The excitement in the air was nearly tangible as Asian youth from the greater Seattle area gathered at the Seattle North Stake Center for the city’s first LDS Asian youth conference. Youth from the Bellevue 9th Ward, Seattle Branch, Auburn Branch, Everett Branch, Seattle Stake, Rainier Valley Branch, and Tacoma 13th Ward were in attendance.
Gasps were heard as new arrivals looked around the crowded chapel packed with exuberant young people, and the comment was heard, “I never knew there were so many of us in the Church—so many.”
Conference workshops were geared to the needs of youth in cultural and spiritual transition. An evening program and a dance followed dinner.
The day had the feeling of a family reunion, with lots of love and hugs for people who had been strangers only a few hours earlier. Quite a few investigators were attending with the missionaries assigned to work with Asians in the area.
Everyone asked, “Can we do it again?” The answer was a resounding yes.
Katie Drewes of Nashua, New Hampshire, has been selected to join the All-Eastern United States Chorus. Katie, a soprano, has twice been selected to the All-New Hampshire Chorus, is a member of her school’s concert choir and chamber singers, and has performed solos in church and community programs.
Katie is also a member of the National Honor Society and participates in Latin, drama, and international clubs. She serves as the ward chorister and president of her Laurel class in the Nashua First Ward, Nashua New Hampshire Stake.
Diane Temple of Nowata, Oklahoma, served as the first female student-body president of her high school. She is also the only LDS student in her school. She has been the Future Homemakers of America president for two years and her home-study seminary class president.
Diane also enjoys serving as a member of the Nowata County Community Service Council and is a Red Cross volunteer.
In addition to her school responsibilities, Diane is active in basketball, volleyball, track, and competitive speech. Diane is in the Tulsa Oklahoma Stake.
The youth of the Phoenix 41st Ward, Phoenix North Stake, truly experienced the joy that can be received in giving service. A couple of days after Christmas, they went to Caborca, Mexico, to paint the public school and the bleachers at the baseball field and to take food and clothing to the bishop for distribution to the needy.
Early one morning, the youth loaded the trucks with the supplies that had been donated and purchased, and their personal baggage. The trip to Caborca from Phoenix is a five-hour drive.
The group was met by the youth and leaders of the branch and a large welcome sign at the church. They unloaded quickly and started to paint. The language barrier was broken bit by bit as the two groups worked together. That evening the branch hosted a dinner and dance. Then the youth were invited into the homes of the branch members for the evening.
At Sunday meetings, talks were given both in Spanish and in English, with translators assisting. The day ended with a testimony meeting, and many commented on the feeling of friendship that had developed.
After exchanging addresses, and with promises to keep in touch, the group said their good-byes and headed home, tired but with pleasant memories of a wonderful experience.
Joey Maday, 12, of Grandview, Washington, completed a scuba diving class to certify as an open-water diver. Joey qualified for his certificate by diving in the Columbia River and the Puget Sound. With his interest in water life, Joey said, “I want to complete my oceanography merit badge and hopefully pursue a career in marine science.”
Joey serves as second counselor in his deacons quorum and assistant patrol leader in the Grandview Ward, Yakima Washington Stake.
Jennifer Cornelius is a dedicated student and athlete. She served as vice-president of her class at school and was selected for regional choir three years in a row. She is an outstanding student and was selected as most dedicated player of her school hockey team.
In addition, Jennifer sang the lead part in the stake musical and likes to run three to five miles a day. She is the president of her Laurel class in the Yorktown Ward, Newport News Virginia Stake.
William L. Speare of the Pensacola Third Ward, Pensacola Florida Stake, was awarded the Bronze Congressional Medal for serving 100 hours in voluntary community service and completing 50 hours of physical fitness and 50 hours of personal development in one year. William achieved these goals through service in his school, in church, to the elderly, in Scouting, and in sports.
William was asked by the Transatlantic Council of the Boy Scouts of America to serve on their camp staff as an aquatics instructor in West Germany.
Tina Mitchell of Healy, Alaska, may be the only LDS girl in her school, but she is very involved in school activities and represents her beliefs well. Tina served as student-body secretary, homecoming princess, and is a starter on the women’s varsity basketball team. She runs track and cross-country, plays volleyball, and is an excellent student.
Tina is a member of the Anderson Branch, Fairbanks Alaska Stake.
Stephen Price of Redlands, California, enjoys working with computers and trying his hand at art, especially calligraphy. He also organized a Red Ribbon Drug Awareness Week in his junior high school as part of his Eagle Scout project.
Stephan served as president of his deacons quorum and a senior patrol leader. He is now in the teachers quorum in the Redlands Third Ward, San Bernardino California East Stake.
The Young Women poster is a great way to learn the young women theme. It is 18 1/2-by-25-inches, stock no. PXYW4691. What a beautiful gift, and only 30¢! Available through the Salt Lake Distribution Center, 1999 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104.
Angela Faulkner of the Northampton Ward, Northampton England Stake, has many talents. She is involved in rhythmic dancing and gymnastics, but her favorite pastime is singing. She performed a solo at last year’s youth convention and also wrote the lyrics for her ward’s road show.
Angela also enjoys attending church with her family and participating in youth activities and seminary.
