For members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the first weekend in October and the first weekend in April are General Conference. Instead of the normal Sabbath Day worship services, members gather together to listen to and learn from the leadership of the Church. They gather in Salt Lake City at the Conference Center or on Temple Square. They gather together in meeting houses worldwide where the meetings are viewed via satellite transmission. And they gather together as a family in their homes around the television or radio where the meeting broadcast is received through a variety of affiliated stations.
My family is part of the last group. Semi-annually our little family travels north to Grandpa and Grandma's house (my parents) to participate in conference. The semi-annual conference consists of five sessions; two sessions each on Saturday and Sunday during the day for the general church membership, with the fifth session being held on Saturday night for the male members of the faith age 12 and over. My boys have always enjoyed this session, not just because they feel that the messages presented are tailored specifically to them, but because following the meeting my father will always take them to Jake's Over the Top for ice-cream.
This is all good for me. My mother, sisters and now my daughters have always found something to do for girl time. This is a long-standing family tradition. My mom remembers that when the men in her household would go off to their meeting, my grandma would take everyone to a movie. Since the girls have become older, it usually means that all the girl cousins get together, doing makeovers and baking cookies. This year, rather than having the party at Grandpa and Grandma's house, the girls relocated to Aunt Gwen's in Morgan. This left my mom and I to our own devices. My dad said it best as he left, "You're going shopping, aren't you?" HECK YA!!!!!!
But it wasn't just random shopping. We were women with a mission. I have a dear friend from high school - Marie Higgins - who has recently become a published author. I love her books. Since I love Marie and I love her books, I do everything I can to promote her. Recently, Marie was at a book signing in Layton Utah. I had posted this on my FB page, but my mom and my sister found her even without my directions. My sister purchased Marie's book Hearts Through Time. Jody loved it. My mom loved. My aunt loved it. So here was our mission - To go to Deseret Book and purchase Marie's other books; Winning Mr. Wrong and Heart of a Hero.
I had no idea what we would be getting ourselves into. The Day after Thanksgiving Madness holds nothing to Deseret Book on Ladies Night, an event sponsored by the store to coincide with the men's conference session. When we entered the store I knew that the fire code regarding maximum occupancy was being bent if not completely broke. But what a party!!!! There were drawings for all kinds of products, everything was at least 20% off and there were even bigger discounts, and best of all, my mom knew many people there. It was fun to catch up with acquaintances and enjoy the association of a group of women, even if I did have to remind myself to breathe when I felt the walls and crowds start to close in.
Were we successful in our mission you may ask. The answer is a resounding YES!!! Not only were we able to purchase Marie's books, but we found a few other things too. I also won one of the drawings - a beautiful picture of Faith and Love.
If you would like to learn more about Marie and her experiences as a writer, you can use this link to follow her blog, I Must Be Dreaming.