Tuesday, November 30, 2010


For the past 3 months I have been devoid of a college campus. I go to class in the same building as I sleep, eat, hang out, etc. so it was fun to visit some college campuses and pretend like I was a student at the most fabulous and famous campuses in the world!


An actual Oxford student took this for us. I was very excited to meet one. We almost asked to go see his dorm but decided that might be a little too creepy. 

Just eating (pretending to anyway) in the Great Hall from Harry Potter 1!!

We were invited to tea with the Dean of Harris Manchester College at Oxford... very exciting. It was fun and we felt super sophisticated. Apparently BYU and Oxford are trying to grow their relationship and we reaped the benefits!


Our first stop was an American cemetery at Cambridge. It was beautiful. I can't even describe how excited I was and the feelings that fled over me when I saw the American flag. It was a really neat experience that I have never had before.

Me, Morgan, and Natalie

I don't know what Natalie and I were doing, but we didn't take any pictures there. I loved Cambridge, though. It is my favorite. It is full of cobble stone roads, beautiful churches and colleges, and a gorgeous museum. 

More to come!

Monday, November 29, 2010


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd give a shout-out to someone I am incredibly grateful for. This one's to you Natalie! 

Natalie has popped up in just about every London picture, so I am sure you are all quite acquainted with her. Well, she is my best friend here and has been such a blessing and answer to my prayers. I came to London not knowing anyone and was super nervous that I wouldn't make any friends. I knew I would, but was just a little insecure. Well, I met Natalie the first day and we bonded over our love for stupid (but great)/trashy T.V. shows and I instantly wanted to become friends with her. 

Natalie is such a crack up and makes every situation so much more fun. She is sassy and blunt and it is so great. It is actually really scary because in so many ways we are wayyy too much alike. It didn't take very long at all for us to start saying the same things at the exact same time about 10 times a day. Oh yeah, and we also randomly match at least 2 times a week.

Natalie is such a great friend. She's really easy to talk to and is always there for me when I need to vent or get out all of my frustrations. She's really kind and is a really good example to me of being tolerant of everyone. 

Natalie and I frequent Pizza Hut, McDonald's for caramel sundae's, Whiteley's Odeon theatre, food and wine (its a convenient store, don't worry), Tesco, muesuems for field assignments, sat next to each other on the bus every single time, watch GG every week, always have fun stories for each other and much more.

Want to know the best part???!?! This lovely lady is going to be my roommate winter semster!! I cannot wait. Hello winter semesters of Jenna and Natalie... ;) too much fun! In the words of me, "it will be out of control." In the words of Natalie, "it will be wild. buck wild." love her. 

More to come (lucky for me, another semester of fun)!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


In our prep class, our director, Brother Seely, talked about how we usually classify life experiences into relationships of either time or space. He pointed out that one of the greatest things we should cherish while on our study abroad to London is that it is a vacation in time and space; that London will always be there, but we will never again get to go there while living at 27 Palace Court with the same 40 girls. These girls and 2 boys have truly made this trip so incredible. The Seely's and Tate's won't admit it, but out of their 4+ years of study abroad... we are totally their favourite group! They keep saying things like, "you guys are just such an unusual group, you are so kind to each other... its kind of odd," or "we have never been able to just randomly assign roommates for away trips and know that any possible combination will be okay, without any conflicts." yeah, they love us, we are the best.

I thought I'd write really quickly about each person here, just so I don't forget!

Room 1 (my room):
Mandy: super smart, very on top of her homework, and always willing to help.
Julie: my Gospel Principles team teacher, a very good friend
Bethany: one of the most positive people I have ever met, always smiling, such a sweetheart
Emily: very intelligent, major art lover, very passionate about what she loves
Claire: just such a genuinely kind person, always there to talk to, very deep
Kaitlyn: such a cutie, shes so smiley and little and doesn't have a mean bone in her body, she just lights up when she talks
Jani: very enthusiastic, opens up to people easily, has funny/cute expressions and reactions

Room 2:
Katie: a very deep thinker, has cool perspectives on things and situations

