Wednesday, February 25, 2009

one hundred and one

My 101st post (huzzah!) is no witty blog post or exciting picture, but rather, a short update.

Today was quite possibly the best day I have had in Jerusalem (since my family left in early January). I can't even begin to describe it. Suffice it to say, I had the best falafel of my life, climbed on the rooftops of Jerusalem, got invited into an Armenian home, saw Oscar Schindler's grave, and played the Jerusalem Center organ. And that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

24 Feb

These are my three favorite pictures from today.

(Now I finally understand why Katie has been raving about gelato all this time. :)

Monday, February 23, 2009


I have a paper due tomorrow in my Old Testament class.

We were assigned to choose a “one line sermon” from the Bible and expound on it.

The one liner could be from any phrase or sentence we have come across and has made an impact on us throughout our study of the Biblical text.

What a fun assignment!

Somehow I’ve managed getting this far in my BYU career without having to write a religion paper, so this is actually my first one ever.

Anyway, I never realized how many great one-line sermons there are in the Old Testament.


Just a few words can say so much and be so powerful if we let them.

Kim has kept an ever-growing list of the good one-liners she has found as she’s read, and it is pretty impressive.

In fact, the other day she made the comment that they are perfect preparation – you just keep a list of the one-liners in your scriptures and if you are ever asked to give a talk on the spot, no prob!

Just pull out a one-liner and you have a great springboard for an impromptu talk.

(She’s a wise one, she is.)

Here are three of my personal favorites.

“Certainly I will be with thee” (Ex. 3:12) [The Lord to Moses]

“Every one which sought the Lord went out unto the tabernacle” (Ex 33:7) [children of Israel in wilderness]

“All the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman” (Ruth 3:11) [Boaz to Ruth]

Do you have any favorite one-liners?

If you don't have any, or even if you do, try writing down the ones you come across.

It'll be worth it.

Plus, who knows - your bishop could always pull a fast one on you ...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I walked today where Jesus walked!

(Okay, so actually it was a few days ago, but I didn't get around to posting until today. :)

Here are Heather, Kim and me standing on the remnants of what's left of the ancient Roman road going from the Mount of Olives down into the Kidron Valley and up to the Temple Mount. Jesus probably would have walked on this road.

Wow. Soooooo cool.

As cool as it is, however, it's really not that cool, in the sense that in reality it doesn't guarantee anything. I am reminded of a talk given by John Tanner (thanks to Mom for giving it to me). In it, he says,

As I sit on these ancient steps, hallowed by the feet of the Master during the climatic moments of his ministry, I am reminded of a lesson I relearn every time I come to Israel. It is not enough, nor is it even essential, to walk where Jesus walked—whether on these steps, or the Via Dolorosa, or the shores of Galilee. Many Christians have lived and died without making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and yet have entered into the Heavenly Jerusalem to dwell with God forever. More important than walking where Jesus walked is walking as Jesus walked. This can be done anywhere. Indeed it must be done everywhere. Every disciple must heed the same call Peter heeded, which echoes still from the ancient shores of Galilee across the miles and down the centuries to each of us: “Come follow me.”

Friday, February 20, 2009

pitas, violas, and more

Things I've learned the past few days:

#1. I can play the viola! Or, at least, play the viola part by transposing it and playing it an octave or two higher than originally written anyway. I'd say I complete that string quartet like none other. :) I don't stick out any, do I? In any case, it makes me appreciate all those times when I do (did) get the melody playing first violin...

2. Don't ever let a Palestinian woman cut your hair.
(read here for Heather's hilarious discription and more pictures)

3. Good news: I can do my hair curly! And I will admit, it is nice not to be busting out the flat iron every day.

4. Pita Factory: How pitas are made.

5. Never give money to one Bedouin child.

6. Sisters are the best.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

welcome to jerusalem!

Some parts of Israel are pretty desolate. Obviously. The few trees/greenery you can see in the picture is what is called the Wadi Kelt. (A wadi is a dry river bed.) Scholars presume this was the route the Savior would have been talking about when He taught the parable of the Good Samaritan and the man going from Jerusalem down to Jericho (it's literally down - a good 3000 foot drop).

fun sign

So on any roadside in the States you wouldn't be surprised to find random pieces of garbage, stuff that's accidentally flown out the window, old shoes, etc. I saw this black blob on the side of the road and assumed it was an old sock or something (Mom thought it was a black ballet shoe...). Upon a closer look, though ... was a kipa! HA! Welcome to Jerusalem. I was tempted to grab it and keep it as a souveneir, but then I remembered I can buy them for just 5 shekels in the Old Jerusalem shops. So I left it for some poor Jew who could use an extra head covering.

