Tonight was Katie’s first young women’s activity and she was so excited. I’m feeling really old though. But she had such a good time and the activity was a stake activity that was really a great way for her to begin young women's. I asked her to share it with me so we have a record of how it touched her and the excitement she had tonight. So below is in her words about tonight.
Dictated by Katie, Typed by Amy:
We got to the church and there were a lot of kids. They gave us instructions about our activity. We were to gather canned goods or unused winter clothing (to be donated to a Midvale homeless shelter), and pennies by the inch for Primary Children’s Hospital. Then we left in cars with our own specific routes. Our leaders separated us into 2 groups 3 and 3. We went street by street and each group took a side of the street. Miriam, Grace and I were in a group. Every time we went to at house they’d invite us in and tell us to come inside cause it’s too cold outside. It was very windy.Then they’d say one second let me go get the stuff and at Jaycee’s house her mom gave us two bags of canned goods and ten coats. We went to a lot of house’s and I recognized all the people from our ward but they all asked who I was. Grace and I were to scared to talk to the people so Miriam always talked cause we told her she was a good talker. Then Grace and I would remind her what to say. My leader didn’t clean out her trunk before we loaded it and she was worried that some clothes she needed to return to the store had been donated. We thought that was kind of funny. There were 9 seats in the car we were in and Grace had to sit in the baby seat, that was funny too. We probably went to 20 to 25 houses and there were 7 groups in our ward each with that many houses. This was also a stake activity so all the wards had a lot of houses.
Then we went to the stake house and there were tons and tons of people there. We had hot chocolate after we unloaded everything into the U-Haul truck. Then we went into the gym and listened to a speaker. When the speaker was little he was homeless.
This is his story: So he started out talking about when he was hitch hiking and it was fall time. They were trying to find a house before the snow came because once the snow came they were pretty much doomed. They were hitchhiking and they would put their thumbs up and everything. A farmer came along and picked them up and fed them and then dropped them off by the smoke stacks and left. Then they started hitch hiking some more and they came to a road that would take them to either Tooele or Grantsville. His parents started walking towards Grantsville. They walked for a long time and lots of cars would pass and his family would wave and hold their thumbs up but no one would pick them up. Then some army trucks drove by and some of the men would shrug their shoulders and some would wave but they kept driving. Then the front truck started to pull over and then they all stopped and then a soldier said that his Sargent wanted to take his family where ever they needed to go. So they all got in separated trucks. They drove across the Utah desert and the Soldiers said they were going to California. When they got to the border the trucks that his mom and sister were in pulled over and the head driver kept telling all the other trucks to keep going. So the speaker said he was about 8 and he thought they were going to leave his mom and sister behind. So he jumped out of the truck and ran back to the trucks with his mom and sister. When he got there he found that that they didn’t want to have any problems crossing the border with women. But they did get the family all across the border. Then they were dropped off somewhere, he didn’t say where. Then he started talking about school. He said his sister never passed 9th grade and he was partially illiterate so he had to get extra help to learn how to read. On the weekends he remembers going with his parents to the dump to find treasures. He got so excited that he invited friends from school to come with him and he learned at that time that, that wasn’t an ok thing to ask other kids to do with him. Up to this point in his life he really hadn’t had social interaction. He also talked about when they received canned goods how he would play with the cans because he didn’t have any toys. He also said he remembered how nice it was to have food to eat and to have warm clothes to protect him. Then he finished his talk.
Then one of the youth from the stake came up and said that was a really good speech. He then talked about all the many blessings we take for granted and they things that homeless people don’t have. Then he said our goal was to get 2,000 items. Then he made us do a drum roll and then told us how much we actually got. We got 8,742 items almost 9,000. It almost made me cry because all those little kids and people will be so happy when they get those clothes and food. The speaker really touched my heart to know that he knew how much the homeless will appreciate what we did for them.
The whole night was really fun and a great beginning to young women's. I felt like I’ve been in this ward my whole life. But I still miss my Idaho ward family too.