June 28, 2011

Stake Youth Conference Trek

I had the privilege of participating last week in the Stake Youth Conference Trek for over 300 youth and adult leaders. It was a wonderful experience that I will never forget, having had the opportunity to feel in a small way what the pioneers felt pushing and pulling their wagons across the plains. The theme for the Trek was "Go the Distance: Frienship, Faith and Testimony."

On Thursday morning we met as a ward to eat breakfast and map out our rides to the Trek starting location. We were all dressed in our pioneer garb and after a brief devotional at the Stake Center, we headed about 30 minutes up the Spanish Fork Canyon. Waiting for us there were handcarts and we were split into "families" consisting of about 10 members with 2 captains of 10 and a parental "Aunt and Uncle." Maddy, Joey and I were split into different families and eventually we loaded up our wagons with the belongings we had brough in 5 gallon buckets and we were off. On Thursday we went over 7 miles with stops for lunch and a reenactment of the Mormon Battalion call to duty where all the men and boys left the women with the wagons while we headed down the road.

On Friday we had all day workshops, some spiritual and some activity related. These included horshoe throwing, slingshots, quilt making, lessons on our self-image, friendship, morality, etc. That evening there was another short devotional then a youth dance where the leaders joined in and that was a great time. Joey even ended up winning the youth dance competition with his Napoleon Dynamite dance. After the dance we joined back into our wards and had a testimony meeting. Ours was wonderful and Brother Black and I ended up singing A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief acapella which was a bit intimidating but I think it went well. Our meeting lasted until past midnight.

On Saturday morning after a closing devotional by President Dunn, we headed back down the mountain even though the first mile and a half were uphill which was very difficult. We went a total of over 5 miles back down and it was very rewarding to finally make it to the end. Several youth had to stop along the way and it was wonderful to see that there was always someone that stopped with them to help.

Below are pictures from the whole experience including many of our ward youth as well as some of the youth from my assigned family.

June 26, 2011

Timberline 2011

A few weeks ago Joey had the opportunity of participating in a weeklong Timberline Boy Scout Camp. From the Scouting website, "Timberline is an exciting, action-packed, week-long program designed to provide youth a positive learning environment where development of leadership skills is at the core. The skills learned are immediately put into practice through a variety of games and activities in a fun environment." Joey had a great time and earned several awards including the BP (Baden Powell) award. He hopes to go back next year as a member of the staff. Below are several pictures from the Saturday afternoon awards ceremony including a picture of the other boys that went from his home troop.

June 19, 2011

To Beard or Not to Beard

At the beginning of the year I auditioned for a part in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint's New Testament Video Project, a production of a new collection of videos portraying stories from The New Testament. To read more about the project and see a sample of the type of video that is going to be produced, click here.

This last week I was notified that I had made the first cut as an "Extra" out of over 11,000 that auditioned. As exciting as that news was, it came with the realization that in order to be considered futher I would have to grow a full beard. Now that might seem like fun to a lot of you but I have never had more than a week's growth before and it was too itchy for my liking. Plus, I would need to get a special religious accomodation from work as well as permission from my bishop and Stake President because of my calling in our ward bishopric.

Well, everything worked itself out in the last week. I decided to do it, was granted permission from both work and our local Church leaders and I am now in full beard growing mode. The picture above is about 4 days in. The shooting will take place in August so if I make it that far I will be working on this beard for about 3 months! I'll continue to post pictures as it progresses.

June 04, 2011

Almost Lover - Cover

Maddy's prize for winning the Jr. High Sing Off was a recording session at a studio in Provo, Utah. She did that this week and had such a great time. She only sang through it twice and then had fun mixing and playing with it with the technician. Her choir teacher, Sharon Hopkins, was there to support her too. Below is the audio track from the recording. I'll post some pictures from the day soon.