EFY began as a trial program, with just the three missions in Buenos Aires participating last year. It was a huge success and this year there are twelve sessions of EFY. It is located at a beautiful campsite in Pilar, owned by the Church. Presidente and I first came here during the mission presidents seminar with Elder Christofferson. We could only imagine how wonderful it would be filled with youth.
It was every bit as wonderful!
The theme, Levantaos y Brillad (Arise and Shine Forth) includes a huge emphasis on preparing for missions and missionary work. The EFYs have been scheduled so that with very few exceptions, the youth attending all belong to the same mission. The 8 stakes and 2 districts in the Buenos Aires West Mission were invited this week, and we were asked to present one of the classes.
Showing up at EFY with eight missionaries is like showing up any place else with a group of rock stars. There were tears of joy as the youth saw the missionaries that had baptized them or their families or had been an important part of their ward experience. The missionaries were equally delighted to see “their members.”
The topic we were asked to address was “Taking the Gospel to all Nations.” Our eight missionaries came from Costa Rica, Columbia, Chile, Peru, Brazil, United States and Argentina. We talked a little bit about other nations bringing the gospel here. Each of the missionaries shared a part of their experience. We also talked about preparing now for missions.
We could almost see the Spirit touch their hearts during the presentations.The youth were incredibly polite, and after each of the four sessions, there were many expressions of gratitude.
Brianna went to EFY with the North mission a couple of weeks ago. When she came home, one of the first things that she told me was that she had to talk with the missionaries. She said that they have no idea how they are influencing the lives of the youth in wonderful and positive ways. It was a blessing for us to witness that first hand and continue to do that today.