T-Shirts Do the Talking

Dear Mother,

I can't sleep.  I conveniently woke up at 3:40am and have not been able to fall back asleep.  My stomach is churning in knots and I feel very nauseous.  I know it is from the worry.  Stressed is an understatement.

M doesn't have white socks.  M doesn't have the right shoes.  What do I do with J and L?  What if they miss the bus?  How will I help the kids remember their flip flops?  We forgot to put them in the garment bags and  I cannot realistically find them all on this 72 acre campus in time.  Who will babysit Daughter?  The babysitter called and cancelled at the last minute and while we've been managing, it also hasn't been as good as if she was at the babysitter.  If I thought I could have managed with Daughter, I wouldn't have called a babysitter.....and all of the other details running through my mind.

Fifteen minutes.  That's FIFTEEN minutes.  One-Five.  That is ALL the time that I got to rehearse with the polka kids yesterday.  Five-six of that was placing the couples in spots.  The remaining nine-ten minutes was the only time that I had to teach the 15 partner-less girls their part.  That's it.  These girls are performing in front of 9000 people today and I only got 10 minutes with them.  They keep saying they'll try to give me more time today, but if it goes like yesterday, I know it won't happen.  I only need 10 minutes.  I have been rehearsing in my mind how to succinctly tell them the things they need to know, so that they can be successful and feel good about themselves.

The good news is the youth seem to be having a good time overall and have been feeling good about themselves.

While many details are up in the air, and I am just hoping and praying they will be able to be taken care of, there have been many good things here so far.

The energy of over 850 youth and their 200 plus leaders is just awesome.  I have made many friends myself with the leaders that I have been working with over the past few months.  There is always an energy when large groups of Latter-Day Saints get together.  I usually only feel it at Stake Conference, but this Youth Conference covers 7 stakes across the whole state!

Yesterday, Sis. Ann Dibb was here to speak to the youth.  Out of her 3 addresses, I only got to hear one because they changed my rehearsal schedule.  Of the one, I only heard part (see above babysitting comment), but I immediately thought of you.

Sis. Dibb invited some youth up to the podium that were wearing t-shirts.  She spoke of how t-shirts say who you are and what you are interested in and what you about.  "You don't wear a t-shirt that talks about something you're lousy at."  She had the kids explain what was on their t-shirt.  There was a girl wearing a high school art club shirt that she belonged to, a boy wearing a college football shirt of the team he likes, etc.  Then the last 2 boys were wearing blank t-shirts.  She said that when she saw someone wearing a blank t-shirt with no slogans, or identifying features that it spoke of the individual's confidence.  They didn't need to hide behind an interest or funny saying to try to fit in, they were just comfortable being who they were.

She told of a story where she saw a girl that had a t-shirt that said, "I'm a Mormon.  Are you?"  The Youth theme for 2011 is "We Believe".  Sis. Dibb wanted the kids to be courageous and wear things and do things that would project that they believed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sis. Dibb said that she had a t-shirt for herself that would tell others about her.  She held it up.  It said,

I'm a Mormon.
I know it.
I live it.
I like it.

I knew you'd like that.  She then spoke about those different phases that the youth would go through, "knowing", "living", and finally "liking" the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This was where I had to leave due to Daughter running behind the projection screen, and whipping a metal trash can with my necklace making a loud clanging noise, harassing a baby (but more so the mother), etc.

I'm a Mormon, and I like it.  I know you'd say the same.

Pray that all goes well tonight, please.

I am happy to be here.  This has been great for the kids in the branch.  Five out of the seven youth are pretty shy, but they've all really participated well.

Well, we already have received a wake up call and Daughter just woke up.  I better go.  I must get a picture of her in her "costume".

P.S.  I did meet Sis. Dibb yesterday afternoon in a hallway.  I shook her hand and then she embraced me.  I told her that I wanted to make sure I had her t-shirt saying right, because I wanted to tell it to you.  A woman showed Sis. Dibb her baby who is named Thomas Spencer (no joke!).  Sis. Dibb said, "I'll have to tell Dad, he'll love it."  Who gets to refer to the prophet as Dad?

P.P.S.  The food is very, very good :)



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