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Friday, April 30, 2010

Wait...I have to go to school while I'm here?

Today was the first day of classes...blah...kinda took the magic away a bit, sitting in class hearing about how we're going to have to read something like 2000 pages of history and literature in the next 6 weeks. I'll be honest, I'm a little worried about my classes. They're going to be much harder than I thought. I am a worry wart, so I'm probably overreacting, but everyone else is kinda bummed too. We have homework now...lots of it...vacation time is officially over.
However, for homework we get to go to cool places so that's something. Today we went to the London Museum! It had some really amazing exhibits and artifacts, though we had to fill out a worksheet on it which it made it a bit less enjoyable. The picture is of me and my friend Stephanie fighting the London fire.

We then went to St. Paul's Cathedral! Yes, the "feed the birds" one! And, don't worry, I took a picture of me feeding the birds :) We went all the way up to the top, through all these tiny, narrow, spiral passageways that were a bit claustrophobic and dizzying. It was really cool! The inside of the cathedral is gorgeous, but they wouldn't let us take pictures...but it was amazing and enormous. We went up to the whisper wall where if you whisper against the wall, someone can hear you all the way on the other side of the dome! It was such a beautiful building and had some neat history behind it.

After dinner - get this - we went and saw Lis Miserables for 27 pounds! That's like $40 in American money, and it was the most amazing performance EVER! Jean val Jean had the most amazing voice. It was like Whitney, one of the people in our group, said: "His voice is like silk...with gun powder!" Amazing! So beautiful and powerful - and every performer was that good. Except Marius...he was a bit awkward...but still good :) It still amazes me that we just decided on a whim to go see this show, and we got front row balcony seats (dare I say, some of the best seats in the house) and it was pretty cheap and an amazing performance! I've never seen Les Mis professionally performed live before. It was so powerful. I got goosebumps during practically every single song, especially One Day More and Do You Hear the People Sing and Bring Him Home. And, we sat next to a lovely Irishman named Jim who was so friendly and nice and kept asking us how we were liking the play and kept punching the air with his fist every time some powerful music played. I think he had seen it a few times. And he told us, and I agree, that the plays in London would keep us there for 6 months rather than a quick visit they're so good. If I could see a show every night I totally would - it was amazing!

So, I'm still a bit jet lagged. I don't know why it's been so hard for me to adjust...but my cold is almost gone! A cough still lingers. I'm really, really not wanting to do homework tomorrow. I need motivation - not a good way to begin a semester...but hopefully I will survive relatively unscathed. I miss home a lot. I wish I could be playing with my family and roommates here in London, though the people I'm with are amazing and so much fun. I miss those wonderful people back in the states! Well, it's bedtime I'm off to bed! Good night, and good luck.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

London Bridge is not falling down - lies, all these years!

Today was my first full day at the London Centre. We started the day off with an assignment - get to know the underground. So we went on a journey, once again to House of Parliament only this time we ventured more towards Westminster Abbey (we didn't go in because we're doing that as a group later). Then we went to the museum area, where we partially explored the Museum of Natural History and the Science museum - so amazing! I saw more dinosaur skeletons than I've ever seen! And we saw all these whale skeletons - holy huge! In the Natural History museum there was a room that shook to demonstrate an earthquake. It was rather tame but very fun! I think I liked the Natural Science museum the most. But there's so much more exploring to do in those museums, and we didn't even go in the Victoria and Albert Museum which sounds really appealing to me - our teacher described it as London's attic. We then visited Picadilly Circus and Oxford Circus. I learned that a circus is not something with three rings and bears and acrobats and such but a circle with streets branching off :)

We returned home to dinner and a meeting with the bishop of one of the wards we will be serving in. They place us in different wards in Greater London and give us callings. I will be going to the Wands____ Common (I currently can't remember the name...oops) but I won't know my calling until next Sunday. This Sunday we will be attending the Hyde Park ward which is right by the Science museum! We went inside, and we found this huge mural - it's a picture that my mom LOVES and I was so excited to find it! Yay! So I took a picture just for my mom. The visiting Bishop also told us some things about British people that I was happy to learn, such as that they are offended if you start a conversation by asking their name - they prefer talking about things such as the weather first. I thought that was very interesting. He was an extremely helpful person.

