Today I would like to speak on some of my experiences here in the Holy Land and because Easter was just a week ago I decided to speak a little on my experiences with my Easter here!J This Easter was really special to me 1. Because like everyone else I am experiencing it in the Holy Land and 2. Because of my Easter goal. I would first like to talk about my Easter goal. So there is a chapter on the resurrection and the first Easter in each of the four gospels and a random thought (maybe the Holy Ghost ;) came to my mind, what if I read one chapter a day from the Gospels till’ Easter and then read the four resurrection chapters on Easter. So I have been reading one chapter a night, I didn’t miss one chapter and when the Easter chapters came I skipped them and then as of last Sunday I am done with the Four Gospels!
So on Easter I first went to a service at the Garden Tomb and it was very interesting how other people worship and it was somewhat uplifting but most of the time during the service they were playing loud music, even during the prayer. It makes me grateful for the peace and spirit that is felt in our religion. While I was there I read two of my four Easter chapters then when I got home I went right to the seventh floor balcony right out there and I read the last two Easter chapters. I then sat there and pondered for about an hour then I said a prayer out loud for like 20 minutes. It was the strongest I have ever felt the spirit and I was the happiest I have ever been in my life! It was a really neat experience and I will never forget it. And I don’t think I really thought about what Easter really is until here and studying all about it, Easter will never be the same, it will be a lot better!
One really cool thing about my Easter was the hymn: “I Stand All Amazed” Our family had a devotional on the Mount of Olives and we sang this song, then in Sacrament meeting last week we sand this song then I started to play it on the piano. This hymn has been popping up and it is really special to me and it is definitely my Easter hymn for this year. I really like a few lines in that hymn one being: “that he should care for me enough to die for me” and I think it is wonderful to me that he should care for me enough to die for me.
I would like to share with you a few of my favorite scriptures that I have read in the four gospels. One is when John is explaining why he wrote his gospel, John 20: 30-31: I like this scripture because I think through my experiences in this Holy Land I have really come to fully believing in Jesus Christ and I hope that that will bring everlasting life. Another scripture that I really like is Mark 11: 23-24: There are many times that I have noticed where Christ will ask people why thou have such little faith or why didst thou doubt? And I think this time he is making a declaration in these verses, if you have faith, you can do miraculous things.
Through Reading the scriptures I have had multiple blessings and one of them has been that the Holy Ghost has been a lot stronger with me. I have had multiple little experiences where the Holy Ghost has told me to do something and it paid off later. One experience was: We were about to leave for Tel Aviv one day and I looked in my wallet and I only had two shekels so I didn’t think that would do any good but the Holy Ghost told me to bring it with me so I stuck it in my pocket just like president Monson says: ‘Just do it!” listen to the prompting right away! And sure enough when my Dad was paying for our parking he asked if anyone had two shekels and I was like yep I do and I pulled it out! J It’s been little experiences like that, that have really blessed me. I have really felt the Spirit a lot stronger and especially when I have been having really spiritual experiences here in this Holy Land.
One thing that I think was cool while I was reading some of the chapters at one point stuff would pop up that stuck out to me that day or happened to me that day and I think that was a blessing and it was neat. One example is that I was learning about my priesthood duties in Yong Men’s and then at night when I was reading in the four gospels, I read more about the Sacrament and my duties.
Also from reading the scriptures I have been getting blessings through my prayers. I have felt his presence when I have prayed and I have had many answers and comforting feelings from the Holy Ghost and it has been such a great blessing.
I also think it has been very interesting to look at the different religions especially at my school. It is such a crazy thought to think that some people don’t have the comforting knowledge of our loving Savior and Heavenly Father; it just feels like they are so lost and I am very excited to go on a mission and bring people unto him and I have been praying that this Holy City can sometime soon have a temple and that missionaries can bring these people the gospel and I have been praying that I could be one of them.
My Mom always will tell us as we go out the door for school or anything else: “Remember who you are” and being here I think that I have really been figuring out who I am. I am now a different person after my amazing experiences here. I have also changed very much spiritually and I think I am forever changed.
But the biggest blessing that reading the scriptures has brought is a strengthened Testimony and especially my testimony of my Savior. I can now testify that He lives and I love him, he did suffer for all of us, just out that window in that beautiful city and he rose from the grave and I know that with all my heart and soul that this is true. And he will come again someday and he will bring everyone unto him and every knee shall bow. I have a testimony that we have a true prophet on this earth today, who holds the keys and is definitely a prophet of our Heavenly Father. I know that this church is definitely a true church and I can now testify that reading the scriptures can bring blessings and also it is a very great learning tool. I know that all of these things are true with all my heart and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
|Where I gave my talk!|
|Part of one of my favorite scriptures :)|
|Sat almost in that same spot on Easter when I had my experience, I love life! :)|