Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Youth conference at the Jersey shore.

One advantage of living in New Jersey is the fact that it only takes us 50 minutes to go the shore. Last week while other stakes did a pioneer trek for their youth conference (which I think that would absolutely be a great idea if we did that) the youth in our stake attended a three day conference in the comforts near the ocean in Cape May.

This year their theme was Arise and Shine Forth. The meaning behind those words stands so true for me. This is the chance for all the youth to stand up, share their beliefs, and let their spirit shine. I love that!

The youth in the church are so fortunate to have youth conference year after year. Various classes this year included a returned missionary discussion panel in which several returned missionaries prepared to answer questions for those who are preparing to serve a church mission. They also had a class on optimism, and another one in 'recognizing, & keeping the holy ghost'. It is a conference in which they learn about gospel principles, serving others, and it helps build their testimony in the gospel.

Towards the end of June Atlantic City endured a powerful thunderstorm. My girlfriend and I visited Ocean City the day after the storm, and it looked like as if an intense hurricane hit the city. We saw tree stumps through windows, power lines dangling low almost touching the street, and they had a power outage that lasted more than a week!
can you find her?
After the storm Mormon helping hands came to the rescue and for the past few weeks members of our church have been driving down to help clean up the mess. The youth also made the time during the conference to do their part in serving a community that was in need.

 They even had time to spare, and hung out at the Cape May Zoo.
I always look forward when Sierra comes home so she can tell me all about what she learned in the classes, the boys she danced with at the dance, and any pranks they did to the young men. They always turn a spiritual activity into a world of fun. It is nice to hear about their experiences, and to watch these kids grow in the gospel. It puts my mind at ease knowing that these kids have the gospel of Jesus Christ in their life that will help them grow spiritually in hopes that it will keep them on the right path. It helps them define who they are, and by attending these conferences gives them a chance to remember as to why they became baptized a member of the church. They are the ones who have a choice to take in all that they have learned, and to apply it in their daily lives.

And if there is a beach nearby... it's double the fun!

***Photo sources were leaders of the young women, and some of Sierra's friends!

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