Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shabbat in Galilee

Saturday-I am still not used to having Sabbath on Saturday by the way-
we had church at the Galilee Branch.
The branch house there is adorable, they have an incredible view of the Sea of Galilee,
and the people there were so nice-basically a recipe for a perfect church meeting!
I was seriously so impressed with the faithfulness of the members of the Galilee Branch.
Because the church has to maintain a very low profile in Israel, members are 
not allowed to explain their beliefs to any of their neighbors or have any church materials in Hebrew, including the Book of Mormon.
This means that most of the rising generation in Israel has never even had the opportunity to read the Book of Mormon and are consequently are falling away from the church.
Despite all the hardships though, there are still so many incredibly inspiring, dedicated members here who are working hard to build the kingdom in their own, quiet ways.
It really made me realize how good I have it as a member of the church in Utah and how lucky I am just to be able to read the scriptures in my own language!

Galilee Branch House
View from the Balcony
Neil, me, Morgan, Nate, and Kathleen
The Galilee Branch has a lot of diversity and so they have to accommodate English, Spanish, Russian, and Hebrew! 

On our way back from church we stopped at Yardenit, which is a baptismal site on the River Jordan.
Interestingly enough, this site has been turned into a huge tourist attraction. 
People come from all over to be baptized.
The kibbutz that runs it has the industry down to an art.
They issue clothes and a number, have people wait behind certain gates for their turn to be baptized, and even take pictures of each baptism available for purchase afterwards.
So basically it is kinda like Disneyland- Baptismal style.

My favorite part of Yardenit were the plaques all around the site telling the baptismal account in almost every language in the world-from Chinese to Hawaii Pidgin.

Take the time to actually read this Pidgin account haha you will not be disappointed-I promise!

Despite the touristy nature of Yardenit, the river was beautiful and it was cool to think about how even though it was not in the same exact spot, that Christ was baptized in this same river. 
The children of the members of the church here in Israel all tend to get baptized here and I am not gonna lie, I am kinda jealous.
 Being baptized in the same river as Jesus really would have been awesome! 

No comments:

Post a Comment