Saturday, March 21, 2009

I am sitting outside the Jerusalem Center right now on the grassy area located on the 7th floor taking pictures of the beautiful flowers and writing in my journal. It is the first day of spring here in Jerusalem as well as the Palestinians Mother's Day so it's a special day. The flowers are blooming and it is perfect weather outside so life is wonderful! We had the most amazing sacrament meeting today with marvelous messages shared about trials, the resurrection, and the keys of the gospel. The Spirit was so powerful as it manifested to me of the truthfulness of the things that were being said. What made the meeting the most incredible Shabbat here thus far was the FOUR musical numbers which were all so awesome! The BYU Student Choir, in which practically everyone is a part of here, sang "This is the Christ" for prelude and "My Kindness Shall Not Depart From Thee" which is about Joseph Smith when he was imprisoned in Liberty Jail. We basically sing every Shabbat which is wonderful but I love hearing other people share their talents too. Aleni, an amazing pianist, played a gorgeous piano arrangement of "I Stand All Amazed" which I might just have to get from her. The final musical number of the meeting was a 6 person duet of all girls singing "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" in which I accompanied on the piano. I don't want to be biased or anything but I believe it was a perfect way to tie together all the talks and other music shared. I am so grateful for the influence of music in my life and thank you parents for pushing me through those horrible years in junior high when I absolutely HATED anything that related to the piano in any way, shape, and form. I am so glad you forced me to continue lessons until I graduated high school since it did provide much income for me all four years of high school. Music is such a wonderful blessing in my life and can be an extremely powerful witness in all aspects of the gospel. I am so happy to be living here in the Holy Land and experience life outside of America. These past two weeks since being home from Jordan have been way busy with midterms and finals in all of my classes. I am officially done with Old Testament class and my Old Testament Field Trip course (which is seriously a graded class), Arabic, and my Israeli and Palestinian Modern Near East classes. Although it is sad to not interact with my teachers who actually live here and learn first hand from them about the constant conflict in this sacred land, it is a great relief to only have two classes to worry about now until my time is finished here. I have learned so much on my journey here and have been introduced to different perspectives of life in the Middle East that I would never understand unless I was witnessing it with my own eyes. I know I say this a lot but I truly feel privileged to be a part of this incredible program and learn about the life and ministry of my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

4 comments:

Jennie Lockhart said...

I love how the grass has flowers growing in it! It's really pretty. That's a great picture with you sitting in the grass with the city in the background.

Victoria said...

It is spring here, too, and that field at the end of Antonio Parkway...you know the one... is full of yellow flowers. It was warm here for a couple of days, and now it is back to gray, foggy and in the 50s, so it doesn't exactly feel like spring...but you have inspired me. This week, when the sun finally shines again, I'm going to go take some pictures!

Brooke and Aaron said...

So were they like block classes? Is that why they ended early? That's nice to get some weight lifted off your shoulders. I, also, love the picture of you on the grass with the city behind you. Emma loved your dress in the picture. She said it is a "fancy dress" and now she's asking for a fancy dress like Breana.

Mom said...

Yep...I remember those fun (not!) years of struggling to keep you interested in the piano. Fortunately we'd been through that already with Brooke & Kyle! We were ready for the "attitude" from you too! I know how much music has & continues to bless your life & bring the Spirit closer to you. Nothing can compare to music!

Beautiful pictures & beautiful girl! Fun to see you relaxed post finals week! Burn those papers from the classes you're done with! Yipee!!!!