Monday, February 16, 2009


happy birthday cosette :)

how many days until April 25?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

a picture a day keeps the ... paparazzi away (?)

So that title doesn't really make sense - in fact it's a little contradictory - but hey at least it's alliteration, eh. :)
I'm realizing I have so many pictures that if I don't post at least one or two a day, I'll never get to show the majority of them off. Actually, I still won't get to show the majority of them off, but this way I'll be able to brag a little more about this experience I'm having. Take it or leave it. And feel free to leave comments on the ones you like.

love this girl. you can call her H.B. (I do)

love this one too (God Pless)

and this one (of course) - and please note the papyrus sticking out of her bag. We were in Egypt when this picture was taken, after all

Friday, February 13, 2009

a joy beyond measure

The Procedure: Grab a plastic bag, stuff in 4 toothbrushes (pass it on), 1 tube of toothpaste, 2 combs (pass), jam in 2 rolled-up towels (the "towel rollers" develop some nice forearm muscles :) (pass), slide 2 bars of soap in next to the towels. Shove it down the table, grab it and throw it under the sealing machine, stuff 5 completed kits in a box, tape the box, throw it onto the ever-growing stack of boxes.

We assembled humanitarian kits tonight! The Church used to ship big crates of kits over here for distribution, but it got insanely expensive to mail them over (something crazy like $10,000 a crate or thereabouts). So instead of spending all the money on shipping charges, this semester the Church decided to do an experiment. Instead of shipping ready-made humanitarian kits here, someone came up with the idea of purchasing all the products here (that way we can support local companies and boost the economy) and have people in Israel assemble them. Aka...the extremely lucky students at the Jerusalem Center. BOO YA. I almost feel guilty that this service is so easy.

I remember assembling humanitarian kits as a Laurel class and we helped out so much: each person got to make three whole kits. (Then the funding ran out.) Nice to be able to serve, but pretty lame to be honest. This is the first time in my life I've been able to help make hygiene kit after hygiene kit after hygiene kit - and I LOVE it. The best part is - well, there are 2 best parts. First of all, we can make TONS of these hygiene kits! Supplies don't run out after three or ten or even a hundred. And this isn't a one-time thing, but we get to do this at least two times a week for the rest of the semester. You have no idea how happy this makes me. Secondly, we know exactly where these kits are going - to a place just an hour's drive away, where there was a war last month. A place called Gaza. A place where there are 1.5 million people living in an area just twice the size of Washington D.C. Where the average age is a mere 17 years. Where 1300 were killed and 5400 wounded during the conflict with Israel. A place that is war-torn and ravaged with violence, fear, and anger.

I think I could spare a few minutes of my Friday night to help out.

The best part is, while this is such a fun, easy opportunity to serve and help out, we can be serviceable without making hygiene kits. I know each of us can find a way to make a difference for good, regardless of how many humanitarian aid projects you manage to squeeze into your schedule.

Have I done any good in the world today?

There are chances for work all around just now, opportunities right in our way. Do not let them pass by, saying, "Sometime I'll try," but go and do something today!

Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure, a blessing of duty and love.


"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

--Anne Frank

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A few things you may or may not know about me

I love sneezing. Except when it hurts my head.

This is the first semester I have done laundry in a Laundromat in my life.

I love keeping a journal.

I can wiggle my ears.

Homemade popcorn is my favorite.

I like to think I’m a clean, neat, organized person. Then I look at my room.

I think it’s fun to make ugly noises and talk in stupid voices with my sisters. Just deal with it.

I never ever use hand railings (especially metal ones) in public if I can help it. Just think about how many people who never wash their hands have used that railing before you…ew.

I rarely dream.

Writing papers stresses me out. Bother did I learn nothing from Durham’s class??

Rainy days make me happy.

I would love to go skydiving sometime.

I don’t own an ipod. (Someone the other day found that out and told me to get with the program. Ha!)

