what I learned from EFY

In my church, youth have an opportunity to attend a week-long camp centered around coming closer to Christ. It’s called Especially for Youth, or EFY.

I applied to be an EFY counselor clear back in January. I waited and waited for a hiring decision. I prayed and prayed and ended up dropping my summer classes, even though I didn’t know if I would be hired. It was one of those “leap of faith” moments. When I came home 2 weeks ago, I still didn’t know if I would get to be one or not. Finally I got a call from the hiring office asking if I could come back to Provo 5 days later. I was ecstatic. I could not stop thinking about it. Everything really fell into place and I know that Heavenly Father heard and answered my prayers.

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My incredible group of girls!

I never went to EFY as a youth so I was really excited to see what it was all about. I was placed in a trio and each of us were in charge of 10 youth. I knew I would have a lot of teaching opportunities, but I didn’t realize just how much they would teach me. I also was not prepared for the steady stream of personal revelation I received from God. While I was there, I was offered a job for 2 more weeks. I could not be more excited! I still cannot believe the fact that it is an actual job to help kids feel the Spirit and come closer to Christ.

Throughout the week, I learned some incredible lessons. The whole last day is dedicated to helping the kids “take it home” and apply and share what they learned so I’m trying to do the same.

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1. When you give your best to God, His best comes back to you. This applies to pretty much everything, but I saw specific examples of this with regards to my prayers and my scripture study. The more that I put into making my prayers meaningful, the more inspiration I received, especially for the kids I was in charge of. As I prayed for them by name, thoughts would come to my mind about their specific needs and about God’s love for them. As I put effort into my scripture study and made a plan beforehand, the amount of revelation I received was overwhelming.

The EFY schedule is very tight and it was easy to make good use of my time, but when I’m not at EFY, I know that I can use my time better. When I give my best to God with regards to how I spend my time, I know that I will be blessed for it.

It was so great to have scheduled time just to study the scriptures every day.

It was so great to have scheduled time just to study the scriptures every day.

2. You can’t out-dream God. I went into the week with great goals and grand expectations, but God’s plans were so much more than mine. I had ideas of what I wanted the kids to learn and experience, but God’s wishes and aspirations for them far exceeded mine. I was shown this several times throughout the week, but especially on Thursday, when the youth bore their testimonies. I was a hot mess minus the hot part. I could not stop crying as the Spirit filled that room because of the truths they proclaimed. All my kiddos were exceptional and so far beyond where I was at their age.

3. When the Spirit confirms eternal truths, there is always something to be done about it, an action to be taken. We don’t feel the Spirit just to feel it. We feel it so we can act and change and improve, thereby coming closer to Christ. I think that’s why we are prompted to share our testimonies so often.

4. Align your life with God’s will. The EFY theme for this year comes from 1 Samuel 3:4 when Samuel answers the Lord’s call with the words “Here am I.” During one of our scripture study times, I encouraged the youth to place a ‘w’ before the theme, turning the exclamation into a question, “Where am I?” I encouraged them to have a personal inventory with the Lord to determine what changes they needed to make in order to be able to say to the Lord, “Here am I.”

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This lesson kind of goes along with not being able to out-dream God. Elder Jeffery R. Holland said, “God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe.” We need to constantly be making goals that will bring our lives in greater harmony with God’s plan for us.

5. Be a “daddy’s little girl.” The relationship between a father and daughter is a unique one. A daughter wants to go where he dad goes, do what he does, and be what he is. I want that kind of relationship with my Heavenly Father. I want to go where He goes, do what He does, and be what He is. Making that connection made it easier for me to speak openly when I said my prayers. It also helped me feel of the love He has for all His children.

I am so grateful for this job and all that I learned this week! And I can’t wait to do it 2 more times!

 

 

 

 

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PREPARING: for finals, and packing, and moving, oh my! This is the last week of the spring term here at BYU. I have loved all my classes and in 2 days I can say that I am done with all my generals!

WISHING: I didn’t have so much stuff! I bribe myself on a regular basis. Yesterday I came up with a brilliant system called “for every box I pack, I get to watch an episode of The Office.” How did that go? Well I packed one box and watched four episodes of The Office, so I’ll let you be the judge.

GETTING EXCITED: to go home! As much as I have loved the last few months, I’m excited to be home for a little while. And snow cones! I’m so excited for snow cones!

PRAYING: for one of my best friends. Marissa is one of the greatest people I know and probably the most selfless. This week she was diagnosed with Lymphoma and a couple of days later, she and her parents got in a car accident. She has her first appointment with the oncologist today and all my prayers are with her!

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That’s Marissa, me, and McKinley standing in front of the new Payson Utah Temple. The 3 of us have been roommates for almost a year. Technically we don’t live in the same apartment right now, but we might as well with the amount of time we spend together.

THANKFUL: for the temple! More most of my life, I have lived within sight of a temple and I’m so looking forward to getting to go so often this summer. I have also loved getting to see the Provo City Center Temple come along. I can’t wait to see the inside in January!

That stack of cards right there represents 161 of my ancestors who are waiting for the blessings of the temple.

That stack of cards right there represents 161 of my ancestors who are waiting for the blessings of the temple.

PROUD: of the impressive sandal tan line I’m rocking. I pretty much wear these everyday, but we’ll see now that these came in the mail yesterday.

LISTENING: to this playlist!

READING: so. many. talks. I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday and I had to choose a talk to base it off of. I found so many good ones like this and this and this.

WATCHING: so many Mormon Messages. One of my favorites explains why sometimes it’s good to go down the wrong path.

 

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Hi there! + free printable banner

free printable banner! includes 2 of each letter

What’s this? A blog post from Kensie Kate? Why yes, yes it is. The truth is, I’ve been wanting to blog regularly again for several months now, but I just kept putting it off. I was plagued by the reoccurring thought that I should wait. Wait until finals are over. Wait until summer. Wait until I graduate. Wait until I’m married and have cute babies and actually have things to post about.

And then I had a moment where I realized waiting is stupid and I took my own advice—stop planning and start doing. Not just in regards to this here blog of mine, but I decided to stop waiting in general. Stop waiting for Friday. For better weather. For the next step. I’m planning for the future while focusing much more on the now. Because now is the time to be happy and get things done!

After many failed attempts of being a consistent blogger, this time I’m doing it right and planning ahead. Here’s what you can expect to find here the next little while: uplifting thoughts on Sundays, free printables, song recommendations, the occasional recipe, and generally happy things!

So to celebrate, today I have a free printable banner for you today! Today is my roommate’s birthday so I’m going to use it to decorate our apartment for a surprise party. Each letter comes in 2 different colors (and let’s be honest—it’s mostly because Kensie has 2 ‘e’s and I couldn’t let them be the same:)) Each letter is it’s own jpeg so you can drag them into a word document and make them any size you want and only print the letters you need. I would looooove to see pictures of how you use this banner (or any other printables I share).

Go here to download the banner!

 

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