Monday, February 25, 2008

52 Blessings - Week 8, Women's Conference

(My 52 Weeks of Blessings in No Particular Order)

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend our Stake Relief Society Women's Conference. The theme was "It's About Time" and it was incredible. I was running late trying to get the kids ready. Ben had to work on Saturday (as usual) but they were offering a children's class, so that's why I was able to go to this meeting. Anyway, since we didn't even leave until 9:30am (and it started at 9am), I almost didn't go because I hate being late especially that late. I am SO GLAD that I finally piled the kids in the car and headed to church. Some young women were volunteering to help with the children's class, so that all women age 18 and older could attend.

Here's the list of speakers and their topics:
* Susette Cardon Hiatt "It's about time to balance our lives"
* Chef Brad Petersen "It's about time to find joy in what we are doing" and he also helped us ALL make bread (then the dough was used to make fry bread for Navajo tacos for the luncheon)
* Edwin Lamoreaux "It's about time to lighten up"
* Angela Johnson "It's about time to come unto Christ"

WOW!!! These speakers are all AMAZING people!! And SO TALENTED!! I missed most of the first speaker (Susette) but I received her handout and need to read it.

Chef Brad was funny and really made sense about how we should find JOY in all that we do as women/mothers. He talked while we ALL had ingredients in front of us to make bread dough (well we worked in pairs). He mentioned how we really enjoy serving others and we should find that same JOY in serving our own families as well. Everything we do is a service and we are blessing our families and in turn we are blessed. Like cooking/cleaning is an act of service for our families (or anyone else) and the Lord recognizes it as that. He explained it really well and he was also funny and just overall had some really interesting ideas or points of view. He said it's all in our ATTITUDE! So true!!

"Relief Society Rewind - A Walk through Time" A group of sisters from one of the wards put on an INCREDIBLE 'skit' about women through the decades. It was particularly about women who live(d) here in Arizona and ways that the Relief Society Sisters have blessed their lives.

Edwin Lamoreaux apparently speaks for the youth a lot. I can see why they keep asking him to do that. He is a wonderful speaker (even though most of his talk was kind of singing with his guitar - all clever songs he made up himself). He was really funny and told us that we need to have our "feet firmly planted on the rock." We need to have a firm foundation and hold strong to our values in life. He had us laughing and crying all at the same time. AWESOME!!

Our concluding speaker was Angela Johnson. She has trained as an operatic soprano since she was 13. She sang "Amazing Grace" for us while we looked at a beautiful picture of our Savior on a projector. Oh my goodness! Her voice is so BEAUTIFUL!! She told us that just 12 years ago, she needed a musical "break" and just spontaneously hopped in the car and drove to a craft store and bought a small block of clay and one tool. She came home and sculpted a small figurine. She had no prior training in sculpting. She had just 'unlocked' this amazing talent that she didn't even know she had. As time went on, she eventually was divinely inspired to create a life-size statue of the Savior entitled "Come Unto Me" and it was displayed at the Newport California Temple open house. WOW!! She had several of her sculptures at the church so we could see them, plus she showed us a power-point presentation of some of her other sculptures. She has an AMAZING talent!! She explained the story behind each sculpture and how she created them so that others could look at them and feel our Savior's love and want to 'come unto Him.' She has a large exhibit that will be on display at the Mesa Arizona Temple Visitor's Center in March. You can check out her website HERE to preview some of her works. I can guarantee if you've never seen her work (which I hadn't before) that you will be blown away!! Her sculptures have incredible details and just looking at them, you really feel as though Christ is in the room with you.

OK, onto my Blessing for this week. Can you guess what it is?
The journaling on the mat is the 'Relief Society Declaration' (if you can't read it, click on the picture to get bigger or you can go HERE to read it). The journaling on the bottom reads:

"I am so blessed to be a part of the Relief Society program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Sisterhood is so strong, wonderful, and truly amazing! I love the friendships that I've gained and have learned so much from so many women (and continue to learn). I love each of my 'sisters' and have a special place in my heart for them."

I love everything that the Relief Society stands for and does for women. I am so happy that I went to the Women's Conference this weekend and was able to make some new friends, learn some new things, strengthen our sisterhood, and be spiritually uplifted. When it was over, we had a big luncheon. I ran into someone I had just met on Valentine's Day helping in one of my kids' class parties. She's a mom of one of my kids' friends. We sat together and were able to get to know each other a little better. I love when that happens. She is so sweet and very creative (she planned their whole class party and also does Art Masterpiece for their class on a regular basis). I also had the opportunity on Friday to serve a sister in our ward by babysitting her youngest boy for part of the day while she and some 'sisters' helped get her apartment ready to bring home her brand new baby girl. It always feels so good to be able to serve or help others and know that my 'sisters' are there for me in time of need also.

Ok, this post turned out way longer than I had originally planned. Just so much on my mind from a fantastic weekend!!
Layout Credits HERE


Sharon said...

Wow! Sounds like a great weekend. It's so great to fill your cup now and then! We went to the Newport Temple Open house and saw that sculpture of Christ. It was so beautiful. I remember hearing a little bit about her story. That's so cool that you could listen to her in person. How amazing would it be to have such talent?

Crazymamaof6 said...

awesome.I[m so impressed you went. you are so good!
i forgot and slept in. shoot! sounds like i missed out on a lot.

carrie & troy keiser said...

Sounds like a wonderful conference! The RS is such a great blessing!

Holly said...

Wow. Neat conference. I love going to those and coming away so renewed and uplifted!

Allison said...

That was very touching. YOu made me cry. I am truly touched byyour sincere heart and how much you 'Come unto Christ' all the time. The sculptures are AMAZING!! I am so glad you had a link for them. I enjoyed seeing her masterpieces too. Thank you, for sharing your sweet, gentle spirit with me and all those you come in contact with. You are a blessing in many others lives. Who knows one day you may find yourself listed on someones' blessing of the week. YOu blessed mine thus far.

tammy said...

Loved reading this post! (julie sent me over here BTW) Sounds like a wonderful conference.

Crissybug said...

It just goes to show how truly inspired the Relief Society program is. Isn't nice when you have the doubt not to go, but then go anyways...only to discover how blessed your were to go! Imagine what you would have missed out on!

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AddiEphriaMom said...

it's the meetings you almost miss that you need the most! at least that's my experience!!

the RS is a great blessing!