Showing posts with label callings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label callings. Show all posts

Sunday, August 5, 2018

No More Moving!

          Today it was announced in primary that one family has left us already and that another family will be moving Thursday.  We knew the stay for both families being in this ward was only temporary.  But when the first accepted a calling in the bishopric, I was truly excited believing that his family would be living in Oregon for a while - not just only one month more!  What's up with that!  They didn't even say good-bye - I think it was just announced: Oh, by the way.

          Two weeks ago there were 15 children in our combined class of valiants. Most of them were visitors.  The amount of all classes combined totaled almost 30.  Today we had 5 in class and 10 in sharing time - and that was with two of the children who are leaving.  Not counting the visitors from two weeks ago, our primary has decreased by a third with the two families that are/will be gone.  And there are at least three vacant positions within our ward now - nursery, primary counselor and bishopric counselor.  We will be able to combine the valiant classes again - though I think Thomas and I would enjoy the one-on-one.  I really don't wish to be called to nursery.  But I guess that would free up more time once a month to focus on the newsletters.  I also take role in choir.

          Roland says I should not accept a second calling if I don't want it - but most of the active people in this ward have several callings.  One RS counselor also conducts the ward choir, the other leads the music in Sacrament meeting.  Our primary pianist teaches Sunday School.   Primary teachers (especially nursery) are really hard to come by.  And there are only four classes (including the nursery).  But as the number of children have decreased, Danny can probably go back to teaching all the valiants without my assistance.  Guess we'll see what the near future holds for us.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Substitute Teacher

        Just over two years ago, we moved to Myrtle Creek.  Less than three months I had been called to be a primary teacher - specifically for the sunbeams.  At the time I had heard there were four children in the class.  The most that I ever saw was three.  Usually it was just Emily and me.  It took her about five months before she warmed up to me.
         The following year, I had her cousin Hayden.  Unless there were visitors, he was my only pupil - until they brought Christopher in.  He had turned three in February.  He was in sunbeams for five or six months before the year ended.  The primary president decided to move him up to CTRs along with Hayden so that I could teach team Danny's class - the Valiants.

          Danny was not present for the first two and a half months.  Being able to return has been a gradual thing.  In March and April she was there for an hour and eventually worked up to three.  Between her parents and grandparents, Danny's time is spread as a health provider it seems.  She seems to be in and out and had asked me to teach.  But the CTR instructor has been out as well - traveling, I think.  The primary president had asked me to teach the CTRs as she is more able to find a sub for the older children than the younger ones.

          Last week there were only three: Christopher, Hayden and a visitor named Glen.  Class was not much different than it had been in sunbeams.  Hayden still felt the need to be in charge.  And Christopher was all over the place. Very different from Valiants.  A different use of time.

          When both classes met for sharing time and singing time, I sat in the front row with Glen, Christopher and Hayden.  A stake visitor sat with the Valiants. When Christopher announced he had to go potty (for the second time) I took his hand and escorted him out. 

          I noticed the instructor class was going on.  It's been so long since I've been to one, I'd forgotten.  I really enjoy the instructor classes and wanted to attend.  With only 20 minutes remaining, I opened the door for Christopher and told him to return to his seat, and I went next door to feel inspired.  I need that class!

          I had to return to the primary room to gather my bag of books - which Hayden was holding.  (Remember he thinks he's in charge) and the primary president told me that Christopher had been asking for me, which totally surprised me.

          Last week I read lessons from both CTR and Valiant as I didn't know which class I would be with yesterday.  Danny had indicated that she would not be there. I wasn't certain if the CTR instructor would be there or not.  Turned out she was, but then is gone for a month.  It sounds like Danny could be as well. 

          I teach primary sometimes.  I'm there whether I teach or not.  I am still head chief for the activities committee for Relief Society. We meet possibly four times a month.  I still don't know many sisters.  They used to do a mingle once a month but were told to stop.  Members really liked it and felt that it promoted missionary work.  But they were told to stop.  When I returned to Salt Lake and had gone to my former ward, they announced that they'd be having a mingle.  I wonder why the more geographically challenged one was told to stop and the one in West Valley seems to have an okay?  Weird.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam

        I have two callings in the ward which I currently attend.  I was pining for a position as an instructor in  Relief Society.  The primary was just a bit quicker about snatching me up for a position.  I had agreed to substitute teach the sunbeams only the week before I was asked to be a teacher for the sunbeam class.

