Go and Do!

by - 7/05/2013

Well, my first week of EFY has come and gone (ahem, 5 weeks ago.) But, lemme tell you, it was AMAZING! For multiple reasons the timing of it was perfect, I had wonderful kids, a great co, incredible session directors that taught me SO much, and... the best part? They changed the lunch menu from last year!! Okay, just kidding, that wasn't the best part. But I swore on my life that I would never eat another one of those nasty BYU Catering Tuesday burritos again for as long as I lived. So, you could say I was pretty thrilled to find that they'd switched it up. :)

Here are the highlights from this amazing week!

Me in my red polo on the first day. I was pretty grumpy about this color, but I decided it's not so bad.
1. AMAZING, beautiful, wonderful girls. It always makes me nervous to have the younger group (though that's silly of me because they're always awesome) but these girls were incredible. Countless times throughout the week, they impressed me beyond words with their strength and their testimonies. Most of them weren't from Utah, and had to go through a lot at school with peer pressure and the majority of people around them not sharing their standards. There was a girl whose brother got in a very serious car accident during the week, and she had SO much faith that he would be okay. I also had a sweet girl who had had cancer (and beat it!) and was just that happiest girl you could ever imagine. So inspiring.
 LOVE the participant shirts this year!!
2. Okay, a second highlight about my girls, but it has to be shared - not only were they amazing and inspiring, they were also absolutely hilarious! They called me "mama duck" throughout the week (may have something to do with the yellow polos, and the duck families we kept seeing on campus in the morning). Also, on Wednesday I reminded them about modesty rules for Sunday dress the next day. I said "remember your skirts need to come to your knees. If you have any questions about your outfit, you can come show me tonight and we'll make sure it's good." One of my girls then gets the most concerned look on her face, and turns to me and says "Ah! I didn't bring a skirt!!" I thought this was a little strange, cause it had never really happened before. Not really sure what to say, I paused for a minute and then she says, "I only brought a dress!" And then at that point I couldn't help but laugh as I told her a dress was just fine. :) So many things like that happened throughout the week. Love them!
The Duck Family.

3. Games night was a hoot. The games were a lot more fun this year than last year, in my humble opinion. Plus, my kiddos used the USU "I Believe That We Will Win!" chant in their cheer, without any help from me! So proud. I may be a BYU fan, but I have developed some Aggie pride over the years (and I know USU students won't say it's possible to have both... but that's a conversation for another time). Games night also included push up contests, crazy dancing, and all around super-funness.

4.  I got to do the musical program! It was so funny to me that out of 7 weeks last year, I never got that duty. Even though it was kind of a bummer just because I didn't get to be with my kids as much (rehearsals are during lunch and free time Tues-Thurs), I actually really enjoyed myself! I was excited to be a part of it, and I was able to help it move along pretty quickly with my piano playing abilities. Also, one of the songs was one we had done in LDV and I had access to some pretty sweet harmonies because of that, so it was really fun for me to add those in and have it sound awesome. :) And even though I didn't get to spend as much time with my kids, I got to spend time with these sweet ones that did Musical Program, including this girl who had a pretty tough physical disability. But she was SO tough and had the best attitude about it. It's amazing how much I learn from the youth.

5. Crazy, awesome boys. While they were a bit goofy sometimes, and liked to call me "Bad-Ash" no matter how much I told them not to (say that out loud... yeah. Okay, so... it was a little funny. But not EFY appropriate. ;) ) They were pretty wild and loud most of the week, but they definitely brought a lot of fun and excitement to our group. Even though they wouldn't mingle with the girls unless we forced them. Haha.
That one time they caught me snapchatting and jumped in the picture...

6. An awesome co! Sadly, we failed and did not get co-ship pictures... but we had an absolute blast. Jordan is an EFY veteran (something like 20 weeks, I think?) and he definitely had no problem picking up the slack when I was gone all the time for musical program. He's also a pro dancer (and informed me that I'm sadly lacking skills in that area... rude... but true. Haha.) so the kids loved following him around at the dances and copying everything he did. Good times!!

7. FREE SNOW CONES! That is one of the greatest things about EFY on BYU campus - counselors get free snow cones at the place by Helaman Halls if they bring their kids. :) Definitely wasn't going to pass that one up! Especially since I only got one free time with my kiddos.

8. Working with Kjarinda again. She wasn't my BC this time, but it was good to have her there for multiple reasons. :) I had some things I was struggling with at the time, and it was good to have a good friend around who knew what was on my mind and could just come give me a hug during the day and make me smile when I needed it. She was in charge of singers this week, and chose me to sing a song for the girls. It was an incredible spiritual experience for me, and she and I talked about it after that we both felt like it was something I needed to do. So grateful she was in tune with the spirit and gave me the opportunity! She also gave me a ride home on Saturday, which was quite the event since there were 4 of us in her car, with all our luggage, AND all her stuff from moving home from Logan. Let's just say, it was squishy. But man, I love her so much! Can't wait to be roomies in the fall!!!
So much love.
9. Incredible session directors. Like I said, Heavenly Father knew just what I needed this week in terms of spiritual enlightenment. Through things that they said throughout the week, I was reminded over and over again how much I am loved, and looked out for, and cared for. It was amazing just how many times my heart was pricked by something that was said. I took so many notes and learned so much about myself. It was just what I needed. The most important thing I learned (for the zillionth time in my life) is that Heavenly Father and the Savior know me. They know my struggles and my trials and my needs and wants and desires. Such an incredible thing to know!

10. The new Reflect & Review format. Instead of having a lesson taught by the counselors each night, we were just supposed to talk about what we learned that day. I was honestly a little worried about how it would go, but my girls were SO impressive! It was basically a mini-testimony meeting each night. I was endlessly impressed.  On Friday night, rather than my co-counselor and I spending a ton of time talking, it was mostly the youth. And it was amazing, yet again, to see those ones that you never thought you'd get through to, stand up and bear their testimony of the gospel or say they had a new-found commitment to go back to church, or help their inactive families get reactivated.  I can think of nothing more rewarding than seeing that change in one short week.

Such an amazing week. I had so many opportunities to serve and love these youth, and to really step outside myself and think about others, which was really better than anything I could have asked for at the time. I am so blessed. Can't wait for my next week!

Next up, Nauvoo post! :)

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3 comment{s}

  1. I LOVE YOU!!!! Come back to me, and come work EFY at BV. Thank you.

  2. i always forget that utah is bubble, that some kids face some serious peer presure and scrutiny for being a mormon. those kids are amazing and such good examples to us utah kids. also, those efy shirts sort of rock. way cooler than the shirts i ever got as young efy-goer. efy appropriate... when i went way back when there were groups trying to make "church" songs out of inappropriate songs "i'm in love with the scriptures" sung to the tune of i'm in love with a stripper.... yeah that got vetoed real quick. hahaha the forced mingle, i forget how awkward that stage of life is. ahhh this post is killing me, i should have thought to apply back in january.

  3. you make me want to be an efy counselor! *sigh*.. do they let married people in the club?

    also, i love that you're a byu fan through and through, even though you're an aggie - you're hilarious and i love you!!


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