We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will 'stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places' as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are: Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Good Works, Integrity, and Virtue. We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation

New Editor

Try as I may, I just can't manage to find a way to fit 25 hours into a day. So I have admitted defeat and called in some help.

Today Rachel has stepped in as a new editor here on the Ashton Stake Young Women blog. This will allow me to keep up the growing Oldham Seminary Blog

When I started this blog, the idea was to offer support to Presidency. It was to allow girls and leaders to share ideas across wards and report on activities done and those planned for the future.

There is lots of things coming up, the big one is Young Women camp. So keep visiting for more information.

If you have ideas for what could be put on here speak to Rachel or inbox her. The internet offers great opportunities for communication and sharing the gospel, lets use it. You may well see the occasional post from me .


Mormon Messages

The latest video from Mormon Messages fro Youth

The Sting of the Scorpion

Here is the latest Video for Youth.

Don't disregard that which you know what is right !!!


Stake Dance - A Guest Post

Today we have another guest post This time from Bishop Ken Craig who blogs as The Craig Report he has kindly let me repost this here. Some lessons for us all with a few laughs and memories thrown in ..

Without permission, my daughter Abbie turned 14 last week. And I have no one to blame but myself, as it even happened on my watch, and I did absolutely nothing to stop it. In my defense, I was distracted by my life-changing AppleTV and being able to watch YouTube videos on my television! Ah, technology. I kind of fear you, sometimes.

The thing about being 14 in the LDS Church is that you now get to experience that rite of passage known as … The Stake Dance. And Abbie will be attending her first on Saturday.

(For you non-LDS’ers, a standard congregation in the LDS Church is called a “ward.” Several wards combine to make up a “stake.” And once a month a dance is held in one of the ward buildings for all the youth, ages 14 to 18 in the entire stake. It’s a marvelous social opportunity for the young people in today’s world to come be together so they can bask in the overpowering odiferous combination of cologne and body order, circumvent actual conversations by texting each other from opposite ends of the gym, and at all costs – including death first – avoid any actual dancing.)

My gosh, what an emotional rollercoaster a Saturday night stake dance used to be for me. It was like experiencing puberty in a microwave. In one single evening you were terrified, elated, awkward, euphoric … you loved everyone, you hated everyone, wished you were younger, wished you were older, you had the sweats, and by night’s end…your voice had changed, and you were four inches taller.

The energy was palpable. Circles of friends assembled in assorted areas throughout the low-lit gym; half-dancing already, gossiping, hoping that “certain somebody” would be showing up that night, making lists of what songs you were going to request from Mr. DJ, and deciding what to do after the dance – going to Bob’s Big Boy for shakes, or going to toilet paper some poor soul’s house.

I remember my very first stake dance. My parents dropped me off outside the church, with a pep talk from my dad on how I should just grab the first girl I saw and use some pick-up line like, “Hey Sweetheart, teach me to dance.” Apparently my dad hadn’t been 14 in many, many years. And “sweetheart” must have been a warmer salutation at that time, or on that planet.

I walked into that gym alone, the youngest guy in the room, and immediately scanned the place for any sign of safety or reassurance. I suddenly found it in the face of Sherri Rosquist, a friend from my Sunday school class. I hadn’t been in the room two minutes and she came up to me.

“Hey, let’s dance!” she said, grabbing my hand and pulling me with her.
“I don’t know how,” I answered, as I walked out onto the floor with her. I really didn’t feel timid about having never publicly danced before, as much as I felt I should legitimately warn her that things could get unsightly, if not physically and socially precarious for the both of us.
“I’ll teach you,” she kindly responded, with a big smile and all the confidence in the world.

Bless you, Sherri Rosquist. Bless you for saving me from a night of discomfiture and an entire adolescence of shame. Bless you for knowing how to dance. Bless you for your forwardness. And bless you for calling me back to the dance floor when, during the humming part near the end of Modern English’s “I Melt with You,” I assumed the song was over and started to exit from said dance floor.

As the song finally did end, I thanked Sherri and began walking away when a tall brunette stepped right in front of me and blocked my exit.

“Wanna dance?!” she beamed.

Oh, hold me. It was the spectacular Danielle Martin! She had been my regular babysitter when I was 8 and she was 12. 