        Emily was not there the first week that I taught, but has been there every week since.  Quite shy at first because she didn't know me.  She was okay if there was another classmate in attendance.  But for the most part it's just been me and Emily.

        She reminds me of my granddaughter, Ester, though I wasn't given the opportunity for spending much time with Ester.  I am reminded of her smile and her great knowledge as I spend time with Emily, who often pretends that she is a horse.

        Before I left Utah, my ward calling was the activities director in Relief Society.  A calling I really wasn't comfortable with as I found it hard to find diverse activities to include all the sisters and felt frustration when the scout leaders or activity leaders did not support the activities in RS because they were serving in their own callings.  I thought that schedules should be alternated one every other month so that they could attend. 

        The last activity that I semi-coordinated, I was unable to attend.  I opted to go to the viewing for my uncle and had told the RS president that I could either help set up or attend the activity.  We opted for my setting up.

        I have asked about the attendance and how  the activity had gone.  I am still waiting for feedback. I don't think it was well attended.  I feel bad as it sounded like it was really fun.  

        I have always enjoyed being on the activities committee.  Just not being head chief.  Right now I am once again serving on the committee and have received a better understanding about why I may have been called to chair up the activities in my last ward.  To utilize the talents I was given in my Utah wards and bring them to Oregon. 

        We have an activity tonight.  I hope we have the same attendance that we had in July.  It was my first activity here and was very well attended.  But the last activity was not.  They don't have to share their building with other wards or be assigned certain days in which all activates fall.  They can spread out all week.  They can leave all of their kitchen utensils in the kitchen and not worry about another ward messing with it.

        In February, we are going to try out the activity that I had advertized for in May and June.  The second counselor in the RS is very excited.  I think it will be a great activity.  I hope that one is well attended. I'm impressed with the sisters who are willing to make the drive.  There is more distance to travel here than back in Salt Lake - where I could literally pass over 30 LDS buildings in the time it takes most of the members just to get to one.

        I like it here.  I am happy in Oregon.  I am happy at our Church.  I am happy to be part of a ward family.  I am happy to breathe clean air.   

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Forgotten Librarians

            There are some members of the Church who often feel that they have served in a position forever or feel like others have.  To the best of my knowledge, there have been only two lifetime callings.  That is apostle (who either passes away while holding apostleship calling or goes on to be Prophet and serve in that calling even after death) and stake patriarch who (to the best of my knowledge) continues to serve as patriarch even if he moves to another location becomes patriarch in whatever stake he moves to.

            So as far as ward callings go, there is no lifetime calling – though I have often wondered if the ward librarian feels overlooked and lost in the shuffle.  I’m not a ward librarian, but that is kind of how I view the ward librarian – especially when the library itself is located in such a conspicuous place that more than half those who attend said building have absolutely no clue where the library is located – let alone who the librarian is.

            As I kid I didn’t pay much attention to positions in the Church nor do I have any idea who served as librarian when I was a youth. The first church building that I can remember even attending had somewhat of a squirrelly layout as far as the architecture goes.  The library is upstairs in a very out of the way location.  I’m serious about patrons having no clue that it’s there. 

The first ward librarians that I remember were two sisters who very well could have been the very librarians that were there all the while I was growing up.  I had believed it was their lifetime calling and the only way that they’d ever be released is if God himself called them away from their dwelling on earth.  I honestly don’t recall anyone else having served in that position – that doesn’t mean there hadn’t been others who may have served as librarian – I just don’t recall there ever having been anyone but those two sisters.

It wasn’t until many years after I had moved out of the house that mom told me that new librarians had been called – four of them.  They were to work in teams – two would stay in the library during meetings for one month (or maybe it was every other week) while the other two went to the scheduled meetings.  And they would rotate so that they all had the opportunity to attend Relief Society and Sunday school.

It wasn’t mom’s favorite calling.  But it seems it was around the time when she was diagnosed with having dementia and so her issues weren’t always what she thought they were.

