The Show Was Awesome!
Thank you for your patience. I have been resting all week to recover from MONTHS of work, but I can tell now that I am rested. How do I know? I ate carrot sticks for lunch. First, this means that I ate lunch (significant, yes). Second, that means that I am caring about what I eat (don't ask how many times a handful of chips counted as lunch the past few weeks...).
Last week I was involved in a regional Youth Conference. Youth Conferences are for those aged 14-18 and their leaders. It's a great way for the youth to feel the strength of others who hold their same standards. The goal is to have a lot of fun all while strengthening their testimonies. Youth Conferences don't usually happen on a regional level, but this time a special pageant was planned to be the Youth Conference activity. It was to follow President Monson's counsel that we should provide these types of experiences for the youth. I already referenced the Laie, Hawaii cultural pageant, but I first saw the Kyiv, Ukraine Temple Youth Cultural Celebration many months ago and that made me excited for the opportunities that would come to our region. Youth were involved from 4 different states numbering 900!!!
The Youth sang and danced about the history of our region and also shared our beliefs. There were original songs composed/ orchestrated just for our youth!!! Our stake was assigned with another Stake to dance a German polka and Indian themed dances to celebrate the diversity of immigrants that have settled our state. Husband and I were some of the dance teachers that had the responsibility of helping the kids learn the dances. Some of the kids lived 150-170 miles apart. This led to a lot of sacrifices to get everyone to practices so they could look their best and get a costume that fit them. Some of the other numbers involved kids that had even greater distances between them. It is a miracle how it all worked out.
The show was projected to be attended by 9000. I never heard what the real number was, but I saw that it was fairly full. The crowd was so responsive to the kids. They whooped and hollered for every little thing. The youth loved it and performed even better. It was an amazing experience.
The Youth Conference was 3 days long. When the youth weren't practicing they were able to attend workshops. These were about many topics including personal revelation, patriarchal blessings, the Second Coming, music, dating, technology usage, importance of education, etc. There also were several meetings where we were able to listen to Sis. Dibb. Sister Ann M. Dibb is the second counselor in the Young Women General Presidency. She is also President Monson's daughter.
She spent some time talking about her father, giving personal insights. She even took questions from the youth that they wanted to know about the prophet. Sister Dibb also asked the youth to be 100% in their prayer and scripture reading. She also asked them to SMILE. Right before the performance, she spoke of miracles and said we would see them during the show. President Monson experienced a miracle during a youth performance like this and he says it changed him for the rest of his life.
I know that the youth all saw their own miracles. I certainly did. The day before the Youth Conference started someone called me up and said "I'll see you tomorrow" and I panicked because I had been in bed with a really bad sinus headache. I had been there for days and nothing I did or took would relieve me of my pain. I went to the doctor and got a shot of steroids and miraculously I was fine throughout the whole Youth Conference so that I could perform my duties. When I came home, so did the pain. There also was a situation with the dance couples that we didn't come out to the right number. I prayed that someone would materialize overnight and the next morning at the dance practice there was another person that could fill in the spot that we needed them to. If each and every youth and leader who attended this Youth Conference all experienced their own miracles then Satan better watch out, because the Church has been greatly strengthened here in the Heartland.
Photocredits: I don't know...someone in the stands who graciously allowed their pictures to be emailed to everyone without their name.
Photo credit: My old college roommate!!!
See you Monday!!!