Friday, October 26, 2007

Primary Ramblings

Sometimes I don't really know what I'm doing in this calling. Most of the time, really.

Sister Nelson is so energetic and enthusiastic. She could get anyone excited about doing anything. She gets things done. Snap, snap, snap. The woman has an action plan for everything.

My most enthusiastic attitude cannot even compare to the enthusiasm Sister Nelson holds for something she is not even enthused1 about. And I'm afraid that my decision making skills will never be honed to the level hers are at. I can't decide what dental floss to buy--they all cost around 97¢ and, for crying out loud, it's dental floss! She can have a problem placed in front of her, solve it, and delegate each part of her plan in less than 3 seconds. Did I mention she can sing? She can sing really, really well.

Sister Zundel2 should probably actually have my calling. She is one of the most organized people I know. I've only ever been in her entry way, but from the way she talks I imagine that her basement would make a good rival for the L. Tom Perry Special Collections. In my mind, her basement is an archivist's dream, complete with compact shelving (which for some archivists is a nightmare, but it does fit many more shelves than if they were stationary). "I just pulled this from my files," she'll say.

It's good thing I married Andrew. My files have a tendency to look like the top of my desk: chaos. I am more prone to find something if I leave it on the floor...while Andrew's dream house probably has an archive. I'll have to ask him about that.

Sister Gurney seems relaxed. Always. While the rest of us are agonizing over a decision (except for Sister Nelson, who rarely attends meetings because she's the music specialist and doesn't have to), Sister Gurney will be the one to say, "I don't think we need to spend much time on this." She seems to be the type of person who just flows through life. You could throw a million balls at her and she'd catch them all just because she's fine with putting other balls down. She'd never drop the ball--she just simplifies things and makes everyone calm again.

Sister Baxter is what Sister Zundel calls a "froo-froo"3 lady. She is very detailed-oriented. She brought 6 table cloths to try on one table. She made 4 pans of apple crisp for our meeting tonight and says, "Well, it's just as easy to make 4 as it is to make 1." She brought disposable baking pans so that she could share the left-overs with others without having to lend out her baking dishes. She brought windex, lemon wood polish, rags, super glue, removable glue tape4, fall garland, two treasure boxes, a framed picture, and 6 table cloths to help us prepare for our meeting. In fact, she probably brought more things. It was like Relief Society.

As you may have guessed, Sister Baxter is the pie lady. For me, it isn't "just as easy to make 4." I get sick of baking things. Cookie dough can sit in my fridge for a full week before I'll succumb and make that last dozen cookies.

Now, I know that there is pride in comparison. I also know that I don't have the traits these women have and I would like to develop them. I had to compare to figure that out. I'm just a little worried about trying to be like Sister Baxter and Sister Gurney at the same time. I'm not sure it's possible...if it is, it might be like having schizophrenia.

Anyway, these women are simply amazing and I often just feel that I am frazzled. All these other women seem so well suited for their calling. I just feel out of it sometimes.

The good thing is that when you do your best, the Lord does the rest. So technically, I don't have to worry about anything because I am only the instrument. I don't need to know the notes. I don't need to know how to play. I am being worked I just need to be a good instrument.

Being a good instrument does take a bit of work. I have to study and work hard still. It's just that if I don't know something or lack the ability to do doesn't matter. The Lord will play His tune through me. I'm not in charge of the tune. He is.

I realized this today while I was doing a "breakout session" with all the primary secretaries in our stake, which was a little overwhelming for me. I had read up on things. I had prayed. I had prepared the best that I could. But truthfully, I haven't had that much experience in primary, unless you count the time I spent in primary before I turned 12.

So there I was, in a room full of women expecting to be taught. I was the "expert"--the one standing in the front of the room. Things were going fine, but then someone asked a question and I didn't know the answer.

I looked in the handbook and read what it said. It didn't really make much sense to me but I thought that I'd try to explain it anyway. I opened my mouth and out spilled the most beautiful, understandable, perfect answer.

I was amazing. Oh, wait.

Not really. I can't really take credit for that at all.

I am not sure that I've ever really noticed a time when the Lord worked through me, but I've heard of missionaries relating such stories. That was the first time that's ever happened to me. I noticed as it was happening--that I had no idea what I was saying, but I said the perfect thing.

It made me cry over my calling for the second time today. The first time was before the meeting when I was feeling like I wasn't cut out for this business. The second time was just now when I realized that perhaps I really am supposed to be in this calling.

And that is the end of my ramblings.

Except for my footnotes.

1-technically not a word.
2-This is pronounced ZUN-dle, but I always want to say Zun-DELL so I just call her Bonnie. It simplifies things.
3-Apparently a non-offensive term.
4-I'm not really sure what this even is.


  1. You sound just like my mom-who incitentally just got called as the Stake YW pres. in their Oregon stake. She tells me all the time about how she's not cut out for this, and somehow it ends up being my fault that she got the calling in the first place (although I'm in NC and she's in OR)...but then she had a training thing like you did the other day...and since then I think she's felt much better too. Isn't it funny how things like that work out?

  2. So what I am trying to figure out is how your mom's calling could be your fault, Joy? From Nancy's mom.