Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Youth Conference

Not much snow so far his year, which allowed Sarah to write a New Years greeting on our driveway in January. The rainbow platter is from our New Years day dinner. Cornish Game hens rounded out the meal. Will loved dissecting his bird.

Every other year our ward holds a youth conference. When I was bishop we decided to try January on the semester break which gives every student in the Nebo School district a Friday off. In the past we have enjoyed 2 1/2 days at Aspen Grove (cross country skiing, tubing, etc.), but this year budget restraints and a lack of snow brought about a change of venue. We held the daily events in out ward building and in the evening the 12 young men slept in the Emmett basement (it took some cleaning to get ready!) and the 17 young women slept in the Bowers basement down the street. The theme of the conference comes from Alma 37:6 which states: ",,, by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.." On Thursday night we had dinner and played games. Friday (while I was teaching classes) they all went up to Solider Hollow for tubing. That night we had a fireside with Ben Knowlton, built a huge domino course all over the cultural hall floor (illustrating small things doing big things) and then we watched the movie "How to train your dragon." A fun movie that also illustrated the theme. Sarah is on the back row second from the right. I am on the second to back row first on the left.

Saturday we all visited the Art City Care and Rehabilitation Center. The youth were divided into groups of three (plus one leader) to go and visit with nine of the residents. They were to visit about their lives and about how small and simple decisions and choices had helped them along the way. It turned out to be a great experience. The youth learned a lot and the residents had fun talking about what it was like growing up, their families, decisions they had made etc. We ended by sitting on the cultural hall floor and sharing testimonies, experiences and lessons learned. (Final duty was to give the church building its weekly cleaning--all of the youth jumped in and helped and we were done in no time)

A farewell chant of emua--which means press forward. The back of the t-shirt illustrates the front formula: S + S = G. It shows a tree and roots then has in black and white these words: small + simple equals GREAT. On the E and T are a sun and a drop of water--illustrating the small and simple ingredients to growing a great tree. It is amazing to see the devotion and hard word of the Young Men and Young Women leaders (and their spouses) who cleaned homes, cooked food, organized great activities, designed t-shirts, took time off work, and helped the youth to have a wonderful experience.

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