I walked to work today by way of Helaman Halls.
And what did I see? A billion and one EFY kids.
Without fail I always have 3 thoughts pop into my head.
1) Oh my heck, they are so annoying. Get them off my campus. They're babies and they don't belong here. Stop making so much noise. Go away.
2) Oh, my goodness. I loved the year I went to EFY. Best week ever. Now these kids are having the same experience. That's so great.
3) I was going to be an EFY counselor one time. But I was too young. And then I got married. Bummer, I think I really missed out. (But could I really have handled those kids?!)
Clearly I have mixed emotions regarding these kids.
I mean.... Teenagers.
But... What I really want to share with you is my own experience of EFY.
I went to EFY summer of 2006, the summer before my senior year of high school. I went with my good friend, Shirley, from my ward.
It was a great week.
Yes, there was drama as only drama can happen when you get teenagers together, but my testimony really was strengthened so much that week. I can recall two specific experiences where my love for the Savior and our Father in Heaven intensified, and I knew without a doubt that They love me.
The first was when we were doing our daily scripture study in the morning. I was studying D&C, section 6.
Verse 20 really stuck out to me, especially the part which reads:
Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my
And in verse 34 He calls us His "little flock."
I knew that He really loves us, and would encircle us in His arms.
The other time was when we were at a devotional of some sort... The really big one at the end of the week? And we all stood up and sang the EFY Medley together.
So cheesy, I know, but I felt the Spirit so strongly.
As we sang the words
"We are daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us and we love Him. Yes, we love Him"
my heart was full and I felt the Savior standing close to me. I looked over at Shirley, and we both had tears streaming down our faces.
I may have been a little 16 year old, but I knew with every fiber of my being that the Church was true and that God loves me and all His children.
I had never felt that so strongly before, and it was amazing, and life changing, and testimony strengthening.
Whenever life got hard the next year or two, I could also go back to those two experiences I had while at EFY and draw on the feelings that I had felt.
So, while those little EFY-ers may annoy me to no end in the summer, deep down I am so grateful that they are at EFY, either by their own choice or their parents', and I hope that they are able to have a similar faith building experience while they are here, because everyone needs at least one.