JERUSALEM, ISRAEL

Posted  by Sydney

There is something amazing and truly special about Israel.  Our first day we were in Tel Aviv and were able to see Old Jaffa.  This is where Peter healed a man and the port from where Jonah left.  Our next day was spent completely in the Old City.  Wow!  I hadn’t been here since my BYU days and it was wonderful to come back.  We walked through all 4 quarters of the Old City visiting everything from the Western (Wailing) Wall to the room of the Last Supper.  There are so many places that you know you are literally walking where Christ has been.  That was so, so touching.  Outside the temple wall is one of those places.  There are pathways that date back to Christ’s time that you are allowed to walk on.  We also went to a church that is built by some steps that date back to Jesus’ time that lead from the Mt of Olives (Gethsemane) to the Old City.  It also has a dungeon in it that dates back until the time of Christ.  He had to walk so far – these areas are not so close together, really.  It was so moving to think about the horrible ordeal He went through and how willing He was to do it.

We were able to spend the Sabbath at church in the BYU Jerusalem Center looking out over a view of the Old City.  We also were able to walk down the Mount of Olives, visit Gethsemane, and see the Garden Tomb.  This brought back great memories for me and we all loved walking around the Jerusalem Center and feeling the Spirit that is there.

Our last day was spent in Galilee.  It was beautiful!  We were able to collect tiny seashells on the beach where Christ called to the apostles to follow Him.  We went to Capernaum, where He healed the daughter of Jarius and sailed on the Sea while reading the New Testament.  When we went out on the boat, if you looked out over the water you could almost see it dotted with fishing boats and how it was a great privilege and came at a great sacrifice for these men to leave their life’s work to follow Christ.  This really is not any different than what we are asked to do – sacrifice of our time, work, and energy to follow Jesus Christ.  I’ve asked myself many times this trip what more I can do. 

Israel was wonderful.  It is impossible to visit and not leave changed somehow.  It is truly holy ground.  I hope that one day I will be able to return again!

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL

Posted by Joseph

Israel has been amazing.  I have never seen so many Jews with skull caps and Orthodox Jews in my life.  There are a lot of Muslims here as well.  Religion is very important to the people here, and the religion is kind of like their nationality.  I have really enjoyed seeing all of the places that make this the Holy Land. 

We have seen a lot of places that Christ went during his life.  We visited the pools of Bethesda, Caiphas’s house, the garden tomb, Gethsemane, and others.  We also saw a lot of churches like the Church of the Holy Seplechure.  My favorite place so far is definitely the Jerusalem Center.  It has an awesome view of the whole city and going to church there is very neat. 

Being in Israel has been neat and I hope to come back someday.

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL

Posted by Rebecca

Wow, Israel is one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been!  It is so beautiful, and so interesting to see all these different religions blending together in one city.

We have really seen so much in the past couple days.  My favorites were probably the pool of Bethesda and the Garden Tomb.  I loved the pool of Bethesda because the story – how Jesus healed the man who had been impaired since birth – has always been one of my favorites.  The Garden Tomb was really special to be at the place where He was buried, and lived again.

The Sea of Galilee was really cool too.  We got to go on a boat ride around it, and it was awesome to be able to visualize what it was like 2,000 years ago.  And I love to be out on the water, in the sun.  It was nice.

The Jerusalem Center was awesome.  The view was breathtaking, and everyone was so nice.  I really, really hope to be able to come back here on a study abroad when I’m older.

The food here is really good too, especially the pita bread and hummus.  They taste really good – they are definitely a couple of the most unappreciated and unacknowledged foods out there.

Israel has been really impressive and beautiful, and I’ve loved it here.

More from Israel

At the Garden of Gethsemane

At the Garden of Gethsemane

Our family at the garden tomb.  He is risen!

Our family at the garden tomb.  He is risen!

