Saturday, April 30, 2016

Youth Conference: The Game Of Life

 I'm glad I got a good night's sleep last night, b/c I had to be at the church by 8:00 am this morning. For youth conference today, the kids will be playing "The Game of Life." I can't even fathom all the time, effort, energy, and work that has gone into putting this together! It's for sure a Herculean task!

This is Sis. P from the LDS employment center that created this game over years and years. She was explaining the game to us and how it all works. It is so complex with so many moving parts, but amazing. The youth are going to LOVE it! They get a sheet that they keep w/ them the whole time. On that it shows what type of job they will get, how much money they'll make, etc. They get paired up w/ someone that has the same sticker on their shirt and they are "married" and have to go through the game together. They get to go to the "hospital" and roll these yellow dice to see how many kids they will have. Then they have to go get buy a car that will fit all their kids! There's so many different things that can happen to them based on what papers on the floor they land on. 

There are so many adult helpers there to assist with the game. I was assigned to be Pay Day #2. When the kids got to my station, I paid them what was on their employment sticker, which said what they were assigned to do for a living and how much they earned. They also had to have an "interview" with me as their boss by picking a card. On the card were all sorts of things like the company went bankrupt so they only got half pay and had to go back to the employment center to get another job. Or they were difficult to get along with so they lost their job and had to go get another one. Or they decided to get more education so I would pay them and then send them to the education station to get more. It was so funny to see the looks on their faces if they were fired or lost their jobs.

 These are 2 of the kids in my ward that got "arrested" (yes, that guy is a real cop w/ real hand cuffs) and taken to jail for not having car insurance. We didn't tell the kids they had to buy insurance, pay tithing, that their credit cards had a 50% interest rate on them, etc.

 It was fun to get to know Melinda from one of the other wards. We were at the same table together. I was the employer and after the kids met w/ me they went to her to pay their bills. It was interesting to see what the kids would do if they didn't have enough money for their utilities and car payments. They would use their credit cards without reading the fine print on the front that there was a 50% interest rate.

 After the kids made it through the whole game (it took about 2 hours to complete the whole game from start to finish), they would have all their points tallied. Then they would go meet w/ a "Heavenly Host" and share with that person what they had learned. I sat and listened to a few of them after I was done at my station, and it was awesome to hear what the kids had to say.

I was at my station from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm! We had A LOT of kids. They had split all the youth up into 5 or 6 different groups. They rotated those different groups to different workshops when they weren't playing the game.

 I went w/ Pres. & Sis. Jones to one of the workshops when I was done at my station. It was a young Polynesian couple who talked about "enduring to the end." They shared their stories of their upbringings and then how they had been married for 4 years but had not yet had children. They were so sad and frustrated as to why Heavenly Father wasn't blessing them with this righteous desire of their hearts. Then one day out of the blue they got a phone call from their aunt saying she needed them to take in her 7 children! The Spirit was SO STRONG in the room as they shared their trials, blessings, experiences, and testimonies. The tears were flowing freely by several in the room. After that, I had to leave to go watch Autumn & Olivia so Nate & Riannon could go to a police get together.

As I was leaving, I happened to catch Pres. & Sis. Jones walking back into the church holding hands. It is their 40th wedding anniversary TODAY, and Sis. Jones was saying how she never would have guessed this is how they would be spending their day. But, how thankful she is that they can be serving and doing good. I texted this picture to them and told them how much I look up to them, how I hope I can have this type of a marriage someday, and how much I love them. What great examples they are!

 After Nate & Riannon left for their police thing, Autumn & Olivia & I watched some TV and then decided to get out of the house for a while and enjoy the wonderful weather. There was a "concert by the creek" so we went to that. Olivia wasn't too sure what to think of the band that was playing based on her facial expression. LOL! 

 I'm glad I didn't bring the blanket for us to sit on, b/c Olivia wouldn't have sat still for very long. She wanted to be walking around and checking everything out. She couldn't have cared less about listening to the music. 

 Autumn was so cute with her, and took her around to wherever she wanted to go. She held her hand and made sure the bigger kids didn't trample Olivia.

 Since Autumn was such a good helper, and b/c we were hungry and hadn't really eaten dinner, we stopped and got a crepe at Autumn's favorite place. Our favorite is the strawberry cheesecake crepe. Autumn & Olivia had fun watching the lady make crepes while we waited for ours to be done.

 After we ate we walked around some more, and then we went to Uncle Nick's work to buy a few things I need for church tomorrow. It was fun to run in to him, and he was so happy to go around and show his nieces off to the people he works with. By this time it was already 8:15, so we headed for home. Both girls were hungry, b/c the crepe didn't fill them up. So, we ate some leftovers and then Nate & Riannon got home. Autumn & I left at 9:20 and came home and went straight to bed. It was a LONG but WONDERFUL day!

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