Wednesday, 9 April 2008
Utahn Adventures - Conference Style
Last night, at 3am after 14 hours of driving straight (with brief stops) with no cruise, and feeling like the world's first Mormon zombie, I got back from my trip to Utah. I went to SLC for General Conference - which is something that my church does every 6 months. It's a general conference for the entire church world wide - all 13 million of us. They have a Conference Center in SLC where they have about 23000 people seated, but it is broadcast world-wide via sattelite to various meeting-houses across the globe. At the conference, we hear from various General Authorities of the church uplifting and encouraging messages to help us on our journey in life. There are 5 two-hour sessions. 3 on Saturday, and 2 on Sunday. I had never been to a conference in person before, and thought it might be time for me to do so. So, my friend Carrie and I went on our merry way with tickets to the Saturday am session, (which was a solemn assembly because it was the one where we all voted to sustain the new Prophet of the church - Thomas S. Monson) and also the Sunday pm session. It was really really amazing. I really felt uplifted and edified by all of the meetings. Temple square really is amazing as well. The history, and the beauty of the buildings there is amazing. If you ever get a chance, you should visit temple square. They have sisters to guide tours in almost every language. So, Carrie and I stayed with my former mission companion Friday night (again after 14 and a half hours of driving straight - zombie like), then Sunday morning - bright and early, we went to the Conference Center for the first session. What was really really difficult was to find a place to park. It seems to be impossible to find parking in downtown SLC at Conference time. But, we managed in the end. Then, we went into the conference center and found our seats. This is the view from my seat...
Me in front of the organ and looking down to where the General Authorities sit
...people were still filing in for the conference. Conference itself was amazing. To see the transcripts for it, go here. After the 2 sessions, the girls and I took a tour around Temple Square. Yildiz used to be a missionary on Temple Square, so she showed me us a few things that she knew about.
Yildiz and Carrie - my 2 conference week-end buddies
The Temple at Temple Square - it was closed during conference, so, couldn't go in.
Me standing in front of the temple and the historic tabernacle - where Brigham Young himself spoke to the saints and every prophet and apostle that came after him as well.
The inside of the tabernacle and the famous organ of the tabernacle. Where the Mormon Tabernacle Choir still practices and performs.
The new and pretty spectacular Conference Center in SLC.
That evening, the girls and I took a trip to Target. Pronounced Tarjez (after all, I was touring around with a couple of Quebecois). We were pretty excited about it as you can see...
Then, later that night, as the men had all gone to Priesthood session, the girls and I hit "Ladies Night" at Deseret book where we got wicked discounts on fabulous books and other lovely items. After this, I went to visit my buddy Mark whom I haven't seen in about 8 months. He lives down there now. I miss him. *sniff*
Mark took me to a Utah Mormon party. All inclusive - with chips, and sponge cake and a rousing game of Mafia. Good times - Utah style. (actually it really was fun, but Logan - they need you - bad)
The next day, of course, we did more conference. Both sessions, after which we toured around in oreo formation, looking at more sights around temple square. That evening, Carrie and I ate at this crazy place called "Mayan Adventure". It was really insane! It's a theme restaurant. The interior in indescribable. Best I can come up with is that it feels like you're in a jungle, and then there's this show, where the workers of the restaurant dive into a pool wearing loin cloths. Only in Utah. That night, we went back to Lehi to stay with my former mission companion - Caley and her family again, had an awesome visit, and then went to sleep. In the morning, we did IHOP for which I am still suffering - severely. I remember now why I don't eat like that anymore. I certainly don't need another reminder like it, so will be fasting somewhat for a few days whilst I purge the toxins. On the way home, it was snowing, then raining, then hailing, then snowing again. As soon as we crossed the border, the weird weather stopped. Interesting. I also got a speeding ticket in Malad, Utah from an officer Nalder (yes, it is ironic - only mission friends will get that reference). $75 for going 11 miles over the speed limit. Ah well. I will remember to avoid state troopers in the future. Now, the next project is to sell the vehicle that got me there and back. It really did amazingly well on the trip. I'm due for an oil change next week, but after that's done, whoever wants it can have it for $14000 obo. I'll do a more thorough description tomorrow or the next day. Spread the word my friends.