Hello June…

So um yeah… hi. I guess I realized the other day that haven’t written in a long time and that I probably should start writing. Loads has happened, so I have a good excuse, haha. Things have moved so quickly along that I can’t believe that I’m less than a week away in going back to the States. I hope you all enjoy reading about my adventures that I’ve been having this month:)

Wednesday (5/21)

I got to sleep in late because I didn’t have to do anything until noon when I had a meeting with the Learning Hub to talk about what I could do for them. After that, I met with team Credence (my marketing communications group) to talk about what we were going to say in our pitch presentation and to get started creating a PowerPoint.

Team Credence: Me, James, Kate, Jordan, Darryl and Ben.
Team Credence: Me, James, Kate, Jordan, Darryl and Ben.

In the evening I went to housegroup and we talked about Daniel 6 and how he wasn’t afraid to trust and obey God even though the leaders of that time made it illegal for him to do so. God is always there for us and He will take care of us if we trust Him enough to follow what He says.

Thursday (5/22)

In the morning I started on the outline for one of my reports and worked on it until noon when I went to a focus group with my people management lecturer and some of my course mates. It was a good discussion of what we liked about the course and how it could be improved. After that, I went to a meeting with Credence so we could do some more work on developing our pitch ideas and how to present them.

After that, I spent the rest of the evening with friends and then skyping my bro. I also ordered my medieval dress (finally!) so I would have it come in time for when I went home. In August, I’m going to a renaissance fair with friends in the States and we are all going to be dressed up. Just hoping we go on a nice coolerish day and we don’t all die of heat exhaustion!

 

Friday (5/23)

Worked on my reports some more in the morning and then had a meeting with the learning hub in the afternoon. After that, I went to Leeds with Michael and Olivia and had dinner with them. It was raining really hard when we got there, so we were kinda drippy- like eating our tea, haha! After that, we went to the movie theater (aka cinema here) and waited for Kenny, Andy, Joe and Tots to come and join us to watch X-Men. It was a good night of spending time with friends, eating sweet popcorn (of which I’m still not entirely sold on) and laughs.

 

Saturday (5/24)

All I did was work on the pitch presentation for Credence. We had made it into a PowerPoint initially, but we wanted to go for some fancy points and decided to make it into a Prezi. It took a while to figure it out, but it looked really good in the end. We made each transition to follow little doggy paw prints to the next slide. In the evening, I spent some time with friends and skyping my family.

 

Sunday (5/25)

Went to church with Michael, Olivia and Lydia. The sermon was on 1 Timothy 3 and how we should pray for people who are our leaders, especially those in the church. Leaders should be blameless, but this doesn’t imply that they need to be perfect. They should be focused on their lifestyle and if it is reflecting Christ. The preacher, Andy, also went on to expand the message to Christians in general and how the guidelines laid out in Chapter 3 apply to all of us, otherwise we could justify our bad decisions on the fact that we aren’t leaders in the church so we don’t have to follow them. Each verse challenges us to be focused on Christ and self- controlled with our life, not just looking out for ourselves all the time. “To live a life of self- control to Jesus Christ is to live a life of surrender,” Andy said. In this world, we are so anxious to “get” and “have now” that self- control seems to be the craziest idea you’ve ever heard of, but there is value in waiting for things to be the right moment. “There is no quick- fix generation for getting into a serious relationship with Jesus. You can’t click a button and be instantly knowledgeable. It takes time and commitment to our quiet times and study of Him to develop that kind of relationship.”

 

Monday (5/26)

In the morning I met with Credence and we worked from 10am to 2:30 on our presentation. After that, we went to Leeds and had a little celebration for Ben’s birthday (one of the guys in the group) at Red’s BBQ restaurant. Their food was so good and has indefinitely made its way onto my favorites list for places to eat here in Leeds. Check out their menu and see for yourself how good it really is: http://truebarbecue.com/. After that, I came back to uni and spent some more time on my report and then skyped my friend Rebekah for ages because we hadn’t talked in so long.

 

Tuesday (5/27)

No classes happened because of this thing called a grace day or something, which is basically an extra day off from work. I worked on my reports some more and then spent time with friends in the afternoon.

 

Wednesday (5/28)

Wednesday (5/28)

Working on reports some more for the majority of the day. In the evening, I had a movie night with Olivia and Lydia. We watched Calamity Jane and ate sweet popcorn. I had never seen that movie before, but I really enjoyed it because it was a classic musical.

Me and Olivia.
Me and Olivia.

 

Thursday (5/29)

Since there were no lectures on Tuesday, my last service marketing lecture was moved to the morning. After that, me and Kate went to meet up with the rest of the Credence group and work on our pitch presentation together. I think we were all getting really tired of our pitch because the answers for dog statistic questions in the UK rolled out of our mouths all too easily, haha! After meeting with them for 6 hours, I had dinner with Michael and I’m pretty sure I talked to him some more about my group’s pitch and dog trends…

I worked on my service marketing report in the evening and then skyped with my family for a little while. Thankfully, my brain wasn’t still stuck on dogs and dog treats.

 

Friday (5/30)

My service marketing paper was due, so I made a few last changes and submitted it. In the afternoon, I skyped my family again because my brother Zak was back for the weekend from camp so I got to talk with him about how he was enjoying that. After I talked with him for a few hours, I needed to go to a meeting with my lecturer so she could give me some advice about how to better structure my report. I wasn’t thrilled with the way it was looking, so she helped me to think about a better way to structure it to make more sense. After the meeting with her, I went back to my room and worked on my paper some more.

 

Saturday (5/31)

Saturday (5/31)

Today was the day I had my first full English breakfast with Olivia! There are loads of breakfasty foods that you eat such as eggs, beans on toast, fried tomatoes, sausages and bacon. We both ate so much, so we sat for quite a while afterwards just talking about God and church. It was really nice to have good theological conversation with someone again. After that we both walked back to uni and watched tv together.

This is the bacon I had with my full English. It's so sad compared to crispy American bacon, that I couldn't eat it. Even Olivia said it was sad...
This is the bacon I had with my full English. It’s so sad compared to crispy American bacon, that I couldn’t eat it. Even Olivia said it was sad…

 

In the afternoon I had to get ready to go to the grad ball. I wasn’t supposed to go, but it’s all because of this dress that Lydia’s mom saw me in when we went to a charity shop and she had me try it on for funsies. She loved me in it and wanted to buy it for me to wear. I refused her getting it because I wouldn’t have anywhere to wear it to. Well, Lydia’s mom got wind of the grad ball and worked some magic to get me to go there so she could buy the dress for me. It was a nice dress, but very impractical. I was glad that I went with some people that I knew from the chaplaincy group and we had a nice time together. I didn’t stay very late because I had two reports to finish by Monday and I was anxious to get them done. Michael was really nice to come into Leeds to take me back to uni so I didn’t have to go back by myself.

Professionally done pictures were taken, so we decided to have some done of Lucy, me and Steph.
Professionally done pictures were taken, so we decided to have some done of Lucy, me and Steph.

 

Waiting for food!
Waiting for food!

 

Sunday (6/1)

In the morning, I went to church with Olivia, Michael and Lydia and the sermon was on Isaiah 43:1-7. This chapter talks about how we shouldn’t be afraid because God has called us to follow Him and how He will always be there for us, even when life seems to be swallowing us up. The preacher made an interesting point talking about how excited we are to join clubs and be a part of something, but we become timid about certain things in life when we join a club that we’ve always been accepted into- God’s club. He says, “We are part of “God’s gang” so why is it that we get what it means to be part of other clubs, but when it comes to God’s club, we don’t get it? He says in Scripture that He loves us unconditionally, that we are accepted and that we are chosen. What is so scary about that?”

Since it was the first Sunday of the month, there was an evening service that I went to with Olivia. The focus of the service was about worship and what it truly looks like. It’s a heart attitude that can be carried out every day, not just on Sunday mornings when you are standing there singing. After the service, we did a prayer tunnel for everyone in the church. I had never heard of this before, but what you do is form a row of two (the tunnel) for as long as you want and the top two people start by walking down the tunnel, single file, and the first pair of people they come to prays specifically for them. It was one of the most spiritual and humbling experiences as I heard people pray over me that I’ve only known for a few months for God to bless me and how I have impacted them personally. Definitely a teary night for me with cherished memories of these sweet people.

 

Monday (6/2)

With my service marketing and people management reports FINALLY done, I could focus completely on this presentation with my team. I had a quick meeting with the learning hub to stay up to date on what I needed to do and then I went to work for the rest of the day on what I needed to finish putting together for the pitch presentation on Top Collar.

 

Tuesday (6/3)

Marketing presentation day has finally come! At 10:00 in the morning Team Credence was finally giving their pitch about promoting Top Collar dog treats through the use of a Christmas campaign that gave customers an advent calendar with fun dog facts and jokes on the inside of the little doors. After that, we spent some time chilling as a team, eating lunch and talking about how we thought it went. Then I took a break from coursework for the day and did nothing but watch movies online and read my books.

