After nine months of planning and reading the Book of Mormon, the Kilungu/Kilili Youth Conference was held August 22-25th at a school and a neighboring conference center at Salton Hummad, a small town/village off Mombasa Road.One hundred and ninety two youth and leaders attended.The theme chosen by the Youth Council last December was “A Light to the World”.
Bruce and I spent Monday and Tuesday gathering supplies and last minute preparations for Youth Conference.I finished the Four branch flags for the Book of Mormon Challenge, at mid-night Tuesday and we were at Salton Hummad the next day by 10:00.One branch had been there since 9:00, another bus load came about 11:00 and because one bus picked up 3 hours late, the last group from Kilili came in at 3:00.It started off slow but after a soda and loaf of bread each, they all were ready for games, scripture chase, and Book of Mormon (teams) quiz.We left at 6:30 for Nairobi to pick up a fun missionary couple from Tanzania, the Rydalch’s .They kindly agreed to teach dancing at Youth Conference.Thursday morning we arrived early and heard funny reviews of the evening; the youth had stayed up and played and visited all night.Some took showers at 3:00 A.M. and laid down for a 2 hour sleep.The leaders were flustered but I just laughed because that is just what would have happened at home.Everyone was up by 5:30 to shower and a walk around the area. After breakfast of coco and bread activities began with scripture study, games until one o’clock, then they returned to the cafeteria/building for lunch (suma wiki/ Kale chopped finely and steamed and eaten with ugali/ corn meal and water cooked to an almost solid state).Then the afternoon fun began.There were four groups with fifty in each and they rotated around to four activities. Dancing was the highlight.They just couldn’t get enough.The youth just kept sneaking back in for another round of dancing leaving the group they were to follow.The cooks came in to dance, two people from the school office came in and the youth were dancing outside by the window.It was just hilarious and wonderful.It was really the most funI have had here in Kenya.I was laughing and dancing and they were laughing and dancing with/at me.They especially loved the “Chicken Dance” because it was so easy but “The Macarena” was a close second.After four fun, hot and sweaty sessions, we went back to the rented conference center and divided up into branches.Each branch was given a box full of identical supplies; a roll of masking tape, 15 balloons, 24 Pringel potato chip cans, and 40 paper tubes of different sizes.(By the way it took us 9 months to collect all of these tubes with the help of other missionary couples, we were so glad to get rid of them all).They were instructed to use all of the items and see which branch could build the tallest and sturdy tower. The branches got very competitive; one branch president was going around getting ideas from other branches.It was fun to watch them think and create.The winners may have been a little too prideful, dancing and shouting around but Bruce summarized the activity and compared it with life and the gospel; that we need a good base to grow in the gospel and we need to support each other.We left at six that evening, when the youth headed back to the school for a special supper; stew with meat, and chapattis.
Friday morning the youth were able to pick from 202 scriptures bags made by the Plain City Stake in Ogden.The youth were really happy and very possessive of their choice.Testimonies, skits, group pictures and singing closed the conference at around one in the afternoon.Everyone was happy and very tired, just the way it is in Utah after a fun 3 day youth activity. It was just wonderful and just like home we are relieved to have it over.
Finishing the flag
Youth preparing their banner
Branch members serve and cook for the youth.
Dancing was done in groups of fifty as they rotated around to different activities
The Tower Challenge really got competitive between th branches
The youth were excited to see how many read the Book of Mormon in their branches. They loved their flags.
Scripture Bags made and sent from Plain City Stake Youth They loved the testimonies and pictures in the bags.
Pictures with their scripture bags
We love them all so much and want to share their beautiful faces and spirits. I wish I had a camera that would take a picture of all 195 together. They really are a "Light to the World"