Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Blog!

Just letting you all know that I have made a new blog. Sorry I never really finished this one...it told me I ran out of photo space, and I didn't want to pay for more. So...it ended kinda abruptly. But start following Dal and I's new blog! dallinandkassie.blogspot.com. I haven't put much on there yet, but wedding photos will be on there soon! For now, they are on facebook. Love you all!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Galilee Days 6 & 7

          Saturday was Sabbath, and it was really neat. We didn’t have church until 3:00 in the afternoon, so it was really nice to have the morning to study the scriptures, spend time with Dal, etc. We went to our sacrament meeting in Tiberias.  The Tiberias branch holds sacrament in a house overlooking the Sea of Galilee...it had an incredible view! I know we get to look at the Dome of the Rock and the Old City during our meetings, but their view is pretty incredible too! The branch there met in the morning (when the other class went) but when we went, it was just our class making up the entire congregation. Dal gave a talk on things he was grateful for, and it was really really good. I loved seeing him up there and realizing again what a strong testimony and love for the Savior he has. 

           On the way back from church we stopped at Yardenit, the baptismal site on the Jordan River. Many religions and faiths use this place to perform baptisms. Bro. Judd (my Old Testament professor here) baptized his daughter there in August...so neat! 

Dal, the Jordan River and I :)

Wow...look at him...:)

Sunday we had class all morning again and then had free time in the afternoon. I spent a lot of time in the sun just reading, talking to the professor’s wives, skipping rocks, etc. It was really relaxing and really fun. I loved it! It was so fun seeing all the kids play around on the beach...they were having so much fun! They are adorable. I really love the kids here, they make me so excited to see my nieces and nephews again soon! Dal was really cute playing with them :) 

Galilee Days 4 and 5

Thursday was another day of class and free time (while Judd’s class went on a field trip) and then we swapped places again on Friday. Thursday night we got to go to a restaurant for dinner and then got to walk around the city (Tiberias) a little bit which was really fun. The best part? Getting a McDonald’s McFlurry. I forgot how good those are! :) It was fun to have a night out on the town, even if it was only for an hour or so. 

When we got back from Tiberias we watched the COOLEST lightning storm - I've never seen anything like it in my life. It was INCREDIBLE! We were all out on the hammocks watching it. We didn't have our cameras with us, but pictures wouldn't have done it justice anyways. 

Friday morning (for our field trip)...it rained. A lot. For those who don’t know me well, I hate the cold. I’m always cold, and “cold” to me is anything below 70 degrees. I love the rain if it’s something I can enjoy and play around in, and then come inside and get warm. But when its raining and you’re slopping through the mud and then have several more hours outside, in the cold, in your wet clothes...I’m not as much of a fan. 

So Gamla was our first stop, and this is where it rained quite a bit. We all got drenched and really dirty. Gamla was one of the last Galilean cities the Romans destroyed during the First Jewish Revolt. Many of the Jews here didn’t want to surrender, and instead jumped off the cliffs to their death. One theory is also that since Gamla can be seen from the Mount of Beatitudes (and is a large hill), it could have been the city that the Savior was referring to when He said “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” (Matt. 5:14). There’s also a black basalt synagogue here (that we were able to go to) that the Savior very possibly taught in. Really neat to think about.

 Yep, we got pretty soaked!

After Gamla was Hippos, another city of the Decapolis. It was pretty cool: it had lots of neat mosaics still on the ground, a fun tunnel to explore, and a really neat view. Oh and signs warning us about danger of nearby mines...sweet huh? But honestly I was kinda miserable the whole time walking around because I had my wet jacket on and it was really windy. :/ So I was freezing. 

 It's not PDA...it's him keeping me warm. :) 
I'm really grateful that he is a walking heater, all the time!

 Don't worry, I stayed on the path :) 

A bit dramatic ;) 

Kursi was the the third stop that morning, and this is where the miracle of the swine might have taken place, because it is the only place where the Golan Heights slope steeply and directly down to the sea. 

Sorry I don’t have very many pictures from this day. My camera was dead, and Dal left his on the bus most of the time because it was so wet out. 

