Every other year, a pretty massive Education Conference is held for the Young Single Adults in the New England region. Though every conference is noteworthy, this year's was particularly special as Elder Holland came East to preside. How marvelous the entire weekend was. I've been running at breakneck speed since about July, and though the Conference's agenda was packed (and I continued to run), the workshops, addresses, and services I attended were more than enough to calm a somewhat unsettled heart, and get some perspective on life. I'll be typing up my notes later this afternoon; if anyone wants a copy, let me know.
This is my gorgeous friend Brenda and I after Elder Holland's keynote address and before the first of the days workshops. We ran around together most of the day.
Elder Holland was amazing. Not that I expected him to be any different, but he was so personable and quite funny. In his opening speech, he asked that Saturday be a more informal day--and he didn't want to be a YouTube celebrity. We got a kick out of that. He did a Q&A session for the women right after lunch--we left a few minutes early to make sure we had a good seat and passed right by his table. I tapped his arm and jokingly told him why we were leaving early. He grabbed onto my hand, told me they (he and Sister Holland) would be there shortly, and he'd keep his eyes open for my red hair. He was fantastic!
The title of this post comes from one of my favorite short quotes Elder Holland gave. "Don't forget, we signed on for the thorns and thistles." How true!
Any time there's a regional activity, it gives YSA members a chance to get together. Last week, I traveled to see Nate and Joe in New York. This week, they traveled to see me.
You can't tell, but the photo above is taken in front of Quincy Market. My family started a tradition a long time ago of taking a photo in front of QM anytime we were there. I've kept that tradition alive. Early photos from my year in Boston can be seen here and here. Sadly, it was too dark to see the sign, and we're self-portraiting, so this is as good as it gets.
The big social event of the weekend was a grand Black and White ball held at the Massachusetts State House. The building was breathtaking on the inside, and all conference participants were dressed in their finest black and white attire. Everyone looked gorgeous!
Cyrus and I only look sad because we lost miserably at our tennis match the day before. (Cy has a freckle in his eye that keeps growing. Cool huh?) Julie and Colleen only look beautiful because well... they are.
When I took a photo with this Man In Uniform, I told him he was going to be an internet celebrity. I don't think he believed me. Don't people understand the power of the World Wide Web?
Then, Julie jumped in and we started feeding off each other in our conversation with said MIU. Julie's eyes look slightly shifty, because, well... we were behaving rather shiftily.
In Heaven, I'd like to go back, rewind that conversation, and rewatch that MIU slowly back away from the two of us... and us continue to grill him and edge forward. I'm still not sure what quite overcame us or our behavior. Must've been the sparkling punch. We. Were. Nuts.
Rachel joined us then, and we ended the weekend with a trip to the North End (Little Italy) and a delightful dinner/canoli at Giacommo's and Mike's Pastry shop.
Another fun weekend had by all. Next weekend, no travel plans! Whoop! I will sleep in until I wake up, and I will enjoy it. Well, and the Head of the Charles Regatta... no rest for the weary or the East Coasters!