Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This week and last

Dear friends and family,
Well it has been hard for me to get around to doing this. Sorry about that. I write so many emails every day telling people what I'm doing, its hard to find time to do this also to remember what I have and haven't told people. So here goes.
First of all, if you want to see pictures of my trip, go to picasaweb.google.com/brooklynroeller and you can see them. I'm still trying to figure out if I can put a link on here or somehow connect the two websites. We'll see, I don't know if I am that computer savvy yet.
Well, two Shabbats ago we went to the Garden of Gethsemane. It was so amazing. We got to go into this part that was locked off and that most tourists don't get to go to. But at a lot of places, they really like the "Mormon kids" or the "BYU kids" and they let us do stuff that they don't let a lot of people do. So that's pretty cool.
Last week we went on a field trip around Jerusalem. We went to various places around the city so that we could get a feel for the geography here. It was so cool. I got to see the Judean Wilderness, the Dead Sea, Bethlehem, ect. It was sweet. I think my favorite place was Augusta Victoria. They had this huge tower that we had to climb up like 126 stairs or something like that. Anyways that's where I saw the Dead Sea and the Judean Wilderness. So that was pretty cool, cuz we could pretty much see everything. But the best part was that we went down and saw the chapel of it, and the acoustics in there were amazing. And they let us sing for like 15 minutes. It was amazing. I would love to perform in a place like that. Maybe one day I will be able to. Like in the Second Coming or something....haha
Anyways, this last Shabbat we went to the Garden Tomb. I guess that I was wrong about how many of the Brethren said that it's not the place, I guess a lot of them say it is. So we got to see it and also Golgotha. It was definitely not as I imagined it. But then again nothing here is how I thought it would be. But it was so cool. Unlike the Garden of Gethsemane, somehow they managed to get rid of all the sounds of the city, and the Garden Tomb is in a much busier place than Gethsemane. I don't know how they did it but it was amazing. Here we also sat down and a whole bunch of us just sang hymns. It was really cool. I love it here. I never want to leave. It seems like we have been here for an eternity but it has only been like 2 weeks now. The first week seemed to take forever, but now time is starting to fly by. I don't want it to go fast.
Well, I am going to Egypt next week!! I leave on Sunday, and I can't wait!! I guess there is a shop on the way there that sells papyrus, and they have all the facsimiles from the Pearl of Great Price on papyrus so we can buy them. We all laughed when we heard but then most of us realized that we were probably going to get them. Haha I don't think I'll get one because I am cheap and I think I'd rather get something else on papyrus than that. But its ok. I will be different from everyone else. Speaking of everyone else, the people here are amazing. We really have such a good group, and we all get along and fit in with each other. I love it. Granted, there are a few weird people, but nothing I can't handle, and I saw it coming, because, I mean, this is BYU we're talking about. They're kinda hard to avoid. Anyways I probably won't post another blog until after Egypt, but I will tell all y'all about it. Love ya!

Friday, September 7, 2007

We made it!

Well, here we are in the Holy Land! The time change for me is about 10 hours, so it's taken some getting used to. But it has been unbelievable. The city is amazing, and everything that goes on here blows my mind. For example today we went down to the "wailing" (more correctly known as the "western") wall. This was for the start of Shabbat, or the Sabbath for the Jews. I have never seen anything like it. They were all reading their scriptures and then they would go up to the wall and put their hands, or sometimes their head, whatever struck them mostly, on the wall, and they would pray. People were there for varying amounts of time, some for 5 minutes, and some were there before I got there and were still there when we were leaving. If they weren't praying or reading, most were standing near the back singing and dancing. It was so cool. We are going to go to the Garden Tomb tomorrow after church and I really can't wait. It's going to be super cool, even though they have told us that most of the brethren don't believe that it is actually where the tomb is. But its ok because its a place set aside for worship and contemplation and to feel closer to God, which is pretty much what I'm looking for here. The school work is hard. I was supposed to do homework today, but I'll admit that I read Harry Potter instead. I read like some 12 chapters today I think, I've only got 10 ish chapters left until I finish the book, but I need to finish my homework too! It's so boring--I made myself sit down and do some before I could read again, and I fell asleep it was so bad. But hopefully I will be able to catch up with everyone again and be able to have fun without feeling guilty about not doing my homework. I'm going to have to learn how to study too, something that I have never really been particularly good at. I need a living room couch to do it on, because my bed is just too inviting to sleep in. There are a few lounge type places on most floors, I just have to get up the initiative to get all my stuff together and go out there.
Well, not too much has happened this week, hopefully by next week I'll have some better stuff to tell you all. For now I get to go wrestle the ants out of my bed and try to convince them that they don't belong there. After 2 nights of dealing with them, I think I'm going to tell like one of the staff here if they have some way of helping me get rid of them, because I am definitely sick of them, no doubt. Anyways, I'll talk to you all later.