Room 3: 
Lisa: so down to earth and just a go-with-the-flow kind of girl, it is really refreshing
Devri: such a planner, looks at things with a very unique perspective, and is always very kind and positive
Kim: really well traveled and is such a champ - she had kidney stones when she was here and has been so great through the whole thing
Molly: so clumsy and i love it, she's really fun to be around, makes everyone feel comfortable
Olivia: her and her fiance Justin are the cutest couple ever! I am kind of obsessed with them haha
Annie: really nice, love her skin and hair coloring, very gentle person
Grace: really smart and insightful, such a blast to be around, really inclusive
Jordan: most gorgeous hair you have ever seen, such a crack up, one of the funniest people I know
Liz: so genuine - she is always true to herself in every situation, extremely loving
Caroline: always smiling, very conscientious
Nikki: devoted Jazz fan, very open person
Mackenzie: so stylish.. seriously, I love everything she wears, always has fun reactions to stories and situations
Morgan: such a sweetheart, so genuine, makes you feel really comfortable
Andrea: a literal Saint, I have never met someone who will bend over backwards for you the way she will

Room 4:
Brianna: cupcake lover, is able to pick apart a dessert's ingredients like no one I've met, really creative
Carolyn: super long, pretty, curly hair, always happy
Meegan: great squeaky voice, always gets so excited, can make any situation really fun
Sarah: very easy going, really artsy
Jessica: one of my GG lovers, part of my rival clique ;), really funny
Becca: such a sweetheart, really concerned for others
Nicole: such a happy person, always willing to give a compliment
Rachel: really true to herself, I love hearing her opinions - she has really deep, meaningful thoughts
Sarryn: so nice, really considerate of others, always happy
Lauren: extremely smart and hard working, very focused, one of the most spiritually minded people I have ever met
Amanda: her funny comments always liven the mood, Harry Potter's number one fan (I dare you to find a bigger one. she cried 5 times in HP 7 part 1)
Natalie: such a great friend, we are so much alike its kind of scary, makes every situation more fun

Room 5:
Ben: computer whiz, an explorer - he's is always out and about wandering London, up for anything
Andrew: really nice, a fellow Californian!, super helpful - spent a long time helping us plan our trip to Barcelona

I love all of the girls (and boys!) and feel so blessed to have known them. They have made my experience what it has been. I am so sad that I won't be living with all of them, I am going to miss them so much! I have already warned many not to freak out if they hear someone screaming their name on campus and bear hugging them because it's just going to be me being super excited to see them.

More to come!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I've been soaking in London while I still can... here is some of what I have been up to. 

Zebra's save lives, literally.

Pedestrians in London only have the complete right of way in the Zebra crossings. In every other place in London, cars, taxis, and buses could care less about pedestrians. They actually speed up when they see you in the street to get you to run away faster. If a car hits a person in a zebra it is a MAJOR fine. So if you ever go to London, a zebra crossing is the only place on the London streets you will truly be safe safe!

More London words:
Interweb = internet
Called = named "I have a brother called Jason"
Quid = slang for pound ($)

Tube Catastrophes:
On Saturday I saw a woman sitting at the bottom of the stairs in a pool of her blood with it splashed all over the walls. Apparently 609 injuries happen each year when people don't use the hand rails in the Tube. Bummer.
Last week the Tube was delayed 4 times for people getting hit by the Tube. Yes, throughout the week there were 4 "person[s] under the train" as the Tube announcers so gruesomely shared over and over again. It's very sad, but people... stop jumping on the tracks... it delays our days! 

London Graffiti:

Natalie and I saw this on a poster in Oxford and naturally, because of our love for Tesco, we worshiped it. At first we thought it was just a cool painting but after seeing it in my London coffee table book we realized that it is actually graffiti somewhere in London. We googled for 15 minutes trying to figure out how to get there and trekked out on the Victoria line on a pilgrimage to pay tribute to our beloved Tesco. 

London Movie Sites:

The Parent Trap House:

What a Girl Wants Market:

Harry Potter's Platform 9 3/4:

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This year I have so much to be thankful for. I have said it so many times, but I am so thankful to be on this study abroad. I am also thankful for my amazing and upcoming trip! My Thanksgiving meal this year will be Belgian Waffles in Brussels and I will be spending the rest of the weekend in Amsterdam! I leave tomorrow :) 

More to come!

