Saturday, July 28, 2012

Book of Mormon Read-a-Thon 2012

This weekend, the girls and I attended the 2nd Annual Book of Mormon Read a Thon.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this event.  Last year when we did it, I LOVED it.  And this year, I LOVED it just as much.  Last year we had 23 kids and maybe 4 leaders.  This year, we had 35 kids and about 10 leaders who rotated through both days.   
Deacons (there were more, but these were the only ones who let me take their picture)
Mia Maids

We started at 8:00am on Friday and listened to the Book of Mormon at 1.5x speed via the audio download from  We have some amazing media folks in our ward.  It is a mystery to me how they make that happen, but it they have done it successfully for the last 2 years and I am so grateful that there is always someone more technologically advanced than I am.  
Everyone started the day with enthusiasm and energy...
...but a few of us had to sneak in a little nap.  12 hours of reading and listening for TWO DAYS straight is darn hard!!
We had TONS and TONS of food.  So many amazing parents volunteered to bring lunch and dinner and snacks to sustain life for the 40+ kids and leaders who committed to this awesome opportunity.  (That's my super cute BFF getting dinner ready on Friday night.)

Here are the things I LOVED about this weekend.  It was different this time for me than last time.  I absolutely LOVED being with the youth, as always.  I LOVE having Beehives and daughters sprawled in my lap and all over the floor with me while we listen to the scriptures in surround sound.  I LOVE the feeling of unity that we have when the whole group is doing the same thing.  I LOVE the hope and comfort that comes after 3 Ne 11 when we watch the video of the Savior's visit to the Americas.  I LOVE the feeling at the end of Day 2 when we all finish a difficult challenge together.  And I always LOVE the testimony SUPER love it!   
"Every act of self discipline increases our self esteem."  

But this year, what I got out of the read a thon was more personal.  I can't remember exactly how this quote goes, but in Institute once, the instructor said, "whenever you and your challenges are in the same place with the Spirit, you will receive inspiration and guidance with those things you are struggling with...whatever they are."  That's totally true.  I have felt that more times than I can count.  Even when I'm not totally focused on whatever the talk is or the purpose of the meeting, I find that whenever I put myself in the right places where I know the Spirit will be, I always, always have assistance with my stuff.  That was definitely the case this weekend.  

I have a bazillion journals...really.  It's kind of ridiculous how many notebooks and journals I have stuffed with thoughts, quotes, ideas, dreams and things that happen in a day.  On Friday morning, I happened to grab one of those bazillion out of a basket on my desk.  It's one I knew I had used before, but not for awhile, so I knew it would have blank pages in it.  (And honestly, I didn't grab it because I anticipated that I would be writing down so many thoughts and feelings.  I grabbed it because I wanted to be able to write notes to Amy.)  But guess what!  That journal happened to be the same one I used last year at the Book of Mormon read-a-thon.  (Nope, I'm sure that's not a coincidence.)  So during some of those quiet moments over the last two days, I spent a lot of time reading the things I had written last year.  What an amazing way to gauge where you are and where you've been.  I loved reading all those thoughts and being reminded of the way I felt.   I also read the little things I scribbled in my scriptures from last year.  I came away from this read-a-thon with a firm testimony not only of the importance of writing things down, but also of re-reading what we've written.   

The entire weekend was amazing.  There is no place I would rather be than with the youth in our ward.  I LOVE the Book of Mormon.   And I am so grateful to have been immersed in it once again.  I hope to make this a summer tradition for many years to come.   

Be Good.  Be Patient.  Don't Forget.

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