A couple weeks ago we had a fun field trip to the Dead Sea. We started the day out in Qumran where the Dead Sea scrolls were found scattered throughout 11 caves. Then we went to Madaba- one of Herod's many fortresses built on a high hill. We stopped at Ein Gedi next, a place much like where Lehi would have lived. Kaitlin and I found a beautiful little place next to the stream and we just chatted- I am so lucky that I was able to come here with my best friend- I love her to death!
I was so excited to go to the dead sea but a little skeptical that we would actually float. How could that possible even work? The Dead Sea has about 30% salinity- whereas oceans are about 3%. We went to a changing room and then walked a ways out to the Sea- the water line has receded a lot over the years so we had to walk a little while before we could actually see it. I couldn't believe when I looked out and saw everyone walking out into the water, falling backwards, and floating out. Sure enough, as I fell backwards into the water I floated with absolutely no effort. We had so much fun experiencing this crazy phenomenon and I can now check the Dead Sea off my list of one of the coolest things I have ever done.
Just me and the beautiful Kaitlin Marie O'Connor.
Israel has become my home! I love this place so much. Two of my gorgeous roommates at Madaba with the Dead Sea in the background.
Our attempt at a spa with the mud- unfortunately it smelled awful and wasn't as refreshing as we all hoped- all part of the experience! Thanks to Lani who spent so much of her time out of the water taking pictures of everyone-you are wonderful!
On a side note- we had a very special visitor this weekend. Elder Holland came to Israel to dedicate a building in Tel Aviv and he stayed at the center! We were able to hear from him on Saturday night and it was one of the most incredible talks I have ever heard. He spoke so powerfully and with so much passion, it was inspiring. He talked to us about remembering the experiences we had hear and reminded us how fortunate we are to be here. Then we were able to shake his hands. As I shook his hand and said thank you he grabbed my arm and said "Thank you honey, I love you." Cool! The next day we all crowded around him at dinner and had "casual" conversations as he told us about his family, the Jerusalem Center, and gave us some advice. Later when I saw him in the cafeteria getting food, we were able to make the connection that I am a Bassett and he remembered my parents saying that he "Practically raised the Bassett's"- which was so fun for me. I am so amazed at the schedule that the general authorities have and how they are still able to speak with the spirit and make it through each day. I am so grateful for their dedication to the church and to the Lord. I feel so blessed to have heard from and spent time with a special witness of Christ this weekend. Everyone at the center was giddy with excitement to see and hear from him. It was a great way to wrap up the perfect semester!