Sunday, August 2, 2015

I really do have an AMAZING Life!

So, it has been a long time since I have made a post on here. Oh, only about a couple years, that's all! :)  The reason why I initially stopped blogging was because I had just gotten back from my study abroad in Jerusalem and I didn't really know what else to write about. Nothing seemed as exciting as my trip now that I was back to normal life. So, in the course of trying to think of something amazing to follow up my Jerusalem trip with I ended up not writing anything at all. Recently, I was thinking about taking up blogging again and I got thinking about the name of my blog. The Amazing life of Steen. (Steen is my nickname given to me by my nephews and nieces when they couldn't say my name correctly).  Anyways, I got to thinking how my life is really amazing. I may not be traveling across the world but I have been able to do great things with my life and I have a great support system of family and friends that is greater than any trip that I could take. I truly am blessed.
         This week has been a great week of blessings for my family. My brother Alan was married for time and all Eternity to a wonderful woman Nicole in the Logan temple. It was such a beautiful wedding! I am so happy for them both! My brother has been through a lot these past couple of years and it's so good to see him happy and to find such a great person to share his life with.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Easter Sunday in the Holy Land

Sorry that I am late getting this onto my blog. I was really busy my last couple weeks in Jerusalem. I did however want to show you what i was able to do on Easter while in the Holy Land. First off the majority of the people in Jerusalem are Jewish and they have their Sabbath on Saturday. Because of this pretty much everything is closed down on Saturday so we have church on Saturday. This leaves sundays open for us to go and visit the local christian denominations services.

So early sunday morning some of us got up bright and early at 4 o'clock so that we could get good seats at a Lutheran sunrise service on the Mount of Olives.

It was really neat to be able to see how other good people who have faith in Christ worship. It was good to see all the things that we had in common. It was good to see the truths that we shared as believers in Christ.

The service was a really good service as the Father of the congregation reviewed for us the Resurrection of the the Savior Jesus Christ. It was really amazing to sit on the Mount of Olives where so many things happened during the Savior's life and watch the sun rise.

As i sat on the mount and watched the sunrise i reflected on my Savior Jesus Christ. Just as the sun rose that morning the Savior rose from the tomb so many years ago and because of that day we too are able to rise again after death to be judged and live with our Heavenly Father again. Because the Savior was raised to an immortal perfect body of flesh and bone we too will be raised from the dead to an immortal perfect body of flesh and bone. I am so thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ and for the perfect life that he lived and that He rose from the dead.

After going to the service on the Mount of Olives we headed to the Garden tomb for another service, As you can see there were lots of people lined up to go to this service.

Here i am in front of the garden tomb before the service started.

The service was evangelacal. So they had a band and singers for the service.
The service was really good. We sang almost the entire time. I really enjoyed this service as we all sang together in praise of the Savior.

People raised their hands in praise and they sang.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Galilee in a blink

Sorry I do not have time to give you a full account of everything that i did in Galilee the 11 days that i was there so you are going to get the brief account. You can get the rest when i come home if you want to know more. Galilee was amazing! This is where the Savior grew up and where He did most of his ministry. One of the first stops on our trip was to Nazareth. This is where as you know the Savior grew up. We went to the synogogue that is built on top of the foundation of the original synogogue that the Savior went to when He got up and read out of Isaiah and said today "these scriptures are fullfilled in your ear". This is when He announced his Messiahship to the people of His home town and they did not believe him.

Below are pictures at the Mount of Beatittudes. This is where they beleive that Christ gave His Sermon on the Mount. The Church belows dome is in the shape of an Octagon 1 side for each beatittude. It was green with lots of flowers and behind the church if you looked out you had a view of the Sea of Galilee. The Spirit was very strong here and we discussed the wonderful sermon that Christ gave. This is where Christ gave them the higher law, The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Below is St. Peters Church at Taghba. Taghba is the place where the Savior feed the 5,000. It is also the place where Jesus called some of the 12 apostles while they were fishing. Also where Jesus turns and asks Peter 3 times if he loves him. Peter says yes three times and the Savior says then feed my sheep. Peter is also told that he is going to be leading the church. The church is to commenorate that event. Like eveything this is by the Sea of Galilee as well. I am looking out at the sea.

View of the inside of the Church. We were able to sing here for a while. While we were singing this other tourist lady joined in singing with us. It was really neat!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Palm Sunday

So as you know today is Palm Sunday. In Jerusalem it is a big deal. Palm sunday is to celebrate and remember the Savior's Triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This morning we went to the Church of the Holy Seplechure to a service. It was really amazing! There were lots of people packed in the church surrounding the Holy Seplechure. There are 3 different christian faiths that are present in the Church so they each had their own service. Alot of times at the same time. The one that we watched was the Catholic procession. They came in dressed in their Catholic clothing and they did some kind of service in front of the Seplechure itself. I couldn't hear them plus they weren't speaking english. After that they (there was A LOT of them) walked around the Seplechure in a procession carrying palm fronds. The organ was playing while the procession was going around the seplechure. It was beautiful! It was amazing to see all the different faiths come together because of their faith in Jesus Christ. We all got some palm fronds as they walked around and we were supposed to wave them in the air as they went around. Below is me with my one frond leave. I didn't have any when i first came but one of the priests I think pulled one off of his big one and gave it to me. I throughly enjoyed it. The pictures don't do it justice and i wish you could hear the music that was played.

