January 10, 2014

let the journey begin.

I finally made it to Jerusalem! I already love it here! I got to the SLC airport around 9 and there were so many kids waiting in line to check in. My bag was 49 pounds so that was lucky haha. Everyone off the bat was meeting each other and everyone is super nice. Our flight to JFK was about 4 hours. I sat next to an Israeli and it was really interesting talking to him. He was about in his 30's and was going to visit home for 5 days for his birthday. He was super nice and telling us about Israel. He says he loves Tel Aviv. I hear it's party central at night...but we're mormon so yeah haha. So that flight wasn't too bad and then we had a 3 hour layover in JFK. The flight to Tel Aviv was 10 hours and 40 mins. But we were sitting on the plane for about an hour and a half before we even took off. I almost finished my movie by the time we left haha. The flight wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I slept for about half of it. I hate sleeping on planes though. They gave us dinner and breakfast. The Tel Aviv airport was super nice, it was so weird cause it was night time and we had just had breakfast. The Jerusalem Center staff greeted us with open arms. They were so happy to see us. Everyone here is SO nice. I already feel at home. The building is BEAUTIFUL. I can't get over that I'm living here. The night we got there I stood out on the patio on the 8th floor, saw the city, and right then and there it hit me that I was in the Holy Land. The rest of the night we had so many orientations and such. They finally let us free at like 10 and then we had to unpack and I didn't get to bed until like 1. I only have 2 roommates so that's pretty nice, more room. They are awesome.
Breakfast is pretty much at 7 everyday. It's early. But somehow I do it. The food is way yummy!! There are some american food and Israeli food. Some food is better than others. Most of it is really good though! There are some authentic foods and I'm just like I have no idea what that is, but it ends up being good. There are palestinians and Jews that both work here. The first picture is off my balcony in the morning. It is so beautiful, the picture doesn't do it justice. The prayer calls happen like 5 times a day, and one of them is at 5 in the morning so that's always fun...so far I have just woken up then and can't go back to sleep. Hopefully I get used to it. This Thursday was more orientation. I feel like they are just repeating themselves haha.
We got to go on a tour that morning though! We got into groups of like 10 and walked into the old city and west Jerusalem. It was so cool!! I had so much fun. Jerusalem has a lot of trash and they honk their horns like crazy. That will get some getting used to. Pedestrians do not have the right of way here so you have to be careful when you cross the street. We weren't allowed to take pictures on the tour but I snuck in a few. So that's why I barely have any. And we aren't allowed to upload pictures, so I can only upload a few anyways. I love Jerusalem already though. Basically everyone knows who were are, especially the vendors. Random people will say "Hello mormons, welcome to Jerusalem". I love it haha. These little boys on the street were soooo funny and cute and trying to talk to us. They were throwing rocks, I guess that's what kids here do? And they were doing the gangnam style dance. SO funny. I love little boys haha. The old city is really cool and is surrounded by a wall. It is like a market with so many turns, I will for sure get lost. The Holy Sepulchre is super cool. It was interesting watching them, they do things very different than us. In there is where they Christians think Christ's tomb is. We walked to the West Jerusalem where it is more modern and everything is made out of this white stone. It is very pretty. They let us roam around by ourselves. I learned so much already and have so much more to say but I just don't have time for that haha. We are not allowed to proselyte at all so that will be hard, but everyone knows about us and we have a good reputation here. I want to make friends with the vendors and people. I can't wait to go back to the city. We aren't allowed to go into the city on fridays before 3 because that's when the muslims have there holy time or something...haha. I just can't wait to learn more about the culture and everything. I have had sooo much information in my head, it's hard to think straight. After the tour we had more orientation. It never ends. We all had the worst jet lag. I was so tired. Luckily I got to take some naps. There are 82 kids here. We have more boys than girls! I think we have 43 boys and 39 girls. 8 are from BYUI and 5 are from BYUH and the rest are from BYU. I still see new faces and I am trying to memorize everyone's names. It's fun meeting new people. Thinking that we will all be so close at the end is great. Everything is just so amazing. Today, (friday) we had our first day of classes. I had old testament with Brother Woods and Near Eastern Studies with Brother Seeley. They were both super good and interesting. SO much reading though. Our schedules are jammed back. I hope I get enough sleep...so far I have gotten about 4 hours of sleep every night. I will get more though, jet lag is just the worst. But it is worth it because I am here in the holy land! I still can't believe it. I'll just be casually looking out my window and see the dome of the rock and be like what im here?! I just love it. I am so blessed I am here, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity for sure. Sorry I am babble a lot and not the best writer....this is mainly for me and my family. I love you all and miss you! See you in 4 months 'merica!


  1. I am so happy you are having such a wonderful time and am so jealous of all of the things you get to see and do! Hearing you talk about Jerusalem makes me want to go soooooo bad! Maybe one day I'll make Brian take me. Live it up before you get married! Love you!