Girls' Camp, July 2009
We got a new bishop a couple weeks ago and I went to meet with him a couple weeks ago. I've applied to be an EFY counselor this summer and still have not heard back from them. They contact your bishop as a reference, and I figured that it might be good for the poor guy to actually know who I am if they called him up.
My bishop is amazing.
He was paralyzed by a shot to his spine when he was 14 and is in a wheelchair. Being in a wheelchair led him to wheelchair sports and he was on the national wheelchair cycling team in the paralympics! He was also a scoutmaster for many years and has great insights from that experience.
Meeting with him was different than any of my previous appointments with bishops. Instead of letting me lead the discussion, he took control from the beginning of it. It took me by surprise at first, but it turned out to be a great experience. He started asking me questions about my idea of being an EFY counselor. Why do I want to be an EFY counselor? How will I relate to the young men in my group? Am I a ready for these kids to put me on a pedestal as an example of virtue and chastity?
I wasn't very prepared because I hadn't thought about these things since my interview before.
I told him about my experience last summer as a
tent mom at Young Women's camp. My goal was to show my girls the love of Christ since I did not know if they had experienced that love in their lives before (and I discovered that many of them came from harsh backgrounds where they indeed had not felt the love of Christ). That decision transformed me into a better leader and opened the hearts of these sweet girls. I think they served me more than I was able to serve them.
At this point in the conversation the bishop grew very quiet. He asked, "so, do you think that giving your youth the Love of Christ is the single most important thing you can do for them as a counselor?"
I reflected for a few seconds and then said, "Yes. It is."
"I was going to say unconditional love, but that is the love of Christ. In the world there is so much conditional love, and I believe that unconditional love can transform today's youth. I now know everything I need to know."