Our first assignment was to socialize and interact with the YSA; second, gain their respect; third, teach classes effectively, fourth, become their friends; fifth, earn their trust; sixth, be there for them helping with whatever needs they might have. We feel we’re well on our way to achieving these goals in the short five weeks we’ve been here.
One of the most rewarding tasks is to deal with the kids as they come to us with questions and concerns. The topics vary greatly from Institute class materials, Church doctrine and policies, missionary work, callings and stewardships, and Church history to more pressing subjects dealing with personal concerns including work and school problems, health issues (both physical and emotional), and all types of relational situations, e.g. dysfunctional families, low self-esteem and lack of confidence, personality flaws, overcoming temptations, and the list goes on.
We’ve already had the challenges and opportunities to connect with the YSA and to do some one-on-one counseling/mentoring.
The kids are great as is our mission. (Kids? In addition to the 18-30 crowd, we have a few that are even older. We have about seventy-five that attend some type of YSA functions weekly—some coming to one, some to all. Of course, we also have that many less active ones.) Some are in one of the nearby colleges, some from the military bases in the area, many still living at home, and several who are “on their own.”
Again, we love the young people and we love our mission.