Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dear Me (Day 68),

My professors are all historians...and geniuses. I found out on Thursday that my New Testament teacher actually specializes in Church History. I never would have guessed. He knows SSSOOOOOO much that I literally don't understand how. After four days straight with him in Jordan, I decided I want to be a little more like Brother Harper when I grow up. He has a passion for study and a natural ability to "be a historian." Brother Harper inspired me this week to do what I love to do: namely history and studying. But today I was kinda thinkin': right now, I'm not so good at the facts-behind-the-Old-Testament kind of history. But what I DO have a passion for is learning about others and about myself, especially when it comes to putting doctrines to the test in my own life. I've only had his class for a week now and I am already learning to question everything and put it BACK into my life in the place it belongs. And I think that's why I love blogging so much: not because anyone in particular reads it, but because I LOVE IT! I love writing and organizing my thoughts. I love recording and then tracing my thoughts. I love remembering back to the times where I learned something new. How else could I see my own growth? How else could I see how far I've come? How else could I remember the wonderful days of Jerusalem?
SO: my post today is a note to self: You have learned so much in your time here in Jerusalem. ALWAYS REMEMBER IT! For example: today you learned that faith in Christ means that you must trust Him. Understand Him. As Brigham Young said:
"I will take the liberty of saying to every man and woman who wishes to obtain salvation through him (the Savior) that looking to him, only, is not enough: they must have faith in his name, character and atonement." 
(See Elder's Bednar's talk: The Character of ChristI will have to do a full post on it later because it's AMAZING!)
If I can remember that, praying and being more like my Redeemer will be much easier. I will work and learn to be more humble BY Him and THROUGH Him and OF Him. Give things a try; they will take time. For now: go LIVE IT!
Hello, future Me. Hope you've grown a lot more since this post. Love, Chloe' 

Today some of my main goals were to blog (finally) and go to a church. Mission accomplished.

St. Peter's Gallicante (commemorating -if you will- Peter's denial)

Reading scriptures on-site has got to be one of my favorite parts of this trip.

The traditional site of Caiaphas' palace and therefore dungeons.

Note to self: WILL incorporate stained glass windows if I ever build my own house. Right, mom?

:) The sign is just too much like Andy. These boys are great.

Byzantine-period replica. Notice the Temple Mount in ruins. Significant.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dear Confliction (Day 58),

I'm tired, yet awake.
I'm glad to be done with Old Testament, but not pleased with my performance on the final today.
I love learning SO much, but I had a sad discussion last night with Hannah and Alicia about the problems within the education system.
I feel like I should be strong and confident, yet I am faced with the weaknesses mortals face.
I'm done with two finals, but have two more to go.
I want to go to the city, but mostly I want to take a nap!

Woa. I just realized I wrote that in chiasmus form. AWESOME! I'm so amateur and yet so excited. I love my life.

Study-time thoughts of the day:
  • "I'm looking for the Book of Mormon in Adamic....Amazon doesn't seem to carry it...." -Ian
  • What happens when Ian, Luke, and Blake get together: 
  • "Woa. GoogleMaps recognizes the State of Israel." -Luke     "Wow. That's more than half the world can say." -Me      "Oh wait.........that's just the '49 Armistice Agreement line."       "Yeah, but STILL...."           O Jerusalem...
  • There should be a "GoogleSites" where I can look up important things to see around where I am. I know, I know: there are sites like that. BUT! None of them can claim social convenience yet. Plus, it would probably take all the fun away from adventure.
  • I walk out of Hebrew class and English doesn't make sense to me anymore....

Things I love:

  • Remembering that last night I lay wake for ten seconds after my head hit the pillow and thought, "Woa. This is ten seconds slower than it normally takes." And then I fell asleep immediately.
  • Going to find the market with 10 people, and within 3 minutes find myself alone with some of my closest friends on the trip. Awesome.
  • Going shopping for clothes, leaving with art and chocolate.
    • Having the store keeper tell me what "REAL Israeli chocolate" is.
  • Entering the botanical garden in search of Irises, winding up at Pinsker's grave.
    • Actually knowing why Pinsker is important to Israeli history.
  • The universal peace of a war cemetery in which the ground is foreign to the citizens buried there. Especially with the tension with said citizens' government and this land only 5 years later. 
  • Being too tired to add to the conversation, but realizing that listening to Luke and Hannah is better than anything you have to say at the moment.
    • Conversations that make you think.
    • Conversations that leave you brain-dead.
      • Realizing I participated in both types today.
  • Playing volleyball for basically the first time since my 7th grade team and absolutely enjoying myself. 
    • Watching the people around me, as competitive as they are, concern themselves with the feelings of fellow players.
  • Feeling strong and yet surprisingly light-and-easy...probably from all the endorphins I just released.
  • This day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 57,

