Saturday, we joined with the youth from the 6 Stakes in our Temple District for the first combined Cultural Celebration rehearsal comprising 1,200+ youth 200+ adults all in one Stake Center for 12+ hours.
The numbers and logistics for this day were mind-boggling, yet somehow it all came together and worked out well. There were so many factors to address: meals, snacks, drinks (keeping them hydrated was a concern) restroom facilities, breaks, crowd control, seating, parking, etc.
Each Stake was responsible for meals, drinks, and snacks for their youth.
All adults present were assigned duties or shifts to monitor halls, extra classrooms, restrooms(outside port-a-potties), parking lot, rehearsal help, meal and snack serving/preparation, water breaks, costume changes, prop help, etc.
Mid-morning, the the youth were told that Elder Jeffrey R Holland was in the area and would be stopping by to hear them sing later in the day. Elder Holland was in town conducting a 3-day Mission President's Training and it would conclude Saturday morning. At the end of their training, they visited the Ft Lauderdale Temple then headed to the Stake Center. After lunch, the youth started rehearsing again and sure enough, Elder Holland walked in accompanied by Elder and Sister Burns.
The timing was exactly what the youth needed and the Lord certainly new they needed it.
The entire group performed 2 of their songs for him and then he spoke with so much love, gratitude, and genuine concern for the youth, their leaders, and their parents. He pronounced an Apostolic blessing upon the youth in our Temple District, their leaders, and their parents.
When does Elder Holland just happen to be in the neighborhood when you live in South Florida? When the Lord knows you need a miracle to pull His event together.
Elder Holland's visit, apostolic blessing, and spirit changed the balance of the day. It was positive and productive as compared to the morning when things were a little rough and discouraging.
It was a once in a lifetime experience for all who were present. It was a day I will always remember.
Note that Megan was seated on the stage when Elder Holland arrived. She is directly in front of him wearing a red shirt. She said she felt his foot near her a few times and did not want to move. She was blessed to shake his had before he left.
Megan is in the lower left hand corner of this photo.