“The Bulletin Board,” New Era, Feb. 1998, 38
Young men in the Twin Falls 15th Ward, Kimberly Idaho Stake, came up with an unusual surprise for the young women in their ward. This year, their annual “Laurel appreciation night” featured a full-length production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In true Elizabethan style, the young men played all the parts.
Laurel appreciation night is a tradition the young men started a year ago by cooking dinner for the girls in their stake. This year, the young women enjoyed the play so much, they can’t wait to see what the priests will come up with next.
“We were honored because they provided an evening of entertainment just for Laurels,” says one young woman.
Jihea Hong, 18, a native of Seoul, South Korea, has been playing the piano since she was four years old. And while she’s excited to continue her education at Juilliard School in New York, a short distance from her adopted home of Clifton, New Jersey, Jihea looks back fondly on her teenage years in the Church.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to be in Young Women,” she says. “It helped me to know who I am. I know I am a daughter of Heavenly Father and he loves me.
“So many musicians’ identities are based on their music,” she adds. “I want to be known as a daughter of Heavenly Father. That means more to me than being a pianist.”
Alecia Rosenbrook is a Laurel from, well, lots of places. Since her dad runs a business taking small groups fishing and big game hunting, Alecia calls many locations, including Alaska and Africa, home. Her unique lifestyle has provided her with opportunities to learn more about the world around her and to share the gospel.
“When we go out on trips, it’s just our family, the guests, and the crew. That’s about 14 or 15 people, at the most. We’re together for a week to 10 days, and don’t have contact with anyone else. It’s just simple things we do to share the gospel, like praying at mealtimes and gathering on Sundays for church.”
Alecia’s travels also provide an interesting backdrop for personal gospel study.
“Seminary has been with me all over the place,” she says of her home-study seminary program. “It puts everything into perspective so that I can understand everything better. Also, sometimes when I’m out in the bush and close to nature, I can really see Heavenly Father’s hand in all things.”
These girls from Richardson, Texas, pulled their handcarts as part of a fourth-year girls’ camp hiking activity. One participant, Lanae Ford, said, “I like the way that, even though we had to stop a lot, everyone had a good attitude.”
The stake youth council of the Utah Hobble Creek Stake wanted to give the youth in the stake a reminder to be happy by living the commandments. They printed cards with the acronym S.M.I.L.E. and distributed them throughout the stake. The letters are to remind the youth that “to be Spiritually Minded Is Life Eternal.”
“You smile when you’re happy, and there is no other way to eternal happiness than being spiritually minded,” says Chelsey Christensen, a Hobble Creek Stake youth representative.
Glen Hoelscher, from St. Lawrence, Texas, recently returned from a mission to Tacoma, Washington. Glen, shown here with his mom, Doris, and his dad, David, grew up on a farm, and he and his father devised an unusual way of financing Glen’s work for the Lord. They used some of their farm land to grow watermelons specifically for the purpose of paying for Glen’s mission, figuring they’d have to sell eight melons for each day that Glen served.
Their efforts proved “fruitful,” and Glen was blessed with a bumper crop—one of the best he and his dad have ever had.