What I'm not ok with? The fact that efy is over? How?!?!?
I highly encourage everyone to try to make it to efy at one point in their lives. It will change the way you look at the gospel and increase your testimony in leaps in bounds. It will show you how to have the spirit with you constantly and to be a happier person. I know it is a bit pricey, but it is worth it! I'm already saving up for next year:)
Since I don't want to forget a single thing I guess I'll start from the beginning.....
(Warning this is an extremely long post. I'm going to try to post about the rest of the days soon. It takes a lot longer than I expected to remember and record what happened each day, get all the pics together, etc!)
I hope to have a post with my top packing tips, etc. later so this is more of what we did before. This was my first EFY and I was beyond excited, but also super duper scared out of my pants:) I'm not a super loud person and tend to stay on the quieter side so I was nervous about my roommate, my company, would I anyone talk to me, and a whole bucketful of typical "this is a new thing" worries.
Not all of this is directly related to EFY, but it is in my mind since the couple days before I was packing for EFY and super duper excited for EFY. Plus life is so wonderful it's a shame to forget any of it right?
Then the Friday before EFY me and mom had our annual summer "date." Each summer my mom tries to spend an afternoon with just one of us kids doing what ever we choose. This year I chose to get our nails done and go shopping with some gift cards I had gotten from random birthdays/Christmases. We ended the night at Qdoba and it was delicious! It was such a fun night and it meant a lot to me that my mother dearest would take time out of her busy schedule for me. Any moms reading out there- do this with your kids! I get to spend a good amount of time with my mom in day to day life, but it isn't the same as when I get to choose the activity and it is uninterrupted quality time.
And then came the packing, packing, and more packing. Seriously I think I am the most indecisive person ever... and I way over packed as usual.
On Saturday mt mom had to go to a baby shower so my dad, in a very spontaneous mood, decided that if we would clean the house then we could go to Chuck E Cheese. As you can imagine my 5 & 8 year old sisters were ecstatic. And you know what? I ended up having a blast. And I won like 100 tickets at one game. That kind of stuff never happens to me:) My mom ended up meeting us there and it was a super fun (and kind of silly) way to spend our last night together for a week.
Then 2/3 of my wonderful family headed out for the week. My brother went to a baseball camp near my grandparents so my sisters and mom went with him.
After they left the house was so quiet because it was just me and my dad. I read pretty much all night and it was so peaceful and fun to spend time with just him, but it made me so grateful for all my siblings and even though quiet is nice I've decided that one of my favorite sounds is a family gathered together.
That morning I went to my dad's office since the rest of my family was gone. After finishing packing about 15 minutes before he arrived to pick me up (#procrastination), curling my hair, typing this post and hitting publish as I heard him pull into the drive way and then struggling to pull my 10 thousand pound suitcase (that was yellow which made me super duper happy) down the stairs, we were finally off!
I picked up lunch across the road from his office and then walked back over. Only an hour left. I could. not. wait. Finally! It was time to head on over to WKU!! I was pumped.
We got there to a frenzy of activity with efy backpacks and suitcases every where! It was super overwhelming and exciting at the same time! After getting my backpack, shirt, key, and lanyard I waited in the long elevator line. I was so nervous. Would my roommate be gross? Or mean? I had prayed about this a lot and knew it would work out for the best but I couldn't handle the suspense!
Flashback a few weeks. At girls camp I become friends with an amazing girl in my year. She was super kind and nice and thoughtful. We found out that we were both going to efy, said we hoped to see each other, and didn't think much of it. In the back of my mind, I wondered if maybe, just maybe we could be in the same company. Like a one in 300 chance. A may have even prayed to know someone in my company but I can't remember. It was a tiny hope I didn't want to entertain.
And then I saw the hand of the Lord in my life. Because when I walked up to my dorm this was on the door.
My friend from camp was named Lynden. When I walked into the room we couldn't believe it! Some people would say this was just chance, but I really think it was divine inspiration.
