Ok, I have pictures of the finished sweatshirt and the flowers but I still haven't received the pictures from New Beginnings-I'm at the mercy of another. So I will post the pictures that I have and tell the Pearl story. the theme of YW New Beginnings this year was Becoming Pearls. The leaders spoke to the girls about the pearls that they are and that the Personal Progress program helps them become more beautiful. It was also explained to them how an oyster makes a pearl. Contrary to popular belief, a pearl doesn't necessarily start as a grain of sand getting stuck in an oyster but more of an "irritant" such as a particle of food. The oyster than produces Mother of Pearl to cover the irritant with a smooth surface. Layer and layer of Mother of Pearl is produced to cover the irritant. The birth a pearl occurrs when the oyster is opened and the pearl is taken out of the oyster. So this process was explained to the girls and then each of them was given an oyster to open. They wre told that each oyster should have a pearl in it, Yes they were real oysters and yes when they opened them after using knives to pry them open, there were pearls inside. All different kinds and colors and sizes of pearls. The colors ranged from WHITE (very white to cream to LIGHT pink to darker pink). Sizes were all round but bigger and smaller pearls. It was so cool to see the birth of these pearls and the parents were invovled-which makes sense because we were all at the births of our "pearls". Each girl was reminded of her incredible worth as a Daughter of God and then they gave the girls necklace that could house their pearls. Sooo COOL!! I hope that I get the pictures soon because there were some great pictures of the girls.