January 12, 2014

garden tomb + dome of the rock.

i love haley.
So it is super weird having the Sabbath on a Saturday. I don't know if I will ever get used to that. Church was really good though! I am in the choir, even though I can't sing. We have sacrament on the 8th (top) floor. When you sit down there are huge windows facing the city, it is a beautiful view. You can't even look at the speaker because it is so bright outside and the city is so gorgeous. After church we went to the garden tomb. It's so weird how it is in the middle of the city. When you enter it is so peaceful and quiet. There are chairs all over. On easter the place is packed. We had a tour. The tomb was smaller than I thought it would be. There were quite a few people there. We sang some hymns and the spirit was so strong. We don't know if this is where Christ was resurrected but that doesn't matter, what matters is that we know it happened and why it happened. That night we played a bunch of games. Mormons love games. I am making lots of friends and I love everyone here!
View from the Jerusalem Center! I can't believe I live there. Gorgeous. It's like living in a hotel.
Today (Saturday) is our free day and so we got to explore the city all by ourselves. We got a little lost but not too bad. I feel like I already know the city pretty well, I recognize some people even. Also guys like to wink at you here, it's a little creepy haha. The center gave us sack lunches which was really nice. We walked around the city for a bit, at the market. I already have so many things I want to buy, it's bad...I love the feel of the old city. The vendors really want you to buy things though and it's a little annoying.
We went to the Western wall where the Jews go to pray. It is a wall from the Temple Mount which is closest to the Holy of Holies. It is very sacred to them. Right when we got there I just kept going straight into the wall and then a guy was like you guys aren't allowed to be in here, they will get mad at you. I'm glad he told us because we were going into the guys side! That would happen to me. There is a girl and guy side which is really interesting. They write down their prayers and put it inside the wall. We got a picture with some soldiers! It's pretty scary that they just carry around machine guns.
As we were walking we ran into some little boys playing with marbles. We joined them. It was real fun. I love talking to them. I just love kids here. and in general. They wouldn't let me get a picture with them so this is the best I got.
YES, this is the dome of the rock. Coolest building I think I have ever seen. It is SO beautiful. I love the mosaic tiles. It's crazy to think that this was build several years ago. How did they make this?! Before the dome of the rock many of temples were built and destroyed here. This is a shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City. This is a very sacred place for Muslims. We are not allowed inside. It was kind of bad because Haley and I got in trouble for posing in front of it as you can see in the second picture. It was really awkward. I got in trouble a lot today. But so did a lot of others. Many believe this is where Prophet Muhammad ascended into Heaven and where Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac.
Damascus Gate
I love it here and love the people I am meeting. I never want to leave this place. I took a five hour nap today and missed dinner...So that's why I am still up and am very hungry! Breakfast is in 4 hours haha. We have to be in the center by 12 and can't go in the Old City after sunset. We can go in West Jerusalem but with at least one guy. We always have to be in groups of three when we go out. They each gave us phones so that is nice when we need to contact each other. I have a bunch of homework and we have only had two classes haha. We have a field trip tomorrow so I am very excited about that. Our rooms are really nice! I'll take pictures later and show them to you. Each room has a balcony overlooking the city. I still can't believe I live here. The weather is a little cold. It is 50 degrees. When you walk up hills you get hot but then cold anywhere else. The sun is out half the time and it's mostly pretty foggy. It will soon get pretty hot though. There are lots of hills in Jerusalem. So that will be my work out? Haha. The boys live a floor above the girls. It's sometimes weird that we live in the same building. We each are in a committee and I am in the memories committee, how fitting is that? I just get to take pictures and put a slide show together at the end. And we are making tshirts i think. Our hashtag is #jerucrew14. I'm still so amazed at this place and how all these religions live in the same place but do not really talk to eachother. The spirit is so strong here. I can't believe I am walking on the grounds where Christ walked. This is a one in a lifetime experience and I love it. Hurrah for Israel!

3 comments:

  1. I love this blog! Thanks for putting so much time into it! Great to see and hear the details!

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  2. Natalie stop getting into so much trouble!

    ReplyDelete