Wednesday, November 3, 2010


 Johnathon, me, Bekah, Hannah, Tali and Nataly at the beach in Eilat!
 Janelle, Johnathon, Me, Bekah, Hannah, Talia, Jake and Nataly at the Dome of the Rock.
 Me, Tessa, and Nataly listening to Christmas Music at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
 The beautiful beach at Eilat!
 Me, Johnathon, Lizzy and Amy (who dressed up as US!!!) on Haloween
 Me scaring Amy dressed up as ME!!
Johnathon and I scaring Hannah and Bekah as siamese twins.
 Me at the Western Wall.
 Me at Seder Meal!
 Janelle, Tessa, and I at the beach in Eilat!
 Tarah, Johnathon, me, and Lisa playing with olives getting ready for olive pressing.
 Look! An OLIVE TREE!!
 Janelle with my birth-right tatoo on Halloween.
 Tessa, the Ghostbuster, trying to suck me up.... the zombie missionary!!
 Johnathon and I with are awesome zombie missionary costumes!!
 Johnathon, me, and Stephany just hanging out at the Snack Bar!
 Doing service in the garage!!!
AND.... the Talent Show pics, when my best friend Talia and I did the 'Chess Chearleader skit' from Will Ferrel SNL... it was probably more fun to perform than watch, but oh well, we LOVED IT!

Janelle, Matt, Tessa, Johnathon, Me, and Caitlin after we went to Synagogue!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

One Halloween, I had dinner with... MYSELF!!!

Well, with all these finals going on, we almost forgot about one of our favorite holidays ever!!! HALLOWEEN!! You may have guessed that they don't celebrate this holiday here, and you would be correct in that we had our own little party in the Jerusalem Center!!! There are 11 kids that live here, so we all decided to put on trick-or-treating for them, and have them trick-or-treat to our dorms, it was sooo much fun!!! We were able to put cool lights, and music, and just make it a really fun time!  Some of the little kids had never even been trick-or-treating before so it was really cool!

Well, my best friend Johnathon Webb and I weren't sure what we were going to be for Halloween.  We only had like an hour between when our finals finished and when we had to be dressed in full costume, and we just couldn't figure it out!! We finally decided to be... ZOMBIE MISSIONARIES!!!  It was so awesome.  We dressed up as rag-tag elders, with our Jerusalem Center name tags.  Then we found some 'planners' got some pens, scriptures, and then we headed to the girls dorm's to have them do our zombie makeup.  It was so awesome, we looked so good, I will get pictures put up ASAP.

So, we had trick-or-treating which was a huge hit, and then we had a huge Halloween dinner, then a Halloween Carnival and Dance.  The BEST part of it, was that 2 girls here, my friends Amy and Lizzy, dressed up as ME AND JOHNATHON!!  They borrowed some of our clothes, and shared headphones (just like we Johnathon and I did in Egypt, and on field trips, since my headphone transmitter is broken), nad it was soooo funny!! It was awesome.  I got to eat dinner with myself!!!! It was so cool, and they would do and say things that we would do and say, and it was just so funny!  Anyway, we had a great carnival with fun games, including an awesome cake walk, and had a great dance.

One of my favorite things was the cool costumes everybody came up with.  We had people dress up as people from history, random people in our Jerusalem Center group, teachers, and just funny things!! We had the ghostbusters, a big banana, a surprise party, and much more!!

It was probably one of my favorite Halloweens ever... it was just so cool to come up with an impromptu costume, and to be able to make our own fun here in JERUSALEM!! I will get picks up as soon as I can, so that you can know how it all went down!!

Talk to you soon!!!

Where in the World is JAMES?!?!

Well, you probably are wondering if I am still alive in well in Jerusalem, and I will assure you... I am. Things have just been sooo crazy lately.  I just finished and had finals for all but 2 of my classes.  So, on one hand it is really nice to have 3 of my hardest classes done, but on the other hand, life has been SOOOO crazy busy, and insane. We have written paper upon paper, and taken midterm upon midterm, but today, we had our last 2 big ones, and they are OVER!! Such a nice feeling, finally I will be able to easily enjoy Jerusalem without the stress of school.  We have had some really fun fieldtrips, to various areas including the birthplace of our Savior Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, at the Church of the nativity.

We got to see where the Savior was born, and the manger he was supposedly laid in.  We waited for about 3 hours, it was a SUPER busy day, mostly because the Palestinian President is funding restructuring to the church, and had just visited that morning, but we finally were able to see it, and it was such a great experience.  I was listening to Christmas music the entire time we walked through Bethlehem and were at the church, it was awesome.  It really was one of my favorite days of the entire trip here.

We also got to go to the burial site of King Herod, the Herodium, and see his winter palace, and fortress.

At the foreground you can see the swimming pool remains for King Herod's palace, and in the background is the Herodium, which is a fortress built at Herod's Palace, and his tomb is on the left, hand side of the mountain.

After we visited the Herodium, we were able to go to a shepherd's field, and sing hymns, have a musiical program, and a testimony meeting.  My favorite part was, after the sun had set, we each had about 15 minutes or so to just sit and ponder.  I brought my ipod, and listened to Christmas music, and looked up at the stars, and it was just awesome.  Sitting and just listening to Christmas music and looking at the stars, it was so cool to think about the shepherds tending their flocks, and the angels that visited them.  It was just amazing, I couldn't believe I was actually there, where this heavenly message was delivered by ANGELS!!!

