1.26.2010

Jericho and Judea

Momma Mia,

I'm wasn't captured by Hamas. I'm just in Egypt right now and don't have a lot of access to the internet. Also, you're Amber Alert thing said I was 22. False! I'm 23 and actually everyone here thinks I'm 24 so start rounding up would ya?

As you can see from the pics I was at the lowest point on Earth today. Oh and I cut my hair the night before I left. Not only is it shorter than it's ever been but I'm back to my natural hair color. I'm thinking that would work best in the kibbutz that I'm destined to live in for a few years:) To be honest, the tel (it's the archaeological remains of a cilivization) is not that big. My friend said, "No wonder the Israelites went around so many times-there was nothing to do around."

The Judean Wilderness has been my favorite part of the trip so far. No surprise that it has something to do with nature and not a historical site. It's insane and I wish I could take a long camping trip in it but I'm pretty sure the center frowns on that. We shall see.

love,

me

Jericho,-it's definitely a desert oasis compared to the rest of this land.


The Wilderness

A bunch of Bedouins

1.18.2010

Western Wall



Mom,

Last week the highlight was the Western/Wailing Wall which is the holiest place on Earth for the Jews. Long story short, it's the last standing part of the temple mount built by Herod before it was destroyed by the Romans. We went on Friday night to ring in the Sabbath. As the sun sets the men and women gather in circles and chant/sing in Hebrew. The wall is separated by gender and you can go and put a prayer in the cracks of it. Quite a cool experience if I do say so myself. After I did that I got in this group of dancing females. It was pretty sweet. You aren't permitted to take pics but somehow I snuck some:) Enjoy.

Love,

me






Apparently no video is allowed along with the pictures. Oops:)
video

Rainy Day




Mom,

It was a rainy day so we stayed inside. I figure I would post a pic of the view outside my deck. That's right I now have a deck. Oh and The Dome of the Rock is a mile away on the left. So posh I know:)

Love,

me

1.16.2010

Hearken to LaCinda

Mom,

OMG I love the OT. I love it despite all the he laid with she, daughters marrying fathers, deceiving, killings, lyings, and such. I've already learned loads about the history of the Bible which has completely helped in understanding the modern conflicts here. Anyway, as I was reading Exodus 18 this week I couldn't help but think of you. Don't take this in a bad way but you are Jethro. I'm sure you're going to be quoting me in the next weekly email to the Elders but hear me out. Read the chapter and try to deny the fact that you wouldn't go to your inefficnet son-in-law and reorganize his way of doing things.

verse 14 "Why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?"
verse 17 "The thing that thou does is not good."
verse 19 "Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel."

Anyway, it's just something to think about.

Went to the Wailing Wall this week for Shabbat. Pictures to come.

Love,

me

1.12.2010

Free Day

Dear Mom,


You'd be so proud. Not only am I showering every day but my normal bedtime is about 9:30-the call to prayer is still waking me up early, early, early. I can totally respect the prayer and everything but are speakers really necessary on all mosques???? Anyway, since our Sabbath is now on Saturday we had all of Sunday to go and play. Most of us went into the Old City to explore. It's contained within these massive walls built by this guy named Suleiman the Magnificent during the reign of the Ottomans. We took a walk around the top of the walls to orient ourselves. The view is great as you can see (and yes this is definitely not the land of milk and honey but rather of rock and dirt) but the real adventure is down in the markets. You'd never believe this but the students not only are well known but really welcomed. The Jerusalem Center is known as the Mormon University and the Church has obviously done some serious PR work to help establish a good reputation. Everywhere I went people would see our bags or name tags and say, "Welcome Mormons!" There's even this Arab wood carver who has pictures of himself and the past few prophets/some apostles hanging in his shop. His business card says: This is the Place. It's crazy because there are people in the US that haven't even heard of BYU and here in the most unlikely of places people are selling the school's paraphernalia.

Anyway, enjoy the pics!

Love,


me, Diana the Magnificent:)


Our place is in the upper right hand corner. It's the building with the arches.


1.07.2010

Israel, Israel I am Here

Dear Mom,


Made it safe.


Love,

me

ps-i've been waking up to the muslim call to prayer at 5 o'clock every morning. it's really loud which makes me think that you should implement something like it at home. all those years getting up early to read scriptures never quite got me out of bed like this has.

pss-congrats on converting to gmail. i'll rescind my technotard statement once you learn how to export a movie.