Unless my memory is playing tricks on me, this is precisely what 
Danielle Martin looked like when she asked me to dance. 

I remembered her well, as she had occupied a starring role in my dreams lo those (many) six years.  I’d had my suspicions when I was 8 that Danielle may have had what scientists termed as “the hots” for me. After all, when the other kids were sent to bed, I was allowed to stay up and watch TV with her until we heard my parents pull into the driveway. At 8 years old, that spelled out love to me! But our forbidden love had to be kept a secret.

But not anymore!  Now I was 14 and she was a bombshell of an 18 year old, and we were on a dance floor! The scene was set, and all that we needed was the perfect soundtrack to celebrate the moment. So you’re probably thinking what I’m thinking. Yep. Cue the Hall & Oates.

The night continued down this magnificent path, enchanting moment after enchanting moment. I got jiggy wit it, I socialized with the “older” crowd, I delighted in the array of refreshments. It could not have been better.

And that’s when I saw her.

She was beautiful; this nameless lady in a red dress, with dark hair and blue eyes. Of course I can only assume you’re thinking the same thing I’m thinking. Yep. Romance was in the air. Cue the Wham!

She was standing in the midst of several other attractive and significantly older women. 18 year olds. Well, thanks to a sensational experience earlier with Danielle Martin, plus an evening of flawless socializing…I was really overloaded with a false sense of confidence. I could not be shaken. I walked boldly up to Red Dress, completely convinced we would one day tell our grandchildren about this night.

“Wanna dance?” my voice warbled, surprising even myself.

It was the last song of the evening, and heaven bless her, she actually nodded her head. Wow. Really, the only thing that would have made the moment even better would have been if she’d instead just said, “Not a chance.”

See, it quickly became evident that she hadn’t done either of us any favors by agreeing to dance with me. She clearly didn’t want to be there, and I clearly wanted her to be there sobadly that my palms were sweating as if this dance were being judged by Church leaders themselves and my life hung in the balance.

Who was I to think an attractive 18 year old woman was desperately waiting for a junior high kid to come make her evening by pulling her away from her ostentatious friends and out onto the dance floor in front of a condemnatory crowd to enjoy what had to have been the single longest love song ever recorded in the history of ever?

Not a word. Not a single word spoken between us. I blamed myself, of course. But I blamed her, too. Sure, I obviously put her in the difficult situation of not wanting to crush the spirit of an overly-zealous pubescent boy while also not wanting to dance with him…but once we found ourselves in this horrific predicament, she did absolutely nothing to save me. She didn’t compliment me on my “Deacon Two-Step” (the quintessential dance move of all stake dance first-timers), she didn’t ask if that was Drakkar Noir or Old Spice that I was wearing (it was both, I wanted to smell really special), and she didn’t ask me what I thought of the intricate subtleties and underlying meanings behind Wham!’s “Careless Whisper,” which was underscoring our unending dance. Nothing. Just complete, painful silence.

It felt like days had passed.

Finally the song ended, our hands dropped to our side, and we both did an about-face and marched away from each other, equally embarrassed and ashamed.

And that’s life in a nutshell, my friends. Ups and downs. Peaks and valleys. Unstoppable, then humbled. Cloud Nine, then Cell Block Nine. But what a journey. And what a soundtrack! You’re probably thinking what I’m thinking, right? Yep. Cue the Howard Jones

Motivational Speaker

Meet Nick, Nick is different than most of us...
Look past the obvious and you will see his difference, is the desire to overcome adversity and trials.

Click the like button, Share this with others, you may just change someone's life !

EFY Memories

Judging number of people who are "now friends with..." other people on Facebook tonight, a lot of you are connecting to new found EFY friends !

It would be great to get some more of your experiences and pictures to add here, to share and record for history !!!

In the meantime a few one liners ....

Leah Mayall
On the coach coming home from EFY!! Best week ever! Going to miss everyone so much! 'You want some, you want some, you all want some' :'D ♥

Well missing efy :( wish i was there for another week ♥

Leah Harrott
On the coach on the way back from efy.. Had a great week♥

Olivia Katie Wolstencroft
Such a memorable week ♥ efy.

