Friday, June 20, 2008

Hurrah for Israel!!!

The bag is packed. (Yes one suitcase. And its the small one. I'm good like that.) And I am ready to go. The adventure starts tonight at midnight. I'll have about 12 hours in New York to mess around and then we're off to the Near East and Africa.

I don't plan on blogging for the next two weeks however if you want a day to day update there are some people who will be keeping a blog of our travels. Linked here Sand'N Seas.

Ate Mais

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Returning to my roots.

Three days until departure. To pass the time I've been doing a lot studying. In some of the information the tour has given us it mentions that everyone can trace their ancestry back to Egypt and Israel. Which seem absolutely logical, but I have found that my link to the Holy Land goes back only a few generations.

I've been reading a book that that my aunt gave my dad for Christmas and my dad passed on to me called Holy Land; A history of the Latter-day Saints in the Near East. (LaMar C. Berrett, Blair G. Van Dyke) This is an interesting book. Even at the early stages of the church gathering Israel in this part of the country was a priority.

In October 24, 1941 Orson Hyde was the first to dedicate the Holy Land. The Holy Land was dedicated 10 other times. All by apostles except for the fifth time. That rededication was performed by Ferdinand Hintze, under the direction of Elder Lund of the Quorum of the Twelve. And I have the privilege of calling him great, great grandpa.

I knew some of the history of my grandfather from family histories that have been passed down through the generations. However there is a whole lot I didn't know that I am learning from this book. I knew that he was born in Denmark. Came to Utah as a boy and settled in Holladay. He had four wives. I am from the third wife. I knew that he served many missions and that he translated the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants into Turkish.

I didn't know that he was the third missionary to go to the Turkish mission. He also became the first mission president of that mission, which at the time was part of the Ottoman Empire and included the Holy Lands. He assisted in establishing several branches throughout the area. He introduced the gospel to the Armenian people and is known as the father of the Turkish and Armenian missionary effort. He proposed that a Mormon colony be set up in the Near East as a place for the persecuted saints to settle. He was called on a second mission to Turkey (1987). In 1898 he was called and sustained as pastor of the Turkish mission. (Similar to to a bishop and district president.) As pastor, on May 8, 1898,"he was invited by Elder Lund (apostle) to act as a voice in a prayer of dedication on the Mount of Olives. This act alone is significant, since such prayers are usually reserved for apostolic witnesses." (129) He dedicated the land of Israel "for the return of Judah and the house of Israel." (134) The next day he preformed the first latter-day baptism in Jerusalem.

This all may seem insignificant, because its not as if the church is huge in those areas. However it is the effort of those early missionaries that opened the door for the church's existence there today. (349)

Learning all these things about my Gr Gr Gpa made this trip a little more meaningful to me. Not only am I going to the Holy Lands where Christ lived (which is huge, I know) but I am also going to a place where my great, great grandfather served as a missionary and worked to build Christ's kingdom once more in this land. The book mentions several times that he was a great man and he had strong convictions about the work he was doing. He loved the people and worked hard to bring them the truth. It not only gives me something to be proud of, but to live up to.
(Pict of my gr gr gpa and my gr gpa, Henry, right before he left on a mission to Denmark.Gpa Henry was also amazing.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sweet...Lets go

We just had a pre-tour meeting and I am so excited to go. I even pulled out my suitcase. I haven't started packing but I started throwing in odds and ends in. It was fun to meet people in the group and Brother Gunnerson who is the tour director. Here are some cool things that I learned.

  • A camel ride up Mt Sanai is only 10 dollars.
  • Scuba diving at Eliat is 25 dollars.
  • Alabaster is a type of rock.
  • Most vendors and merchants accept American dollars, which will make shopping and bartering easier.
  • You can drown in the Dead Sea if start out facing the wrong way.
  • Did you know that shouldn't drink the water in Egypt? Ok maybe that one is a bit obvious.
I am really ready to go. A couple of the members have started a blog which they will update as we go. I will post it before we go.

I've heard a complaint that I don't update my blog enough, something I will try to do better at.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I've been a slacker when it comes to blogging. Unfortunately the ideas have not been coming. But here are some things that have been going on.
  • UMMM...UMMMM Ok not much.
  • I had a fun birthday. Thank you to everyone who came to the movie. It was great to have you there. It was a pretty good show. However it took me a little while to become friends with some of the Narnia characters. I didn't love them right off like I did in the first one.
  • I'm going to be an aunt. I've known for a little while, and I've told a few people. But I haven't been able to make it public until Cori and Jake made the official announcement. Due on Halloween. (Trick or Treat) And today we found out that it is a boy. Which is amazing. Boys are a rarity in my family. Including extended family. Congrats to them.
  • We had an awesome ward activity last week. A cultural night. Everybody brought a piece of the world they had been to and shared it with us. It was great and there was a lot of food.
  • This the final week of school. (Yahoo!!) Which also means the countdown to Egypt and Isreal has begun. I've been doing lots of reading, most of which I might not remember when we get there but it will still be the adventure of a life time.
  • Last week Caleb and I rode our bikes to work/school. 9.4 miles. It was a good ride and Caleb did a great job. On the way home I thought it would be fun to take the Jordan Parkway Route. Come to find out it doesn't go all the way from 123rd to 106th and we had to turn around and go back to 123rd and just go the normal way.
  • I have been "fuming" (hehe) about the drastic, constant rise in gasoine prices the last few weeks. I've started biking or walking whenever possible. Which I don't mind doing most of the time. It just makes me mad though. We can change our driving habits, however our whole lifestyle is still affected by it since the rise causes the prices of everything else in this world to go up!!!! Except for my salary!!! Grrrr! (Tears)(sigh) Remember those days when a cheap enjoyable Sunday activity was a drive through the canyon. They are just a memory now. Unless you are on your bike. Not a bad idea.

okay that's enough rambling for now but don't worry there is more where that came from.