We went to conference both Saturday and Sunday for a total of three sessions at the conference center in town. Of couse, the messages were uplifting and informative, but the experience of being in that large of a room with that many people was absolutely amazing. The conference center seats almost 22000 people, so I think that the thing I enjoyed most was the times that weall sang a hymn together at the same time. 22000 voices singing in an enclosed speech sounds good, but it's the 22000 voices singing in consort that almost burrows into your being.
Another phenomenon about conference that was interesting was that throughout the area where we were headed into the center, there were lots of people either holding signs, handing out pamphlets, or preacing, mostly against the Mormon religion. I'm not sure what they expected to accomplish in doing this, it's my opinion that it would be hard to convert someone or drive someone away from a church by yelling at them), but it happened. It is the right of everyone in this country to express their views, and I respect their religion, but I wish that people could respect the path that I have chosen. I know one thing, I sure wouldn't feel like protesting in the driving rain for ten hours like I know some did. The vocal street preachers talked straight from when we got there at 9 in the morning until nine or ten when we left. In most cases, there were groups of young people lining the sidewalks relatively close to the protesters, and it was very striking how the message of hate and contention was so different than the hymns of praise. There were other performers as well; one guy even played bagpipes both days near the huge reflecting pool near the temple. Me being a Celtic music guy, I liked that as well.
After the first session of conference on Saturday, it was neat because I got to meet some of the missionaries that taught me. They haven't changed much, but it was odd to meet them with they weren't on their missions, odd but cool.
I will have more to say when I get back, but I need to start getting packed so that I will be ready to leave for the airport at like 4:30 tomorrow morning. I'm also going to visit my Aunt Loraine, who lives near Salt Lake, today. I'm looking forward to seeing her again, and also looking forward to seeing my cousin Roxanne and her family (I've never met them I don't think). So I probably should go and make sure I'm packed.
And before I go, not to mention her as a footnote, but I've started on the perilous process of dating someone now. Holly wanted to know why I hadn't mentioned her yet on these pages, and so I'm mentioning her now. Yes, it's true; not that it's important, but I even made it Facebook official today (Sad that we must make relationships facebook official when they happen eh? I could rant about that but I'll save it for later times when there is white space in life that I must fill). I don't know if it's just me (I'm not sure If I'm crazy or not because I have this view), but I don't like to write about dating or my relationship publicly, mostly because in doing this, you and your girlfriend get put even further under the microscope. I'm very happy, she's one of the coolest people I know, and we're moving forward. I just don't think I'll write that much about the gorey details for it be be seen by all on the internet. For those, you'll have to be eith me, and in very limited cases, my friends, to hear more. You wouldn't want to read it anyway, trust me, you would be disappointed in my lack of ability to use sap within my journal entries :).
More when I have a chance to write.