Mitch is a lucky duck. He has tons of trips for his Recreation Management major. Most of them involve camping somewhere remote with nothing but a tarp and the clothes on his back, but he still has a blast.
When my teacher presented a fantastic opportunity for our class that involved a day trip to Salt Lake City, UT (about 4 hours from Rexburg), I jumped on it. It was MY turn to go on a little trip while Mitch had Nathan duty all day! Thank heavens his end-of-the-semester schedule lined up well enough for me to go!
(Nathan did have to spend about half an hour at work with Mitch because one of our speakers went over, but when the Governor of Utah is speaking to you, there's nothing you can really do to tell him to hush so your group can get on the road!)
Anyway, the highlights of this trip were:
- A private meeting with Sister Elaine S. Dalton, General Young Women President for our church. She counsels to all the young women, ages 12-18, in our worldwide church. She lives in Salt Lake City with our other church leaders and has nearly daily interactions with our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. It was a privilege to meet with her.
-Private counsel from the governor of Utah all about how we can be better advocates for children and families all over the country, and what we can do to get involved in legislation at any level.
-A meeting with some of the ladies of United Families International, a group that lobbies at the UN for family-friendly policies. They shocked us when they said that 95% of documents presented in front of the UN were harmful to children in some way! Sadly, a lot of funding is offered in exchange of the control of children's and parents' rights.
-A tour of the Utah State Capitol Building, which was stunning!
It was a fantastic opportunity, and we had a great time. Our group was about 20-30 people (I can't remember how many actually ended up coming!), and I got to play with my camera all day! It was awesome.
Here are some pictures I took, and some of my notes from the day.
"My hope is that every woman and every young woman become an articulate advocate. This will help you in every part of your life!" --Elaine S. Dalton
|(Isn't she just so cute and dainty?)|
"The single most pervasive threat to the family is sexual immorality in all of its forms." --Elaine S. Dalton
"A return to virtue could be a return to family." --Elaine S. Dalton
|Sister Dalton and our group, in a room known as the "Elect Lady Room", commemorating all the women who have served in general positions in our church|
"Contention is always wrong, even if you're right!" --Gary R. Herbert, Governor of Utah
|Utah State Capitol Building|
"You are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts." (Meaning you can't just make stuff up)
--Gary R. Herbert
"A well thought-out letter or phone call can make a huge difference at the state level." --Gary R. Herbert
"Every document that is signed by the UN will enter every country, and internationally signed documents can and will override any country's constitutions." --Kelly from United Families International
"The business of politics is about building relationships. The more relationships you have, the more influence you have at any level: local, state, or federal." --Ron Michelo, State Budget Director for the state of Utah
Overall, this was a fantastic trip. Sister Dalton looked right at me and said this:
"This is not a hopeless situation; you will change the world! You need not become discouraged over this."
...that was exactly what me and my flaming amounts of anxiety needed!
Throughout this class (Child and Family Advocacy), we are learning all about public policy and how our society is becoming less and less family-oriented, and trying to dissolve the family unit altogether. This makes me a bit stressed out, and my teacher knows it. I know that in the end, right will prevail.
Just as a note, I am conservative...as if anyone couldn't figure that out. I have an extremely family-oriented perspective of life, and my little family makes me who I am; I don't know what I would do without them!
I will always defend family rights in this country.
On another note, I love that we live in a country where we can all have our own opinions. We get to vote. We get to have so many freedoms that other countries could never dream of. I will never hate anyone because of their opinion. I have been raised with the goal of becoming Christlike. This isn't something I can achieve in this life alone, but I wouldn't be doing my part to get there if I were acting as a bigot towards those who have different opinions than I do. This election year has been stressful on everyone, and we have a long way to go before this presidential election is over! I hate going "all political" on people, and I also hate to see when respect isn't even part of a discussion.
Here are some more pictures I took at our church's Salt Lake City Temple.
(Don't judge, I'm really not very good at taking pictures of things; and it was quite dreary outside that day!)