Thursday, December 29, 2011

5 days.

So....I'm getting pretty antsy to go. I keep reading my friends' blogs that have already made Jerusalem their home. I love looking at the pictures and getting advice and thinking of what to pack. When I think of the love I already have for this place, I get butterflies thinking about how much I'll love it even more once I get there. They say that "Ten measures of beauty descended to the world, nine were taken by Jerusalem." I can't wait! I can't wait to meet my 80 new friends, I can't wait to soak in new knowledge, I can't wait to go on field trips, I can't wait to take pictures, pray, laugh, learn, and have experiences I haven't even dreamed of yet. I can't wait. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hello Hello! So I've never had a blog. In fact, I've always vowed not to have a blog. But, I gave in and decided to get one so that my friends, family, and loved ones could follow my amazing adventures in the Middle East this winter semester. I'll just share a little about myself. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which you can out more about at

One of my favorite people: *President Monson*

I'm a college student at Brigham Young University, a private college with mostly LDS members. I'm the oldest of five children, which I love.
The McCann Clan
Virginia Beach
the girls
Princess Cate *7*
Mr. John *11*
Sweeeeet Caroline buh buh buhhhh *14*
Senor Gorge aka Bear *17*
the whole fam
My dad is a doctor and my mom's a perfect mom. We'd be friends even if she wasn't my mom. We've been on our own adventure together: moving around the good old U S of A for my whole life because of dad's training. I was born in Provo while my parents were finishing up at BYU.
Provo *obviously meant to be a Cougar*

Two weeks after I was born, we moved to San Antonio, Texas *bluebonnets* 

at age 4 Syracuse, NY *Sacred Grove*

at age 11 Houston, TX *birthday parties in the driveway*

age 13 Danville, VA *my backyard*

and at age 15 Provo, UT *mountains*

I have a love/hate relationship with moving. I've met a lot of wonderful people in my life and I'm thankful for all of the experiences I've had. Hmmm are you guys getting sick of reading about my boring life? Super fast summary: I graduated in 2010 after half of high school at George Washington High School in Virginia and half at Orem High School in Orem. I played lacrosse and ran cross country, after I graduated, I went to Guatemala for a humanitarian trip. We worked at a school to help families who work in the Guatemala City Dump. It was eye opening, tragic, wonderful, and completely life enhancing.
love my little buddies
Antigua, Guatemala

on the way to our field trip!


Now, I'm a sophomore at BYU. I lived in Heleman Halls (David John <3) and then Liberty Square Apartments. I have the best roommates and have made the most wonderful friends for life.

The original BRE (best roommie ever) : Steph Graff
the freshman roomies: Christina, Stephanie, and Audrey
David John Girls=friends for life!
high school girls- still friends in college of course!
cruising down the PCH road trip with Calee, Starlee, and Sare
Festival of Colors
homecoming freshman year

aaaaaand....the latest chapter of my life: JERUSALEM!!!! Not that I'm overly excited or anything. I've only been looking forward to this for my entire life. My mom went when she was a sophomore at BYU and I've wanted to go my WHOLE entire life. I can't remember ever not having Jerusalem as a goal in my life. I cried when I got my acceptance letter and immediately took a photoshoot with it....weird? Not at all.

Sarah Smith and I have been counting down for a while.....

And I undoubtedly have more doodles of Je-ru in my notes than I have legitimate notes. Whoops.

 Deets: We are spending 3 and a half months in Israel in the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. We will be taking the following classes:

 The official description: The Jerusalem Center is Brigham Young University’s center for study in Jerusalem. Students enroll through the BYU campus in Provo, Utah, travel to the Holy Land, and live in the Center for programs that extend for approximately four months. Students study a core curriculum that focuses on Old and New Testament, ancient and modern Near Eastern studies, and language (Hebrew and Arabic). Classroom study is built around field trips that cover the length and breadth of the Holy Land.

Here's a little sneak peak at some things we'll be doing. It's 8 minutes long. So worth the 8 minutes.
*It was made by students who went in 2009- it's part 1 of 3. Aka there's so much in store for us!

These are some excerpts of a talk given in the Jerusalem Center to the students. Just a few things for those heading over with me to keep in mind.
And I agree with Sister Holland who said to the students to poingnantly that they are under obligation, you are under obligation, to never, ever, ever be the same again after this experience. If you leave here and can go back to be what you were before, you are a disappointment to me. I do not say that personally because I hardly know you personally. I say that collectively as an officer of this chruch and a witness of the Lord, jesus Christ. I invite every man, woman, and child in this room to try to be a little more so; to be a little more disciplined when angry, to be a little more disciplined when something does not seem fair, to be a little mroe disciplined and restrained when we think we ought to get our chance and our moment in the sun and our chair a tthe table.
...Let us have our bowels filled with mercy and our entire being consumed with compassion. That is the message to me forever and forever in the scene behind me that you can look upon (the view of Jerusalem)--I cannot right now, but that is what Mount Moriah means to me, that is what the Garden Tomb means to me, that is what Gethsemane means to me. It was restraint and suffering and sorrow and goodness in behalf of everyody else, everybody else first, Jesus last in the line. Let us take care of everybody else's needs first and extend mercy as far as we can extend it and then justice will take care of itself. God bless us to be disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless us to love being in the Holy Land, and above that and beyond that and more important than that is: God bless us to deliver after we are a long, long, long way from here - if it only mattters here - Shame on us. God bless us to live with love forever. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. -Jeffrey R Holland