So classes have started and the homework load has been HUGE. So much reading to do! Which is kind of a bummer because who wants to be inside doing homework when you could be out exploring the city! Its funny because our American professors have been giving us homework that involves going out and visiting site out in the city and its our native teachers that give us pages and pages and PAGES of homework to read.
But today we were able to get out for about two hours, we decided to skip lunch here and go out and grab some grub in the city. We have been dying to try Schwarma... all the natives and teachers say that its their favorite. I was not disappointed. When you walk down the streets there are these restaurants and stands that have this big slab of meat rotating in the stand up oven. So when you order schwarma the take you to this little bar and let you pick your fillings. It's kind of like an Israeli burrito but when I looked at the fillings I had no idea what a lot of them were so I just went for it. The filled it with a sauce, bell peppers, a cucumber tomato mix (don't worry mom I picked out the tomatoes), some green filling, and onions. Then they top it off with the schwarma meet and roll it up like a burrito. The meet is turkey because they said its the juiciest, but they also use beef chicken and lamb. It cost 17 Shekels which is about 6 american dollars, kinda pricey but 5 hours later I'm still full and it was one of the best meals I've had in a while.
So we grabbed our lunch and headed up to a courtyard by the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and ate together in the city. On our way back we got some local juice (I have no idea what it was but it was amazing) and some people got fresh pomegranate juice (I had some a couple days ago, SO good, they juice it right in front of you). We also grabbed a bueno bar for class... best candy ever. So basically i've been trying every food imaginable and I love it.. and suprisingly not gaining weight... but that was before the schwarma so we will see if thats still true tomorrow! Oh and that spice that I told you about earlier, its called Zatar, they dip their bread in olive oil and then Zatar and its SO good. I'll have to see if we can find it in that states somewhere.
This whole experience makes me want to do the whole "Eat Pray Love" thing and go to italy and eat my weight in yummy food.
Its great to be here without all the distractions that the states can bring. Surprisingly, I haven't been sad that I'm missing the new Bachelor or even Gossip Girl. Its really helped me to clear my head and think about what I want to do next in life. I was hoping being here would help me decide a career path, but its actually been leading me in another direction. Being here has made me think a lot about serving a mission. A lot of you know that I've always planned on going on a mission, but as the time comes closer I've been really unsure if thats something that I really want to dedicate myself to. One of the girls that I talked to here served her mission in Greece (can I just stop and say WOW how cool is that?!) and she was telling me all about it, I told her I was thinking about serving and she got so excited. She said that no matter what I choose to do I need to be preparing to enter the temple.
I think being here and learning here has already helped me a lot in that aspect. Learning about the covenants that the ancient prophets made here and the steps the took made me think more seriously about the covenants that I have and will make with my Heavenly Father. I have learned so much not only about my own religion, but the religions that are native to this land. The love and devotion that the people here give to their God and their religion is inspiring. How many times do we struggle with saying prayers morning and night? We can really learn something of the devotion that these people have, who pray 5 times a day, who come to the place where they believe christ was crucified and kiss the ground, who give up their whole lives to their redeemer. It truly is amazing.
So I'm not saying that I am, without a doubt, going to serve a mission when the time comes, but thats definitely the direction I am heading. Before I was unsure, but now its clear to me that serving is something that I really would love to do. So I'm preparing now to make that commitment for myself. This land is beautiful. The people here are beautiful. The gospel is magnificent.