Five Years


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Leading up to camp...

What a crazy summer it has been!  I can't believe July is nearly over...  Summer has just flown by.  And it has been a busy busy month.

Before, I blog about Girls Camp, something happened two weeks ago that helped shape girls camp into what it was.

Being the young women president, I am over nearly 40 girls, from 12-18.  But as the president, my main focus is the 16-18 year olds.  It has been a work in progress, but since I got called, I've been trying to get to know each girl.  It's hard because I'm never really with the younger ones.  Before this month, I could name each girl, maybe give some information, but not much else.  But after the last 3 weeks, that has changed.  I feel like I have really gotten to know my 40 girls really well (well, those that let me..)

2 1/2 weeks ago, on July 1st, one of my beautiful Beehives, Whitney Smith, died in a boating accident.  She was in Kansas on family vacation when it happened.  She was an amazing young women with an incredible testimony.  Her death was tragic, but gave my young women a wonderful opportunity to grow together as friends and a ward family.  The day after this happened, I invited all the YW to my home to talk about what happened.  A lot of tears were shed, but I believe it really helped.  This allowed them each to talk about Whitney and share fond memories.  It also gave them a chance to ask questions.  Why did it happen to her?  What happens now?  That night was the beginning of a great bond between my YW.

Whitney's funeral was on Thursday the 7th.  My amazing young women sang a beautiful song titled "Valiant Faith" for Whitney.  They all made it through the song too =).  It was a wonderful service.  Whitney will be forever missed.

As tragic as Whitney's death was, I have seen it change many lives for the better.  Whitney was a very strong young woman and a wonderful example to all her friends.  She had a testimony of the gospel like you wouldn't believe, and she let it show.  It is that testimony that has strengthened my girls as well.  I know for a fact that each one of my YW's testimonies have grown from this experience.  They have also grown to have a better love for each other.  They have learned to be more kind...more patient...and more loving.  All from the exmample of that 13 year old girl.

Heavenly Father has a plan.  He knows what He's doing.  I don't think it was coincidence that girls camp was a week and a half after Whitney's death.  I believe it was the perfect time to hold camp.  It was a wonderful time for the rest of the girls to come together and lift each other up.  Many friendships have been formed these last 3 weeks and all because of Whitney.
Whitney Smith will not soon be forgotten.  She has left a mark in the lives of many and for that I am grateful.