12.27.2008

Last days in Jerusalem




Well I am home back in Utah now. But a piece of my heart is still in the holy city. I am still dealing with jet lag, so I wake up early in the mornings and look at my pictures. I decided to share a few. This is my class. We were in Old Testament and New Testament together and we were all on the same bus for most field trips. We became very close and they feel like kin.


This picture probably isn't very cool when it is this small. The last morning when everyone was still at the center, we woke up at 5:30 and went to the lookout of the Judean Wilderness on top of Mt Scopus. Security didn't want us leaving that early, but they knew it was our last morning, so they came with us! Thanks Hassan!


This is the sign right before the turn into the long driveway of the center, if you keep following this road up it takes you to the lookout from the last picture. Everyone in the city knew us as the students at the Mormon University. It is the only place in the world where this term is encouraged by the First Presidency.


This is the "Arab Costco" as we called it. This was our favorite section with bulk candies. I would buy boxes with 24 Cadbury chocolate bars for only 10 shekels-- Which is less than 3 US$. Pretty good.

As much as I love the deals there, I am glad to be back and to have visited the real Costco in the US. I forgot how blessed that store is. We swung in the other day to get a few things, but I was still able to taste every sample in the store. I am really good at finding those. Merry Christmas!
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12.01.2008

Thanksgiving

I am stealing Lindy's idea. These are some things I am thankful for this week.


Nature. I love my field trips, I really do. But during Galilee we were all taking in too much information. Sometimes you just can't absorb it all and you get distracted. Thus Lindy and I like to point out all of our favorite pieces of nature. When we were in Dan (it has the mainspring to the Jordan River and an ancient altar that Ahab built who was the first king of the Divided monarchy) we were trying to listen to something important about something ancient but we were just so distracted by these darling pinecones. Look how big they are! Plus it reminds me of autumn which reminds me of Thanksgiving, so I feel it is very appropriate. I am thankful for nature and Lindy's new obsession with taking pictures of things she found on the ground.


This picture is a little blurry, but it just captures us so well. We changed around the busses so that we could ride with a mixed group rather than just people in our religion class. We are on the Matthew bus and from the first time I walked on, I knew I had a special bus bond with Eli and Chelsea. We are the 3-some and we have way too much fun making pirate jokes. I am thankful for their companionship during the long drives.


I am thankful for Mikael and Lauren and their love for sea-shell collecting and I am thankful for the millions of seashells that are beautiful and detailed. But this also highlights my awesome camera. I loved my camera before but I know so much more about it now! It is my little partner in crime in the memory-saving game of soaking in every single detail from the Holy Land. I have yet to name her, but she goes with me everywhere- thanks mom and dad, this camera is the best!


Yay for Israeli Thanksgiving celebrations. As Bro. Skinner puts it- they combine Independence Day with Thanksgiving. The entire dining hall was decorated with red, white, and blue streamers, balloons and crepe paper. Plus we get fireworks in the turkey. It was entertaining and very delicious. It was a little odd to have dates in the stuffing, but whatev you only get a Jewish Thanksgiving once. Ein Gev rocks! Tova!
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Galilee

Hola team! I haven't posted forever, I realize this. I start several entries but I get interrupted and never finish them, but I haven't regretted it because I have been doing awesome things and I don't really need to post it online but I just do because I love seeing how many people have looked at my blog- not in a prideful way, ok it might be prideful because it makes me feel good about myself, but not too good. Anyway- tonight we watched a little movie my friend made, it had clips of people hanging out on field trips, shopping in the old city, and just chillin at the center. But then he put it to slideshow music that makes people feel nostalgic. It was probably only 5 minutes but I was crying at the end because it felt like this program was over. So I stopped crying, gave him a hug and decided that I am going to keep soaking everything in and just try to push away all my homesick feelings. Everyday Lindy and I talk about foods we miss, people we want to see, activities we want to particapate in, clothes we want to wear, the list goes on and on and then we have to say ok stop we love it here remember? So mom- just know that I really do miss you all a lot and I have lots of homesickness but I am trying to not focus on it.


This is a little taste of my field trips. We are sitting on the steps of St. Peter's primacy church with the Sea of Galilee in the background.


me with the Sea of Galilee


This is the church in the city of Nain. Look up the widow that lived here in the New Testament.



SJ and I sporting our lovely treasures from the Old City. My Hebrew is covered up because I accidentally took this shirt to Egypt and they don't like Hebrew so much. Either way, I think we look cute.