 

Wednesday (6/4)

Slept in and started on the outline for my marketing communications report.

In the evening, I went to housegroup with Michael, Olivia and Lydia. We were talking about the book of Jonah and how God used him in spite of what Jonah thought about the people of Ninevah. Even when Jonah was grumping to himself and tried to run away from God by sailing on a ship to a different city, people were still coming to know that there is a God out there… and he is powerful. I probably would have been out of my brains if I was there on that boat, in the midst of a storm, and watched the sea calm and the sun come out as soon as Jonah was pitched over the side!

 

Thursday (6/5)

Worked on my report for most of the day. Did some website work for the learning hub and hung out with friends in the evening.

 

Friday (6/6)

Worked on report some more in the morning. When Olivia got back from placement at 5, we both went for a walk in the woods. We found a nice little bench overlooking some of the little town of Horsforth. We talked about our day and life in general. Then we decided to bring out our childish nature and make some grass whistles. I dunno what was on that grass, or if it was because we both had a long week but we were so silly and giddy for the rest of the walk back and for the rest of the evening. I skyped with my bro in the evening for a little while and he even commented on how silly I was being. After talking for an hour, I decided to work on my report until 4 in the morning because I was so full of energy and couldn’t sleep from my walk in the woods.

Mine and Olivia's little spot where the grass whistles are.
Mine and Olivia’s little spot where the grass whistles are.

 

Saturday (6/7)

I went to sleep for 5 hours and woke up at 10 in the morning to work some more on my report. For lunchtime, I went with Olivia and Tori into Leeds and we had burgers and milkshakes. After lunch, we went to go and get their egg cups and coin banks they had made a week ago. Olivia’s cheeseburger bank was so cute! When we got back to uni, we just chilled out together for a while. Then I went to my room to work on my report some more.

 

Sunday (6/8)

In the morning, I had a lie in and then had “pancakes and praise” with Olivia and Michael instead of going to church. I made them American pancakes for breakfast and then me and Olivia watched a Francis Chan sermon on YouTube for church, as Michael went to work. It was a good sermon about how Christians need to be more open with one another in seeking help and advice on what they struggle with in life, and to admit those difficulties so we can better hold one another up in prayer.

After our little church service, we went to our favorite spot in the woods, where the grass/weed whistles grow, and sat in the sunshine to read Allegiant. We stopped now and again to talk or to watch the cows in the pasture next to our little bench. It was a nice relaxing Sunday and the weather was great. In the evening, I skyped my family and talked with them about their week. After that I worked on my report some more.

 

Monday (6/9)

All I did was work on my report because I knew I was going to have a full day tomorrow, so this will conclude my last boring post.

 

Tuesday (6/10)

LONDON!!!!! Me and Michael got a train from Horsforth to Leeds around 9 in the morning and then got a train from there to London. After being on the train for 2 hours, we made it. I was so glad that we had sunshine and warm weather down there because if it had rained it would have been miserable walking around everywhere to see everything. We walked to Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, the Thames, the London Eye, the M & M world and everywhere else in between.

A blue chicken?!?!
A blue chicken?!?!

 

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The road going up to Buckingham Palace.
The road going up to Buckingham Palace.
Buckingham Palace!
Buckingham Palace!

IMG_0904

Police officers on horses.
Police officers on horses.
Big Ben and Parliament.
Big Ben and Parliament.
So happy that I finally got to take a picture with the iconic red phone booths!
So happy that I finally got to take a picture with the iconic red phone booths!
London Eye (aka glorified ferris wheel)!
London Eye (aka glorified ferris wheel)!
Michael and me in our "shadies".
Michael and me in our “shadies”.
So big...
So big…
The Thames.
The Thames.
A view of the city from a bridge going over the Thames.
A view of the city from a bridge going over the Thames.
Found some amazing frozen blueberry yogurt in our wanderings :)
Found some amazing frozen blueberry yogurt in our wanderings:)
M & M World! Any color you could imagine is here...
M & M World! Any color you could imagine is here…
Color organized much???
Color organized much???
Got to meet a princess.
Got to meet a princess.
Found Charles Dickens house. Unfortunately, he wasn't home...
Found Charles Dickens house. Unfortunately, he wasn’t home…
Kings Cross Train station.
Kings Cross Train station.
(Inside the station)- Oooo pretty lights!
(Inside the station)- Oooo pretty lights!
Tired train ride home from a long day.
Tired train ride home from a long day.

 

In the evening, we had to get a “transfer train” from Leeds to Horsforth. The train from London was making a tight schedule for us and we were worried that we might miss our train out. It was the second to last one for the night, but we were both tired and just wanted to be back. As it turned out, we missed the train and the last train of the night was cancelled because of an accident. The bus wasn’t running anymore, so we had to fork at bunch of money to get a taxi ride back to uni. It was frustrating at first, but looking back on it, I can’t help but laugh at how coincidental everything was.

 

Wednesday (6/11)

I had a meeting with Meaghan in the afternoon to talk about what I will be doing for the learning hub for the rest of the week. After that, I met with Hersha, the international director, to talk about what an international student ambassador does. In talking with her, I found out that Leeds Trinity is having an open house on the 25th, the day after I leave, and how she would like me to be there. For all you people in the States reading this, yes I almost stayed here another 2 days and yes, I know you will all give me your opinions on that when I get back, haha! For the reason I didn’t stay, read the next day’s post.

In the evening, my flatmate Helen made me and some other friends an amazing dinner. She needed to use up the food she had in the fridge so she wouldn’t have so much to pack that weekend when she went home. Excuse or no excuse, it was a really nice chicken and vegetable dinner with loads of gravy:)

 

Thursday (6/12)

In the morning I met with Hersha to make the changes to my flights, but overnight British Airways doubled the cost of the charges to move my flights making it financially unreasonable for me to stay the extra two days. I was disappointed because I really wanted to stay a few days longer, but everything happens for a reason. On the flip side, Hersha said that she would much rather put that money towards sending me to a conference in the States for international ambassador “training”, so it all works out in the end.

In the afternoon, I met with my people management lecturer, Emma, to talk about Alverno and how the system works there. It was a long meeting, but I hope that the advice I gave about how to incorporate the “abilities” into some of her classes will work. I also hope that she will be able to come and visit Alverno next spring as well to get more perspectives from my professors. I didn’t realize how much I knew about Alverno and the 8 abilities until I started talking to her about it. Guess it just goes to show that you can take the girl out of Alverno, but you can’t take Alverno out of the girl.

 

Friday (6/13)

I didn’t do much except for help Michael move all his stuff from his room in All Saints to Trinity Close, another building on campus at uni, where he will be staying for the summer. It took 3 car loads to get it all done, but we did it.

 

Saturday (6/14)

I don’t think I did much except for the usual hanging out with friends and doing more work on the learning hub websites.

 

Sunday (6/15)

Went to church in the morning and found out that it was a baptismal service. It was really neat to watch the woman make a public confession of her faith in Jesus and hear her testimony of all the amazing things God is doing in her life. I always get excited to watch people give their life to Christ and become a changed person. The sermon was in Matthew 3, which talks about Jesus’ baptism.

 

Monday (6/16)

Spent most of my morning writing this blog post. It took a while to get through some of the days as either I struggled to remember everything that happened, or that the day was so long ago. In the afternoon, I skyped with my family and then Diana for a while to give my brain a break. In the evening, I met up with Olivia for “tea” and then we played some Mario- kart Wii with some of her friends. In talking with them we found out that they hadn’t watch Julian Smith videos, so of course we needed to be good friends and educate them as to the brilliancy of this YouTube celeb. Ah yes… good times:)

 

Tuesday (6/17)

In the morning, I went to a meeting with the learning hub and then I did some more work on the website. I also wrote some more on my blog, which apparently takes a long time to do.

 

Wednesday (6/18)

Spent the morning sleeping in because of a migraine, which thankfully went away. Then I did some more work for the learning hub creating a learning style quiz and editing some more things on their website. In the evening, I went to the best last housegroup ever and they surprised me by playing ultimate Frisbee and having cake afterwards. I didn’t know that we were going to play Frisbee, so I went walking to church in my sandals and a skirt when Olivia, oh so nonchalantly, says to me that we are going to play Frisbee that evening. She then went on to try and convince me that I would still be good at it in my skirt and nice sparkly sandals, haha! Tim, one of the group leaders, was nice enough to drive me and Olivia back to uni so I could get changed into shorts and shoes. It was a small group of us that played, but it was a good time. Afterwards, it was nice to just sit and visit with everyone at Rich and Ceri’s house, even though we were all exhausted from Frisbee. Glad that they all enjoyed it and I hope to come back in a year or so and find them still playing it.

Some of the great people I got to know in housegroup.
Some of the great people I got to know in housegroup.
Me and the couple who helped lead housegroup, Rich and Ceri.
Me and the couple who helped lead housegroup, Rich and Ceri.

