So i've decided that i will write this as letters to you, and other people can eavesdrop. i don't like writing a blog, i like emailing, but i'm assuming other people want to know what i'm doing, so here goes. (ps. i also hate capitalization, that's why God invented word processing).
this last week we went to the cornish coast, devon etc. it's west. we stayed in hostels most of the time, but also the ymca one night. it was really clean and nice, but i got the bottom bunk both nights so i couldn't sit up all the way. but the breakfasts were really fun, we had full on english breakfasts most days. there was ham and beans and eggs and toast and cooked tomatoes and cereal and milk and juice. everything was good but the tomatoes.
the first day we went out to stourhead, the place where Elizabeth Bennet gets proposed to in the new Pride and Prejudice. i have great pictures... i'll put them on facebook later. all the pictures look like paintings, it was so beautiful. the next day we went to the cornish coast. the water was beautiful. i got stung by stinging nettles, which is, surprisingly, a plant. it feels like a thousand tiny beestings and it doesn't go away for hours. but that didn't make the beach any less awesome. we also went to an amazing castle called St. Michael's Mount. It's connected to land during low tide and you have to get there by a boat during high tide. we managed to walk both ways, but i kind of wanted to boat... or swim.
the last day we went to exeter cathedral, which was gorgeous. we spent most of the day driving home in a bus. our driver's name was tony, he was really cool. he told us what fly tipping means (dumping litter) and why the cabs are all black (in mourning for Prince Albert). and when some kid threw a rubber frog at the bus when we were in central london, he totally got out and chased the kids down. it was awesome.
church is interesting. they spread us all out into about 15 wards. i'm in the peckham ward with two other girls. it takes about 40 minutes to get there by the underground. i got put into nursery, which was surprising to say the least, but i think i'm going to like it. there are two other ladies in with me, and we're going to rotate going to classes so we don't completely miss out on gospel doctrine, which i already miss. i feel like i'm just babysitting for two hours, which is true i guess. but they're really sweet. this one little boy named cj who i thought was a girl because he had a ponytail but he was really a boy, kept giving me hugs, and he doesn't even know me. during drawing time i drew a picture of some of the kids, and cj wanted to draw on my picture, so i let him, even though my pictures were really good and he scribbles. ps. talking to missionaries is awkward in every country. there are about 4 sets of missionaries in our ward, not counting the couple missionaries. and they all seem to come from idaho. weird, huh?
so today i had a super fun day. we went on a tour of the globe theatre, a replica of Shakespeare's theatre. it's all made of wood and plaster, so it smells really good. and it's the only building in london to have a thatched roof, which is highly flammable. london has a problem with fires. it's burned down several times. then we went to westminster abbey, where i saw Queen Elizabeth I's tomb. i was inches from Queen Elizabeth's body. the lady who defeated the spanish armada and maintained peace in england for over fifty years. her tomb was fantastic. the whole abbey is covered in monuments to dead rich people and the monarchs. there was a shrine to edward the confessor, who died in the 12th century. that's almost a thousand years ago. the british have such a tradition, it's breathtaking. there are cloisters that have wall paintings that go back to the middle ages. and we were there for the minute of prayer that they have every hour; westminster is england's oldest working church. it was so cool.
then we came home for dinner and went to primark, which is this incredible english department store. it's like a classy walmart that only sells clothes. the clothes are really really cute and i bought four tops and wish i hadn't brought so many clothes with me. thanks for supporting my frivolousness, it's incorrigible, i know, but the styles here are so different from the states, and so attractive. the sizes here are different too. i'm a 12 in the states but a 16 here, which is confusing. but luckily everyone here is so stick thin there are always things in my size, which is a pleasant change of pace. in shoes, on the other hand, i'm a 9 instead of an 11, and there seems to be a much bigger selection of larger sized shoes. woohoo! but they're also expensive, 25 pounds ($50)... so i don't know if i should. if they're comfortable, maybe... basically i need to budget, since i'm going to two or three plays every week plus buying souvenirs and presents, which are really fun to shop for! i love trying to figure out what part of england would appeal to michael or abbie (don't tell them what i got them).
i'm having an amazing time here, and will keep up this blog so you can hear how i'm doing. i'll buy a phone card tomorrow when Ashley and i go buy some yarn. we want to be like those old ladies that knit on the tube, like Miss Marple!
love ya tons