Lorna Shaw
efy is amazing, im gonna miss everyone and everything so much!♥

Rhianne Mormonator Hoyle
Met some amazing people this week ♥ and I will see some soon my mums taking me to Wales woo ♥ can't wait to see you all ♥ HUNTERS ! READY ! ♥ ♥

Rachel Teal
Loved EFY...wish I could go back already! ♥ ♥ ♥

Bronwyn Turner
Efy was awesome :)

Some questions. Email the answers to johntealon30@yahoo.com to share!
Or add them in the comments box below.

EFY ....
What was the best part?
How many new Facebook friends have you now got?
Did you think the week was spiritual?
What will you miss most next week?

Welcome Back

For those of you that have come home from EFY today, Welcome Home !!! Hopefully you have all had a wonderful time and made lots of new friends. If you have any stories or experiences to share let me know.

Now is the time to do it while you are excited about the week !!

Just jot them down and email them to me at johntealon30@yahoo.com or Facebook inbox me or Joanne with the title EFY. It could be something as simple as a one sentence statement. I will then put them together as a post here.

Dating - a guest post by Braden Bell

Today we have a guest post from LDS Author and Teacher Braden Bell originally posted on his blog and is printed here with his permission. Brother Bell is originally from Utah and currently lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife and 5 children. As you will see it is aimed at his school class but I'm sure we can see his LDS beliefs shine through and there is wisdom for all enclosed

Dear Teenagers (Especially My Students and Former Students Who I Love Dearly But Everyone Else is Also Invited to Read):

Can we talk? Those of you who are or were my students, remember how during class you sometimes try to distract me from the task at hand by asking me questions that lead to me talking and giving you life lessons? Here's a secret: I know what you are doing. You are not nearly as subtle as you think you are. But sometimes I go with it because I feel like it's worth it, or I can tell that you're tired and need a break. And also because I care about you and want you to learn things that will make you happy even if those things have nothing to do with quarter notes, head voices, or harmony.

Now I want to interrupt your time (summer) and give you a life lesson. I hope you will read this and think about it.

A few months ago I chaperoned a school dance. I do this twice a year and I did what I always did on these occasions: make fun of you. KIDDING!!!! I would never do that. Really what I did was stand there and feel bad for you. Then I talked with other teachers who also felt bad for you. One teacher, an experienced teacher who is one of the most loving, wise people/teachers I've ever known really felt bad for you and we talked about this at length. I've been thinking about it ever since.

Here's why we feel bad for you. You have more freedom than any other generation of teenagers probably since the world began. You have more leisure time and more stuff to fill that time. There are fewer restrictions or taboos that society places on you. For the most part you live far more comfortably and far more freely than ever before.

And yet, your lives seem to be less rich. You know a lot more about boys or girls (whichever is your opposite) than we did at your age, but I don't think you enjoy those relationships as much as we did. This other teach and I concluded that in almost every appreciable category, we had less of everything and enjoyed it much more.

So, because I love you dearly--you have no idea how I worry about you--I am going to give you some thoughts about dating, boys/girls, etc. I don't think you know these rules. From what I observe you don't have any idea. And it's not your fault. The culture isn't teaching you anything.

First of all: slow down. Way down. I see some of you who don't want to date yet but you go along because everyone else is doing it. Don't be afraid to opt out. I know things that are scary at your age. But honestly, dating before you are mature enough to enjoy it is not going to be fun for anyone. It's just going to make things muddy. My parents made me wait until 16 to date and I hated them for it at the time. Now I'm so glad they did. Before 16, I was an masterpiece of immaturity and would have been a disaster. Doing everything earlier and earlier is not always a good thing. When my son had a Kindergarten crush, the wise teacher told him he couldn't have a girlfriend until he had a driver's license. Loved it. However, I'd amend that even further.

Second: Don't date one person. If I had a magic wand and could change one thing about the way adolescents live today, I would stop them from "going out" with each other. That means various things. On one extreme, there is just saying you are going out with so-and-so and buying them a Christmas present and that's it. On the other extreme, there are those early teenagers making out with the person they're going out with.