There was an optional hike this afternoon that Dal and I had signed up to do, but I was so muddy and wet and cold that all I wanted to do was take a nice long hot shower and then be lazy in my warm sweats, inside! So that’s what we did. Just hung out, did homework, etc. It was really nice.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Galilee Days 2 and 3

On Tuesday we had three hours of New Testament (while Bro. Judd’s class went on a field trip) and then some free time on the beach. It was sooo nice to be able to relax on the hammocks with Dallin, in the sun, with the Sea of Galilee in our view. We honestly felt like we were in paradise. That night we had a bonfire with everyone, which was a lot of fun as well. 

These are the apartments we stayed in, right on the shore :)

Wading and skipping rocks in the Sea of Galilee. 

 So someone decided to use the slack line in the water to try 
and make it look like we were "walking on water". 
Pretty much an epic fail, but it was fun to watch people attempt!

 Lindsey and I...she's such a sweetheart!

 So many cool shells along the shore! Couldn't resist the classic pic :) 

 Beautiful right? And this is only a pic. It was literally breath-taking.

I love that Heavenly Father gives us sunsets to enjoy...

On Wednesday we switched and did the field trip while the Judd class had New Testament class and free time . This field trip was probably my favorite. 

First we took a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. When we were in the middle of the lake (yes, it’s actually a lake, not a sea) the captain stopped the boat and let us have a peaceful devotional. It was really incredible. The story about Peter walking on water to Christ (found in Matathew 14) has become one of the most meaningful and special stories in the scriptures to me. Every time I study this story, I feel the spirit and learn more about my Savior and about myself. We sang “Master the Tempest is Raging” and “Be Still my Soul”. It was a powerful devotional and was really neat to the sing those songs as well. I’ll always cherish that moment in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, learning and singing about my Savior, and applying principles from the scriptures into my life. 

When we reached the other side, we went into a museum and saw the Ginosar Boat. This boat is incredible. In 1986 this ancient boat was discovered, and it has been dated back to between 100 BC and AD 70. The fact that it was so well preserved (and then transported and further preserved) and is still in one piece is absolutely amazing. It was neat to see an actual boat from the time of Christ.

Next was the Mount of Beatitudes. One of my favorite places in Galilee, easily. This is where the famous Sermon on the Mount was delivered by Christ to His disciples. On the top of this mountain a beautiful Roman Catholic church was built to honor this site. The church was beautiful, the flowers and the scenery were beautiful, and the personal spirit we were each able to feel was beautiful. We had a devotional and sang hymns, and then we got almost a full hour of personal time to study the sermon on the mount, to pray, and to ponder. I read from “Jesus the Christ” (my dad’s mission copy, which was really neat), I read the Sermon on the Mount, I read through my patriarchal blessing, and I wrote in my journal. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to take some time in such a beautiful and special place to do some “soul searching” and really ponder the things that I can improve in my life to become more like Christ, and to draw closer to Him. 

The Church of the Beatitudes

 Dal didn't know I took this pic of him. 
But it was neat to watch him study and ponder...I love him so much.

Gives you a glimpse of how beautiful this site was. 
Such a wonderful place.

After the Mt. of Beatitudes we went to the churches in Tabgha. One commemorates the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.

Some pretty cool fish inside...

The second church honors the Savior’s command for Peter to “feed my sheep” (John 21:16). It was neat to have a devotional near the second church about if Christ were to ask us “Lovest thou me more than ____”? It was good to look inside myself and think about whether or not I would be willing to give up everything I have and love to follow Christ and do as He asks. It’s definitely a work in progress, but as long as I follow President Hinckley’s counsel to “try a little harder to be a little better”, I know that’s enough.

Church of St. Peter's Primacy.

Wading again in the Sea of Galilee...
I wanted to take every opportunity I could! 
It was neat to think that this is where Christ asked Peter "Lovest thou me?" 
It was neat to reflect on how I would respond if Christ were to ask 
ME this question three times, and if I would follow Him as faithfully as Peter did.

The last stop of the day was Capernaum. This is the home of Peter, Andrew, and possibly Matthew. It is also the town that Christ refers to as “His own city” in Matthew 9:1. Many miracles were performed in or around Capernaum. My favorite story that we talked about from the scriptures, was that of Jarius, a ruler of the synagogue who came to Christ, asking Him to heal his daughter. It’s an incredibly beautiful story, one I’ve come to love deeply here. If you haven’t read it recently...go study it. Mark 5:22-43. It’s incredible. It was also on the way to heal Jarius’ daughter that Christ’s hem was touched by the woman with the issue of blood (one of my mom and I’s favorite stories). These events took place in or just outside of Capernaum. We also go to enjoy an incredible sunset while we were here, before we headed home. After we got home, two of my close friends here (Erin and Mikele) opened their mission calls on the beach...they are going to New York and Chile! So excited for them, they’ll be incredible missionaries. 

