Monday, May 28, 2012

Sabbath in Galilee

Today we woke up bright and early for breakfast, and we left at 9 for Tiberias so that we could meet with the Galilee Branch at 10. This branch was in a cute little building, and it had  a beautiful view over the Sea and surrounding hills. 

Walking into the Branch
Panoramic View from the Branch
Church was a beautiful experience. It was the first time that I had ever heard the sacrament be blessed in a different language. The young man that blessed the bread spoke Hebrew, and it was really neat to be a part of that. All 42 students in my class and another tour group were attending the meeting, so we were pretty cramped in the tiny little branch building, but we made it work : ) The talks were beautiful. Dylan, Maddie, and a local named Ann spoke. They all centered on the topic of revelation, which was awesome to hear about since General Conference was the next week! It will be so fun to be here in the Holy Land for conference…even if we have to stay up until 2 in the morning to hear it : ) 

After church we drove to Yinadret, another one of the many baptismal sites. This was gorgeous. It really made me think of Nephite baptisms, and the Waters of Mormon. The river was much wider here than the site we visited in Jordan, and the trees were tall and green and it was just beautiful. There was a group of African Christian’s who were singing and dancing and getting baptized. I love watching them and how devout they are in their worship and their dedication. They have such an apparent love and acknowledgement for the Lord. It is beautiful to witness. 

P.S. - if you have a moment, please take this SURVEY!

Monday, May 21, 2012

4th day in Galilee

Today instead of going out and about, we stayed in the Kibbutz and had class.
After class, we relaxed on the {beach}, played soccer, threw around the frisbee . . . jugar on la playa at its finest.

Then we went on a beautiful hike!

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood, the weather was grand, the hills were green, and the faces were jolly!
We hiked to a waterfall. We all thought it would be a good idea to jump in a cool off from the hike. And boy oh boy did we cool off. It was hands down the COLDEST water I have EVER been in. I had goosebumps while swimming! Seriously, straight from the icebergs in Antartica. Cold cold cold!

After the hike, we went back to the Kibbutz and had a bonfire. With smores. Jerusalem Style. Thats right : Strawberry marshmallows with poprocks chocolate. Can life get any better?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Galilee Dia Tres

 Galilee is a magical place.Today we hiked 5,046 magical steps through Gamla, which is a little town set up in the green hills of the Galilee. The foundation of the Gamla synagogue still stands today, and it is most likely the same stones that were there during the time of Christ.
Synagogue foundation

We frolicked in the green grass and yellow flowers through the rolling hills.
'Twas a grand day indeed.

My favorite friend, Miss Jen Riding

Da girls enjoying a mid-afternoon hike
Do the Courtney Neves

After leaving Gamla, we enjoyed a wonderful activity - 
This was an adventure and a half  . . .  We grabbed our paddles and found our rowing crew, and it was off to the races! Meg, Wes, Trav, SarahBeth, and I made a fantastic team, and together we conquered the deathly bushes and sharp tree branches which lined the banks of the river and tended to give us a poke every time we rounded the bend . . .
Just around the river bend!
Ok, sorry for the sidenote  -- but I can now check 'rafting down the jordan river' off of my bucket list.

Another item which no longer remains on my bucket list is eating a fish. WHOLE.
Thats right.
Bones 'n all.
Eyeballs and fishtail. 

Ok, I'm kidding of course. That is disgusting.
But, I did enjoy some delicious, Galilee-fresh fish! Hands down the best fish I have ever eaten.

Awww . . . the perfect ending to another perfect day : )

Monday, May 7, 2012

Galilee Day 2 - 7,031 Steps

Looking back on my trip, this day was one of my favorites.

We took a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee – stopping in the middle to have a devotional and talk about the personal "storms" which occur in each of our lives and what we personally can do to exercise faith and overcome them.
Check out my professors blog for more info!

And then...
We rocked out to Christian rock music -- starting the traditional outbursts of "Our God is an Awesome God!" Such great memories!

 Then we stopped at a museum and saw a 2,000 year old boat, dating back to the first century! It was amazing to see the type of structure that existed during the time of Christ.

Next up we visited the church of the Beattitudes, where it is believed Christ gave the Sermon on the Mount. This church was in a beautiful location, set up on a hill overlooking the Galilee. We had time to do our own personal scripture study and journal writing, and I often look back on the personal study I was able to have here and wish I could go back to that moment. I loved this site.

Then we went to Capernaum. 
We saw a synagogue which still has a 1st Century foundation, but has been rebuilt.
And we were able to see Peter's house! I love Peter : )

Then we visited Kursi. And ran down the hill like demonic swine.