Sunday, 18 August 2013

EFY as a Counselor!

*Pink text: hyperlinks

This year I have been blessed with the wonderful opportunity to be a Counselor at EFY!!!! And can safely say it was one of the best experiences of my life.

EFY (called SMYC this year) is a week long programme for 14-18yr olds held at a university run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons). I was fortunate enough to attend three times as a youth(!), at the ages of 14, 16 and 17. Personally each time became a milestone in building my own testimony of the Gospel and a progression towards greater happiness. For years I could not wait to return as a 'Counselor' (Youth Leader) and am so insanely grateful I have!

The week is a mixture of educational, spiritual, uplifting workshops, lessons, 'dances' (parties), social activities and service projects (charity work).  Our session was run for the youth of the Leeds, Scotland and Ireland geographical 'missions' and had an attendance of over 700 youth! As a Counsellor it was my responsibility to help, look after, support, teach and befriend ten girls 24/7, along with my coco (Co-Counselor) Peter and his eight boys. Our group or 'Company' was entitled Press Forward, taken from the scripture in 2 Nephi 31:20 in The Book of Mormon:

"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." 

The youth are so inspiring. Their testimonies, spirit, desire to do the Lord's work, their laughter and friendship. They are incredible! I feel so honoured to be apart of their lives and help them in anyway I can. I truly love serving the Lord and helping people. Many have asked whether EFY was better as a Youth or a Counselor and after lots of contemplating I think being a Counselor was far better. My perceptive changed, I felt more selfless, more focused, allowing the Spirit to guide me and teach them in the way they need. My eyes were opened in so many ways and I feel such an incredible love for all the youth, especially my Company. I strongly encourage everyone to have this experience and let your lives be touched by the greatness of our Youth. I truly love them. 

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