15 December 2011

Christmas after Jerus

Dearest Desiree,

You're coming home as we speak. That semester flew by, didn't it? I remember being so shocked when we returned from the Galilee how very close to home we were. And Christmas! Jerusalem is a magical place at Christmas time. This past weekend must have been your Christmas concert. I listened to ours Sunday morning while I was getting ready for church; some of those songs definitely needed work, but I have to admit, we did okay. Sometimes I can't believe I got to perform in Jerusalem on that stage with such a beautiful view of the city.

Photo taken by Angela at JC Christmas Concert 2008.

It's a hard adjustment, the coming back, and this will be an unusual Christmas for you. It's a very strange feeling, the excitement and love for your home and your family combined with the aching homesickness for a place that, four months ago, you knew virtually nothing about. I spent hours three Christmases ago looking at my pictures of the city and facebook stalking my JC family. I was desperate to get back to Provo, despite my dislike for the weather and, well, Provo sometimes, but I so wanted to see all of those people again. The 80 people who, as Becca once said, combined probably know everything there is to know about Allison Mitton.

A few weeks after we got back, Elder Holland gave a devotional at BYU. It was a talk that has become very popular, and I'm sure that you're familiar with it already, but I think you should read it again. It was one of those talks that I felt was written specifically for me, and I know a lot of my Jerusalem friends said the same thing. Moving on is hard, especially from something as special and significant as the semester you just had. But things will keep getting better, and the lessons you learned in Jerusalem will help guide you through the rest of your life. So will your JC family. Make sure to spend time with them often; some of my dearest friends are people I met there. And some of my closest JC friends are people I started spending more time with after we got back. You never know how those relationships will change, but they will get better.

Photo taken at JC cake waffle reunion, November 2011.

Desiree, I'm so glad you got to have this experience, and particularly glad you got to share it with the Skinners. Andrew Skinner is one of the most brilliant, spiritual, humble men I've ever met, and I enjoyed getting to know him both in Jerusalem and in Provo. Keep that connection going, and take some religion classes with him if you can. You certainly won't regret it.

When I came home from Jerusalem, I was so jet lagged and exhausted, both emotionally and physically, and while I was happy to see my family, I felt a little lost because nobody really understood how I was feeling. Desiree, I know how you are feeling. Call me anytime. I would love to hear about everything, and to laugh and cry with you about how your life will never be the same.

Merry Christmas, Desiree.

Love, Allie

1 comment:

  1. Ahh..reading this made me miss Jerusalem a lot. I can't believe it had been three years!!!