(Just a warning, this is a journal entry, if you are easily bored, you don't have to read it!)
I forgot to update about our new church activities. Our stake has had a crazy couple of months. Just after our entire stake was reorganized, my bishop got a job in Cedar City and had to be released. We were all very sad because his family is amazing. I personally feel the loss because I taught their son in primary, and their daughter in Young women's. Not to mention Vicki Nielsen was my visiting teacher, and a member of the YW presidency with me. They all set such a great example and I hope our ward can survive without them!
We got a wonderful new bishop who had to hit the ground running. He immediately had to call a new primary and Young Men's presidency. I got called into the primary and Jay into young men's. I was released from yw's only a few months ago and have been teaching in primary. I have LOVED that, Book of Mormon is my favorite book to teach! But I am excited for the new challenge.
I am even more thrilled for Jay. He has been in scouting, and he hated it. (Sorry scouting lovers, he just never liked it as a boy and so he was never involved in it, and he had no idea what to do.) But he loved working with the boys. So this time he gets work with the youth without doing as much of the scout stuff. I haven't seen him so eager about a new calling in a long time.
I love the opportunities we get to serve and learn. I'll admit, I have done my share of complaining about my callings. I spent the first ten years of my adult life determined to avoid primary. Of course, it seemed that I ALWAYS got called into those callings and couldn't escape them even if I attended a singles ward. I was convinced that I would be forgotten and spend my entire life in that calling... But eventually, I gained an appreciation for primary and a love for the children and the blessings of being a part of that program. Just as I finally learned to love primary and decided I wouldn't mind if I was left there my whole life, I was called into Young Women's.
This was a suprisingly difficult transition for me. I always thought that it would be my dream calling. But I was startled to find out that it was very demanding, both physically and emotionally. It required tons of time, and often I felt that no one appreciated my efforts. In fact, it was extremely upsetting to have constant complaints about an activity that you spent hours of time and weeks of effort planning. (They are teenagers after all!) That said though, I had a wonderful group of girls and was able to find my groove eventually. I loved that calling and was heartbroken when I was released.
I was called back into primary to teach several kids I have taught before (one is probably my favorite I have EVER taught). And it is a book of mormon year (MY FAVORITE!). So in spite of my sadness, I was excited too. And I was able to spend a lot of time studying which was such a boost for me. I am SOOO bad at setting priorities and organizing my life. At times when I put my gospel studies first, everything just goes so much better. I have learned this lesson so many times, but somehow, I still slip, and have to relearn it again. Needless to say, it was very rewarding teaching that class, I know it was just what I needed right then.
I guess what I am trying to say, with this long story, is that I have finally learned that the Lord is aware of me even in my callings. I often thought I was in primary because no one else would accept the call, and they just had to find someone who would do it. I know our service is the church is important to move the work of the Lord forward and help his children. But what I have learned is that the Lord knows us so well, and he knows just what we need.
I have always believed this about the path my life has taken. I have often said that I am so grateful that the Lord didn't give me what I wanted at any given time. Because the life he has blessed me with is so much greater than what I sought out for myself. I have only recently realized that the same is true for the service we are assigned to give in his kingdom. The Lord has miraculously engineered even the smallest things to give us what we need. We aren't just dropped into random callings that will not help us.
Service brings AMAZING people into our lives that change us and make us better. It gives us an opportunity to realize where we are weak and need to improve. We can contribute in a way no other person can. Each assignment can help us grow to reach the potential that only our Father knows we have.
I am thankful for my callings, and the dear friends that have come into my life as a result of them. I am thankful for the strength they give me that helps me in my personal life. I am thankful to know that our Father is aware of our every trial big and small. I am thankful that he helps us to endure, and overcome and find true joy in our lives. I am thankful for the comforting, peaceful feelings of the spirit. And I am thankful for the assurance that the Church of Jesus Christ is directed by him. That we don't need to worry about the future, we just need to strive to follow Him. That he will prepare us and give us the strength to continue to endure and eventually return to him. My greatest hope, is that my whole family will all be able to be united in the celestial kingdom. I hope I can teach my children the importance of obedience, the blessing of devotion, the joy in serving the Lord. I don't care about anything more than to be able to see them make good choices. In fact, my greatest fear is that they won't. But I guess even in that, I just have to do my best and leave it in His hands right?