 

Just a Glimpse

Hey All,

It’s been a while since I last blogged, but lots of good stuff has been happening, and the weather has been amazing these last few days as well. Feels like summer! Anyway, on with it I go…

Sunday (5/4)

I went to church in the morning and listened to a sermon on the Holy Spirit. The whole of the message was centered on knowing if you are quenching the Spirit or not. In the evening, my housegroup was “hosting” the night service. I was asked earlier by the housegroup leader to share a testimony of mine of what God has been doing in my life over the last few years.  I shared my testimony about working with the kids in the Philippines and what God had taught me about Himself. There were two others from the group that shared their testimonies and one of the girls gave a “few thoughts” that served as a message. It was a really relaxed time afterwards with cake and games for people to play and fellowship over. It was also this night that the student ambassador, Michael, that I first met here at Leeds Trinity and who would go to church with me and some of my friends each week finally accepted Christ as his Savior. It was good to see him finally give his life to Christ after so many prayers from myself, people at the Friday prayer night group back home in the States, and the many people from Lister Hill too. He’s been reading his bible and growing, plus everyone at Lister Hill is really happy for him and is really helpful in answering his questions and encouraging him.

 

Monday (5/5)

Today I went to Harewood House with Michael, which is one of the houses where Pride and Prejudice was filmed. It was amazing how beautiful the house was and how much history the house was there for. Along with the huge house, there was a lot of land to go with it too. They even had a “bird garden” with somewhat exotic birds in big cages outside. They even had flamingoes and penguins too! The weather was really nice and sunny, which made the day even better. On the way back to the train station, the taxi driver didn’t know where the train stop was that we wanted, so we almost paid a lot of money to go all the way back to uni if it wasn’t for some quick thinking about where the train line went by. We got out a stop before the one we wanted, but I would rather have done that then pay loads of extra money all because the taxi dude didn’t know where he was going.

The front drive to Harewood House.
The front drive to Harewood House.

 

The back of the house overlooking the gardens.
The back of the house overlooking the gardens.

 

Flamingoes!
Flamingoes!

Tuesday (5/6)

Full day of classes and my first presentation to top it off. I went to my service marketing class in the morning and then right after that I went to meet with my group that I was presenting with in the afternoon. We ran through the PowerPoint a few times and talked about what we were doing then went to lecture and managed to grab the first position of presenters out of all the groups. We talked about work life balance policies with a specific focus on paternity leave here in the UK. It was a good presentation, even though I didn’t get as high of marks as I wanted. Luckily the presentation was only half of our final marks and we have to write a report to get the rest. I’m planning on pulling out some better marks with the report.

 

Wednesday (5/7)

Today, I slept in and then started packing some stuff for a 36 hour holiday to Durham and Newcastle with Sophie, Jared, Paddie and Helen from the chaplaincy group. We wanted to leave around 2:00, but got snagged into doing a video shoot for a charity promo here at uni, so we didn’t leave until 3:15. When we finally left, we went to visit the Durham castle and church and Sophie’s Uncle Mark, which I met in Rome. After visiting there, we went to a youth service at a church. There was a lot of good music with a live band and the message was a really good reminder of being a dedicated Christian even when everyone else in the world seems to be against you. When the service was over, everyone was given a “cheap and cheerful” dinner consisting of chips (or fries as we call them in America) or a hot dog. It was late so we went to Paddie’s house because he lives in the area out there. We visited with his family for a little while and then called it a night.

Happy faces in Durham!
Happy faces in Durham!

 

Walking in the outer courtyard of the cathedral.
Walking in the outer courtyard of the cathedral.

 

Thursday (5/8)

In the morning, we ate breakfast and then saw Paddie’s dad’s work, which is a costume store located right across the street where we live. It was fun walking through there and seeing all the costumes that there was. After that, we got into the car and went to visit a landfill that had been redesigned into a nice “park” to walk around. It was made a few years back and the person that came up with the idea was an American who has been living in the UK for the last 20 years or so. After that, we headed to the beach and picked up some AMAZING ice cream on the way there. The weather was still sunny and nice, so we all took off our shoes and had a quick run into the freezing water. When our feet had dried off enough we put on our shoes, said our goodbyes to Paddie’s parents and headed back to uni so I could get to class at 2:00. The rest of them went out visiting somewhere else while I was in class. The courses here run a little differently depending on what major you are in, so the religion majors (which they are in) ended around the beginning of May, and business majors will end at the beginning of June.

 

Friday (5/9)

Homework and chillin’ day.

 

Saturday (5/10)

More homework and spending time with friends.

 

Sunday (5/11)

In the morning I went to church at Lister Hill and listened to a sermon on Acts 18:24- 19:6. It was a rather interesting message which likened decaffeinated coffee and as the church without the Holy Spirit. You have the look of it, smell and taste of it, but there is no “kick” or caffeine boost that you would get from regular coffee. The same is true of the church if the Holy Spirit isn’t working there. You have the look, smell and taste of Christianity, but it doesn’t do anything to change and convict people because the “kick” or power is gone. I thought it was quite a clever and entertaining service, but I may be biased because I like coffee. After church, I went out for lunch with Olivia, Michael and Lydia.

 

Monday (5/12)

I didn’t much today besides do homework and then meet up with my Thursday group in the afternoon to talk about what we are doing for our presentation and to discuss some more ideas of how to make Top Collar grow.

 

Tuesday (5/13)

I went to classes all day and then visited Olivia in the evening to watch Frozen with her and her flat mates. For those of you who haven’t seen it, you should… it’s really good.

 

Wednesday (5/14)

I went to Leeds with Kate, Darryl, Ben, and Jordan in the afternoon and we spent the day walking around and eating lunch and talking about our pitch presentation. Then in the evening, I went with the chaplaincy group to the Otley Chevin, which is pretty much a nice place to walk around and take in some sights. After that, we got some dinner at a place nearby and stayed super late eating and laughing about everything. I think it was because there was something in the ice cream we ate before going on the walk that made us all so silly. In any case, it was a fun evening out, even though my sides still hurt the next day from all the laughing.

 

Eating ice cream in the sunshine.
Eating ice cream in the sunshine.

 

Nachos anyone?
Nachos anyone?

 

Me, unintentionally photo bombing Charlotte and Amanda's scenic pic. Haha, oops...
Me, unintentionally photo bombing Charlotte and Amanda’s scenic pic. Haha, oops…

 

This, on the other hand, was an intentional photo bomb. Doesn't look like the lads got all too upset about it- score!
This, on the other hand, was an intentional photo bomb. Doesn’t look like the lads got all too upset about it- score!

 

Thursday (5/15)

I had been invited to go to a luncheon with the executive board and other international students at noon a few weeks ago, so I went and we discussed some things about what we thought was good about our experience here and what could be improved. As we continued talking, I somehow found myself being offered a position as an international student ambassador for Leeds Trinity University and as a student who could work on developing a welcoming packet specifically for international students before I go back stateside in June. I was really excited about both as it’s something I am very interested in doing.

After lunch, I went to my marketing class and stayed an hour after class time so our group could talk to the professor about our ideas for our pitch presentation.

 

Friday (5/16)

I went to Roundhay Park with Michael and it was really cool. The whole park was built from veterans who didn’t have a job after the war. There were paths everywhere and a manmade lake in the middle of it. In the evening, I got to skype with Naomi and E, which was so good because I haven’t skyped them in ages:)

View of the man- made lake in Roundhay Park.
View of the man- made lake in Roundhay Park.

 

Saturday (5/17)

I spent the day hanging out with friends. I should have done more work on my report, but the weather was simply amazing that I didn’t want to waste it by staying inside and doing coursework. You can tell how straight my priorities are when the weather becomes nice outside, haha!

 

Sunday (5/18)

Went to church in the morning and listened to a sermon on Romans 8 and how nothing can separate us from God’s love. It was a simple message, but a good reminder of how big and loving God really is. There was something pointed out in how the passage was written that I never noticed before: God’s love (and the passage) begins with no condemnation and ends with no separation with no defeat in the middle. Whoa…

 

Monday (5/19)

In the morning, I met with Meaghan, who I met at the luncheon, and Emmi to discuss ideas for the welcoming packet and when I could come and work on it. I’m really excited to see my little vision I had in March becoming a reality! The rest of the day, I planned on trying to be a good girl and work on my report, but I didn’t get very far with that because the weather was really nice outside again…

 

Tuesday (5/20)

I went to my service marketing class in the morning and learned about the seven kinds of difficult customers one may face, which was quite interesting, and how to best deal with each of them. They are as follows: the Cheat, the Thief, the Rule-breaker, the Belligerent, the Family Feuder, the Vandal, and the Deadbeat. I just thought that a bad customer was a bad customer, but now we in the business course have them labeled, so there is no escape, haha! In the afternoon, I went to my last ever people management course. If feels weird that courses are ending when I only feel like they’ve only just begun.

