The youth in this photo probably look a lot like the youth in your own photo collection from your last youth conference, but there’s something a little different about this youth conference picture. Although the conference wasn’t very big—about 30 young people attended—it was a big deal since it was the first youth conference in Poland.
The youth had strength even if their numbers were small. The day after the conference, the Poland Warsaw Mission office received several calls from people who had seen the youth during their activities (wearing their T-shirts with the Church’s name on them) and wanted to know more about the Church.
Keeping people smiling is just business as usual for Steven Puffer, a teacher in Molalla, Oregon. He works at his father’s dental office part-time and hopes to become an oral surgeon someday. Steven keeps people smiling in other ways, too. The youngest of 10 children, he knows how to get along with his brothers and sisters. He also loves to serve others in his neighborhood, ward, and school.
Sean Barney, a priest from Walnut Creek, California, dug himself into a hole—actually, several holes. He and the rest of the young men in his ward made mile markers for a bike trail in a park near his home. Now all of the local high school cross-country teams use the trail for sprint practice.
Can you remember the last time you wore your old snow boots, the ones that are now a size or two too small? How about those cross-trainers you bought and then decided that you really needed running shoes instead?
Youth in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, knew that there were plenty of perfectly good pairs of shoes in the closets of the members in their stake, shoes that were going to waste. So they requested donations from each ward and were overwhelmed when 1,200 pairs of shoes arrived at the stake center. But after the initial shock wore off, the youth got to work cleaning, polishing, and disinfecting the shoes for people who might otherwise go barefoot.
“The most enjoyable thing was to think that we’re sending these shoes to someone who really needs them,” says Paula Williams, a Laurel from the Lakeland First Ward.
The shoes are now being distributed to orphans in Romania and other countries. Shoes and boots were also donated to local charities in the Coeur d’Alene area.
Laurel Rachel Wilson, from Huber Heights, Ohio, served as governor of Buckeye Girls’ State, a weeklong camp which teaches about the workings of government and the electoral process.
Clarissa Herget, a Laurel in the Mountlake Ward, Lynnwood Washington Stake, was selected as a junior ambassador to Ireland. She will spend 10 days in Ireland with the U.S. ambassador and the Lord Mayor of Dublin.
Gordon Smith, a teacher from the Tulare Second Ward, Porterville California Stake, was a merit winner in the ninth annual Lions International Peace Poster contest. Gordon’s winning poster was one of only 23 winners selected from 300,000 entries.
Grant Robison and Pamela Johnson are having a winning year. Both of the high school seniors from Oregon (Grant is from McMinniville; Pamela is from Portland) became the high school state track champs in their respective events.
Jerusalem was a long way from home for Levi Belnap, Robbie Garr, Zach Halverson, Jonny Jackson, and Alex Jackson. Because their dads spent a year teaching at the BYU Jerusalem Center, the boys lived in a foreign country and made new friends—especially their teammates on the Village Green baseball team. These five LDS boys helped their team win the national championship in Tel Aviv.