This is sad to me. If all goes well, you will spend the rest of your life in exclusive relationships. That's where you are headed. So, use this time to get to know lots of people. My parents had another rule I hated. I could only date the same person if I dated two other people in between. HATED that then. Guess what rule I'm imposing on my kids? This was great because it forced me to broaden my life. I got to know people that became and remain good friends instead of focusing all my time and attention on the current crush of my life. That was good for me. Former Students: I see you on Facebook and you go through relationships like I go tanks of gas. I have to admit when ever I see your statuses changed to "single" I cheer a bit. I know it hurts to break up but I am convinced that being single is how you are supposed to be in middle and high school. Single with lots and lots and lots of fun, flirtatious friendships.

Third: Dating does not equal romance. It can, and it's a lot of fun when it does. But you can go on a date with a friend and have a lot of fun. Looking back, the dates that I remember and enjoyed the most were the dates where my guy friends and I went out with girls we liked but were not in love with. That was fun because there was no pressure. FUN! Have fun. There is plenty of time for commitment later. Don't get bogged down in it too soon. A committed relationship between two mature adults is one of life's great glories. The same thing between two immature people is a bitter fruit that can taint your life for years. Also: mature does not mean when you think you are. Physiologically, you are not mature while in middle or high school. You're just not. Your body is still growing and developing. And that includes your brain and emotions.

I'm not against liking a guy/girl and going out with him/her. I just wish it didn't have to be so exclusive so early. Young love is a wonderful thing. Enjoy it. But I think you'll enjoy it more in the present and regret it less later if there are some restraints there and it doesn't dictate every other aspect of your life.

This is way too long now for your text-message-trained brains, so I'm going to end my post here and write the rest of it later. Do please give this some thought, Dear Ones. If any of you have read this far you may stop by my office for a piece of candy the first week of school.

Dr. Bell

You can find out more about Brother Bells novel "The Road Show" HERE

195 Dresses

Could this be done in the Ashton Stake ???

From our own family experience finding a prom dress
 that is modest is not easy, this would be a wonderful
idea if it could be worked out !!!

Choose To Be Pure

The following video is taken from the Official LDS Youth Site

As you watch the 6 youth all from different religious backgrounds,
see if you guess which one is LDS ! I got it wrong !  

This is also being added to the Virtue Page if you want to find it again.

Young Men General President

All youth have been asked to attend the fireside at Manchester Stake Centre tomorrow (3rd August 2011) as their weekly youth activity. So I thought it would be good to give you a bit of background on who the Young Men General President is !

Brother Beck has served as president of the Brazil Rio de Janeiro North Mission, stake president, bishop, high councilor, counselor in the bishopric, elders quorum president, priests quorum adviser, deacons quorum adviser, assistant Scoutmaster, and Primary worker. He was a ward mission leader in Bountiful, Utah, USA, at the time of his call.

Born to Wayne and Evelyn Moon Beck on April 12, 1953, in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, Brother Beck was 10 years old when his father was called to preside over the Brazil Mission, and both his parents and the full-time missionaries served as role models. “I caught the excitement of this work as a young man,” he says. He later served as a full-time missionary in the Brazil North Central Mission.

Brother Beck married Robyn Ericksen in the Salt Lake Temple in 1976. They have four children. “We love spending time together,” he says. Brother Beck is an executive with a manufacturing and distribution company. He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in engineering administration from the University of Utah.

For the Strength of Youth

Today's submission is a YouTube find sent in by Sister Ferguson
(Littleborough YW President)

Cee-Lo Green Clean Forget You Clean Parody (Mormon) For the Strength of Youth

Not sure what "For The Strength of Youth" is ?
Click here to see all 17 values LDS youth try to live

Scavenger hunt at Dovestones

Stake Youth

The Stake Youth activity, held at Dovestone Reservoir and organised by Oldham Ward was well attended and a fun night for all.

The event was well planned, people arriving were split into groups of about 8 and sent out to collect as many things they could from a printed list. Some items were to be physically collected and brought back, things like leaves, sheep poo, a fish. Other items / tasks just needed photo evidence, a sign, a picture of a couple married for more than 30 years and a video of the group singing a church song ! These are just a few of the listed items !!

Here are a few of the pictures taken ...

