Christmas Travels

Bonjour! Hola! Hello!

Well, here I am again, back at Capernwray. I feel as if I have SO MUCH to tell all of you! So I hope I’ll do an adequate job of telling you all about my Christmas break, my awesome and God-crazy traveling experience, and my time back at Capernwray. Get ready for a long blog post…

Winter break started the 16th of December, but my friends (Emilee, Ashley, and Brittany) and I didn’t start traveling until the 17th. In case you didn’t know this about me, I can get anxious about uncertainty (I think this runs in the Widmer side of my family or something…), so the two weeks leading up to Christmas break, I didn’t even want to travel. We had bought our plane tickets and booked our hotels, but I was so nervous about traveling that I thought staying at Capernwray and working for three weeks would be so much better than going to Paris, Barcelona, and Mallorca. Now to be clear, I wasn’t nervous about the fact that I was getting on a building on it’s side and being thrown from one place to another; it was the little things that made me nervous, like, “Is my suitcase going to be too heavy?” (I was really, REALLY freaking out about this for some reason) and “How are four girls going to get from the airport to the train, then from the train station to our hotel in Paris at 8:30 at night, when none of us know any French?” I learned something early on in my travels: I tend to limit God and His faithfulness, thinking He is not big enough to take care of me. We learned, as a group, to commit everyday over to the Lord, to His protection, and to trust in Him as we traveled.

Our first stop: Paris! For all of you who are thinking of going to Paris, a word of advice: DON’T go in the winter. It was so incredibly freezing, but I tried to put that out of my mind as much as possible so I could enjoy the city. Funny story from Paris…we flew in around 8:00pm, and as we were going through security (keep in mind I was already freaking out about how we were going to get to the hotel from there…) the security guard checks my passport, looks at me and says, “Have you ever seen the movie ‘Taken’?” I reply, “Yes,” and he says, “Good.” For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, it’s about a girl who, basically, goes to Paris and gets kidnapped. So after that nice comment from the security guard, I was asking myself, “What the heck are we doing?!” However, I was reminded that God wouldn’t have brought us safely to Paris just to abandon us, so we prayed all the more that God would give us direction as we got into the city, and of course He did! The first day we started at the Louvre, walked along the river to Notre Dame, took a metro to the Eiffel Tower, and then ended the day at the Louvre, where we got to see the Mona Lisa. The second day we saw Moulin Rouge (don’t worry, we didn’t go in), the Arc de Triumph and just hung around the city. Paris is so beautiful at night, and it was so much fun to see the city all lit up!

From Paris we took a sleeper train to Barcelona, and as soon as we arrived, we immediately liked it better than Paris for one main reason: it was SO much warmer!! But the culture was so different too. We hadn’t even been in Barcelona for a whole day and we felt safer for some reason. The first day we were there, we just walked about the city, down to the ports and walked along the water, which was absolutely amazing! The second day we met up with some other girls from Capernwray, Raquel (who is from Barcelona) and Racheal. While we were with them we went to La Sangria de Familia (uhh I think that’s what it’s called), a famous Cathedral designed by Gaudi, and Parc Guel that is decorated with artwork also done by Gaudi. In Parc Guel, we walked to the top of this hill and saw the whole landscape of Barcelona, which was so incredible! Afterwards we walked along the water again, had café con leche, and called it a day! I think I would’ve loved to stay in Barcelona for a few more days, because it’s the type of city you can walk around in for hours and feel completely relaxed…hopefully I can go back someday!

From Barcelona, we got on a plane at 6am (waay too early) and flew from there to Mallorca! Traveling that day was like living in a daze, and we were so exhausted by the time we got to Marc and Krystn’s (my cousins), that we slept almost the whole day. But let me tell ya, after going almost 4 months without seeing anyone from my family, it was a breath of fresh air to see them; luckily, I also got to spend Christmas with them. When you are away from home at Christmastime and in a warm, tropical place, it really doesn’t feel like Christmas, so the majority of the day felt like just another day. However, Christmas evening I got the most spectacular gift: my amazing big brother Ryan made a Christmas video for me with all my relatives and family sending me Christmas messages! I was so touched (I started bawling IMMEDIATELY) and it made me so thankful to have the best family in the WHOLE wide world! If you want to watch it, you can go to www.fergusonfilms.com/christmasforemily. Anyways, Mallorca was absolutely beautiful, and it’s so cool to say that I’ve been to an island in the Mediterranean! We did a lot of relaxing, shopping, eating AMAZING food made by Krystn, and sight seeing while in Mallorca. I would say my favorite day was either going to the beach or riding the Christmas train with Orland. I had such a great time spending time with my little cousins Orland and Noelia (and Krystn and Marc too!), but pretty soon the time came for me to go and for my Christmas break adventures to end…

Now I am back at Capernwray and honestly, I am so excited to be back! I have a new room in the CASTLE and new roommates and God has totally brought new friendships into my life. I am still playing netball (I finally have pictures, even though they aren’t very good) and still have many assignments, but probably the most exciting thing about this new term is something called 10-day outreach. The whole school splits into different groups and we go for 10 days to different places in England and work with local churches in the area…what’s even more exciting is that I was chosen to be the leader of my 10-day outreach team! We are going to Chelmsford, which is in Essex…I am excited for the challenge and to see how God grows me through yet another experience, but extremely nervous at the same time. I pray that God will be able to use my team and me in great ways during those 10 days, and if you could keep us in your prayers, I would greatly appreciate it! As soon as I find out more information about what exactly we’ll be doing I’ll let you all know!

As I think back on my first term at Capernwray, I can’t be anything but thankful for all the hard times God put me through, because through it all He has drawn me closer to Him. Now that I am starting my second term and loving it, I am thankful that I get to look back on Capernwray once it’s all said and done and think of it as an amazing experience. I still have my bad days, but now I have learned that my first priority is always Christ and striving to become more like Him.

Once again, I am so sorry it’s taken me SO long to get this posted! I’m not sure how many more I’ll post before my time here is over, but in case I don’t get around to it, I thank you so much for all your prayers and I can’t wait to see you all in the spring. Love you and miss you!

Romans 8:37-39—“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels not demons, neither the present not the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

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