I also found out in an email that the scholarship I applied for at the beginning of April is being awarded to me! It’s so great to see that the extensive application form and my essay work paid off in the end for getting the scholarship. I can’t wait for the fall semester to begin… well almost.

Halfway

Friday (4/25)

I mostly did homework for a good part of the day. Mostly a lot of reading work, which is easy enough to do… if you don’t fall asleep. The best news of the day was getting my camera to FINALLY work!!! Apparently I wasn’t putting the battery in correctly or something so ridiculously easy like that. From here on out, I will be taking pictures to put into my blog posts. YAY😀

 

Saturday (4/26)

I don’t remember what I did on this day, but it must not have been anything exciting.

 

Sunday (4/27)

I went to church in the morning and listened to guest preacher, John Winter. He had a really good message about the Holy Spirit and what it really does in a person’s life when they accept Christ. As soon as the sermon is uploaded to the churches website, I will upload it. My explanation of what he said just won’t do it justice. If you would like to hear some of the other sermons at my church, you can listen to them here: http://lhbc.org.uk/sermons/

After church, I spent some time with my friends just visiting. In the evening, I did my duty and skyped my family like I promised I would do every Sunday. It was good to talk and “have dinner” with them too. It’s amazing how little meal times with the family change even when you are not physically there with them.

 

Monday (4/28)

I didn’t do anything interesting on this day, besides more homework and answering emails. I think I did read a non-school related book just to make life a little more varied. At some point during the day, I know I did go out for some food with friends so I didn’t go too stir crazy. They had all finished taking their exams for the day, so they went out and celebrated that with me and with talking about how crazy the semester has been (as I feel most students do after finals are done).

 

Tuesday (4/29)

LOOONG DAAAAAY of being in lectures! This was my first time back in classes since Easter/spring break. It’s amazing how used to being lazy one can be after not doing anything academically productive for a month’s time. I survived the day however, so I guess that’s all that mattered. I was also able to get some good tips for writing my report for my service marketing report. It’s not due until the end of May, but the sooner I start on it the less I will have to do later. In my people management class in the afternoon, I got a better feel for what my group felt about our presentation and what was still missing from it. For part of our final, we are giving a presentation next week Tuesday and then writing a report to finish it off later in the month of May. It’s really crazy how fast time is going along here. I only have 5 weeks left of classes!

 

Wednesday (4/30)

I spent the morning editing my management group’s PowerPoint. In the afternoon, I went with Jared, Paddie and Helen from the chaplaincy group to do some sight- seeing before we met with the other people who went on the Rome trip for a reunion. It was really nice to get away from uni for a while. We went to a nice little café after our sightseeing and spent some time talking about our families and what we did for Easter.

We drove to a retreat center in Ilkley which is about a 20 minute car ride if we drove there directly from school. The center is in a really posh neighborhood. We had a homemade meal of lasagna, garlic bread and salad and shared stories about our time in Rome. Dessert was tiramisu, but there was a little too much liquor in it, so I didn’t get to finish it all. I’ve had tiramisu before, but not anything like that. During dessert, we had a really interesting discussion about my stand on drinking and relationships. It was an intense discussion, in a good way, and I could tell that although my standards were somewhat unheard of, they made sense to them in a scriptural way.

 

Thursday (5/1)

Another long day at school. I went to two group meetings, back to back, from 11:30 to 2:00 and then went to class from 2:00 to 6:00pm. I got my dinner from the cafeteria and then just went to my room to eat it and vegetate. It was a good day, don’t get me wrong, it was just lots to take in after being away for so long. I got some good ideas for how to write my report for my marketing communications class, so I started writing an outline for that later in the evening after I had recovered enough, haha!

 

Friday (5/2)

I slept in super late for some reason, so I skipped over breakfast and ate lunch. I met up with some people in the chaplaincy group in the afternoon and watched the news and the food network with them while drinking tea and talking about school and the weather. Around dinner time, Jared, Helen, Paddie and me went into town to eat dinner and watch a play. The Beggar’s Opera, as it’s called, was good but the dark hopelessness one lives in without God was evidently seen in the storyline.

When I got back, I skyped with my family and then went to bed.

 

Saturday (5/3)

I woke up rather late in the day, so I’ve spent it writing this blog post. I will probably finish editing my group’s PowerPoint presentation so we will be ready to go on Tuesday afternoon and find out if any of my peeps are up anything interesting. It’s hard to think about the fact that it’s already May and that I will be leaving late next month! I still have lots to do for school and trips planned, so stay tuned for more:)

 

Rome and Easter

Here it is everyone! My most massive blog entry yet. Might want to make yourself comfortable cause it’s going to take a while.

Saturday (4/5)

Happy Birthday to my brother Zak! I got to skype with my family for his party and join in, as much as I could, on some of the birthday celebrations. It was so great to talk with my Aunt Bee. She couldn’t believe that I was talking with her and that she could see me, even though we are miles apart. It’s the little things in life that make you happy sometimes:) For the record, I did enjoy talking with the rest of my family and relatives that were at the party too.

 

Sunday (4/6)

I went to church with Olivia and Lydia in the morning. Another good message was given about God’s mindfulness of us in Psalm 8. The preacher encouraged us to look up at the sky that night and to see the stars and ponder the vastness of them. I thought it was such a silly idea that I did it that night, and I felt very… human.

Small.

Easily overlooked.

Almost worthless.

How could a God so big and sovereign over the world bring Himself to care about me? To know every hair on my head, cell in my body, thought on my mind and beat of my heart? I think that trying to wrap our finite minds around God’s love will always be difficult to truly understand, but I find comfort in just knowing that He loves me anyway, whether I understand it or not. The preacher echoed my sentiments as well in the message saying, “God isn’t just mindful of us. He took on human flesh for us. He has a heart for us. God’s love is passionate, persistent, perfect and all logic cannot explain or reason why He could love us so.”

In the evening, there was a service as well. It’s a new thing that has been started in church to involve the housegroups more once per month. I believe there are seven housegroups and each will take a turn in “having the service” with music and a message. I don’t remember exactly everything that was said in the message, but it was along the same lines as the morning message- God being mindful of us. Afterwards, it was nice to fellowship with everyone there. The amount of people that came was so small in number that you could almost talk with everyone.

 

Monday (4/7)

In the morning, I had another meeting in the executive office at school. I met with Ray and talked with him about the differences between Leeds Trinity University and Alverno College. I never knew how much of a representative of Alverno I would be when I came here, haha! It’s been good though and I don’t mind talking about my college.

The rest of the day was spent doing homework and getting things together for my trip to Rome. In the late evening (like 11:30pm late) I skyped with my Taiwanese friend, Amelia. I thought that the time difference between England and the US was difficult, but it was even harder to find a time to skype Taiwan from here. It’s about 8 hour’s difference! Anyway, we had a nice catch up with each other’s lives, so it was worth it.

 

Tuesday (4/8)

This was another crazy day of putting things together for Rome. Along with that, I was writing an essay for a scholarship in the states. I needed to get it done before I went to Rome because I knew I wouldn’t have any time to work on it while there and also because the due date was on the 14th, which was the day I was flying back to England. In the end, I was able to get it submitted and I’m just hoping that they like my essay enough to give me money, haha:)

 

Wednesday (4/9)

Packing day for Rome! In the midst of my packing, I met with Jess and Carol here at school to talk with them about being able to do some volunteering jobs while I’m here in England. They were both really helpful and gave me lots of ideas about what I could do. At the moment I’m looking at what my options are, in light of my visa, and what I will be allowed to do.

 

Thursday (4/10)

Got up at 5:00 in the morning to get ready to go to the airport for my flight to Rome! We boarded at 8:00 and landed in Rome around 1:00. Then we got a taxi to take us to our hostel and unpack a little before we went out exploring for the rest of the day. The weather was so warm and sunny compared to England. It felt good to be out in the sunshine again. At about 3pm, we went to the Vatican Museum, which was literally right across the street from where we were staying at the hostel. At about 5pm, we walked over to St Peter’s Basilica and took loads more pictures, plus a little tour with Father Paul. He is the one who gives mass at the little catholic church here at uni, but he is very nice to everyone even if they aren’t catholic. He lived in Italy for quite a few years doing seminary school before he came to to Leeds, so he knows a lot about the churches and historic side of Rome, so we were all very happy to have him along to give us free tours wherever we went. He also speaks Italian really well, which came in handy when we went places. At 7:00 we had dinner in the environs of St Peter’s, which was really lovely. After that, everyone went back to their hostels and crashed because of traveling all morning and sightseeing all afternoon.

My room at the hostel.
My room at the hostel.

 

Another view.
Another view.

 

The view from my window.
The view from my window.

