Thursday, March 13, 2014

More Confessions of a Kinda Newly Called Relief Society President

I was reading my post entitled "Confessions of a Newly Called Relief Society President" and WOW I was exhausted trying to sift through the craziness of that post! A lot of people have read that post and I'm wondering if you all had to take a nap afterwards?! But it was very authentic because that is how my brain was at that time - overwhelmed!

Now I'm 6 months into the calling and, well, I'm still overwhelmed but in a sure, solid, know-I-will-survive kinda way...I think. :)

Here are a few lessons I have learned over the past few months. They aren't in any specific order...just what comes to my head first

1. I'm still super grateful for the Visiting Teaching program of the Church. After sifting through my records to find out who still lives within our ward's boundaries and who doesn't, I have come up with a grand total of 230 women in my ward. 134 of those sisters are assigned a Visiting Teacher. That means 96 women do not have someone assigned to check in on them. How is that possible? 96 women is a lot and I need to find these women!

I know, I know, I can hear you, "You can't get to all of them." I believe that is not correct. If a shepherd had 230 sheep and lost track of 96 of them, you can bet he would search out every single one of them...every single one! Maybe some of them don't want to be found? Maybe. But I don't know which ones those are and I will not stand in front of the Lord one day and say, "I thought she might be one of the sisters who didn't want to be found so I didn't bother her." That's not happening. So, my counselors and my Visiting Teaching staff and I are in the process of developing a way to reach out to each sister. It is a big undertaking and I'm going to rely on the sisters in my ward a lot but the sisters in my ward are wonderful and I know they will have some great experiences serving the Lord by finding these lost sheep - who actually happen to be living, breathing people with hopes and dreams and who need our Savior so much.

2. If you want to cause your Relief Society president to be speechless, call her one morning and say, "What task can I do for you today?" or "Is there someone today who really needs a visit but you can't get to them? Let me go." or "I would like to be your assistant all day today. What's on your list?" Seriously, she'll be speechless. But then hang on, because she'll take you up on that offer (if she's smart.) What she'll have for you to do may not be too glamorous, but she'll be so grateful!!

3. This is kind of the same as #2, but a tad different...if you notice your Relief Society President (or a President of any organization or Bishop for that matter) is doing a lot of work in their calling and looks like they need a rest, DO NOT say, "You need to slow down. You can't do it all."

Let me tell you why...I am running all day long doing things for Relief Society and for my family but I am painfully aware that I'm not even close to doing it all. I feel like I'm barely scratching the surface. I'm doing my best, yes, but I'm not doing it all and I don't see how I can slow down. With the amount of texts, phone calls, requests, emails etc. that come to me daily, I'm usually just getting to the fires that need to be put out and yes, I am using my counselors and yes, I do have great women working in other areas and yes, I do call the Visiting Teachers to enlist their help and still, I feel like there are so many things not getting done. (My laundry is one of those things!)

A better thing to say would be, "What can I do to take one thing off of your plate today?" and then be willing to actually help her do that one thing. She will love you forever!!

4. Taking dinners into people is so wonderful and absolutely a great service and we sisters are super awesome at taking in meals to others. I know without a doubt that the sisters in my ward will jump and get to baking if I ask for someone to organize a meal and I am so grateful!!

Sometimes dinners are not what people need.

Sometimes people need you to sit with them and listen. Sometimes people need you to help them do their dishes or pick up their kids or take them to figure out why they aren't getting the right amount of food stamps (plan on 3 hours for that one) or help them find a bed or help them learn how to clean properly or hug and not judge them when they find out their child has just made a very sad decision or listen as they tell you their gut wrenching life story or help them find a lawyer or take them grocery shopping because they don't own a car or invite them over for dinner even though they smell like cigarette smoke or listen as they tell you that they aren't sure they have a testimony or love them even when you know they know they are making a wrong decision or take them to the ER or pray with them in the hospital or hold their babies so their arms can rest or text them an encouraging note or love them even if they are yelling at you because they need someone to yell at and you just happened to be there at that moment or not take their insults personally or take them to the Addiction Recovery meetings or encourage them to talk to the Bishop and repent or hold their hand while they are in the process of getting a divorce or give them a you get the picture?

There are easy ways to serve and there are ways to serve that require us to roll up our shirt sleeves and get into the mess. In these last days before Jesus comes again, things are going to get messy and we RELIEF Society women have some work to do and I know we can do it and I know when we really come to understand that we are on the Lord's errand and He has enlisted our help and He is with us every moment, we will not hesitate to do what needs to be done...okay, maybe sometiems we'll hesitate a bit but that is just because we are mustering the courage necessary and that's okay, as long as we get that courage mustard. (is that a word or a condiment?)