The church building that Roland and I attended was right across the street from our first house.  The ward library was in an ideal location just across the hall from the primary.  Lots of traffic passed the library.  Surely everyone who attended that building knew where the library was.  And I would think that over 60% surely would have known who their librarian was (or is)

For our ward it was Betty Graham.  Betty loved being librarian – or at least I assume she did/does.  It’s an ideal location and she likes to visit those who pass by.  People have been late about getting to class as they visit with Betty. 

I don’t know how many had been called to assist over the years. I know Kayla had been called as a librarian right after Gary was born.  She took him with her and kept him in his infant seat on the floor of the adjoining room (or was it a very spacious closet) and when the traffic slowed down, would leave to attend Relief Society but come back for Sunday School.  Betty never wanted to go to the other meetings.   I believe she is still there – going on 14 years (at least – who knows how long she might have been there before we moved in)

And then there’s our current ward.  The library is often locked.  It’s near the primary and bishop’s office – so I would think many may know about it – but not all.  I don’t even know if libraries are utilized now as they had been while I was growing up – or even as an instructor. More times than not is there even a librarian in there – and when we can find a librarian in there, it is generally the librarian from the other ward who appears to be married to her position. 

This sister who was last called as librarian in our ward used to show up in Relief Society.  She came in late and left early but over the years has seemed to disappear altogether.  Her name is still on the rolls and is always on the program as ward librarian.  I think she must have released herself but somehow the rest of the ward doesn’t know about it. 

For the most part, the ward I am in seems good about rotating callings which helps tremendously for not feeling “burn-out” in any calling – except for some leadership positions and then the forgotten librarian.

The library is not in a high traffic area as with my last ward, but it’s certainly not in such an obscure location as with the first church I went to.  But I think along with so many librarians that may or may not diligently serve in her calling, I do think the library itself is getting overlooked (in my current ward)

            Thank you to all the ward librarians who have served diligently in your calling.  I know far too many of you may feel you are overlooked and unappreciated.  I hope that may change.  I hope you feel appreciated.  I hope that you may feel some sense of joy.  I hope that you may receive some recognition and you are more than a name on a program or ward directory and that you will have an opportunity to attend your meetings if you so desire.  May you not be forgotten.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Roland’s Time to Shine

      It was just over four years ago when we made the decision to leave Kearns and move into the cracker box house where we currently live in West Valley.  We were at least five months behind with our mortgage; the economy did NOT appear that it would ever get better; we were in debt to more than just the mortgage company and we were bound to lose more than just our house.

We already had a property in West Valley with only half a fixed mortgage than the elevator (up and down) mortgage we were given monthly in Kearns.  Still struggling and on Welfare for over two years and still paying on an unfair back child support  - but that’s another story – not a pleasant one at that and so it will never get posted on this blog.

Initially we were just going to swap out houses with the tenants that had been living in our WV house.  We had planned on doing so right after Thanksgiving. But the economy had been unkind to them also and they had to downgrade into something even smaller than our cracker box house.  They moved out before Thanksgiving and we moved in on November 30.

We felt good about our decision – though it cost us the house in Kearns.  It had remained vacant for over a year and had been vandalized at least twice before it was purchased.

We had totally awesome weather every day we moved items to a storage unit quite near where we live or to a donation center between the two houses.  It snowed the day of our final move.  We were meant to be here – at least Roland was. 

In Kearns Roland was always Jenna’s dad or the boy’s dad or my husband.  He appeared to be on the back burner so much of the time.  But in West Valley he has his own identity.  Jenna and I are the one’s who seem lost in the shuffle as we take a back seat to his callings and he shines and though several know Jenna and me – EVERYBODY knows Roland.
In less than two years Roland had had four different callings.  We had gone to the stake center for each one of them.  The first calling was as a counselor in the elder’s quorum.  When the elder’s quorum president moved out of our ward and Roland and I had been summoned back to the stake president we figured he’d be called to be the EQ president.  Both of us were quite surprised that it wasn’t to do with the EQ at all. Roland had been called to be the first counselor to the High Priest Group Leader.

