Showing posts with label Relief Society. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Relief Society. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

No Such Thing as Coincidences

            Being in the primary has never been among my favorite of callings - which may be why I've been in it so long.  On Saturday there was a breakfast provided by the Relief Society for those who are visiting teachers.  While there, I was asked to teach a Relief Society lesson on this coming Sunday.  I made an impulsive decision to say yes.  I can still teach my primary class but will be missing singing/sharing time.  I'm certain that the primary leaders would much rather have me there than teaching a Relief Society lesson,  but sometimes I feel the need to be elsewhere.  On Sunday it will be in Relief Society.

            On Sunday I was given the subject of my upcoming lesson.  "By Divine Design" by Elder Ronald A. Rasband.  Hey, I remember that talk.  I had actually created a blog post (here) about it.  I obviously did not go into as much detail as I had felt at the time of the initial talk - but it was at a time when my head was full and my fingers weren't as able to work as quickly as what my mind was saying.

            I have to smile at Elder Rasband quoting Neal A Maxwell's words: "[God] does not do things by ‘coincidence’ but … by ‘divine design " and think of all the many times my brother Corey has said or written that "He doesn't believe in coincidences".  It made me think of these two pictures that he has posted more than once:

            Depending on how the Spirit guides me, I may or may not share this example, but if I do, I have placed the two photos side by side and have highlighted the etching above the arch to illustrate that it is indeed the same building though taken a decade apart. 

The family taken in 1947 are from Utah.  They were touring San Francisco and chose to have their picture in front of the church building.  The other photo is of the youth group who attended MIA (Mutual Improvement Association) and seminary at the Sunset Ward in San Francisco which met in the same building.
            The two circled heads are that of my dad and mom.  They were married in the Los Angeles Temple.  Their reception was at the building which is behind each of them in both photos.  This is one example of Divine Design.  I am looking very forward to giving this lesson.  I hope to have a lot of participation, but if not,  I have more material than I will have time.  Wish I could say the same of primary.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Where Is Our Focus?

            The RS presidency was in charge of the activity.  The theme was on gratitude.  I didn't raise my hand when our president asked for volunteers.  I was helping another sister sort toiletries that we had collected to put in bags to send to the women's shelter.  I don't know how many volunteers she ended up with, but her demonstration didn't actually go as well as she had hoped.

            To each sister (and the two Elder missionaries who happened to be there) she gave each a small rock and a candy kiss.  She told each to put the rock in her (or his) shoe and walk around, but to please enjoy the candy.  The idea was "to enjoy the candy so much that you didn't think about the rock in your shoe."  I'm afraid I would have focused on the rock more than the candy.

            The idea was to be grateful for the good.  But I suppose we can be grateful for painful things as well.  As I heard another sister speak on gratitude, I felt impressed to share this post.  Perhaps I should have just allowed the sisters to visit with one another, but chose to stand and relate a bit about Corrie ten Boom's biography and the encounter with the fleas.

            I try to be grateful for things and focus on the things I have rather than the things that I don't.  I'm pleased to know that many of my posts express some form of gratitude. My I always be grateful and not get upset.  Something to work on still.  

Friday, November 11, 2016

Finding Gratitude

I did not watch the voting reports on November 8.  I was at a Relief Society activity sharing my life story – making a plug for gratitude, because even when circumstances seem to be at their darkest, there is still a glimmer of light.  We need to focus on the light and good things that were dished out along with the bad such as mentioned in this post

        I had invited other sisters to share their stories also. 

        A few shared experiences related to failed health and how other family members were affected and the pluses that continue still.  One sister shared her testimony on faith and gratitude about contributing to the building fund raiser (back in the day when members were required to help raise monies to build temples and ward houses and such) She baked bread and collected Susan B. Anthonys.  It was really quite touching how she described how the money was raised and saved.

        We also heard an experience similar to the loaves and fishes as a sister related an experience with a ward pot luck, an extended invitation to anyone who happened to be at the park, and having leftovers when it was certain that they had started out with more people than a great amount of food.

        It turned out to be such a great – as well needed – activity.  I am so grateful for the opportunity of having shared so much spirit and joy before returning to our homes the ways of the world.  I am dumbfounded by the results of this year's election.

       To all the men and women that have served this country: Thank you.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Celebrating You - It's All Okay, part 2

As with yesterday, I will use this font for the agenda of the activity, things taught and learned.  I will use this font for my own thoughts and (unfortunately) wandering mind   and quotes that don't have pictures

            Each of the instructors had the option to decorate their room or boards to go with the theme.  I think the next class I had gone was decorated in balloons.  I had enjoyed this class the most. It was taught by Sister Tieger, a kindergarten teacher.  The subject:  Celebrate Failure

            "Failure is not the end of the world, it is the beginning of growth"

            Nobody starts out doing something well. A child who is just learning to walk - there is a reason why we call them TODDLERS

            We don't laugh at their accomplishment.  They may take only two steps before they fall, but we praise them anyway.

       We don't say,           "You're stupid"
                                        "That was really dumb."
                                        "You're just never going to get it."
       We say,                     "Nice try!"
                                          "Good job!"
                                          "Honey, that was great!"

            We don't start out doing things well.  We start out doing them badly. 