Stake YouthStake YouthStake Youth
Stake Youth
Stake YouthStake YouthStake Youth
Stake Youth

There was also a slip of paper handed out asking you to finish the sentence. Ashton Stake Youth the best because ... with a number to text your ending too, if you haven't done it yet. DO IT !!!

The 6 replies received so far "Ashton Stake Youth are the best because..

...everybody is so close and its like a big family were I can go and know everyone there loves me for who I am"

...their special"

...we have the best activities, like scavenger hunts at Dovestones"

...of their example to me"

...I am in it"

...they care about each other, they unite when they need to, they have leaders that care about them and pray for them, they have the best little blogger in the stake"

Family Search Indexing

Today's submission is from Sister Amy Young (Oldham YW Presidency)
The coolest and most effective way of contributing to genealogical efforts!!!!
I'm a busy mum of 5 young children and therefore researching out my own family history is very time consuming with great effort and commitment of my time being required amongst all other things....time which at the end of a busy day of being a mum and fulfilling my calling in Young Women can often be scarce.....................that is until I was introduced to the Indexing programme!!

My good family friend and fellow Young Women leader introduced me to the world of 'INdexing' just a couple of months back when as a presidency we decided to introduce it together with our Young Women in Oldham ward. It truly was a mutual night of learning???....intrigue???...fascination???.....frustration???...too late I was hooked!!!

It was the perfect way to help contribute to family research.......I was unsure about it all at first but that feeling soon passes once I became used to the programme and how it worked.......spending more and more time completing work I soon became interested in the names I had submitted where they where from...how many siblings they had etc etc...the information I was inputting was becoming more and more real to me...these pepole aren't just names but people who actually existed and belonged to someone out there!!!!!!

That night seeing the Young Women eagerly becoming a part of this great work truly was a marvelous sight to behold.....seeing the girls set themselves goals and encourage each other and dedicate themselves only strengthened my own drive to continue and do more.

To personalise this effort I can look at the following facts.Hundreds of thousands of people each month search the records I've helped "unlock" through this ongoing effort. My efforts help make hundreds of millions of names from some of the world's most valuable records collections available online for open access.My Indexed Records are Being Used today.....and so it is our duty to fullfill these efforts. I made a difference and so YOU can Make a Difference!!!

The family search indexing programme needs your help. Working together, our collective efforts allow people around the world to find and document the lives of their ancestors........Every person matters. Perhaps it’s this feeling that prompts millions to seek out their family history.

For most of us, records of our ancestors provide a link to our past. I am now part of an army of volunteers The Young Women of Oldham Ward are now part of that same army from around the world working to make these records available to everyone.

I do not consider myself highly intelligent at all and I'm barely computer literate but Indexing is so easy...even I can do it!!! I t may appear a little hard or confusing at times but the great thing is any mistakes we make can and will be corrected by other volunteers that check our work. So it's a sure winner....you can do as many trial runs beforehand just to give you a little practise. Family search.org has everything on there and they keep in regular contact by email to encorage you with your efforts and thank you for all of your efforts made........you even have a goal setter and a point scorer that tracks all the work you submit and complete...this enables yourself to keep track and for the church to review and record all that is being completed. The Oldham ward Young women have even been challenged to make it part of their Personal Progress Projects....10 hours of indexing is very easily achieved.

You can help. No special skills are required. Volunteer when you have time. Make that time!!!! Just register ( make sure you have your church membership number), sign in, and follow the easy steps that are clearly displayed through www.familysearch.org and away you go....it is that simple!!!!!!!!.............it is my hope that everyone catched the little 'indexing' bug that I caught...................enjoy and away you go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks Amy !!! 

Spiritual Crocodiles

At church today in Oldham, we had three missionaries speak, the final one Elder Dittmer mentioned the address by President Packer all about Spiritual Crocodiles.

This video was made for Seminary and inspired by Elder Boyd K. Packer’s analogy from a General Conference address “Spiritual Crocodiles” Ensign, May 1976, 30–32 

Elder Packer compared deadly crocodiles that lie in wait for unsuspecting animals to the spiritual and moral sins of our day, which can be deadly to our young people. The Seminary guide goes on to discuss why temptations are so like Crocodiles.

