Temple Trip Schedule

I was so impressed with the organization of the youth Temple trip!  All the youth were given this brochure that was made just for them.  It showed what group each youth was in and what their activities were for the day.

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The groups were divided up by age, so all three of the boys were in a different group.  This worked out great because they got to know other youth their same age.  Each group did work in the Temple at different times.  As you can see from the above photo their time was filled with awesome activities.  There were study hours for each group and time in the Temple each day for each group.  Then in the afternoon and evenings the leaders had other activities planned.  There was a talent show, time to practice for talent show (which I heard was awesome), testimony meeting and other “fun” activities.  One activity was a game that included “chickens” with eggs tied to their heads while others were trying to seek them and crush their eggs, while trying to find a hidden treasure.

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Two youth were teamed up and tied together and then each person had to get pantyhose put over their head with a real egg attached to the top of their head.  The other teams had swim “noodles” and they were the ones chasing after the chickens to crack their eggs.  The goal was for the chickens to not get their egg broken while finding the hidden treasure.  It was hilarious!  If a chicken’s egg broke they had to run back to the starting position and get a new one tied on.

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I have to add that no adults other than the leaders were allowed to be apart of the activities, testimony meeting or talent show.  Aaron and I commented on how we wanted to observe our boys at these different activities and all the other adults said, “oh no, this is for the youth.  They feel more comfortable without other adults there.  The youth will open up more if they know other parents/adults are not present.”  Once I processed this, I really thought it was a great idea and respectful of the time the youth had with one another. This was about them!

AJ, Austin and Tristan had a blast on the Temple trip.  They formed wonderful friendships, had amazing spiritual experiences and had a FUN time!  I am so grateful my boys had this experience that they can remember for the rest of their lives.  One thing I noticed about these youth was they all wanted to have fun!  There were no clicks or bad attitudes, just a group full of teenagers seeking friendship, laughter and spiritual things!  There was no pretentious behavior on anyone’s part.  It was refreshing and awesome!  Bravo to the Toulouse Stake Leaders for doing a phenomenal job!

Maison d’hôtes!

Our room accommodations in Zollikofen were simple, yet awesome!  It is a building, like a dorm hall, next to the Temple where patrons can stay for a very reasonable price.  It only cost our family 89 euros for 4 nights/5 days.  We had a discount because our 3 boys were paid for by the Stake.  But, if that was not the case it would have, still, only cost our family of 7, 174 euros for 4 nights/5 days.  Aaron and I had stayed at this maison d’hôtes 22 years ago.  Our memory was vague, but we did remind the children that the rooms would be small and filled with bunk beds.  What fun!!!!

I say that with all honesty!  What a blast we had as a family in this little room of ours!

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The biggest dilemma was deciding who would sleep where!  Each person received linens for the bed and a blanket.  We provided our own towels and any extra bedding we thought we would need.  We did not have room to bring anything extra, so what was given to us was what we used and it was very comfortable for all of us!  Because the room was so tight we had to make sure everything was always organized and in its’ place. Each person had a little locker at the end of the room where clothing could be hung up and shoes stored away.  Jack and Sophie loved this because they had their own locker and could lock it with a key if they wanted to!

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After a day of having our room like the first photos, a friend told us the bunks move and we would have more space if we moved things around.  We did and it gave us more space to move about.  Plus, the extra floor mattress could more easily be stored on top of another mattress with this new layout.  None of us were in the “dorm” room very much so we didn’t feel stressed about the space.  It worked great and everyone worked together to keep their space picked up!

The below photos are of the bathroom space.  Notice one small pedestal sink and a small stand up shower.  There were a few hooks to hang towels, coats, etc.  We really felt like we had to live the law of sacrifice and consecration in this tiny space.  It was a great reminder to Aaron and I and our family to work together so everyone could be happy!

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There was a communal kitchen in the basement of the “dorm” hall.  This, too, was a great reminder how everyone needed to share space, clean up after themselves and respect each others space.  The cafeteria area was lined with refrigerators and metal shelving for people to store their groceries.  Each person staying at the maison d’hôtes could use the needed shelving space.  We had one shelf in one of the refrigerators for our family and two metal shelves for our room temperature food.  Everyone could use the kitchen.  There were 10 small stations, 5 along a wall with a sink, and two stove top burners.  There were no ovens, only one microwave.  So meals had to be something that could be made on the stovetop.  Dishes, glasses, and silverware were all provided.  Everyone had to clean and wash what they used.  There was one wall devoted to dish towels and a large island for cutting and preparing food.  It was such a neat experience to “share” these spaces with everyone in the maison d’hôtes.  The youth had the kitchen every night from 6-7pm.  That was the only time non youth were not allowed in the space.  But, many adults were there helping prepare food for the youth.  It was so fun preparing and eating along side our friends!  It also allowed us to meet new people.  It was a great social setting and we all loved it!  There was a feeling of community that I have only felt on few occasions!  There was a feeling of true Zion that we experienced.  Everyone had to be of one heart and one mind to make the situation comfortable and enjoyable for all.  FANTASTIC!  The boys (all of us) really felt a sense of sadness as we packed up our car and drove away.

DSC00574 Stefan, Benjamin, Aaron, Claireline,DSC00572Emma Sordes,DSC00633Jack et Darcie,DSC00634Elias et Aaron,DSC00636Valentin et Emma,DSC00637Clarisse et Sophie,DSC00638Jack in our dorm hall.DSC00661Alexi et AJ in the kitchen!