Monday, July 16, 2012

Dare to Stand Alone

Oh my word!  This week has been so incredibly full of the Spirit!  I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for the chance that I had to be a youth counselor for our stake's youth conference this year.

So, rewind to about 2 days after I got back from my mission.  Some of my best friends, Jennifer, Rachael, and Ammon all came and kidnapped me to go practice a song for some youth conference kick off fireside.  They explained how the stake wanted to create an EFY experience for this year's youth conference, up to the point where they even had the counselors from the YSA group.  They asked if I would be around for the 12-14 of July.  I knew I had school going on, but it sounded so awesome, and I wanted to do it!  I knew it would be worth it.

So, two months and a bunch of meetings later, here I was!  At youth conference!  Bright and early Wednesday morning, I was up, heading to the church to prepare for the 12 or so girls that I was going to be in charge of over the next three days.  I was sporting an awesome red t-shirt, with our theme on the front and a cool word collage on the back.

(*Disclaimer:  This isn't the back of my shirt.  If I am right, I think it's the back of Rachael's shirt, but since all of the shirts look the same, you get the picture.  Literally :)

My group was group #1 and our color was dark pink, so I held up the little sign that I made for them to come and find me, and they slowly trickled in.  As soon as I had all 12 of my girls, we ate a little breakfast, and then played a couple of games.

Me and my girls started off playing a little Ninja!  I love it :)

We had a little devotional about choices and making youth conference a good experience.  I loved testifying of the truths of the Gospel to my girls. I was able to really strengthen my own testimony as I did so.  Then we headed inside to kick off youth conference with everyone!

The theme was Dare to Stand Alone based off of President Monson's talk from the Oct 2011 Priesthood session.

This was the poster that was created and hung up in all of the different buildings.

 We started off by watching the Mormon Message that was recently put out using his talk.

Watch it!  It's great!

Then all of the youth counselor girls sang "Dare to Do Right" from the Primary book.  Over the past week, I have learned to absolutely LOVE this song!  I had never really listened to the second verse before, but once I paid attention to the words, it gave me chills!  Here are the words:

Dare to do right! Dare to be true!
You have a work that no other can do;
Do it so bravely, so kindly, so well,
Angels will hasten the story to tell.

Dare, dare, dare to do right;
Dare, dare dare to be true,
Dare to be true,
Dare to be true.

Dare to do right! Dare to be true! 
Other men's failures can never save you.
Stand by your conscience, your honor, your faith;
Stand like a hero and battle till death!

Dare, dare, dare to do right;
Dare, dare dare to be true,
Dare to be true,
Dare to be true.

After listening to the Jenny Phillips version, we decided to adapt that to how we wanted to sing it.  It wasn't exactly the same, but it was similar (if you click on the link, it takes you to a bunch of clips from her Primary CD for this year, so just listen for a little bit and soon you'll hear Dare to do Right.)  I loved playing the piano while my beautiful sisters sang.

Rachael, Tosha, Shay, Shelly, Serena, and Jennifer.

I think that the song and the movie really helped to set the tone for Youth Conference.  I was able to feel the Spirit so strongly during all of this, testifying to me that what we were singing and watching was true.  

One of the amazing things about EFY is all of the amazing speakers that come, and our youth conference was no different.  We had the privilege of listening to many different speakers and learning so much from them and from their experiences.  Our first guest speaker was Meg Johnson.

Isn't she beautiful?!

She was paralyzed about 8 years ago after falling off a cliff in St. George.  And now she's a motivational speaker, which is great!  She was so funny and cute!  She talked about the theme of our youth conference, "Dare to Stand Alone," and pointed out that it was pretty interesting that they asked someone who couldn't stand if she wanted do (and I'm sure she does) to come and speak about standing alone.  

She told us about her experience and how she became paralyzed, but she also told us about some moments in her life when she had to stand alone.  One thing she mentioned that I really liked was that the most important commandment is the one that you are having the hardest time keeping.  Whoa!  Throw that into perspective!  (I believe she was quoting someone...I just can't remember who...)  It really was great.  She was funny and brought the Spirit into our youth conference. I remember looking down the row at my 12 girls and seeing them watch her and listen to her, and write stuff down in their journals!  (At least, I hope they were taking notes and not playing tic-tac-toe!)  I think they were able to feel of her sincerity and testimony.  It was the best way I can think of to start off our youth conference.

*Other Disclaimer:  Almost all of these pictures were taken by our Youth Conference photographer, Sister Gee.  Just wanted to give credit where it is due :)

No comments:

Post a Comment