Monday, April 2, 2012

Here is a cool story i heard from one of my lessons:

“Some years ago, it was my privilege to visit the country of Morocco as part of an official United States government delegation. As part of that visit, we were invited to travel some distance into the desert to visit some ruins. Five large black limousines moved across the beautiful Moroccan countryside at considerable speed. I was riding in the third limousine, which had lagged some distance behind the second. As we topped the brow of a hill, we noticed that the limousine in front of us had pulled off to the side of the road. As we drew nearer, I sensed that an accident had occurred and suggested to my driver that we stop. The scene before us has remained with me for these many years.

“An old shepherd, in the long, flowing robes of the Savior’s day, was standing near the limousine in conversation with the driver. Nearby, I noted a small flock of sheep numbering not more than fifteen or twenty. An accident had occurred. The king’s vehicle had struck and injured one of the sheep belonging to the old shepherd. The driver of the vehicle was explaining to him the law of the land. Because the king’s vehicle had injured one of the sheep belonging to the old shepherd, he was now entitled to one hundred times its value at maturity. However, under the same law, the injured sheep must be slain and the meat divided among the people. My interpreter hastily added, “But the old shepherd will not accept the money. They never do.”

“Startled, I asked him why. And he added, “Because of the love he has for each of his sheep.” It was then that I noticed the old shepherd reach down, lift the injured lamb in his arms, and place it in a large pouch on the front of his robe. He kept stroking its head, repeating the same word over and over again. When I asked the meaning of the word, I was informed, “Oh, he is calling it by name. All of his sheep have a name, for he is their shepherd, and the good shepherds know each one of their sheep by name.”

“It was as my driver predicted. The money was refused, and the old shepherd with his small flock of sheep, with the injured one tucked safely in the pouch on his robe, disappeared into the beautiful deserts of Morocco.

“As we continued our journey toward the ruins, my interpreter shared with me more of the traditions and practices of the shepherds of that land. Each evening at sundown, for example, the shepherds bring their small flocks of sheep to a common enclosure where they are secured against the wolves that roam the deserts of Morocco. A single shepherd then is employed to guard the gate until morning. Then the shepherds come to the enclosure one by one, enter therein, and call forth their sheep—by name. The sheep will not hearken unto the voice of a stranger but will leave the enclosure only in the care of their true shepherd, confident and secure because the shepherd knows their names and they know his voice.

“The words of the Master Shepherd rang loudly in my ears: “But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.  “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.  “And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers” (John 10:2–5) (Elder John R. Lassater, “Shepherds of Israel, Ensign, May 1988, p. 74)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

So here is a funny story you might be interested in. We were staying at awesome beach side hotel right outside Troy. The hotel crew set up a huge bonfire!! like huge as in setting fire to a tree! They also had speakers connected to one of our iPods so we could dance our little hearts out around the fire. We were having a great time! i was going insane on this beach, i was letting loose after a long week of 3 finals. The tide went out and left a nice flat surface for all of us to dance on. As i joined the rest of my friends on this new surface, i took a few steps and immediately i felt this jolting pain go up my leg. I saw tons of dead jelly fish on the shore the day before so i immediately thought that i stepped on a dying jellyfish. With its last dying breath the jellyfish was going to make my life suck. haha! I then thought: What do you do when a jellyfish stings you? Pee on it! So i grabbed my shoes and sweatshirt and RAN to my hotel room to pee on my foot. Our hotel was just a bunch of small apartment buildings, i was in Building D with the only room on the third floor. So i was running up to my room and just as i got to the last landing before my room my friend came out of the branch presidents room. He asked "DAVIS!!! ARE YOU OK?!!". I said" Oh, ya. haha i just got stung by a  stupid jellyfish" not even looking back at him. Then i heard ".....Uhhh.....i dont think so...". It was then that i realized my left foot was wet. i looked back at him and saw all of it. Blood was EVERYWHERE! On every step there was a pool of blood completely covering every step all of the way down. My heart sank deep in my chest. i cursed and ran up the last flight of stairs to my bathroom and put my foot in the tub. I saw blood pulse pressurized blood on that white porcelain. (i had a hard time writing that FYI). Second later my branch prez comes in to put his death grip around my ankle to slow down the bleeding. This entire time i'm giggling and laughing and making jokes. a couple minutes later our resident ER doctor (Dr. Chapman) on the trip comes to my room with his needle and thread ready to stitch me up right there on the bathroom sink (we switched around to show the doc). Doc took a look at it and told me "you know what Davis, i don't think i can clean this up enough. If i don't take you to the hospital you will get a serious infection". I was going to disagree with him then i realized that he was the one with the medical experience, so i complied. We drove the 15-20 min taxi drive to the hospital with my roommate holding my foot, keeping it elevated. No one in the entire 500 sq ft hospital spoke a word of English except a girl my age who was neither a nurse or a patient. she was just there. She told the doctor what happened and what we needed, then left. Miracle. Then they stuck me with stuff i think is called lidocaine? It was the worst pain i have ever experienced in my life!!! they had to go through my calluses, my fat to get to the muscle of the bottom of my foot to spit fire into my foot! not going to lie, i screamed like a little girl. My doc was laughing, i was too in between screams. People were leaving the hospital. my buddy in the waiting room was a little freaked out, wondering what was happening to me. They finally finshed the injections, cleaned it up really well, and stitched me up with 14 stitches. Now about a month later its all healed up, and by the time i get home i should be ble to run on it again. I think from now on im going to wear shoes on the beach- at least for a while.      

