Turkey (Second Half)

Here are more highlights of my trip to Turkey!!


Wednesday we went to Ephesus which was one of my favorite places. We re-enacted Acts 19 which was suuuper fun. It made the scriptures come to life and everyone had a part. The “mob” carried me up to the theater like they did to Gais and Antonius, yelling and rioting and we got into the theater and we see a group costumed as Romans and green screens everywhere. They were filming. We had to finish our riot very quietly and split for free time. My group stayed for a while and after they were done filming on one side we were able to get a picture with one of the warriors in his costume and some more silly pictures right in the middle of the stage that Acts 19 actually happened. How cool is that! We went into the library which is so beautifully restored and my favorite part: recreating the picture in the back of the Bible Dictionary pictures of Ephesus, we found the exact spot that picture was taken and I stood in the picture. I mean its real cool, but personally when I was little I would looooved looking at those pictures and would all the time, thinking they were so cool. I would have never guessed that I would be standing IN that picture (or will be standing in future pictures) learning all about it. It is seriously my dream come true!

People said I looked like Amelia Earhart with my outfit…i guess that’s a compliment!
Me, Lauren, and Brooke in front of the library!
Pam putting her scarf (everyday) on Fatih’s microphone to lose the wind noise. He pulled it off well, haha.
A picture in front of Nike (for mom!)
One of the warriors in the film they were making (with Dwight, Melinda, and Devery)
Definitely my favorite picture of the day!! 🙂
The only time I’ll be in a Turkish bath. A Turkish bath is where someone
washes your body for you so therefore the only time I’ll be in one.
Heather and I!
The boys reenacting our reenactment of Acts 19 when Melinda and I (as Gais and Aristarchus) being dragged into the theater.
Brother Ludlow, Jaymie, Robin, and I
Look at #31 in the pictures at the back of the Bible Dictionary. There I am!! 🙂


That same day we went to Prienne which had a temple ruin with all the parts that make up the columns all laying on the ground, which was cool because usually they are restored back up by archaeologists or used in ancient times for new temples or buildings. We went here because it overlooked Miletus which was one of the seven churches John wrote to in Revelation. It was really cool. Afterwards we went to the St. John Church which held the “tomb” of John but as LDS members, we do not believe that John died. Look up D&C 7 for clarification. We read that on site and I am so grateful for our restored scriptures and the Restored Gospel, we wouldn’t be able to understand so much in the Bible without the plain and precious things restored to us through Joseph Smith. Right next to the Church was the Temple of Athena, the seven wonders of the world Temple of Athena that I’ve heard about all the time, especially in Art History, so that was super cool although there was only one column up left. I’ve seen and learned so much while being here in Turkey!

Classic jumping picture
Lauren is so beautiful and nice and awesome, I love her so much! (Miletus is behind us)
I chose this picture besies the one taken right after it to show Analise on the right side running in, haha love it!
The columns were so tall!
And huge!! (Me, Sarah, and Melinda)


Sardis, one of the seven Asian churches had a Jewish Synagogue and a Greek Gymnasium right next to each other. One of the major topics we talked about in our classes on site was the influence of pagan religions to the Israelites and how they fell into idolatry over and over again, but it makes so much sense because there was idolatry and adulturous gods being worshipped all over the world that they would mix in other religions into theirs and break the covenant because of the sin they adopted from the preverted and evil gods being worshiped at that time. So at this site, it is easy to see the influence because a Jewish synagogue was right next to the Greek gymnasium. We took lots of pictures and the boys wrestled.

Eating some delicious solid goat milk ice cream! In Turkey!!
This school of kids were practicing their English with me and wanted a picture taken. (At the Jewish synagogue)
Epic toe touch picture I got of Robin and Jerica (the day or two before this we got all us ex-cheerleaders
and did stunts on the beach. I got to fly again after 2 years, it was so awesome!!!


On our way back up in the little loop we made for our trip, we stopped at Nicaea, which is where the Christian creeds were made and the councils were attended by bishops all around the world to decide for example, if icons are allowed or if Mary is the mother of God or just the mother of the mortal part of Jesus. Brother Ludlow lectured to us at the lake shore site of Constantine’s palace. As we took pictures my receiver for the transmitter fell into a puddle of water! I was so worried because if that broke I would have to pay $130 dollars but thankfully it dried out a few days later. It was really cool and we learned a lot about Byzantine Christian era so it was a good almost close to our trip.

I love Camila. She is so sweet and funny.
All of us standing on ruins of Constantine’s palace on the lake shore


Our last day was spent in Istanbul before our midnight flight back to Jerusalem where we went to the one and only Hagia Sophia. Actually there are 3 but the Hagia Sophia that everyone knows. The legit one. And for sure it is pretty legit. It is sooo beautiful and we spent a long time going through the upper gallery at the original mosaics on the wall and taking pictures everywhere because it was so beautiful. The Temple of Athena in Ephesus’ columns were used to make the Hagia Sophia by Justinian when he was emperor so that was cool to see. In one part of the Mosque/now museum there is a hole that if you put your finger in the hole and spin your hand 360 degrees you’ll have good luck so of course we had to get in line and do that. We also went to the Blue Mosque which was also spectacular.

My week in Turkey was so amazing. What is crazy is how much we are spoiled (at Turkey and at the Jerusalem Center too) and we get so so so much more than what we paid for. If I had come to Turkey on my own time I probably would have had to spend as much as I am for my whole Jerusalem experience for all the places I saw, the food I ate, and especially the hotels we stayed in. It was such an amazing experience. I learned SO much and saw so many wonderous things that I will cherish and look back on all throughout my life. I love TURKEY!! 🙂

inside the Hagia Sophia
With Robin, Sarah, and Heather
I’m in the HAGIA SOPHIA!!!!!
Dwight is our picture takin’ man. He’s such a trooper!
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