A few weeks ago Nate went on a 5-day backpacking trip with the scouts. When asked by someone in the ward about his favorite campout of the year, he gave this answer:
No campout can rival the 5-day High Adventure campout out in King's Canyon National Park, on Aug 1-6, 2011. How can you forget carrying a pack weighing a third to half your body weight over 21 miles and about 5000 feet elevation gain? That alone accounts for a grueling, man-building experience!!! But try adding in unbelievably beautiful mountains, fishing and swimming in ice-cold but crystal-clear alpine lakes, slinging rocks, capture-the-flag, hearty meals, plenty of flatulence, sleeping in lean-to shelters, swatting mosquitoes, getting fried by the sun, campfire devotionals, a testimony meeting at the base of a majestic cliff and pristine lake, and much more. It was definitely a trip that none of the boys or leaders will ever forget.
Nate hates when I do things like this, but I want to document my feelings and life right now, so he'll have to get over it! :)
Nate is currently the Young Men's president in our ward. I had no idea what an intense calling this would be. He is gone every Sunday morning for meetings (which means I get me and 3 kids ready for and to 9 o clock church by myself). He is gone, on average, for a couple hours after church each Sunday. Tuesday nights are activity night. There is a campout almost every month. There's youth conference, presidency meetings, scout trainings...I could go on and on.
More than any other time in my life, I have struggled with the amount of time this calling has required. There are moments I have been mad and bitter. Times when I tell him it's just too much. I've cried. But we find balance, and we find great joy in this calling as well.
I am so grateful for a faithful and devoted husband. Bottom line is this: we are blessed when we serve. Life is less complicated, and there is more happiness when we serve. He completely and totally fulfills his role as father and husband first, and then gives every bit that is left to those young men. He had to submit something for a yearbook about his calling and I wanted to have it on my blog. Here it is:
What is your favorite thing about your calling? As Young Men's President, I get the sacred privilege of being around the Young Men. Why is that a privilege? Because I get to see them grow in their testimonies and in their relationship with the Savior. I get to see new deacons get ordained and start their lifelong journey of Priesthood service. I get to see the Priests lead the other young men by example and then eventually get ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood. I get to help guide them in Scouts as they venture out and learn outdoor skills, career possibilities, and serve their community. I get to play Capture the Flag with them. I get to take many of them to the temple for their very first time as they perform baptisms for the dead, and see them sit there and take in the special Spirit that is in the temple. I get to see them help each other through very strenuous challenges like carrying full-gear packs over huge mountain passes. I even get the special blessing to see an occasional young man get baptized and join our quorums as a new convert, and see how the other young men take him in as if they had known each other forever. The list goes on and on. There really isn't a way to briefly state why I love my calling, but anyone who has served the Young Men (or Young Women) of the Church knows that these are indeed very special children of Heavenly Father, and just being with them and feeling their strength and being part of their growth is a huge blessing.