I drove down to Pocatello on Friday and gave a fireside. I spent the night with a sweet lady who took me all over Pocatello and showed me around. She took me to the new temple site and to Idaho State University. She showed me pictures of her trip to the holy land back in 1992. That made me very homesick.
I feel really blessed to be able to meet such amazing people who teach me so much. They pay for my trip and also give me amazing gifts. Thank you Anita for an amazing statue.
On Saturday I spoke to a book group. Heather, below, wants so badly to visit Palestine. I hope she gets to visit soon. I got her book Women of the New Testament as a gift. We signed each other's books. It is interesting because my friend Camille wrote the same book, but they do different approaches I hear. So, I can't wait to read Heather's book.
It was a beautiful day as I drove down to Utah after the book club. I love to see the Utah mountains as they start to show along the way. I do miss the majestic mountains of Utah. If I had enough faith I would be able to move some of those mountains closer to Rexburg.
I cooked some chicken today and we had dinner at the Gunthers. It is nice to spend time with them and their family while I am in Utah. Tomorrow, I am going to the family history center in Salt Lake City. I saw that they have some old records from my town and wanted to go see if I can find some names for some ancestors. I am not very hopeful, but it is worth a try. I have a friend who is a Palestinian member of the church and he inspired me by how much family history he has done. He even connected some of his family to my neighbors back home (Alshomali).
I am going to a middle eastern restaurant tomorrow for lunch with my friend Sharon. It's always a blessing when she can find time in her busy schedule to see me.
John and Lisa showed me today how to get cheap tickets to Amman. I found tickets for $900 in the summer. Now I wish that my green card would come out so I can actually go home. I'm still praying and hoping. But, my brother is visiting in August and I am going to a conference in Colorado, so we will see if that ends up working.
Today is Palm Sunday. And although it is not a big thing here, I know that back home people celebrate this day. I love to reflect on this day because it is one of the few days in the Savior's life where he was actually honored. Where people gathered to welcome him for a change. They shouted for joy and welcomed their king as He entered Jerusalem on a donkey. Shortly after that, those same people would reject Him and desire that He be crucified.
When the Savior asked His disciples "Whom say ye that I am?", Peter declared "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16: 16) Then the Savior charged his disciples that they should not tell anyone that he is Jesus the Christ (verse 20).
He knew His mission was to suffer and die. He actually did not want many to believe him because they may not crucify Him. He wanted to die for us. He willingly gave His life and suffered so that we may not suffer if we repent.
This Palm Sunday, I bear my testimony of Him, just as Peter did. He truly is the Christ, the Son of the living God. He bled and suffered more than anyone can imagine. He willingly gave his hands and feet to those who drove nails in them. He did this for you and me. I love Him and am so grateful for what He has done for me. I can't wait for the day when I kneel and kiss his wounded feet and thank Him for what He has done for me.