Oh wow, I haven't updated since December. I have a LOT to tell.
First off - moving to the YSA has been one of the best decisions of my life. I am the happiest I have ever been. When I take a step back and look at all of the amazing friend's I've made, I actually start to get a little emotional. I have never felt so close and tight knit to a group of people. I've become one of the people in the branch who everyone knows and I know everyone, and it's amazing. Yes, I'm still close to the missionaries and don't get me wrong, I still adore them, but I've finally found my place in the church and I'm starting to really figure out who I am and who Heavenly Father wants me to be. I've become so confident and I've been able to really be myself around everyone. Sure, there have been little bumps, but for the most part my experiences with my YSA friends have been nothing but a blessing.
My first calling was a member of the prefireside meal committee, and it's fun, but super stressful feeding 60+ people. But I love it. I got really close to this kid named Mitchell. He's the branch mission leader and actually asked me to teach Gospel Principles one day and I jokingly brought up how I should be a branch missionary (a bunch of times). So I'm also a branch missionary, now. I love love love it :) it's been the hardest calling of my life but I am so grateful for it.
I'm going to make a blog post in the morning about the people I've encountered in the YSA, but for now I want to share something special I experienced today.
One of the guys in the branch suffers from epilepsy. He's the Sunday School president, so we all know and love him. Today, we were sitting in 3rd hour (we met together to discuss the letter released by the first presidency about the court ruling a few weeks ago) and everyone was talking and laughing and having a good time. Then the room got quiet, I looked towards the other side of the room and my branch president was holding this boy as he was having a seizure. My stomach tied itself in a knot and my eyes filled with tears. My branch president sat him back down in the chair while other priesthood holders surrounding the boy jumped into action, moving chairs and getting the door open to escort him out of the room to the couch in the foyer where his seizure commenced. After the little meeting I went outside to check on him and he was okay. Upset that he had had another seizure, but he was okay.
Now, this was a huge testimony builder for me. To see a bunch of boys around my age immediately jump into action to help someone else without even really knowing what to do - that's amazing. It really shows how powerful the priesthood really is and how selfless it is.
I am so grateful for the influence of the priesthood in my life and the many times I have been blessed by it. This church is amazing and I am so proud to be a part of such a constant church while the world around us is chaos.