This year Jeff and I were asked to be youth conference parents. Its been a few years since we've done it and we were happy to do it. It was a fun, spiritual and exhausting 3 days!
We were split into missionary districts this year and the themes was missionaries.
We were Italy. Here we are making our Italian flag and coming up with our cheer. Someone threw a piece of pizza on our table since they thought it would be a good decoration for Italy...so the boys are tracing it on our flag.
Our cheer was "Viva Italia" we kept it simple ;)
In our family we had Eliza Kent, Hannah Meza, Michael Pettit, Brayden Bagley, Christopher Ibarra, Addie Naegle, Jocelyn Ruilova, Haliegh Anderson, and Reed Contreras.
They are were all wonderful youth and we felt blessed to have them in our family!!
It was also fun to be there with Jacob while he was enjoying his family. He made me laugh more than once!
The first activity after a fireside was skating at Roller City 2001.
Jacob attempted the limbo game...
On his last turn he ended up jumping over the bar.
All the spectators...
At the end of the night Addie ended up twisting her ankle pretty bad :(
She went home that night and was doctored up by her dad who also happens to be a podiatrist! She was back the next day to join our family on crutches and a soft cast and a good attitude despite being crippled!
The next morning getting up at 6:00 was rough. We didn't get to bed until 1:30 or 2:00 the night before. I felt like I had a nap rather than a nights sleep. Our first activity was cross fit.
We were learning that if you wanted to be a missionary you have to wax strong physically.
It helped us wake up and get going...
But in the end we were worn out!
So the next activity was going as a family back to our home neighborhoods to do a service scavenger hunt. We trimmed some bushes...
and pulled weeds
for a very grateful homeowner. She even took pictures to brag to her husband that we came over.
At the next house we picked fruit...
and cleaned out a fountain.
The last house they pulled weeks and cleaned up a yard. The trash can was full but it didn't make much of a dent in what needed to be done.
After sitting for a few minutes to eat lunch we ran by the car wash for their final acts of service.
Back at the church waiting for rotations to start. Some of us wouldn't have minded a nap.
At the rotations we learned about ironing, sewing on a button, talking to people and fixing bikes.
Jeff showing how to replace an inter tube.
Next a game of Simon says..(I sat this one out)
Our last rotation was a cooking class with some yummy samples. After a good dinner we made mormon ads. We had about 1/2 hour to plan, film, edit and upload our videos. Crazy insane. We came up with something a little silly and enjoyed everyone else's. Some of them were really funny, had a twist or were creative. I was impressed that everyone got them done and had them ready so quick.
We then had a great fireside from Elder Packard.
At the dance they had a chocolate fountain, some liked the dancing inside, some like the ping pong table outside, and some were just hanging out in the foyer (like me) I was ready for bed.
The last 10 minutes of the dance we skipped out and went to Dairy Queen on the way home.
Once we got there we realized we left one of our kids at the dance (we both thought he was in each other's car!) Jeff went back to get him and brought him back right before placed closed!
After the dance we had a devotional where we had a spiritual thought, Jeff shared some of his Italy mission stories and we played a couple of games. We got to bed at midnight and were a little more prepared for the next day with a bit more sleep.
The morning started off at the Riverside national cemetery.
We heard a speaker, Brother Plocher, tell us about his father who was shot down over Germany, put in a prison camp and considered a hero. His story was incredible and his pictures helped us picture it. It was a great way to feel connected to the service we were going to be doing.
We were taking pictures of the graves for the billiongraves website. Its a website dedicated to documenting the grave stones at cemeteries and connecting them with information that can help geneologists.
A lot of the graves were covered in grass so Jeff ran home to grab some brooms to clean them. (Jacob's group had to clean off duck poop so ours wasn't so bad)
Afterwards we went to the church and ate lunch then ran to the Stake Center and tried indexing some of the pictures we uploaded. We uploaded 1200 pictures...we indexed 7.
So a project for another day ;)
After more classes, activities and dinner we had a testimony meeting. It was great to hear the testimonies of the youth. Almost all of our "kids" got up. Jacob gave a great one too!
Jeff and I had a great time and enjoyed experiencing it with a great group of youth!!
Some of the spiritual things I learned during the week...
* If you have the desire you are called to the work. If your heart is open and you are willing the Lord can use you for good.
* What you learned and do earlier in your life can end up helping you in ways you can never imagine later in your life. So keep learning, growing and being open to the opportunities that come to you.
* Looking sharp...wear a smile, people can see the Holy Ghost radiate in your eyes. Distractions are detractions.
* Elder Packard - "I won't preach to you. You are here on your break when you could be doing other things. You are good!" Have patience, never give up, be directed by the Lord and open your mind to the Lord's impressions.
* True doctrine understood changes behavior.
* What is an apple? What you think an apple is might be different to other people. Respect and love people in all their differences. Get to know them for them, and love them.