July 07, 2015

I have to admit I feel kind of intimidated by the thought of writing about our trip to Israel. But I do want to remember as much as I can and this is the best way to do it, so here we go!

FRIDAY: We landed in Tel Aviv on Friday evening and everyone piled onto our big charter bus. I so wish I had taken a picture with our awesome bus driver. He was basically part of the family while we were there - he went on the whole trip with us! From Tel Aviv, we rode to Jerusalem with Grandpa David on the mic pointing out every interesting thing we passed along the way. That night we ate dinner at our incredible hotel and juuust about jumped out of our seats when we heard the Ramadan cannon go off. hahaha. We were all unprepared for it and hearing a huge BOOM right outside the window on your first night in Israel is not exactly comforting. Of course once we realized what it was, we were all relieved and happy for our Muslim friends who could now eat - including our trusty bus driver! After dinner we made our way through the Old City to the Western/Wailing Wall. The Western Wall is the holiest site in Judaism, and we saw tons of faithful Jews there praying. We all went up and wrote our own short prayers to fold up and stick into the wall, and I felt the Spirit so strongly. Sitting in front of the wall that night I really felt God's love for everyone in that city - no matter how they all may feel about each other. Because it was so close to the Sabbath, we weren't allowed to take any pictures at the wall that night, but I included one we took another day down below.

SATURDAY: Our first full day in Jerusalem was Saturday - the Sabbath! We went to church at the BYU Jerusalem Center, which.. was incredible. Before we left on this trip I told Stefan that was one of the places I was most excited to see. So many people I love have spent a lot of time there, and it's a total miracle that it even exists! The center did not let me down. It was beautiful and peaceful and I feel so blessed I was able to attend church there. The view out the window behind the pulpit was only a little distracting.. Luckily we were able to go back the next day for a full tour and more pictures. After church we headed to this beautiful look out point for some family pictures, which I stole from Stefan's uncle. On the way to our picnic lunch we passed the house where Stefan's mom grew up! All the siblings had fun taking over the microphone and sharing some childhood memories. Also I loved this sequence of Stefan trying to give his niece a kiss, so I had to include all the shots. She was not having it. Haha. Then after lunch Grandpa David took us on a walking tour of the Old City.

^^^ The whole family! Only missing four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

^^^ Male Jews praying at the Western Wall. Everyone's heads are covered and no one turns their back to the wall.

^^^ Damascus Gate - such a short walk from our hotel. This was our entrance to the Old City.

SUNDAY: The next day was packed! First we visited a really powerful Holocaust Museum. They didn't allow pictures inside, but we had to remember it somehow so we took some pictures of the view that met us outside the doors at the end of the tour. After the museum we stopped by a place that had replicas of the Dead Seas Scrolls as well as a model of Jerusalem. I had to sneak a picture of Grandpa David in his element, explaining everything into his wireless mic so we could all hear him on our headsets. Later in the day we made it back to the Jerusalem Center for a tour, then rushed over to Hezekiah's Tunnel. I was not about to try to bring a camera in that tunnel, but here's a link to a video that tells you all about it! It gets pretty narrow at parts and the whole thing is pitch black, so bring a flashlight! The ceiling was low enough at one point when I had fallen far behind anyone with a light that I totally whacked my forehead on the rock.

^^^ The funniest statue on top of the place where Kevin bought us all ice cream. Thanks, Kevin!

^^^ bebes bebes bebes bebes bebes.

^^^ Beautiful view out one of the windows at the BYU Jerusalem Center.

^^^ Ignore the wind, can't fight the wind.

^^^ So happy to be there with the people who helped start it all! So lucky to have them as our tour guides for this trip. 

1 comment :

The Van De Graaffs said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love this post! And love that picture of you and Jimmy. He loves you!

Post a Comment