After dinner I was thinking about staying in the Centre to do my reading, but some people were going to see the Tower Bridge (see pic) and the London Bridge, so of course I joined them! While we were there we saw an Asian guy taking a bunch of model-like pictures of this Asian girl. They ran up to our group, which was probably about 2/3 of the group here, and wanted to take a picture with us. So the guy took pictures of all the girls, and then he wanted in, so the girl took pictures of him with all of us. He was really drunk...but super nice! ha ha we then returned to the Centre and now I'm not really looking forward to the reading I have to do for the classes that start tomorrow...ugh...I got homesick again today. It happens in the mornings mostly for some reason. By night time I'm mostly excited to be here. Sometimes, though, I feel like I'd rather be home watching a movie or something. That's just because I'm totally out of my comfort zone here, which is extremely good for me. I am so grateful that I have this opportunity - it's so unreal.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I left Salt Lake City at 10:00 AM on April 27th. We flew to Atlanta, Georgia where we ate hot dogs cuz they were the cheapest thing we could find. Then, at 5:45 Atlanta time (3:45 SLC time) we boarded the plane to LONDON!!!! It was about an eight hour flight. I watched Leap Year, which is like the perfect movie to watch on a plane because I wanted to see it, but I didn't want to pay to see it necessarily. Though it was a rather average film I thoroughly enjoyed it. I slept a bit, maybe 3 1/2 hours. I watched some Doctor Who and some BBC Pride and Prejudice - so glad I put all those movies on my ipod :)

We arrived at 7:30 AM London time (midnight SLC time) on April 28th. And I've been awake ever since...running on about 6 hours of sleep for the past two days...and today felt like two days crammed into one.

I got through customs without a hitch. I rode on a train into London, and then I rode in my first ever taxi, not to mention first ever LONDON taxi. We drove past Buckingham Palace! The London Centre is right by Hyde Park. We moved in all our stuff and tried to stay awake by deciding to go on one of the walks in our London Walks books. We walked around our entire neighborhood, and then we decided to try out our handy tube passes and explored, our final goal - Big Ben. It was so cool - you come right out of the Westminster station and there it is, larger than life! BIG BEN! And the London Eye! And all that goes with them! SO AMAZING! We liked it so much we went back at night.

Today was the longest day ever, but filled with so many cool things. I love the tube - I wish SLC had one. It's so nice. You can never get lost with the tube. And London's is way nicer than the NYC subway. Not so ghetto. I began feeling a bit homesick about midday today, but I'm better now. I'm not excited to do the whole studying bit...kinda wish I wasn't here to take classes...but oh well! I'll definitely learn a lot. Both in and out of the Centre. I'm worried that I won't focus as much as I should on my classes though...there's so much to see and do here! I love London so far!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


One week from this very day I will be on a plane to LONDON. One week. 7 days. Holy cow.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Won Over

I saw the new episode of Doctor Who (The Eleventh Hour) via Youtube last night - thank you so much to all of those lovely people who posted the entire episode. I know it probably took a long time, but it was totally worth their efforts :)

David Tennant will always be my Doctor. He's who I began with, who I know the best, and who got me addicted to the show. I've been through thick and thin with him.

But Matt Smith - quite promising! I LOVED the new episode! It was so nice to see a new one. I've been memorizing Series 1-4 since David Tennant's final episodes. It had some really creepy elements that I enjoyed - the teeth of the monster were sweet. I can't wait to see more of the inside of the new TARDIS.
I was worried I wouldn't like Matt Smith. Though he still has a lot of proving to do, I really see a lot of great potential. And he and his companion - Amy Pond - have a lot of good chemistry. They work well together. I really liked Amy Pond. She was a very fun character, and Karen Gillan was fun in her role. I liked that she and the Doctor had a bit more history before taking off together. I'm excited to get to know the both of them better. Matt had this serious, kind of daring side that I really liked. He was goofy and weird, but then really cool at the same time. I guess David Tennant was like that too. I still don't see a big difference between the two Doctors, but in further episodes I bet I will. It seemed like he was slowly coming into his own, and by the end of the episode he was more himself. The absolute best moment came in the Doctor's final confrontation with the aliens they had been facing off with throughout the episode. He asked the aliens if Earth was protected: the aliens examine clips of all the other aliens we've seen - Cybermen, Daleks, Cykorax, etc - all of them. And then the Doctor asks, "And what happened to all of them?" and then one by one, we see each of the Doctors. One after another, we see their faces, from the very beginning to Christopher Eccleston, then David Tennant, and then Matt walks through the image, and says "Hello. I'm the Doctor." And then he tells them to run. SQUEEE! I got chills - holy cow I loved it! Such a perfect beginning to a new Doctor. I can't wait to see what he does next and where he and Amy go. I'm so excited! The episode was prime - top notch. I realize that this review of the episode is more fangirly than critic, but sometimes I just can't help myself.

I love this show. There's just a magic with it that doesn't fade for me. I know I'm a little obsessive about it - I mean, I got Converse high-tops that match the Doctor's and a sonic screwdriver like the Doctor's - but I think that makes it more fun, right? It's like how other people follow American Idol or Lost or some other TV show...Mine's just a little stranger...but I love it so! I would trade all the pop stars in the world for one Doctor :)