 

Friday (4/11)

At 9:00 me, Helen and Jared, some of the other people in the group, decided to treat ourselves to some real coffee by going to a café that wasn’t too far from our hostel. We were in luck, and got some really good coffee that wasn’t expensive… 1 euro for a cappuccino. Then at 11am, we rejoined the group and went to the Colosseum, which I think was the best part of the trip. It was so breathtaking when you actually got inside and saw how massive the place was. For me, the Colosseum held a lot of weight since I did a lot of studies on Rome back in high school and remembering all the awful things that happened there came back to me in that moment. All the pictures that I took couldn’t do it justice for the size of the place. It was a chilling thought to imagine myself in the arena with 35,000 cheering people in the stands as a lion charges toward me. That is what the Romans of old did for entertainment all day… watch people and animals fight to the death. Can’t vouch for society that we do any better now…

Cappuccino.
Cappuccino.

 

Me and the other coffee hunters, Jared and Helen.
Me and the other coffee hunters, Jared and Helen.

 

Colosseum
Colosseum

 

 

View from the inside. You can see where they partly reconstructed the arena floor to give you some perspective of how big the place is.
View from the inside. You can see where they partly reconstructed the arena floor to give you some perspective of how big the place is.

 

Around 1:00 we had lunch, which was a sandwich with yummy homemade bread. After lunch we went to the Roman Forum and got a tour from Father Paul along the way. After that, we got a bus and rode to the Church of St John and Paul and the Garden of Nero. The garden was really pretty. At 6:30 there was an International Mass at the San Lorenzo Centre with the World Youth Day Cross, which was optional to attend. I decided to go with some other non-Catholics in my group to a local café for a cup of coffee and ice cream instead. It felt good to just have a break after walking around all day and getting information overload.

 

Part of the Garden of Nero.
Part of the Garden of Nero.

 

Me and the metal globe.
Me and the metal globe.

 

Saturday (4/12)

At 10:00am we took the metro to have a tour of the Venerable English College. Apparently this is the only truly English college outside of Italy that is still in existence. When I speak of English, I mean that it’s British and not American. It was really neat to see all the history of that place. During one of Napoleon’s wars, he needed a place for his troops to stay, so they used the college as a place to stay and put their horses in the churches sanctuary! The original sanctuary was richly ornamented, as all Catholic churches are, but pieces were stripped down and reshaped for war purposes. It was later rebuilt and refurbished, but not to its original splendor. At 11am the group at coffee at a nearby café and spent some time there talking about all the things that we saw. Father Paul is quite the social butterfly and he managed to snag a student there at the college who was American and invited him to have coffee with us. I talked with him and found out that he was from St. Paul, MN, so we had a nice chat talking about American politics and all other manner of American topics in the news. Even though I enjoy being around my British friends, it felt good to break out and be an American for an hour.

Selfie on the metro!
Selfie on the metro!

 

The street outside the English college.
The street outside the English college.

At about noon, the group had a stroll around Rome to the Piazza Navona,  the Pantheon, and the Spanish Steps. We concluded all the walking with a late lunch and then a chill session in the Pincio. From 4pm to 6pm, we visited the Basilica of St Paul’s outside the Walls.

Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona

 

The Pantheon
The Pantheon

 

Inside the Pantheon
Inside the Pantheon

 

Another view inside the Pantheon.
Another view inside the Pantheon.

 

The group sitting on the Spanish Steps. There was loads of people there!
The group sitting on the Spanish Steps. There was loads of people there!

 

Sunday (4/13)- Palm Sunday!

At 6:30 in the morning, we gathered in St Peter’s Square. There were LOADS of people everywhere! Earlier in the week one of the guys in our group, Paddie, informed us that Italians didn’t know how to que (or get in line). I thought he was just saying that to be funny, but it was true. Everyone was pushing and shoving to get in the gate. There was no sense of order, not to mention zero personal space. People had no problems elbowing their way through to get to the front faster. Even some nuns weren’t above doing that, which I thought was shocking of all people to see them doing that. I suppose that they are only human though just like the rest of us lot. Despite all that pushing and shoving, our group managed to reserve a row for ourselves up towards the front. We were the 6th one back from the front, which was super close. At 9:30am the mass finally started! It went till about 1:00 in the afternoon, which is the longest service I have ever been to by far! Me and two other women in the group also found out that once you left mass, you weren’t allowed back in. We needed to use the restroom halfway through the service, so we left our seats. When we tried to get back in, the tall and grumpy Italian policeman said, “No, no. You must go back into the square.” So yeah, we spent the rest of the time sitting in the shade of the columns watching the pope on the big outdoor TVs.

Vatican Square at 6:30 in the morning.
Vatican Square at 6:30 in the morning.

 

Vatican Square- six rows from the front.
Vatican Square- six rows from the front.

 

Beth and I waiting for the service to begin. It's about 8am and we still have another hour and a half to go.
Beth and I waiting for the service to begin. It’s about 8am and we still have another hour and a half to go.

After that, our group rejoined and walked up Janiculum Hill and had a picnic lunch of sandwiches (made with yummy Italian bread). At 4pm we went to the Ponte Sisto and walked around the Ghetto and Trastevere. To clarify, the ghetto isn’t like the American ghetto you think of. It’s just what it’s called and it’s a very nice and safe place to walk around. We are pizza for dinner somewhere in the area and got some ice cream for dessert. I’m pretty sure that I had at least one cone of ice cream and one cup of coffee a day, which was a completely fine diet with me:)

Ponte Sisto
Ponte Sisto

 

Jewish Synagogue in the Ghetto.
Jewish Synagogue in the Ghetto.

 

Monday (4/14)

This was our last day in Rome. It was spent packing up and going to the airport. We arrived back in England at 1:00. I had barely an hour to unpack and then repack to go to my friend Lydia’s house for the week. Lydia came on the Rome trip too, so she was in the same predicament as well. She didn’t have as much to pack though, since we were going to her house, so she was done quicker then I was. I think that was the first time I literally threw random clothes into my suitcase and left to go somewhere, all the while crossing my fingers and hoping that I didn’t forget anything. Guess I can cross that off of my bucket list, haha!

Me and Lydia in Rome.
Me and Lydia in Rome.

Lydia is an only child and her dad is a Methodist preacher. They, along with her mom, live in Danby, which is really close to the ocean. Their house is literally right next to the church in which they serve, so you didn’t have to walk more the 10 yards for church events. It was nice being part of a family unit again and among like-minded people who love God.

 

Tuesday (4/15)

On Tuesday, I went to visit the seaside town of Whitby. It was really beautiful there, even though the wind was blowing something fierce and it was cold. This little town had a lot of history to it for it was where Captain James Cook grew up and lived. He made a lot of advances in sea navigation and exploration of indigenous tribes in Australia and the Hawaiian Islands. It is also here that jet is found. Jet is a precious stone of types that is black and it’s used mostly for jewelry. I wanted to get a piece of jet set in a Celtic looking pendant, but it’s expensive, so I had to pass. Whitby is also known for rock, which is a candy cane type of hard candy. The thing that is cool about it is that there are little messages put inside the candy throughout the entire width of it, so no matter how much of it you eat, the message is still in there. Most of them said ‘Whitby Rock’ but it was still cool to see a message in the candy, even if it as the same one.  We also visited Whitby Abbey which is placed up on a cliff overlooking the sea. It looks really stunning way up there when you are down by the shore.

Me and Lydia sitting outside the James Cook Museum.
Me and Lydia sitting outside the James Cook Museum.

 

Me and Mum (Lydia's mom) taking a break from the stairs on the way up to the abbey. There were 199 steps going up there!
Me and Mum (Lydia’s mom) taking a break from the stairs on the way up to the abbey. There were 199 steps going up there!

 

The abbey's graveyard with the saints carved into a totem pole type thing.
The abbey’s graveyard with the saints carved into a totem pole type thing.

 

The seaside view from up by the abbey.
The seaside view from up by the abbey.

After walking around in town, we had a traditional seaside lunch of fish and chips (or fries as we Americans call them). There was a line outside of the shop, so we had to wait for a while to get our lunch. When we ordered our cod and chips, we put on a bunch of vinegar and salt to make it taste amazing. Then we all went to some benches and ate our lunch looking out at the sea. The wind started to blow a lot all of a suddenly, and I got some sand in my fish and chips. Lydia’s mom laughed and said that I got the real deal now and so I ate the rest of my lunch with sand on it. Surprisingly, it was still good.

We thought this was rather amusing.
We thought this was rather amusing. The place to go if you have a bone to pick with someone apparently.

 

Eating amazing fish and chips!
Eating amazing fish and chips!

 

A popular place to get pictures. These are whale bones that are who knows how old.
A popular place to get pictures. These are whale bones that are who knows how old.

 

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Wednesday (4/16)

A stay at home day after all the travels Lydia and I did over the last few days. We spent some of the morning doing homework, so we were semi-productive. In the afternoon and evening, we drank tea, painted our nails and watched a few Jane Austen movies. It was a well spent day in my opinion.