The next calling was as High Priest Group Leader and finally first counselor in the bishopric where he has been for over two years.  It’s been an interesting ride and he has enjoyed every moment.  It’s been hard on Jenna who was so friendly and outgoing in Kearns to almost friendless in an anti-social and immature neighborhood.  And I miss having sidewalks to walk on.

The county seems to be fazing Kearns out to non-existent almost.  I wouldn’t mind returning to the ward itself – but I wasn’t happy about living so far west as I don’t currently enjoy living this far north – not that I guess it matters anymore.  Mom’s house was central station.  Even before she was gone there had been this sense of lost – we no longer have a central place.
I’d like to live in one of the neighborhoods surrounding Jenna’s school.  They feel so inviting.  Not to mention we’d be closer to Jenna’s school.  She could walk home.  And I could have dinner ready when Roland comes home.

When we moved in, two of our boys were on missions.  Biff had a room to himself for five months before Tony returned.  Tony got married ten days before Randy returned.  Randy said he wouldn’t have lived with us if he had to share his room with both Biff and Tony (three adults in one room would have been a bit crowded – especially since Randy is so awesomely tidy and the other two are not)

Randy has since married and although the room still holds most of Biff’s possessions, he spends most of his free time in Syracuse.  Says he plans on marrying Jeanie in January.  He said the same thing about this month.  Guess we’ll know when the time comes.  They’ll probably elope.
Roland doesn’t want to leave West Valley. He likes it here. The ward needs him.  He doesn’t wish to give up his calling.  What devotion. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

I’m Grateful for Diversity

In addition to celebrating the nations birthday in July, Utah also celebrates its roots with “Pioneer Day” or “the Days of ‘47”   On the 24th of July Salt Lake holds its annual two hour parade in addition to the youth parade that takes place the week prior. 

“The Days of ’47” parade is well attended.  There’s several people who will actually camp overnight in order to get the perfect parade watching spots.  I happen to believe that all of these people are crazy – yet at the same time I admire their enthusiasm.  The parade is truly an awesome moment for them and I’m grateful for the enthusiasm.  I really am.  I’m also grateful that the parade is televised and I am able to watch it in my air conditioned home. 

I am not a parade person – actually I am not a crowd person.  I could handle the parade in Afton, Wyoming just fine.  I don’t think the entire population of their small town matches the tremendous amount of people flooding the downtown streets of Salt Lake on the 24th.  I am actually a lot more comfortable with the peon parades that are less than an hour than with a band, another float, another horse, another . . .

But I’m not opposed to a two – three hour parade.  I just choose not to sit through it.  Especially in the blaring sun.  But that’s me.  That’s MY personality.  My sister-in-law, Sunny may have been one of those who camped out.  She LOVED the parade – probably still does – though I don’t think she gets downtown as often as she did when she was single.  My brother Patrick is less thrilled with the whole parade idea than I am – or at least he used to be.

I’m grateful for the diversity that makes us individuals. 

There is no paid ministry within the LDS Church.  Those who teach lessons or give talks are our peers from the same congregation.  We don’t sit in a meeting listening to the same speaker week after week.  There are a variety of speakers asked to speak on certain topics – often the same topic as the other assigned speakers.  And while Joe may speak with vigor and vibrancy, Eric’s talk may be more subtle – or he may just read with no eye contact whatsoever.  And maybe Eric is the only one who will actually get something out of his talk.  But Eric has reached someone that perhaps Joe cannot.

Veronica may type all the quotes from her lesson to pass out to class members to guarantee participation while Dorothy just stumbles through her lesson and gets nervous about the amount of participation.  Jade may do her lesson completely different from the other two and belt out the lesson without the microphone but have most of the sisters willing to eat her words.

