I can only hope every girl in Northern England is as cute as little Millen there (and carries the exact same accent). Anyway, I'll be leaving on a jet plane August 5, 2011 all the way from my home in Las Vegas, Nevada, across the Atlantic to the Manchester, England Airport and from there to the English Missionary Training Center in Preston, England, conveniently located next to the Preston Temple, and a short 2-hour drive from my final destination, the mission home in Leeds, England, 3 weeks later.
I don't know much about the area yet, but here's a short description of what I know, and I'll be sure to send updates later on when I find out how wrong I am. The weather, despite the area being about in line longitudinally with Southern Canada, is fairly mild all year round, since it's surrounded by water. I should expect high 60s in the summer and low 30s in the winter, and very frequent precipitation throughout the year. The food is probably more similar to American food than any other country but Canada. They have pizza, burgers, sandwiches, pastas, etc. and that is common to eat day in and night out. They do have traditional English food, of course, but it is less commonly served nowadays than it used to be, with the exception of Sunday feast, which is nearly always a large traditional dinner. Traditional meals almost always include a meat of some sort, usually lamb or pork, but often chicken and bangers (sausages) as well. Potatoes and beans are very common side dishes as are puddings, which are really more like dough and not always eaten as a dessert in England. Desserts after meals, however, are very common, and often include puddings, pastries, biscuits (cookies), cakes, and custard (which is like a sauce-like ice cream). Of course, fish and chips are very popular, and pies are common lunch items, though they are more like Pot Pies than dessert pies. Cheese is also a very common part of meals or snacks in England, and if anyone knows me well, they know I am A-OK with that. Other than food, football (soccer) is a staple in England. Well, that's an understatement. It probably comes 3rd on the daily-life-importance list there, right behind breathing and going to the bathroom (that would be a close 3rd). Again, the accent is funny, funnier so than what we're used to hearing in the London area, because it sort of mixes with the Scottish and even Welsh accents. That will make my time there all the more enjoyable, I presume. If you want to read up on England and see where I'm studying up on it, head on over here: Project Britain. It's a very helpful site.
Well, that was longer than I expected it would. That tends to happen. I will post more as the days come nearer, including my mission address, thoughts leading up, favorite scriptures, etc. When I leave, my mom will have access to this blog and my Facebook account, making occasional updates as well in my behalf. I thank you all for being such inspiring figures in my life! Except for you. You know who you are...
Just kidding. You too. Group hug, everyone.
Until next time,