Saturday, April 30, 2011
I'm Here!! Jerusalem is amazing!!
We arrived in Jerusalem after a long long day of traveling! Everything went as planned with my group of travelers. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. This experience outweighs all of they expectations I ever had. The people, the city, the Jerusalem center, the professors, and the chance I have to share my talents. Seriously, all this put together make one incredible experience!! After just the first flight I felt so close to everyone I was with. Everyone here is so outgoing. I feel shy here, and I have never felt shy in other social settings, haha. They are so well-rounded, talented, smart, and happy. I haven't met a bad one in the bunch.
I have felt the love of my savior so strong this past couple days.
Experience #1: During our first orientation meeting we met in the big auditorium where we have sacrament meeting every Saturday. The curtains were closed. The organ started playing and they opened the curtains to the windows that look right over the whole city and the dome of the rock. I can't describe the feeling I felt. Something told me. . "Do you know how lucky you are? Do you know how much I love you? I sent you to this place to learn something and because I love you. Don't take advantage of it." I never really knew what I was getting my self in to. But I am so excited that the Lord gave me this opportunity to learn more about his life and to feel his love for me.
Experience #2: So today was the Sabbath for us. We had church at 10 in the morning and choir practice before at 9. It was awesome what we could put together a prelude song in just a short time. So we sang right before the meeting and we had a full meeting, there was a big Mormon tour that was passing through. So we took the sacrament looking over the exact city in which the Atonement happened. Wow!!
Also, today I was given a calling. I am the new YOUNG WOMEN''s TEACHER!! There are 5 Young Women in this branch and there are only 13 in the whole country of Israel. So we are so lucky!! The Young Women are so amazing!! They are all from the US but here with there parents for work. 3 of them live right here in the center. They are so knowledgable and know the gospel really well. I am learning so much from them. There is a President of YW that we work with, her name is Sister Bentley from California. Shelby - another studentd, and I will be teaching every other week. I am so excited!! I have always wanted to work in Young Womens.
But the best part about this whole experience on the Sabbath was the blessings that Brother Muhlstein gave me when he set me apart after church. He doesn't even know me well at all, but I feel so much love coming from him. He is one of my professors but also in the Branch Presidency. In the blessing while he set me apart. He blessed me that I would love these girls like the savior does. He also told me that the Savior had a perfect love for me, that his love is overflowing and something that I cannot even imagine. He told that I am doing what the Lord wants me to be doing right now, and that my sins are forgiven me. I was shocked at the words he said!! I have never had such a personal and loving blessing while being set apart. Afterwards he thanked me for the willingness to serve and told me that this calling would change my whole experience here at the center. I know it will!! I felt so good after that blessing.
After church we went on a walk to visit the Garden of Gethsemene. I can't believe that I was standing in the spot where Jesus suffered for my every sin. The big gnarly olive trees were exactly as I had expected. It was really cool. Then we walked into the big church right next to it and there were holding a big Catholic mass in Spanish so I was able to understand a little bit and talk to some people from Spain. My day was complete!! I ended with a little Atonement and some good ol' Espanol!!
P.S. I also found out today that they might be able to get a harp for me to play. Across the street is the Hebrew University and I guess we can rent instruments from there. I hope that can happen because I would absolutely love to play in this beautiful auditorium looking over the whole city of Jerusalem.
Tomorrow we start all of our real classes, they are going to be intense!!
Love you all!