Sunday, August 9, 2009

1700 For Lunch and Dinner

Saturday was amazing in so many ways. Amazing Young Single Adult Conference, amazing amount of work, amazing energy, amazingly tiring and amazingly sore feet. The church put on a state wide conference for people ages 18 to 31 on Saturday in several venues. Ours was held in Oakland at Temple Hill and was attended by undermined numbers, but guesstimated at over 1700.

Some of "our" girls!
Felicia, Angie, Suzy and Kari

The organization was amazing also. We arrived at about 8:45 in the morning and the parking lots were already crammed..I cannot even fathom where everyone parked but when there is a will ...there is a way. There were a whole group of guys that manned the parking lots for hours on end. Our group was asked to help in the kitchen. Fortunately the majority of the food was take-out Pizza and Mexican food for yesterday. We started preparing all the things for the salads to accompany the pizza.

While the conference attendees did this...we did this...

Bishop Shepperd, Jim and Jay

One of many many gianormous bowls of tomatoes.
All sorted and picked through and washed for quality control.

Some of the many pizzas we had

We had 300 extra large pizzas delivered from 3 different pizza parlors. They brought 4 different kinds at three different times to keep them as hot as possible for the two lunch breaks. There was no way that all the participants could eat at the same time. We had over 7000 bottles of water for the 2-day conference and dozens of cookies and cakes as well.

My job was manning one of the cookies and water tables. We wanted to make sure there were enough cookies for both lunch times and so I must have said "1 cookie ~ 1 water" about a million times. We needed a sign for that!

Just before they came in~Julie and others
do last minute prep before the onslaught.

Here they come! Good thing we had so many
helping serve
and do crowd control, which was
the duty Jim pulled for this time of the day.

Eating all over the place inside and out!
But mostly inside for lunch so as not to interfere
with the 17 weddings occurring at the Temple
yesterday morning and early afternoon.

So after the clean-up we all got to rest for a bit and then we had the dinner to think about. A Mexican place brought in dinner for 2200 the actual number they thought were coming. Even though they cooked, there was still plenty to do! You have never seen so many tortillas, chips, or so much salsa and dips, rice, beans, meat and lettuce and tomatoes in your whole life...I promise. The Smiths who put everything in place to feed these kids were amazing! We got to see so many of our beloved young singles! It was great.

I have to say that after this second go-around I became pretty useless, but the ones with more stamina like Jim, the Smiths, the Shepperds and a few others partied on trying to prepare for the Sunday crew after the dinner clean-up, which was horrendous! After nearly collapsing from the fatigue of this day's worth of meals, Jim, Mike, Bishop Sheppard along with Roger and Shelba and Vicky and Steve and Julie baked 1400 pounds, or 2800 potatoes (that had been cut in half and wrapped in foil in the days prior by some of the YSAs in Walnut Creek 3rd wards, thank heavens) Carol and I cleaned lots of oven racks when all four of the convection ovens were a total mess from the potatoes oozing fluid because they had been cut in half. Hello!

During the baking time, Jim and the crew were able to bake 500 potatoes at one time between the four huge convection ovens. We finished around 11:00 pm and got home at midnight.

I saw one guy, President Evans, carrying and emptying garbage bags for 14 hours straight in his suit, white shirt and tie. I could not believe it! There was so much trash and so much recycling to contend with it was overwhelming! This is one thing we love about our church...everyone contributes, everyone works hard and it works! Fancy that!

I think we were all beyond exhausted from the standing and working all day long. Everyone that helped was amazing and there were far more helpers than the few I have mentioned. Made doing a wedding seem like child's play. We could pull that off with ease any time after this. Utterly exhausting comes to mind repeatedly. The Lord just gives you that extra strength you need to get through it when you are serving His Young Adults! Some people were back bright and early today like Mike, Roger and Shelba, the Smiths and the Shepperds. They are amazing each and every one of them.

The very edge of the immense dance floor
where spirits are high from a great day for them!

The kids were still dancing and having a ball when we pulled out. I wish they could have thrown a little of that energy and stamina in my direction on the way out the door. Jim was amazing in his ability to work work work. Me...not so much after the first ten hours.

It was fun working together with each other and so many wonderful friends and even though we had to pay $20.00 for our meals...we came home with enough Mexican food to feed a small army and only a couple of aching backs and some sore feet and happy hearts. It all works out in the wash! Whatever you give, you get back tenfold, even though that is not why you do it! What a blessing to be included!

The Conference was a huge success!
Lots of Facebook postivity today!


mandy* said...

Whoa. That sounds exhausting! Bonnie, I'm like some point I just wear out. I don't know how some people (like Jim and Barb) just keep going and going and going. But what a great service you did...I am amazed.

Connie said...

Good job, Bon!!! You guys worked like troupers all day and night. I realize by reading your blog that I was a total slacker....little did I know what was going on behind the scenes! Thanks for being so willing to sacrifice everything for our kids. You guys are the BEST!!!!!

Shaun at Oak Den said...

That looks like it was so much fun! A lot of work for you all, too, and I'm sure the youth had know idea what was going on behind the scenes. What a fantastic experience for those kids.

The first picture gave my heart a little twang because it reminded me of when I was in the balcony chorus of the Temple Pageant when I was in high school in the 70's. Good memories.

BECKY said...

Whew, Bon'!! Reading about what ya'll did just made me tired thinking about it!! Way to go though, girl!! What a wonderful event to be a part of, and 'm so glad it was successful. Facebook chatter is a great sign!!

Sounds like you have a little time for rest and refreshment coming your way!!

Have a lovely week!
Love and hugs,

Torrey said...

Great Blog Bonnie. What a GREAT activity!! Thanks for the pictures and the write-up.

I want you and Jim on my team for anything and everything. :)

Caroline Craven said...

Sounds like you and Jim are truly wearing yourselves out in the service! I can't imagine how exhausted you must have been.