First of..

This blog should not be called the average Joe because I am not the average Joe

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve

Everyone dreams about being at Bethlehem on Christmas eve or on any day and I got to experience the dream. So i started my Sabbath Christmas Eve, like every normal sabbath get ready for church, go to church, but instead of 3 hours of church we only had Sacrament Meeting. After eating, me and my family and most of the rest of the branch got on buses headed towards Bethlehem. When we arrived we all split up into families and ours headed to Manger Square, when we got there it was super packed  (and we later found out that it was the biggest crowd in like a decade or so.) We first went to the church of the Nativity and watched around for a few minutes, at one point, they had the middle of the church cleared out for one of the priests going around swinging a lamp that was filled with incense, it was very interesting.  When we got out of the church, we watched what was going on at the square, and then headed to the souvenir stores (even though it was sabbath(( oh no we sinned, we bought stuff on Sabbath!!)) But at one of the stores, one of the storekeepers took us to the upstairs of his shop and showed us how he made olive wood carvings, it was really neat. We then took a taxi to the separation wall that surrounds Bethlehem. When we got over the wall and then got to a checkpoint we waited in line, but we noticed that we were staying in almost the same spot but we had seen lots of people come in. We then realized that almost everyone that came in was cutting in line and we eventually just went near the front of the line ourselves and got past the checkpoint. We then got back on buses and headed to Shepard's field. When we arrive in Shepard's field, we walked around for a few minutes and then all the people that had come gathered together to sing Christmas Carols. While we were singing we noticed that there was one star shining over Bethlehem, the same place where the Baby Jesus was born 2011 years ago in a small little manger. This was really an amazing thing for me because i had been praying the last few daysn that I would have a special Christmas and that I could have the spirit of the Savior and I did.

          Here are the highlights of the whole day

In front of the Chruch of the Nativity

In front of the 40 foot Christmas tree in Manger Square

The huge record breaking crowd

At Shepard's Field

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