Inside the synagogue at Capernaum. We've been to so many churches 
and synagogues this semester, but it's amazing how you can have 
a neat experience in each one if you choose to.

 One of many gorgeous Galilean sunsets...

Warning: I have LOTS of these pictures.

Pretty good day overall, don’t you think? 

Galilee...Part 1 :)

I spent the last ten days in Galilee, and absolutely loved it. Turkey and Jordan were incredible and Jerusalem itself is amazing but...something about Galilee was really special to me. Part of it was the gorgeous weather and scenery, but what I loved most was the quiet moments I had to ponder and reflect on the scriptures and my relationship to Christ. We had more “down time” and everything was more laid back in Galilee...it was really nice to slow down and reflect on my life and what I am grateful for and what I need to improve, and how I can strengthen my relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ, and with my Heavenly Father. 

There are SO many things I wish I had time to write about, and so many pictures I would love to share with all of you but since things are crazy busy here the last couple of weeks in Jerusalem (with finals, trying to see the city as much as possible, field trips, etc) I’ll only be able to give a brief over-view...a little at a time. Enjoy!!!

Our first stop was Bet Shean, an important crossroads city throughout ancient times, which used to be the chief city of the Decapolis. 

Me with Bet Shean behind me.

How's our re-enactment? :) 

Dallin on an "ancient toilet"...
I'm so grateful for modern day plumbing!

Then Nazareth, the setting for Christ's childhood. This was a neat place for me to visit because I had done a report on this site for my ANES class this semester, so I felt like I knew a little bit more about it. 

 The Church of the Annunciation
(commemorates the angel Gabriel's announcement to the virgin Mary
 that she would give birth to the Son of God)

 Inside. This church was absolutely massive and incredible. 
It' the largest Christian church in the entire Middle East.

 Walking out of the church, this was the beautiful scenery. 
I love the warm weather and the tropical trees here!

 A stained glass window in the Church of St. Joseph 
(the traditional site of Joseph's home and carpenter shop). 
I love this portrayal of Mary and Joseph getting married, 
esp. as I thought about my own marriage coming up!

 Another window, showing the angel visiting Joseph.

 This synagogue is the traditional site of the 1st century synagogue 
in Nazareth where Jesus and His family would have attended, and where Jesus
 announced His Messiahship (Luke 4:16-30). We sang 
"Jesus of Nazareth, Savior and King" inside this synagogue 
and the spirit was so strong. This was a really special moment for me, 
thinking about what took place here. 

Mt. Arbel was our next stop after Nazareth. This mountain had an incredible view of Galilee. I loved stopping here and taking time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and to think about the fact that the Savior could have come up on top of this mountain (or one like it) when He would go “up unto the mountain” to pray to His Father. 

I love Galilee :) 

Such a peaceful place to ponder about Christ.

After these three sites, we ended the day by reaching our destination....our holiday resort, En Gev. This place was amazing! There were 4 of us in each apartment (which, granted, they were small - but hey, someone made my day every day and gave me clean towels, so I felt spoiled!) But the best part is that we were right on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. The shore was lined with hammocks to relax in, and we had some free time to play in the water. My favorite part was laying in the hammocks in the sun during our break from class, or watching the GORGEOUS sunsets. They were incredible...most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen in my life. I already miss them. (You'll see plenty of pics coming up)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bombs and PROM!!! :)

Yesterday was an extremely memorable day. There have been some arising tensions/conflict with Israel this past week, and as a result, we spent some time in our bomb shelters yesterday (the first students to get that "opportunity"!!). Don't panic...we're completely safe, and there is no reason to worry. The Jerusalem Center is in the safest possible location, and our security is top notch! The news makes it sound much worse than it was (at least for us). But keep everyone in the surrounding areas in your prayers! I wish the Holy Land could just have peace again...

Luckily we didn't have to stay in the bomb shelters very long, because we had an important night to get ready for...Prom! This week has been "Spirit Week" and the grand finale was the first JC Prom. It was a blast! :) It definitely didn't hurt that I got to have my handsome fiance as my date, and didn't have to share him with anyone else (everyone else had three girls per one guy, just because of the ratio here). We had dinner and then went into the gym for a dance. It was so fun to see how creative everyone here is, and to have an excuse to actually get "cute" for once! I love how fun everyone here is! 

