Thursday, April 30, 2009

I'm here!

I got into Jerusalem at 2:30 Wednesday afternoon. We had orientations that night, toured the center, ate great food and met all of the awesome people that work here. This building is beautiful. There are gardens everywhere and every room has a deck with a view of the city. Today we had more orientations in the morning and then we got to go on a tour of Jerusalem. I still cannot believe I'm really here! The city is divided up into quarters for the different groups. We walked through the Muslim and the Christian quarter and were able to see some awesome views of the city. I think the most incredible thing about the center that I have noticed so far (this is only my second day here so I'm sure I have lots more to notice) is how welcoming and unbiased they are to the separate groups. The people that work here are both Muslims and Jews, they teach us both Arabic and Hebrew and we take classes in the history of both of the major groups. The center itself is in the Palestinian part of Jerusalem, but one of our professors said that it is on the border between the two sides. When we were walking through the city all of these merchants kept saying "hey mormons!" and one guy kept singing to us. They seem to be able to recognize us right away and center really has a good reputation throughout the city. This other merchant, Shabon, took us to his store and gave us all drinks to welcome us to the city... and to make us want to come back and buy stuff. He had a BYU shirt hanging up in his store. I've already learned a lot just in our speed tour of the city. I'm going to go eat some awesome food but I hope everything is going awesome with everyone!

xoxoxoxo Jenna

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I can't believe there's only one week until I'll be on a plane to the Middle East. Its kinda surreal, but I'm so excited! There's just so much to do! Thankfully I only have one more final left and tomorrow is my last day at work. Also my family is coming on Thursday for Reni's graduation so I'll have a couple more hands to help me pack. Wow. I can't believe it came so soon! I love you all and I'm going to miss you so much!

Monday, April 6, 2009


I can't believe that in just 3 weeks I'll be leaving for Jerusalem! This semester has flown by! Only like one more week of classes, then finals, then my family comes to Provo for Reni's graduation and then I leave the U.S.A for 3 and a half months....

The news and everything around us highlights all of the terrible and selfish things that people do on a daily basis. Preparing for this trip and trying to pull together the resources to actually make this a reality has shown me differently. I cannot believe the generosity and selflessness of the many people in this world, so many of them I am so blessed to know! I feel such a strong desire to help whoever I can, and to share what I have, even though I don't have a whole lot. Today that meant sharing my salad with my roommates... lol. Not much, but seriously, none of us have a lot, so just help with what you can, whoever you can. Anyways, a little off topic, but I have just been incredible touched, and am honestly finding a hard time coming up with the words to express that because "thank you" just doesn't seem like enough right now.

Well, I'll keep you posted. Time to go get the necessities for my trip and make sure everything is in order before I leave. I found a ton of awesome books in the library about Israel and the Holy Land and I've been reading and learning what I can when I have time - everytime I do it makes me that much more excited to go!!! There are so many awesome things over there to see and learn and do!

(the picture is of a widow's mite - its one of my favorite bible stories)