Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cool & Cooler

I'm a cub scout. I'm proud of being a cub scout. I LOVE CUB SCOUTS! I wish I had been one as a kid and wish I could stay in them for as long as I want to!

So yesterday, cub scout leaders (as well as several other positions that interact with young boys in the church) attended a large area (multi-stake) training session called "Little Philmont". I got to go and I drug my whole family with me since Mesa is my assistant den leader and should have been there, and Tommy wasn't comfortable with me driving by myself to Sandy Springs for an all day thing. That meant I didn't have a babysitter and the boys went too. I made Morgan wear his uniform also :) Manti would have! This particular meeting was pretty cool because of who the speakers were.

Anyway, we started with a general session, that led to break-out sessions and we could choose 2 classes and then a lunch break and a general session to wrap things up. Well we arrive at 8am as we're supposed to. We got inside and learned that the first hour was a "meet and greet." I so hate those.... let me tell ya,... I HATE those! I can't even stand when we do things like that in classes at church! I seriously hate that. So we all just sat on our bench the entire hour, waiting for it to start. Just about 10 till 9, this man in a suit walks up to us. We had seen lots of men in suits....mostly stake presidents or young men presidents or bishops....people without a large reason for wearing a uniform. They all milled around and socialized and we just sat. This one man though walked down the aisle in our direction and glanced at our family filling up the bench. He did a double take and stopped. He held out his hand to shake hands with Tommy and said "this looks like a family of scouters. Nice to see it's important enough to make it a family affair." Tommy thanked him and introduced himself, then he introduced each of us one at a time. The man kept smiling and looking at us real close. Then he says "so this is your whole family? And you love scouting this much?" And I said "well its all but one of us. Our oldest son is an eagle scout, and he is currently serving a mission, so he's not here with us." The man's face lit up and he smiled bigger and asked questions like where was he serving and how long had he been out and was he loving it since it is dramatically different than Georgia. We answered and the man just smiled more and more....and never told us his name. Someone came up an interrupted him so they could have a minute of his time (you know how people with no manners do) so this man looks back at Tommy and I with this apologetic look on his face and it was striking how noticeable those thoughts were on his face. He stepped off with the other person and I looked at Tommy and said "who do you think he was?" Tommy said he didn't know, maybe the Young Men's General President......
And then the meeting started with our stake president introducing the key speakers, Elder Gay, the area seventy, and Brother Beck....the YM General President....the man who stopped to speak to our family.


Ok so that was an awesome experience, don't ya think? but I can top that still.

Today was treated as Fast Sunday because next week is General Conference. The service started and it came time for testimonies, so Brother Harcrow started the meeting with his and then he sat down. Nobody got up. It was SILENT (wish it was always that quiet!) in the chapel! The father of the family sitting behind me was trying to encourage his children to get up and share their testimonies. He kept saying "it's your turn!" to each child one at a time and none would go, they just laughed at him and said they didn't think so. My boys were being so reverent, I was impressed, and didn't think much more about it. The silence just kept going though! So I looked at Morgan and said "guess YOU could go up there." I was teasing a bit,... but he took me literally and said "what would I say?" About that time, a man got up and started sharing his testimony, so I told Morgan to listen to the things he said and see what his mind thought of. The man got into details about how he developed a testimony of this one aspect of the gospel through reading a particular book and he commented on the contents of the book. I saw on Morgan's face that he was totally overwhelmed and lost. So I leaned over and whispered to him that Brother Barron had told us he had a testimony that he wanted to share and he was describing HOW he came to get that testimony and was explaining what it meant to him. Morgan said "so what could I say?" I told him he could say anything he wanted as long as he was telling us about his beliefs and what his heart told him was important for others to hear him say. I told him to start by telling us he wanted to share these thoughts and then tell us things like he's grateful for his testimony and he could say he was grateful for Manti serving a mission and how much he loves his family...(you know the typical things kids will say in their testimonies). So Morgan got scared. He was physically shaking,... but he jumped up and headed to the stand. Someone else got there first, so he sat down and waited his turn on the stand. That person ended and Morgan popped up. He said he wanted to bare his testimony because he knew the church was true and was so thankful to have a brother serving a mission. He told everybody how much Manti had taught him before leaving and how kind and loving he had been with him. He told us he wanted to be like that one day. He said Manti's example was an important part of Morgan's testimony, then he ended and all but ran to the bathroom he had to go so bad. I had tears....I admit it!
So we sit for a bit and listen and Jared leans on me....not just to take a nap, but leaning HARD to get my attention. When I looked at him, he said "I'm scared to go up there." I told him he didn't have to, so why was he scared. He said he wanted to go up there and was scared because he didn't know what to say. I told him he could go if he wanted, but that he had to do it all by himself. I stood him up and turned him to face me so he could see how many people were behind us....lots! I asked if he thought he could talk in the microphone to all those people (he's never been willing to talk in teh primary programs). He said he could but what did I want him to say. I told him I don't tell kids what to say. If you can't do it by yourself, then you shouldn't go up there. I told him if he wants to, I would go up and sit till he's done. I told him he can say anything he wants that tells people about what he believes and what is important to him. I asked if he had a testimony about Jesus and about missionaries and if he was thankful that Heavenly Father put those important things in his life. He said YES and that he could do it, even by himself. So I got up with him and we walked to the stand. Someone beat us up there, so we sat on the bench behind the bishop. We waited and then it was Jared's turn. He got up and suddenly all these big men were pulling out the stool that only gets used for Primary programs and the podium was moving down. Jared grabbed the microphone and planted his lips right on it and started telling us he wanted to share his testimony, he knows the church is true, he loves his family and is glad Heavenly Father put us together,....he still knows the church is true,.... and ends in Jesus' name. He then bolted off the stand and out the door...he had to go potty too.

Well he was out of the room before I could stand up, so now I'm on the spot and have to speak too, so I got up and it was SUPER brief! I expressed appreciation for my children's teachers and examples who were a part of planting those seeds of testimony in them. I said I've always known of their role in my children's lives, and how they were a part of sending Manti on a mission and Mesa to the temple to marry a worthy young priesthood holder. I expressed my gratitude for being called to work with cub scouts that I could return some of those teachings to THEIR children and that was about it. I went and sat down. In just a few minutes, JOHN got up and went to the stand! Now I'm dumbfounded! John is a convert, recent one! He's never born his testimony before! He can talk your ears off too, so I was thinking "what on EARTH will he say?" but he did such a great job. He commented on it being nice that his future mother-in-law looked at him as a WORTHY young priesthood holder. He wrapped it up in about 2 minutes and was back in his seat.


Towards the end of the meeting, another young boy wanted to go follow the example of my boys and he shared a testimony too. After church, we're driving home and Morgan has heard umpteen comments and compliments on his bravery and good example and expressing his heartfelt feelings (and tears) for his older brother like that, so he was proud of himself too. We're driving and he says "I think we expired other primary kids too today!" I nearly fell apart laughing and asked him who did he kill? He didn't say anything....I asked if maybe he INspired the other kids....he turned red and was suddenly a little more humble :D

1 comment:

  1. This is absolutely wonderful. It brought tears to my eyes. I am so proud of those little boys!