Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gratitude for Youth Leaders


Yesterday, Allan forwarded an e-mail from this man who is one of Elder Rob's favorite men in the whole world. He asked Allan to forward it on to our Elder. This man was never one of his youth leaders per se, but he had a great influence on him. I was so touched that this man took time to send him a note. And it was an incredible note that I know will mean a great deal to him. It's things like that, that truly touch me. That was what prompted my feelings of gratitude for youth leaders that I'd like to share today.

First of all--no, I do not have any youth at home, but I can honestly say my little Elder is where he is today because of some great, caring youth leaders. I also know that as I look at each of my children and the grandchildren I have who are members of the Church, that each of them have been influenced by youth leaders.

I have to echo Elder Holland's words about testimony meetings at Girls Camp. They are amazing. Yes, keeping that testimony you feel there takes effort, but if we as parents can just help them remember those spiritual experiences, as well as helping them recognize others they are having, it will help them when they face those tough time. The example of YW leaders is so critical to these young women who are being bombarded with messages contrary to the values they are being taught.

I loved when Elder Holland, after expressing gratitude for YW leaders said, "And no less the brethren of the priesthood. I think, for example, of the leaders of our young men who, depending on the climate and continent, either take bone-rattling 50-mile (80 km) hikes or dig—and actually try to sleep in—ice caves for what have to be the longest nights of human experience." Yes, both Brent and Elder Rob did winter camping and I'm glad I wasn't the one who had to go with them. (I still remember Brent digging a quincee in the backyard ; )

I think one of the greatest things youth leaders do is love the youth. I remember my kids going to school and hearing things like, "You are the worst class in this school." They just need to feel loved.

As I stated, Elder Rob is on his mission partly because of these leaders and I know Heidi and Brent are where they are today because of their leaders. I also know my older children were blessed by some great ones. I know when Stephen's Scout leader passed away a couple of years ago from Cancer, he was there at his funeral and told Bro. F's wife how grateful he was for his service. I remember Chris taking the boys on a River Trip down the Snake River and Stephen coming home and telling us, "I have a testimony of the Gospel." (Believe me at that time in his life, those words that were so wonderful (and unexpected) And, I know Neal had one of the best Scout leaders when he entered Scouting. The whole Scouting experience was a wonderful one for him because of Milo.

I served in the YW's program for years and have had the opportunity to learn from some incredible women. I admire the youth of the Church so very much. I think the Personal Progress and the Duty to God program are so inspired.

I also want to express gratitude for the fabulous Seminary teachers. I know it is an inspired program and those who serve must really be dedicated. (It will always be one of my favorite callings. The youth I had in my class throughout those four years will all hold a special place in my heart--especially my little Elder)

So, to all of you who have ever worked with the youth, I hope you know that parents are grateful for you.

8 comments:

Sheri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheri said...

Sorry... really messed up the typing on the last one!! I am so grateful for those fabulous youth leaders who can touch our kids when we just can't!! Great post Yvonne!!

carolyne b said...

I like the way you memtioned that when you were a YW leader that the girls taught you lots. I, having just been released felt the same way, these young women taught me so much about myself, the kind of mother I am and want them to be. The friends they have and the ability to teach those friends the Gospel by inviting them to various activities.
As you had mentioned in a earlier post, one of the girls I had the opportunity to teach (or should I say what she taught me) was from the B family. She always had friends come to our activties. What a treat, to see fellowshipping in action. Sadly the family moved to Calgary.

Lana said...

ditto

Connie said...

I agree! I've always thought peers, and youth leaders really make a difference in a child's life. Of course, parents too, but that goes without saying.

Garden of Egan said...

Amen.

ShEiLa said...

Most youth leaders and seminary teachers are fantastic. It is great that you are giving them kudos.

ToOdLeS.

Nancy Face said...

I'm so grateful that Young Women leaders don't have to do snow caves! And yes, surprisingly, both of my sons did that with their scout troops up in the AZ high country!

I feel such a great responsibility to my sweet young women. All 6 of them are very active, but in 3 weeks another girl will be turning 14 and joining our class. She is less active and has faced many trials in her life. I hope and pray that she will feel loved and needed by the other girls and by us leaders and want to participate so that she can be strengthened.