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Sat - Aug 09, 2008 : 11:30 pm
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Youth Conference 2008

I don't even know where to begin, to tell you the truth.  I'll do my best, but I've got a novel inside me for what happened yesterday.  All in all, it was quite simple, but at the same time it was probably the most profound thing which has happened to me in years...  and I have no idea how to portray it.

Let me begin with the following: Mohawk, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Guitar Hero, Toilet Papering, Settlers of Katan, Drums, Getting Toilet Papered, The Temple, Waterbaloons, Testimony, Sleep Deprivation, and the longest day of my life.

Yup, that ought to do it.  Now, as for putting all of that into some coherent journal entry...  Well..  Here goes.

First off, I got called to be the Young Men's 1st Counselor about 2 weeks ago, and at that time, I had received another calling precisely 1 week previous as a Sunday School teacher.  So, I was obviously confused as to what had just happened.  Being called for 1 week, and then getting released is quite unusual, so...  I went with the flow.

Since yesterday's Youth Conference, I have received quite the confirmation as to why our wonderful bishop was inspired to give me this calling.  Yeah, it kind of came as a quiet smack to the back of my head, actually.  But, let me figure out where I'm going to begin this entry.  How about at the beginning...

I had a tough time even wanting to be associated with Youth Conference, actually.  It seemed a week ago, like the whole thing was rushed together, poorly planned, and I was expected to do stuff for which I didn't even know the purpose.  I just wasn't catching the vision - mostly because I couldn't find anything being thrown at me.

Well.  Friday came and I was making last minute calls to people telling them that I couldn't get off work in time to do the things which had been asked of me, and trying to compensate.

I finally got off at 3:00pm, 3 hours after the shin-dig began.  The watersliding had ceased, the lunch which I was to supervise was being cleaned up, and I found myself just sort of walking around a bunch of 14 to 18 year olds who were happy, wet, and looking for rides to bring them home to change their clothes.  I ended up bringing two of em' home and back, and then we had some spiritual nourishment planned.  We learned about dating and righteous use of media.  The talks were good, but the momentum just hadn't shown up yet, at least for me.

After the instruction, the youth were going to babysit our kids as a service project, accompanied by a few leaders, as the adults (all in the ward were invited) went off to attend a session at the Provo Temple.

My wife arrived with Collin and Luci, and quite simply, chaos ensued soon thereafter.  Imagine, if you will, approximately 20 14 to 18 year olds running around with approximately 30 2 to 8 year olds, while 3 or 4 leaders tried to make some sort of organized effort to channel it all.

Needless to say, both my wife and I were concerned for our children's well being, but Sarah gathered herself and told me she had felt good about it earlier in the day.  At the last moment before time wouldn't permit us to leave, Collin got really interested in watching The Incredibles, and Luci was okay with following one of the leaders around.  We left in a hurry, and ended up attending a fantastic endowment session.

The endowment session was exactly what I needed to get into the mood of the Youth Conference happening around me.  ...  I love the Spirit.

When we arrived back at the Chapel, we found that the chaos had been lifted a bit, and more importantly, we found Luci and Collin as happy as kittens on yarn balls.  Collin was throwing a basketball around the gym, and Luci was helping him chase it.

We had some rootbeer floats with all the youth, as the adults came and went, recovering their children.

At this point, it was still somewhat unclear as to what was supposed to happen next.  I knew the young men were supposed to go home with their leaders, but I wasn't sure whether that was me, or someone else.  Well, that decision was made quite quickly after talking to one of the priests.

All I said was, "106 inch projected TV with Guitar Hero", and it really was truly amazing the speed with which all the young adult guys seemed to hover around me.  It took all of about 3 seconds for the word to spread, and a consensus reached:  They would all be staying with me.

In all, there were 7 of em'.  2 priests and 5 teachers -  Bryce, Zack, Ben, Jake, Josh, Martin, and Brigham.  Harmless enough, right?  Hehe...  I just gotta grin.

