OLD CITY JERUSALEM, ISRAEL
We started the day off visiting the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. This is where Peter betrayed Christ three times before the cock crowed. It was crazy to see the lonely jail cell where Christ was sent to. Christ really does understand every pain and sorrow we experience. I can't imagine being in a cold, dirty, dark jail after being beaten and betrayed. We then stopped by the Steps of Gallicantu where the Lord walked alone from the Garden of Gethsemane. This was a special location too, again one of my moms favorites from her previous trips here. The steps are roped off to and preserved because of how sacred they are. After we left for the BYU Jerusalem Center for church since Saturday is the day of worship in Israel. it was an incredible experience to have the sacrament in the Holy Land. After church we took a group photo and this young boy approached me and gave me an olive branch. I told him I couldn't take it because I didn't have any money to give him but he insisted. I went to my dad and got some money to give to him but he refused it. This olive branch means the world to me and is a reminder to give freely and be selfless. I love the example this boy is to me! Following church we went into Old City to see all the historic sites. The Western Wailing Wall was incredible. I have always wanted to visit this spot! Its hard to wrap my head around how this is the closest spot to the Dome of the Rock where Jews are allowed to pray. You can feel how sacred and holy it is. Before we went there I wrote on a piece of paper my prayer - a prayer for Israel. A prayer for hope and resolution. I was able to slide my little piece of paper into crack in the wall. We then saw the Pool of Bethesda and then onto the St. Anne's Church. The church was simple but beautiful. I loved it! It had beautiful acoustics and a choir group was singing while we were inside the chapel. Near the front of the cathedral is a statue of St Anne and Mary which happens to be my mothers favorite statue. This church was where we began the walk following the "Via Dolorosa" - the same path Christ walked with the cross on his back. The path led to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This church was quite remarkable. After dinner we watched the David's Citadel Spectacular Light Show. And let me tell ya, it was actually quite spectacular! xx, m.