Jesus wants me for the Primary?
A couple months ago, I was asked to see the bishop, with my husband. I knew what was going to happen. I was a Relief Society teacher, and the Education Counselor had recently moved. In my eight years of being married, I have been in Young Women’s for five and Relief Society for three. Knowing that Young Womens had recently been fully “re-staffed,” it was easy to guess what I was going in for.
4) I love the women I work with. They are great examples of people I might not have sought out as friends because we don’t seem to have a lot in common, but because of Church service, I’ve gotten to know them and really enjoy them.
But, I forgot that that the Primary was getting a new presidency.
I don’t think I hid my shock when the bishop said I was being called to the Primary presidency.
Primary? Isn’t that for young stay-at-home moms? Oh wait…that’s me now.
I wasn’t looking forward to being in Primary. I live with a toddler and a newborn; they aren’t the most stimulating conversationalists. So, I looked forward to being in Relief Society. I loved teaching once a month, I loved meeting people in there, and I loved being away from children.
I went into Primary the first week and was completely overwhelmed. The previous primary presidency was fabulous: kind, yet firm, and full of clever, innovative ways to teach the kids the Gospel. The kids loved them. Oh, and I must mention the immaculate, fully-stocked Primary closet!
What could I add to this? I’d never even taught a Primary class much less a sharing time. I don’t do crafts, and I can’t draw. Frankly, I figured long ago that I wasn’t Primary material.
But, now, I really love it.
1) Primary has forced me to go back to basics of the Gospel. When I’m teaching Sunbeams about faith, they’re not interested in my esoteric ideas about when faith doesn’t seem to be enough. They need core definitions, and when I prepare these lessons, I realize that sometimes, I gain much myself by going back to core definitions.
2) Primary kids never get offended. I can call someone by their sibling’s name, and I’m immediately forgiven. When they whisper in the back, I can tell them to knock it off (sometimes, I really want to say that in RS!), and they do.
3) We spend half of the time singing. Now, if someone could only work on getting those songs in lower keys—as I try to squeak up to a D yesterday during “Picture a Christmas,” I’d be perfectly happy. But, another benefit in Primary is that no one cares about my squeaky D’s.
(The first counselor is really patient with me when I ask her pretty much every week, “So, how do you (blank) with ten kids?”)
5) I don’t do crafts with the kids, I don’t have cool pictures, but I realize that I can add a thing or two to this Primary. Every sharing time, I make sure to have a story about a woman or girl, and I’m working on using pictures that show Mormons from various cultures.
Some weeks, it doesn’t feel like much of a contribution. But, every so often, I see one of those Primary kids paying attention to a story about a woman, and I remember how important those stories were to me when I was in Primary.
Have you had a calling you dreaded and ended up loving? (Or that you thought you’d love and ended up praying for a release?)