Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Miracle of Women’s Conference

I had the chance of a lifetime a couple of weeks ago. A woman who lives near by was asked to lead a “Hospitality Team” at BYU’s Women’s Conference and I got to be part of that team. I was able to volunteer the first day of the conference and then I got to go the second day for free.

Around 20,000 women descended on BYU on Thursday April 30th and Friday May 1st.

Our team was in charge of a room that seated 750 people. It was our job to make sure that everything to do with that room ran smoothly. I was in charge of the “Bathroom Passes” and boy could I tell you stories. Sometimes Women are sneaky, which is exactly why grown women need “Bathroom Passes”. We didn’t think that the topic of the speakers in our room would be very popular. But I ran out of those bathroom passes pretty quickly during the 2nd and 3rd classes. I was amazed at how some women understood immediately that they would need to wait, and wait in line no less, for someone to come back from the bathroom (or where ever they had chosen to go), and I felt even more amazement that there were women who would walk right past the line and truly expect that I would either give them the next pass or allow them to leave and come back without one. I know it is not a huge thing, but really, what makes people believe that they don’t need to follow the rules. I also found it interesting that people who don’t want to follow rules try their best to convince everyone involved that the rules are wrong or just plain dumb. Thank you to all the people in the world, who follow the rules, and help keep the order, even when they think the rules are dumb!!!! I hope that I would have been the type of person who waited in line. But enough about bathroom passes. I had a wonderful time at the conference, on both days. Being part of the Hospitality team the first day gave me a real appreciation of the teams that kept the conference running the next day when I got to attend the classes I had chosen. Or did the classes choose me?

At the beginning and end of each day there was a large group meeting with all 20,000+ of the Conference Attendee’s. I loved all three of those meetings that I was able to attend, but I am not going to tell you much about them. I will tell you about the 3 classes I attended during the middle of the day.

The first class I chose to attend was called “A college degree, is it too late for me?” I really thought that I would be the only person attending this class, I even felt a little scared to attend it (as if the three people who were speaking would look at me, their only attendee and say “You, yes, you Kate, it is too late for you!). Well they didn’t, and I wasn’t the only one there, in fact around 200 or more women were there. I cried a little because one of the speakers was someone who could have been me, 25 years older, but me. Like me, She had been to two different State Universities, and like me She had studied Music both times. And even more like me, she left school both times without finishing. I cried because it was like God picked her to show me that I could go back to school, like her. She is currently a full time student studying Marriage and Family Therapy, which oddly enough I have been interested in studying (the counseling field is very interesting to me).

As I approached the building that held the second class I wanted to attend “Becoming Financially Savvy” I saw a line that wound around the building and through a very very very large courtyard. I was scared. But then I discovered that it was for a completely different class (“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;…Lean not unto Thine own understanding.” I guess a lot of people felt like that would be good for them to hear about, not me, I wanted to be financially savvy!) So I found my line and saw a Friend that I hadn’t seen in 2 years or more, I yelled her name and she remembered me and gave me a hug, once inside I forced my way on to her row and met her Mother and Grandmother. I don’t think I cried during this class, if I did it was because we were told that if we saved $1045 per month and were able to get a 7% return on it (the average for money invested on the stock market over 25 years) after 25 years we would have a million dollars, which is a good start for a retirement savings…I don’t know about you, but we don’t have $1045 to spare each month. $200 a month is actually our goal, if you include 401k contributions I think we do a bit better than $200, but still it is nowhere near $1045, so that made me want to cry, I am pretty sure that I am not the only one who felt that way. All in all it was an amazingly good class (and I wondered if I should go back to school to study Accounting). I learned that Ken and I have a good start on a family budget, and if we continue on the budget path we have started, we will be fine.

So as we were in the second class, I discovered that my Friend and her family were planning on attending the same 3rd class that I had been planning on going to. “The Word of Wisdom is for our day” was actually the first class that caught my attention and I had requested to volunteer the first day of the Conference so that I could go to this class. I once again felt like God had intervened in my day and given me a friend (really more than one because her Mom is really amazingly fun to talk too, even though she couldn’t believe that her daughter and I were too poor to save $1045 per month). So I attached myself to my friend and her family and we learned more about the Word of Wisdom. I was glad I attended this class, because they talked about the same things that I had read about in “Eat to Live” and so I felt like my decision to change the way my family eats was not such a crazy decision after all. One tidbit from that class- Meat consumption, a serving of meat should really be no more than 2 ½ oz. Dr Fuhrman had said 2 oz per day or no more than 12 oz per week, pretty darn close. I was also able to tell my surrogate family about the Food Co-Op and hopefully that will help them as much as I hope it will help me.

So that was my day, it was amazing, I felt so good as I drove home, and I still feel good now just thinking about it. For those of you who made it all the way through this post, Good Job! Do you want to go to Women’s Conference next year? I do, and if I don’t have a nursing baby I plan on going, so Sisters, Friends, Romans, Countryman, Do you want to go with me? Out of Towners, I hope to have beds for at least 4 visitors by then and I have plenty of floor space if you like to sleep on the floor. Does anyone want to go with me? We could wear matching shirts!!!


Valerie said...

I love women's conference, but missed it this year so I'm online searching for notes. Thanks for posting yours so a stranger like me can learn!

Kristen said...

I'm a rule follower myself. I love how you started the post with the bathroom setting. =o)

Can't wait to see you soon!

angee said...

I love Women's Conference, too, and am glad you got to go. I've never volunteered though. That's something I should consider doing in the future.

Thanx for your notes. It was great to hear a bit about some of the classes that I didn't attend.