Yesterday, we went to the middle school in AtizapÃ¡n. We walked into a classroom of 40 middle school students (12-15) with no idea of how they would respond to us. I am so proud of the seminary students. One of them told me before we walked in that they were nervous, but you could never tell it by their actions.
(Click here to view a slideshow from the activity)
The activity started off with a game where two teams would race to put on big sized clothes. When you got to your teammate, they would take the pieces of clothing that you had on and put them on them, as well as an additional piece of clothing. When the clothes were finished, each student then had to put on not only all of the clothes, but also a backpack. They would then run to the other end of the room. Of course, it was difficult for them to race when they were loaded down with all those clothes and backpacks.
The idea behind the game was that there are some problems that make things difficult for us in life. Some of those problems, like the clothes, are self-imposed, and others, like the backpacks, are placed on us by other people. The game was used for us to begin a discussion with them about problems that they have in life.
We then made small groups, and each seminary student took a group to talk about different discussion questions. The things that the young people shared with the seminary students were astounding. They are really burdened down by many problems. Most of their problems are family problems, and many of them admitted to not having anyone to share their problems with. It was an eye-opener, for sure, for the seminary students. The reality of life for these middle school students is hard to understand.
After we finished, we went to Starbucks for a debriefing time. It was awesome to hear how they were impacted by this experience. It was almost like a mission trip experience. Today in chapel, we shared with the seminary about what is happening all over the world, and we shared what happened yesterday in a middle school not too far from here.