Tuesday, June 30, 2015

7 Ways to Prepare Yourself for EFY

efy: an acronym for Especially For Youth. Words cannot fully begin to explain how amazing EFY is. In order to have the full effect, you would have to have gone before to understand. It is seriously one of the best things I have ever done, and it is a highlight of my summer. It is basically a week-long "camp", except there is no actual camping. Instead, about 500-600 LDS (Mormon) youth from across the country come and stay on a college campus during the summer. A few of the things that EFY wants people to accomplish are learning more about the gospel, meeting new friends, and overall just having a really fun time.

This summer is going to be my second time attending EFY. Last summer, I attended the 2nd session in San Antonio, Texas. I was a scared (although I tried not to show it), awkward 14-year-old who had no idea what to expect. Thankfully, however, my first year I had a roommate I actually knew! We had requested to be roommates together, and she was a major influence in my wonderful experience there. It was seriously one of the most spiritual, fun, amazing weeks of my life. No joke, I learned so much. However, thinking back, I think it could have been better if I had been more prepared. Keep reading if you're going to attend EFY, too. I'm going to focus on the things that YOU can change about your EFY experience. No, you have no control over what counselor you get, or who is in your company. But you do control some things.

1. Be nice to everyone, and be ready to make friends. It is hands-down one of the easiest ways to make friends, and people definitely notice. I personally like being around people that are nice, and I can bet that a whole lot of other people do, too. It is so weird, but everyone at EFY is just amazing to be around. It is actually pretty refreshing. We all share the same standards, so you don't have to be scared of someone ridiculing you for your beliefs. There are SO many people at EFY, too. Most of them don't know anyone in their company, so we are all basically in the same boat.

2. If you end up having a C.O.W. (who am I kidding, when), don't let that stop you from making other friends. For those of you who aren't familiar with EFY lingo, a C.O.W. stands for Crush Of (the) Week. It is almost inevitable that you will have one. There are a ton of amazing people at EFY who are righteous, friendly, talented, etc. However, I knew a girl last year who had a C.O.W. who she was desperately trying to catch the attention of all week. If he was doing something during free time, she was there. Everywhere. It eventually got to the point where she hadn't really made any other friends, nor had she hung out with a whole lot of other people.

3. Sacrifice some free time to be in the Musical Program! I can easily say it is one of the best things to participate in. It enhanced my experience 10 fold. Something about sharing music with others that really touches the heart...the spirit just really hits you. I know it might be tempting to go hang out with other people, but I think it is worth consideration at least. You don't even have to attend all the practices. Last year I got away with just going on the last day. Oh, AND you get to skip in the lunch line. And who doesn't like getting food first?

4. Be prepared spiritually. I'll be honest with you, last year around this same time I wasn't that good at reading my scriptures everyday, and sometimes I found Sunday School boring. Part of me thought that EFY was going to be like Sunday School except longer. The same awkward silence when the teacher asks a question and no one responds. I was so wrong, though. The teachers there let the spirit speak through them, and the teachers have such a creative, new way to look at principles. I always took a lot of notes.

5. If you feel it is right, bear your testimony on Thursday. There is a reason why the counselors at EFY call Thursday "Pay-Day." One of the reasons has to do with hearing the youth in their company bear their testimony on how EFY has strengthened them. Also, as a girl, I think it's pretty stinkin' cute when a guy has the courage to go up there and truly admit his feelings. Especially his righteous feelings. Even if you don't think there is anything you can say that "stands out" or whatever, I can GUARANTEE to you that out of all the people in that room, someone will find something in your testimony that speaks to them. Just be sincere.

6. Participate. Bring your manual, don't leave it on your bed. Open your scriptures. Take notes. Those teachers say a lot of stuff. A lot of GOOD stuff, too. Participating will help your testimony grow, too. It happened to me last year. I'm looking forward to it happening again.

7. Put God first. God has a plan for you at EFY, even if you don't think He does. I was on the EFY website and I came across a really great video, and there is a really good concept in there. Click here for the video. Basically, when we put God first, we get the "2-for-1" deal. However, if we don't put Him first, we don't get the deal and only get the thing we are focusing on. It's as simple as that. So if we put Him first in both our attitude and mind, and go into EFY wanting to learn what it is He wants us to learn, and serve those He wants us to serve, He will bless us and try to fulfill our desires and wants. He knows what we want, whether it be to meet cute boys (or girls), make a new best friend, or just have a really great time. When we only think of ourselves, we may get what we want, but not the 2-for-1 deal.

Be ready to escape the confinement of your comfort zone a bit, just to have some fun. 

Pray for your company, your counselors, your teachers. Read your scriptures and pray that you will be ready to receive revelation and blessings that can come at EFY. 

SMILE! A smile is one of the greatest accessories. It brightens up a face, and is really attractive on anyone. 

Expect to have a great time, and you will :) 

(Sorry for the long post, props to you if you actually read it all.)

Don't be like this counselor I caught sleeping on the job. On a ping pong table. 

3 comments :

  1. Thank you so much for posting this! As someone who is going to efy for the first time this year, this post has really answered a lot of my questions and given me an insight to what efy is really going to be like! This has given me a new look on what to expect and made me want to do some of the stuff you talked about! I am glad that there is someone like you posting stuff about efy that is actually useful and is helpful! Keep posting great stuff! You are awesome!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for reading it! I'm so glad you found it helpful. EFY really is an amazing experience :)

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  2. Great advice thanks love it!

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