Joseph at the Sea of Galilee

Joseph at the Sea of Galilee

Joseph and Andrew at the Olive Press at the BYU Jerusalem Center

Joseph and Andrew at the Olive Press at the BYU Jerusalem Center

Camilla at the Mount of Beatitudes

Camilla at the Mount of Beatitudes

Andrew at the ruins of the synagogue in Capernaum.

Andrew at the ruins of the synagogue in Capernaum.

Rebecca overlooking the Old City.

Rebecca overlooking the Old City.

We loved being at the BYU Jerusalem Center with Sydney.  She was a student here exactly 25 years ago.

We loved being at the BYU Jerusalem Center with Sydney.  She was a student here exactly 25 years ago.

LONDON, ENGLAND

Posted by Joseph

I really liked London and had a great time here! We saw so much stuff and it was all amazing.  I really liked seeing the view off the London Eye.   Thant was really amazing because we could see Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.  The city itself feels really old, which is cool.  We got to ride in a double decker bus and tour the whole city that way.  It was really fun to do a river tour on the Thames. 

My overall impression of London was very positive.  It felt all business, but still really tourist friendly.  The sights around the city are really close to each other.  I was also impressed by how many famous people I know that lived in London, like Winston Churchill, William Shakespeare, and Isaac Newton. 

LONDON, ENGLAND

Posted by Rebecca

London has been so fun!  We got to see everything: Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, London Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, London Eye, Tower of London Bridge, Tower of London, and a lot of fun other places and things.  It was a lot of fun to ride on a red double-decker bus and see all the red telephone booths, because when I think of London, that is what I think of.  The bright red telephone booths and buses are also really fun because the old buildings of London are more neutral colors, and it rains a lot there, and the rainclouds make the sky gray, so the red buses and telephone booths stand out even more.

On our first evening there, we accidentally walked straight into a huge protest.  Well, it was actually one big protest with a bunch of people protesting a ton of random things, from education to jails to cats.  It was right in front of the Parliament, and it took up the whole street

My favorite things were probably the London Eye and Big Ben.  The London Eye was really neat; it’s so fun to be above all of London.  You could see everything. I loved Big Ben because it’s not use famous, it’s actually beautiful too, which makes it even better!  We were able to pass by it quite a few times, and it got more beautiful every time I saw it!

London was a lot of fun, I really loved being there!

LONDON, ENGLAND

Posted by Camilla

London has been so amazing!   My favorite thing that we went and saw there was Big Ben.  We were able to see it multiple times and I loved every one! Big Ben is the parliament building of England.  Another thing that I really enjoyed was The London Eye.  It is a gigantic ferris wheel and you can see an amazing view from the top and you can see all of Westminster.  London was great!

LONDON, ENGLAND

Posted by Sydney

London is such a beautiful city rich in amazing architecture and interesting history.  The streets are lined with beautiful flats that make you feel you’ve traveled to somewhere wonderful!  There are some things that remind you of America (the language is familiar, for starters), but there is much about London that is all its own.  This was where Larry went on his mission 50 years ago, so it was fun to see where the mission home was and hear of his memories.

A highlight was going to church here.  There was a new BYU semester abroad group, missionaries speaking for Sacrament Meeting (one was a convert of 1 year from Uganda), and a Gospel Principles with many investigators and new converts.  There were also some fellow-Holladay friends running the Visitors Center there.  It is right in the lobby of the church – brilliant really.  Funny enough they were also serving in the Washington DC visitor’s center when we visited there a couple years ago.  The church is on this beautiful street that is used primarily for pedestrians.  It is right next to the famous Victoria & Albert and Natural History museums.  It is an amazing area of town and has a big screen showing “Because of Him” and a Christus right in the front windows.  Awesome!

 

I loved visiting St. Paul’s Cathedral (think 1981 Charles & Diana wedding).  It is filled with beautiful artwork and mosaics.  It was bombed in the war as well as burned in the Great Fire (a fire that burned for 5 days in London destroying 13,000 homes).  It has a dome that is 2nd only in size to St. Peters Cathedral in Rome.  We were able to climb to the inner part of the dome and then to two different levels of the outer part of the dome.  I confess, I am a little surprised they just let you climb up there.  The upper area was insanely high, small around, and only about 2 feet between the wall and the railing!  But the view was spectacular!