Janelle Miller of Huntington, Indiana, has many responsibilities and has managed to succeed in many ways.
Janelle is an excellent student and is ranked close to the top in her class at school. she is active in her school’s performing choir group both singing and playing the piano. She also teaches piano lessons to her younger brothers and sisters.
In addition, Janelle serves as class president in her early-morning seminary class. Plus she plays on her ward’s softball team and coaches her younger sister’s team.
But what makes Janelle particularly outstanding is the way she cares for her younger brothers and sister when her mother is ill. Her mother has a degenerative disease that often requires hospitalization. During those times Janelle takes over completely caring for the family’s daily needs.
Three Atkinson girls in the Phoenix 26th Ward, Phoenix Arizona West Stake, are serving as officers in their family’s genealogical organization.
Phyllis was appointed as assistant extractor responsible for researching family records. Judy is the official record keeper and recorder in charge of reviewing new information and taking care of correspondence. Laura serves as secretary and keeps the minutes of monthly meetings and helps write letters.
Three LDS Scouts were the first recipients of the newly created Ellison Onizuka Award in Scouting. The three are Steven P. Parker, Chad Pacheco, and Timmy Satot.
The requirements for the Ellison Onizuka Award are based on the belief that the lessons derived from Scouting experiences help boys prepare for good citizenship, effective leadership, and self-discipline.
Steven is president of his teachers quorum in the Halawa Ward, Honolulu Hawaii West Stake. Chad is a deacon and Timmy is a teacher in the Pearl City Second Ward, Mililani Hawaii Stake.
Greg Barry of Miami, Florida, was the leading rusher in the county in Class 1A football. But his coach, friends, and teammates were supportive when Greg told them that he might not continue with football after high school. His plans include a two-year mission. Greg has his priorities set.
“It’s not a difficult decision to give up football,” Greg said. “I have my God and my family. I’ll serve them first. Football is a lot of fun, but it’s not the most important thing.”
Greg is a member of the Hialeah First Ward, Miami Florida Stake.
Tyler Grant of Idaho Falls, Idaho, received the Heroism Award from the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Tyler’s father was working on an engine when it backfired and lit his clothes on fire. Tyler grabbed a piece of carpet and rolled his father in it to extinguish the flames. After administering first aid, Tyler drove his father to the hospital where he was treated for second degree burns.
Tyler is a priest in the Iona Third Ward.
Nichole Ricketts of Rio Vista, California, has undertaken a unique assignment. She and her mother teach refusal skills to elementary and junior high school students. Refusal skills are ways students can avoid trouble. She took special training with her mother where they learned ways of role playing and the social skills students need to learn to stay out of dangerous and disruptive activities. Their classes are so successful that they have been selected as a model for other school districts.
Nikki is also active in the Rio Vista Branch, Davis California Stake. She serves as president of her Laurel class and of her seminary class. She also serves as the branch librarian in addition to substitute teaching in Primary.
In school, Nikki is a member of the girls’ volleyball, baseball, and basketball teams. She is an excellent student and participates in chorus and Future Homemakers of America.
Samantha Goodaire of the Gaerwen Ward in Anglesey, Wales, loves the water. She has represented the island of Anglesey in many lifesaving competitions, and she also came in second in her race at the Church regional swimming gala finals at Stoke-on-Trent, swimming for Chester Stake.
In addition to swimming, Samantha participates on her school’s gymnastics teams.
Samantha attends seminary and feels that it helps her succeed in other areas of her life.
Stacy Robarge of the Leavenworth Third Ward, Liberty Missouri Stake, was selected with 150 other talented Girl Scouts nationwide to attend a National Wider Opportunity. The invitations are extended to girls talented in art, music, dance, and drama.
Stacy has played the violin for seven years and is a member of the college/community orchestra in Atchison, Kansas. In addition, Stacy is on her school’s yearbook staff. She is a Mia Maid and serves as secretary of her seminary class.
Missouri track enthusiasts have dubbed Jason Pyrah the “Willard Wonder.” He has broken state track records in two events, the 1,600-meter and the 3,200-meter. As a goal, Jason has set his sights on breaking former Olympian Jim Ryun’s national high school record in the 1,600-meter.
Jason was selected as an All-American by the Coaches Association. He was also named the Missouri Athlete of the Year in track and field.
Jason slows down long enough to excel in football and basketball. He also serves as his school’s student-body vice-president and plays in the school band.
Jason, an Eagle Scout, has also served as first assistant in his priests quorum in the Willard Ward, Springfield Missouri Stake.
The youth of the Slaterville Second Ward, Ogden Utah Mound Fort Stake, borrowed their fathers’ hammers and set out on an adventure that anticipated Christmas. They contracted to make Christmas tree stands in order to raise money for their youth activities.
The adult leaders were in charge of running the saw, but with an assembly line system and a quality inspector, the youth stayed organized and busy. Each person was assigned a certain number of hours to help, and no one complained as each put in his quota with the help of supportive families.
The project lasted for more than a month until the goal of 24,000 stands was completed. The young people found they enjoyed working together for their mutual benefit and learned something about responsibility. It was also a wonderful opportunity for leaders and youth to work together.
A soul occupied with great ideas best performs small duties.