Monday, April 30, 2012

Walking Where He Walked . . . {Galilee 2012}

{Yes, I am home from Jerusalem. Yes, I am behind on blogging. Yes, I will continue to blog about Jerusalem as if I was still there and experiencing all of these miraculous and wonderful events. Yes, I am going through withdrawals}

GALILEE was one of the most amazing weeks of my life. 
The first day I walked  8,033 steps.

We left Jerusalem Center bright and early and drove to the Galilee. On the way there we made a couple stops, the first at a tel called Bet She’an. This is an ancient Greco Roman city, with the best preserved bath house in the world. It was beautiful day and the the hills were green. 

Heating system of the bath house

Courtney Neves
Sadly, the city experienced multiple earthquakes and is now in shambles. Courtney tried to fix it.
Cinderelly Cinderelly

Overlooking Bet Shean

Then we stopped in Nazareth and went to two beautiful churches. One contained the grotto where it is traditionally believed that the angel Gabriel visited Mary and gave her the news of her pregnancy. This church was stunning. It had mosaics in the courtyard outside, and each mosaic was from a different cultural group, depicting their interpretation of this glorious event. Inside the windows were stained glass, and I was in awe at the beauty. We saw the grotto, a mass was in session, we went upstairs, and then exited and walked to the second church, where another grotto is located, and believed to have been Joseph’s work shop. It was pretty cool to see how the churches have been built right on top of, over, and around these ancient sites.
Beautiful stained glass

Courtyard of the church

Interior of the church.
Our next stop was to a lookout. But I stood all in haze, and alas could not see but 5 feet infront of me.

Then we pulled into a cute little resort/reformed Kibbutz where we spent the next 10 days. I was expecting to be on the ocean…but due to all the rain, the water was about 20 feet higher than normal, therefore there was no beach…oh well! We skipped rocks, played soccer, and then ate a delicious dinner.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Just Keep Swimming

When life sprains your ankle . . .
Keep calm and sit in a wheel chair!

Weak Ankles . . . it's a problem I've dealt with my entire life.
I get knocked down, but I get up again!

Courtney and Wes were kind enough to wheel me down to the Garden Tomb today.
It is our last Sabbath here, and I am so happy that I was able to spend it with my friends in one of my favorite places in Jerusalem.

Singing Hymns, Visiting the Tomb, and pondering my Savior's glorious Resurrection.
Can life get any better?
I submit that it CANNOT!

Even if life gets rough and tough . . . take advice from my dear friend Dory and,

Ever heard of the Dead Sea?
We went on a field trip there on Monday, and honestly it was one of the most amazing moments of my entire life. The Sea is MAGICAL! You just float. Straight up float. No effort or treading required. The water holds you up and you can lean back, lay on your tummy, run, skip, and frolick through the water. I had a blast and was just laughing laughing laughing the whole time. Oh, and I got a nice exfoliating/lotion treatment from the world famous Dead Sea Mud!
Salt Crystals & Friends


Saturday, April 7, 2012

To Dad.
Love, Billy

Because I'm a Daddy's Girl . . .

As of late, my Papa has felt a little out of the loop, due to my blogging absence.
So - Shout out to my Pops - I love you! I am alive! Jeru ROCKS!

And . . . I took this picture for YOU! 

We went to a the Basilica of the Annunciation while we were in Nazareth. In the courtyard of this church, countries from all over the world had their own depiction of the Annunciation. 
I spotted Ecuador for ya, and took a picture just for you - so you know that I am your favorite daughter : )

Just so everyone knows - This blog is quite behind on life here in the Middle East. 
We spent 10 days in Galilee, where I experienced some of the most beautiful and memorable and spiritual moments of my entire life.
We also went to Bethlehem awhile back.
And this past week was Holy Week here in Jeru, preparing for EASTER tomorrow!
And tonight...Happy Eve of Passover!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Winner winner TURKEY dinner

Our last day in Turkey was quite a delight!
A Turkish Delight, if you will...

We started the day off by going to Nicaea, where we discussed the First Council of Nicea and the Creed which was created as a result.
It is believed that the council was held in Constantine's summer palace, possibly on Lake Nicaea. We stopped here and stood on some of the stone foundations and walls that extended into the lake, and Bro. Ludlow told us all about the history of the Council. Then Huntsie spoke about LDS views on revelation and faith. We recited the first four articles of faith, and then sang "I Believe in Christ."

 Buddy the Elf, what's your
favorite color?

My FHE Mama and meeee

Model shots on the shore
After Nicaea we went to . . . 
One of the most beautiful buildings in the entire world!
An ancient church, converted into a mosque, converted in a museum - Welcome to the HAGIA SOPHIA!
First off - this building is HUGE! Seriously, so spacious.
The dome is 102 feet in diameter, and the interior is just grand. 
Secondly, one of the most intriguing things was being able to see the different cultural and religious influences in this building - ancient Christian mosaics, contrasting with modern Arabic calligraphy and verses from the Quran. The colors were vivid and lovely. 
Absolutely stunning. 
Outside the Hagia Sophia

Inside. Hellooooo Gorgeous

Helloooooo Gorgeous.

Goodbye Istanbul - You were good to me!