Continuing with my lovely EFY series (since I will be at camp for the remainder of this week), I bring to you EFY 2010 (NAUVOO). One more weekly entry and then it will be EFY 2012!! PS. Girl's Camp happened this last week, and there will probably be a blog post for that as well. So much to look forward too!
These are actually my journal entries from the event ... as it was happening. I have to say, this was the BEST year I have ever done journaling EFY.
August 8th, 2010
School starts this week, but I'm skipping. Eh, I don't care, all they do is talk about rules anyways. I'm actually pretty glad!
10:30 PM -- Still August 8th
I'm not packed yet! Oh no! :O It's actually a'ight. I just need to pack my clothes & extras and I'll be done! Yeah! I'm getting a tad excited!!
Yay! I'm at EFY & and I'm pumped! Once again we have to saw the boys in half (there are only 5!) but it's still cool. I'm so glad to be here! My counselor is Jessie and she is super! The others are Ammon and Kayla who are also amazing.
Our room was born to party. Everyone is AMAZING. EFY is going to be perfect. It's actually extremely hot today and it's hard to talk and think at the same time, but the south -- now that is hot, hotter than a hot tamale. (I'm guessing this is in reference to my favorite Sesame Street song, Hace Calor).
Gospel Study -- I was pretty against saying something when we brought it back, but I felt like I should read JSH 1:26. It filled me with the spirit as I shared it. I know that when I ACT on what I learn and feel, I will gain a testimony like Joseph Smith's.
I've been waking up super early this week and I love it. I think I'm becoming sort of a morning person! I have felt the spirit so much here, despite the groups negativity. Beth, Hannah, Louisiana, and I went shopping yesterday and now we're pretty tight.
We also had the best pizza night EVER! There was a boom box and super fun dancing. It's pretty great that we're the party room, I've decided.
I finished JSH! It was actually pretty incredible. Not only was Joseph Smith a stud, but a prophet, too!
We just went to the Nauvoo Cemetary (look up the talk Sister Dalton gave on We Did it for You). It was so incredible. The spirit I've felt there confirms to me that those spirits are sacred and are in the rest of Heavenly Father. I felt prompted to read Come, Come Ye Saints and I am so fantastically amazed at the trials the Saints faced, but they still could say, "All is well."
On the banks of the Mississippi, I know the church is true. As I stood by Joseph Smith's grave, I knew that he was a prophet of God. It's true. All of it!
I just had an incredible experience when I was walking down Parley Street. Brother Hollist told us that during the dedicatory session of the Nauvoo Temple, President Hinckley challenged them to walk down Parley Street and to imagine they had a young family. I accepted that challenge. While thinking about my family (as I type this, I can still feel what I felt then) I suddenly saw myself holding a man's hand and a little child's, while my husband held a baby. I felt the Spirit testify to me that I could have a family like that if I stayed true to the gospel.
As I looked back on the temple, I imagined myself and my little family having to leave everything we had worked for to go to a unknown Zion. An incredible sadness took over me but also a feeling that seemed to shout, ALL IS WELL. Also, I felt that the reason we would be willing to go is because all of it is true! What an incredible experience!
I've walked down Parley Street a thousand times, but I have never felt that close to the spirit while in the process. Wow.
There is a replica of the Christus statue in the Nauvoo visitor's center, and that's where I'm sitting currently. The Savior's arms are reaching out to me and it seems so inviting. If only I could hug him now. I need to do all I can to meet him, and then he will take me by the hand. For a minute I felt so imperfect. And then I realized that the prints on his hands and feet were sculpted into the statue. Isn't that what repentance is all about? His love for us is incredible.
I talked to a Sister Missionary at Sunset on the Mississippi and asked her if her mission was worth it. She said that is was, and also that if I prepare for a mission now, I will always be worthy later!
We toured the Church History sites today, and I loved it! The senior missionaries related everything to the gospel, which proves that all things denote there is a God.
After that, we went to the temple. That was a great experience. When we went in, I could feel my happiness increase because I knew that I was worthy to enter the temple. The temple is so beautiful! I want and need to get married there. My eternal family is truly the most important thing in my life.
Oh, by the way, I was waiting to be confirmed and a random thought entered my mind. Joseph Smith walked in the same place that I was sitting. He was there! I love that man so much and being here has increased that love 12800124 time bigger. I hope I can continue to increase that love to infinity.
The dance was pretty incredible. I went crazy! But I want to talk about what happened before the dance. It was pouring rain while we were in transit, but my friends and I sang There is Sunshine in My Soul the whole way there. It was so much funner than if we had moped the whole time. I love being happy. I am so excited to go home to prove that I can make it! I want this spirit to stay with me for the rest of eternity.