Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ketchup

i feel bad that i haven't blogged in a quite a while so i need to "ketchup". the past few weeks have once again been incredible. i'm starting to feel officially at home here at the center. i constantly look forward to the next meal because the food is so good (which explains why my pants have started to shrink), and i absolutely LOVE everyone who is here with me. everybody is so different but brings such a different dynamic to the table. i'm starting to see why people who come here are obsessed with it and with the friends they make here. so we went to egypt a few weeks ago for a week and it rocked! we never slept more then 2 nights in one hotel and traveled all over the egyptian countryside. one thing that "plagued" my trip were mosquito bites. i wouldn't be surprised if i got west-nile virus west of the nile (literally) . the first few nights we were there a few of us stayed up late talking and i got over 50 bites on each leg! so i learned my lesson and the next time we wanted to stay up and play games outside i wore long pants a zip up jacket and flip flops with socks so they couldn't bite my feet. the next day i found 20 mosquito bites all around my ankles..the only part that was exposed. so now i look like i have leprosy on my legs because i have itched them soooo much. it got so bad one of the days i got benadryl from one of the nurses and spent the day with my head feeling like 100 lbs walking all over the luxor temples it was great. its funny looking back but i wanted to die at the time. so egypt rocked and probably the coolest thing was the pyramids and the nile. it was soooo beautiful! oh! and on the way back we hiked mt. sinai and it has been my most favorite experience so far on the trip. we hiked all through the night starting at 2 am and it was seriously one of the hardest hikes of my life. i had to stay with some people that were bookin it cause i forgot a flash light so at the top my legs felt like jello. reaching the top i was drenched with sweat but we made it in time for sunrise. i sat down put on motab and watched the sun rise over the sinai desert and mountain range. it was indescribable the love that i felt from heavenly father. it's amazing how nature and beholding God's creations of this earth can strengthen your testimony. the last few days i've been cooped up in the center working on papers and studying for tests so nothing to eventful lately but i am still loving it!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

d.i.v.e.r.s.i.t.y

the last few days have been very eventful! living here is so crazy you never know whats going to happen. today (saturday) is sabbath here because it is when both of the major religions have their holy day. so last night to welcome "shabbat" we went down to the western (wailing) wall in our black dresses and celebrated with them. when we first got there we danced and sang in circles with jewish girls. it is so cool to see how they approach the sabbath differently, its such a party. so then after seeing probably the best looking guy i have ever seen in real life (seriously took my breath away..and a funny story for another time) i went down to the wall and took my little prayer i had written, carefully rolled up and put it in the wall. some may think it's wierd but it was a very different way of worshiping for me. i've never actually written a prayer down on paper before and as i stuck it into a small crack in the wall, i felt a devotion and love for God. i know that he always here's my prayers but this was a physical manifestation to me of giving it to him. after wandering around the plaza and comparing different jewish outfits for a while, we left. this is not the only eventful thing about the night! on our way down to the wall (yes all 80 white american students in desses/white shirts walked over a mile through palestinian jerusalem 2 by 2 on the sidewalk to get there. talk about out of place)2 swat cars came zooming past us, sirens blaring and we wondered what was going on. we later passed a street leading down to the city of david on the south side of the old city swarmed with police. we finally found out what happened and i guess as we were walking down there, a jewish settler shot 2 palestinians in the legs for assaulting him. crazy! i walk the streets everyday and i don't really think about the conflict cause you cant really tell they hate each other, but it is still stirring. anyways after last night i was thinking about the diversity of religion you find here and how it truly is the center of the world.

today after church we went to the garden tomb which was so beautiful and really peaceful. after looking in the tomb and walking around the garden and singing hymns, we heard what sounded like an african mens chorus singing an accapella song. as we looked over a group of fijian men were loudly singing and clapping a christian song. it was so beautiful and it just hit me like a ton of bricks. these men who were from a different country, different race, different socioeconomic status, different church even, had found faith in Jesus Christ and his resurrection. that was such a testimony to me of the truth of christ's as our savior. if i can i'll post the video of them singing later. ok so i know this is a long post but it has been a very eventful evening. i'm off in the morning to go swim in the Mediterranean at tel aviv :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Orson Hyde Garden




sigh....i love this place

Friday, September 4, 2009

new show in town

i am trying to see if i can upload pictures but so far they've told us that the bandwidth is too little to upload or download anything off the internet so it might not happen. however i wanted to blog about the coolest thing i saw today. after the first day of classes and lunch we were able to go have free time in the city. we were told that in the last week they had uncovered a wall in the city of david (just south of the old city) that dated back to the time of Abraham and Melchizedek! Holy Fire! That's around 4,000 years folks. There is nothing as far as i know in these parts that is that old that has been discovered. The excavation site is obviously still in progress but after much searching and walking we were able to find it and peak our heads in a peep hole and check it out. It was so amazing. Our teacher told us that we are one of the first people to see those walls in 4,000 years. Pretty sweet. you probably don't know (as I didn't) that the Old City of Jerusalem as it stands today is built upon layers of city rubble from being destroyed a plethera of times. so nothing looks like what i thought it would and no one really knows where anything happened so i feel like i've been very misinformed my whole life about what certain events looked like. like the garden tomb and golgotha are RIGHT in the middle of the city. So the actual foundation and stones are not the ones that jesus walked on. there are a few things and churches that date back to that time but the history here is out of control! so anyways the wall was sweet or atleast what we saw of it. the whole time i kept thinking about how my mom would be peeing her pants if she was with me. so mama i'll take you there one day :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

#310

my new address is room 310 in the jerusalem center. it still hasn't really hit me that i will be here for the next four months, but i've vowed to myself that i wouldn't let a day go by being homesick or anticipating what's coming next. i just want to soak everything in while i can like a sponge. however i have come to realize that i don't think that 4 months here would even come close to satisfying all of the questions that have popped in my brain. we got to the center yesterday after 4 different planes and lots of tylenol p.m. i think we were traveling for 26 hours straight...talk about jet lag. it was interesting to see the plane full of people get more and more diverse with each leg of the trip. by the time we got on our plane bound for tel aviv it was full of many different cultures (and smells). anywho we got here to the center and i'm still picking my jaw up off the floor at the organization and beauty of this place. in a city that is so confused and chaotic at times, this center is like clock-work from the security, to the cooks, to grounds. but what else would you expect from the church right? my roommates are 3 girls all a year younger then i shelly, brooklyn, and amy. we are already rockin this place and having so much fun. last night we took a tour of the center and got all oriented and i surprisingly felt the spirit of the sanctity of this place.

the center here is located on the eastern part of jerusalem more specifically mount scopus (spelling made up). which means that we are nestled among arab neighborhoods. this is especially fun because right now they are in the middle of the month of ramadan. so 5 times a day you can here the prayer calls. for some reason when i heard these last night the total difference of their way of life, religion and culture hit hard. i stood on the balcony watching the sunset and listened to a male baritones voice sing a fluctuating call to faithful muslims of jerusalem. this morning when i heard it at 4 my feelings were pretty different. so anyways this morning we walked into jerusalem and around the old city and i felt sooo much excitement with all of the smells and people and history. i think my group was getting sick of me cause i couldn't stop asking our guide questions. good thing i can go back a bazillion times cause i can't believe all of the stuff i want to see.

so im hoping the fact that i'm in jerusalem hits me before i leave cause i can't believe i'm in a place that is so stinkin old! mmmm...just my cup of tea.

p.s. there's a rumor that elder holland might be coming this way during the semester. :)