I started EFY this last week in Salt Lake. That is where the problems began. I thought I was starting EFY in Provo. I discovered my mistake Sunday afternoon and had to be in Salt Lake by 7 pm. Panicking, I called Erica as soon as she got out of church to tell her about my change of plans. Luckily, she was planning on coming to pick me up anyway to go to dinner with some family.
A few hours later, my cousin and my sister came and picked me and all of my stuff up, we had a rushed dinner at my aunt and uncle's in Alpine, and then Erica and I dashed out with almost no gas in her car to try and find where I was supposed to go.
I say "try" because we got lost. Several times. And did I mention we had almost no gas? Mom and Dad, I know we get ourselves into these scraps more than we should, but let's just call them learning experiences, okay? Shake your heads, but it worked out alright in the end.
After stopping at sever churches to ask directions, and after fretting at being very late for my fireside with the session director, we finally found where we needed to be. I blame Salt Lake, the directions from Google, and most of all ME for the massively stressful experience, but I cannot blame Erica. In fact, she was a saint the entire time as I slowly morphed into a monster about getting lost and having no gas and being late and not knowing anyone at the session....yaddah yaddah yaddah. I'm afraid I complained quite a bit when I was only in a mess of my own doing. Erica even found my room for me and unloaded and made my bed while I was in the fireside and BC meeting.
Monday found me with new resolve and lighter spirits. After breakfast in the cafeteria, I headed to go help the participants check in and then I met my girls. Oh, and what girls! I had six of the sweetest, funniest, most spiritually hungry 14-year-olds I've ever met. They were a wonder!
After starting off kind of quiet, they soon became fast friends with each other and with me. We never argued about modesty like some girls did with their counselors, I never had to worry about them sneaking off, and they went to bed right when they were asked to (with a few funny exceptions). I laughed with them at pizza night, I cried with them at devotionals and during our testimony meeting, and had a first-class time.
I was not a model counselor, but I think there were times when I was exactly what some of those girls needed. It's very humbling to know that I have something to offer such mature, intelligent, spiritual souls as these. It is nice to know that I am needed and can be useful in teaching the gospel to a truly royal generation.
But I guess I can't really say I taught them. My girls spoke at testimony meeting about learning things that I know I didn't teach them and that the speakers and teachers didn't address. The whole week was guided and filled with the Spirit. I felt the answer to my prayers for the spirit of discernment and teaching come whenever I or my girls needed it. But it had nothing to do with my worthiness to receive help, but everything to do with the faith my girls had in the gospel and their desire to learn more. EFY really is about the youth, and not about me - a lesson I've had to learn over and over again.