Sunday, July 25, 2010

Megiddo, Mount Carmel, Bahai Gardens, and the Templar Cemetery

This is my last post about our Galilee trip-yay! 
We left the kibbutz super early in the morning to head back to Jerusalem, which is only about a 2 hour drive if you drive straight-but like always it ended up taking all day with all the stops we made along the way!

Our first stop was Megiddo. This city is over 3000 years old and has been destroyed and rebuilt over 20 times. Interestingly, the word 'Armageddon' comes from the word Megiddo and many Christians believe that the battle at the end of the world will occur here

The 'Armageddon Battlefield'

Our next pit stop on the way to Jerusalem was Mount Carmel, the place of Elijah's 'sacrifice contest' with the priests of Baal. Our lesson inside of the chapel was awesome and it was amazing to read the scriptural account in the Old Testament right where it actually happened!

This altar in the church is supposedly where the altar stood that was completely consumed with the fire that Elijah brought down from heaven.

After Mount Carmel we stopped at the Bahai Gardens. This 19-terraced garden is the headquarters of the Bahai faith, which is actually really interesting. Members of Bahai accept everything as truth, which the RMs in our group said was so frustrating to work with, because they will take the discussions and believe in the Book of Mormon, but will still refuse to be baptized!
Regardless of their stubbornness to be baptized, their gardens were absolutely gorgeous.
Seriously, if I ever become a billionaire I will landscape my backyard to look like this place.

Our last site of the day was the Templar Cemetery in Haifa. What is interesting about this cemetery is that there are actually two LDS missionaries buried here. In the late 1880s two young missionaries from Utah, Elder Haag and Elder Clark, were sent here to spread the gospel. Sadly, they both died from disease during their missions and never made it back to their families. Their graves are both marked with broken-off columns to represent their cut-short lives. Brother Huntington, the last man in charge of the Jerusalem Center, said that this is his favorite place in the Holy Land because it testifies of the dedication of the members of church and their willingness to sacrifice and serve wherever the Lord has need of them. To honor these young men we stopped and sang "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go".

We had some free time in Haifa so a group of us stopped to get some schwarma. This was actually my first time ever getting schwarma, which is actually pretty amazing since all of the kids at the JC (especially the guys) are OBSESSED with it and get it in the old city at least twice a week. 
A schwarma is essentially tons of shaved meat stuffed into a fresh pita along with vegetables and sauce and they can be found everywhere in Israel-literally there are at least five stands on every street.
I never thought they looked very appetizing, so I was surprised at how good it was and how much I enjoyed it! I will not be dreaming about it at night like many of the other students do, but I can now definitely understand what all the fuss is about.

We were all feeling very full as we got back on the bus and passed out the second the bus stared moving.  2 hours later we were back in Jerusalem and woke up to this very pleasant site...

It is amazing how much this place is starting to feel like home.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting adventure

    do you know that not only Christians believe in the Armageddon battlefield will be in Magedo hill, but also Muslims have the same thoughts and believe.

    And believe it or not they believe that battle will be in the same place same theory

    I think this is interesting