The next day we did lessons again. The lessons we have here are so incredible. Everyone is so ready to learn, the setting is so right, it works out so incredibly well. I think we had amazing lessons. I felt great about this day. After class Julianne and I went up to Hippos. This is a great big town on the hill right above us. The view was incredibly beautiful. The town is so big. It seems to me that this was a city that was splendidly in view from the Mt. of Beattitudes, and a backdrop for when the Savior spoke of a city set on a hill. It also would be the only city close to where the swine ran into the sea, and when that happened the people came from a city to ask the Savior to leave. I think that Hippos (or Susita, its Hebrew name) may have played a role in some of the stories of the Savior.
After our time there the rest of our children arrived, and we had a great reunion, and took them to the beach where they had a great time. It was so much fun for them to run into the Sea of Galilee and play with all the children. They so enjoy the students, and so enjoy the Sea of Galilee, and we all had a wonderful time. This was good stuff.
The next morning was a very fun field trip. We went to a place called Chorazin, a town in which Jesus did much of his preaching. This place is a great example of many architectural features that the Savior drew on in his teaching.
Jacob in the remains of the synagogue of Chorazin
Chorazin with Galilee in the background
Then we went on a hike up to Gamla. This is always beautiful, but this time of year it is breathtakingly beautiful.
Class with Gamla in the background
From Gamla looking at Mt. Heremon
It is amazing how wonderful it is. And we saw eagles, buzzards, and falcons as well, tons and tons of them.
Tashara at Gamla
This town has an amazing history, especially having to do with the Jewish revolt. But the coolest part is that the synagogue there is still the original synagogue that existed during the Savior’s day. It is virtually certain that he preached there. So that means that those stones were stones he was on, and probably the seats are seats that people sat in who were healed by the Savior. Oh, if only those stones could talk. Oh, what a wonderful place. My kids loved it.
Me teaching at the Gamla Synagogue
Family in the Gamla synagogue
Finally we went to Kursi and talked about the casting out of the devlis into the swine, a lesson we had gone over in class the day before, rich in symbolism. I am coming to understand the geography of it more and more.
Jacob worn out after a field trip
Julianne and the older kids went on a hike. They went to a waterfall, and said it was amazingly gorgeous. I stayed with the younger kids who were tired and needed some rest. We rested for a while, and then we relaxed at the beach. They had a great day.
Sabbath was very nice. We slept in a bit, had a nice breakfast, and then we went out to the beach and had a little family time. We went over the same miracles we went over in class, but this time just as a family. It was very nice, and I love seeing these things become real to my kids. I love to see them as they picture Jesus, as the stories become even more real and they understand their Savior even more. It was a nice moment.
We took the bus to church in Tiberias that afternoon. It was just my class, my family, and me. We had a wonderful time. The speakers were great, the Spirit was strong, I left a better man and a man more determined to be good. We stopped at Yardenit on the way home, a place where many people do baptisms. It is not the most exciting place to me, but the students love photo ops there, so we do it.