Monday, November 22, 2010


I am the Gospel Principles teacher in my ward and I absolutely love it, I couldn't ask for a better calling. I have secretly always wanted to be a Sunday School teacher, not because I have so much knowledge that I wish to impart on everyone or insane teaching skills, actually the opposite. Teaching and talking off the cuff has always kind of terrified me. I can do it but inside I am freaking out. This has been such a great opportunity to learn how to teach. My testimony of speaking with the spirit has grown so much. It seems like every single week my lesson goes in a completely different direction then I had planned, that I answer a question that I didn't know the answer to until I started speaking, or I have been prompted to be sensitive to different people's needs... actually, those three things happen every week. It has been such a learning experience for me and I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity.

My class is great. Since I teach Gospel Principles, the attendants are new members and investigators and the Ward Mission Leader. The Gospel is the same in England but the church is a little different, a little less organized, a little more makeshift, and a little more crazy... I love it. I have had the funniest/most awkward/terrifying experiences in that class... my class has become part of regular Sunday story time. Here are some of the stories:

These are some of the people in my class. The deep doctrine lover and funny American are missing :(

1. My first lesson: An investigator asked, "Who is Jesus?" woah. I was so nervous because it was my first week teaching, ever. But teaching someone who Christ is is one of the neatest and most dear to my heart experiences I have had.
 2. That same week the Ward Mission Leader who loves to study deep doctrine warned the class that if we focus too much on Jesus we could become heretical and leave the church... uh... definitely had to nicely smooth that comment over! welcome to teaching Jenna!
3. Julie, my team teacher, asked the class to make a list of talents on the board, I was her scribe. The usual art, singing, being loving, reading were thrown around. The deep doctrine guy then says, "murdering people." NO JOKE. What?! He went on to explain that if someone is in the army their job is to kill people, and they could be good at it,  and then spouted off all these scriptures. I put "being good at your job" on the board.
4. During a lesson on Eternal Families: "What should I do if I don't like or respect my parents, at all?"
5. I had to teach a lesson on family responsibilities, specifically on a mother and fathers role, to a class where two people have kids and no spouse in the picture. That was hard, I am only 20 and don't have a family of my own,what do I know?!
6. During a lesson on eternal marriage: "What if I don't ever want to get married again because I was married once before and now I am divorced and it was traumatic"
7. In the same lesson, a guy in our class said "What if I don't think I'll get married because I like being with animals better?" Then the deep doctrine guy asked him, "How old are you?" He responded with, "56." Deep doctrine guy says, "Yeah so you're past middle age and pretty much past the time where you can find someone to marry, so it's probably not going to happen for you." AWKWARD.
8. I had to teach the Law of Chastity lesson. That is in and of itself awkward. But I had to teach it to a bunch of adults with children and the missionaries. even more awkward.
9. During a lesson on family history work: "what if I don't want to get sealed to my parents?"
10. In my last lesson, with an investigator present, this guy came in and told story after story of dead people appearing to his friends after their temple work had been done. It was the investigator's first week, poor guy. That guy said "The church is practically true" about 9 times. He meant to say particularly or "the church is practical," but nope... it gave me a good laugh.

Over the pulpit...
11. "I used to believe those socialist lies"

In Relief Society...
12. "Ladies in the back, stop talking, you know I am not going to speak until you stop talking. I am just going to sit here and wait." (picture being said with the sassiest attitude you've ever heard, so great!)
13. "Kids these days are just so bad. You never know how they could turn out... You could be nursing a MURDERER! You could be nursing a murderer!"

Eleanor, the sweetest lady ever, is in my class and she invited us over for lunch after church a few weeks ago. This is us with her and her 4 year old daughter, Jessica, and 14 year old son, Lawrence, who really wants to serve a mission to Utah!

I love my calling and I love going to church at the Clapham Commons Ward. As much as each week is an adventure, each week is so uplifting. I have never met such incredible people, and the lessons I have learned will stick with me forever. 

More to come!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


One of the greatest experiences of my time here has been going to church. I serve in the Clapham Commons Ward of the Wandsworth stake in South London. It takes about an hour and 15 minutes to get there each week, barring any major Tube issues. That being said, I have found myself running through the Victoria train station 4 times to try to catch our train (every time has had to be done in just my tights because of course I wear high heels, and even I can't run fast enough to catch a train in heels!). There are always line closures due to maintenance on the weekend so getting to church is always an adventure, and the adventure continues once we get there, but more on the craziness another time. 

