As you know, my summer has been pretty jam packed since the beginning. I'm not complaining, or saying it's a rough schedule because it really isn't, it's just something I'm not use to doing. Normally, my summers creep by at an extremely slow pace as I just waste my precious freedom doing absolutely nothing. This summer, however, has been one of growth; emotionally, spiritually, and even growing by doing new things I'd never expect.
This past weekend, I was privilege to attend my church's youth conference (for those who don't know the church-y lingo, it's a youth camp for 3 days for kids ages 14 to 18. You do service projects, have fun, and learn more about the church in ways you didn't know were possible.) This year's youth conference will be one I'll never forget, and even though that sounds incredibly cheesy and cliche, I mean every word.
This year, our youth conference theme was about missionary work. We had to go door to door proselyting, giving out packages with Book of Mormons and other goodies in them. We got people to listen to us, and we got doors slammed in our faces. We were able to apply how important judgement day was by participating in the Carnival of Life (I'll explain if you want me to.) We were able to do service projects for the community. We were able to take workshops about gospel related topics. We were also able to go swimming, and even have 2 dances.
My favorite part was the testimony meeting. Hearing kids my age, younger, and older say how they feel about the gospel just makes my heart swell. Their trials, their joys, their fears. They all inspired me so much. The meeting lasted two hours, and I balled the entire time. Just thinking about the spirit I felt that day even brings tears to my eyes as I type this. It was fantastic!
This is just a vague summary of the events that took place this youth conference. I'd really like to elaborate on the subject, but it's difficult over a blog post and it won't have the same effect. I know this church is what I need to believe in, and regardless of what you believe, I know this is what I'm suppose to be doing. I know that it's important to share my feelings about the church with my friends, and this youth conference has ignited a fuse in my heart that I didn't know existed. I'm eternally grateful.
Now, time for some pictures. I didn't take too many, but these were my favorites. I'll explain each photograph for y'all :)
I was fortunate enough to turn the big seventeen while I was gone. Not only did I have to hear "happy birthday" around 10000 times, I also got a Shinedown song dedicated to me (Second Chance, yay) and had the 'oppertunity' to dance with another person who was turning seventeen the same day as I. I gotta be honest, I was very, very, very embarassed, but Cj (the guy) was cool with it.
These two kiddos mean the world to me. They really do. They're my little brothers, and regardless of what you say, I'm NOT marrying them so please stop saying I will. Thanks :)
These girls are great, and I love them very much! Thanks for a great birthday girlies!