Sunday, August 12, 2012

9 weeks

The last 9 weeks were some of the hardest and absolute most fun of my life! Being an EFY couselor for 9 weeks at BYU was an absolute dream come true, and I'll tell you a little bit about what I learned and why it was such a blast!

week 1!

* I got to be "mother," to about 300 "children," ages 14-18! There is something truly invigorating about being around the youth of the church, and I think that is one reason why it's possible for us counselors to be able to function all summer long! They taught me more than I was ever expecting to learn from them. SO much. And their strength is truly inspiring, and I fully understand why they are referred to the "Royal Generation," or the "Chosen Generation." They are some of the best people that will ever walk this earth.
Aaron! (It's hard for me to choose favorites.... but he is definitely one of them!)
My babies from week 2! (tied for my favorite week! no words to describe how amazing this week was and it was all because of THEM!)
Daisy and Brittany! (these girls weren't just my babies... they were serious some of my great friends at EFY! Love you babies!)

Kassin and Michael! (same with these two clowns!!)

* My Co-Counselors were phenomenal! Like, some of the best counselors in EFY history! I can't even tell you how much I learned from each one of them and how inspired I was by them, becasue you sure learn a lot about somebody by watching them interact with teenagers. Working in a partnership is humbling and inspiring.

Kenneth! (weird.. the ONLY "Co" picture from all summer...?)
* On that note, I met some of the best people I'll ever know in my life at EFY! There is a reason why 1 in 20 people get hired for EFY and that was proven to me in so many of the counselors I've met. I know that some of these friendships I had before earth and we re-connected here!
Aimee and Christine! Worked with them on our BC team! Indescribable how much i love these girls. (Special shout out to Aimee! XOXOXOXOXOOXOXOXO)

Julia! This girl is an angel. So blessed to be friends with her!

* I had the very humbling, rare, incredible opportunity of being a BC for a couple of weeks! BC stands for Buliding Counselor which means that you're a counselor to the counselors and that you're more involved the "legistics," of EFY. I have zero idea as to why I was given this wonderful opportunity, but it was such a huge blessing and highlight of my whole EFY experience! My team, "The Averngers," are some of the abolute best people I've ever known in my life. Inspiring, life changing, hilarious, down to earth, and so much fun! So incredibly blessed.

My incredible BC team!! Christine, Michael (his voice melted my heart into 1,000 pieces! WOW!), Amber, Aimee, Shawn, Cameron, Maria and Levi! Love my Avengers!!

* Exhausting is a HUGE understatement! I never thought it was possible to fall asleep standing up. And then I did EFY and was proven wrong! Lol. Averaging 6 hours of sleep a night isn't terrible, but the fact that you have to exert 115% of your energy all day everyday is what makes it exhausting. The counselors have some HILARIOUS stories of falling asleep in meetings, morningsides, musical program, free-time duty, dozing off for a few seconds while standing up WHILE teaching a lesson!!! (all of these have happened to me!)

I was supposed to be on free time duty making sure the "hooligans," weren't being too crazy. I sat down for about 1 minute, and the next thing I know, I woke up almost 2 hours later with about 15 children staring at me!! Thank you to my boys for being creepy and taking pictures of me. lol.
* EFY dances are another level of epic. Best workout EVER! And the most fun workout ever! Couple of facts about EFY dances..
1. They are quite possibly the absolute worst smell in the world. 300-1,000 sweaty, hot teenagers.... SICK!
2. During slow songs, the kids aren't allowed to get drinks, go to the bathroom or hang out by the walls!! There are counselors guarding all of those places and we turn them away and help them find someone to dance with! HILARIOUS!!! The kids always look so confused and terrified when we force them away and force them into the hands of another confused and terrified teen to dance with. lol.
3. My favorite thing is to watch the tiny little 14 year old boys muster up the courage to dance with a girl for probably the first time ever in their life! And after the little boys ask the girls, my favorite is when they are both to nervous to even make eye contact so they are both looking in opposite directions at the floor, and not even saying a word to eachother!
4. They are the FUNNEST things in the whole world!

* If I eat another BYU catered meal again, I might throw up. (burittos, chicken cordon bleu, the wraps.... BARF.)

* I learned so much about patience. Trying to teach teenagers about the Gospel is a pretty big test of patience, and I'm so glad that they taught me so much about what it means to be truly patient.

Hahahahaah. Perfect picture!

* I learned a lot about loving people. And especially loving the kids who are loud, obnoxious, hyper, inappropriate, have the attention span of a goldfish and only care about meeting hot girls. 9 times out of 10, those are the kids that are walking miracles. They come from broken homes and broken families, they are the only member in their group of friends or sometimes even in their whole high school and it truly is a miracle that they choose to have a testimony regardless of their circumstances.

* Prayer. Prayer is real, and it works every single time. Always. No matter what. Prayer will literally change your life, because it has changed mine completely for the better. I've never relied so heavily on prayer as I did this summer, and because of that I saw miracles happen in my life everyday.
Andy! One of the coolest kids I've ever met. He's 6'7"!!!
My week 1 babies! I'll never forget them :)

This week was a miracle.

* Being able to teach the Gospel was too amazing for words. I love, love, LOVE teaching so much and that's why I'm so confident in my career choice, to be a teacher!

* I could go on and on about what I learned, but truly the best part of EFY was getting to meet the incredilbe youth of the church. I grew to love them more than I could ever say in words and I miss them so. much. My last night of EFY, I cried so hard because I already missed my "babies," so much. I will never understand why I was so blessed to meet these incredible people who have changed me for the better in so many ways.

Lantzen and Cameron! (some of my other very favorites!)

Hardest, most exhausting, demanding, hilarious, funnest, and most life changing 9 weeks of my life!



  1. You are an amazing and inspiring person. I have no doubt that you effected those kids' lives as much as they effected yours. I am so proud of you juggling all that you did to make all of those kids have an amazing EFY experience. There is no one that could lobe them more.
    And about having no idea why you would be chosen to be a BC...I think you are an obvious choice. You have the unique ability to guide without belittling and judging. You choose to see the best in people and life in general. It may come easy to you but that is a rare and beautiful quality. I love you and am ever impressed with all the wonderful things you do with your life.

  2. 1 in 20 people are chosen for this job? I am so proud, although not surprised, to hear that. You are among the elite! I hope you recognize the significance that YOU are one of these inspiring your whole post is about. People are writing in their journals about their experience, and you were inspirational to them, no doubt.

    You just LOVE life, and you just take it for everything it is. And I love that about you.

  3. i've always wanted to be an efy counselor and after reading this post i want to even more. bahahaha i was totally that girl who went and got a drink whenever a slow song turned on! got chills reading that paragraph on prayer. ali sort of said it all, you are an amazing girl allie and i'm sure those kids all think so highly of you. their efy experience was what it was because of you and your love for the gospel. thanks for always being such a shining example in my life.