attend my new ward and get a calling there. From what I know about it, they are a ward that hasn’t had their own building for a while and currently meet in a building that takes about an hour and a half to commute to. The number of attending members has halved since this happened and the ward missionaries have been struggling as well. I hope that I can contribute to this ward and help in any way that they need me to.
The weather is gorgeous—reminds me of home. It’s wet but the sky is blue, cold but the hot chocolate keeps me warm, the leaves are falling, and a pair of gloves will be my best friend very soon. I will try to take more pictures soon because since being in London, I haven’t taken many. Maybe it’s because I know I’ll be here for eight more weeks instead of just one more night.
Here are a couple more funny and embarrassing pictures from our peanut butter escapade. I can confidently say that I’ve been immature in a total of 5 different countries now.
There ya go.