So we went to the YSA Conference. It was a decent time, I guess. Friday we pretty much ignored, Saturday was better than expected, and Sunday was just awful, but that's because of our own emotional instability building up and straws breaking camel backs or something like that.
For us, it started on Saturday (the conference, not the emotional instability; that's been building up for quite a while longer), with our ride showing up an hour early. Oops. But she was kind enough to wait for us to eat breakfast, and off we went! And while we waited for the opening session, there was a recently returned missionary who told us we could fix anything on our computer with a simple reformatting. We have decided to keep his advice in mind but not jump to anything drastic.
The opening session was probably the high point of the whole conference. There was a talk by Sheri Dew, and she talked about a bunch of stuff, but I think the most important for us was that she pointed out that you need to pray for the Lord to teach you how to get personal revelation.
Next, we had a big panel discussion thingie that was supposed to be on the Mormon Moment. We're told that if you pay any attention at all to the current media, you've probably heard the term "Mormon Moment," apparently referring to the fact that our Church is getting a lot of attention these days, what with offensive musicals and presidential nominees. We think the idea was to talk about how to respond when people come to you with questions about that, but...it wasn't... I'm trying to remember what all got talked about, but I don't really remember much. It mostly just said we need to live our religion conspicuously so people can see what we're really all about.
There was lunch, and this is how we know the Lord was looking out for us on Saturday. Lunch was pizza, but we knew that dinner was going to be fancy burritos, which we had no interest in eating. It was the exact same menu as the last time they had the big statewide version of the conference, only this time there was more pizza. The significance of this is that we have memories of last time, in which blood sugar was very low, thus making discomfort levels very high. (Of course, last time, there was also DDR, which certainly did not help the situation.) So this time, since there was so much more pizza, we went into the food tent and asked the organizers if we could set aside a pizza for the two of us, for dinner later. They said sure, and come dinner time, we happened to run into just the guy who had put it in the refrigerator for us, without having to search for people. It was very nice, and we were well fed.
But anyway, there were also activities, like one they made up based on that song that is apparently everywhere? "Here's my number, so call me maybe?" I think? We actually heard it for the first and second times that very night. But the game seemed like an interesting idea. The MC would read something like, "If you don't like strawberries...call me maybe." And everyone who didn't like strawberries would go exchange phone numbers. We didn't play, though, so we don't know the finer points of the rules. (It started while we were taking shelter in the air-conditioned building. The high actually did get up to 110. Yikes.)
Then there were workshops. We went to one where we talked about gospel doctrine, which was kind of interesting, and another one about your social and emotional IQ, which would have been extra fascinating if it had been longer. The speaker had her granddaughter help out with roleplays. First, she gave her granddaughter some donuts, and she sat there eating them with her mouth wide open, and answering questions very half-heartedly, so the speaker said, "I'm sorry, but could you please chew with your mouth closed?" and she was all like, "Why?" and her grandmother was like, "It's hard to look at you like that," and she was like, "Who cares?" Thus displaying a very low social IQ.
Anyway, the point of the workshop boiled down to "be a considerate person," which made so much sense to us, except for...okay, so one example the speaker used was, "You know the person who keeps teasing you and teasing you, and it's okay most of the time, but you're having a really bad day and you just can't take it, so you say, 'Could you please not tease me today?'...and they keep teasing you?" That's someone with a very low social/emotional IQ. And someone with a high EQ (the short term for it) is more likely to get along with people and have more friends and stuff. Y'know, 'cause they're more considerate. But the person we know who'd keep teasing and teasing and never stop when we asked...has a bunch of friends while we have practically none. That's the baffling thing about it. I thought about talking to the speaker about it later, since she's a psychiatrist and stuff, but I was just too shy. She even walked by later and said hi to us. I guess we have a pretty low EQ after all.
Then there were more activities. Apparently somebody in the stake or quad-stake area owns a business of renting out big inflatable activity type things, because we seem to have them at every big church event these days. This time, it was a Velcro wall and a jousting arena, kind of like in American Gladiators, only inflatable (you take a big...bolster pillow, only heavier and with handles, and try to knock the other person off the raised platform they're standing on). One of the in-charge guys saw us wandering around and noticed that our shirts were practically the same colors as the jousting colors, so he talked us into jousting each other. It went really fast because we're both pansies. And then we were exhausted.
Then it was dinnertime, and we got to talk to people about anime and other cartoons, and then it was time for the dance, and we were like, "Well, we just had some time socializing. Maybe we can keep it up!" So we went, but before we got there, our ride had a bunch of driving around to do (getting fast food, changing clothes at her house...), so we had totally lost momentum by the time we got there, and we just wanted to go home and not be bored at that point. We should have remembered the meteor shower and gone outside to see if we could see any from the city (it's not as bright as LA, we think, and besides, it was supposed to be the peak night--surely we could have seen a few), but we didn't and instead we found ourselves playing Apples to Apples. And despite not knowing anybody, we did really well! Athena won one round and I won the next. And then it was time to find ice cream, which we did.
There was more wandering aimlessly, and we found the karaoke room, outside of which was a tree that was decorated with blue chiffon and little fishies and it was so pretty! And we sang Reflection from the end credits to Mulan, and then our ride found us and we got to go home. And we watched an episode of H2O to cheer ourselves up after the dance.
Today I'm thankful for lots of extra pizza, jousting, having people to talk to at the conference, finishing those files today, and surviving the heat on Saturday.