You’ve been left in charge. It’s a lot of responsibility but it’s also a great opportunity to live up to the trust your parents have placed in you. Keep some basic tips in mind, and when your parents return they just might be amazed at how well you’ve taken care of things.
You’ve been telling your parents for years now that you’re almost an adult. Finally they believe you and put you in charge while they’re out of town. Here are a few things you’ll need to know to keep things running smoothly while they’re gone:
Emergency phone numbers. Know how to contact your parents if there is an emergency. Have a list of numbers of friends, neighbors, and family who can stand in for your parents if they are unable to be reached. Keep a medical release form for each person in your care close to those numbers.
Food. Help your parents stock up on the food you’ll need before they go, and have your mother give you some quick, nutritious recipes. If your parents are leaving in a hurry and don’t have time for that, they’ll probably leave you with a food allowance. Don’t blow it in the first few days on junk and fast food. Use the principles you learned in health class to fix nutritious meals for your siblings. Don’t forget to include lots of fruits and vegetables even though Mom isn’t around to make you eat them.
Family schedules. Write them down! Write down everything your mom tells you, from what time to start getting the kids ready for bed, to the time of your little brother’s soccer practice. You’re bound to forget something, everyone does, if you try to memorize it all. It’s good to write everything on a calendar and post it where the rest of the family can see it too, so they’ll know what’s expected of them.
Medical supplies. Know where the first-aid supplies are, how much is in them, and if any need to be replaced. Know how to use them.
Housework. Ugh! But it’s unavoidable. Do a little every day, and don’t let things pile up, or you’ll have a formidable monster the day your parents come home. Try to stay on top. Don’t step over clutter or scoot it into a corner—pick it up. Imagine how nice it would be for your parents to return to a clean house.
The car. If you have permission to use the car, don’t even think about driving it anywhere you’re not authorized to go. Know where all the insurance information is and where to take it if any maintenance problems occur.
Your friends. Check with your parents about having your friends over while they’re gone. Clarify with your parents, before they leave, the family rules about members of the opposite sex being in the house while they are gone.
Reassurance. Be home when your parents are likely to call so you can reassure them that everything is fine. Don’t reel off all the problems you’ve had—it should be a relief for them to get away from those things. Besides, you can handle it all. It’s a good chance to prove how responsible you can be.
The 32-member Ricks College American Folk Dance group found a way to give Hungarians a taste of U.S. culture and of the gospel on their self-financed European concert tour.
“Our dances communicate love,” said Lisa Shiosaki of Blackfoot, Idaho. It seemed as if the Hungarians could feel it. After the performances, whether given in large halls or impromptu on the streets, audiences gathered, wanting to meet the Mormons. Full-time missionaries working in Hungary were right there to answer questions, hand out pamphlets, and make teaching appointments.
LDS missionary activities have only recently returned to Hungary, with a mission opened there just last summer. Missionaries say they are grateful for the doors and hearts opened by the choir.
Ian Ross of the Kentville Ward, Dartmouth Nova Scotia Stake, went the extra mile when it came to academics. Not only did he graduate first in his class, but he did it by achieving an A-plus average.
He was a natural to receive numerous scholarships and subject prizes for being the top student in biology, mathematics, and physics. he also has interests outside the classroom—he’s involved in band and basketball.
Church comes first, however. He’s a seminary graduate and has served as his ward Sunday School president. After attending a year at Acadia University, a mission is definitely in his plans.
Trenton McNeil, 17, of the East Cobb Second Ward, Marietta Georgia East Stake, has already made a name for himself with his pen and ink drawings. He has been recognized by the Georgia Museum of Art and the University of Georgia in Athens at the 11th Annual School Art Symposium Exhibition.
On top of that, his drawing was chosen out of 2,600 entries as the jurors’ first choice from students across the state of Georgia. Trenton is a senior at Joseph Walker High School.
How many 12-year-olds do you know who are building a baseball hall of fame right in their own bedroom? Joseph Jackson of the Kirtland Ward, Kirtland Ohio Stake, is. It goes along with his hope to become a pro ball player some day and his plans to start his own baseball card show business.
His first love though is not baseball but Scouting. He’s an Eagle Scout and has received many awards leading up to that. He has earned 40 merit badges, and his goal is to earn all 120 offered.
Joseph has church goals as well. He is currently serving as president of his deacons quorum and is saving for a mission.
Youth of the Lehi Utah West Stake took King Benjamin’s words seriously by helping both God and man during their conference entitled “Called to Serve.”