We also had a chance to meet with the mission President & wife (the Jordans) for an evening.  They are coming home in a few days having loved every minute of their mission.  Their home is close to the chapel.  They know Hannah’s mission president, so it was tender for me to have a chance to hear what they know about Romania and her mission.  It was also fun to think that in 1 short year, Joseph’s picture will be on some Mission President’s office wall awaiting his first area and companion! 

Larry Lunt, Missionary in England 1963-1965

Grandpa Larry served as a missionary in the London Mission from 1963-1965.  We were able to attend Church in the Hyde Park Chapel, where he had served 50 years ago.  Grandpa and Grandma have been great examples of missionary service throughout their lives.

The Hyde Park Chapel in London

The Hyde Park Chapel in London

This is a building a few doors North of the Hyde Park Chapel.  Grandpa lived in this building.  It also served as the mission office.

This is a building a few doors North of the Hyde Park Chapel.  Grandpa lived in this building.  It also served as the mission office.

Larry Lunt at Normandy

Grandpa Larry wrote a special blog post for the Lunt Capital blog about Normandy--you won't want to miss it.  Here is the introduction with a link:

As part of our Investment Trek, we are visiting the beaches and cemeteries of Normandy.  This is the site of the greatest amphibious and airborne operation of all time, and it changed the course of history.  We are forever grateful for the ultimate sacrifice of thousands at Normandy.  The freedoms we enjoy today were protected by these brave men.

We have a special blog post in recognition of the hallowed events that transpired at Normandy.  The author of this blog post is Retired Brigadier General Larry Lunt.  Larry is also a founder and owner of Lunt Capital Management, Inc.  Larry spent 36 years in the military, and he has a deep love of our country and has an unmatched appreciation of all who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy.  At the time of his retirement, Larry was commander of the Utah Air National Guard.  His military service stretched from Vietnam to the response to the 9-11 attacks.

Larry has joined us for a portion of the Investment Trek, and it is most fitting that he would share his thoughts with you from Normandy.

http://www.luntcapital.com/blog/france3

Paris and Normandy

Posted by Joseph

France has been really cool and I’ve enjoyed it a lot.  It was crazy how different Paris is than Mumbai, and in some ways it was relaxing to finally get here!  It was also fun because my Grandparents and Andrew Benson met us here.  We have seen a lot of different churches, including the Sainte Chapelle and Notre Dame.  We travelled to Versailles and saw the palace and it was amazing! Just the combination of all the gold and artwork, it was truly amazing.  I thought that all the ceiling paintings were amazing.  I heard that the palace could sleep 20,000!

Today we took a tour up to Normandy and saw all the D-day memorials and beaches.  I thought that was the neatest thing we have seen so far.  Normandy is full of small villages and farms and beautiful scenery.  My favorite part was seeing Point Hoc, which was where some USA Rangers attacked the Germans who formed a bunch of concrete bunkers.  A lot of the Bunkers and tunnels still remain and you can still see where the bombs hit.  I was really thankful for the people who gave their lives and also thought all that happened was really interesting.

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PARIS, VERSAILLES, & NORMANDY, FRANCE

Posted by Sydney

France has been such a wonderful experience.  It is beautiful and I have been struck with all the care that has been taken to preserve so many beautiful things.  I love that everywhere you look there is art, statues, and amazing architecture.  The attention to detail is astounding.  I was able to see things I had never seen before, like Sacre Couer and the Statue of Liberty.  I also loved seeing the statues around the city depicting Joan of Arc.  I have always found her story compelling that at such a young age she was willing to die for what she believed.  She said at death that she would rather die in truth than to live in a lie.  At the end of this post, I have put what President James E. Faust said in an address in April 2006 about Joan of Arc.

