Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Meanwhile, back on the ranch...

I don't write in my blog the same way my friends do. I remember in high school when Xanga was super popular and everyone wrote about every time they ate or went to school or blew their nose.


I won't be doing that, but I will finally write about things I've been doing in my life recently.

I'm back home in Texas. I flew home on Saturday. I spent the better part of last week trying to squeeze as much friend time as I could in between studying for/taking finals, packing, and cleaning. On Friday night, I invited a bunch of my friends to Guru's for a psuedo-going away party. I remember looking around at one point when there were three different conversations going on around me (one on faith vs. reason, one on the best places to get sweet potato fries in Provo, and one on something I forgot), and realized how glad I was to have figure out how to surround myself with such a great group of people for a year of my life.

That night, Sarah, Chelise, and Hannah came over, we made pangea bed (ask Hannah), and they drove me to the airport the next morning. I really don't like the idea of "best" friends, but if I had to pick, I'd say these 3 people are my best friends.

I feel like each one of these people brings out a different part of me that I really like. Chelise brings out my intellectual philosopher, Sarah brings out my genuine spiritualness, and Hannah brings out my poolside-laying-chick-lit-reader. As much as I wish I could have been friends with them longer than just a year(ish), I'm glad they all became my friends around the same time.

So I did my Temple Recommend interviews on Saturday and Sunday, and I'll be going to the Dallas Temple for my own endowments this Saturday. I'm really excited.

I got my job at Purple Cow back, so I'll be waiting tables again this summer in between EFY sessions. My first day back was today. We hit way over projection, and we had 4 servers on what should have been a 6 server lunch. But I made bank, so I can't complain. Living rent free+free food+depositing around $400 in cash every week=moneyyyyyy.

I report to the Provo MTC to prepare to serve in the Washington Everett Mission on September 29th. Yesterday, my mom and I went shopping, and I got some pretty cute tops and a nice rain coat. I had to make myself pass up the cute earrings which I probably wouldn't get any use out of on my mission, anyway. This summer I'm going to try to get through the Book of Mormon twice, learn a bunch of hymns on the piano to be able to play them without practice, and rememorize all of the seminary scripture mastery. I also want to finish my Blogging the Book of Mormon blog...which hasn't had a whole lot of activity lately.

That's pretty much my life. There will be a test later.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Why EFY holds a special place in my heart

So I'm going to be an EFY counselor this summer. There probably aren't enough adjectives in your Oxford English to describe my level of excitement. I only went to EFY once as a teenager, but once was enough to make me want to come back as a counselor. However, I've discovered that many people don't share my same enthusiasm for EFY. No, that's putting it lightly. The reply I get when I tell my friends that I'm going to be an EFY counselor is often much the same: an eye roll coupled with some scathing remarks about teenagers, laced with the pretentious attitude of, "well, I can see how those of baser interests could find that interesting."* I'm pretty good at moving on, but only after some passive-aggressive remark about why they're wrong.

What I really want to say is this:
  • Teenagers take themselves way too seriously, and if there's any category of people who should be allowed as much license to have fun as possible, it should be teenagers. This is what EFY is so good at bringing out. You take a bunch of self-conscious kids growing up in a world that teaches them to be self-conscious, and you play silly games with them or tell jokes they wouldn't dare let any of their friends at school know they think are funny. This is so important, especially for teenage girls. The level of fun and goofing off you get at EFY is so important for teenage girls because it leaves no room for, one, judging other girls, and two, comparing yourself to other girls. These, in my opinion, are two of the most self-destructive activities teenage girls can take part in.
  • It makes the Gospel relevant. Take young 20-somethings, let them teach the Gospel to teenagers, the teenagers in turn teach it to each other, and all of a sudden it makes sense to them why it's important and how it affects their lives.
  • There really is a spirit at EFY. Sure, it gets a bad wrap for its blatant emotionalism, but teenagers really aren't as stupid as we sometimes like to assume them to be. They get the Spirit and they understand how to feel God, if you just teach them how. I have a sticky note on the cover of my EFY handbook with this great quotation by J. Reuben Clark: "[Youth] are hungry for the things of the Spirit; they are eager to learn the Gospel, and they want it straight, undiluted...You do not have to sneak up behind them and whisper religion in their ears; you can bring these truths out openly."

*Read in a snooty British accent for full effect.