So this week I have felt really old, and I realized its been 3 years since I left for the Holy Land. I miss it alot. I miss the growth, even though sometimes I felt really alone out there. The things I learned and the things I was able to see, and the amazing people I got associate with whether they were students, teachers or vendors on the street who could tell we were students and would cry "mormons! mormons!" at us are things that I really miss. I miss the amazing sunsets we would see every night, especially those on the Sea of Galilee. I miss the knock out bars and the poprocks chocolate. I miss the beanbags and the shalom shack. I miss the oasis and all the fruit they would have for us everyday. I miss the schwarmas and the pita, oh the pita! I miss Abdul at the little convienence store down the road from the lower gate of the center. I miss being able to ponder in the garden of Gethsemane on Shabbat. I miss the super attractive IDF soldiers that would take pictures with us and thier AK47's. I miss the spices, and the view from the chapel, and my balcony. I miss the olive trees, olive wood, and the olive picking. I miss hearing "bus 2" I miss the amazing lectures from Professor Draper. I miss my JC family. I don't miss paying to use a public restroom, but I miss just about everything else. I searched through my records and I found the poem I wrote for the memory book. I know I never got to see the finnished project, and so many people would never see the poem I wrote for it. So in memory of the Jerusalem Center, and all it's amazing lessons, here's two poems, the one I wrote for the memory book, and the other I wrote for a sacrament meeting right after I got back from Jerusalem. Happy 3 year anniversary!
From the moment we heard "Bus 1 and Bus 2"
We knew we would be guided like cattle all the way through
Field trips and flies, beautiful sunsets and skies,
And even a sunrise view of Sinai.
Through friendships forged and made,
We hope our memories will never fade.
Sometimes we'd guess what they'd have in the oasis for dessert at dinner.
We all knew we weren't getting any thinner.
Senior couples and teachers are here to help and bring joy each day
Learning in our classes in the morning, then we're off to the old city to play.
Everywhere we go a familiar question is asked,
"Are you mormon?" after each merchant is passed.
"Good price for you and half off too!"
They can tell we aren't Muslims or Jews.
Some say it's the light in our eyes,
But we know there's something more that shines.
The light of the gospel can't be supressed.
Though most of our time is spent in jest
Fighting for bean bags or having a snack at the Shalom Shack,
Poprocks chocolate is the best treat to pack
For the long bus rides to distant places
It always brings a smile to our faces.
Ancient cities and numerous tels
Or on the Red Sea or Mediterranean collecting sea shells,
We've spent much time studying and playing together
We know this is a special time and our hearts become tethered
To not only a sense of understanding and love,
But also to the One who pours out blessings from above.