We also took a trip out to Versailles.  This was also beautiful, but after not very long, I began to be disturbed at the elaborate life of those that had lived there while their people were starving.  It would have made the art hard to enjoy, but I knew that those very people who were starving, were likely those who painted it.  The gardens were immaculate and it was fun to know that the LDS temple was also being built close by!

Our final day was Normandy.  It was so touching to see all the crosses and star of davids at the monument.  It is on the very ground that the battle was on.  As Camilla pointed out, they had crosses also for those who died that they could not identify who they were.  I cried when I saw them.  I also loved seeing the places where the men climbed up the cliffs.  There were a lot of ruins from the German troops and craters from the bombings.  It was very sobering to think of those who died for my freedom.  It was also neat to see how much this means to the French and to hear what France did to help with DDay.  Also, along the way there were many little old villages.  It was so neat to go through these villages and see the neat old cottages and chateaus and beautiful old churches right in the middle of the villages.

From James E. Faust in 2006:  “A few years ago I stood on the spot where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431. Young Joan of Arc, one of the great heroines in history, became the unlikely standard-bearer for the French army in the Dark Ages, long before the gospel was restored. Joan had the Light of Christ and also the courage to follow its promptings and make a difference. Joan was a peasant girl who could neither read nor write, but she was bright. Long years of war with the English had impoverished and divided her country. At 17, sensing her life had a purpose, she left home, determined to help liberate her oppressed country. Naturally, people scoffed at her ideas and thought she was a little crazy, but in the end she persuaded them to let her have a horse and an escort to go and see the king.

Young King Charles VII of France had heard about Joan and decided to test her. He slipped into the ranks of the army and let one of his trusted associates occupy the throne. When Joan came into the room, she barely acknowledged the man on the throne, but promptly walked up to Charles and curtsied to him as her king. This so impressed the king that he gave her command over his 12,000 troops. At first the French soldiers did not want to obey her, but when they saw that all who followed her succeeded and all who disregarded her failed, they came to look upon her as their leader.

Clad in a suit of white armor and flying her own standard, Joan of Arc liberated the besieged city of Orleans in 1429 and defeated the English in four other battles. Twice she was wounded, but each time she recovered and went on fighting. Her orders seemed to be those of a military genius. She marched into the city of Reims and stood with sword and banner in hand while Charles was crowned king. She fought in the Battle of Paris until she was captured at Compiègne by English allies, who sold her to the English for 16,000 francs. She was imprisoned, tried as a heretic, and then burned at the stake in 1431.

Although this is a sad ending, it does not take away from Joan’s greatness. She was courageous enough to follow the personal inspiration to which all of us are entitled. As the Lord said to the Prophet Joseph Smith, “I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

Winged Victory in the Louvre.  Easily my favorite sculpture!

Winged Victory in the Louvre.  Easily my favorite sculpture!

The statue of liberty just on the other side of the Eiffel Tower.  It is much smaller than the one in New York Harbor.  But very neat to see!

The statue of liberty just on the other side of the Eiffel Tower.  It is much smaller than the one in New York Harbor.  But very neat to see!

Utah beach at Normandy in the background.

Utah beach at Normandy in the background.

At the Arc de Triomphe.

At the Arc de Triomphe.

The concrete bunkers at Normandy where the German soldiers hid out.  When they were bombed, they also would burn the inside of the bunkers to make sure no one was hiding inside.  You can see the burned wood on the ceiling.

The concrete bunkers at Normandy where the German soldiers hid out.  When they were bombed, they also would burn the inside of the bunkers to make sure no one was hiding inside.  You can see the burned wood on the ceiling.

Walking around on top of the bunkers looking over the cliff where the rangers climbed and also down into craters made by the bombs.

Walking around on top of the bunkers looking over the cliff where the rangers climbed and also down into craters made by the bombs.

A panoramic view of the Normandy American Memorial.  So touching.

A panoramic view of the Normandy American Memorial.  So touching.