Sunday, June 7, 2009

Three Days in Tiberius

We left Jerusalem and traveled north to Tiberius that lies on the Sea of Galilee. Many miracles were performed here including the the loaves and the fishes and the Mount of Beatitudes looks out over Galilee. We have enjoyed the slower pace here since we have been on a tight schedule up until now. We are staying in the Ron Beach Hotel right on the sea. The church owns a building that houses the branch here in Tiberius. Dean and Susan Madsen who are from North Logan are a service couple under the direction of the BYU Jerusalem Center. Dean is serving as the branch president. They can't do proselyting of any kind. We attended a school graduation in Nazareth where Dean led an ensemble of Jr High age kids since Dean's background is in music.
A highlight of Tiberius was the opportunity to attend sacrament meeting in the very small branch of about 20 people. The chapel looks out over Galilee so partaking of the sacrament with that in the background will be one of those unforgettable moments.

Three Days In Tiberias...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Five Days in Jerusalem

Well, we have tried to download photos or video but have had no luck on the motel computers.
But, we have spent 5 full days in the city of Jerusalem, literally walking the streets that Jesus walked. We have had a fantastic guide in Jim Kearl, Laura Larsen's brother. He's the director for the Jerusalem Center so has been coming here for 20+ years. It's been a real treat for us. We visited the Western wall (wailing wall) a couple of times and the last time we actually walked right up to the wall and were amazed at what goes on at that spot with the Jews, we walked through Hezekiah's tunnel with water up to our knees, we visited the City of David, we walked the Via Delorosa, we spent a peaceful morning on the temple mount where the new temple will be built, we visited the garden tomb and read from the scriptures, we visited the dome of the rock, we went to Orson Hyde's memorial park, we went to the garden of gethsemane. We have seen more rock and stone than you can ever imagine since there have been cities built upon cities after their destruction. We've seen numerous temples, mosques or cathedrals our favorite being a Catholic one that was simple in design but because of the acoustics you can sing a full chord.
We visited Masada today which is an amazing feat - a fortress on a hill built by Herod.
It's been very hot in the day but then it cools off at night and feels quite good.
We ended today by going to Yad Vashem which is the holocast museum and what an experience to visit something like that right here in Israel. Very sobering.
We are all having the time of our lives but are getting a little weary.
To be continued . . . . . .

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Well, here we are again - we have arrived in Amman, Jordand and are staying at a beautiful hotel where we are feeling very underdressed. Oh Well!
We spent today visiting Mt Nebo where Moses was given the chance to look over the promised land (Duet. 34) and then to Jerash that is a restored Roman city dating back to 300 bc to 600 ad (approximately) Unbelievable again. We are getting more into the biblical sites so it is becoming so interesting.
Our guide, Raed, is very vocal and expressed a desire to know why we don't have prophets today and why Christ didn't appear to any other country. Well, he didn't know what he was getting into. They didn't realize the caliber of men we are with so they taught him the gospel and he just aborbed every word and kept asking about the book. He can't wait to read it.
Tonight he told us that he can feel the peace that we have and he wants someday to be like us. I'm sure we'll keep in contact with him. Neat experience. He is a Christian here in Jordan.
Tomorrow we're on to Jerusalem and we can't wait for the experiences that await us there.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Well I guess you've noticed that there isn't anything on our blog since we couldn't get on it at one of the hotels internet and the one we are at now is has ancient computers so we're not sure we can here either but We'll try.We are have a great time. Fun people to be with. We spent all day today at Petra which is one of the seven wonders of the world. It's an ancient civilations that carved their homes and tombs and monestary into the rocks and it is unbelievable. It really can't be explained. A acouple of minutes of Indiana Jones was filmed here. We are in Jordan now. WE are staying in a five star hotel but it's kindof like a themed hotel because we are actually staying in a cave but a nice one. Egypt was something else, not my favorite since it reminded me at times of Haiti, very third or fourth world country stuff be we saw some amazing things including the pyramids which is another one of the 7 wonder of the world.We have one more day in Jordan - we are going to Mount Nebo and Jerash then the next day on into Jerusalem. It's been fabulous and haven't had too bad of a time with jet lag although everyone but the Larsens have had some stomach issues for a day or so but nothing serious. We have ridden donkeys, horses and camels all in just 3 days. The hike into Petra is a long one and then some of us then took an extra hike that was 1000 steps up the mountain to see the monastery. . Temps in Egypt were extremely hot around 100 but here in Jordan and hopefully in Jerursalem they won't be as bad - maybe in the 80's.Well, that's about all for now. We'll try out blog - as we've given the blog address to alot of people so they'll be disappointed.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Well, we're just 10 days away from leaving. I've seen several members of our group out walking preparing themselves physically for the trip and assignments have been made for devotionals and insights into the different locations we'll be visiting. Discussion about packing our carry-on bags is still on-going, all of us hoping we'll be able to fit everything in including the "hat". Our doctor of the group, Ryan Larsen, made sure we're all supplied with any perscriptions or other medications that we might need in case of an illness or inability to sleep. So we should be well-prepared. One more meeting this sunday evening to finalize the plan for getting to the airport on Friday, May 22nd.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pre-Israel Get Together 4/19/09

Back Row, left to right: Jerry Wilson, Karen Haslem, Bruce Haslem, Lynne Pettit, Lynette Pettit, Ryan Larsen
Front: Kathy Wilson, Rex Wade & Laura Larsen