Took this today

Friday, February 24, 2012

Here are random pictures i got from my broken camera

... some are old and some are new and some are from people in my group

A picture of my friends Megan (nickname: Bacon), and Jen!

Old Branch President Oman, he played the bells on the YMCA tower.

A little plaque on the wall of the YMCA building.

The valley of Elah, this is where Davis and Goliath fought

another view of the valley

guy in center is Professor Ludlow for my ancient near east class. The hill behind him is the remains of the fortress of Lachish. This is the Fortress that was beseiged at the time of Hezekiah.

Maresha caves for the next 7 pictures. each of the holes you can see in this picture are for Doves they raised them for fertilizer and sacrifice.

Jon (my roommate) and myself

Kyle and i outside the entrance to Narnia

The entrance to Narnia

Dead Davis

Dead Davis and Dead Analise

Jason and my roommate Daniel

The Garden of Gethsemane is owned by the Catholic Church, and is normally closed off to the public. One day while we were there i made friends with a Franciscan Monk and i just asked him if he could let us in the gates. He let us in! So i got a picture styanding next to one of the trees!

The Tear Drop Church or Dominus Flevit - literally translated into "the Lord Cried". This is the spot where Jesus Said " oh Jerusalem oh jerusalem..." in Mathew 23:37.

looking at the Dome of the Rock at Dominus Flevit

The russian orthodox church. This is SO HARD to get into!!!! its only open from 10am-12am on tuesdays and thursdays, and we usually have class during those times. So one day when we had a class period cancelled we ran over there to get in! Whats interesting is that inside the church its set up like a israelite temple. It has a courtyard (or an open area to sit), a holy place (a closed off section where the priest preaches, and a holy of holies (a closet like room away from the congregation) where the preist goes off to talk to God.

The next two pictures is when we saw the separation wall, with all of the graffiti included. :) The space between the "n" and the "o" in "ignorance" is where the children climb up and over the separation wall. I guess they can do it in like 4-5 mins.

a huge apple i found at the israeli museum

this is when we played ultimate frisbee with a bunch of Palestinian kids. They never have seen a frisbee before! it was kind of fun explaining the game to them. After about 20mins of playing they became better at playing than we were. 

an endearing picture of myself and Natalie Doyle, a sister of one the Zone Leaders on my mission. She is here at the center with me! :)

We then got donuts at the Jewish quarter of the Old City

The next 7 pics are of a bunch of us at Ammunition Hill, a commemoration of the Israeli victory of the 1967 war. This is a BA pic of us in a tank. I tried to really get into character...

seeing all of these trenches filled with water, helps me understand how soldiers in WWI got serious trench foot. That would be beyond terrible!

sick bunker

i have no idea what im doing

the guy on the left is David, he's definitely German

Here is a "backflip" i did while playing ultimate frisbee with a bunch of Palestinian kids. They were so tight!

here is the kid that convinced me to do it!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

So These are just a few pics I took while I checking out the Old City so far. Ill explain these as i go.
Jerusalem in a lot of ways in the middle of the world. Its between Europe and Asia and Africa. In the Church of the Holy Sepulchre im touching the "center" of the world...with Hannah in the background. 

This is the sword of the Crusader who lead the conquering of the Holy Land.

This is Awad, he owns a little stand that makes and sells Falafel. The next picture are the ones me made for us.  (Although his aren't the best in the City)

Really messy

MY FIRST GELATO!!! Caramel flavored! 

My friend danielle and i with a big group of us who went to get gelato. Our friend Amanda is holding the Gelato

A mosaic in W Jerusalem which displays Jerusalem being the center of the World. note: ameica in the bottom left corner.

This is a Bedouin woman weaving a rug for an outreach program  that our church supports, giving  poor women  training and work to sustain themselves.

I think i need some Lucky Charms....

This and the next 6 pictures are of a place called Arad. Its a fortress that Solomon built durring his reign. The reason this one in particular is so important is because of the "israelite temple. This is a view from above of the temple walls that are left.

This is the altar.

This is me getting sacrificed upon the altar...with a rock.

Me inside the Holy of Holies

This and the next 22 pictures is our class visiting a place called Avdat. It a city that has been home for the Romans, Nabateans, and the Byzantine Empire. (thats not in order). It a place where there is ruins and some limestone caves. SO MUCH FUN!!

Look at this guys nose...

I asked myself "What would Joe Cookson do?" and this is what i  came up with.

Senior portrait

Byzantine Church on the top of Avdat.

a menorah and a cross? What?

Preaching a sermon in the Byzantine Church

Superhero profile pic

an ancient baptismal font
My teacher told me to do it.

a limestone cave!

Band pic

is that luke skywalker?

The entrance to the outside of one of the caves

and this is Brennin's booty as we are coming out of one of the caves

This is one of the bigger caves on the site

Power Rangers?



Im hatching!!!

Ancient roman hot tub

These next few pictures are us painting a mural for a local preschool. BYU students have done it before and we are just finishing it for them. Its theme is "Its a small world after all"  

We are painting children from all over the world

First we traced it in pencil

then we painted it with the first coat

Near the end of it, this little girl came out to see what i was doing.  She and i traded  words we knew in each language.

but...since she was like 6 it was more making funny faces and laughing !!