After setting up our dorm, going to meet up with friends. we went to meet our counselors. For anyone who hasn't been to efy, your counselor is the adult in charge of you. They are all super young and cute. Me and and another girl kept joking that we couldn't wait to be efy counselors because then we could be cute. Haha! But seriously?!?! How do they do it?! My counselor was named Corinne and she as pretty amazing! She was so super duper sweet and her face just shone with the light of Christ. Each counselor is in charge of a group of 10 girls/guys.Wwe got to meet each other and all the girls in my small group were awesome!
Then we got to meet our company. A company is a group of 10 girls and 10 guys (or in our case 20 girls and 10 guys because we were a triple), you do almost everything with your company. Our company name was Treasure the Truth. It was the 1997 efy theme and is based off Helaman 5:8
After meeting with our company and playing a few name games, we started walking up to Van Meter Hall where we had orientation. Every where you go at EFY you have to be escorted by a guy. This might sound weird to other people, but it was kind of fun to get to know a bunch of different people and it wasn't very awkward at all!
Then we had lesson from our Session Director about what the theme meant. I loved all the Session Director lessons so much! I have the notes from that scheduled to post tomorrow because this post is getting way too long!
After that we went and played FHE games as a company. The games were super fun and I loved how at the end we compared them all to the gospel. My favorite game was called the Ant Game. You had to run from one point to the next without getting "eaten" (tagged) by the ant eater. If you got tagged you had to sit in the grass until 4 people who had already been saved came and tagged you. Then you could get up and go back to the finish line and start saving people again. We then talked about how when we were sitting and waiting to be saved it was like our ancestors waiting for us to save them. We couldn't move until someone came and tagged us just like our ancestors can't progress until we do their temple work. The game was also just like the plan of Salvation because we all start safe (behind the start line// Premortal world), then we get to earth where we need help to get across, and then we get to the Celestial Kingdom (behind the finish line) where we are safe once again. The last comparison I loved was about how we had to save ourselves before we could go back and tag other people. In life we have to gain our own testimony before we can go and help others. Sometimes going to help them requires us to be in "enemy territory" where we can risk being tagged by the Ant eaters. It is so important to be careful about who we surround ourselves with in life!
We also played a game where we had to close our eyes and make the animal sound assigned to us. We then had to try and find the rest of the animals like us with our eyes closed. I loved the visual this gave about all the voices and distraction there are in life and how we have to just focus on what Christ wants us to do and what He is trying to tell us.
The final thing we did was set goals for the week. The spirit was so strong as we prayed and pondered on what we should work on in our lives and in the week to come. I loved how even though we were sitting in the middle of the city, surrounded by busy roads; there was such a peace. You could hear bugs chirping in the trees and a soft light covered the lawn. It was such an amazing moment and it really reminded me how the spirit should be included in every moment of our lives.
The pics below are so terrible but they represent such an amazing moment so I actually really like them....
Notes from the Day: (each night we did reflect and review. These are the things that really stuck out to me from the day)
- I loved the idea of committing my life to the Lord.
- During the day we talked about how the spirit can manifest itself through joy. I definitely felt this when we played games.
- Setting goals was one of my favorite moments of the day and ended up being one of my top 5 of the week.
- We can choose to have a Laman and Lemuel or Nephi week (and life really). They both had the exact same circumstances but their attitudes determined so much of how their lives played out.
- We can create our own "holy place."
- We need to see people's "insides," not appearances. The old saying don't judge a book by it's cover is so cheesy but so true! I learned a lot about that this week. I never realized how much I really did it until I made it a goal to try to love and accept everyone.
What did I take away as action steps from day 1??
- Strive to be more in tune with the Spirit. Make sure I am worthy of it at all times.
- Make more analogies to the gospel. They leave such a powerful image and lasting impression in my mind.
- Set more goals.
Well I guess that's it for Day 1. You're a real trooper if you made it to the end of this post! Hope you all are having a wonderful day!