This is my homegirl Omega. She is 21 and got baptized in April. She comes to my class each week and is such a sweet heart. Today she said she is going to miss me, but I'm probably going to miss her more!

I attend the sweetest ward full of the most loving and openly accepting people I have ever met. Many people have to come in their jeans or pants because that is all they have, and  there is no judgement, just genuine excitement to have them at church. Every week everyone greets each other with hugs, kisses on the cheek, and honest concern, it is so wonderful and refreshing to have such a pure example of fellowship and love. I think if we could emulate even a portion of these Saints attitude back at home, we would have a lot more baptisms. The people here need each other, they cling to each other. There are very few full families that attend church. Most people come to church alone or with a few of their children, so the ward truly is their family and they treat each other as such. I cannot express how amazing it is to be in such a place every Sunday.

Ky, a 9 year old in Andrea's primary class, drew this picture of us 4 BYU girls singing in Sacrament. He drew four of them to make sure that each of us got one... how sweet is that? 

In the beginning of the semester, I looked at my church assignment as an adventure. I knew that I would have great experiences and great stories to tell when I got home, and every Tube closure or missed train just intensified the story. Once we got comfortable in the ward, going to church got harder. Of course I always went, but the sacrifice of adding an extra 3 hours for a commute onto a 3 hour church meeting got more taxing. I am so grateful for this experience, though, because it has made me so grateful that I get to go to church each Sunday. How grateful I am to make it to church each week and leave the hustle and bustle and stress of public transportation to be in a peaceful Sacrament meeting. How grateful I am for the Saints all over the world who don't have a church building close to their home so they travel long ways for church each week; I admire their devotion and testimonies more than I ever have before. How grateful I am to have the same Gospel available to me every week, even when I am 8 time zones away from home, and for the way it grounds me and strengthens me. I would travel even farther for this peace if necessary... even though I am glad I don't have to :)

I am so grateful that I have been able to serve in and attend the Clapham Commons Ward. My testimony of love, fellowship, sacrifice, missionary work, speaking with the spirit, and service has grown so much.

More to come! (exciting stories from my crazy Gospel Principles class are coming up next!)

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Natalie: "Hey let's just stop by the portrait gallery to see the Andy Warhol of the Queen and portraits of the Bloomsbury group before we grab Wicked tickets for tomorrow night."
Jenna: "Yeah, we've got time, why not??"

Yeah, that sentence just happened. That is my typical day in London, that was my Friday. How did I get this lucky? As my days here get fewer, I can't help but think back to how incredible this whole experience has been. So I don't forget the ins and outs I thought I would write down my typical schedule.

Monday &Thursday                                     Tuesday
8:00 Breakfast                                                  8:00 Breakfast
9:00-9:50 Religion                                            9:00-10:30 Bible and Christianity
11:25-12:40 Humanities                                    10:35-12:05 Great War and Modernism
5:20 Devotional and Dinner                              5:20 Devotional and Dinner

All day field trip days. We go somewhere exciting that usually takes at least 2 hours on the coach. The night before these days I usually go to bed at 2 or beyond, even when I have to wake up at 6 for early breakfast, because I know I have hours of coach nap time ahead of me. Wednesdays are also 5 pound nights, the directors give us each 5 pounds to go get dinner somewhere exciting!

Friday is our London day where we go on a field trip together inside London. Today was our last one and we went to the Churchill Cabinet War Rooms. After the field trip, we have the rest of the day to do something exciting.

We have the entire day to ourselves, literally, they don't even feed us! We are on our own for food so it usually consists of lots of peanut buttered toast and one huge Linner.

9:00 Leave for church
10:30-1:30 Church
2:45 (ish) Get home from Church and eat/nap
6:20 dinner
7:45 Fireside, hopefully followed by dessert

dancing(?) on the coach. We loved field trip days and we got that seat every bus trip!

