At the end of the week where we had this and this and this we headed up to the mountains for Youth Conference.
With all four hundred-some youth ages 14 and up from our little pocket of the desert in a trail of yellow school buses.
(the girls in our group)(the boys)
I personally did not get to be part of the bus party for our own congregation because Max and I had to come home early for a volleyball tournament, which meant I had to drive my own car up there.
But it was fun to watch that parade of ten yellow school buses from my car as they meandered through stuff like this:
Seriously, when I started seeing the hint of color-change in the leaves my heart started swelling up and it was like I could breathe all anew.
I find it interesting that a simple change in color pigment on trees could do so much to my soul. I love Fall with a passion.
Youth Conference was awesome because us leaders from our own congregation who were tuckered out from all the hoopla of activities we'd had the week before were not in charge. Other leaders like these wonderful ladies were:
(Stake leaders)...and man alive did they ever do a good job. We just got to soak in the beauty of the messages woven beautifully into each activity.
The theme was "The Power of One," which was really appropriate since the date was 11-11-11.
I loved how they wrapped in the message that although alone we are just one person, we are powerful. We have the power to make important choices for good. We have the power to help those around us and make a difference in the world. And we can bond together with others and be "one" as a strong force for what is right and good.
Most importantly, I loved how they weaved in the most important message of all: the Power of being ONE with God. Finding out what He wants for us and tailoring our lives to follow His plan for us.
At 11:11 a.m. on 11-11-11 we all let off balloons and made wishes.
Some of the team-building "power of one" activities:
Each group had to get every member up on this platform thing:
Other things I loved:
Watching Max from afar with the "ladies:"
Watching the girls delight on the zipline:
...oh wait, did I already mention that? :)
We honestly about froze to death (your blood gets thin when you live in the desert and there was just nowhere to actually get warm) but these ladies, as you can probably tell from these pictures, made it SO fun.
I get to work with the most amazing people.
(long story with the pose....that's our adorable youth leader on the right)(and some more awesome girls)
I tried to help the girls get situated for a FREEZING cold night with no heat:
Although I was so sad to be leaving before the big service project the next day and the fun time with the girls, I can't say I was too heartbroken not to freeze my tail off up there in the night.
At night some of us snuggled in the one enclosed space to try to stay warm:
And others danced their little hearts out at the big dance:
Unfortunately Max and I (along with a carload of others who had to get home) had to leave before the big second 11:11 celebration at 11:11 PM.
But man alive, after all the craziness going on lately I was ready to get back to snuggle with my family and watch my girl play soccer:
Followed by watching my boy play in a volleyball tournament:
(more on that later...he did awesome and I was SO happy to finally get to catch a tournament since I've been out of town for all the others so far)
What a week.
I'm so grateful for the power of ONE, and came home with a renewed desire to better seek the One up above...the only one who knows fully the potential of my own one-ness. ...If I'll only remember to ask for His guidance.