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adamlogan92

Ditching YSA for lack of prospects?

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I'm a male RM, living in the southeast US where the Church is relatively weak and the LDS girls are scarce. I won't be here for much longer (a year, tops). I'm thinking about ditching the YSA here to go to Church in a family ward where I would probably be edified more.

Opinions from anyone who has done this or knows someone who has?

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Don't be too hasty to write off a small singles ward.  After returning from my mission, I found myself in a small singles ward in rural Texas which I thought was very limited.  At times, I stuck with the singles ward only because I felt the family ward was, well... boring.  I told myself I would be there for only a year or two, tops, then I would transfer to BYU or whatever.  Little did I know I would wind up meeting my wife there... you just never know.

Edited by DoctorLemon

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My family ward has lots of singles.  They grew up in that ward and didn't want to move to the Singles Ward.  Which is interesting because they meet in the same building.

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Go for it-- no one says you have to attend a YSA ward, it's just an option.  Personally, I attended family wards for majority of my single years (I preferred that atmosphere)-- and I was far from the only single there! 

 

If you want, you could also attend a family ward and still go to YSA mid-week activities: getting to know other singles while being in a family ward.

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Seems to me that if you're depending on others for edification that you're going about it wrong, and as likely as not to fail in achieving it elsewhere either. 

 

I'll give you the same advice the President Hinkley's father gave him as the best course to edification.

 

Forget yourself and go to work.

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I spent the majority of my singlehood in a family ward. But I am also a female and was kind of waiting for a missionary at the time. The few times I did go, it was ultra boring. I found it was so much nicer to have people around who had some maturity and life experience beyond what I had. I’ve always loved the things I have learned from the more seasoned members of a congregation. (I married my missionary two months after he got home. Admit it, you were curious.)

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I'm in a bit of a similar situation. I'm in a stake in the middle of nowhere, ND, and there aren't many active YSAs. Some weeks I would show up to FHE and realize that I was the only on there, share a spiritual thought with myself, and then go home.

But then in talking to the Senior Missionaries, I found that there were actually dozens of active YSA's in the town. Most were just not showing up. So I made it a challenge for myself. I was determined to show up every week and have an activity planned, and get others to attend as well. I worked closely with the Bishops and missionaries, found out who would be good candidates and started lobbying hard. I made calls to people, gave a talk during sacrament talking about the importance of YSA, volunteer to do favors for couples with a YSA eligible kids,  and a couple times even needed to lovingly "scold" the people on the town's YSA facebook page for being part of the problem in not showing up.

The biggest problem was breaking the negative momentum. For so long one or two people would show up, realize there was only one other person, and then leave only to never return. But then things started to turn around. I got a couple more people on board with my idea, and now there were 4 of us that were there every week. It became a little bit easier to convince new people to stay.

And now over a year later there are 10 that show up every week. It took a lot of hard work, tons of patience, and a lot of help from Heavenly Father, but the YSA group is on its way. My goal is to eventually get an attendance of 20 people.

 

Anyways, my point is if there isn't a great YSA, use it as an opportunity. I guarantee you that even if people aren't showing up, they are out there. Out there in a stage of their lives where they are looking for a path. And if they don't pick the church's, they are going to pick the world's. You may even meet a special someone along the way.

Edited by Lostboy289

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