Week 4 – Mallory in Jordan
This week was crazy long but crazy good. To start off the week, I went with some friends to the Jewish market and walked around Jerusalem to see what was happening in preparation for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
The main highlights of this week are from our trip to Jordan. I am so in love with this new country that I was able to explore this week. I love lotssss of pictures so that’s mostly what I’ll be putting on this blog post.
Our first stop in Jordan was Mt. Nebo, where Moses looked out into the Promised Land (although he never made it into the land). Here they have a statue to symbolize the serpent raised to save the Israelites from the fiery serpents if they would look to it and live. There was also a church with old mosaics on the floor.
Our next stop was the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George in Madaba. The church was colorful and beautiful and had an ancient mosaic map of Jerusalem on the floor.
Our next stop was Machaerus, where Herod had a palace where John the Baptist was imprisoned and then beheaded.
Next we headed down to Wadi Musa, the town by Petra. We stayed in a beautiful resort. Here is the view from the restaurant of the resort.
That night, we enjoyed a program called Petra by Night. The Siq (the path through the canyons of Petra) was lined with lanterns that ended at the Treasury of Petra, where musicians played traditional Nabatean/Bedouin instruments. It was so beautiful!
The next day, we got to explore Petra by day. We started as a class with our tour guide, Mahmud.
Then once we got through the Siq and to the Treasury, we were allowed free time, which we started by riding camels! I was a little nervous at first, but it was sooo fun! 10/10 would recommend.
Next, I hiked with some friends up to the Monastery.
Later that day, we got to walk around and explore other parts of Petra. We mostly wandered through caves.
Petra was pretty incredible. I had seen quite a few pictures but nothing prepared me for the grandeur of it all. I came to understand why it’s one of the wonders of the world.
That night, we drove up to the capital city, Amman, and I was able to meet up with one of my best friends, Micah, along with another good friend Riley who are both studying abroad this semester in Amman. Micah and I video chatted with the other half of our squad, Jarom and Anna, in Provo. It was such a sweet reunion.
Our next day’s field trip proved to be one of my favorite field trips to this point. We started by visiting the Jabbok River, where Jacob “wrestled” with God in Genesis 32. Besides a great spiritual insight from our professor, Dr. Hopkin, there was also a herd of goats and many dogs so that was a fun sight.
Our next site was one of my favorites so far. We visited Jerash, which is filled with ancient Greco-Roman ruins. It got my hopes up for Greece in a major way. Everything was so cool! It was one of the first times that I’ve looked at ruins and truly seen civilization.
We had quite a great time exploring the ruins of Jerash. Next we visited the Ajloun castle in the Biblical land of Gilead. It was another fun time of exploring!
We fulfilled many of our exploration desires in Jordan haha. Petra, Jerash, and the Ajloun castle were so fun. The next day, we visited the beautiful King Abdullah mosque. Our tour guide, Mahmud, explained many beautiful practices of the Muslims and the prayers they offer in the mosque.
After visiting the mosque, we went to the Amman Citadel. These were more fun ruins, along with the Jordan Museum which had many interesting artifacts.
The last site we visited was the Jordan River baptismal site. It was quite hot and humid but the site itself is such a special place. On the Israeli side of the river, people were getting in the river and baptizing themselves as a recommitment to God. That’s what I love about being in the Holy Land. The people here are so committed to God and have special ways of showing it. The Jordan River holds significance for many people and I was lucky enough to dip my hand in the water where Christ was baptized. We sang a couple of Primary songs about baptism there and that really added to the Spirit of this sacred place. I want to add my testimony that Christ really was baptized, even as the Son of God, so that he could “fulfill all righteousness” and set the example for us to follow as we come to know Him and accept Him as our Savior. He has shown the way that leads back to our Heavenly Parents and eternal salvation. I love my Savior!
Needless to say, Jordan is an incredible place that I will forever cherish in my heart. This past week was exhausting but exhilarating. I wouldn’t have had it any other way!