A New Year in The Old City

Yesterday I arrived in one of the world’s oldest and most revered cities: Jerusalem. From January to April of 2016, I will have the unparalleled experience of studying at the BYU Jerusalem Center, located on the Mount of Olives and overlooking The Old City of Jerusalem. — I can literally see The Dome of the Rock from my bedroom. (Just check out the photo above, taken from my balcony!) It’s unbelievable.

While here, I will participate in a rigorous academic course load, but also see some of the most important religious sites for Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. I will take classes from local Israelis and Palestinians, learning first hand about the political turmoil of the area as well as the expansive cultural and religious history that makes this city so wonderfully unique. I will also take courses focused on the Old Testament and New Testament, all the while traveling to visit the sites we learn about. And I will also fulfill one of my childhood dreams – to visit Egypt and see the Pyramids of Giza!

After arriving last night we had a brief orientation meeting before packing our things and (attempting) going to sleep. Today we have had more orientation and security training, but this morning we got to take about three hours and walk around Jerusalem to try to orient ourselves in the city, briefly walking past the cites that we will spend so much more time visiting and studying later. In just those short three hours I became so excited for the next 15 weeks that I can hardly stand it, and I’m already dreading having to leave this place. I feel so remarkably blessed to be here with a few old friends and about 80 new ones!

I invite you to come on this journey with me (even in just a small way) as I will try to find time to update this blog at least once a week with photos and information from my adventures. Be sure to follow The TJ Blog using the sidebar to be notified of updates!

4 thoughts on “A New Year in The Old City

  1. Hey, TJ. I was thinking this morning that it might be nice for you to send your opening Israel blog to your cousins. I think they would enjoy it and I have their email addresses if you don’t. I think I sent it to Kristi and sorry, cant recall if I sent it to the other sisters. but I definitely think you should. If they are not interested, they can delete. What do you think? But I think it is great. Hope you are still enjoying it as much. Love you,Grammy Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2016 15:25:32 +0000 To: joyce_goodman@msn.com


  2. TJ, Wow wow wow. I am so thrilled for you and can almost feel the excitement you are feeling. It is living it all over again. I hope you are sending this to all the sisters and Joey and Laura since as we said, they have all gone there and you are the 8th in the family. They will all love the reminders of their time there. Thanks for a great blog. Much love,Grammy and Grandpa

    Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2016 15:25:32 +0000 To: joyce_goodman@msn.com

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a son in-law who works with the State Dept. and travels to Israel on occasion. Last year he did Seder dinner at the home of one of the Embassy staff. He brought a fine bottle of wine for the occasion and the Grannie, matriarch fell in love with him (figuratively). If he returns while I know you’re still there I’ll get some contact info. His daughter, my granddaughter, and her husband, both USAFA grads and LDS also live in OKC and active duty AF. She from Eastern Shore of MD, he from SE Oregon. Great Blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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