 

Thursday (4/17)

Lydia and I had a lie in, and I got to eat eggy bread (aka French toast) and bacon for breakfast (which was amazing!). When got on the little train at 10am and went to Middlesbrough for the day to visit with one of our friends from school. Lewis lives close to there, so we decided that was the best place to meet. Me and Lydia went to Starbucks (my first time being since in England) and got a latte and a strawberries and cream to drink while we were waiting for him to come. When he finally came about an hour later, we went to the art museum, which wasn’t much at all. You could hardly tell if you were entering an exhibit or if it was just a hallway because the layout of the place was so confusing. Lewis got in trouble a few times because he touched some things that were apparently part of the exhibit, haha. Poor guy. After that we walked through the little town and went to the local history museum. That was much more interesting because it was all about the history of Middlesbrough and you could tell the difference between an artifact and a chair, so Lewis didn’t get in trouble there.

Me and Lydia at Starbucks.
Me and Lydia at Starbucks.

 

Friday (4/18)

We had a quiet day in the house and went to Good Friday service in the afternoon. We sang some hymns and had a short message. I knew all of the hymns, but the melodies were different, so my musical self inside of me was all confused as to why we were singing ‘What Wondrous Love Is This’ to a Christmas tune, of which the name escapes me at the moment. In the end though, it was a good reflective day of thinking about God’s mercy and love to us.  After service, we went to a nearby park to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.

Nice bridge over a little pond in the park.
Nice bridge over a little pond in the park.

 

Saturday (4/19)

We didn’t do much except for visit Cath, who is an old family friend of Lydia’s. She was really sweet to us and wanted to know all about our time in Rome. She lived in a beautiful apartment building that was close to the sea! After visiting her, we went home for a cuppa tea to warm ourselves up. It was cold down by the water again. It was a nice reminder of home for me and brought back memories of when I went to Lake Michigan with my family or friends. Looking forward to doing that again when I get back!

 

Sunday (4/20)

It’s Easter Sunday! Lydia and I, along with mum, spent the morning getting dressed in our Easter finest and picking out some hats to wear to church. Since church attendance in the countryside is very minimal, all the different denominations were getting together to have Easter service in one place. I wasn’t sure how that was going to look, but I decided that if anything it would be quite amusing, so I went to see for myself. To sum it up in simple terms, it was a Catholic church, with a Catholic service and a Methodist message smashed together. Lydia’s dad gave the message, so I knew that it was going to be good. After the service was over, everyone still talked to each other, so I guess it went well.

Me, Lydia and Dad in our Easter Sunday best.
Me, Lydia and Dad in our Easter Sunday best.

Back at home, mum made an AMAZING roast meal for our Easter lunch. There was too much goodness on the table that I know I ate entirely too much. She made vegetables, mashed potatoes, roast beef, garlic bread, salad, fruit salad, and trifle for dessert. After lunch, we went to visit Lydia’s dad’s parents that lived 20 minutes away. They were really nice people to talk to and Grandma gave me even more trifle to eat, haha! On the way back home, we did some sightseeing and went past a castle, over a wooden bridge that is still used today, and a huge old mansion that was turned into a museum.

Me and the dog, Spot, at the Grandparents house.
Me and the dog, Spot, at the Grandparents house.

 

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Castle!

 

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Me on the old wooden bridge. The sign is the fares people would have to pay if they wanted to get across the bridge in the olden days.
Me on the old wooden bridge. The sign is the fares people would have to pay if they wanted to get across the bridge in the olden days.

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Monday (4/21)

I had a migraine in the morning, so I pretty much stayed in bed till lunch. In the afternoon I was feeling better, so I went to see Danby castle, which wasn’t very far from where I was staying. It’s a little castle and there isn’t much to look at, but it was still cool to stand next to the ruins and wonder what the walls of the place had seen over the centuries. Part of the castle is still in good condition, so people have weddings there. Then I went with mum to a nearby farm and got to feed some baby lambs! They were so cute. Apparently the mother lamb had too many other baby lambs to look after, so she abandoned two of them. The farmer and his family are taking care of them now, so they will get fed and looked after even though they aren’t wanted by their mother anymore. After we fed them, we walked around the farm a wee bit and fed some chickens, which are were being naughty. The farmer’s wife, Liz, was telling us that the chickens made a Easter egg hunt for them because they haven’t been laying their eggs in the coop, so they’ve had to search everywhere for them. She said that putting them in their coop for a little while will solve that problem. I thought it was funny because it’s no different from being a mom with a naughty kid… you just send them to a time out session for a little bit so they learn to behave!

 

Got the baby lambs.
Got the baby lambs.

 

Feeding the lamb. I got to name him Oreo because they didn't have a name for him. Sooo cute!
Feeding the lamb. I got to name him Oreo because they didn’t have a name for him. Sooo cute!

 

Feeding the naughty chickens, haha.
Feeding the naughty chickens, haha.

 

The view on the farm.
The view on the farm.

 

Inside view of the castle where the ceremonies are held. Pretty small in my opinion :/
Inside view of the castle where the ceremonies are held. Pretty small in my opinion:/

 

The countryside outside of the castle.
The countryside outside of the castle.

Tuesday (4/22)

Lydia and I had a nice lie in, but then we got to packing our things to go back to uni. I went food shopping with mum earlier in the morning and we had a guest over for lunch too. We had pizza and salad for lunch, which I haven’t had in a while, so it tasted good. After we visited for a little while with Mark, the person that came to visit, we got into the car and headed back. By that time it was around 4:00 and the rest of the day was spent unpacking and answering emails and skyping my family.

 

Wednesday (4/23)

The day was spent sleeping in, going to the store to get some stuff, and then coming back to school to do some homework and write part of this massive blog post!

 

Thursday (4/24)

Slept in way too late, so my morning was completely unproductive. I skyped my family for a little while in the afternoon and then finished this blog post. This day also marks the halfway point for when I return home to America. I can’t believe where the time has flown to! Can’t wait to see what the rest of my time here in England holds. Hope you all enjoyed:)

Pluvial

So pluvial was the word of the day yesterday and I decided to use it for the naming of this blog post because I’m out of ideas. Plus the weather has been really pluvial here as of late, so it seemed appropriate. Now you all have to look it up to know what I’m talking about…. muahaha!

Sunday (3/30)

I went to church today with just Michael today because Olive was at home for Mother’s Day, which happens in March unlike America, which is May. Anyway, the message was in Matthew 5 & 6 about how God calls us as Christians to be different and set apart from the rest of the world. The beatitudes are all about how God wants us as Christians to act and behave in the world and what God will do if we act in accordance or against Him. It’s here that Jesus is asking us to live a life contrary to the world’s way. To be a Christian is to be different- to live a life of surrender to Him alone. The world says “me” and “now” and “I want”, but God tells us to say “others first” and to wait. He doesn’t operate under the world’s demands and standards, because He is God and over all who dwell therein. “As the song says” the preacher quoted, “we are changed from glory to glory. Being a Christian is not a ‘do it once and your good for life’ type deal. It’s an ongoing process that we daily work through and pursue.” He talked about the church becoming so lost in the things of this world that the world doesn’t see a difference in us anymore and Christians fail to realize all too late what’s actually happening to the Bride of Christ. “As a church, are we hungering and thirsting for righteousness daily or are we too busy filling our faces with the sad substitutes of this world that we can’t be bothered anymore to be hungry for the real stuff that’s good for us?” he finished the message with. Take the risk to be hungry for Him alone, to strip ourselves of that which is against His Kingdom, to deny ourselves instant gratification for eternal treasures, to be different because our King calls us to be.

 

Monday (3/31)

I did homework in the morning and then played Squash with Olive and Tots at 1:oo. Since the coaching session last week Wednesday, I’m getting better with my backhand hits. My backhand serve has much to be desired. You have to do everything completely backwards unless if you hold your racket in the left hand to play. It looks really strange as well. I just stared at the coach forever when she was demonstrating to me how to do it! Well, as they say, practice makes perfect! After Squash, I got ready to go over to Kate’s house for a sleepover and to work on a presentation we were doing the next day. The presentation was on service distribution through channels, but we didn’t learn about it in class yet, so we had no idea what to put together. We did a lot of research online and put together something then ordered loads of pizza to eat and watched a movie and a half. We were so tired that we didn’t get through the second one, haha!

 

Tuesday (4/1)

Woke up and got the bus (which was 15 minutes late!) to go to uni. Got to class and found out that the professor was sick, so our 3 hour lecture turned into an hour and 15 minute lecture, including mine and Kate’s presentation. Apparently we knew more than we thought about service distribution and did well on the presentation. For my management class, we did something really different. We didn’t have a normal class time, but did a business exercise with some high schoolers. We were given two random products (TVs and tires) and told to create new products out of them and make a pitch presentation for a startup business. It was really fun, but it took forever to think up of products and a company name. The kids were also really shy as well, which didn’t help the brainstorming process, so it took up a lot of our time in creating a good pitch. In the end, the kids eventually came around and thought up of customized tires to put on your car that changes colors when you use the app that goes with it on your phone. When you bought the tires, you got the tv for free or something like that. I was really proud of them for putting together something decent out of tvs and tires!