It took only a couple minutes after we arrived for some things to be established.  One, these were very respectable, albeit a bit rambunctious, young men - and Two, we were in for a very, very, very fun night.

When the guys got down into the basement, there were a few who started opening doors, and soon they saw my drumset.  Martin seemed like he was beside himself in heaven.  He started playing the drums a bit, and soon we were having a "drum-off" of sorts.  We both played and he was pretty good!  I was rusty as all get-out, but I played like a mad-man.  That lasted about 15 minutes.

Before long, Bryce was off hooking up his playstation 2 to my projector, and we got some guitar hero going.  I've never seen anyone play that game on Expert, but I've heard it's nuts.  Well, they were right.  It's nuts.

Two of the guys were competing and they played some song called "Frying Flames" or something like that and holy cow.  I have no idea how they did it, but they both got over 50%.  Not sure if that's respectable within the elite of Guitar Hero or not, but I was beyond impressed.  I couldn't stop laughing and clapping out of sheer amazement.

We then broke out the computers and laptops and got a game of Enemy Territory:Quake Wars going, and the guys were soon in love.  It was beautiful.  Martin could not get over the whole setup of my basement and he let me know it.  He asked when he could move in.  I was flattered.

Now, while all of this was going on, I had a plan being thrown around the corners of my brain.  While I was coming back from the Temple, I was hit with a stroke of genius, and soon found out that all the young women were staying at one house.  I made sure to find out which house it was.

Then, after guitar hero faded a bit, I got the young men together and told them of my evil plan to toilet paper the house where the young women were staying.  I've never seen more smiles in my life.  They were all in.

By this time it was only around 10:00pm, so we needed something else to do.  Zack noticed my mohawk and asked if I would give him one.  He didn't need to ask twice.

About 2 hours later, Bryce, Zack, and Brigham had some pretty awesome hair-do's.  Yup..  All three of em' got mohawks.  Talk about connection...    I hope the Bishop knew what he was getting himself into...

So, right around 1:00am this morning, Zack, Bryce, Brigham, Ben and I set out to do our dirty deed.  The rest of them were wholeheartedly engaged in playing Enemy Territory, and wouldn't be budged, so the rest of us all packed into the minivan and got ourselves 48 rolls of 2-ply.  We then headed over to the house...

Now, it's been a considerably long time since I've done anything like this, but when I did do it earlier in my life, I did it well.  So...  While we were driving over there, I explained to them the whole philosophy of "get in, get dirty, get out!"  We had to be silent and deadly fast.

When we pulled up, I noticed that across the street was a home of a family in our ward whom I know, so we pulled into his driveway, parked the car, and I told the guys to leave all the doors open, so we could run back and forth to get more rolls....

...and the party began...

There was a mid-sized tree (about 40 feet high) in their front yard which I started to pummel.  I must have got 15-20 rolls up in that tree alone.  All the while, the other guys were getting their car, their front door, their back yard, flowers, anything that would hold TP.

While doing this, we had to dodge one car, and someone thought they heard something, so we ran around the corner and hid.  This must have been about 20-30 minutes into the ordeal, and it was taking us way too long.  I told the guys to get the rest of the loot, spread it around as fast as they could, and get back to the van.

Three of the guys headed to the back yard with the last rolls, while Zack and I stayed in the front.

All the while we were doing this, I've gotta tell ya, I was high on adrenaline.  I was having the time of my life.  The weather was perfect, with a stiff breeze blowing from the east.  The toilet-paper-packed tree in the front had lines of TP blowing in the breeze.  They looked liked big streamers.  It was beautiful.

So, Zack and I were throwing out our last rolls on the porch about 5-6 feet from the front door, when I hear the door knob rattle, and then the door begin to open fast.

I didn't stick around to see what was going on.

