Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Where it all began...

I can’t believe it’s almost been 6 months since I’ve been back from Jerusalem. I haven’t blogged since then but I wanted to share how I got there.

The Jerusalem Center resting on the Mount of Olives 

BYU Jerusalem was always part of the plan. It’s funny how it all started or shall I say I felt guided all along the way. It began with a song, O Jerusalem by Peter Breinholt. Peter B. I believe wrote this song for his sister who attended BYU Jerusalem (he later attended too with my Uncle-in-law?) The song describes the land, and the beautiful beginning of our Saviors ministry. I was 14 yrs old when I first heard that song. It was then what over 10 years ago that sparked the desire to go to Jerusalem.  I dreamed about it and made it happen. At the time it was only a dream because the center was closed and had been for 6+ years. I attended a different university and how no desire to ever go to BYU, but if I did it would only because I would want to go to BYU Jerusalem. After my mission I found myself at  BYU and from there was determined to get into the BYU Jerusalem program.

I was originally going to go 2 years before I went for the summer semester. I applied and go it, dream come true? It didn’t feel right, I backed out. I was sad and devastated. I continued my education and was ready to graduate.  I felt incomplete. I had Jerusalem in the back of my mind. I prayed and fasted for over 2 months about if I should reapply to the program. Graduate or go, logically it was better to graduate and not take out 2 loans to go to a study abroad. I applied anyway =).

I delayed graduation and made my way back to my dream that I had over 10 years ago. It was right for me to go 2 years prior (and I don’t know why), but I do know I was supposed to be here at this time with these people.

In Jerusalem my good friend Nicki came and visited from France. We both have a fondness for Peter B. We sat in the sacrament in the Jerusalem center. We sat there in the dark, Nicki with her guitar, me with my drum and sang while looking out in the city O’ Jerusalem.  What a dream come true. We were both in astonishment and unbelief that we were here, together, and singing this song. It was with this song that began my journey and mecca back to the holy land.

I thank the Lord even now for the opportunity to be in the Land he grew up in. I pinch myself every day for not believing that I had this experience. I am humbled and deeply grateful.
Dream it, Believe it, Make it Happen!
Every night we looked at sunset like this from the Center. 

Monday, April 25, 2011



How blessed I felt to be home for Easter. I was able to bare more powerful testimony of my experiences in Jerusalem of our Savior and King. I know that Christ LIVES. I was in Jerusalem for Palm Sunday, and Passover, but it was being home for Easter that I realized how much the Savior has come into my life and changed from the inside out. For once I was blind, now I can see. My banner is clear, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ!
I am a part of the fellowship of the unashamed; the dye has been cast out. I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ! I won’t look back, let up, slow down, or be still.

My past is redeemed; my presence makes sense, my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, small planning, colorless dreams, tamed, visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, position, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, recognized, praised, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on his presence, walk with patience, uplifted by prayer. My face is set, my gate is fast, my goal is heaven.

My road is narrow; my way is rough. My companions are few; my guide is reliable; my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the cause of Christ.

I must go till he comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till he stops me. And when he returns, he will have no problem recognizing me; my banner will be clear.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

King Abdullah-Alhamdulillah

 Top Five reasons I love Jordan:
1.They are obsessed, I mean obsessed with their king, King Abdullah.
2.Petra-no need to say more.
3.Indiana Jones was here.
4.Horse/buggy ride/camel ride through the desert.
5.The people loved us, I am famous. I was in about 100 Muslim girls pictures; they loved blonde-blue eyed girls. I was a cel-e-brity. 


Saturday, April 16, 2011

I put my hands up and say gotta Galileeeee!!!!!!

We were in Galilee for 2 weeks, so much happened so much absorbed. Here are the highlights.


Hannah from the first century. 

Church of the Annunciation. 
Mt. of Beatitudes


City on the hill. Let your light shine.
Piggy Hill
Devils cast into swine
The conquering of a Megiddo is like the
conquering of a 1,000 cities-Tiglath Pileser III
Jordan River
Bike ride
The coolest, and most crazy mountain biking ever!

Biked through grapefruit orchards. 

Restin on Laurel MOSS-BACK-ERR
Nimrod’s castle 
Taken prisoner by Kaleb Muhlestein.
Climbing the Castle walls.
Mt Tabor
They have the same keys Peter, James, and John have.

Church of Transfiguration
Collecting sea glass.
Someone's not happy.
 On the Road Again
What do you do when you don't have a horse trailer?

Friday, April 15, 2011

O Galilee sweet Galilee

Keeping my hands warm while on the boat.
We had an amazing discussion while
on the Sea of Galilee.
The sunsets were so beautiful here, we stayed right on the beach.

In seminary they use learning devices to help students feel a connection to the teachings. For example in the year I was studying Doctrine and Covenants there was a heavy emphasis on missionary work so they did this huge mock-up on giving all the students their “call” with an envelope and letter they gave details of their mission. The call that was “extended” to me was to Illinois Peoria. I didn’t know where it was, and still don’t really, but I had this connection to that place for a day in seminary as if I were going on a mission. Similarly in my New Testament year in seminary my teacher devised a learning mechanism with giving each student a name from the New Testament. My friend Mike was given the name of the apostle Luke, so I would refer to him as Luke in class or likewise my friend Chelsea was given the name Martha so I called her Martha in class. I was given the name Galilee which as you know isn’t a name of a person but a place. But for whatever reason why this was given to me I’ve always carried with me since my seminary years a fondest to the name and place of Galilee. Galilee is  a magical place, I have found that my understanding of Christ and his ministry has deepened because of visually being able to place the events of his miracles. I have seen the miracle in my own life of Christ entering in and making me feel whole and complete.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

26.2 in JERU!

Okay how cool was it to run a 10k in Jerusalem with their first Marathon?!? One of my top favorite moments is my life. I was truly inspired. When walking early in the morning to the starting line we saw the marathoners running along the major street in West Jerusalem. We went up to the sidelines with our mass BYU student group to cheer them on. There was no one else out, no one there encouraging them. I never saw so many people become revived. The marathoners were probably only on their seventh or eighth mile but you can tell by their faces the weight of having to run nineteen more miles. As we were hooting and hollering shouts of praise the runners starting clapping and jumping with more determination to keep going. Music from some unknown speakers started to blare tunes as we, the students, started dancing and cheering the runners. It was one of the most touching moments seeing the turnover. Inspiration.
Running next to the Muslims who were going to prayer on Friday.
See the Hasidic Jew run next to the runner.
Running in the old city.
Keep on Keepin on.