Failure is not meeting the Intended Outcome

A picture was shown of a child frustrated with an activity -  he either couldn't stack his blocks correctly, wasn't as fast as some of the other children, or whatever.  

My mind wandered back to a time when Jenna was just a baby.  She was quite persistent at trying to twist a cap off the water bottle and replace it.  She had exceptional motor skills for her age, and was very patient.  I think she must have used up all her self-patience during before she was six.

Continue progress with baby steps.  We are all Heavenly Father's Babies.  When we fall down, He is not going to laugh or call us Stupid.  He is happy to see that we are trying and is rooting for us.

So maybe you can't do 20 sit-ups.  Start with 5 or 1.  Can't clean that entire room in twenty minutes.  Start with what you can do in twenty minute, whether it is just the desk drawer or vacuuming the carpet.

Can't pick up the clarinet for the first time and belt out the tune to "Danny Boy"?  What's wrong with you?  You have to start out with the basics.  You have to learn the notes and practice them.  You have to start out badly before you can get good at it.

            Sister Tieger gave an analogy of tobogganing down hill in fresh snow verses a well-worn path. 

            Sometimes we need to pause at the top of the hill.  Sometimes - though the well traveled path is definitely the fastest, and will give us the biggest thrill - sometimes we need to celebrate the pause before we trudge on.  Sometimes we need to start down on fresh snow to make the path for somebody else.

            I thought about our pioneer ancestors, who really made a lot of sacrifices "forging the way for those who would follow"

last quote of the class

this was her handout, and though the cut wasn't perfect, she
 kept it anyway, because wasn't that the whole point of the class

            The next class I went to was taught by Sister Glad.  I love the way she had decorated the board. 

            She passed out  these pamphlets:

            We spent the class time filling them out. 

            First question:  Think of a problem you're experiencing these days that is on your mind a lot.  Describe that problem in a sentence

2.  What feelings come up for you when you think about the problem?  List several

She read the 3 and 4 to us as we closed our eyes.  She read in a very calming voice and told us to take a few minutes (she actually had changed it to 45 seconds as we were pressed for time) to feel the power of gratitude and allow our bodies to relax.  

As a rule of thumb, I don't do well in silence when there are a number of people surrounding me and we've all got our eyes closed.  I did well while she was talking, but my mind wandered for the 45 seconds.  45 seconds is a long time when it's that quiet.

5. What are you feeling right now?

For the majority of the class, the answers given in number two were pretty much opposite of number five.  Not every sister in the class had changed.  One seemed to have even harsher answers (apparently mine is not the only mind that wanders; she may have used that 45 seconds to go back to her problem - though I don't know)

The last class I attended was taught by a sister from my ward.  Janine Super, who plays piano in the primary and had also taught the gospel essential class when we moved in.
Her theme was geared to Superheroes:

this is how she decorated her room. 

She asked questions about Anikan (who became Darth Vader) and Superman.  What were their strengths?  What were their weaknesses.  I was able to participate only because my brother, Corey, is an avid fan of Star Wars and my husband collects everything Superman related.

 She first asked the class what were some of the character's strengths and what were their weaknesses.  Some weaknesses we can repent of - like a bad decision to go to the dark side (even though there were good intentions to start out with) and others are challenges that they themselves don't require repentance (for example, Superman cannot repent for Kryptonite.  We, who are vision impaired, don't repent for needing to wear glasses;  it's how we deal with our weakness that may give us strength)

Do you allow your weakness to define who you are?  Remember Brittany from my last post?

often guilt has a  productive function - if it makes us have the desire to change.

Can you pray your weakness away?

            I was reminded of a comment my brother Corey had made when he was being interviewed by Mormon Expressions.  There was a time in his life that he saw his same sexual urges as a weakness that he just could not change.  Over the course of many many years, he realized it was a desire that just has not gone away. 

          After decades of struggling and praying for his "gayness to be gone" and starting his own blog and finally realizing that his sexual preference was never going to change, he finally accepted and eventually embraced what some might call weakness, and he has made it his strength. 

          Sadly, he lost his membership as far as Church records go, but at the same time it was a necessary event that had to take place.  And although he did not choose to become a pioneer in assisting to bridge the LDS Community and the Gay Community,  he has really helped a lot of people through his blog.  Kudos to you, Corey.  May you start posting again! (LOL)

For her last four classes, Janine displayed this picture on the table she had set up

Pres. Dieter Uchtdorf, Harrison Ford, Col. Gail Halvarsen aka the candy bomber

I was also reminded of Sandra Bullock's line in "While You Were Sleeping" when Peter (the character) wakes up, and her character (Lucy) says to him that he is a hero because he gives his seat up every day on the train. 

When he comes back with a line that he doesn't see as heroic, she reminds him that he is to the person he gives it up for.  Also another post I created here

Weaknesses turned strength makes us more than we can make on our own.

Ask a child who his or her hero are.  You may be surprised at some of their answers:

George Washington Carver

Jason Silva

Harriett Tubman

Langston Hughes


Mother Teresa


a nurse

Elenor Roosevelt

Helen Keller



Wendy Ulrich

In conclusion, Janine encouraged us to take a minute to read over the lyrics to Superwoman by Alicia Keys found here.

The candy was not included, but the colors used  on Janine's
handouts reminded me of confectionery hearts