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Prince Albert Noir

I took this photo during a walk in Hyde Park in between General Conference sessions. Pretty incredible, ay?

Howdy, y’all!

I thought it would be a good idea to kind of introduce myself, give a bit more about why/what exactly it is I’m doing over here in London, and answer some of the questions I’ve been getting. (By they way, I LOVE questions – both in asking and getting, so ALWAYS ask away!) So make yourself comfy and sit a spell with me.

Well, it all begins with a name and mine’s Rebecca, but almost everyone shortens it to Becca. I loathe Becky (it sounds too much like a chicken call – beck-beck-becky) and won’t answer to it. I’m an only child, which I also don’t like, never met my dad, and my mom passed away last December. She was very sick for a really long time and I’m thankful she’s no longer suffering, but there isn’t a day that goes by I don’t think of and miss her dearly. It’s because I have no (living) family I’m on this little journey; my great-grandmother immigrated from Austria  in 1906, leaving behind a very large family. I remember seeing a photo of them when I was little and there were quite a few people looking back at me. Family is a pretty big deal to me, and I’ve learned in life just because you don’t share DNA with someone doesn’t mean you can’t be family, and just because you do doesn’t mean you are (did that make sense??).

This is my great-great grandmother, Therese Arsenowitz (Hoffman), on her wedding day to my great-great grandfather, Lenard. circa 1910

This is my great-great grandmother, Therese Arsenowitz (Hoffman), on her wedding day to my great-great grandfather, Lenard. circa 1910

Another important part of my life and a part of who I am you should know about is that I am a full-fledged, totally committed, fully converted (although conversion is really a life-long endeavor) member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was baptized in 1997 thanks to two missionaries who knocked on my door on Halloween. (Those poor boys – it was cold and drizzly and I made them stand on the doorstep for 15 minutes before inviting them in, only to pass them off on my mom.) I wish I could say I’ve consistently lived what I know in my heart to be true these past 16 years, but I can say I do NOW and have been for over four years. I even went through the temple in March of 2012 – one of the very most blessed days of my life; temple work is a MAJOR factor for my being here.

This is my beloved grandmother, Kathryn, and exactly how I remember her when I think of her. I also realized tonight we both LOVE pink! I'm more like her than my mom - hands down.

This is my beloved grandmother, Kathryn, and exactly how I remember her when I think of her. I also realized tonight we both LOVE pink! I’m more like her than my mom – hands down.

I was born in Cleveland, Ohio but we moved when I was just a year old to Dallas, Texas so we would be closer to my grandmother. I ended up living with her for year when I was five and in kindergarten, which I believe is why I still feel incredibly close to her. She passed away in May of 1996. Well, I don’t remember a thing about Cleveland but I do tend to talk really fast like northern/mid-westerners; I also lived in Arkansas for about 20 years and have a southern drawl, and when you combine the two it makes it hard to understand me sometimes. Oh well. Part of my unique charm, right? Right. After Texas, we moved to the northeast and spent about two, two and a half years going from Maryland, Washington D.C, and Virginia. That’s when we ended up going to Arkansas because my mom loved road trips (I do too!) and took us to Hot Springs for a vacation while living in Texas, and thought it one of the most beautiful places on earth. It really is, along with some super neat attractions, and I highly suggest making a trip there sometime.

This is my mom, grandma, and myself when I was about 3 or 4. The dress I'm wearing had little bells underneath the skirt and I LOVED to tinkle everywhere where I walked! Wait...

This is my mom, grandma, and myself when I was about 5 years old. The dress I’m wearing had little bells underneath the skirt and I LOVED to tinkle everywhere where I walked! Wait…

In the summer of 2012 certain life events changed quite quickly, and instead of moving to Provo, Utah in the fall of 2013, I moved there in the fall of 2012! Life tends to work with me like that. Give me too much of the plan ahead of time and I’ll inherently screw something up. I’m good like that. I LOVED living in Utah, albeit a bubble, but it was a great bubble. I adored having so many LDS temples so close, being within an hour of Temple Square in Salt Lake City, and I actually got to attend the First Presidency Christmas broadcast 2012 AND the April 2012 General Conference Saturday morning session. It. Was. Ahhhh. Mazing.

My first winter in Provo, Utah. It was FREEZING but was worse was the snow. Until April. Bleh.

My first winter in Provo, Utah. It was FREEZING but what was worse was the snow. Until April. Bleh.

Now here I am in London, England. But WHY?!!? Well, one day while I was sitting at work I had the thought, “I need to get a passport.” Huh? Where did THAT come from?! Mind you, I didn’t even have my birth certificate at this point. After pondering and praying for a couple of months and getting a blessing from a member of my bishopric I learned I was to move to Europe to do genealogy work to find my ancestors who stayed in Austria. Since I can’t read a word of German and can only say ridiculously simple sentences, I decided moving straight to Austria wouldn’t be the best idea. Instead, I came to London! There are so many reasons I’m happy I came here first, but the biggies are even with EVERY. THING. being different at least I don’t have to learn a (completely) new language and the Church is huge here. That support is paramount to me.

I walked out of Westminster Station one night looking for my bus stop and BAM! Walked straight out into this. How amazing is this?! I really do love living in London.

I walked out of Westminster Station one night looking for my bus stop and BAM! Walked straight out into this. How amazing?! I really do love living in London.

I did my first family search last week and found the immigration records for my great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother, Katherine Hoffman. I found on Katherine’s record she didn’t come over here alone – she came with her OTHER daughter (whom I didn’t even know existed!), her husband, and their two daughters. So in my first ‘real’ search I’ve already found FOUR new family members! This is really getting exciting and I can’t wait to see what/who unfolds from this story. Especially since the one year anniversary of my mother’s passing is coming up in December. I will be going to the temple for her and it will be good to be with her again and to do something so wonderful for her. After all, it’s because of her I have such a deep, resounding love for my Savior. My mom really showed me how to love Christ and how He truly does love each of us and knows us personally. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m going back to Utah this weekend and I can’t wait! I’ll be there for Thanksgiving and I can promise you I will be stuffing my face from the moment I step off the plane. Until we meet again, y’all!!

My mom and I in front of my grandmother's apartment when I was around two years old. Wasn't I just the cutest thing? Yeah, I have no idea what happened.

My mom and I in front of my grandmother’s apartment when I was around two years old. Wasn’t I just the cutest thing? Yeah, I have no idea what happened.

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