Nothing like a YSA conference to get you back on track and give a little perspective to your life.
To tell the truth I was a bit rebelious at the beginning. Maybe I should start at the beginning....
A few months ago my ward started talking about a big YSA (Young Single Adults) conference and to me it looked like EFY(Especially for Youth) for single adults. I wasn't sure I could go because I have work and part of the weeklong event happened on the weekdays. We worked it out that I could at least go on the weekend. I was still unsure if I really wanted to go though. But with the right amount of pressure (and if the activity is a good one) you can make me do anything. I can't really say no.
When the friday before the Conference hit, I didn't feel like I wanted to go at all. My bad mood toward it got worse when I arrived and discovered that this conference was just like EFY. Don't get me wrong, I loved EFY. I loved attending it and then being a counselor and everything. I was not happy though, because I had the feeling like I had digressed, EFY was for strengthening the YOUTH and encouraging them to be stronger in the gospel. I felt like I was a bit too old for these types of activities. This conference to me felt like it went against everything I was trying to do to be treated like an adult. That and I also felt like a burden to my group because I couldn't understand anything that was going on around me and that everyone was forced to cater to me. I don't like depending on people nor do I like putting people in positions where they feel uncomfortable.
So going into the conference I wasn't in the greatest mindsets. Thankfully that changed as I let my pride go and allowed myself to learn.
Anyways when I first got there it didn't help that I had registration problems and my bad mood got worse. (I am never going to trust anything to my friend who helped me sign up, that was the twentieth time he has screwed up with me and I'm losing patience.) We were given new YSA shirts and so I really felt like I was at EFY.
Then we had some free time to change and clean-up, the whole conference was very planned out and had a pretty strict schedule, but they did give us a lot of time to relax between events. That evening we had a FHE (family home evening) type activity. Well, it was more like getting to know yourself activity where we were given a color brain test and we talked about the different types of personalities we were. We discussed our strengths with others that were strongest in the personality types as well. We even made a poster to represent ourselves which was great because I was able to do some drawing. At least images are easy to communicate even if I couldn't do it through language.
Actually most of my group spoke english fairly well and there were two guys there who spoke fluently. They were both going to college in the states and were just home for summer vacation. Very helpful because they were the ones translating for me most of the time. I was talking to one of them after the FHE activity and we were talking about labeling ourselves. He said something profound about cautioning that we shouldn't allow ourselves to focus on the labels because that limits us against other characteristics we can develop. I was stunned, not only did something deep come from a korean, not many have the language capability, but this is a guy and up till this point my opinion of guys have dwindled (more about this later).
We had a small evening devotional which was all in Korean but by that time I was used to zoning out whenever Korean is spoken without a translator, occasionally the group remembered I was there and translated for me but for the most part I was overlooked. I really didn't mind that much though and I got used to it after a while.
The next day was Sunday and that was the day that I was leaving. Because of my imminent departure the guy who was the most fluent in english kinda took me under his wing and started translating everything for me. ( Even the prayers ). Consequently, I was able to talk with him more than any of the other guys and he impressed me. Nobody get excited, I think the likelihood of us getting together is unlikely. What he did do though is renew my faith in the male gender. There are guys out there that are intelligent and funny and have the capability to uplift rather than tear down. I had forgotten how amazing some guys can be. There just not that many out there that have reached this level of respectability. Meeting one of these few elites though made me realize something about myself, I don't deserve a guy like that. I'm a jerk, I was a jerk to Han (my translator friend) and thinking back at the few months I've been here, I realize that I've become more like a jerk or a mean spiteful bitter person. So now I have a new goal in sight, I am going to become less of a jerk. Can't become totally not a jerk because then people wont recognize me but if I can become less of a jerk then maybe people will be able to stand my presence :) Therefore Guys are amazing and I'm a jerk. Here is an illustration to help visualize this concept (apologies to those who have already seen this:)
I went back to Masan after lunch and spent the rest of the day sleeping. (we had early mornings and late nights that was totally not like my normal schedule). The trip home was funny though cause, again everyone was speaking Korean so I pulled out my book and started reading. One of the parts of the book was really funny so I started laughing. The car went silent and when I looked up everyone was looking at me strange. I merely smiled and showed them I was just reading. The rest of the trip I was ignored.
Well that was long, you all get a gold star for getting through all of this post. Till next week :)