Just Rannin' Around

Monday, August 19, 2013

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others.  And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
-Dalai Lama

So I have been given a new responsibility with my calling.  I’m not quite sure how to feel about it.  There are countless reasons why I absolutely love the calling to be the Gospel Doctrine teacher and one of the biggest ones is that there are no meetings and I do all my preparing on my time table whether it be at midnight or 5:00 in the morning or whenever I get a thought of inspiration.

I teach a little different from most people in the fact that I study the lesson material, but I typically have one or two areas of the lesson that I choose to cover but still don’t follow the manual per se.  Okay so let’s just admit that I study to know the material and then fly by the seat of my pants where the Spirit directs while standing in front of the class.  I don’t even take the manual with me to church.  Typically the only things in my hands during the lesson are my scriptures and a notebook full of quotes given by the Brethren.  Basically I am not a scripted teacher. 

This new responsibility has thrown me for a loop.

The bishop called me into his office a couple of weeks ago and asked me if it were possible for me to mentor an 18-year old young woman who was turning in her mission papers.  He wants her to be more prepared to teach the gospel and wanted to give her the opportunity to do so in a safe environment.  He thought the best place for that would be in my hands in Gospel Doctrine.  He asked that I let her take ten minutes each Sunday to teach a small section of the lesson.  I was unsure how this incredibly shy 18-year old would react to the calling of teaching the adults in gospel doctrine. 

Yesterday was the beginning of several months of lessons that would be handled in this new way.  I hate to admit that it completely threw me off.  The lesson seemed to be disjointed and not natural.  I know it was hard for me because I had to adhere more to the exact direction of the manual because I had to make it easier for her to do her portion.  When she got up I think I was about the only one who could hear her.  She hung her head and was almost whispering.  The people from the middle of the room to the back kept asking her to speak louder so they could hear.  When she was done it took me a while to get my normal flow back going and just as I started feeling better about it, it was time to end.  I didn’t realize that ten minutes from the 40-minute class time would make such a big difference. 

One of the very few things that have come to me naturally is public speaking.  I am aware that it is a gift given to me, but I’m not sure how to teach her how to become comfortable doing something that most adults still fear more than death.  I also don’t want her to think that the only right way to teach is my way.  Everyone has a different way of teaching and different ways of feeling comfortable in front of others.  However I am at a loss as to how to make the lessons cohesive without teaching directly out of the manual which makes me want to poke my own eyes out.  I walked out of church a little discouraged knowing that I still have a couple of months of teaching this way. 

So any suggestions?  I need to make sure that she has a good experience and also gains some skills that will be helpful for her in the mission field and in life as general as a member of the church.  I don’t want to make this miserable for her, me or the class.

Monday, August 12, 2013

“A fear of heights is illogical.  A fear of falling, on the other hand, is prudent and evolutionary.”
-Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

There is always a sure sign of summer coming to a close . . . I receive my season tickets to Utah football in the mailbox.  I must admit that is the only sign of summer coming to a close that would ever put a smile on my face and make me squeal a bit.  It is probably a good thing that getting those tickets are the first sign of the impending doom of winter or I might not take it so well.  However every year my first thought is always, “how did the summer go by so quickly?”  I am happy that I was able to at least get in some fun during the short season and I even managed to obtain a sunburn that had me peeling for an entire week.

I was also able to spend some time with family and friends that I don’t see often enough.  It has been a busy time at my house with people in and out.  The last two weeks have been a blast!  I was able to have some dear friends from Boston stay at my house for a while.  It was great to have time to catch up and get Jamie addicted to a new television show . . . sorry Jamie . . . and put I promise there is no email being sent. :) 

After they left, my parents came and spent some time with me.  They actually came to get some appointments in, do some family history research and to attend the family reunion.  Only when my house was suddenly quiet again last night did I realize just how much better I was sleeping while there were other human beings there that I love and trust.  I wasn’t jumping at every single little noise of the house settling or car driving by while they were there.  It is amazing the difference of my comfort level while having the priesthood in my house at night.  Needless to say, for so many different reasons it was nice to have wonderful people in my home for a while.

I have officially been in my home for a year.  I hit that mark the first of this month.  It is hard to believe that it has already been a year but then again when I look at everything that I have already done to the house, it is seems like I have been there a lot longer.  I am really enjoying my neighborhood and my ward.  They have been so great and it is so refreshing to live somewhere that has that old-time neighborhood feel to it . . . a sense of community.  It is great to feel safe enough to go out biking or running by myself, not only because it is a great area but because there are always a ton of others out doing the same thing.  I have never left my house and not seen someone out doing some type of physical activity.  It makes me smile. 

After the ward split I was re-called into teaching Gospel Doctrine with a few changes.  There was only going to be one class and I would be the sole teacher which means I teach every single week.  The bishop wanted consistency in teaching and so he only wanted one teacher.  Honestly I don’t mind and it gives me more reason to study harder each week.  Yesterday my darling 88-year old kissed me on the cheek after my lesson and told me I was his favorite teacher ever.  He is so stinking cute.  Everyone should have a grandparent around, adopted or not, to make them feel special.  How could I not love teaching especially in this ward?!  The discussion is always spiritually uplifting and informative.  There is definitely a spirit of love and learning that envelops us each week.  I am so blessed to be a tiny part of that. 

Did I mention that I got my season tickets in the mail?!


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