I remember two neighbors who had come to visit my mom once a month.  Jody was by the book: “this is the lesson, this is the outline, and this is the message that God wants us to learn.”  Peggy seemed to “scan” the book.  She would give her one or two line lesson from the title.  Oh, she’d elaborate if more was wanted or needed – but her theory was: “you’ve had this lesson, you’ve given this lesson, and you know this lesson.  Here is a quick reminder”

It’s a good thing really.  Not everybody relates to all people.  Not everybody absorbs the message the first time or the second time.  Perhaps not even the fifth time.  And then there’s those of us who may think, “Yea, yea.  I ‘vet heard this message over a thousand times.  I’ve got it.” But do we really have one’s perspective or “take” on it?  And sometimes there are individuals that will say the words that we’ve already heard, but suddenly it takes on new meaning.  It suddenly makes more sense.  We may experience an “aha” moment – and it’s not because the message itself or even the words are new.  It has been presented in a different light.  A situation was given in which we can identify or appreciate. 

I remember my own mother practicing her lessons over and over again.  There are many times I know she felt inadequate about whatever calling she happened to have.  I know she wasn’t always pleased with her lessons.  She was constantly comparing herself to others who had been in her position.  I don’t think she understood the diversity is needed until after she’d given one lesson in particular

Lily had been inactive for years.  She returned on a day that my mom was the instructor.  Mom kept things simple according to her own understanding.  Lily thanked her for her lesson.  Mom was taken aback.  Her lessons weren’t anywhere near as powerful as when Peggy would present them.  But it was mom’s simpleness and delivery that Lily needed.  Peggy’s flowery words or method of presentation always seemed over Lily’s head.  It’s true that Peggy may have reached more sisters than my mom – but there were some people who actually weren’t comfortable with Peggy’s deliverance.  Diversity is needed in teaching because we are made up of a huge amount of diverse personalities.

Our current bishop is very soft spoken.  He really does put a tremendous amount of thought into his talks and his words are of importance – but I don’t think his delivery always settles well with the entire congregation – especially if he is the last speaker of the meeting.  My husband, on the other hand, can wake up the congregation.  Most people like his enthusiasm and deliverance – but not everybody does.  What one may have gotten out of the bishop’s talk may be missed in my husbands or vice-versa.

And then there are some people who are blessed and talented enough to learn from all talks and lessons.  They don’t fall asleep.  They don’t get bored. They are in tune with the Spirit (I fully admit that often I am not in tune) and then there are those of us that get much more out of the talk or lesson if we are entertained by deliverance (or at least not bored by it)
We all need the opportunity of presenting His message – even if it’s only for ourselves.  Perhaps the individual that I need to reach is myself – and if someone else should make discoveries while I am talking or teaching – great. We need diversity.  And just as with the parade – not every speaker or instructor is going to appeal to me – that doesn’t mean I can’t learn.  I appreciate the diversity.  I really do.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Declaration of recruiting subjects back to the castle

Once upon a time in the kingdom of
  Natalafe, there lived a royal prince and
his subjects.  Now the name of the prince was Emmanuel Bishop and the king had given him a list with the names of all of his subjects.  The problem was there were some names on the list that he wasn’t familiar with.

Now all of these subjects lived far and wide all throughout the kingdom –
yet they all lived within a day’s walk of the castle.  Many of the subjects would come to the castle at least once a week to pay their respects to the king.  Prince Bishop knew all of those subjects by name.  He would often meet each subject at the castle gate and would welcome them.

But there were many subjects who never even entered the castle though the
king strongly desired for each of his subjects to attend.  Prince Bishop knew
some of those subjects but not all of them.  And yet the king had told the
prince that it would be his responsibility to make certain that ALL of his
subjects were safe. 

That was a huge responsibility. Especially with all of his other princely responsibilities and because he didn’t know all of the subjects on the list. And so Prince Bishop would try to come up with a plan to make contact with those who were not coming to the castle knowing that he just couldn’t do it all by himself. 

  And so it came to pass that Prince Bishop divided the kings’ subjects into units and called knights to serve over each unit. One of the units was specifically designed for the Lords and another for the Ladies. The knights divided the Lords and Ladies into even smaller groups called families and they called their squires to serve in pairs and visit a certain amount of families each month.

Each pair would be responsible for visiting three to five cottages within the
kingdom.  They were told they would only have to visit just once a month to
learn how each subject was doing. It was not a difficult task.  To give just a bit of time just once a month and report back to the knights who served within the units so that they in turn could report back to Prince Bishop. 
And now it came to pass that the squires had fulfilled their callings.

