Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You wish you were so lucky.

Which would you rather have?

Half eaten Altoids?


Lysol wipes?


or half eaten dessert flavored gum?



Too bad, because I’m not regifting any of them!

Thanks Jamie and Matt!  :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Whatta guy

I am currently listening to Truman G. Madsen’s lecture series on the Presidents of the Church while cleaning my atrocious room.  Right before starting the lecture on Brigham Young, Madsen told this story.

There was, years ago, the practice of holding street meetings, often in Britain, and often at Hyde Park. One night a missionary was holding forth but was continually heckled by a man who kept shouting, “How many wives did Brigham Young have?”

And he ignored him repeatedly until finally it just became unbearable and he stopped and said, “Brother, I don’t know how many wives Brigham Young had, but when I get to heaven I’ll ask him.”

To which the man replied, “Oh, Brigham Young did not go to heaven.”

To which the Elder replied, “Then you ask him.”

True or folk story, it’s pretty funny.  :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I don’t watch scary movies

And finally, a quote that justifies me.

“You see, I let myself care about characters in movies. I can't help it, it's how my brain is wired. But at some point, filled with tension and fear, I realize: This is a movie. I don't have to be here. In fact, I paid to be here and I'm not enjoying myself, I'm frightened for these people. Only they're not real, nothing's real, I'm getting jerked around just for the sake of scaring me, and so why am I putting up with it?”

_Orson Scott Card

Friday, August 12, 2011

Belfast and the Peace Walls

Thursday we went to Belfast and did a bus tour there.  We had heard that there really wasn’t much to do or see in Belfast, but we had gotten combo tickets to the two cities the day before. 

I ended up liking the Belfast tour waaay more than the Dublin one (hard to imagine after my unending praise for Dublin yesterday right?).  There weren’t as many old buildings but the history was crazy!  I don’t know how much you know about the unrest between the Unionists (Protestants) and the Nationalists (Catholics).  (The tour guide assured us that it was a political conflict, and not a religious one, and that the two different sides just happen to be supported by the two major religious groups.

Here are the peace walls.  The tour guide told us before we saw them that they weren’t anything like the Berlin Wall, but when we finally saw them, I wasn’t really sure what she meant.  I suppose she just meant that the city wasn’t divided exactly in half like Berlin was, but there’s a wall dividing the different communities!  I thought it was pretty crazy.  I mean, the conflicts aren’t what they used to be, but they still close the gates at night!


Each side of the wall was fascinating, because they had bomb sites or murals that vilified/glorified the same people from the different perspectives. 

Here’s one side’s murals.  I think this was on the Unionist side.



I thought it was really interesting.  Kate’s grandma didn’t like it very much though. 

Probably the funniest part of the tour was about the Europa Hotel.


This hotel is the most bombed hotel in Europe.  They’ve found something like 70 bombs there, but only 37 or something have actually gone off.  They started giving out commemorative ties to the guests in the hotel who were there when a bomb went off, and the tour guide told us that there was once an American tourist who wanted a tie so bad that he stayed there until a bomb went off- 5 or 6 weeks!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ireland! Dublin

Tuesday we headed out to Ireland.  When we got to the airport, I was excited because this was the first time I’ve ever gotten to go out to the airport grounds to get into my plane.


We got to stay in a Marriott in Dublin because President worked for them for a really long time, and that was probably the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in.

Wednesday morning we went to ZONE CONFERENCE!  I was really excited.  The mission’s focus right now is Preach My Gospel and so they split up into smaller groups and played PMG chase.  Kate and I participated, but we didn’t compete.  Kate did really well- I came in a pretty consistent 4th place.  But sometimes I did really well!  I thought I did well anyway, for having never read it.  It was very fun, anyway.

We left at lunchtime to tour the oh so exciting city of Dublin.  I wasn’t really a fan.  I mean, it’s a cool city, but I was excited about seeing the landscapes and such.  The best part about the tour was that almost all of the doors in the city were painted really bright colors.  It was really pretty, but made even better when the guide told us that it was because when Queen Victoria died, everyone painted their doors black out of respect “but,” said the tour guide, “when have the Irish ever shown any respect?”  so they painted them all of those different colors out of rebellion.  I loved that.



We went to Dublin Castle (every first Wednesday of the month is free apparently) which was cool, but the best part was that there were huge sand castles in the courtyard that were done by professionals.  They had some theme, but we couldn’t figure it out.

Christina's Pictures

That night we saw Riverdance.  I thought I would enjoy it for about 10 minutes and then realize that it was just kind of the same thing over and over again. But I was blown away at how awesome it was.


I was kept interested the entire time and I wasn’t ready for it to end when it did.  It wasn’t all dancing- there were a few choir numbers and I enjoyed that just as much as the dancing.


The Griffiths were so nice to take us to that- I don’t think I ever would have gone if it had just been me or my family.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I love cows.

I love cows. I love everything about them, athough that statement may only be completely true due to my lack of sufficient olfactory senses.

Scotland is full of cows. One more reason that I love this country so much.

On the way back from Anstruther, we were taking the scenic route, and while on this tiny little road, we passed a fence with all these beautiful brown cows lined up at the fence just watching the cars pass.  Look at these guys!



I got out of the car and approached them while they watched me intently. Then I reached down to grab some grass to feed them and they practically fell over they were running so fast to get away from me.  As Kate described it, “they were running away faster than their little hooves could take them so they were falling all over each other".”  It was hilarious!  But sad, because I wanted to be their friend.

So I got back in the car, but turned around to see this!


How could I possibly leave them!  They were so curious.  They just want to know what’s going on!  I got back out of the car and they all headed over.  Although this entirely breaks my theory of cows and their lack of emotion, I just loved them all the more. 


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The most beautiful dairy cows are all over Scotland but the best are the Highland Cows (pronounced coo).  I have been wanting to see one ever since I’ve been here and I finally got to yesterday!


Look at him!



Cows are the greatest.  One day I want to have one. 


I guess I actually have to start updating my blog again since mom isn't covering everything for me anymore.

I am in Scotland! The second greatest country in the world, as far as I'm concerned at this moment in time. I've always wanted to go to Scotland. What are museums and monuments and shopping outlets to lakes and hills and castles?

Monday we drove up the east coast a ways to St. Andrews Cathedral and Anstruther.  

We stopped and got some strawberries; Sister Griffiths says they are the best strawberries in the world.  However, we forgot about them until we were back from Ireland, and so I guess I shall never know. 

We also made a stop at St. Andrews Club, the first golf course in the world. My excitement for anything golf probably overwhelmed everyone there.  :)

Then we went to St. Andrews Cathedral, a ruin in Fife.  It used to be the seat of the archbishop of St. Andrews or something, who knows.  There wasn’t much left of it, but what was left was really beautiful.  

IMG_8098    IMG_8099

I really like the cemeteries here and in England.  A nice break from the ones in Utah, where it’s just a plate on the ground, although I think I prefer the Utah ones overall.



Anstruther, a cute little fishing town on the east coast of Scotland.



Kate’s cute grandparents.  I love these two!


They have a fish and chips shop there that has won a whole bunch of awards so we went to get some.  It was haddock, so it really didn’t even taste much like fish, just like I like it!



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