Oh my goodness! I love you so much. I have so much to tell you. It totally kills me that you are right across the street and I can't talk to you? But I have been at EFY (as you know)! And it has been so, so wonderful! I love it. Like, I LOVE IT!!! Sunday, I emailed you. But my co was awesome. He's kind of like a Daniel Dyer/the Reeds/Sylvan kind of guy. He's SO good and doesn't understand sarcasm. Haha (I thought I didn't, but I really have more of you in me than I thought.) But we really just got along so well. We'd talk on the phone every night during "quiet time" and talk about how it went and whatnot.
Monday mornings we help with check-ins. I was rocking the easiest job (handing out landyards). EFY is so successful because whatever is going on, there are a million little, tiny jobs being done at the same time. (some of mine this week included handing out silverware, handing out water bottles, making sure no one escaped while walking from the Wilk to the JKB during class time, making sure no one escaped by the garbage cans during the dance under the stadium, I was on "passion patrol" during the dance in the JFSB courtyard, and told people to leave the cafeteria as soon as they were done eating. It's a fun time. But anyway, Monday at 1:30 I got to meet my girls. I really was more nervous than I thought I'd be. But they were all so good! I thought of Liberty a little bit, because most were about her age. But I just got so close to each one. Then the boys were also amazing. We had this little guy named George from Singapore but he's South African. He was really smart and great and would wear bowties and suspenders. Then we had this big kid from . . . guess where, Hong Kong. His sister is (named Sister Lee) teaches Cantonese at the MTC! But I guess the group she is working with now has been there five weeks. Do you know her? Monday night is FHE and company games (which we had SO much fun playing)!
Tuesday and Wednesday, there is a morningside (like a fireside in the morning) and then gospel classes. Every day there is free time, but I had free time duty a few times. One day I went bowling with my kids. They all called me mom and just loved me, which was so nice. I loved them! But if counselors bring their kids, they get to bowl for free. I got the 2nd lowest score, but then one of the boys (which is also Liberty's future husband, just so you are aware) figured out how to change the scores on the little computer. So he gave me a 300 (perfect score). One counselor a couple lanes down saw it and freaked out. He said, "Who was that? I've never seen anyone really score a perfect score! That's crazy!" I had to explain that it was me, but that it wasn't real. It was funny.
I just LOVED going to the classes with my youth and seeing them grow. The class would end and so often, some youth would come up and ask me about it and want to talk more about what they learned. I felt like I spent the week with 21 really golden investigators. One class that I loved especially was about our worth. He said that now-adays everyone focuses on having a "positive self image" and how it's so important to tell yourself that you're awesome. But how that doesn't work because a balloon that is puffed up, constantly needs to be reinflated" and how our worth doesn't come from our actions at all. We should feel good about ourselves because of our own doing. Even our service to others doesn't change how good we are. Then he played a video of Christ suffering for our sins. He said, "Something is worth how much someone is willing to pay for it." And Christ already paid for ours. We don't even need to think about our worth because it's simply always there. Because we are children of God, we are worth so much. We don't question the worth of oxygen in our lives because we just take it for granted. We can be grateful for it, but we don't worry about it because we know we will always have it. That's how we should consider our worth. Then he had everyone sing Come Thou Fount with videos of Christ's miracles going on in the background. I was so moved by the love I felt from and for the Savior.
It was good to remember that he has "promised good to me" like it says in amazing grace. We are promised the celestial kingdom if we are faithful. That was actually our company name "Remember the Promise". It was so fun. Our skit was so funny! It involved pinky promising and our little cheer that Parker and I came up with Sunday night. One kid would yell, "I forgot!" and then everyone would yell, "Don't forget!" Then they would go back and forth between the boys and girls. "Remember" "The Promise" Remember" "The Promise". And our skit won! I was SOOO excited.
I definitely made some silly mistakes though. Because I was a "first week" counselor, I had a special BC (Building Counselor . . . like the counselors of counselors) group with the other new counselors in my session. I totally just forgot one of our meetings, forgot to have my youth fill out a paper they needed to on the first day, and thought I had the wrong dance duty. Luckily, my BC was also my roommate and she was so nice and great! I think the first week is the good time to make all those kind of mistakes. Now she is in Nauvoo which I'm totally jealous of. She didn't realize it was anything extra wonderful. She'd never been there and it was so fun to tell her all about it.
One funny thing: they have auditions for counselors to sing one of the EFY songs of the year during some of the meetings throughout the week. I missed the auditions because I had a new counselor meeting, but then apparently they needed more numbers. Parker wanted us to sing this one song together. It had a boy and girl part. So we practiced until 12:06 on Tuesday night so we could do it. We finally sent in our recording of us singing like we were supposed to and the BC in charge of it said,"It sounds really good but I don't think we'll be able to fit you in after all." It turned out another pair of counselors was already singing that song. So that was so crazy co bonding time I guess.
We were so tired though. We have to wait in the halls while our kids get ready for bed and then we have to do lights out and wait 15 minutes after the last sound we hear before we can go get ready for bed. Except on Friday nights we all get stationed everywhere and we have to stay up until 15 minutes after the last sound in the whole session. It was like 1:15 this week! I stayed awake the whole time, but BARELY!
But out of all of these random things, my favorite thing was definitely teaching the youth. I just feel like I can see a glimpse of how their Heavenly Father sees them and it's wonderful. I worked a lot this week on asking inspired questions and I got a lot better at it I think. I love when I can just feel the spirit guiding what I'm saying. One of my girls said that she hated singing, but she just felt really prompted to do the musical program. She was so nervous but she did it and said it was the most spiritual experience she'd ever had. Another girl thanked me and told me that it was so easy to feel the spirit around me. I will always remember that and try to be that way. I felt the same way about these kids.
Our group would just have so much fun! We had two kids in the variety show. One played the piano and one blew up a ballon . . . with his nose! We would really go hard at the dances. It's so great at EFY because all of a sudden I just don't worry about what people think of me, because whatever I do, my kids think that I'm amazing. :) It's really true that the only opinion that matters is our Heavenly Father's.
The best parts of the week, though, were the testimony meeting and the last fireside. Everyone was rushing the whole time to get to the front to bear their testimonies. Then the last fireside was a special thing. It was at the stadium. We looked out over the huge football field and the sun was setting and we sang the "EFY medley". I looked at all my youth that I love so much and just cried.
Oh, here's another thing. On Wednesday night is games night. We are dancing all together at one point and these missionaries in the new MTC building were dancing along with us (Elders of course). I thought "I bet those missionaries have something better to do." But it was funny.
Now I am here at Thelma's. They let me take a LONG nap here yesterday. I also bought a dress that I love for Kimmy's wedding, cheap, cute sandals AND cheap, cute church sandals. We played games, went out to eat, and had the best time. They let me stay the night and now, after sleeping in again (which I needed so much) I'm here. I'm going to the singles ward with Emma and then back to EFY!!!
I am so blessed, Desi. I love you so much! I just think of you touching people's lives, even in the MTC. I think of you working so hard on your cantonese. I'm so proud!
LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!