8.20.2012

Defenders of Honor!

I can't believe I have done 5 weeks of EFY.  I'm going to do 7 total this summer! By the end I will have done 5 in a row.  I hope I don't keel over and die. :) Seriously though, I can't say enough how much this experience has blessed my life.  I learn so much every week.  This week I was in Logan, which was a HUGE blessing for so many reasons.  I also had the older kids which was so wonderful.  The older kids are so chill, and a little more mature than the younger ones. :) This week was probably my favorite so far. Our group was so unified from day 1 and just amazing. I felt like I was just part of the group, not their counselor! I love it when that happens.  This week was just what I needed.

Highlights:

1. Like I said, I was in Logan this week! It was so amazing.  I truly love Provo a lot.  The majority of people in Logan are major Provo-haters but I'm not one (being a BYU fan and all... haha). But there's just something about being on your own campus. Plus, Logan is just beautiful in the summer.  One bummer was the dorms we stayed in... let's just say the campus housing at BYU is WAY better, aside from Old Heritage that is.  It was also nice to just get a change of scenery.  Also, I got to get some aggie ice cream which is always good.

2. This week I had 2 co counselors! It was the greatest thing ever.  Seriously.  I was kind of worried about it at first, because it was my first time in a trio and I don't always do well with change. :) But it turned out so well.  Ben is a dork.  But he's also hilarious and super energetic and the kids just loved him to pieces.  He really knew how to get everyone riled up.  He was also really good at teasing Kassie and I.  Miss Kassie was just a sweetheart.  I loved working with her and it was fun to have another girl around! I wish we went to the same school because I feel like we'd be best friends if we did! The three of us had a pretty deep conversation on Wednesday while our kids were working on their cheer.  There's something different about the people you're co-counselors with.  You form a different kind of bond with them than you do with any other counselors at EFY.  At least that's how I felt.  It was fun to get to do that with a boy and a girl, too!  They were seriously amazing.

3. I had girls from Davis County this week! Actually, 4 of the kids in my group went to Davis and two went to Viewmont so that was fun! When I met the girls from Viewmont, I asked them if they knew my cousins.  One of the girls got this HUGE grin on her face, did a little happy dance, and said "OHHHHH I had the biggest crush on (insert cousin's name here, sorry don't want to embarrass him or her)!" It was hilarious.  And the cutest thing ever.
4. Oh my gosh.  All the boys in my company were STUDS.  It's amazing how much of a difference there is between 16 year olds vs. 14-15 year olds. Yes, they were still dorks at times, but they were just so great.  I loved them all! They were so sweet about taking the girls trays every day and there were several that a lot of girls had crushes on.  I loved hangin out with them.  Even though there was just one group of them and two groups of girls, they (well, most of them) didn't get too overwhelmed by all the attention they were getting. :) Seriously, just very classy, great guys and such good examples of how priesthood holders should act!  Our girls were so lucky.

5. On the first day, one of the guys said a prayer with our company and he said "we thank thee that we're gathered here as a family".  I thought at first that it was a mistake, that he meant to say "company", but I realized he didn't mess it up when he said the same thing in a prayer again on Friday. :) It really was like we were a family this week though.  For some reason the kids all clicked so early and it was like they had known each other for years before they'd even gotten to EFY. It also helped that they were all just so funny, nice, genuine, and willing to interact with each other! Seriously, it's always the best when they just love each other without even trying.
6. My wonderful friend Kjarinda was my BC this week! Oh goodness it was AMAZING.  Kj and I have been friends for the longest time, and it was actually her great experiences at EFY were part of what inspired me to apply to be a counselor.  She's hilarious, and truly just the best.  It was soooo cool being able to be a part of her BC group, especially on Thursday.  Her lesson before the Living Christ activity was so incredible.  She said something that really stuck out to me.  As she was talking about relying on the Savior, she said that when she felt like life was the most difficult, it was usually because she was trying to go it alone. She wasn't taking advantage of the wonderful gift that is the Savior.  She said that when she realized this, and turned to Him, things suddenly became more bearable.  I loved that thought because I definitely find myself doing the same thing - thinking I can do it on my own.  But I can't! And I'm so grateful to know that I don't have to. Thanks for the reminder, Kj! Love you!!

7. Every week I am amazed by how much I learn about and for myself at EFY.  I had so many questions answered by our incredible session directors - the Jordans - and I was so grateful for them and all the things they taught! Their big message of the week was "I believe in you!" And we all said it all the time.  It was really catchy and fun to say, but I also loved the power behind it.  I was also really lucky to be in Logan this week because I had a lot of things I had to sort out for this upcoming school year.  I've honestly been pushing it out of my mind and pretending that school was never going to start, but being back on my own campus really gave me a reality check and got me into gear.  I met with a couple of my professors about this coming semester and it put my mind at ease on a lot of fronts.  I've made a couple of decisions that have been a bit stressful to figure out (more on that later) and it was good to clear my head about it.  I was also so grateful that Kjarinda was my BC for this reason - because I knew she would let me go and do the things I needed to do.

8. This week's testimony meeting was incredible.  I was amazed that every single one of our group got up there (except for one, but I know he felt it in his heart).  There was not a single lull or awkward silence! Us counselors just sat back in awe as they got up one after another and bore beautiful testimonies.  There was even time for all us counselors to get up there, and then to close the meeting we sang the old EFY medley. :) I was sad to hear that they had changed the medley this year and I decided to take charge and bring a copy of the old one to play for my kids if they ever wanted to sing it.  This was my only time doing it, but it was such a wonderful experience.  There's such a power with the medley and the kids wouldn't stop talking about it the rest of the week.  That was one of my favorite parts of EFY as a participant and I'm glad I was able to make it happen for them too.

9. One of the greatest things about EFY every week is Thursdays.  The spiritual day is so awesome every week! I love it.  The day starts out with an activity where we go through the Living Christ document in our counselor groups.  I have loved getting deeper into this document and coming closer to my Savior through it.  I learn something new every week! This time I had some girls share some very sweet things and the spirit was especially powerful. It was one of those times when the youth taught me more than I could ever teach them, and I definitely felt the Savior's love for each of them and for me as we went through it.  I love Him and the power that comes through his atonement!

10.  Oh, the final company devotional. This is always a highlight for me.  I love hearing the kids share things with the group - especially the older ones.  It's so fun to hear them talk and to truly see their potential.  I love looking through their eyes into the future.  Their strength and power never ceases to amaze me! We sang God Be With You Til We Meet Again as our final hymn.  It was totally mean because we were all crying of course, haha.  But I just loved these kids and getting to know them and to see where they want to go in life - so amazing.  I want nothing more than for them to succeed.  I mean it with all my heart!

Oh, this was an incredible week.  I loved being in Logan.  I loved these amazing kids.  I loved their unity which was there from the start! We really had a little piece of Heaven in our group.  They're still in contact and are even planning a reunion at Lagoon! This week was another reminder of how blessed I am to have this job as a counselor.  Up to this point, nothing in my life has been so rewarding.  I loved every second of this week and these crazy, amazing, beautiful, wonderful youth!
Thanks to my beautiful Defenders of Honor for a truly incredible week. I LOVE YOU ALL, TEAM!!

No comments: