July 9, 2012

The ABC's of With A Loud Voice

Awkward games
Hagoo, Pterodactyl, Foot Twister ... my face muscles are still hurting.

Best Cheer Ever
When we were trying to pull our group cheer together, I was a little wary of how ours would turn out. The "Holy Ghost" was able to help us out however, and it ended up being really cool. Like, one of the coolest things I have ever been a part of.

Eating cows and EFY cows are very different things. It's not an unpleasant difference. COW stands for Crush of the Week, and it is almost impossible to go through EFY without having one. Something about the chemistry of a new situation, yadda, yadda. A post is coming, I promise.

Dancing Shoes
This year was the best dancing year for me. Does it help that I spent a couple of hours the Saturday before practicing the EFY dance moves? Of course. One thing that I have always loved about EFY is how enthused everyone is about life! It totally shows in these dances, because there is hardly an occupied seat on the sidelines -- and everyone sweats buckets.
Eating the Lovely Food
Okay, lovely is a bit of an overstatement. But I think meals were one of the funnest times to get to know our company. Banana eating and water contests, crawling under the tables, singing, playing the ukelele ... we had a lot of fun.

During the little free time we did have, some people in our group went to the fountains. It was SO hot the whole week, and the water was really, really enticing. So, even though picture taking and the dance was coming up, we ran through. It was so worth it!

Gospel Study
The Gospel Study this year was incredible. Everyone in our group had such great insights and I was able to feel the spirit teach me the things I needed to know. It's so fun to get into the scriptures and find things that you are looking for.

Her name is Jesssss ...
Jessica was my counselor this year and I loved her so much! She was so stinkin' hilarious and a great example. If anyone deserved to have a song written about themselves, it was her.

It's no secret that I travel far for EFY. I am so glad that I was able to go to Indiana this year. It seems like Heavenly Father just knows when and where I'm supposed to be. The five and a half hours in the car were a little rough, but all in all, the state of Indiana has proven itself to be pretty awesome.

Jogging up the Stairs
When you live on the eighth floor in a building with several hundred people and only two elevators, there is a logistical problem. With lines longer than Disney World to get onto the elevators, our group almost always opted to take the stairs. In order to beat the people that were on the elevators, we spiced things up and ran up, up, up the stairs. It was sooooo exhausting, but was a good way to let out crazy energy.

Kumcha, kumcha, kumcha
Bunny, bunny is a game that I have played before. It was almost as cool as Big Bootie in my eyes until I came to EFY this year. When you throw 40 people together, it makes it 40 times more fun. I think that rhythm is implanted in my brain.

Lots of love
I really felt like this year, our group was like family. It was so cool to look at everyone on the last day and see how much we were going to miss each other. It's really crazy how week long relationships feel and are so important in our lives. I swear, every time I log into FB, I see another status about how much we miss each other.

Missionary Rapper
This guy was one cool cat. I loved the emphasis that they put on Missionary Work this year! It was such an empowering feeling to know that I can share the gospel anywhere, anytime. I'm so excited to be a missionary!

Because I was home schooled this year, naps have become a pretty regular part of my life. I missed them so much at EFY! It seemed like we were always going, which didn't leave much room for nap time. Although the picture above was totally posed, you have no idea how hard it was to get back up.

Old EFY Medley?
The EFY Medley is one of my favorite parts of EFY. There is something really nostalgic about swaying in a circle and singing it with tears in your eyes. So when I flipped back to the section where is normally is in order to doodle hearts and gospel-y things, I was SHOCKED to see that it wasn't there anymore. That instead it had a mix up of Called to Serve and I am a Child of God. Hmmm. After some searching, one of my friends told me that it was a copyright issue and that we weren't allowed to sing it anymore. Say what?! Luckily, copyright couldn't erase the song from our hearts and we were able to have a tender moment after our last devotional ... but really now.

Pizza Night
Pizza night is the stuff of legend during EFY. It's right after the team building game night and so morale is super high. Is there an ingredient in pizza that makes you giddy? Or maybe there is one that makes you want to talk about every secret you've ever had. Whatever is in that pizza, it's a ton of fun. This picture was taken on Friday morning, right after we woke up to balloons and a pizza box message from the guys in our group. I got into the room a little later and all I could hear was "AWWWWWW" or "Oh my goodness, this is TOO CUTE!" As someone who had no clue what was going on, this was really hilarious.

Questions Answered
I don't know if this is the case for everyone, but I come to EFY with a purpose. Usually I have a list of questions that I feel like I need to know, and when I make an effort to look for answers, I always find them. This year, I decided not to write down questions for some reason that I can't remember, but as I listened I was able to find answers to questions that I didn't know I had.

Roommates are rad
Because I go to EFY alone every year, roommates are a pretty questionable part of EFY. I've never been disappointed, but I've heard some horror stories about things that have happened. I pray every year that when I go to EFY, my roommate will be beyond awesome. This year my prayers were answered! I loved Karlie so much! She was so cute, and really fun to talk to. We would stay up when the lights were out and talk about everything from boys to our favorite scriptures. When we both woke up at 4:30, we would read our scriptures together and say morning prayers together. We were pretty cool!

One of the cool things about EFY is how much you can feel the spirit. I would feel it at the weirdest times. It was just a quiet tug at my heart that helped me to know the things I heard were true. I felt the spirit during the musical program. I felt the spirit when we were in classes. I felt the spirit as I prayed. Our session director, Brother Beynon, showed us this video, and I felt the spirit testify to me that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father. It really is such a blessing in my life.

We had a goal as a company to bear or write down our testimony during this week. It was an incredible experience to be in a room with my company and to feel their testimonies. When I stop to think about it, I feel empowered. The gospel makes me so HAPPY and I love bearing my testimony because I want others to know how it can change their lives and help them to be happy as well.

I wasn't going to bring my ukelele this week. After all, I had only just gotten it a few weeks earlier and I didn't want to look like an amateur. I am so glad I ended up bringing it in the last second. I still looked like an amateur, but everyone in our group just ate up the ukelele. There were at least three that said that they wanted to get one as soon as they got home. There were some other kids from different camps at the cafeteria that I overheard saying, "Do Mormons get to play ukeleles?" The ukelele is just such a happy instrument and I love seeing others happy because of it.

Variety Show
This year I was determined to be more involved at EFY. I've always done the musical program, but I've never tried out for a solo or been in the variety show. The time to sign up for a solo came and went, but one morning, I let it slip that I could eat a banana really quickly. After I demonstrated a couple of times, the counselor in charge of the variety show walked by. I tried to protest, but after some gentle prodding, I was in. During the actual variety show, I beat my PR! When I saw I had eaten a "whole fiscal banana" in ten seconds, I was shocked. I guess there is talent in life if you look hard enough for it! :)

With a LOUD Voice
I loved us so much. Our name came from a scripture from Revelations that talks about sharing the gospel with a loud voice to everyone. We really were examples of what it means to be loud! It was so cool to see how much the gospel meant to everyone in our group, and I know that we're going to be such a powerful force for good as we get older and right NOW.

There were so many good examples at this EFY session for me. Everywhere I turned I saw people smiling, serving, and rising above challenges that they faced. I loved being able to see their lights shine and it really strengthened my testimony!

Okay, I kind of ran out of things to say for this one. I guess this is just how I feel about the whole week. :) First, the video from Napolean Dynamite is classy. Second, Hope of Israel is my new favorite song because it sums up how awesome the youth of the church are.

Zealously Righteous
When EFY is over, it's usually a sad thing. Where else do you get to be with so many incredibly awesome people where you don't have to be around the worlds influence? This Sunday, I was thinking about how much I miss EFY and was reading in Alma. When I saw this verse, I imagined everyone in our group going out and doing good. I could see how the Lord has favored me in my life and I just felt so ecstatic. Leaving EFY wasn't sad at all after that. I felt so on fire to let everyone see the zeal I have for the Gospel.


  1. Laney! Can I just Say I love you and your awesome! And this is so cool!!!



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