Sunday, November 18, 2007

Boston YSA Conference

The second weekend in October my roommate Chelsie and I went to Boston for a Young Single Adult education conference.  It was, hands down, the single best church-related event I've ever been to.  They do these every two years, and alternate locations between Boston, NY, and DC.  

We took the bus up and got there late Friday night.  This was the view from our hotel room Saturday morning.  Gorgeous.

These pictures are out of order because I wanted to save the best ones for last.  This was just before we went to the black and white ball Saturday night at the Massachusetts State House which is located in Boston Commons, the Central Park of Boston.  The mansion was AMAZING and the ball was so cool!  Everyone was in black and white (obviously) and the dress code was Sunday best to black tie.  I was really wanting to dress up fancy but assumed most people would be on the casual side because, come on, we're mormons.  However, I was wrong.  There were guys in tuxes, girls in formal dresses, guys from West Point in their uniforms, it was great!  There was a jazz band that was awesome and it was like, such a grown up event.  I seriously loved it.  Very classy.

Here's Elder Holland, he seriously might be my new favorite apostle.  LOVE this man.  Saturday morning everyone was together (it was capped off at 600 people) and he spoke and was hilarious.  He was talking about how he wanted it to be a very casual weekend.  He wanted people to feel free to come up and chit chat and he wanted to get to know us.  He then said, and I quote, "I don't really want anything I say to end up in the Ensign, or on Youtube."  I about died laughing.  Then he followed it with, "What happens in Cambridge stays in Cambridge."  LOVE IT!  (Cambridge is the part of Boston we were in.  Everything was at MIT campus.)
After the opening we had a bunch of work shops from which to choose.  President and Sister Clark from BYU-Idaho were there, which I was so excited about, so we went to their class.  Then we went to lunch.  Guess who was in the cafeteria eating with everyone?  Elder and Sister Holland.  Just sitting at a table next to a girl I know.  After lunch was the work shop just for woman with a Q&A session with Elder Holland.  Seriously, a Q&A with an apostle.  SO AWESOME.  I took notes like crazy, and at one point just before it ended the Spirit was so strong; I don't know if I've honestly ever felt it so strong before.  It was such a blessing.  The picture above is during that workshop.

This was after the Q&A with Elder Holland.  This is his wife, Sister Patricia R. Holland.  Okay, so I know the general authorities wives are always really cute, but seriously, this woman was adorable.  ADORABLE.  Seriously, loved her.

This is Jane Clayson Johnson.  She's a total doll and so sweet.  She's worked at different jobs as a broadcaster, including doing work for ABC in LA, and then did the Morning Show for CBS in New York.  She gave such a wonderful talk.  Again, my hand hurt from taking so many notes.  There were such pearls of wisdom given throughout this weekend.  I can't express what a blessing it was to be there.  She got married at 36 and now lives in Boston where she and her husband serve in a singles ward.

So Sister Holland isn't really that short, Elder Holland was up on a stage.  This is back at the Q&A with Elder Holland.  Sister Holland gave a few insights as well.

Raddest picture ever, right?  Love Elder Holland.  Seriously.  Love him.

Sat in between the workshops and the ball Chelsie and I were able to meet up with Brad and Nadia to get dinner, which was really fun of course.
Sunday there was a two hour meeting where we heard from some of the single adults on the planning committee, the area authority and his wife, President and Sister Clark again, Sister Holland again, and the concluding speaker was Elder Holland.  I did not want this meeting to end.  I can't get into all the specifics of his talk because I feel to just blog about it sort of takes away from the sacred nature of the experience that morning.  Again, I just took a lot of notes, and then for the last few minutes just stopped and soaked in everything he was saying.  It was really amazing.  I hope I'm here in two years to be able to go to the next one.  So good.


Mark said...

Rad picture. Anyways, it's 2 Timothy 1:7-8. It was on my mission plaque.

Steve and Rebecca said...

Oh my gosh...Rachel, you are the coolest person ever!!!! I can't believe you have a picture with Elder Holland!!! That conference sounded soooo awesome!! And I am totally reading Jane Clayson Johnson's book "I am a Mother" right now and I can't believe you have a picture with her!!!! There is 1 chapter in her book that you would talks about her story of how she ended up in NYC. Anyway...I loved loved loved this post!! I am glad you are back blogging again. Love ya, Rebecca

Lil said...

Its kato! Cant believe you were in Cambridge and didnt give us a call! :( so sad! Looks like you had a great time and are loving being an East Coaster!

Ang said...

The best church-related event EVER? What about EFY Forward with Faith 2000, Baby?! Just kidding. I'm guessing you got more spiritually out of this YSA thing than EFY, right? What awesome pictures. Sister Holland does look so adorable. Wish I could have been there with you!