Enjoy some pictures from the night! Sorry the quality of the pics isn't the greatest. Oh, and I'll catch you up on the past few weeks (in future blog posts) eventually...I just don't want to get more behind. Especially since we leave for Galilee in two days! 

 Some of us hanging out in one of the bomb shelters! :)

Sitting on the floor in the bomb shelter. Dal took this pic, and it actually turned out kinda cool! 

 After scrambling to get ready (and telling our dates three different times to give us "a few more minutes") we opened the door to hear them serenade us with "Out of My League" :) 

 Dal and I eating dinner together :) I love Annie's face behind us! 

 Paul serenading one of his dates :)

 Rosie wearing a wedding dress we found in the shekel shack...love it! haha

Being with Dal, I'm getting more and more used to being up in the air...haha

 Triplets :) Gotta love all the duplicate dresses here at the JC! 
Thanks Sar, for letting me borrow yours!

 Dal and I with the Schaefers (our Branch President and his wife). 
Love them both!

 Best Prom Queen and King ever!!! Brother and Sister Bench! 

The Prom Royalty...so fun! :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

O Little Town of Bethlehem...

Last week we took a field trip to Bethlehem - this is something I had been looking forward to all semester. We started off at the Herodion (one of Herod's palace-fortress complexes) which was really neat, and then we went into Bethlehem. Unfortunately this was the part of the day that I was slightly disappointed by....especially the Church of the Nativity. This is an incredible church, and it is the oldest continuously-operating church in the world (it has been in used since the 4th century, when it was built). Pretty neat right? The traditional place of Christ's birth (one of them) is in this church. The problem was, we had to wait in line forever before we could get through, and when we did finally get to the point where the "manger" was, our tour guide was so frustrated and stressed that he was slightly rude and hurried us through. So we had about .3 seconds to try to take a picture before we were herded into the next room. It was so rushed and stressful that we couldn't really think about much of anything. BUT, later in the evening, we went out to "Mormon's Shepherd's Field". This is a field that we believe may have been the field the shepherd's were in when the angels came, bearing the good tidings of great joy of Christ's birth. We got there as the sun was going down, and we were able to have a class devotional, sing Christmas hymns, and then share our testimonies of the Savior with each other. It was really powerful, and that's when I had the spiritual experience I was hoping for. I thought a lot about Christ, but I also thought a lot about the others involved in the "Christmas Story"...the shepherds, Mary, Joseph, the wise men...there is so much we can learn from them. I'm so grateful for their part in the Savior's birth and for their examples of humility, faith, and obedience.
I know my Savior lives. I know He was born for us, He lived for us (so that we might have a perfect example to follow), and that He died for us (so that we might be able to repent and live again and return to our Heavenly Father). Heavenly Father's plan is perfect, and His son Jesus Christ lived a perfect life. I owe Him everything I am, and I'm so grateful for His role in my life. I have come to know Him better here in Jerusalem, but I will continue to develop a testimony of Him throughout my life. I will come closer to Him as I strive to more fully live the gospel and keep the commandments. I truly am happiest when I am doing the things that would make my Father and my Savior proud of me. I love this gospel, and I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have of these things. I am so blessed...

 The Herodian...pretty cool stuff.

 Can you imagine getting hit by one of these rocks? They were huge!

 Typical Dallin and Andrew...goofing around next to an animal carcass...haha

Star Wars anyone? :)

 The Tent Restaurant. The food was delicious! The conversations...interesting. :)

 Outside one of the churches.

 I really loved this mosaic of the shepherd and his lamb.

 A really neat piece of art inside one of the churches. 

 We barely were able to squeeze this picture...this star is in the spot 
that many believe Christ was born.

 Mormon Shepherd's Field...so neat.

 Dallin with his scriptures and Bethlehem. Love it. :)

Our wonderful class, with Bethlehem in the background. I love them all!

Pretty picture...

Dal and I in Shepherd's Field with Bethlehem behind us. :) 
What a great way to end the day.

Oh, another highlight of the day. Dal and I bought a baby blanket from Bethlehem. Neat huh? We were thinking we could use it for our newborn children as we bring them home from the hospital and then again for their baby blessings. I'm really excited about it :)