Starting early Friday morning, they were divided into groups and sent to various locations to do things like repainting an old shed, weeding an elderly couple’s garden, clearing an irrigation ditch, planting a welfare corn field, taking the graffiti off a large cement wall, working on a float for a parade, painting two large corral fences, and tying four quilts for Deseret Industries. All totaled with the adults who helped, they estimate about 500 hours of service were given from one ward alone.
The conference also included swimming, camping, hiking, and some inspirational speakers. Everyone was amazed that they could have so much fun for just $5.00 apiece. They discovered that youth conferences don’t have to be expensive and extravagant after all.
Leah Current of the Abilene Texas Second Ward became the first student from her high school to be selected for the Texas All-State Choir. She was selected as one of the top 12 sopranos in the state.
Leah has been active in choir and band. She earned the John Phillip Sousa Award as outstanding band student. She is also a member of National Honor Society and made her school’s academic A team.
In addition to serving as first counselor in her Laurel presidency and as pianist for Young Women, Leah teaches music in the Spanish branch Primary.
If you think Church work keeps you busy, meet Amanda Prater of the Boldman Branch, Kentucky Louisville Mission. She’s the Sunday School music coordinator and pianist, a district missionary, and the sacrament meeting music conductor. She is also successfully completing a home-study seminary course.
Her musical talents expand beyond the ward boundaries—she plays alto saxophone in her high school marching band, pep band, and concert band. She has an extremely high grade point average, and her friends love her for sharing the interesting things she learns. Someday she’d like to do this professionally, as a secondary education teacher after she serves a mission.
by Anne C. Bradshaw
“It all began with winning every running event I entered in primary sports,” said 15-year-old Gillian Tate of Saltcoats Branch, Paisley Scotland Stake. “Because of that success, my parents decided to start me training with a proper coach. Now I’m really grateful. I hope to run for Scotland in the Olympics one day.”
And that desire may well come true. Gillian recently was awarded the special prize at Birmingham Athletics, during the 150th anniversary, for coming in first or second in so many events.
Gillian is a member of the Scottish Women’s Amateur Athletic Association and trains three times a week. She is the North Ayreshire Schools champion in 400 meters and is a consistent winner in competitions.
However, Gillian feels her speed is a little unfair for any more Church sports and is thinking of withdrawing from future stake and regional races. “I have to slow down to give other girls a chance,” she says.
Both Michael J. and Lorrie Ann Burgy of the Peachtree City Ward, Atlanta Georgia Stake, have earned top honors in their favorite fields, science and music, respectively.
Michael, a junior in high school, was awarded first place in the senior division of the chemistry section in the Georgia State Science and Engineering Fair. He’s also a straight-A student, was selected to the National Spanish Honor Society, is a goalie on his soccer team, and is an early-morning seminary student.
Lorrie, a sophomore, was selected to play in the Georgia All-State Band because of her finesse as an oboe player. She has twice been selected outstanding band member at her school. She also plays the piano, is an honor roll student, is a fullback on her soccer team, and is an eager early-morning seminary student.
Mike Snyder, a priest in the South San Francisco Ward, San Francisco West Stake, was named Most Valuable Player of the Terra Nova High School football team. the senior tailback set the all-time rushing record for his school and was named to the North Peninsula League All-Star team.
A National Football Foundation Scholarship nominee, Mike is an honor student.
Four members of the Haynie family are serving as leaders of their respective classes and quorums in the Fenton Ward, Grand Blanc Michigan Stake. Juli, 18, is president of the Laurel class; David, 17, is first assistant in his priests quorum; Christine, 15, is president of her Mia Maid class; and Erin, 13, is president of the Beehive class.
Juli, David, and Christine also all performed major roles in their high school play.
It took gallons of chicken stew, plus mass quantities of bread and fresh fruit to feed the needy at a park in California, but the youth of the Bakersfield Stake were more than eager to provide it.
“This project was entirely the brainchild of the youth council,” said Marcus Asay, high council coordinator of the activity. “Helping the poor and homeless was something they really wanted to do.”
Over 100 Young Men and Young Women, plus their leaders, prepared and distributed the meal to the needy and collected clothing and canned goods for them as well.
Shawn Chastain of the Booneville Mississippi Ward, Memphis Tennessee Stake, was baptized only two years ago, but has already made quite a name for himself in LDS Scout Troop 96. He was selected by the Mississippi Sons of the American Revolution as their Eagle Scout of the Year.
Shawn has earned conservation awards and over 60 merit badges and has served in numerous leadership positions. He’s also a member of his teachers quorum presidency and has enjoyed doing baptisms in the Atlanta Temple.
In addition to church and Scouting, Shawn is active in band and karate.