Friday, March 6, 2009

Welcome to Young Women!

So, this year we have just two girls who are turning 12.  One last month, and one this month.  And, actually, none of my current beehives leave until September!  Our poor Mia Maid counselor though - she loses both of her Mia Maids before the summer ends.  She'll have nobody for a couple of months, while I'll have 7 girls!  But I digress.

I am really excited for getting these new Beehives excited about Young Women and Personal Progress and all that.  So, my advisor (have I mentioned how much I love my advisor?  She's marvelous!) and I decided to visit both of them and their parents in their home to explain everything and bring them a "Welcome to Young Women" gift bag with everything they'll need.  They're pretty cute, if I do say so myself.  And I do!  (Plus both of these girls are the oldest girls in their families, so this is all new to all of them.)

In addition, we also gave them a cute journal that we had leftover from New Beginnings last year.  Inside the bag was a True to the Faith book, For the Strength of Youth, a Personal Progress book and journal.  And the wallet versions of For the Strength of Youth book and the Young Women theme.  We also included President Hinckley's To the Parents and Leaders of Youth booklet, and the user's guide for the video of the same title.  We didn't include the video, but it does list all of the talks on the video, so we thought it was a good resource.  We also included a tiara.  (Because every girl needs a tiara, but more about that in a minute.)

We sat down and explained the Personal Progress program and told the new Beehive about some of the projects the girls have done and what we've done as a class - like the FHE in a Jar kits, then teaching FHE and memorizing The Family - A Proclamation the the World (these were two separate activities).  We explained to the parents that we wanted them to know everything that we are doing in Young Women so they can support and help their daughter to make and keep goals.  We told them about mutual - when and where we meet and what kinds of activities we do.  We discovered that the Bishop already gave our new Beehive a For Strength of Youth book when he interviewed her, which worked out perfectly because it is very important for parents to have their own copy, so we designated that one for the parents.

Now for the very special tiara.  Acutally, this whole thing kind of grew around this.  I saw them on clearance at Claire's for only $5.  Although, I've seen some at Wal-Mart on the wedding aisle near the crafts for not much more than that.  So, I saw the tiaras and bought them on the spot.  I'm sure so many feel the same as me, that what you teach and what you feel is important for the girls to know revolves so much around the experiences you had as a teenager and preteen.  Well, that and what the spirit inspires you to teach and instill in these girls.  :)  Well, for me, a very important moment in my life and one that will always hold a very special place in my heart is when I went through the Temple to receive my own endowments.  In fact, every time I speak about it I get teary-eyed and even just thinking about it and writing about it, I get a little choked up.  Anyway, this particular experience is so special to me not because it changed my life, but because it was then that it was confirmed to me that I actually was a princess!  I had always been told in Young Women and at EFY and other experiences in my youth that I was a princess because Heavenly Father was literally my father and that I could grow up to be like Him (albeit in Eternity).  And I always believed it, but when I went through the Temple that first time, I suddenly knew it.  It didn't change who I was, because I was already a good person who had been preparing herself for the Temple her entire life, it changed the way I thought about myself.  And that wasn't even such a dramatic change - not a 180 or anything like it.  I always had self-confidence (sometimes more than I needed!), in fact, I think it humbled me more than anything.  I am mean, who was I to be endowed with such beautiful potential?  

Anyway, in fewer words and hopefully in a way for a newly 12 year old girl to apply, I tried to convey all those feelings.  This year, and really this new General Young Women Presidency, want so much to focus on getting these girls worthy to go the Temple and no goal could be closer to my heart than this.  So, I hope that by really helping the girls to understand that they truly are princesses and what it means to act and treat others that way will help them to live better lives and be worthy for Temple attendance, whether it be baptisms for the dead or eventually their own endowments, sealings and other work for the dead.  And all this is what that tiara represents.

So, sorry about the long personal experience, but truly, I love these girls and love the job I have been given to do with them - and I love the Temple.  And I love tiaras!