Wow this week was absolutely incredible! We had 3 excursions: 2 field trips and 1 fun free day. Our first excursion was our free day. We drove 4 hours south to Eilat, where we swam and snorkeled in the Red Sea. It was an absolute …
This week we went to the Israel Museum, which has lots of interesting artifacts from the Holy Land.
After walking through the museum, we walked around West Jerusalem.
Our field trip on Monday was the Shephelah field trip, where we visited many sites relating to David.
We went to Lachish, one of the sites that the Assyrians came and conquered.
My favorite part of this field trip was all the caves we saw.
We visited sites near where David would have come to fight Goliath. We even picked stones from the riverbed where David would have come to select his 5 smooth stones and we tried out our slinging skills.
Other things that happened this week included General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was interesting to watch it here because we are so far ahead of time that watching the morning session (broadcast at 10 AM MDT) plays here at 7 PM and the afternoon session starts at 11 PM and goes until 1 AM. Of course, we weren’t required to watch the afternoon session but a few of us stayed up to watch at least a couple of speakers. We watched re-broadcasted sessions on the Sabbath this week to get all the Conference talks. This was such a good Conference! Check out these talks for real: https://www.lds.org/general-conference?lang=eng
This week we had a forum address by a woman named Bana Husseini. She told us about her experience growing up in Palestine and it was one of the first times I was exposed to the Palestinian side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What I’m learning is that there are two sides to every conflict. It’s interesting to hear it directly from these people.
As far as in-Center activities go, I’ve started to love playing volleyball. I play at least a couple times a week. It’s a good break from studying and many friends of mine like to play too.
This week in Hebrew, we had a midterm and afterwards our teacher, Mrs. Goldman, told us all about her ancestors who were in the Holocaust, including many who were killed in Auschwitz. She shared these stories in preparation for our field trip to Yad Vashem (the Israeli Holocaust museum) next week.
This week we also had Israeli folk dancing, which was so much fun! They taught us the “Rich Man” dance move that Tevye does in Fiddler on the Roof and I lovveeee that move so I was very happy about it.
I have a group of friends that I play games with at least once a week and we have lots of fun. This past week, after we played games, this golden moment happened so I just figured I would share this for your viewing pleasure.
It’s been another great week here in the Holy Land! This week I was able to see more of Israel than just Jerusalem. On Sunday, a big group of us went to Tel Aviv to go to the beach and the markets. It was so fun! I am a big fan of the Mediterranean Sea now.
I went with some friends to the market first. The markets here are so fun to walk around! Everyone here comes to the market for groceries instead of a grocery store, so we passed stands selling everything and anything.
After the market, we walked down to a part of town called Jaffa, which was an old coastal city. Fun fact, it was where the apostle Peter received revelation that the gospel should be preached to the Gentiles! We got gelato and walked around the cobblestone streets. So fun!
The Mediterranean is so warm and beautiful! I seriously could not get over the ocean here.
We spent quite a lot of time at the beach in the afternoon! I definitely got a bit sunburned. But it was worth it!
After the beach, I went with some friends to a beachside cafe for dinner. The food was so good and the view was beautiful.
All in all, our trip to Tel Aviv was a huge success and I’m in love with another part of Israel.
Our field trip this week was to the Negev, which is the southern part of Israel. We took quite a long bus ride to get there but it was a great field trip. We saw lots of ruins in archeological sites. Here are some pics I got during the field trip:
I really loved this field trip. Clearly there was lots to see! The other fun thing we did this week was sign our names on the walls underneath the Jerusalem Center.
I am really loving my experience abroad. Those of us living in the BYU Jerusalem Center are growing close and it’s hard to believe we’ve only been here for a couple of weeks! We have a lot of homework and a lot of classes but it’s fun to apply history to these real places we are visiting. The reality of the events in the Bible is sinking in for me and I am growing to love my ancient ancestors. The Spirit is teaching me so much here. I am starting to understand why they call it the Holy Land.