One final down, three to go. We're all trying not to get overwhelmed. :) In order to de-stress we do some funny things:

  • stand on our head. (I have no idea. Ask AJ)
  • talk in funny voices
  • use the self defense moves we learned tonight in Relief Society on the boys
  • walk to the grocery store and get chocolate (it's for the student store. don't worry..........except I totally bought some too. let's be honest.)
    • p.s. thanks to my secret sister who gave me MORE CHOCOLATE!!!!!
  • do laundry
  • write in our journal
  • eat food
  • watch movies
  • play CatchPhrase
    • "It's a band! That sings songs!" -Hannah
Seriously. My roommates and I are really good at this. Boker Tov, Jerusalemiters.
 -Chloé Michelle

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dear Seder and Sarah (Day 52),

          Tonight was Seder dinner and Sarah's birthday. We had a bit of roommate bonding time when Pam and I took her to get ice cream in celebration. I have really grown to care for these girls. Have I mentioned I love them them yet? And Jerusalem? Could I ask for anything more?

 The things you can find at the convenience stores...

To the store! Aka the hunt for the RIGHT ice cream.
Try #1

Try #2 

          I've been looking forward to Seder dinner ever since I met a Jewish girl on my bus in 4th grade. We weren't really friends but I always wanted to be invited to her house for Passover. What can I say? You do what you can to experience culture...or is that just me? :) Oh that's right: I'm the nerd for Jerusalem here, not you. My apologizes. 
          ANYWAYS, tonight was finally my turn. After our "pep rally" in Hebrew class, I was beyond excited. Turns out it was all worth it. It was special and spiritual and wonderful. Good table chat. Great people. Learning about culture. That happy feeling inside that you only get when you do I once-in-a-life-time thing. The final moment of the final song where we all bang on the table and I was just thinking: Life. Is. Good.
          I pondered a lot about the "saving" role of Christ in my life. I loved the Hebrew and the harmonies and the format and the sacredness of this ceremony. I think I'm going to make my future family do Passover meal. I gotta go find me a book in the city. The Jewish people hold a special place in my heart.

the washing

(grape juice) :)

the readers

the man of the day: our Judaism teacher, Ophir
looking for the lost bread

Ophir's daughter leads the search

In other news:
• Today was the death of my third pen here. :) Why yes, I do enjoy writing a lot. How did you know? RIP little guy.
• I LOVE WHEN THE POWER GOES OUT! It's been happening all day today and I love the thick feeling you get when the darkness engulfs you. Kinda creepy, yet you can't help but smile. :) Where is a candle when you need one...

Study-time Thought of the Day:
•"I used to be so creative in my papers at the beginning of the semester, now I'm not. What doe that say about me?" -me     "It means you're more...economic in your writing." -Hannah    Thank you for justifying my efficiency and/or laziness.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dearjeru (Day 51),

Study-time Thoughts of the Day:
  • Study guide says: "Josiah: king of Judah and beyond." Sarah Barlow: "Wait, like Toy Story?" Welcome to Disney-study-time Day 2.
  • Today a usually “suave” kid walks into class with his hair parted and collared shirt tucked in. His explanation: “Dress like a nerd, test like a nerd!" Obviously, we know how to rock it here in Jeru.
  • "Did anyone else picture Rocky theme music in the background when we read that conquering story?" -Andy 
  • "Andy, my favorite part about this study session is when I recap what we've talked about to make sure I got it right and you say 'Yep.' Approval from the history major is SO satisfactory!" -me      "Yep." -Andy
  • "Wanna go punch the punching bag?" -Luke
Finally responded to emails from Brielle and Sarah. They changed me today. Their personalities just move me: make me better, make me more excited to live my life. Thanks for the inspiration, you two.

Love. Of course. -Chloé

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dear finals-time (Day 50),

Hi guys! I sure miss you! I'm sorry my blog has been SLACKING recently. Isn't it ironic that the more things you have to write about, the less time you have to write about them. Life here is BU-SY! Last week and this week are midterms and next week are finals. I have NO idea how that does. haha I LOVE what I am learning's just a lot, that's all. Luckily after next friday, we only have to cover the Gospels and Ancient Near Eastern Studies after the Babylonian should be a bit more calm. . . . . . .we hope, at least. We are all missing city-time. Aka going to get gummies in the old city......and the sites, of course. I still feel like there is so much more I want to see and we are already half way through! crazy! Ah, well: finals first, then CITY PARTY TIME! The next few days are going to be intense.
We have a test almost every single week day, so we have kind of run out of options besides just cramming each night for the test on the next day. We are all tired and we are stressed, but it’s nice to know we are all going through the same thing.

