Sunday, May 25, 2014

Schedule in the US and Pope's visit

My brother Maher came to visit from the US and it has been nice to spend time with him and with family for the last few days. 
Of course everywhere Maher gets invited, we get invited too. So, we have been eating a lot of good food and I am probably gaining some weight which is good (I need it). We just got back from a BBQ at my niece Lama's house. Even my dog and cats are getting a treat this week because they are getting all the leftover meat and bones.

This past week my friend and I went to visit a friend from church who had a stroke. The trip took us 10 hours (she lives in Tiberias-Galilee), but it was nice to spend time with our friend there. Because of the stroke she now can't move the left side of her body and her life has completely changed. But, she is still strong and willing to serve and think of others...She can't wait to be able to drive again so she can continue to visit and serve the sisters in her ward(Church).

My back (well, it is not really my back that is bothering me--it is more like my upper thigh) is still hurting. I have started taking massages as my doctor told me that is what I had to do. I actually ended up with someone who uses Chinese needles. I would have never chosen that myself, but I didn't know when I first went. She is actually very good, but my pain was getting worse and so I finally decided to see another doctor. The pain got so bad that I could not sit or sleep; it was too painful. This other doctor told me I had an infection in the nerve and that the massage will make it worse and he wanted me to stop.  The first doctor told me to use ice, this one said to use heat. He gave me some medicine and told me I should be well soon.  Amazingly enough I was so much better as soon as I started taking the medications, but then discovered that it was only the pain killers that was making the pain go away. When the medication would wear off I would have pain again. Anyway, I will finish my antibiotics and wait and see if this doctor is right. I sure hope he is because I am really sick and tired of having pains. 

The pope was in Bethlehem today. We avoided going anywhere as all the roads were closed and it was crazy inside Bethlehem. Everyone probably came from long distances to see the pope and we didn't even try to go. I have not heard much from his speech, but probably will get to hear some of it soon. I saw he prayed at the separation wall (that it would go away?). He was surrounded by refugee children from Aida Refugee Camp carrying slogans. Some saying "7,400,000 Palestinian Refugees are denied to return home, what if Jesus wasn't allowed to return to Nazareth?" The Pope blessed the children and visited the refugee camp.  As I mentioned, we went to my nieces for lunch today. Her husband, Basem, is the one who did all the decorations for the Pope in Manger square (yellow and white stage + flags +  carpets). He also did the table cloth that they used when the pope had lunch. Basem was working non-stop for 4 days to get it all done in time. What do you all think of it?   

So many came to Bethlehem today to see the Pope and so many from town went to Manger square to listen to the mass he did there.  I still remember 20 years ago when Elder Hales from the Quorum of the twelve apostles came to Bethlehem.  When the Israeli soldiers almost denied him entry to Bethlehem, but finally let him in.  It was dark at Manger square when all 5 of us stood at the door of the church of nativity and read scriptures. I wonder how many people would have come to see Elder Hales if they actually realized he was a true apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ? 

I was having second thoughts about my trip to the US thinking that it would be busy and cost me too much money. But, now I am really excited and can't wait to go. I am trying to talk my sister into going with me (She won't go to the US but at least to stop somewhere on the way). She really needs a vacation and is very stressed. We will see if I can talk her into it. 

The bridge going to Jordan is insane these days and hopefully we won't end up spending 15 hours on the bridge in the heat! As we passed by the Tel-Aviv airport going to Galilee the other day I realized how close it is. It would be so convenient to travel if we were allowed to fly out of the Tel-Aviv airport. But, Israel forbids all Palestinians living in the West Bank from entering the airport. We need to travel by land to Jordan and fly out of Jordan (the trip to Jordan could take 10 hours in the summer). We usually have to spend a night in Jordan which adds at least 2 or 3 days to your trip and makes it so exhausting. So, I probably would have been traveling for a while when I get to the US.

For those of you still wondering about my schedule in the US. I am going to try and put my calendar at the bottom. I really don't know what it will look like when viewed on the blog...but here goes.




MONDAY

TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
30
1
2
3
4
5
Arrive 1:36 pm SLC : AF 8990
Staying in SpringHill Suites
Hotel Draper
6
Staying in SpringHill Suites
Hotel Draper Fireside SLC
Topic? Time: ??
7
Recording Arabic Lessons/ Riverton
*Fireside at Carpenters in Draper, Time?
8
Recording Arabic Lessons/ Riverton
Staying in Draper
9
Recording Arabic Lessons/ Riverton
Staying in Draper
10
Recording Arabic Lessons/ Riverton
Staying in Draper
11
Recording Arabic Lessons/ Riverton
Staying in Draper
12
Recording Arabic Lessons/ Riverton
Staying in Draper
13
Fireside in Pleasant Grove at 6:00 pm
Topic: Obedience
Overnight in Pleasant Grove
14
In Provo
15
In Provo
16
In Provo
17
In California: Fireside
Topic: Charity

18
Return from CA
19
In Provo
20
Talk 9:00 am in 
Holladay 2nd Ward

21
In Provo
22
Staying at Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites in Murray
23
Staying at Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites in Murray
24
Leaving to Houston
at 9:20 am
flight Delta 4635
25
In Lake Jackson with Family
26
In Lake Jackson with Family
27
Departure to Amman at 4 pm
Flight AF 639
28
Arrive in Amman at 8:25 pm
29
Travel to Palestine through the bridge
30
31










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