Temple trip today! Not only was it so refreshing to do a little temple work today, but it was also just a great day to get away from Central London. We traveled about an hour south by train, then took small buses to the beautiful temple grounds. The grounds include a small pond with a fountain, a few little paths and wooden benches, gorgeous pink and white flowers, and lots of very green grass. I bet you can't guess the first thing I did when I got there... I wouldn't have guessed it either. Right when we all got out of the little buses, I saw two young men dressed in black suits walking nearby on their way to the temple visitors center. As they got closer, I recognized one of them as.... wait for it... no one less than the one and only Elder Mike White. Mike is a close long-time friend of mine. We had been emailing about the possibility of meeting up for just a few minutes while I was in town, and he'd gotten permission from his mission president, but we didn't think that our schedules were going to allow it. Lo and behold, there he was! It was so good to see a friendly face in a foreign country, especially one that I haven't seen for about eighteen months! After my group finished up doing baptisms, a few friends and I headed over to the visitors center and talked with he and some of the other missionaries for a bit. It's great to witness first-hand that he's doing so well and loving the work.
He was crackin' me up!
"Do the Musha pose!" "Alright, what the heck is the Mushu pose??"
Gorgeous gorgeous grounds.
The temple took up the majority of the day. We got back around five, with just enough time to run to Leicester Square and buy last-minute tickets to Phantom of the Opera--another all-time favorite. The production was good. Not half as good as Wicked, but that might be partly due to the seating arrangement; in Wicked I was on the 4th row, and in Phantom I was on the second balcony, second from the wall, with restricted view of the corner of the stage used most during the musical. It was still great, don't get me wrong, but it would have been soo much more enjoyable if I would've been closer. And if the boy in front of me wasn't whining, or the ladies to my left weren't jabbering in Italian, or the man in front of me tilting his head from side to side, making me alternate the angle of my own head every two seconds. The actress who played Christine was absolutely incredible, and unfortunately the Phantom's voice just didn't match up. He cracked at least four times during the show, and sounded more like a pop star rather than having the traditional deep opera phantom voice. But whatever, it was Phantom on broadway and I still loved it. Special effects were top-notch, as well as the set and costumes.