I got my schedule for the Jerusalem Center in the mail on Saturday. I cannot even describe how excited I am starting to become. I was reading through the schedule and almost started crying from joy! I can't believe I'm really going! How did I get to be so lucky, so blessed? It is a miracle, I assure you. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, an opportunity that I have dreamed of for so long that it is weird it is finally coming true. But then again, I should be used to this, right? I dreamed of serving a mission in Russia, and I did! How many people are able to say that? Now that I think of this a little more, opening that envelope and reading my schedule brought many of the same feelings that were present when I opened my mission call letter and read the words "You have been called to serve in Samara, Russia." The joy almost burst out of my chest! There are no words to describe it!
So, to give you a little idea of what I am going to be doing for the first 4 months of 2008, I've found some maps and circled the areas that I will be visiting/touring.
Basically, we have one full week in Egypt, 4 days in Jordan, and a little over a week in Galilee, besides smaller day trips inside of Israel. I will see the Giza Sphinx, the Pyramids, Funerary Temple of Ramses III, Memphis, Luxor Temple, Old Cairo, Mount Sinai (and even spend the night on Mount Sinai), the Red Sea, Jericho, Nazareth, Caesarea, Mount Herzl, City of David, Hezekiah's Tunnel, Pool of Siloam, Jordan River Baptismal Site, Bethlehem, Shepherds Field, Nimrod's Castle, boat across the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Mount Tabor, Tiberias, Qumran, Tel-Aviv, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Bethany, Bethphage, Bethesda, Gethsemane, Garden Tomb, the Mediterranean Sea, swim in the Dead Sea, and much more. I will be studying Arabic, Ancient Near East Studies, Modern Near East Culture and History, Old Testament, and New Testament.
In addition, I just found out that I have received a scholarship to help pay for the Jerusalem Center. So, with that money, I have 34% paid, (leaving 66% left to pay). Then, when I subtract the money I got from my loan, I only have to figure out how to pay an additional 35% of the total . . . by November 26. The other half of my loan will cover most of that amount, but I won't get it until January. So we will see what happens. But, I am not worried about it. I am very excited and can hardly wait for this semester to be over because that means I will be going to Jerusalem!!!!!