In the evening, I went to the last chaplaincy dinner. Since classes end this week and spring break is from next Monday till almost end of April, we won’t be seeing each other for a while. It was a really good salmon casserole with homemade mango- lime sorbet for dessert. SOOO GOOD! After that, I went back to my room to do some more reading homework and start in on the third book in the divergent series. I may have read longer then I intended to, but it was such a good few first chapters that I didn’t mind.

 

Wednesday (4/2)

In the morning, I had a meeting with my official progress tutor, Helen. Apparently I wasn’t assigned to the right person, so they switched it around and I’m working with her now. She is really nice and apparently she does a lot of things with the small population of international students here at Leeds Trinity. She told me that there is one student from Kazakhstan and two students from China. They will be planning some trips together and Helen invited me along. Of course I’ll go along, as it’s another opportunity to see more of England, I just don’t know where yet, haha! In the evening, I went to the Squash coaching session. This time we worked on serving again and on staying light on our feet. The coach put us through a crazy exercise that kept you moving a lot to slam the little ball against the wall in both fore and back hand positions. It was tiring, but good.

 

Thursday (4/3)

I didn’t do a whole lot in the morning besides homework. When I needed a break from that I watched the movie Captain Phillips with Tom Hanks. It was a really good and intense movie based off of true events in which the captain of a ship gets kidnaped by pirates. Then I went off to my favorite class (marketing communications) and got some more ideas for our presentation and what else to research on. Speaking of which, if you haven’t taken the survey and you have a dog, please do! It’s a quick 5 minute survey on dog treats. We need as many people to take it as possible before next week Monday. Here is the link to take you to it: http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=5fam69dwvrg5vrm332216

After class, I went out for dinner with some of my teammates and had a really good bacon cheeseburger. After that, I waited for the bus for 45 minutes to get back to uni. The bus line that I need usually comes every 20 minutes but for some reason it was running REALLY LATE! When I eventually got back, I went to visit with the chaplaincy peeps because it was Father Paul’s birthday, so they were having a little party for him. We all had a good time and stayed up entirely too late, but it was fun and memorable, plus I wasn’t going anywhere in the morning, so I could sleep in.

It was also my favorite first youngest bro’s birthday today (haha, yeah I’ll let you think about that one for a while cause I just feel like being difficult)! Happy Birthday Zak (again!) This sister of yours couldn’t be prouder of you and I am looking forward to all the things you are going to accomplish in this next year of your life J

 

Friday (4/4)

So, I slept in to the very late time of 6:45am because I remembered that I had to skype my friend Diana before she left for Ohio for the weekend, so I skyped her for barely an hour because we were both so tired. I was, because I had only gotten 5 hours of sleep, and her because it was like 1 in the morning and she had been up all day. After that, I went back to sleep until 11, which was really nice. Then I woke up and made some pancakes for Fraser, because he didn’t get any the night that I made them for the dinner, and then did my laundry and homework, plus blogging all this.

It’s crazy how fast time is flying here that at times I feel like I can barely keep up. I’ve made so many friends and I keep making new ones every day. My dorm situation is much better and I can sleep at night (when I actually get around to it, haha) and study during the day. Plus, my flatmates are really nice as well. I’m looking forward to when my nerf gun gets here so we can have some serious hallway battles. In the meantime, I’ll blog again soon!

“Here comes the sun…”

Hey Everyone,

I finally understand why the Beatles wrote a song about the sun coming out this week… it’s been sooo cloudy here, which is apparently normal! Anyway, enough of my random thought for the week. Here is what I’ve been up to:

Wednesday (3/19)- aka Pancake Day!

Today was a roller coaster day. In the morning, I made my first payment to school for my accommodation fees and felt poorer as soon as my card was swiped. It needed to be done, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less. Ahh, the life of a student… Anyway, after I paid that, I went into town to buy stuff for making pancakes in the evening. When I came back, I took a nap for a few hours and then I made pancakes, because making pancakes makes one feel tired, haha:) It was difficult to measure out all the ingredients because none of the guys I was cooking with had any measuring cups or spoons, so I was literally eyeballing everything and hoping that the pancakes would turn out fine. Thankfully they did, and everyone super loved them. I made some with chocolate chips and others with blueberries.

Thursday (3/20)

I did archery again in the afternoon. We did proper scoring and I did pretty well. After that, I went to my marketing communications class and after class time, I went out for dinner with my team.  We went to Nandos for dinner and then walked around forever afterwards to find a place for dessert, but that was mostly because it was super late and a lot of places were closed. Nandos is a place that has really good chicken meals and not much else. I wish they had these in America because the chicken is good and also because you can put all these different kind of sauces on the chicken to make it taste even better. Hmm… making myself hungry just blogging about it.

Nandos
Nandos
The awesome sauces :)
The awesome sauces:)

Friday (3/21)

In the morning, I went out for coffee with the chaplaincy group at a small café in town that is run by a woman who employs people with disabilities. It was really humbling to be served by these people who have such a difficult life already, but they did it all with a smile on their face. They were really friendly too. One guy wanted to know all our names. It was only after I left that I found out he was deaf. I was amazed because he didn’t seem like he was at all. He could lip read what you wanted when you ordered something.

After that, I was invited to meet with the Vice Chancellor of the university, Margaret House for coffee. I have to admit that I was nervous going into the meeting, because I had no idea what to expect and I knew that she had a high position in the college. Despite all my nerves, she was really nice and we had a good meeting. She mostly wanted to know what my opinion of the classes and universities was in general, as well as give her some advice for creating a proper welcoming pack for international students to help them feel more at home when they get here. I hope to work with her more on creating the packet, because I feel like it would really help their international reach a lot.

In the evening, I went to a game night with the chaplaincy group. It was a good time of sitting around and talking with others. I didn’t learn any news games though, because they are the same as in the states, but it was still enjoyable.

Saturday (3/22)

I didn’t do anything but boring homework on this day. I may have gone shopping, but I can’t remember at the moment, haha!

Sunday (3/23)

Church at Lister Hill Baptist in the morning. Did I mention that their service starts at 10:30? It’s super nice to lie in bed till 9:30 and then get ready to go. The service was, again, really good. The message given was on John 1 and he took a different, although biblically accurate, angle on it. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus was there from the beginning of time- of everything really. He wasn’t some substitute or imitation when He came to earth, no, He was and is the real deal. God in flesh. He chose to live among us in this life (v.14), but His own rejected Him (v.10&11). Yet, to those who received, or accepted Him “gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” So simple… so complete… so easy. “How could a world of creation, reject its Creator”, I asked myself as I sat there on the comfy chairs. “Didn’t they know why He came? How could they be so foolish? God loved those selfish people to pieces that He, to my mind, did the unthinkable and came to dwell among us.” How humbling to know that He chose us first, that He loved us first, to offer us an incredible choice… His life for ours.

Elsewhere in the Gospels, Jesus talks about the fact that in trying to save your own life, you will lose it, unless you lose your life for Him. Then you will find it (Matthew 16:25). Jesus gave us the opportunity to become part of the Church, the Bride of Christ, His family by accepting that what we have done, or will ever do in this life, will never be good enough to enter heaven’s gates. All we must do is believe on His name.

Monday (3/24)

In the morning, I had to go to the office to give Stephen, the international adviser at Leeds Trinity, to do some paperwork and such. Then I visited the student accommodations office about moving to a different dorm building. I haven’t been getting much sleep at night and people would take some of my stuff from the shared fridge in the kitchen, plus most of the people I know live in All Saints (the dorm building I wanted to move into). So I got the go ahead to move all my stuff from where I was staying in Kirkstall, to All Saints. The other nice thing about moving there is that it has wifi, so its easier to stay in touch with people back home J

At 1:00, I played Squash with Olivia, Steph and Sophie. I wasn’t as sore this time when I was done playing, so I was glad for that. Last Monday, I was sore till Wednesday! In the evening, I went to a VIP event with Michael. It was good, except for the fact that VIP meant nothing and we were waay overdressed. We just stayed for an hour and then left because it was really lame. No one came and greeted us or talked to us and everyone was dressed casually. We went somewhere else for dinner to eat up some of the time since the taxi fare to get there was £11.00.

In other random news, this was also the day that marked my being here for one month. It is really hard to believe that I have been here for that long. Well, as the saying goes,  time always flies when you are having fun.