It was so cool, and I really loved.  Other things that have happened lately...

My talent show committee is amazing, and we put on one AWESOME Variety Show.  I did a version of the 'Chess Chearleaders' skit from SNL, and it turned out great.  We had a lot of great acts, original music, skits, dances, whistlers, and so much more!! It was so much fun!! We are looking forward to putting on our Talent Show next week!

We have preparing for our Primary Program, and learning all of our songs!  I got some great help from Jen Hansen back home for some good ideas to teach the kids the songs, and they have been learning them so well!1 I am really proud of them.  We have a really small primary, so it is really important that each kid knows every song.

We are getting ready to put on Christ the Musical up in Galilee.  We have some really good singers here, and it has been really fun this time to step out of the 'piano player' position, and just organize it.  I love listening and having people share their talents.  I am very excited to be able to put this on in the Galilee where the Savior served and blessed so many people, along with teachings thousands.

Other than that things are going great here.  We try to get out in the city when we can, and have a fun time.  Things are great, email me if you can!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Yentl meets Starlight Express

For those of you who got those references, GREAT.. if haha

But here is an update on my life.  It has been filled with more homework than I would care to have (which is zero), but has also been filled with some pretty cool things...lemme fill you in....

Monday, we went and got to hike through Hezekiah's Tunnel... which was sooo cool! I haven't really had the chance to be in caves very much in my life... which I was ok with.. until Hezekiah's tunnel.. cuz it was AWESOME!  This is the tunnel that is built from Jerusalem's water source, the Gihon spring, to the inside of Jerusalem's walls.  Before we hiked through it we got to see a really cool 3D movie about the history of Jerusalem, from its early days, until the modern city.  It was very cool, and really helped to solidify my understanding of the history here, and grasp how it actually would have looked to generations in the past.

We walked through teh tunnel, with water up to about our waist, and it was so cool.  I sang 'Light At the End of the Tunnel', from one of my favorite shows ever, Starlight Express, introduced to me by Uncle Mike.  I didn't think anybody would know about it, but then like 6 other people knew the show too and had seen it as well... so it was way cool!!! LOVED IT!!!

The famous musical about Trains... falling in love....

And everybody is on roller skates... so it's basically the best thing ever!!!!

It was so fun to share those moments, underneath Jerusalem... one of the best experiences of my life.

Then we had a lot of school, and on Wednesday we had a Passover Meal here at the Jerusalem Center with our Judaism teacher, and it was really cool.  It was super long. I actually remember doing it a few times in my life, but I never remember it being this long.  It was really cool, and we got to sing a lot of jewish songs, and it was great.  We also had traditional food which looked a lot like this

Each of these have really important meanings, which all happen to escape me at this very moment, oh well... haha I have it written down somewhere... i'm a horrible student

But each time we sang a song, and we sang tons, I was so confused because of the Hebrew and not being familiar with the songs, so I just decided to sing... yup you guessed it....

which is basically the same as a passover song right? haha

So while I sang 'Papa, Can You Hear Me' in the corner in my own little chair people sang great Hebrew Jewish songs, and it was really fun.  Also.... Our table, had an uneven leg, so it would shake and make the wax from our candle drip, everytime we had a 'sederquake'.  It was really cool, and a great thing.  Anyway, today I taught my first singing time in Primary and it went pretty ok... not great, but I know where and how to improve, so that's good.  Tomorrow we are going to Eliat right at the Red Sea, and going snorkeling!!! I am so excited!! I've never been before in my entire life, and I can't wait!! We drove past the red sea, and it looked so beautiful, I can't wait to go in it!!!!  Hope life is great, sorry I'm not too funny this time... next time I will do better.....


Sunday, October 10, 2010


 Me, Mega, and Johnathon at Queen Hatshepsut's Temple
 Nataly, Johntahon, and Me at Luxor Temple
 Me and Johnathon at the Nile!
 Brandt, Johnathon, Andrew, and Me re-enacting Moses and the spurting forth of water from the rock... Brandt is the rock... FYI... I was a child of Israel... complaining... i was really good :)
 Eating a GROSS.. I mean amazing dinner in Egypt....
 Me, Nataly, and Johnathon at the SPHYNX!!
 Me, Talia, Nataly, and Hannah buying REAL SODA in Egypt of an awesome price, right on the Nile!
 Johnathon, Nataly, and me on top of Mount Sinai around 5 am...
 The bus was so pleasant and exciting.. can't you tell?
 Sometimes I get crazy on the bus!! You never know what the desert sun will do to you!!
 Brandt, Me, Johnathon, Megan and Matt all in our Amazing Technicolor Garb!
 Judd's Class at Hatshupstut's Temple after we danced 'Waka Waka'
 Me on the falucca nicknamed the 'PARTY BARGE!!' We danced down the Nile!!!
 Yup.. that's the pyramids... and me....
 Don't I look just like it?!?!
 Ramses II, Johnathon and ME
 Chris, me, and Johnathon at Ancient Memphis
 Me and Johnathon at Hatshupsut's Palace
 Johnathon, Janelle, and I atop Mt. Sinai!!
 Us after the sun came up....
Re-enacting David and Goliath... I was cast as David, and was like REALLY good... I taught myself