“The 1,200-Hour Climb,” New Era, November 2015, 38–39
Climbing a mountain isn’t something you can physically do for somebody else. But there’s no reason in the world you can’t climb it side by side with another person and also encourage each other along the way.
And when you have a big enough group climbing together, well, look out, mountain. There’s not much it can throw at you that you can’t conquer.
A group of 30 young women from a ward in Arizona, USA, climbed a mountain of sorts together when they spent a year encouraging and helping one another work on their Personal Progress and earn their Young Womanhood Recognition.
During that time, among other accomplishments the young women put in a seriously impressive 1,200 hours of service. Think of that! That’s like one person working a full-time job for over seven months. In addition to donating their own time, the young women also invited others in their ward and community to participate.
Their projects included tying quilts for women’s shelters, decorating placemats for a hospice (a health-care facility for people who are nearing death), singing at care centers, sewing pillowcase dresses for children, cleaning school grounds, painting lines and shapes on playgrounds, and much more. They even started dedicating one Wednesday a month to family history.
One of their big projects was a drive for backpacks and school supplies. They collected 70 backpacks and hundreds of school supplies for local school kids who needed a helping hand. “I felt really happy knowing I helped those children who couldn’t afford the things they needed,” said Katie S., a Beehive.
The service they gave was only part of what made this adventure so cool. The funny thing about service is how much it helps you in the end too. The young women say they picked up useful skills along the way. “Personal Progress has made me more comfortable sharing the gospel and standing up for what I believe,” said Jessica R., a Mia Maid. “It’s also helped me develop good habits, such as reading my scriptures and saying my prayers daily.”
In the end, their “climb” was successful. With medallions around their necks, the young women celebrated their progress with a trip to the Snowflake Arizona Temple.
They discovered that climbing through life is a lot easier when you don’t have to go it alone.