Last Saturday night was one of the coolest experiences I have had here in the UK so far! Sarah has a friend who just bought and refurbished a multi-million pound home right on the Themes river. Yep, you heard me, right on the Themes- and the best part is that he decided to have a party. No I guess that isn't even the best part, the best part is that I went to that party! It was fun because I got to get all dressed up, do my hair in loose curls and my makeup a bit darker (and awesomer) than usual. I absolutely loved it! The party was just eating, drinking, and socializing. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the small Asians weave through the masses balancing giant plates of finger food on one hand feeding the people. When they came around to me I picked one up and said 'thank you' in my most posh accent. Then there were the guys with a wine bottle in each hand going around topping off everyone's glass- and of course there was me with my can of orange fanta that practically screamed 'weirdo' to everyone I spoke to. It was so funny cause when I went back to the mini bar to get a drink I asked for a coke- and the man reached for the wine bottle and looked at me as though I would be crazy not to drink this stuff. I said no and repeated my order for Coke, and he looked confused back at me and said "beer?" Finally I did get my coke though, after about 12 tries and going through every drink in the bar and shaking my head. His excuse for the mis understanding was that I was the only one to order a soft drink all night! That should tell you something. The house had four balconies looking out over the river. It was so cool to see London this way, and to be in this amazing place socializing with these people who live in a completely different world than one I have ever known or ever will know. It was a bit eye opening, and really just an enjoyable evening altogether! Once we got back to the car I was designated driver, so-now here is something I never in a million years thought I would do- I drove home through central London! Thats right folks, your talkin to an experienced city driver now. Sarah and I stopped for some Donor Kababs before returning home at about 3:00am. What a night!!!
Speaking of driving, I had a request for a video of me driving on the roads here. Now this is a very short video, but it gives you a bit of an idea what the roads look like- and perhaps a little understanding as to why it took me so long to get my bearings... all the roads look exactly the same!
As most of you know this weekend is conference weekend. I just found some facts on the church here in England as compared to the church back home and it was quite interesting! First of all, when I was home I never gave a second thought to how 'other' people watch conference. I mean, I know they watch it on TVs or internet or something like that, but I have to start watching it at 5:00pm and finish at 11:00pm! It was strange watching it in the evening, but I did enjoy getting to sleep in as long as I wanted and not worry about missing anything. Out of curiosity I was looking up statistical information on the church. Did you know that in Utah alone there are 1,789,707 members, 4,585 congregations, and 11 temples? Compare that to the whole of the United Kingdom that only has 180,078 members, 350 congregations, and 2 temples! Big difference! I already knew there was a huge contrast between the two places in terms of the church- but I just didn't know how big. That kind of puts it in perspective don't you think? yes, I do think.
Well today is Gemma's birthday party, and we are doing a beach theme. I am SO excited for it! Parties here are something different from anything at home- they are such a huge deal. We are talkin' 4 year olds who have Barnum Bailey and Lance Burton show up to do private performances for their birthdays. Compared to the traditional Mormon-style birthday party where you trade a slice of $3 homemade cake for a $10 dollar gift from any given child and play a quick game of 'duck-duck goose' and send everyone home, these parties are off the hook! I will take some pics at that party so you all can understand what I mean. Until then, Happy Conference Weekend everyone!