February 9, 2014

mmm israeli soldiers.

Orson Hyde Park
Saturday was a beautiful day. Church was good as a usual. I don't remember if I have mentioned this but I am ward librarian and so for second hour we go in a organize the library. It was very messy and unorganized in there. It is looking a lot better. For the second half I then go to marriage prep. Sister Woods teaches it and it is so great. I love the ward so much. I love Christ and all He has done for us. We could not live with our Heavenly Father again if it was not for him. I am grateful for the atonement and that I get to see ones who have passed before me again. After church we went to Orson Hyde Memorial Park. It is very close to the center. It is just above the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mt. of Olives. Orson Hyde was a lds missionary in Jerusalem in 1842- 1842 who converted a lot of people. He climbed up the Mt. of Olives and wrote down a prayer. BYU bought the land and planted the garden in Hyde's memory. Someone told me that the church can live here because some lds missionaries died in Jerusalem before 1948. I don't know if this is true. We also can't proselyte because the center made an agreement with the Israel government that we can build a center here if we don't preach. They don't want to lose their jews. Anyways the park was gorgeous. I think it's my favorite place to go after church. The weather was perfect and the park is on a hill and has a really great view of the city. The park is basically just a path and at the top there is this amphitheater. We sang for a little and I then read my scriptures. We can only go here in large groups because I guess gangs sometimes hang out there. I would have more pictures but my phone died. Sunday night we played games are normal. We played mafia and it was so funny cause people got to mad and it was just crazy. Everyone is getting real comfortable with each other.
Tower of David
Today we went to the Tower of David Museum. The Tower of David is an ancient citadel located near Jaffa Gate. This is where they think King David's palace was. It was pretty cool. The museum was okay, it was basically just information and cool displays. We didn't even get through half of the museum. We sat in the sun for a while and ate lunch. The most perfect weather ever. 
The Last Supper
King David's Tomb
We then went to where the Jews think the last supper was. It was a pretty room with some stain glass windows. People were praying in there. Under there was King David's Tomb. The men and worship on different sides, this is very common.
Oskar Schindler's Grave
We then went to Oskar Schindler's grave. How they show their respect is by placing rocks on the grave tomb. I thought that was interesting. Oskar Schindler saved many Jews lives during the Holocaust. Going to this sight makes me want to watch "Schindler's List", which I hear is very sad.
Dormition Abbey
We then to the Dormition Abbey that is on Mt. Zion. They dedicated it to the virgin Mary where they think she lived after Christ's death. She died around here. Messianic Jews believe in Christ and Muslims believe that Christ is a prophet, just not the Savior (God's son). The church was really pretty and had cool mosiac. Underground is where they worship Mary, idk if it's her tomb though. It was really cool down there.
We made a quick stop to the hospice to celebrate brandon's birthday.
In the Jewish Quarter there are these delicious lava cakes. Holy cow so much chocolate. They were pretty expensive but SO good. We sat in the Jewish Quarter for a while. Layed in the sun. I think the Jewish Quarter is my favorite and there aren't people trying to sell you stuff which is always nice. I loved people watching.
Another plus to hanging out there is all the Israeli Soldiers <3. Idk what it is but they are so attractive in their uniform. It was weird cause my secret goal for the day was to get pictures with the soldiers. And I definitely did. You just want to make sure you don't take photos with the Israeli Soldiers where the Muslims are because they will get offended. So we were just sitting on these steps and the soldiers were sitting behind us. We finally talked to them and it was so fun to talk to them. One of them stole my camera and starting taking pictures. He actually took some really good pictures haha. They are all models. It was so interesting talking to them. They have a week off this week for some reason and today they went running and got some food in the city. They were very interested in us and our church. They hadn't really met the mormons which surprised me. They were in their third year in the military. It's so hard that we can't talk about the church. So many people ask us. Some of the guys spoke good english and others not so much. It was funny cause when I first met them one of them said my name and I was like how do you know my name...then I remembered my necklace says my name in Hebrew. One of them had been to the states lots and has an american girlfriend. They seemed very normal and super nice. We laughed and talked for a while. We then went to the market with them for a little after they went and changed. They asked us if we could tell them and the Arabs apart. I can really only if their dress is obvious. He said Arabs are normally darker and have mustaches. We asked about their relationship with them. He said that they don't hate them and that there isn't really tension. They just aren't friends and don't talk. It is pretty weird/sad. They said they don't really like being in the military. I loved getting to know them. I love talking with the locals and interacting with them. I really want to meet more people here.
cutest little girl.
I get to see this everyday.

We then walked home and there were these cute girls with TONS of personality. They wanted me to play futbol with them but I couldn't cause it was after 5:15. I told them I would play later with them in the week. They were so cute and couldn't stop laughing. I love this picture of them. It totally describes them. They kept telling me I was beautiful. I asked if they knew gangham style and they started dancing to it. So great.

This city surprises me more and more each day. I am so grateful I am here. Sometimes it is frustrating that we can't understand other people or read things. Everyone is so nice to us though. They always yell "BYU" or "Mormons". I love it. There is so much to explore here it is crazy.

1 comment:

  1. You are the center of ALL the guys! How do you manage that?
    Grandma F