Later today we were in a big procession where we carried palm fronds as we walked the route that the Savior went when He made is triumphal entry.
There were SO many people there as you can see the streets are packed. It was really neat to see all the different Christian faiths come out to celebrate this glorious occasion. In Jerusalem the majority of the people are either Jewish or Mulsim and although i deeply respect and love all the people who live here it was nice to see a gathering of people that share my faith in the Savior Jesus Christ.
This is just a fun picture i took of the Franciscan monks. They were so nice. I asked them if i could take their picture and they smiled real big and were excited for me to just that. After the picture they thanked me for taking it. There are such wonderful people that live here in the Holy Land. I am thankful everyday that I have had the opportunity to be here and get to know them.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Today we went on a field trip to the park like a national reserve place. You have a guide that takes you around and teaches you about the land during the Bible times and the different practices during the Bible times. The first thing we went to was a well. We talked about how Rebekka drew water from a well and how important water and wells were in Bible times. It was really neat to really think about how much work it really was for Rebekkah to draw water for Isaacs servant as well as his camels. To get enough water for all of his camels and him she would of had to draw about 300 times from the well.

After that we went over to a place where we were able to try and herd the sheep and the goats around to different places. This was really fun. I'm not going to lie though our group didn't do good at all. That's alright though because we had a lot of fun in the process. After we that we talked about how Shephards herded their sheep and how this related to the great leaders in the Bible that were Shephards: Abraham, Moses, David, and the most important the Savior Jesus Christ. A Shephard when he heards sheep and goats he will walk beind the flock. Why does he do this? He walks behind to make sure none of them gets lost and to help those that are weak and are struggling. This is how great leaders are. Especially our Savior Jesus Christ who was the perfect example of a leader.

We also were able to make our own spices by crushing it in a hand grinder. It was really fun but i have to admit the spice we made didn't taste that good.

For lunch they took us to where we made our own pitas or unleavened bread. This is what we cooked them on. This picture is so funny of me. I look like a little kid. :)

We also were able to see a real torah scribe writing a torah scroll. Over here people have professions of writing the torah scrolls that they use in the synogogues. Its a long process to get a torah scroll written. All in all I thought today was really fun and I was able to learn a lot of things.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Shabbot is always one of my favorite days. We have breakfast at 8:00 which means that we get to sleep in as compared to our usually time of 6:30 or 7:00. After breakfast is choir practice at 9:00 which i usually almost always go to. After choir our church starts at 10:00. On Shabbat we only have breakfast and then dinner at 4. Shabbot dinners i think are always really good. I don't know if that is because they really are better than the other days or because I am really hungry. :) Today was a really good day. I really felt the spirit a lot today during sacrament. There was some really enriching talks and a lot of musical numbers. There was a total of 3 musical numbers during sacrament. I was involved in the last one where 5 others and I sang a duet of I know that my Redeemer lives. After the church block i went up to the 7th floor of the Jerusalem Center and sat out and wrote in my journal. The 7th floor has a wonderful view of the city. Right beind me is where we have sacrament every Shabbot. The curtains are usually open so you can look out over the city. I love going out here to just ponder on the things that i have done and the things that I have learned here. Its getting so pretty here with all the flowers blooming. We also finished our finals this past week so from now until the end of our stay here we only have 2 classes. One of them is the New Testament which I am really excited about. I get to go to the places where the Savior taught and preformed the great miracles that He did. I am so blessed to have that opportunity.

Here is another view of my favorite place to go and sit. In this picture is me and my roommate Bre. I really like spending time with Bre as well as my other roomate Emily. We have a lot of fun together.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

On tuesday we went to Bethlehem. My teacher Dr. Mussallam that i have for my Palestinian class also is a teacher at Bethlehem University. We were able to go there and to have class with his students. It was really neat. We watched a movie that talked about the Palestinian side of the story and what happened to them during the 6 day war. It was really sad. I loved being at the school and being able to talk to the Palestinian students. Bethlehem university is a Catholic School that has both Christians and Muslims going to it. As you can see the campus of the University is really nice.

After going to Bethlehem University we went to eat at the Shephards field Village Restaurant. Here we all are waiting for our food.

Then after our lunch we walked through Bethlehem to the Church of the Nativity. This is a church that was built over the cave that the Savior Jesus Christ was born.

This is one of the statues inside the chapel part of the church. It portrays Mary as the protectorant of the baby Jesus.

Here i am in front of where the manger would have sat. The place where our Lord and Savior was placed on that blessed night. Obviously all the marble and columns weren't there when the Savior was born. They built a shrine on top of the place that the manger laid. The manger they said is somewhere is Europe. The neat thing that i learned was that the cave is shaped like an angel and where they believe the mnager was is right in the heart of the angel.

The highlight of my day in Bethlehem was when we went to the Shephards fields. It was probably on one of these hills if not on the very one that we stood on the the Shephard were watching their fields by night and an angel of the Lord pronounced the news that the Savior was born and was lying in a manger.

While we were at Shephards Field there was a little lamb there. What a perfect addition to our trip!

We had a wonderful program that night. We sat in the shepards field that looked out over the lights of Bethlehem. We sang christmas songs and were taught about the main characters in the Nativity story. We listened to musical numbers about Christ's birth and then ended with my teacher Brother Wilson telling us the Nativity story from Luke from memory. The spirit was very strong as we all pondered on what took place that night so long ago. It was amazing to like about being one of the shephards that night. I can imagine that the lights that glowed from Bethlem although smaller looked similar to the glow that we were able to see. What would it have been like to be tending your flocks and have an angel come and bare the good news that the Savior of the world had been born? What would it have been like to go and to kneel down by the babe that would be your king of kings and save you from your sins? I imagine it would have been a very wonderful, spiritual, humble thing to kneel by the Savior. I know that the Savior lives. I know that he was born on that quiet night in Bethlem so many years ago and that he live the perfect live while on this earth so that we would know how we needed to live. I know that if we follow him that we will be able to live with our Heavenly Father again someday.