Tuesday, July 04, 2017

A Mini Mission

This was my first time ever planning a youth conference and oh my goodness what a lot of work!!
We had about 100 kids sign up.
So many details to consider and we had so many loose ends the week before that I wondered how it would all come together.

The Stake leaders along with some of the ward leaders stepped it up and made it all happen and honestly, it turned out far better than I thought it would.
If you've been to a youth conference then you know there are always a handful of kids at the testimony meeting who begin their testimonies with, "Well, I didn't really want to come but...." and then they go on to share how their testimony has grown, how much fun they had, and how they are glad they came.  I actually felt that same way.  At first when the idea was presented of a stay at home youth conference with the first half being an MTC experience and having the youth serve mini missions I didn't want to do it.  I wanted to go to one of the colleges where everything is planned for you.  All we'd need to do is pay the bill and get them there.

As we counseled together with the Stake Presidency and Stake leaders they all wanted to go ahead with the mini mission idea.  I supported the Stake Presidency's decision and we went forward.

The mission president in our area sent 22 of his best Elder and Sister missionaries to teach our youth how to be missionaries and they loved it. 

This is my girl Eryn.
Eryn joined my presidency earlier this year when Granny Annie was released to serve a mission with her husband.  God chose Eryn to be my counselor and the more I work with her the more I see his wisdom in calling her.  She's been amazing from the beginning but over the past few weeks I've been especially grateful for her.  She teaches middle school math so she has Summer's off.  If it weren't for all her help we would have never pulled this off.

Kevin got to attend the conference too.  
When I was called to this position the Stake President asked Kevin to join me whenever he could because many of our youth come from one parent families and they don't know what marriage should look like.
Kevin was asked to teach a cultural lesson on what it's like to serve a mission in the US, specifically in his mission, the Oklahoma Oklahoma City mission.

While the other presenters were bringing exotic foods from their countries, Kevin brought cheese fries since they were one of his favorite foods on the mission.

Having Kloe there was the best!
All the kids were given companions and Kloe's was Liddian, sitting to the right of Kloe.

My companion was pretty cool.

After a day of being taught by the missionaries we set them loose.
Each companionship had two teaching appointments to people who live in our stake.

I got to drive these two around and sit in on the lessons.
Oh my goodness, I did not anticipate the impact these girls would have.
They taught with the Spirit, bore testimony of Jesus Christ and the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  They prayed over the family they taught.  
It was amazing to witness.  As we all gathered back at the church the great stories of their experiences just kept coming.  These kids brought the Spirit into many homes that hadn't felt the Spirit in some time.  They testified of Christ and brought those they taught closer to Him.
I was completely humbled at what I saw, and grateful that I didn't have my way with the college youth conference.  This was SO much better.

The following day we had a morning of service.
The kids went out and served their neighbors.
What better way to come unto Christ than to serve him by serving others.

Later that afternoon we went to This is the Place where the kids learned a little about manners and how the pioneers courted.

That night we had a dance and DJ Rob managed to get almost every single kid out there on the dance floor.  I was out there too.  Couldn't help myself.  I'm a victim to the beat.

Our last day was spent at Temple Square.
There is so much to see and do there.
The kids loved all the interactive activities in the family history center.

Hopefully we can take the rest of our kids back here later this Summer.

While it's a relief to have this behind me, it was completely worth all the work that went into making it happen.  We have received tons of positive feedback from the kids, the parents, the people we taught, served and the adults who chaperoned them at their teaching appointments.  
If anyone reading this is involved with planning youth conferences and would like more info on a mini-mission feel free to email me (kevandbeck93@yahoo.com) and I can give you more details.