Saturday, July 4, 2009

Comin to America!

I couldn't miss my nations birthday so here I am back in the USA on the 4th of July...also...

Happy Birthday Mom!

-Yep 4th of July is my moms birthday! Sadly enough she and my dad are both out of town right now. But Emily and Andrea came and picked me up from the airport. Which was really nice. My plane arrived Mid afternoon and once I got home I knew I was starting efy the next day up in Logan and I was in bad need of a new pair of tennis shoes. So I went to the store and bought some new shoes...and 2 new dresses...I couldn't resist! they were so nice and at a really good price. Once I got home I was SO tired! As much as you try to sleep on a plane its never that great and from staying up all night with Gavin and Anna I was pretty well spent. I went to bed once I got home. I had thought about going out and seeing some fireworks - but I was too tired, so I went to bed instead.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Last Day...and Night....

I told Gavin and Annalise about my plans to go to the airport, and they would not have it. they said, no you will stay the night with us, not in the airport. Gavin called a member of the ward who has a car and got me a ride to the airport at 4:30 in the morning. I can't even express how very kind and giving these people are in the Strattford ward! I LOVE them! and I will miss them so much!
So this morning I went to go and pick up my bags from the Victoria Station to bring to the Ishmael's. 3 big suitcases and a busy tube...yeah, oh and there are also lots of stairs to get down to the platform. This is no easy task! I made it down one flight of stairs and then a woman says, can I help? Here my boy is strong, and her son took one of my bags and her husband the other and they helped me down to the platform. I talked to them while we waited for the train. this was my conversation with the son James:
Me (K): So where are you from?
James (J): We are from California, but I am moving to Orem Utah soon.
K: really? I am from Orem!
J: Yeah I am a BYU student.
K: I am a BYU student!
J: and I am an efy counselor this summer.
K: I am an efy counselor!

YEah! NO JOKE that was our conversation! HAHA! for real- pretty crazy eh? Turns out that James just got home from his mission and his brother is about to leave on his mission so there family is on a Vacation here in London before his brother leaves!
Here is the Grant Family:
Me with the Grant Family

Now what kind of crazy coincidence is that!? That at the very moment when I needed help, a kind Mormon family just happened to be right where I needed them to be to offer their assistance to me! HA! NO WAY is that coincidence! It is far too perfectly timed! the Tube runs every 2-5 minutes! they could have been on the train just before or come just after me! but no- Heavenly Father is (has been my whole trip) constantly watching over me and placing people in my life at the very moment that I need them! and I am SO very grateful for his ever watchful hand in my life!!!

So they helped me on and off the train and to make the change to my next train too! They were really helpful and asked me if I needed their help getting to my destination. I assured them that I would be fine, once I was on this next train it went right to my stop where it was only a couple of blocks to walk to the house I was staying at. I helped give them directions to where they were going. Imagine that! I am giving directions to people around London! Ha! And we went on our separate ways.
I made it back to the Ishmael's with all my luggage. Sheesh! I packed WAY too much! This is their house...and this is Gavin and Anna
and these are their two kids Lani and Zach.
I LOVE love LoVe this family!!!!So I was waiting for George to call me and tell me when he was available, so we could get together one last time before I go home tomorrow. He finally called me while we were eating dinner. I left 1/2 my plate, Anna tried to convince me that I could finish before I left, but I just saved it for later cause I was pretty anxious to go and see George. I went and met up with him at the tube stop. it was about 25 min ride to get to the stop that is closet to his place, but he was running late so I ended up waiting for him for a while. When he got there we went to Starbucks and just had a chance to sit together for a while. It was hard, cause I knew that things were over between us. George told me, " I wanted to get you something...and I was trying to decide what to give you, and I didn't want to just go out and get you something, but I wanted to give you something that really meant something, I wanted to give you something of mine, so sorry its old and used but here..." George handed me a bag and inside of it was this..."its my scarf from my home. and it has my home colors and the country on it."
I started to cry, a happy cry. George looked at me and said, "no please don't cry" I told him it was okay, its a good cry...and that I loved it. It was one of the best gifts that anyone has ever given me, it was really sincere and special and meant so much!
I went with George on a few errands, to the bank and the copy store, and then we went back to the Tube stop. He had scheduled a missionary lesson for that night at the Hyde Park Chapel. I was really sad cause this being the last night that we got to see each other I thought that we would be able to spend some more time together, so I was disappointed. We gave each other one last hug, he kissed me on the forehead and we parted our ways to our separate trains. I got on the train back to the Ishmael's house. I cried most the way home, but was okay once I got back to their house.
I walked in the door Anna was there to give me a big hug and let me know that life is still okay. Gavin was home from work and he looked at me and said, "Hey you're back early! We weren't expecting you home til late. My reply was, "Well Anna said that you are making peach cobbler tonight, and so I told George that I would have to be back early so I could be here for your amazing peach cobbler." I got a Big Grin for that! and Gavin went to the kitchen ans started on the peach cobbler.
I spent the rest of the night with this incredible family. We concluded that THEY were the real reason why I came to London! so I could get to know and spend time with them! I also had the chance to show them pictures and videos from the mission from when I was serving with their niece Chelsea Pratt. That was so much fun! they Loved the videos that I shared with them, and they said, "Oh its almost like Chelsea is here with us having you here!" We all had so much fun together. and we all talked and laughed and ate Peach Cobbler...and it WAS GOOD!!!!
The kids went to bed after a while, but Anna, Gavin and I stayed up til 3:30 AM talking, a lot about gospel topics. It was so good and just what I needed! We got about an hour of sleep is all...we got up at 4:30, i showered and got my things together. Anna made me some sandwiches to bring to the airport with me and Gavin came along for the ride to the airport. They are so good to me and I will miss them so much!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Back in Strattford

