6. Being with people who believe what you do is strengthening.
7. Love feels good. God's Spirit is there when love is freely shared. Love needs no visa, as Neal Maxwell said (see Life Lesson 13).
8. I know enough. I felt troubled that I didn't have time to study before I came to learn about the sites we would see, the peoples and cultures. I was also disappointed once we arrived to realize how unsure people are of where some holy sites really happened. Then our first Sabbath was Fast and Testimony meeting. The new group of 80 BYU students had gotten there 12 hours after us, and a number of them bore their testimonies. One of them reminded us of a General Conference talk that said, "You know enough." I realized I did. I know God lives, He sent His Son to this earth, and even if we don't know exactly where all these events happened, I KNOW THEY HAPPENED. I know He suffered for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane. I know He died on a cross at Golgotha, outside the city gate. I know He was resurrected on the third day from a tomb in that very city. I know many people got to see His resurrected body and witness of it. I know the Savior of the World will come again to be our ruler and leader here on the earth, and we will live with Him and with our families again forever. I know He is the only way and name where we can be saved and have peace and joy in this life and in the next. THAT I KNOW.
9. It's never too late to learn more. I am thirsty to know more. I have never been more curious about what other religions believe and what their customs and rituals mean to them, and how they got started.
15. A smile is a universal language. With the political tension in Jerusalem between the Muslims and Jews many people treated us as invisible. Being the friendly person I am, it took me off guard. Amy's used to it. But by the end of the trip, I started offering a smile to some people, especially those who seemed to need it the most. The ones who responded the most were children and old ladies. It reminded me of a recent General Conference talk about no matter what the economy, we can all afford to give the gift of more smiles. Smiles are a gift. They melt barriers. It made me want to smile at people more often. Again as Neal Maxwell said, "Love never needs a visa."
16. The United States is a wonderful country. Not perfect. But wonderful.
17. God loves ALL his children. All colors, all races, all cultures, all sizes and shapes, good and bad and in between. The parable of the good Samaritan taught us that to be like God we must treat others with compassion and kindness regardless of religious, political, or racial differences.
18. Anything special is more special when you're with someone you love. I can't imagine trying to tour a place like this all by myself. I heard it's common for Europeans to do that. Not only would I feel much more anxiety about it, but I wouldn't enjoy it nearly as much. Beautiful is more beautiful, fun is more fun, special is more special, yummy is more yummy with someone you love.
19. Snuggle up my kids. I missed my kids being gone for two weeks! When I saw Amy snuggling up her kids, my heart longed to snuggle up my own kiddos at home. I want to do more of that, and less of busily rushing around like we American families tend to do. I want to de-junk our schedules for more snuggling and chatting time, and less hurried time.