Saturday, May 27, 2017

Tbilisi, Day two...

Wow.  What a surprise.  We were under the impression that we were in Georgia for a Humanitarian Project Friday.  Wednesday and Thursday were training days for the Humanitarian couples.  We caught the FUN Friday, and it was that and more. This day turned out to be a cultural experience.

Our first stop was to the Jvari Monastery or Monastery of the cross built around 590 BC.  It stands on the rocky mountaintop at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers overlooking the town of Mtskheta.  

Just consider hauling the stones up that mountain to build this amazing structure.

Paul lit a candle for you there.   We introduced ourselves to Ray Huntington and his wife who are serving as humanitarian missionaries in Turkey.  I recognized him as one of the panel members from BYU Discussions on the Book of Mormon and remembered that he is a professor of ancient scriptures at BYU.  We say by them at lunch and found out that he is actually from Springville and was raised one street over from Paul on “C” street in Brookside.  We had a great time reminiscing with him.  

A female Evangelist erected a large wooden cross on the site.  the cross was reportedly able to work miracles and therefore drew pilgrims fraom all over Caucasus.  The women always had to cover their heads in the cathedrals.  Good thing I had my rain coat. 

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral was out next destination.  According to Georgian legend, in the 1st century AD a Georgian Jew from Mtskheta names Elias was in Jerusalem when Jesus was crucified.  Elias bought Jesus' robe from a Roman soldier at Golgotha and brought it back to Georgia.  Returning to his native city, he was met by his sister Sidonia who upon touching the robe immediately died from the emotions engendered by the sacred object.  The robe could not be removed from her grasp, so she was buried with it.  Later, from her grave grew an enormous cedar tree.  Ordering the cedar chopped down to build the church, St. Nino had seven columns made from it for the church's foundation.  The seventh column, however, had magical properties and rose by itself into the air.  It returned to earth after St. Nino prayed the whole night.  It was further said that from the magical seventh column a sacred liquid flowed that cured people of all diseases. 

Monument under which the robe of Jesus is said to be buried. 

Now comes the fun part.  After a VERY enjoyable authentic Georgian luncheon (more later). We visited the "Music Therapy Center" for mentally challenged children.  LDS Charities in Georgia has worked with this organization and donated the instruments for the students.  They appeared on "Georgia Has Talent" and stole the hearts of the audience.  For sure, they stole our hearts. 

  Favorite Georgian foods:  


Walnuts wrapped in fruit leather.  A sweet treat.


Hot deliousness wrapped in a dumpling.  You pick it up by the little stub and bite in to a juicy meat filling seasoned to perfection and smile.


O.K.  I am danish, and I love bread.  This delightful bread baked in a brick oven filled with cheese just brings a tear to my eye.

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