The world is your oyster!: Conference Weekend!        

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My name is Heather.

I am 22 years old.

I am an East Coast girl
who also loves Utah.

I love my life. How could I not?

The world is my oyster :)
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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Conference Weekend!

Yesterday was a day of highs and lows.

It started out with me being happy out of my head that it was Friday. This week has been so stressful and I was just glad that it was almost over. I had my first stats test, two quizzes in D&C, a Marriage and Family project, and a test in ASL. All week, I was either studying or stressing, or both. By Thursday I was totally drained, and after classes, I went home and fell asleep until about 12 when I woke up, took a shower, and went to bed.

Probably the highlight of my Friday day was having lunch with Andrea and Kierea. We all sent out missionaries who were really good friends with each other within the last 5 months, and now we like to have lunches or get ice cream together. I love these girls! We sat and chatted for about 2 hours, about everything. Talking to people who are in the same situation as me is so uplifting and pleasant! I'm so lucky to be friends with these girls :) This was definitely a high point of my day.

Yesterday was another home game, against the Utah State Aggies, which we obviously won, 35-17. Although we left early, I am going to call this a high point because of where we were sitting. Portal RR, section 136, row 36. Yep....the veryy. topp. row. I don't know if anyone's ever seen the deleted scenes of the Pink Panther with Steve Martin, but in one of them, he and his partner are getting on the plane and finding their seats. His partner was nice seats towards the front of the plane. He finds his seat quickly and easily. Steve Martin, on the other hand, is led by a stewardess to the very back of the plane. They go through door after door, past countless seats, finally ending up at a wooden chair that is tied precariously to the wall. By the time that the food he ordered arrives, it is cold and molding. And that is Steve Martin's seat. The point of this story is, as we were walking up the thousands of steps it took to get to our nosebleed seats, I felt like Steve Martin walking to the back of the plane. From our seats it was difficult to tell what was going on EVER, so we mostly just took pictures and chatted. The view did start growing on me, though, because you could see the whole field, and there was no one behind you. We ended up leaving early, just because we were sure that the Cougars would win and being up that high wasn't super-exciting.

Kelly, Winnie, Christine and I ended up in my apartment, watching The Office, which we all missed this week. We had not even gotten through five minutes of it when, suddenly, we heard music coming from outside! There was an impromptu dance party happening in the parking lot. Someone with a really good sound system in their car and a disco light was the host, and we were the happy invitees. We ran down the stairs and started dancing with them. This was a high anddd a low, because it was a high point of the night, and because we got low to all the songs! (haha.) It was so much fun and it totally turned my night upside down. The boys were from Glenwood so maybe we'll never see them or hang out with them again, but maybeee they will come back for another dance party! Crystal had two friends, Brian and Bruno, who were her friends since middle or high school, who were there too. Brian is this big Hispanic guy who I immediately felt comfortable with. I just wanted him to be my friend and take care of me. He and Bruno were both so nice and pleasant. At the dance party, Brian became even more my favorite person when he flipped me over his arm so fast that I thought my head would fall off. I felt like a little kid but I kept wanting him to do it again.

The night ended with the girls once again gathered on the couch in my apartment, watching The Office and Gossip Girl.

This morning I realized, as I rolled out of bed and shuffled into the living room, that I love conference weekend. I love having the ability to watch it from my apartment, in whatever state I am in. Kelly came over and we made raspberry and chocolate chip Bisquick pancakes during the first session.

I can remember when I was little and we had to go to the stake center to watch conference. The week before General Conference, we spent time at Family Home Evening updating our conference notebooks with pictures of the prophets and apostles, inspiring quotes, biographies, articles from the Friend and New Era, conference bingo boards, and blank paper for drawing or taking notes. We had to go at least an hour early to get a good seat. It wasn't so bad because I grew up on the East Coast, where there is a two-hour time difference and the first session didn't start until 12. Besides, all my friends would be there, and in between Saturday sessions, we would play outside, climbing in the trees and splashing in the little creek. Everyone went their separate ways for lunch, and every year, my family got Subway. It was a special treat for us then (now, Kelly and I get Subway almost every day) and it was a tradition we looked forward to every conference. After the afternoon session, we hurried home the minute the last talk ended to get pizza from Pizza Hut and host a pizza party for all the young men in our stake. They would come over, eat pizza, tease us a little, and then leave to attend the Priesthood Session en masse. I loved this tradition, too.

On Sunday, our day started early in the morning when we got up with my mom to make Belgian waffles for the young women in the stake. They came a few hours before the morning session and had all the waffles, whipped cream, syrup, strawberries, blueberries, bacon, and sausage a person could want. We laid out the breakfast on China platters and borrowed chairs to accommodate everyone who came. We would have leftover Belgian waffles for at least a week afterwards. These weren't waffles from a mix, either. My mom made the batter from scratch the night before to give it time to settle properly or whatever. When we made Belgian waffles, we were serious about them.

Usually between sessions on Sunday, there was a potluck in the gym of the stake center. You could count on there being at least one impromptu jeopardy game taking place in the building with people using their notes from the sessions the day before. We would go outside and take family pictures in the trees, all dressed up with our Sunday dresses and our fluffy bangs.

These were the days before conference was available in people's homes, when we had to actually get up and get dressed to listen to the prophet. I distinctly remember the year that most of the people in my stake started watching conference from their own tv's. I'm not sure which year this was, I just remember that we drove into an almost-empty parking lot, scampered into an almost-empty church building, and excitedly claimed the best seats in the house. I remember looking around, waiting for the rows around us to fill up. I remember thinking, "Man! We must be earlier than I thought!" And finally, I remember conference starting and me asking, "Where is everyone?" My parents said that it was Saturday morning, and it had always been the least attended session. That made sense to me. People just couldn't make it this year. The chapel would be full again tomorrow. The next day, there were a few more people, but the chapel was still surprisingly unoccupied.

Every year after this, the numbers dwindled even more. I saw the difference in the church as the potlucks and jeopardy games of the past slowed down and eventually stopped. I even saw the difference in the Belgian Waffle Breakfast, as the young women showed up to our house wearing sweatpants instead of skirts, because after breakfast, they would all be going back to their own homes to watch the sessions. My family stopped going to the stake center, too, when we had the option of going to my Aunt Carol and Uncle Brett's in Pennsylvania. This was so fun for me. We all got comfortable and took notes and snacked as we pleased. We could wear whatever we wanted.

These are two distinctly different settings. But in both of them, I have felt the Spirit. I have felt the love that the prophets and apostles have for me, personally, and for the church as a whole. I have come to know and love them. I used to think that I loved General Conference because that was when I got to play at the Stake Center, see all my friends, and eat delicious food. But I guess that wasn't the case, since all of that changed, and I still love it :)


  1. What fun memories of conference! I love conference weekend! Sleeping, yummy treats, time with family, and listening to the apostles and prophet. It's the best!

  2. This makes me wish there was a conference weekend.. like next week or something.

    My brothers often didn't want to get up, get ready, and go to the stake center on Saturdays when my mom gave them a choice, so it more often than not turned into just the two of us sitting in a row with missionaries and amazingly spiritual Purdue students who were the ward leaders and after the first session, not longer worrying about "the useless cares", we would go to Applebee's. And one session the missionaries picked up on our little Applebee's excursion because it must have been the one time they REALLY splurged. Actually I remember now, the first time was when we brought the Sisters in our ward and paid for them. The next session was when the party started.

    But what I wouldn't give to enjoy the Belgian waffle fest. That might be my favorite food. Maybe. I think it's time to go remind your dad that I know him and that we had a nice conversation once when we were over for dinner hahaa.