Monday, July 4, 2016

FSY in Japan

The most unique, June 2016, event for Bob and I, along with about 70 youth from our church district, was to attend the Asia North Area English session of "For the Strength of Youth" in Chiba, Japan.  "FSY" is a week-long youth conference that is directed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in parts of the world where Brigham Young University's EFY (Especially for Youth) is not offered.  Bob was called and set apart to be an Assistant Chairman of the planning committee and I functioned as a Korea Logistics Coordinator. After chaperoning our group onto a series of buses and airplanes and more buses, our youth joined about 170 youth from Japan to participate in a spiritually concentrated social gathering at a camp called Kimikame.  Nestled in the foothills of some absolutely beautiful mountains two-hours from Tokyo, the facilities provided for some amazing experiences.


Along with scripture study, devotionals, classes and firesides; the youth participated in dances, a planetarium show, music programs, variety shows, games, sports and bon-fires with s'mores and more!


Bob and I were invited to teach one of the classes.  We provided some fun object lessons for our youth.
But ultimately, we hope they learned some valuable insights about our need to constantly press forward and progress toward exaltation.

Elder Scott D. Whiting and his sweet wife Jeri, joined us there for a couple of days to mingle with the youth and provide excellent instruction and counsel. 

Our young single adult youth counselors were the best!  They were so full of enthusiasm for life and for the gospel.  What tremendous examples they were and are for our youth.  Three of them were siblings from an LDS performing family from Japan.  Do a google search for "Bless4" and see how talented they are! (or click this link)

It was a very difficult work week for the few of us adult leaders, who were there to clean up after and take care of the 240 youth and youth counselors; but the spiritual conversions that took place in so many of their lives made it all worthwhile.  What a tremendous experience for Bob and I!  We truly formed some wonderful friendships through the process.

And now, back to Korea, where another event that was unique to us this month involved nearly getting trampled by an unusually colorful parade - not a common sight in Korea!

And on a more exciting note, I enjoyed a delicious end-of-season tennis luncheon and celebration.  Our newly formed team, "Tenacity" took second place in the A-league this spring!  But my moment of real fame came a few weeks later when I was able to join in a tennis lesson with Korean professional, Lee Hyung-taik.  He achieved a career-high singles ranking of World No. 36 in August 2007.