Tuesday (3/25)

I got the keys to my new dorm in the morning and then I went to my service marketing class. Got my finals writing assignment which is, essentially, a business scenario to help a dentist grow his practice and get more customers. Then after class, we were assigned an assessment quiz which took 45 minutes to do. It wasn’t really that hard, but it was a lot of reading, so I think that is why it took longer than it should have. After that, I was getting ready for my people management class because my group was giving a presentation. My group had put together a decent powerpoint over the weekend, so I was fairly confident that it would go great. Yeah… two team members emailed and said that they couldn’t come for some reason or another to class, so we would have to divvy up their parts of the presentation. So, my team of six (including me) now became a team of three. The sixth team member, Sam, we haven’t seen since the first week of class (which was 4 weeks ago) so I just ruled him out as not being there. Surprise, he was. He is part of the team, so now I have to figure out how to divide the powerpoint so everyone speaks equally and on stuff they know. Question: How doth one giveth a piece of a presentation to one that knoweth anything upon the topic? In the end, I ended up giving him a company profile that he knew a little bit about. It was still a good presentation, but I wasn’t satisfied with the team’s performance.

After that mess, I officially moved all my stuff to All Saints. I unpacked some things and then I went to dinner with the chaplaincy group and Olivia. We had meatloaf, green beans, and mashed potatoes. One of the girls that helped make the meal, Lydia, was so sweet and specifically made mac n’ cheese specifically for me as a little taste of home. So sweet of her! I ate everything, even though I was super full in the end when apple crumble was served for dessert.

Wednesday (3/26)

I did homework in the morning for my Thursday class and then finished unpacking the rest of my stuff. I believe I took a nap as well for a while because I wasn’t feeling good. At 5:00, I met with Olivia and went to the Squash coaching session. Katie, the coach, was really nice and had us work on aiming and controlling the speed of the ball. It took a while to get the hang on the aiming exercise, but I got the hang of it halfway into the session. There is another coaching session that she does on Thursdays at 1:00, but that one is a little harder to make because I have class right afterward at 2:00. Maybe if I’m feeling extra ambitious one week, I’ll go to both coaching sessions.

After squash, I ate some dinner, and then got ready to go to house group with Olivia and another girl who goes to church with us, Lydia. We were looking in the book of Joshua when God made him the leader of the Israelites. I never really thought about what Joshua was feeling, but it must have been fear because God said a handful of times to him to not fear and be of good courage. In any case, he took his role as a man, and didn’t try to shove someone else into the position like Moses did when God told him that he would lead the Israelites. It’s comforting to know that the God of the Old Testament is the same God today. Not gunna lie, but there have been a few times this last week that I felt homesick and wanted to be with my family and friends again, but I know that God is with me here and where ever I go, so I don’t need to be afraid of missing out. I’m where God needs me to be and this moment in time for a purpose.

Thursday (3/27)

Slept in till practically lunchtime, or dinner, as they call it here. Felt both good and bad about lying in (also what they call sleeping in here). Good, because I needed the sleep, bad, because I wasted half a day. So, I decided to make the most out of what was left of the day before my lecture at 2:00, and I did some homework to get ready for class along with buying plane tickets to Rome! Next month, I will be going with some friends from the chaplaincy group over to Rome for 4 days and we will get to sight see lots of things (including the Vatican). We will be staying in hostels, which will be quite fun, as that has been on my bucket list for a few years now. No worries, I will have updates on that, as well as pictures of my own to show (hopefully) by then. I also may have possibly not did it all my homework on account of the fact that I watched the latest episode of Arrow with Michael, but I justified it to myself by saying that I got the majority of the reading done, which is more than 97% of the other students in my class can boast… so yeah, no feelings of guilt.

After class, I hung out with some of my classmates for a few hours after class and then I went back to my room to finish my homework (see, I’m a good student) and to force myself to go to bed at a decent hour. Even though it took ages to fall asleep, I did it and went to bed before 12:30 in the morning (which has been much earlier than the last few nights).

Friday (3/28)

I watched my first movie in the movie theaters here! Captain America was really good, even though the movie prices here are freakishly expensive. I will no longer complain about doling out $13.00 to see a movie on opening night with no discounts at all. The ticket here, with a student discount and a showing in the afternoon time, was £6.30 which comes out to be about $10. Then I went shopping at the store to get food for a few days, and then did some homework putting together a survey about dog treats for my marketing communications class. The best part of all was going to bed early! It’s been too many late nights in a row for me and I felt like I was getting sick waking up with a sore throat and throbbing ears every morning.

Saturday (3/29)

Today was a boring day. I got up at 9am and then did homework all morning in my room. In the afternoon I decided to be social and visit with some of my friends in the chaplaincy group. After a while though, me and Jarrid and Lydia all started feeling bad that we had homework to do, so we all got our laptops and had a homework party, except that I didn’t have any more homework to do, so I wrote this blog.

Till next post:)

Going along.

Hey All,

So I remembered what I did on Friday, haha! I went to York with Michael (one of the student ambassadors here at Leeds Trinity) and saw the wall of York, as well as walked on it, and part of a castle. It was fun going with him because he is a history major and could tell you about the historical parts of the city. It is now my opinion that anyone going sight seeing should do so with a person that is a history major because your experience will be so much more interesting!

Anyway, this is also the city which New York in America is based off of. Well, the name at least is, because the city seemed quite quaint compared to what New York boasts. We walked around a little shopping district and it is here that I saw my British stereotype come out… assuming that all the shops are smashed together so close that the buildings are touching each other. Not all stores are like this nor are they all this small.

This is what a section of the wall looks like. For the record, this isn't my picture, so I have no idea who those people in it are.
This is what a section of the wall looks like. For the record, this isn’t my picture, so I have no idea who those people in it are.
This will give you an idea of what the shops looked like. Again, not my picture :/
This will give you an idea of what the shops looked like. Again, not my picture:/

This was also the day that I scored myself an adapter so I could use my curling iron and straightener (Oh yeah!). Unfortunately, it didn’t work on my camera charger and I have a feeling it’s because I need a converter/adapter. Until that is sorted out, I will just use pictures that Google and my friends supply.

Sunday (3/16)

I went to church in the morning with Olivia. It was a good sermon on Daniel 6 about ‘daring to be a Daniel’. Daniel was a courageous man of God that gave thanks and prayed three times a day, without fail, even when laws were passed to legally prevent him from doing so. He knew the punishment, but he still trusted God and prayed anyway. How does one do this? Through a lifetime of saying ‘yes’ to God and ‘no’ to everything else. The preacher pointed out that Daniel was about 80 years old when all this happened. I never noticed this before. You always get the premonition that Daniel was still a very young person from the pictures you color in Sunday School as a child, but he wasn’t even close to being that age! He could trust God because he spent a literal lifetime cultivating a submissive and obedient spirit to God. I’m sure he was scared (who wouldn’t be?!?!), but he trusted God for the outcome, regardless of his feelings.

 

The  preacher then pulled out some thought provoking questions and thoughts at the end of the sermon, which got me thinking, “What do I have to lose? My life? No, Scripture says that if I seek to save my life, I will lose it. My relationships with others? No, because God says that He will be with me always. My possessions? No, because Scripture promises that God will provide for my needs. So… nothing.” “Making a stand for God not only affects people physically, but spiritually as well, whether they are Christians or not,” said the preacher. “You daily have the opportunity to plant seeds of salvation into people’s lives. What are your ‘lions’ in your life that seem to scare you out of accomplishing something for God’s kingdom?”

After the message, he and a visiting pastor from another church prayed over and anointed people who felt compelled of God to be courageous for Him. About half of the church went up to be anointed and it was one of the most powerful things I have ever seen.

Monday (3/17)

I did homework in the morning and then at 1:00, I met with Olivia in the sports center (I dunno if that it was it’s officially called, but whatever, you get the idea) to play Squash. Essentially, it’s like playing racket-ball but harder because the ball doesn’t really bounce much. You have to put a lot of force into whipping that little black ball  against the walls otherwise it won’t go very far. Some of my friends from the chaplaincy group were there as well, so I played Squash with them too. It was super fun and I’m totally going to play again next week. The director said that I had a really good serve position form for not playing before and she invited me to come to coaching sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays. I think I might give it a go next week and see if I could be any better.

What the squash court looks like.
What the squash court looks like.
Little squash ball and racket. It's smaller and more narrow then a racketball racket.
Little squash ball and racket. It’s smaller and more narrow then a racketball racket.

After playing Squash for 2 hours, I went back to my room and did some more homework and then in the evening I got to Skype my favoritest napkin buddy in the whole world (E :D). It’s always fun to Skype people that you haven’t seen in a long time. It makes the world seem smaller to me in a way.

Tuesday (3/18)

First thought in the morning “OOOOWWW!” Apparently, if one does not keep oneself active every week, expect to be VERY sore. It was a slow morning getting myself together to go down and eat breakfast and then go to lecture at 10, but I made it. My morning class let out an hour early, so I grandma-ed myself back to my room, took some pain meds and a nap before my afternoon lecture at 2:00.

In my afternoon class, teams were finally assigned projects that lead up to the final presentation, so I feel like I’m doing grown-up work now, haha! My group for this class seems to work okay together, but we’ve been dealing with not everyone being able to make it to class each week and one guy not even being able to make it to class at all. I guess time will tell how well we will meld. Tomorrow, I am making American pancakes! Super excited and will definitely blog about that soon:)

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