  • Crocodiles are often well camouflaged.
  • Some victims, like the English boy, ignore warnings.
  • Crocodiles often victimize the young, who are innocent and less wary.
  • Victims underestimate how fast and powerful the enemy is.
  • Victims see others go down to drink without being attacked.
  • Crocodiles wait in places where victims go to satisfy needs, that is, the watering hole.
  • Crocodiles are patient; they let the animals feel safe with their presence and then attack when the animals’ guards are down.

Provo, UT Girls

Today's post is just for fun

1 Minute in - "Big Hair, leggings and layered shirts on top" its not just a Provo Fashion !

EFY Dress Standards


If your planning your summer wardrobe, you may want to CHECK OUT the EFY dress standards, before you SPLASH OUT your cash !

Click HERE or on the picture above, to visit the official EFY dress standards page.

Mothers and Daughters

Is there a woman in your life that deserves an "I love You" today ?
It may be a Mother a Grandmother or a Young Women Leader....

If you love them - Tell them !

You could even SEND them this message... 

Integrity Personal Progress Project

The following has been submitted by Rachel Teal (Oldham Ward)...

In May 2006 I set out to complete my integrity project. I would have been 13 at the time, so as I was rather new to young women's I was still eager and finding personal progress lots of fun! (Not that it's not lots of fun ;))

Anyway in the 'my project is' section I wrote:
'finding out more about having personal integrity and being worthy to enter the the temple, then making a booklet with important information in to help me remember to prepare to enter the temple, through personal integrity.'


My Plan to carry out my project was:
1) Read general presidency talks on preparing to enter the temple and integrity
2) Study on how to have personal integrity, and the strength of youth booklet
3) Pray that I will have integrity and be worthy to enter the temple
4) Make a booklet to remember the important information through quotes and scriptures'

I then started reading and looking for lots of talks by general authorities about integrity. I would read them and highlight my favourite parts. I then chose to make a little booklet with pictures and quotes from a talk by Joseph B Wirthlin, which can be found in the May ensign 1990.

I made the book and evaluated my project:
'I completed the project on the day I wanted, I read talks and the strength of youth booklet. I then made my booklet. Through this project I have been able to realise how important it is for me to have integrity in my daily life, because I want to be worthy to one day enter the temple. I hope that through the book I made I will always be able to remember this.'


Looking back at what I made it is still nice to look and remember how important it is for us as latter day saint young women to have integrity. To me this means always doing what's right, even when it's not the most popular thing to do and requires courage. I am glad I was a keen new young woman when I did this project because it is very nice to look back at what I made and always remember the value of integrity.

A link to this page has also been added to the Personal Progress Page for future reference

YW camp Arizona style

Today we have a post from a guest Young Women leader all the way from Tucson Arizona. I thought it would be fun to see what YW camp is like on the other side of the Atlantic. Sister Pistol has just returned from their trip and shares here what they got up to ......

Endure To The End, Sister Pistol

OH! Where oh WHERE should I begin??!!  So many wonderful things occurred whilst I was away from you, my dearest friends.
I feel new.

I'll begin with a conversation I intruded upon.  Eves dropping has it's benefits...

"I still haven't had my first kiss," said a lovely, athletic (but not too athletic) 17 year old girl.

"Don't worry about it.  It's so not worth it," said another beautiful 17 year old.

I was perplexed.  Teenage girls generally don't hold conversations to this effect.

"Not worth it?" I asked.  "How so?"

"She shouldn't waste her first kiss on just ANYBODY.  I kissed some guy once and I wasted my kiss.  I don't even LIKE that guy anymore."

I was dumbfounded.  The gorgeous almost-18-year-old had "kissed some guy ONCE."

I thought of my own first kiss...  I was fourteen. A mere child playing with sparks of Love.  One never knows when a spark might result in a raging wild fire.  Dangerous, now I am wise enough to see.
(In the above pic I am on the far right with a gray bandanna fastened securely to my noggin.  It is my own daughter hamming it up front and centre...I have no idea where she learned such garish behaviour... ;) .

I spent the week with young women of magnificent calibre.  I was meant to teach and lead in some way.  I can assure you, I was the individual led and taught.

