Friday, March 11, 2011

Top Ten of February

10) Tombs
It seems like every other picture we take is laying in someone's tomb. We spent a couple hours one day at the Tomb of the Kings- which consisted of climbing down below ground and wandering the pitch black tombs with our flashlights.
Our Jewish professor hosted a Seder dinner for us one night- and we had a blast! We spent the evening reading about the Exodus, singing, eating and participating in traditional Jewish customs. The next night we learned Israeli dancing, which was a hit- there will be Israeli dancing at my wedding recepetion- such a fun thing for big groups of people.
8) Playing with friends/ the Jerusalem shirt
The Muhlestein family started a fun tradition of passing two shirts around the JC- one for the girls and one for the boys. I was the first girl to be given the honor of wearing the JC shirt for the day. We didn't have a lot of free time on this day but we wandered around by Hebrew University and took pictures/videos- I love my friends so much!

7)Hezekiah's Tunnel
This was such a fun field trip! Hezekiah's tunnel is a manmade tunnel that was used to bring water from the Gihon spring to the Pool of Siloam (where Jesus healed the blind man!) It was used to give water supply to the city of Jerusalem when they were attached by Sennacharib. We walked through this tunnel- which has water up to about your mid calf. We sang the whole way and turned our flashlights off a couple of times to make our way through the narrow tunnel. Note the wonderful outfits- shorts are not allowed in the city so we wore skirts/dresses over them until we could lift them up in the tunnel. Classic.
6) Giving Blood
My first time giving blood! I was so so nervous- ever since watching birthing videos my freshman year of college in my human development I have a weak stomach. Everyone said the finger prick is the worst part so when that happened and it didn't hurt me at all I felt just fine. Then someone fainted and I started to get nervous again. It wasn't too bad, just a little uncomfortable and she moved the needle around for a little bit trying to find the vein (ouch!). But I was so happy to do such a small thing to help someone else. This will not be the last time it happens!
5) After an excruciating painful couple of days of finals (which does NOT make my top ten) we had a late, late night field trip to the Kotel Tunnel, which runs underneath the modern day Western Wall. I have to admit I was not looking forward to a field trip after such a long day but it turned out to be fun, even though I was groggy the whole way. The best part was being at the Western Wall at night and seeing so many people worship. I love this land.
4) Neot Kedomin
This was a part of our Valentine's Day field trip that I absolutely loved. It was so nice to have a day of playing-this was my valentine for the day- cute huh?
3) Bethlehem
We took a trip to Bethlehem on Monday- it was so wonderful! Our first stop was at the Herodion- a massive palace that King Herod used for the summers. We wandered around the ancient ruins, looked at Herod's tomb, and walked through pleasure pool- a huge pool at the bottom with a small island in the middle of it. Then we went to Bethlehem University where we had the chance to meet college aged students and ask them questions about what it is like to live here with all the conflict. I was amazed at how much they sacrifice to gain an education. I have so much respect for the people who live here. Then we headed to the Church of the Nativity where the Savior was born. The neatest part of the experience was sitting in the adjacent church singing Christmas hymns. Grown men and women stopped and cried as they listened to us sing, some joining in, others taking videos. We all had a common love for Jesus Christ that brought a sweet spirit. We shopped for a little while and then went to Shepherds field and had a testimony meeting. We heard some musical numbers and shared our testimony's with each other. I am so grateful for the love that I feel here. My capacity to love has grown so much in the past two months and I am so grateful to the Savior for allowing that to happen. It was an unforgettable night as we sat under the stars in Shepherds Field and looked back the little town of Bethlehem.
2) Dome of the Rock
Finally! I don't know why it took so long for me to get to the Dome of the Rock- but it was well worth the wait. The mosaic decoration and gold top is absolutely beautiful. As I have said so many times, I love seeing the different ways people worship- at the Western Wall, synagogue, and outside the Dome of the Rock. There is so much history on the Temple Mount where this Dome is located. It is the same location as Solomon's Temple and Herod's Temple where Christ visited.
1) Service
One of the things I have grown to love the most is the opportunity to serve. We have a great humanitarian couple here give us the opportunity to serve as often as they can. Chelsea is in charge of the committee and works so hard so we all have the chance to serve. One Sabbath we went to the Christian quarter of the Old City and visited with some of the elderly people in their homes. This sweet woman has the only piano in the Old City and loves for people to come and play it at her house. We have yet to go back and visit her but I am looking forward to going back. Yesterday we went to an elementary school- I was in heaven. I'll upload those pictures when I get them. Kerry, Donovan and I were in a kindergarten class with about 20 kids. We taught them songs- Ring around the Rosie, Popcorn Popping, Hokey Pokey (their favorite), itsy bitsy spider, Once there was a snowman, and Do as I'm doing. I wish I could have captured the looks on their faces when we were there- they were so genuinely happy. They love to give high fives and

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