I drove down to Utah on Friday and was shocked that it was Spring there. In Idaho everything is still brown and dry. As I got here I could smell the Spring in the air. There were fresh new leaves on the trees and blossoms. There were beautiful flowers and warmth. I missed Utah even by being away for a few weeks only.
I walked around temple square in Salt Lake City right before the General Women's session of conference. The flowers looked pretty, but sadly the pictures fail to get the smell in the air, that of freshness and of Spring.
Spring has always been my favorite season. In Palestine, that is the season when you can see the grass and wild flowers covering the hills and valleys and it is magical.
Today is palm Sunday and although it may go unnoticed in the US, it should remind us of the courage the Savior had. He knew that He would be crucified, yet He chose to go to Jerusalem anyway. Many welcomed him into the city and cried Hosannas to Him. Yet a few days after that, many of his disciples left Him and He went through the atonement suffering all alone...It is great that the atonement happened during Spring because it is the season of giving...what greater time is there for God to give His only begotten Son for us. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3: 16)
I hope that we take this week to contemplate what has happened because of His atonement. Think of the amount of pain and suffering the Savior went through for you because He loves you.
I had the opportunity to translate for the General Women's session of conference yesterday. It was an amazing experience. I think I messed up the first part because Sister Burton was talking sooo fast and I could not keep up. But, I got used to it towards the end. I am grateful for those that prayed because they spoke SLOWLY...yay. I was able to translate the prayers very easily. I watched as my friend Jabra translated Pres. Eyring's talk just instantly (he didn't have the right translated talk with him). Jabra was even quoting Arabic scriptures from memory almost perfectly. I am grateful that He was the one doing it, not me, because I would probably mess it up. I am sure the Holy Ghost must have helped him because Pres. Eyring's talk was amazing and Arabic members needed to hear that.
I am staying with Emily and looking forward to making Ma'amoul (cookies that we normally make for Easter) with her. It will bring back memories from home. This is the hardest time of the year to be away from home, so it is good to be with Palestinians at least.
I didn't realize teaching would involve so much work. I have been very busy lately trying to get my classes set up and everything planned before the semester starts. I even don't think I will be ready in time. I'm glad I got started early. I am also grateful I got my first pay check this past week. They started paying me early because the contract start date was in March. Yay, it is so nice to finally have income. I have been without a job for over 2 years now.
The Relief Society in our ward had a nice dinner for us on Thursday. It was amazing. They had a nice theme, everything from the sea (nets, boat, even sea water--the juice said sea water, but it was raspberry lemonade). I don't know how they can be so creative. I never did stuff like that when I was relief society president!
I can't begin to tell you how much I miss the sea...It has always been my favorite place to be...I have also missed nature and being in the outdoors. I'll have to take advantage of the good weather and be outside for a change. Hope you all have a great week...and Happy Easter!