SALT LAKE CITY — The president of La Región Hispana was trying to relax and have fun Friday, but there was too much on his mind.
Arnold Porras, 31, was needed in too many places as the four-day, 2010 Summer Conference for Mormon Hispanic Young Single Adults was getting under way with a talent show followed by a dance at an LDS building in Sugar House.
The event, planned by Porras and a committee, had been in the works for almost a year, and swarms of male and female 20-something participants were starting to show up.
"I will be relieved when I return from the lake on Monday," Porras said.
Porras expects as many as 500 to show up for the dances and somewhat smaller numbers for the other activities. Most are looking forward to a formal ball, a Balie de Gala, Saturday night at the Utah State Capitol rotunda.
"The Balie de Gala is going to be so fun," said Jamile Herrades, a participant at the conference.
Other activities Saturday include a trip to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple and workshops at the University of Utah LDS Institute. Sunday's highlight will be a fireside with Elder Walter F. González, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The last day of the conference will feature a cookout and water games at Pineview Reservoir.
Porras and his committee hope those who attend have fun, but more importantly, draw closer to the Lord.
"That is what all the activities are designed to do. We wanted to get people together with others who have the same values and ideals, even if it's just a dance. We want to create an environment where people can feel the spirit," Porras said. "Hopefully they are talking to each other, asking for phone numbers and getting married, too — that is another point."
In a setting decorated with balloons and stars, the talent show featured musical and dance numbers. A group of six friends performed a Shakira number called "Waka-Waka." They had fun practicing the routine for three weeks, Herrades said.
"We did this to have some fun, but the conference will also fortify us spiritually," said Herrades, a flower in her hair and a hula skirt around her waist. "Hopefully we meet some guys, as well."
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