I went back to the conference centre and joined phoenix and the gang for the first workshop, which was once again back in the theatre which meant another session of learning forward in my chair trying to stay awake.
The second workshop was by Bro H, which prompted a lot of keen interest from people as not only was it called “ Dating A Light hearted look at a serious subject” which meant you already knew it was going to be good, but Sis H was also going to be taking the workshop as well.
It started off very well, with all of Bro H’s trademark humour and advice for dating, even if he used one girl he knew as a case “example” for want of a better term. The rest of us might have found it funny but the girl in question looked like she was praying. Not for strength or guidance mind you, more for the ground to promptly open up and swallow her.
Then talk turned to RM’s which are which point I starting I silently asked for us not to go down that route, not then, not that moment. He then challenged all of the Rm’s to ask a girl out on a date that very day. I was just keeping it together with a dose of black humour of “ oh well at least that gets me out of that challenge” when he shared a quote from a prophet. Now I can’t remember the exact quote, or even which prophet except that it was a very early one, but the quote was something along the lines of if someone is not married by the time that their 30, it means their unmarriable because there’s something spiritually not right or their not living up to their gospel commitments. Or words to that effect.
Which in my tied strung out state kinda felt like someone had just smacked me directly in the chest because having your own doubts and fears about what could be causing your failures, well you can cope with that but when you have something like from a general authority....
Well you kinda get the idea.
After the prayer was finished, I ( and there’s really no other word to describe it) bolted from the room feeling my usual iron grip on my emotions coming dangerously close to cracking. I went for a long walk before heading back to my room.
Now I would like to say that I dealt with things in a manly way and kept it together but then I would be lying. I did have a little mini bit of a breakdown.
But then I suddenly felt myself rally, there’s really no other word for it. I know I jokingly refer to having a inner mental voice sometimes, but at that moment I really did feel like I didn’t hear it in so many words, but more that I got a very strong feeling that seemed to speak to me loud and clear and that feeling was simple
“ Enough. .... You have to stop beating yourself up, you have to stop being so hard on yourself and your certainly going to do yourself no good sitting in here. “
Finding my spirits lifted and what felt like a weight from my shoulders, I went back to the conference centre to upload my photos to the person who was making the trailer ( feeling sure he would only use one or two) before heading back to the dining hall to grab dinner ( in fact I was the first one there.)
I left the dining hall to run smack back into Little Em who was hanging around outside enjoying the sunshine because as she was not officially at conference she couldn’t get any food.
So I spent the next 30 odd minutes having a very nice chat with her and catching up. She’s a fantastic listener and despite having over 2000 friends on facebook she always seem to be able to know each one personally, their problems and their successes no matter how long it’s been since she has last seen you.
We then had some more time to wait as the speakers for the evening fireside had been delayed. Once we got near the new start time of the fireside I wandered back over to the conference centre to find phoenix and co playing cards. Which was mildly amusing because it was simply so unexpected.
Now I was expecting to simply be able to come back all nice and quietly with my usual seemingly invisibleness. Which even thinking that shows I still have a whooollllleeeeee load to learn about Phoenix as not only had she clocked my rapid disappearing act she had also deduced exactly what had caused it. Which was a surprise to me as the last person who had been able to read me like that was Kitty back from my uni days. Still she had a few words of comfort which helped to cheer up my still rising spirits (which were recovering far quicker than I thought possible)
The fireside was fantastic as we had two speakers from our local seventy who were both brilliant.
Following the fireside it was time for the testimony meetings. Now I usually never go with intentions of getting up as I don’t like speaking in from of large groups of people as I get massively self conscious in a very short space of time.
And every year for at least the past three years I have found my heart pounding so hard in my chest it felt like it was going to fly right out of my chest. So I got in the queue ready to speak, imaging the great things I could say after six years of conference in manly confident way.
What I managed was less than half a sentence before the spirit completely overwhelmed me and I started to cry. Which strangely I didn’t find as embarrassing as I thought I would do. I can’t remember what I said precisely but I do remember exiting the stage pretty darn quickly when I finished to rejoin phoenix and gang.
Even thought my forte is in writing not speaking I still find it hard to put into words what I felt but it felt like something was lifted from me in that instance, something which I didn’t know I was carrying was finally lifted away and as I didn’t need to carry it any longer, or even that I should have been carrying it to begin with.
As the testimony meeting finished I found myself slightly agreeing with the closing prayer with all my heart and mentally adding a silent word of thanks for all of the friends that six years of convention attendance had bought me.
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