Today I said goodbye to Gary and Linda and left Maidstone. I have been trying to figure out exactly my final plans for my last few days here in London and how I am going to get to the airport. See the little problem is that my flight leaves at 7:30 in the morning. for an international flight I need to be there 2 hours before my flight leaves and the trains and the tube doesn't run that early in the morning. So I was thinking it would be better if I were closer to the airport than Maidstone. I was on face book last night and Gavin Ishmael happened to be on as well. (If you don't remember The Ishmael's are the aunt and uncle of my mission companion Chelsea Pratt. and I was in their ward while I was staying in London. They live in Strattford which is just a 1/2 hour-ish tube ride outside of London.) I said hi to him and started talking to him on facebook chat. I asked if it would be alright if I came and stayed with his family for a couple of nights. Gavin said, "Hey! YES of course, we thought that you had gone home already, didn't know that you were still here. You can stay with us! as long as you want!" This was really a blessing! So I headed up to London today. The train goes to the Victoria station. I found out that you can check bags there. So I checked all 3 of my suitcases and just took my backpack with me to the Ishmael's. My plan is to take the last train to the airport at midnight on Wed (the 3rd) and be in the airport over night so I could be there at 5:30 for check in.
this is what the tube/underground looks like during rush hour...

All kinds of people! Its pretty crazy. So I made my way over to the Ismael's. Anna made dinner dinner for me and they are all so kind! I really LOVE this family! It turns out that Gavin is not on facebook very often and he had come home from a long day and had a feeling that he should ge ton and check his email and get on Facebook, and that is when I talked to him and asked if I could stay with them. Once again! a great blessing of the Lord! always watching over me and putting the right people in place at just the right time.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Leeds Castle

Both Gary and Linda were working today. So Linda dropped me off here...
this is Leeds Castle. It is an absolutely beautiful castle! The grounds are awesome! It is a really beautiful are! I took a lot of really neat pictures... these are some pictures that I took walking up to the castle.
There was even a mote

this is the front of the castle.and the side of the castle
and these are pictures in the of my favorite rooms was the library I really liked this picture that was hanging in the castle of the castle. I really like the view it has of it.
this is a courtyard in the middle of the castle and it was so beautiful.
this is a map of all the grounds around the castle
the gardens were really beautiful they had a lot of different kinds of tropical birds in outdoor cages.
There was also a maze which was pretty cool and there was this interesting underground thing... from this sign I learned that is was called a Grotto
it was kind of cool, some interesting pictures from down there...
it was nice and cool which was nice cause it was a HOT day!
there was also a vinyard AND they had a dog collar museum! HA!! I thought it was really funny-more pictures around the grounds...When I got back I hung out for a bit til Gary came and got me and we went to the Cinema together.