I went spelunking yesterday and LOVED it. Boo ya. No pictures, though, cause I don’t have a camera case and didn’t want it to get smashed. Never have I been in such tight spaces as I was in Micah’s Cave. Ha, how appropriate in lieu of recent events… Brought back memories of Nutty Putty.

I can inhale my food when the need arises.…which need arises often since I usually allot myself a full two minutes for breakfast. If I’m lucky.

I love the Old Testament. More church members need to study it because it surely is powerful.

I collect rocks. (Fine, this one is a lie.)

I have never fallen asleep in class.

I miss practicing the flute.

I wish I were smarter about things like politics and knowing who is in what position and what so-and-so’s policy is, but I don’t. And I’m not interested in that kind of stuff, or, for that matter, very willing to put in the time and effort that will make it so I can conversely intelligently (ie have opinions) about that kind of thing. At least by the time I get back I’ll know something about Middle Eastern politics…?

Maybe my all-time favorite class I’ve taken at BYU was Human Anatomy.

I’ve saved nearly every nice note that I’ve received from other people over the years. A few of them have made it into a binder I’ve entitled “My Happy Book” (inspired years ago by Danielle). The rest sit patiently, crammed in a couple large manila envelopes, waiting for me to get with the program. And I will someday, because it’s important to me to remember – and preserve - the random acts of kindness by the good people around me in my life.

I don’t think I’ve ever flown a kite.

I have an incredible sense of fulfillment when I am a participant in or at least feel invested in any of the arts. Classical concerts, opera, musicals, art shows and the likes make me feel well-rounded. What’s more important, they touch me – I’d even go so far as to say they complete me - in a way that history and science just can’t. So cool to have season tickets to a professional orchestra someday...when I have money...

I'm going to take a finance class before I graduate.

I'd love to have thick, comfy carpet in my future home. Hardwood may be nice and impressive (and, unfortunately, more practical), but I like my feet to be warm. Plus, it just seems more inviting.

I could eat breakfast food three meals a day and be perfectly happy. :)

Friday, February 06, 2009

micah and mothers

I have a new nephew!

Nieces and nephews are so great. I love all seven of mine to pieces and can't wait to meet little Micah in person.

I love and admire and respect and look up to my four sisters who have started their own little families. One aspect of motherhood I find fascinating is how mothers essentially consecrate their lives by bringing other eternal spirits to earth. What an act of faith as well as a HUGE commitment and responsibility. Thanks to all you mothers out there - especially Mom, Janel, Danielle, Krista, and most recently, Becca - for being such great examples to me, for showing me that even though being a mom is hard, tiring, relentless, and at times frustrating, it is -to put it simply- worth it. Watching my sisters, I realize firsthand that raising a family is probably the most rewarding work I will ever find myself involved in. Sure, I might do a lot of good in the world by helping kids to say their S's properly (if I ever get my degree, that is), or even by serving in the church, but I know it all pales in comparison to the work I will do as a mom. Micah depends entirely on Bec for everything. Everything! And by bringing him into the world, she and Jordan have promised to give him everything he needs. What a responsibility. What a reminder.

I'm glad I'm not the oldest - how else would I survive this life but by copying my siblings?

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Egypt was AWESOME. Too bad so many things just can't be adequately relayed/described, especially through just a few pictures and words. But tonight I'm posting a few photos to a) continue the trend of the picture travelogue blog I've somehow morphed this site into, b) let you all know that yes, I did survive and c) who doesn't want to see my beautiful face? :) Ha ha. I'm not forcing you to follow this blog, so I guess I can do whatever I want.

Just for the record, I took about 672 pictures in 9 days. Plus a few others on Mom and Dad's camera on the day that mine was lost (a miraculous story for another day).

Boo ya!

The picture you've all been waiting for

I think we decided this was pickled eggplant? I tried it, and never will again. Blegh.


I'm obsessed with hieroglyphics. Name that word?

I didn't realize parts of Egypt were so green. Completely 100% due to the Nile.

Abdula, this adorable beyond adorable kid who sold spices in Luxor, Egypt. We're both October babies. :)

Muslim women - they're beautiful!

driving in Cairo. There are supposed to be 3 lanes, I think. Maybe 4. I'm shocked we didn't have a single driving mishap

watching the sunrise on Mt. Sinai

sunset on the Sinai Peninsula

perhaps. but for now, I'm content with drinking water straight out of the tap here in Israel. :)