Hello everyone! I am excited to be updating you all on my life here in the Holy Land. I am loving my experience thus far, and I wouldn't trade being here for almost anything! This past week hasn't been super exciting with trying to get back into classes and studying, so rather than giving you all a day-by-day rundown of my life, I'm just going to elaborate on the highlights.
Last Sunday, May 23 was a fun day. We took a field trip to a place that is like living in Bible times. We did activities that they would have done back then such as herd sheep,
fetch water from a well, and make our own unleavened bread (if anyone wants me to show them how to make the bread when I get back let me know! It's actually really good, especially with honey).
It was actually a pretty fun day overall, but I am definitely grateful that I live when I do. We are blessed with so much technology in this age, and for that I am grateful. I wouldn't be able to live like they did back then. I am very impressed with them and all of the hard manual work they did.
This past week we also had a 3-day, double-elimination volleyball tournament. My team didn't win, but it was fun to play a team sport and get to know a different side of the students here. I definitely miss playing team sports, but it was good to get out and play again. I also refereed some of the games which was a new adventure for me, but I actually did pretty well. I kept the score straight which is basically all that's necessary right? :) Anyways, it was way fun.
I was also able to go back out into the city after being in Egypt for a week which was great. I bought another nativity and a pair of sandals. I love how I said that I wasn't going to buy anything until like July because I wanted to have time to think about my options and make good decisions. But ya, I've bought almost everything that I want already. Great... Haha. Who would have ever known that I loved shopping so much?
But the best thing I did this week was very unexpected. Last Wednesday, May 26 was a weird day. A lot of things just didn't feel quite right, and that was manifesting itself in many different areas of my life. I called my mom that night to just talk and check in with her. When she asked me how I was really doing, I just started tearing up and got all emotional. Now, I am not an emotional person usually. I don't cry very often, so this was weird for me. It was especially weird because I really am completely loving my time here, and I felt completely fine until she asked me how I was doing. Anyways, we talked about why I was feeling a little off, and the call ended on a good note. That night the Center was also hosting a concert by the University of Utah Singers which is a 48-person audition choir. I hadn't planned on going because we had been told that pretty much all of the tickets were sold out. Immediately after hanging up the phone from talking to my mom, I went upstairs to study, and I was told that there were plenty of seats for the concert if I was interested. I decided that I didn't really need to study, and I took the opportunity to hear a great choir. From the very first note they sang, I had chills running throughout my entire body, and this lasted the entire concert! Their music was so comforting, and it brought me so much peace about my situation and my feelings. This experience taught me three things:
First, I learned (again) of the power of music. I have always had a special place in my heart for music (especially singing), and I again felt the power and peace that it can bring into a life. When I get back to Utah I want to join a choir again (if I miraculously find the time) so that I can bring that feeling to other people.
Second, I learned (again) that Heavenly Father is completely aware of us and our situations, and he blesses us with numberless tender mercies. I hadn't even really prayed to my Heavenly Father about my homesick feelings because they were only for a moment, and Heavenly Father still blessed me with exactly what I needed. He didn't even need me to tell Him specifically what I was going through and He knew. He not only knew, but he also blessed me with His mercies. I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who knows me well enough to know what I need exactly when I need it - and I didn't even know that! I am always amazed and how Omnipotent our Father is. It still boggles my mind.
Third, I learned that (again) that Heavenly Father usually meets our needs through other people. I got what I needed through those who were willing to share their talents. I want to be an instrument in God's hands so that I can fill someone else's needs.
I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to go to that concert, and I thank my Heavenly Father everyday for the tender mercies that He constantly blesses me with. I want you all to know that I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who loves us and always knows what we need when we need it. I have learned that lesson many times over while I've been here. I am so grateful for Him and His care and concern for my life.
Anyways, most of this week was spent in preparation for midterms which are this week, so other than this not much happened. I will let you all know how my midterms go, and if you every think about or pray for me just pray that I can do well on my tests this coming week. :) Loves!