But…it’s Jerusalem…so I don’t want to complain too much. :) Posts just might be boring for the next 11 days, that’s all.

Thought of the day:
Knossos. Like Cronos? Like Incredables? Like Disney? Like Emporer Cuzco?
:) I like where my studying leads me. Minoan city --> I love Disney. :)

Dearest friends and family currently reading this blog: this is totally rebelling against everything this day-by-day-learning-blog stands for, but here's an update for you: 
Sabbath (Saturday) was great as always. Singing and journaling and life discussions at the Garden of Gethsemane church. I know, right?!?!?
Sunday we went on an all-day excursion to Eilat beach to SNORKEL! kind of a random day, but great to just chill on the beach. The Red Sea is SUPER salty....and actually the snorkeling is not as awesome ......sadly. But fun to be there with the people I love anyways.
Yesterday we went to this "Biblical Reserve." I remember my mom and dad talking about a village they went to while they were here with a wine press that was kind of "reconstructed" to be like an ancient town.........I was thinking it was going to be like that........kind of like that silly little village in Versailles. :) To my surprise, it was basically walking around in the Arab heat while our guide told us random facts about trees and stuff. VERY interesting...but also very RANDOM! By the end of the day, nothing could surprise me. "oh, now we are going to learn about hyssop plants while we crush them in a mortar and pestle? ok. Now we are herding sheep? ok. Now we are making pitas in the fire like girls camp? ok. Now we are listening to a Torah scribe? ok"   Random stuff, right?
Last Wednesday was the Separation Wall Tour. For lack of better words and creativity at the moment: it was LEGIT. ahahahah We had this guy come talk to us who is....long story short...really legit. He basically knows everyhting about the separation of Palestine and Israel. Quick read about the wall here: Although, I'm not sure Wiki can really do justice to the intensity of this conflict. I'm not sure I can either.....but.....Basically, Israel puts up walls in Palestinian neighborhoods and we talked about the issues of the conflict between the two. Highly political, a bit over my head....but mostly very very very interesting.

LOVE YOU GUYS! How is everything? Keep me updated! 

My next 10 days will be a bit boring cuz we are all just planning on studying all the time...but I'll try to keep you updated so you know I STILL CARE ABOUT YOU GUYS SO MUCH! Keep me updated!!!!

Sincerely yours, Chloe' Michelle

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dear Whichever Way The Wind Blows (Day 45),

I have been cooped up in a tiny room now for 3 days straight. Silently surrendering to my studies. I was expecting to go out today, but everyone was kinda-jus-chillin'. So I went with it. This is two days in a row now that I've actually done my homework. And you know what? It's been kinda nice. Especially when you see the world in this kind of attitude: And especially when your friends invite you to do awesome things with them.

Hannah today: "I love my life. And everything about this day." I told her I liked that saying. She responds, "I know. I stole it from you. You say it everyday."

I love this place. -Chloé Michelle

The set up.

The direction.

The mastery.

The joy.

The Harper boys join.

The instructor. 

The simple observation.

The lost kites.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dear Homework,


This is new for me. Be excited.


p.s. a special thanks to Wikipedia. I could never have figured out the kingship of the entire Middle East with out you. Thanks for the clarification.

Dear change (Day 43), 

2ish months later
Today I have been finally rested enough to do some homework and think some things through. Although, all this thinking has made me think even more: Today I missed life-as-I-once-knew-Provo. Because I'm slowly accepting the fact that it's not how I left it.

There are some kids here at the center. Families of the faculty. One that I am a bit closer to has two boys, 17 and 13...the exact same age as my brothers. I had a super great conversation with them as they came in from school today. The time with them only ended in me missing my little brothers. And I remembered how much they were changing while I'm here.

I also stalked my best friend's twitter account to update myself on his life. I figured: he reads my blog, I'm allowed to stalk his twitter and know what's going on in the day-to-day happenings of his life...especially with his company that I now am very out-of-the-loop on. I may or may not have found his co-founders account. (Don't worry, Garrett. :) I didn't completely stalk you.) It was there I came across a tweet that mentioned the fact that people who have previously lived in Jerusalem have a way of slipping it into conversations with people they meet.

Which made me re-remember some reflections I've had here. Mostly my thoughts about who I will be when I get home. You see, in some ways, Jerusalem has completely solidified "who I am." As Erika puts it: I'm becoming more independent. More of the me I want to be. But in other ways, Jerusalem is changing me. I want to live differently, think differently, even LIVE somewhere different. Recently I have pictured my future self in a big city, something I'd never imagined before. And it reminds me that
things are always going to change.

And I think I'm ok with that. Because life here in Jerusalem has reminded me that somethings are harder than you expect them to be. But other things are better than you could have imagined.

Embrace the change? haha Love you. -Chloe'