I thank God for my handicaps, for through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God.
Ever heard of a do-it-yourself musical? The Young Men and Young Women of the Kinston North Carolina Stake have. To help celebrate the sesquicentennial year, they organized, wrote, directed, and performed their own musical drama. First a youth drama specialist was called from each ward and branch in the stake, with a ward adult specialist to assist. Two workshops were held on the stake level to teach how to develop the production. Then each ward and branch selected a different time period of Church history, researched it, and wrote a script for that period. The stake drama specialist tied all the ward scripts together with narrative and musical interludes, and the musical was born! Every youth in the stake who wanted to participate either appeared on stage or helped backstage. Even moms and dads helped, and all had a terrific time.
If you want to learn to lengthen your stride, you could probably get some good suggestions from Sherri Jensen, a 15-year-old sophomore at the Kaiserslautern American High School in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Sherri recently won the cross-country championship, Germany Region, for the American high schools, coming in first of the 83 competitors. Later she traveled to Wuerzburg, Germany, for the European Cross-Country Invitational where runners from Italy, Spain, Turkey, Greece, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Benelux countries competed. She again finished first.
Sherri attends early morning seminary before her high school classes, is first counselor in her Mia Maid class in the Kaiserslautern First Ward, Germany Servicemen’s Stake, and enjoys sharing the gospel with friends.
Debbie Lynn Roberts of Carrollton, Georgia, does not waste much time. She’s too busy doing things. This past year she has influenced three friends to join the Church (a cheerleading captain at her school, a friend from band, and a family friend). She’s Laurel president, seminary president and pianist, stake youth committee representative, a class officer at school, first chair mellophone during marching season, first chair flute in concert season, and busy with many other activities. Sounds like she’s been listening to some sound advice to “do it!”
“Meet you at the graveyard.” That was the byword for the Pleasant Hill First Ward Young Men and Young Women, Walnut Creek California Stake, for their super service project. They met at the cemetery in Martinez, California, carrying rakes, hoes, and shovels that were put to good use during the next few hours. Some of the older volunteers started cataloguing the graves, too, to help with the genealogical records for the graveyard. The cemetery was the only one in the county during 1850 through 1870, so many of the pioneers who settled that part of the San Francisco Bay Area are buried there. Despite the rain, the group of 35 volunteers transformed the badly neglected cemetery into an orderly, well-cared-for place.
Summer is a lovely time to go exploring. And what better time to wander among unknown family records, stories, and histories than now? Have you discovered who your ancestors are four generations back? If not, get together with your family and piece together you four-generation sheet (or just copy it, if it’s been done). Is your personal history up to date? If not, summer’s a great time to write down events from you life that you remember as important. Are you close enough to your grandparents (or great-grandparents) to interview them about their lives? If so, take a picnic lunch over to their house for an afternoon of finding out all about them. Be sure to take a pencil and paper (or even a tape recorder) over, too, for notes. The stories could make nice Christmas presents for family members.
Adopt a horse? That’s what 16-year-old Rob Wickham of the Medford First Ward, Medford Oregon Stake, did. Rob heard a television newscast from the Bureau of Land Management about adopting wild horses, and with his parents’ approval, he applied for a horse. A year later, he was told that a horse he might like was available. Though he didn’t have to pay for the horse (since it was wild, and the BLM program was created to find a humane way to alleviate overpopulation of wild horses on public lands), Rob is solely responsible for the feeding and upkeep of the horse. This summer he’s found a job on a ranch not far from his home, and he’ll be staying at the ranch—along with his horse Blackie, a spirited friend who loves to run, follow Rob around, and who now comes when Rob whistles for him.
When a thief broke into a high school locker room in Utah during a football game and stole money from the visiting team’s wallets, both teams were upset. To set matters straight, the South Summit Seminary decided to raise money to pay back the visiting team. “We didn’t want our school to be judged by the actions of one or two misguided individuals,” said Coach Fuelling of South Summit High (and also principal of the South Summit Seminary). Replied Coach Garry Walker of East Carbon High, whose team had been robbed, “This seminary’s thoughtfulness has left a very good impression with the members of my football team, the majority of whom are not members of the Church. It’s a good example of the missionary efforts that members can provide through their actions.”
It’s not too unusual for the stake to have two high school student-body presidents in its boundaries—but for each of them to be the first princess at their high school homecomings, too, is. Shari Ann Holding of the Fremont Second Ward, and Kelly Anderson of the Newark First Ward, Fremont California Stake, who serve as Laurel class president and first counselor respectively, have both filled their days with Church and school activities. Both have participated in Young Women sports, the California Scholarship Federation, and various school activities.
You want to use an article you read in the September ’80 New Era for a talk, but you can’t find the magazine. You check the family magazine rack, your closet shelf, your little sister’s paper doll collection, even under your bed. No luck.
If you’ve ever had problems locating past issues of the New Era, you’ll be glad to learn that a binder that holds a year’s magazines is available for $4.00 (which includes mailing costs). Write to: Church Magazine Business Office, 24th floor, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150. Be sure to include how many binders you want, where you want them sent, and your check (of course).
Want to have a ball? The Mission Viejo California Stake did and decided to recreate Nauvoo of the 1840s as the setting. A likeness of Joseph Smith’s Mansion House was erected, along with the Nauvoo Temple, the Times and Seasons print shop, a gun shop, and various lampposts, street signs, trees, and shrubs. During that time period, the Prophet Joseph Smith owned a half-interest in a riverboat called the Maid of Iowa, which was often used to bring guests to Nauvoo for social affairs, so a stage-size “riverboat” was built for the ball. After some dancing, the ball participants were addressed by a master of ceremonies in his Nauvoo Legion uniform. He announced that the Maid of Iowa was about to dock, bringing the belles for the ball. Then each young woman stepped off the boat, curtsied, received a bouquet of baby carnations, and continued down another ramp to stand on the steps of the “temple,” where the arriving belles sang a song. Their fathers then claimed them for a dance, and they all enjoyed a delightful evening of music and fun in their imaginary Nauvoo.