By the time the door was half-way open, with girls screaming on the other side, I was half-way down the street with Zack in hot pursuit.  We hid behind a trailer about 30 feet out.  There were 4 girls who were screaming threats to their unidentified attackers.  That's when they saw where we were hiding, and 2 of them started after us.

We took off heading east and went across the street.  I soon noticed the girls had given up and weren't following us anymore, so I told Zack to double back in the field across the street from them, until we were right across from the toilet-paper-strewn house.  We could hear them, but we weren't close enough to tell what they were saying.

Now, keep in mind, that we had the van right across the street from the house down west by only about 20-30 feet.  All the girls would have to do is walk down the street a bit and they'd see the van with all the doors and windows wide open.  We would have no choice but to give ourselves in if they found it and decided to camp there.

At one point, Erin (one of the girls) walked probably 10 feet from the van, and I thought for sure she had seen it.  A quick prayer later, and I saw her walk back up to the house, apparently unaware of it.

Now, at this point, all I had to do was hop the 8-foot wood fence between me and the van, get in, and zoom away, and we would be home-free.  So, I told Zack to meet me at Bryce's house, just around the opposite corner while I hopped the fence, slowly closed the doors, started the van, and made my get away.

By this time, the girls had gone back inside and for some reason, didn't see, or pay attention to the van pulling out of the driveway.

I had gone about 30 feet when I saw Bryce in the road, and about 20 more when Brigham and Ben came running behind me.

We then went and picked up Zack, got some drinks at the local convenience store, and we were on our way.

Smack-talk was the name of the game from that point on.  We went back home and told the story to the other guys who were still engrossed in Quake Wars.

We ended up playing that as well as chatting off and on about life for the rest of the night.

Around 7:00am, I went upstairs and looked outside to breathe some fresh air and I noticed there were traces of toilet paper around my house.  They had got us back.  Well...  It was so weak that I cleaned 100% of it all up in about 10 minutes.  I debated on whether to tell the guys or not.  I decided not to.

We were supposed to be at the church at 8:00am Saturday morning, so when 7:30 came around, and 4 of us still had not gone to bed, I took a quick shower and tried to wake everyone else up who had crashed no less than an hour earlier.

We groggily packed everything up (and that's when I took the video posted above) and we were on our way.

At the church, we pulled into the parking lot, got out of our cars and were headed toward the doors to the church when the doors bursted open and about 15 girls ran at us armed with waterbaloons.  Needless to say, there was a war going on.

None of the guys got wet, however, because ... well...  we're just too awesome.  That didn't last too long, but it was fun dodging the waterbaloons as well as the girls throwing them.

Then breakfast came, and the guys started crashing.  They were sleeping on the stage and anywhere else they could lay themselves out.  We had eggs, bacon, sausage, and some wonderful blueberry cake stuff.

Then we heard some more good talks on living righteously, and then we had a testimony meeting.

The testimony meeting was awesome.  Bryce got up first and delivered a powerful testimony on the truthfulness of the church, and there was no mistaking the solidity of his words.  He knew it.  There were other testimonies born, and I bore mine as well.  The spirit was thick, and I was loving every minute of it.  I would have loved it more had most of my boys not been asleep in their chairs, but I guess that was to be expected after no sleep at all that night.

I got home around noon after dropping the boys off, and I slept from noon until 6:00pm.

This whole experience made me feel young again.  It was simply awesome.  I connected with all of the boys on at least some level, and got to know them quite well.  I'm looking very much forward to the blessings and experiences this calling will most assuredly bring.

I just hope I'm up to the task.  With God on my side, I just might be able to pull it off.
Comment by anonymous on Aug. 11, 2008 @ 01:06 pm
sweet action!
Comment by ben on Aug. 18, 2008 @ 01:01 pm
the song was through the fire and flames brother jones
Comment by sweet on Nov. 03, 2008 @ 07:23 pm
God is GOOD....

 All the time!

Praise God,

you have attended such conference,,...