Any of the free time in the schedule is our London Exploration time! They aren't strict about much of anything, we just have to be back by midnight. I don't know if you noticed, but I only go to school 7 hours a week, yet I am taking 12 credit hours (they only allowed us to take 12). Yes, that is right, I get class hours for going on field trips! So when I was building a human Stonehenge, chasing geese at a film site of Pride and Prejudice, wandering down the Champs Elysees, taking a ferry through the Lake District, watching the ballet, and seeing the Great Hall from Harry Potter 1, I was getting school credit! London couldn't be any more rad!

I am also so grateful that I have been able to take these classes here, they are so pertinent to London. Did you know there are over 40,000 WW1 memorials in the UK? I've been able to see tons for my Great War and Modernism class, perfect. I have been able to go to Catholic, Anglican, Jewish, and Muslim Churches for my Religion in a World Setting Class, perfect. I have been able to see churches dedicated to St. Cuthbert, Columna, Bridget, David, Patrick etc., the Lindisfarne Gospels, and Gutenberg Bible for my Bible Class, perfect. I have been to many of the world's best museums and seen the best and most famous paintings in the world for my humanities class, and perfect. I love London. I love my professors. I love my classes.

Here are some pictures of my typical, daily fun!

More to come!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


My bank account will now slightly recover from my London expenses... I got a job!

Up until now, I have just worked a lot over the summer and let my money last me through the year. After being in London with 40 girls, lots of tempting shopping, many eating-out opportunities, and a very injured dollar, I knew I would need to get a job for winter semester. I was a little nervous because I didn't know how I would handle working while taking college classes, but the perfect job just fell into my lap! 3 days ago an old professor from political science 202 last winter semester emailed me and asked if I would be his TA! I was really nervous at first but decided to do it! I cannot wait. It will be fun to have poor, worried students suck up to me haha. Oh how nice it will be to be on the carefree side of a TA-student relationship!

Totally irrelevant, but isn't my area so cute?! I think so. Love it here. 

More to come!


What homework did you do today?

Last year my answer would have been something like: read out of a text book, diagrammed sentences for hours on end, finalized a paper, you know, the typical college stuff you spend hours slaving away on in the HBLL.

Yeah, well, today I went to the British Library and saw the original scripts of Da Vinci's sketches and thoughts on arithmetic and architecture, Darwin's On the Origin of Species, the Magna Carta, the Gutenberg Bible, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Handel's "Messiah," and the Beatles "Help" and "I Want to Hold your Hand" lyric sheets. But wait, I'm not done. I also went to the Tate Modern and saw some Picasso, Picabia, and Warhol and went to the Tate Britain and saw an incredible Romanticism collection filled with paintings from Turner and Constable. How is that for homework?

Right: Andy Warhol's self portrait           Left: Bridget Riley's Fall

One of the coolest experiences I have had so far was on one of these said homework trips. I had to write a paper for my humanities class that compared Constable, a landscape painter, to the poet William Wordsworth. I decided to take my laptop to the National Gallery and I wrote my paper on Constable's Haywain and Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadow as I sat right in front of them. How incredible is that? I have never had an experience quite like it. How am I ever supposed to go back to learning about things from a power point presentation? I think my classroom education will be forever ruined from here on out.

For homework on Monday, I went to the Courtauld Gallery at the Somerset House. It is breathtaking. The gallery is in a beautiful home and has some of the most stunning pieces of 19th and 20th century art. This gallery reaffirmed my love for Paul Cezanne and Edouard Manet (not Claude Monet, although I love him as well!), and sent me into an art-goggling rampage. I cannot express how much I love 19th and 20th century art. I am going to miss seeing all of these gorgeous paintings so much.

Paul Cezanne's The Etang Des Soeurs at Onsy

I am so grateful for the way my education has been so enriched these past 2 months. It is such an unbelievable experience to learn about a painting in class and then to go see the actual piece. The size, color, style, story, and emotions mean so much more. My favorite thing is when I walk through an art gallery and stumble upon a painting I have studied, it is so surreal, it stops me in awe every time. Another one of my favorite things is to just walk into an art gallery for pleasure and wander through until I find myself jetting across the room to stare at a painting that has drawn me in, it is almost an out of body experience. I am going to miss this so much... I think I'll need to make a trip to the Getty over Christmas break just to cure my missing-London woes.

More to come!