Saturday, March 3, 2012

Leap Day, Snow, and Turkey

Hello all!!!

I get to leave for Turkey in an hour and a half and I am SOOOOOO excited! Finals are all done for most of my classes so the rest of this semester will be devoted to learning about Jesus Christ and having a BLAST. :) What could be better than that?

So this week has been full of exciting twists and turns. Most of my time was devoted to studying but that was fine because the weather was really not the best outside. Speaking of, it totally SNOWED March 2! It snows about every 3 to 4 years here so it was really pretty neat to see it.

Okay, here is a quick story of something that I did this week. It all happened on February 29... :)

Today has been such an incredible day!!! To start it off, we had our last class of Old Testament (which wasn’t the incredible part – I will actually really miss that class) and we ended it by singing “Hope of Israel” because Brother Harper told us we were the Hope of Israel. It was really quite emotional singing it to him – I have honestly learned more from him than I think I have ever learned from any teacher before. Now I can actually READ the scriptures, understand the Old Testament (including a little bit of Isaiah), understanding how to read more critically, and writing better. It will be sad not to have him as a teacher but luckily I will see him around a lot.

This afternoon I was getting ready to go study when SarahBeth stopped me to ask if I wanted to go with them to a Palestinian home. Well… I had so much to study today for finals but I decided to go anyway. Oh my goodness… am I glad that I did go! We were immediately welcomed in such a friendly manner and greeted with those side cheek kisses. The little girl who wanted SarahBeth and Sarah to come over is 11 years old and her name is R…… Her mother is short, which is how the other children are as well, and her name is M ….. We met the other daughters (age 13) and (age ). It was just amazing how kind and generous they were! They immediately brought out some drinks (white grape fruit juice) and offered nuts, raisins, and other goods. Then R… left briefly to bring us some “charms” to remember her by – it turns out these charms were beautiful braclets, earrings, and rings that M… made herself. She kept telling us to take whatever we want saying “Anything you want – you can have!” She also offered us a plate full of fruit and kept telling us “we like to eat!” Oh my goodness! I loved it so much! Then they brought out a gelatin dessert with fruit in it – she told us she wanted to make cakes but didn’t have time. Their generosity is something I need to learn.

Here are some things about the family: The father is injured and cannot work so M… works two jobs to pay for the family. She said they don’t have very much but it what they need to get by in life and their children understand. M… doesn’t know much English so communication was a little rough but she still chatted happily with us and translated for her children. The girls love Justin Beiber, Rihanna, Cascada, and Celine Dion so we need to bring music next time to listen to them. OH!!! I am going to COOK with them sometime! M… asked me to teach her how to bake some sweets in return for her teaching me – and she wants to feed us dinner sometime soon too!

When we left, they were all sad and want us to come back again. It was absolutely amazing!!! I can NOT wait to go back and become friends with them. I will have to think of something nice to give them in return for their hospitality. :)

*Names are not given due to privacy.

On a sad note, our dear friend Sterling had to leave us on Friday. It was really quite sad to say goodbye because he was such a fantastic person and wonderful friend. Our reunion will be so sweet when we all come back home. :)

ANYWAY, I need to finish getting ready to go. Hopefully I will have lots to update on when I am back from Turkey. :)

I love you!!

Sterling and I! Notice the snow and the Done of the Rock in the background.

You know cake balls? This is something kind of like it with an Arabic twist. There is also some kind of nut in the center. I think it might be hazel nut

Really funny signs... :)
At the the David Museum (this is basically a castle for the kings in Jerusalem) - Emilie and I :)

Some spinach and onion stuffed bread. There are tons of different flavor and stuffing types in the city. And it's only 7 shekels!