Friday, October 23, 2009

israel

i finally have a break in school before we cart off to jordan so i figured i could update my blog. literally this week has been non stop, no breaks, no free time. with 3 midterms to study for, a few assignments and classes i have felt very deprived of sleep and...a real life.. anyways we have had some fun stuff lately. we went to yad vashem which is the israeli holocaust museum which was so moving. from the architecture to the videos of survivors testimonials, the whole experience was very sobering and humbling. but it was when we went into the childrens memorial at the end that i felt my eyes start to hurt and couldn't hold back the tears as i put myself in their position. i tried to comprehend the trauma of never seeing my nieces or nephews again and wondering what mass grave their little bodies lay in and the fear must have consumed them before. the setting of the memorial is an almost pitch black room in which you circumambulate around a flame that is reflected on mirrors. while you walk in almost complete darkness, a mans voice very plainly states a victim childs name, home country and age. the whole ambiance and experience was unlike anything i've ever done.


whhhew...on a lighter note we had arab culture night a few nights ago and it was one of the funnest nights we've had here at the center. the night started out with a father and son singing for us the call to prayer. calling for prayer is a tradition that has been in their families for 500 years! it was so beautiful. then they demonstrated for us the prayers that they pray 5 times a day. after the performance we went and had a beautiful banquet that had ethnic palestinian food and dessert(i had two plates don't judge). oh and while the father and son were performing the call to prayer we had sheets of paper with the translation of what they were saying. one thing that i have learned here is how similar christianity and islam really are. this was reaffirmed as they sang and basically bore testimony of allah and mohammad. it's no wonder these people are so devoted to their religion. five times a day they are reminded that there is no other God but allah and that they need to hasten to prayer. that would really keep your faith at the front of your mind. anyways the food was wonderful and then we had the best part. some palestinian folk dancers taught us their dances. i don't know what it is but there is something programed deep in my brain that makes me so happy when i dance. i'm not very good at it but at any kind of dance, i lose my inhibitions (in a good way) and leave feeling very euphoric. so this dancing is basically jumping up and down a bunch but i left doubled over in pain because my abs hurt so bad from laughing and my cramped brain felt so enlightened. so i don't necessarily have the feet but i definitely have the heart for dancing. well i'm off to bed to get ready for sabbath (can't say sunday cause sabbath on a saturday) tomorrow and dream of meeting Elder Holland tomorrow night at his fireside here!

oh and mom this ones for you: today i went to the israeli museum and saw the isaiah scroll of the dead sea scrolls and i thought of you (obviously)! i'll post an illegal picture later!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

likening

today in my ancient near east class we studied about the relationships of prophets of the old testament to the kings that ruled over israel. how prophets would warn and prophesy against the ancient israelite kings but the kings would choose which prophets to listen to if it was in their favor. right after class i happened upon the talk given by elder oaks just yesterday to byui students about religious freedom, specifically regarding the ruckus surrounding prop 8. my good friend molly here, who's mom teaches at byui, said that this talk was given in response to the speech president obama gave to the homosexual community a few days ago. she then informed me that his talk is the churches official stance on homosexuality. i couldn't help but immediately tie this back to the ancient kingdoms of israel and see what happened to these civilizations who did not hearken to the prophets voice. i also found myself very comforted that our church leaders are not afraid to voice the will of the Lord. what a good example they are of standing firm and not swaying with with winds of change that seem to have swept the nation in the last few years.

http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/religious-freedom

Thursday, October 8, 2009

More Pictures and some Video

Lots and lots of pictures



matis



about to go into MATISYAHU CONCERT...best night of mlife



roomies at jericho....love em (amy lynn, amy lynn and brooklynn)



Mount of temptation monastary



church of the holy sepulcher



Overlooking the Sukkot festival



Biblical Oasis the children of Israel stopped at during the exodus



Saladin's Mosque Cairo--super cool



dancing at the Hard Rock Cafe in Cairo



heiroglyphics at karnak temple



riding a camel...super comfortable



View of the Pyramids




La, Ame and La over looking the wilderness of Zin