The kids have learned to love our Sunday Conference tradition so much (of listening for different words like scriptures, family or prayer and choosing a snack/treat from that bowl when they hear that word). I even heard things on Friday and Saturday morning like "I'm so excited for Conference!" Hooray for good traditions! (And this idea really works so well so for us -- not perfectly, but we made it to about 3/4 the way through the afternoon session before things started to get crazy, and that seemed pretty great :)
And I loved Conference! It was exciting to see and read later about the new apostles chosen. And so many talks felt just very applicable to me right now.
One of my favorite parts was seeing my old institute teacher, Brother Durrant stand up to give a talk (followed directly by my singles ward stake president, President Keetch!)
I think it was the summer after my freshman year in college when I started to attend an institute class with my good friend Katie. We met in the Stake Center High Council meeting room in the Stake where I grew up. And it was just a few of us -- maybe 10 or 12 tops? that sat around the big table there and learned together. Brother and Sister Durrant took turns teaching with Richard Holzapfel and Brother and Sister Woods. And the sweetest older couple would bring treats and we'd finish up with something like sweet candy filled popcorn balls. I think I probably went mostly because I wanted to spend time with Katie (since I already had religion classes at school and an institute class in my own stake at Alta). But I kept going and maybe because it was such a small class and a close setting or just the right time in my life when I needed those friendships, but I really loved that institute class.
(Another fun note: I lived at Bountiful Court for just one Spring term, when Jordan and I first started dating. One day Brother Durrant was at the complex inspecting the carpets or something. I was surprised to see him there till he said something like "Oh, well I own these apartments!" When I moved back to Alta at the end of the term, I got my deposit back with an extra $50 or so. I called the BC manager to ask about the mistake and she responded that Bother Durrant had sent it on purpose -- and I felt so grateful for such a caring gesture. )
Brother Durrant always had a funny story to tell and a great way of teaching the Old Testament with a sense of humor, so it was just so fun to watch him speak in Conference and see his eyes sparkling with happiness as he suggested we "Ponderize" a new scripture each week. (Which I think was also maybe the best counsel I could get right now -- this week mine is Jacob 3:2
) It was great to see this person who made a difference in my life a long time ago, now making a difference in a new way.
And then to see President Keetch stand up next! In my recent decluttering, I'd come across a little notebook filled with Sunday notes, the first being from a Stake Conference with President Keetch (also from when I lived in Alta)
I just remember really loving President Keetch and his counsel. Once his wife gave a talk and as part of it she read the lyrics to "I Hope You Dance" which I thought at the time was kind of a cheesy song... but somehow when she read it I just knew how much she loved us and truly wanted the best for us.
Something so fun about growing up is feeling more and more how familiar these leaders are. The prophet and the twelve apostles that I've listened to for years and years now (except these new faces!) and other new leaders who I've learned from before in other roles.
I feel so strengthened from this weekend of listening and learning and I'm excited to keep studying and reviewing this counsel for the next few months too!