Monday, January 21, 2013

Big Changes on Day Nineteen!

In every ward (congregation) or branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, members are asked to fulfill "callings".  These callings might be to teach the four-year-olds or to put together the printed bulletin or to play the organ for Sunday meetings, but every function that helps the ward run is assigned to someone in a calling.  Sometimes people describe them as "volunteer" positions because they are unpaid, but I don't think that's strictly true since we don't generally submit our own names or lobby for particular callings (though dropping a broad hint in a sacrament meeting talk that I love teaching Gospel Doctrine worked out well for me once :)).  Often we can be fairly surprised at what we are asked to do.

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to be the president of the Young Women in our ward.  Having served as a Young Women president several years ago in a different ward, I already knew that working with the youth in this particular calling is wonderful and fun and rewarding, and also challenging and time-consuming.  Frankly, it's a little intimidating, too.  But I said yes, and today I was sustained by the ward and set apart.

For the last two weeks as I've been fasting, I've been studying and pondering and praying.  (In some ways, I wonder if this wasn't one of the reasons I was prompted to start this month-long fast, so I'd be better prepared when this calling came along.) And my studies and prayers and pondering have, not surprisingly, swirled around this calling: the Young Women program, what other women to call as leaders, the new curriculum, the Personal Progress program, activities, and how on earth to get it all done.  But my thoughts have kept returning to "what do these young women need?" And the answer I keep getting is that they need strength.  These young women need the strength that comes with knowing who they are and how to find their own answers to hard questions.  They need to know it's okay to ask and seek and continually be changing and learning. It's okay to be different, to take risks, even to make mistakes; that's how we grow and progress!

So, big changes afoot...  I anticipate this will take a good chunk of time, especially in the near future as I try to wrap my head around everything and settle in to the calling.  So maybe a little less time for reading and writing for a while, but all for a good cause.

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