5. Which leads me to my last lesson for this post because I've got to get busy...we Mormon women are so private!! What I mean is, we are soooooooo afraid to let someone know that we have weaknesses and we're not picture perfect! It has to stop! Why are we afraid of letting someone know that we are not perfect? Hello? Mortality here! Imperfection is normal!

Do you know what I'm doing at this very moment at 8:30 in the morning? I'm in my pajamas, eating a bag of mini snickers while I'm sitting in my messy kitchen, not folding the mountain of laundry on my bed, I haven't read the scriptures yet or walked the dog, I have at least 239 other things I could/should be doing but I'm not, because this is on my mind so I'm doing this.

If my visiting teachers were to come over, I would apologize like crazy...for what? For being mortal and being like everyone else? Those ladies probably left a messy house and might have cried themselves to sleep last night because of some heartache and even if I told them that I cried myself to sleep last night because of a pain in my own heart, they probably wouldn't know what to do with that because they don't want to pry and push but we'll sit and smile and share a sweet little lesson and then they will be on their way. THAT MUST END!! If we sisters are going to help each other make it through these last days WE MUST BE OPEN AND HONEST AND AUTHENTIC with each other. I'm not saying we should be negative or pessimistic or just talk about the bad stuff. I'm saying that we can be real with one another BECAUSE...look at Who is in the background of that fabulous selfie I just courageously posted...

Yes, Him whose organization for women I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! We are all imperfect and we serve imperfectly and we are imperfect wives and mothers and daughters and friends and imperfect visiting teachers and I am, most definitely, an imperfect Relief Society President but, as Nephi wrote, "I know in whom I have trusted." (1 Nephi 4: I don't know the verse right now.)

This is one of my favorite pictures because I imagine that the woman standing there is me. I want to be that woman at that well. I want to have Jesus Christ all to myself for a few moments and just listen to Him and learn from Him and have Him listen to me and answer my questions. I want Him to ask me to serve Him because He knows I will do it. I want Him to know that I will do the hard work and seek out His lost sheep and follow His counsel and His example.

I want to give Him my life and my heart as this woman is giving Him some water. I know He will reach for me as I reach for Him.

See the two women behind Jesus Christ in this picture? I want to be the woman in green who is taking the blind woman to Jesus Christ to be healed. I want to help each of the sisters in my ward to go to Him and be healed...and I need to allow them to do the same for me.

Lesson #6 I LOVE being the Relief Society President right now because I LOVE feeling the Savior's love for the women in my ward. I love seeing them through His eyes. I LOVE watching them serve each other and grow and develop stronger testimonies of Him. I will admit that something about my calling makes me shed a few tears almost every day - tears of joy and gratitude but also tears of pain, sorrow, frustration and loneliness. But the Lord always reaches down and dries those tears with some tender mercy He has prepared just for me. I love Him.

I LOVE being in His service in this way at this time in my life and I will love whatever other ways He will need me in the future.

P.S. I love that my children are watching me do this and I try to involve them as much as possible. My 7-year-old son's legos had a "meeting" the other day. Wonder where he learned that?

To read my first confessions click on this link "Confessions of a Newly Called Relief Society President" 
or read what comes after this post:
Even More Confessions of a Relief Society President


  1. Thanks for sharing. You said exactly how I feel and I am grateful that I found this post!

    1. Billie, who knows if you will ever see this comment from me. I'm so sorry! I thought I had replied to you. It is wonderful when we find out that there is someone else in this world who understands our feelings. I hope all is well with you. Feel free to email me any time.

  2. To tell you the truth, I never read people's blogs... either I'm too busy trying to take care of my family, extended family, house, church callings, etc... However, I read yours today and it really hit home. I'm not a RS president, but my mom was a few years ago before my dad got cancer. (He is doing very well BTW.) Anyway, I was thinking of her at first when I started reading how busy you are and how much you love your sisters in the ward. But as I read farther, I felt you were talking to me... I agree it is very easy to make a dinner and drop it off and go on your way. But that is not what most people need 95% of the time. So I am going to call my RS president and tell her I have Wednesday free this week and I would LOVE to help in any way I can. I really appreciate your comment about being REAL with each other. A few years ago my best friend left her husband, and I was the last to know!! I believe she tried to tell me, but I didn't want to PRY. She didn't want to be less than perfect. I felt awful that I wasn't there to help more at the beginning... We don't always know what to say or how to help, but I have found through this experience that listening and BEING THERE, or SHOWING UP, is what helps the most. The Lord will direct us, after we show up!! Thanks for helping me feel the spirit guide me today... always a treasured blessing... Good luck to you in your calling! Which I know you'll do fine because of the spirit that you already are listening to.

    1. Kim, please forgive me! I thought I had replied to your comment already. I don't know if you'll even see this or not. Thank you for your comments. Thank you for your comment. I'm glad that your dad is doing well! I want to know if you really did call your RSP and have a serving adventure that day. You can email me any time I hope all is well!


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