Monday, October 15, 2007

Thorns and Thistles

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!


LJL said...

Looks like a great time...and small world. I know Brenda. We were both at the Hill Cumorah Pagent together. If you see her again, you can tell her hi, but without a picture I don't think she will remember me.

stephanielynn said...

Nat, you looked freaking HOT at the B&W ball! Sounds like a fantastic weekend. And I love that last b&w photo.

Carly said...

I'm so glad you had fun at the B&W Ball! You looked so beautiful! I need to hear about that convo with the MIU sometime... sounds interesting! Also, can I get your notes? Abby is teaching institute this week and she's using stuff from the conference so wants to get as many people's notes as possible. And we need to do dinner sometime! Whew, lots of comments!

Whits said...

What great pics at the end! Education conference was amazing...I'm still recovering.

Breona said...

You're always brushing shoulders with the big shots..
sounds like a spiritually punchy weekend.

Rachel said...

Oh, I just love it. I can't believe you talked to Elder Holland!

Sounds like an amazing weekend. I laughed picturing you and friend talking with that man in uniform. Funny!

Rachel said...

It looks like you should fall in love with that West Point dude! I look like I'm on my mission in those North End pics.

Whits said...

PS. I'd love a copy of your typed notes. I just sat there in all of the classes and absorbed.

PPS. I already said this, but he really does look like Dan. And *wink* *wink* :)

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!