Day 5 (Day 2 at the London Center)

Saturday, for whatever reason, ended later than I would have thought and my morning started at 11:00 am, well after most of the other students had left for church. This was not entirely unplanned, as my ward runs from 2pm-5pm (it’s a Spanish branch, which leads me to my next point…) Apparently I indicated somewhere in the information sheet for the local wards, mostly used for giving students callings, that I spoke Spanish. Either I filled that information sheet out really late at night and made false claims about any Spanish fluency or I left that section so vague that an optimistic bunch had exceedingly high expectations. In either case, I now attend the Spanish Branch in Southwark, London. Which is beautiful on a number of levels. The language is beautiful, the people are beautiful, their connectedness to and activity in the core of the Gospel – Family and the Love of Christ – is beautiful; I really can’t describe the spectacularity of the whole experience, other than to say that Anglo-Protestantism and Christ produce a very different flavor than Latin Catholicism and Christ. And if you pushed me, I would tend to say that the latter leaves a better taste in my mouth than the former. Perhaps there’s a reason why I’m going to Brazil… In any case, church lasted for the typical 3 hours but I was invited to an FHE/FHE planning meeting, the two of which helped “church” last another three hours. Which was also brilliant. We played games, put together role-plays in Spanish, talked about Missionary Work, and ate chocolate cake at the very end – all things that would do a Mormon Proud. I met a nice boy who is doing his Field Study in London and served a mission in Brazil. The two of us speak a jarring mix we like to call Portañol. But fear not, for we are not the only ones – there’s a sweet girl from Brazil who has subsequently moved to Portugal and now London who essentially speaks only Portuguese and English, but understands Spanish and is trying to learn. There’s a place for all of us there. I left in high spirits but soon found out that I had a heavy load to lift of reading for school before my 7:00am wake-up the next day. 2:00am – 7:00am sleep made for another short night, but a nap later in the week will hopefully take care of that.

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