February 15, 2014

the shuk, synagogue, and love.

This week was really good even though it was midterms. There isn't such a thing as a bad week here. Tuesday we had our Israel midterm. It wasn't too bad. I studied quite a bit. Wednesday we had our hebrew midterm. It was really easy. I actually love that class and learning hebrew. It is so fun. I like going around town and saying the letters. It's also fun writing people's names. I know how to write in hebrew! Friday we had our Palestine final, it was easy but I didn't take it seriously so I should have studied a little more. We still have one more final on friday, ancient near eastern studies. I'm a little worried for it. I just need to study a lot for it.
These boys came from the states to fundraise for some event. I thought that was pretty crazy.
Sassy door pic. Sig hair flip.
Sam's birthday.
Thursday after classes we went to the shuk which is a market in west Jerusalem. It reminded me so much of Pikes place! It made me miss home a little. There are a bunch of shops, food and music. I loved it. I got fresh squeezed juice, a pastry, nuts and candy. The weather was perfect. I actually got pretty hot walking. This week was so nice outside. This weekend is not as nice though. It's crazy how we can walk anywhere here and there is SO much to see.
It's going to be next to impossible to leave this place.
Friday some of us went to a reformed synagogue with our jewish teacher, Ophir. It is called the Kol Haneshama. It was really interesting. It was just a regular church, the guys had to wear kipas and we all wore sunday dress. Ophir gave us a little orientation about it before. Ophir goes to lots of different services for shabbot shalom. Each shabbot (sabbath) they open shabbot with praises and singing. The one we went to happened to be reformed (traditional). It was pretty casual. Ophir brought his kids and they are so cute. We were given books that they read from, kind of like a hymn book. We had one that transferred to english. So for Shabbot they have a friday service and a morning service. So the rabbi led and we all followed along chanting and singing. It was fun but SO different. I couldn't take any pictures sadly. It was pretty hard following along and saying the words. It was way fun though. Some of the songs were fun. At one point everyone stands up and looks at the door behind them to bring in (welcome) shabbot. I guess it's like a wedding when the bride comes in. The rabbi leads and there is no piano so everyone is just off and it was pretty funny. We all just felt so out of place. We really had no idea what was going on. It was pretty funny. I met some interesting people there. It's crazy you can find people all over the world in Jerusalem. 
I'm so funny.
So friday was of course valentines day. It was such a fun day. I wrote about 50 valentines. I wrote all the guys one and some girls. It was fun writing the valentines and I made sure everyone was different. They all were different pick up lines. That night we had a bachelor pad type thing where a boy or girl stood behind the screen and asked 3 questions to the boys/girls and they answered and then they picked their valentine that they liked best. haha it was so fun and a lot of the couples were real. I just love love. Sadly no valentine for me this year, just haley. <3<3 It was just so funny, I love all the people here. Then we had a dance party. Dance parties here are the best here. We are all just so close and everyone knows everything about each other. 

Today, sabbath was great. I say this every week but especially today. Even though I didn't go anywhere after church. I took a nap and it was cold and windy outside. It's sad how I think 50ish degrees is cold haha. I really liked all of the meetings. Marriage prep we talked about true love. We need to see others how God see's them. God is perfect and we need to know that our spouse's are not. But we need to strive to be perfect like God. I loved relief society. There were so many visitors because there was a group of grads/students that came from stanford. It's so fun meeting people and finding out about them and why they came to Jerusalem. The thing I learned from Relief Society is how to strengthen our family relationships. KariElle gave the lesson and she did great. We talked about a ton but the things that stood out to me is that no family is perfect. Some families pretend they are all perfect, but we all know no family is. We just need to be striving for the best. I was thinking about my family all class and how well my parents did. Hi mom and dad I know I'll get a text about this. But my parents are awesome. They are the best examples of service and loving others. They are good at serving the ward but also taking care of all their childrens need. Our family isn't perfect but I am so glad we prayed and read the scriptures together every night. Thanks mom and dad! You're the best! Love and miss you! Can't wait to see you guys in just 2 weeks!

1 comment:

  1. Natalie, you DO have GREAT parents, who did their best to teach you, love you and to set a good example for you. You are SO blessed to have this amazing opportunity! I wish I could come see you there!
    I love you SO very much. Belated Happy Valentine's Day!! Grandma F