19 May 2015


Last month we had a preview performance of Lamb of God up in Sunderland (about 4+ hours northeast of Brum, on the east coast of the country). We were hosted by members of the stake, and it couldn't have been a lovelier or more uplifting weekend. I came back with my cup full to the brim. I honestly can't remember the last time I felt the Spirit so strongly and so consistently over multiple days. It was a fantastic unifying experience for all the choir members who were able to go. I'm still thinking about it, that's how good it was!

On the Saturday morning we had a couple hours to visit a lighthouse and walk along the beach. When we got there it looked like it was going to rain, but then the clouds parted and the sun came out. It was still REALLY windy and cold, but sunshine is a treasured highlight to any day that it touches here. Seriously. I'm not being dramatic.


On Saturday my friend Spencer and I went on an adventure to Lincoln, which is about 3 hours northeast of Birmingham. I have been wanting to go to Lincoln since before I moved here, because I have lots of family history from that area. Everyone I've spoken with here has never been to Lincoln, And now having been, I can't understand why ever not! So I've included some pics to prove just how lovely a place it really is.

We only had a few hours to explore and most of my FH sites  are difficult to get to without a car, so we just stayed in town. And I'm gad we did. We had a blast exploring the Castle Grounds, Cathedral (3rd largest in England), archaeology museum and LOTS of antique shops.

We took it slow because of my leg, but it was almost better that way. We just enjoyed being there and soaking up the sunshine and seeing some ridiculous and gorgeous things along the way. It was a delightful day, even with some transportation mishaps. And I can't wait to do it again!

An old church turned coffee shop next to the train station
 East entrance to the Castle Grounds
This building now serves as the Lincolnshire courthouse
No filter. Seriously.

Lincoln Cathedral

No idea what this little building was for, but it is
just chilling on the grounds next to the Cathedral.
Really wish we could've checked out that Balcony!

Such a gorgeous Cathedral. And a beautiful day. The combination was perfect. 

On our way back through town we stopped at the WWI & II Memorial. I had started to walk away, but Spencer felt prompted to go look at the names and he found both of our last names on there. What are the odds?! Every single time I've been on a FH trip like this, I've had something cool like this happen, so I shouldn't be surprised. BUT STILL. HOW FUN!
Brayford Pool, one of the endpoints of a major waterway through the city. And a breathtaking view.

And it wouldn't be a real getaway if we didn't run into the LDS missionaries... we found them walking along here.
Before catching the train back to Brum we ate a delicious dinner at this Wagamamas, with a great view of Brayford Pool. It was the perfect way to end such an incredible day.  

Dissertation COMPLETED.

For the last four months, I have dedicated a substantial amount of time researching and writing my dissertation. And a week and a half ago I FINALLY submitted it! That means my Master's Degree course is officially complete and I will graduate in July (*assuming I pass, of course...).

My research has been an incredible journey, and it took me down the most unexpected paths. I'm so very grateful for all the wonderful people I met along the way, and for my constant cheer squad that wouldn't let me quit.

So, what did I write about, you ask? The Armenian Genocide.

*expectant blank stare*...

More specifically, I wrote about the longterm legacy of the genocide and its commemoration on descendants of survivors one hundred years later...

*sound of crickets* ...

Let me guess. I lost you at 'Armenian Genocide', right? You've never heard of the Armenian Genocide, have you? Well there are a few reasons why that is, and most of them are political... and I'm not going to bore you with them here. Maybe when I have more time I'll actually write a post with some sections from my dissertation and how it ties in to the lives of non-Armenians, and what I've learned about myself in the process. But this is not that post. Until then, look up the Armenian Genocide and read a bit about it. And if any of you are interested in reading my dissertation, comment or email me and I'll send you a copy. :)

London Churches

While doing my dissertation research, I had to go to London a couple times. In between interviews and presentations, I visited several churches. And I loved every minute!

Coptic Church in Kensington
St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, Kensington

Genocide Memorial at St. Sarkis
Guild Church of St. Mary Aldermary
The original was destroyed in the Great Fire, but it was rebuilt in 1679-82.
I had some ancestors who attended this church, so I was sad to see it had been turned into a cafe.
But at least the building still exists!
St Mary-le-Bow
The term 'Cockney' referred to anyone who grew up within the sound of its bells.
It is just across from St. Mary Aldermary, but most of my ancestors in London attended here. 

St. Paul's Cathedral
Absolutely STUNNING inside! I was able to go in for the last 15 min of the Cathedral Choir's Evensong service. One of the songs they sang was The Lord's Prayer, and it took my breath away. It was a really beautiful moment and a much needed tender mercy for me. Hopefully next time I'm in London I'll be able to go for an entire service.

London Temple

It's been a LONG time since I've actually updated my blog with all my adventures. So here are some smaller posts and pics to help play catch up.

I finally got to go to the London Temple in January with a friend and her aunt. It was different from what I expected on the inside, but the grounds were just as lovely as everyone has said.