And this greatly pleased Prince Bishop and the king to have such compassion within their kingdom, that so many were willing to fulfill their callings Their reports made it so much easier for Prince Bishop to understand and help his subjects a little better.

The branching out and reporting back seemed to work well in the beginning but darkness fell upon the kingdom. For behold, verily, verily I say unto you that not all the squires would be able to work together each month. Each pair seemed to come up with excuses not to go until finally only about half the subjects in the kingdom were receiving visits. Thus Prince Bishop felt sorrow for he did not know how some of his subjects were doing. 

The knights seemed just as perplexed – why would those who had been called agree to give up only a little bit of time just once a month and not do it? Why wouldn’t they be willing to keep that commitment to help Prince Bishop and more importantly our King?

Prince Bishop called two royal hunters who would go from cottage to cottage inviting the subjects to come back to the castle. And each month the royal hunters would report to the prince about their findings within the kingdom of  his subjects. Prince Emmanuel Bishop always praised them.  He has praised many of his Squires also.  But not all of the Squires are doing their part and the kingdomric often wonders how to get the ALL of the Squires to do his or her part.

With faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of the king, We know it can be done.
We are ALL important to the King’s plan. What can we do together to strengthen our calling in our kingdom?

The End . . .  or should I say to be continued?


Sunday, January 8, 2012

We do not Throw Books at our Friends!

          My church calling at this time is in the nursery.  Currently we live in a mostly geriatric ward, and thus our nursery is not really big.  Five children is the most we’ve ever had – and that was with visitors.

          Andrea is an only child. She is quiet.  Doesn’t do much interaction with the other children.  Mostly just stands back and observes.  Sometimes she cries for mommy and daddy – but not too often.  She is easy to watch.
          Aden – no relation to Andrea.  They just happen to have similar names. He was our oldest child in our nursery and has started sunbeams just this year.  He is the youngest of four children at home.  Also very quiet.  But than so is his mom.  Aden plays quietly – occasionally says a word or two, but not much verbally.
          For a while that is all that we had.  And then Mason’s family started coming regularly.  What a handful.  Spent most of the time crying – or else he would try bullying the other two.  And Andrea is the one who always got hurt – not on purpose necessarily.  She would just happen to be in the way.

          Mason came for a while and then started staying home with dad.  We see him on occasion, but not so much anymore.

          Faith’s family moved in mid September.  She is the youngest of six.  Just a wee bit spoiled – not so much by mom and dad but from at least four of the five sibs – most of all her brother, who adores her.  For a month Faith cried whenever mom or dad would leave.  We played music for her.  That seemed to calm her down.  She LOVES singing time. 

          After a month she got used to us.  She decided that she would push buttons of each child and leader.  She would decide (and still does) that she would want to play with the toy that Aden was playing with.  She would take it away and smile – not that she really actually wanted to play with it – she just wants power – and she wants everyone in nursery to KNOW that she has power.  She doesn’t.  She just thinks she does.     

          On the last week in November we were introduced to our new challenge – who was/is louder and bigger than Mason and Faith combined – a new challenge for Faith – but I really think with this new power struggle that is taking place HOPE is going to win.  Hope and Faith – can you believe it?  They are both two and thus far neither one seems to live up to her name. 

           I have told Faith NOT to push Hope’s buttons – Hope is twice her size and could sit on her and squash her.  Actually, out of all the children, Faith is the smallest and weighs practically nothing.  Mason and Hope are both solid – and become heavier when kicking and screaming.

          Hope is an only child – she has never had to share toys.  Sweet, innocent Andrea was riding on a horse and Hope shoved her off – though we have two other horses.  Poor Andrea.  Hope had hurt her intentionally – whereas the pain caused by Mason has always been unintentional.  And Hope is so big and strong that the leaders may get hurt if she continues to struggle.

          Hope and Mason have not met one another – though I doubt Hope would even notice.  I can just visualize the two of them pushing and punching each other and having to quickly move Andrea to the other side of the room – while Faith continues to smile in her mischievous way. 

          Look forward to watching their personalities develop. Hopefully we can help them to understand why friends are important. Heaven help ALL of us – especially Andrea – who’s really just an innocent by stander – literally.