Friday, June 17, 2016

May 28, 2016

Don and I spoke at youth conference today. We did well. The African live on their own
time schedule. Which is "whenever". Our Mission President is trying hard to get all the
wards and branches to start and end on time. At 10:00 youth conference was suppose
to start. There were about 50 youth there. Don said he was going to start the meeting
and asked me for an agenda. I told him he could not do that but he could get the kids
to sing. So, he stepped into his normal, happy, confident self and started a
conversation with the youth. He asked many ofthem what their favorite hymn was.
Finally one young man said, "I have two questions of you. First, what is your favorite
hymn and sing it for us." I laughed out loud. Don made a face of shock and explained
he did not have a nice singing voice and they should sing it with him. They said they
would join him after he sang the first verse by himself. I was laughing so hard. Don was
a trooper. He told the youth that when they started laughing they had to join in on the
singing. The man at the keyboard played an introduction. Don started singing. He
barely got the first line sung when the youth broke out in loud laughter. Then they
tried pulling me in on it and told me I had to conduct the song. Little did they know
Sister Clawson has been working with me and has taught me how to conduct 4/4 time
with an upbeat. I jumped right up and stood next to Don and all of us sang The Battle
Hymn of the Republic. What a wonderful ice breaker. His second question was "how
did you and your wife get together?" Don gave a brief explanation about him and Linda
and they about he and I. The youth were very gracious. The priesthood leaders did
not show up until 10:20 and then they were so unorganized that it took them several
minutes to get going. The youth straggled in a few at a time and by the end of the first
2 hour session, there were between 150 and 200 youth.

The youth here are wonderful. They have such beautiful testimonies and have a unique
way of expressing it. On Fast Sunday, there is a line of youth waiting to bear their
testimony. It comes from the depth of their soul. The Spirit is so strong and it is such
an honor to be among them.

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