The girls I fed and served all week are precisely the type of woman one wishes to become one day.  They are intelligent, well-read, witty, athletic, leaders among their peers, well-liked by children and adults both.  They are spiritual giants in multi-colored Vans and lime green nail polish.

Below is my luxuriant kitchen... Soooo much better than a smoky camp fire, in my estimation!  I was happy here.

I have discovered I find great satisfaction in feeding the hungry.  Cooking tasty foods and satiating empty bellies is my way of saying, "I Love Ya,  Ya big Ol' Goof!"  I felt like a hero three times a day.

They called me Sister Pistol, those girls did. 

Mormons call one another Sister or Brother [Insert Last Name Here].  I've never been comfortable being called Sister Pistol until this week.  I had no choice.  They said it so often I heard Sister Pistol in my sleep.

"Sister Pistol, what are we having for lunch?"

"Sister Pistol, what's on the menu for dinner?"

"I think Sister Pistol would like to drink the yucky purified lake water..."

(Do you SEE the yellow liquid I hold in a jug?  That is the liquid I consumed.  I HAD to do it... Peer pressure, you know...  I couldn't let them think I was a PRISS, now could I?)

They continued the Sister Pistols.

"It's Sister Pistol's turn!"

Sister Pistol scraped the flesh off her knees engaging in this particular Trust Building Activity.  Trust Building, indeed!  Can you imagine the damage incurred to my person had my faithful young friends lost grip of the poles?  I discovered I am far braver than I had previously imagined. 

"Sister Pistol, would you run around in circles while holding this rope so we can swing high in the air at your expense?"

Why certainly.  I'd be happy to.  Please be sure to kick my backside in the process...

If you insist, Sister Pistol.  We only wish to please.

Well, then by all means.  Give my bum a good hard boot as I fly through the air against my will, as the sum of your weight is much heavier than the sum of mine...

One of the littlest girls scraped the flesh off of her left shin from knee to ankle while enjoying this death swing. Another young lass was kicked so hard she went flying into a nearby boulder and bruised the entire left side of her torso.  We were lucky to get out alive.

The highlight of the week was an eleven mile walk/hike.  We joined forces with two other groups of young women and leaders.  60 girls in all participated.

I took an Exederin and led my girls in song and dance for much of the walk.  Many of the girls sustained various injuries ranging from blisters, bruises, headaches, cuts and scrapes to a busted-up nose.

My own daughter, Serena, walked directly into a tree branch while trying to avoid stepping on a cow pie.  I had stepped on one and gave it no second thought.  She watched her feet and BLAM.  A tree to the face.  It jumped at her from out of nowhere! Blood gushed from her nose like... like blood gushing from a busted up nose...

Serena cried and cried.  I welled with pride when I discovered the reason for her tears was... (I'll let her tell you in her own words...)

"I want to keep walking!! I don't care if my nose is bleeding!  I WANT TO KEEP WALKING WAHHH HAAAA!"

We all walked the eleven miles.  Along the way we laughed and told stories.  We sang and sweated like smelly little pigs.  We complained and sighed and smiled.  Some cried.

At long last we saw our destination in the distance.  A beacon in the night. 

A Holy edifice dedicated as The House of The Lord.

Our Temple.

I was asked to speak a few words to the girls.

I told them that I was impressed with their success at reaching the temple despite their various injuries.  I pointed out specifically the girls who had walked after being knocked down and bruised.  I reminded them my own daughter had run into a tree. :)

You all endured faithful until you reached your goal.  You endured to the end.  I am so proud of all of you.

As you go through life there will be many times you will be knocked down.  You will certainly walk into trees.  These things will hurt.  But you have proven today you have what it takes to continue faithful.

You have what it takes to Endure To the End.  To always follow your heart and do what is right.

When you do what is right you WILL be happy.  

When you do what is wrong you WILL be sad.

It's that simple.

We never know what trials we will have to face in life. Often painful situations are thrown our way that we never could have foreseen in our wildest dreams.

We are here on this earth to prove ourselves worthy to return to our Heavenly Home.  Our bodies house spirits of divine worth.  We will be tested and tried throughout our lives.  

Our trials make us strong if we endure them well.

Continue faithful and Endure To The End.   

This post is contributed by regular fun and humorous LDS blogger
Crystal's A Pistol