World Congress of Families IX - Day 1

I have a new dream. When I grow up, I want to be a professional conference-goer. My job description would consist of getting paid to travel to fun countries, stay in fancy hotels, eat fancy foods, and meet "movers and shakers" (people who make a difference). Unfortunately, I'm not 5 years old anymore and people are starting to insist that my dreams be a little more realistic. So maybe I'll just have to be a mover and shaker myself. Then people might actually pay me to come to their conferences and speak. Maybe.

WCF 9 was a blast. Exhausting, but a blast. I could probably fill an entire blog about the things I learned, but I'd probably get bored of writing and you would get bored of reading, so let's just stick with some highlights.

To truly understand my WCF experience, you must first understand my little secret: I'm an undercover shy person. Truly. Most people think I'm outgoing, but I'm just really good at faking it. Well, I'm really good at faking it when I have a security blanket. My roommates are great at being my security blanket, and I'm with them the majority of the time, so usually we have no problems. But the roommates weren't coming to WCF. In fact, I didn't know a soul that was going. I knew talking to people was a must in order to have a good experience, but I was a pretty nervous that I would regress into my little shy shell and stay there for the week. And then God sent me Staci.

Seriously, God was looking out for me. I had to make a transfer from the FrontRunner to the Trax to get to the hotel. I'm pretty directionally challenged. I knew I was supposed to get on the red Trax, but there were red Trax going both ways. Sigh. I did not anticipate that. I missed the one I was supposed to get on because I was staring at the signs in utter horror that there were 2 different reds - there are definitely enough colors that having 2 reds is completely unnecessary in my book. Finally, I approached Staci and asked her if she had any idea which direction went towards Salt Lake. We began chatting and found that we were both headed to WCF. Miracle! She had missed the train too (divine intervention) so we grabbed the next train together and became instant friends. We ended up sticking together through the whole week, which meant I was able to be my little outgoing self instead of turning in. God is so good. He's always pulling strings to get me the best friends.

The conference officially started on Tuesday, but all the scholarship recipients (did I mention that I got to have this experience for free?) were supposed to arrive Monday. Part of our Monday night festivities included a tour of temple square. We broke into small groups and headed off for a short visit downtown. I think the whole week was worth those 2 hours. Almost immediately Staci and I stepped back into missionary mode as our new Latvian friends, Davids and Matiss, began asking us questions about the Church. Then we met Nathan from Michigan and began showing him around, too. It was so much fun to show them around temple square for their first time. There was also a guy in our group from Mongolia. He was LDS, but had never been to that states and was thrilled to be seeing all the sites for the first time. His enthusiasm renewed my gratitude to have so many temples close by. I AM SO BLESSED. it's looking like the summary of just 1 day is going to take a lot of time...maybe we'll stick to a day by day summary post.


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