El Presidente

Our stake has a mid-week scripture class that I like to go to.  It is taught by two women who are both remarkable.  One of them is Susan Tanner, former General Young Women’s President as well as a lot of other things.  As she was teaching a lesson a few weeks ago it was mentioned that she sewed pajamas for all of her grandkids for Christmas.  She said that while she sewed she listened to an audio book.  I can’t remember which book it was but it was a well known LDS book, a title that I recognized but have never read.

I also made pajamas for my kids for Christmas and I also listened to something while I worked.  Although what I listened to wasn’t an LDS audio book, it was the podcast Serial.  While not necessarily a bad podcast, it isn’t exactly uplifting.  As I sat there in the class I compared my entertainment of choice to hers when we were in the same situation.  The differences helped me to see that there was plenty of room for improvement in my life.

Because of this experience and other thoughts and feelings that I had been having, later that night as I said my prayers, I told God that I was ready for him to make me into the person he wanted to be.  I was ready to do what he had in mind for me.

A week and a half later I got called to be the Primary President.  That wasn’t exactly what I had in mind as I prayed that night.  I was thinking of things that alined more with my goals and dreams for my life.  Being the Primary President, or any President for that matter, has never been a goal of mine.

It’s been about a month since I got my new calling and in that short amount of time I’ve come to realize a few things.  The first thing is that it’s really weird that we congratulate people when they get a major calling.  I feel uncomfortable when people tell me congratulations, like this is something that I aspired to and that other people want but didn’t get.  I know they mean well and are simply acknowledging the change and I don’t have any hard feelings.  It’s just hard for me to know how to respond.  I tend to just say “Thanks” and then try to change the subject.  Some in my family have started saying “Congratudolances” (congratulations+condolences) which is a little closer to how I feel but still not exactly right.

There were two responses that I have liked the most.  The first one was from my sister.  When she found out she sent a text that said “Aye! Aye! Aye! You’ll do great as Primary Pres!”  It was awesome because it summed up the hugeness of the calling but she also gave her support.

The second response was from a friend.  She started with the common “Congratulations” after which I thanked her and said, ” but I don’t know if that is the right word to use.”  She then agreed with me and said that the ones they should be congratulating are the kids because they were lucky to have me.  It was by far the nicest thing anyone said to me about the new calling.

The thing that has really surprised me in this experience is all of the support that people have shown me.  Everyone who says anything to me about it says that I will do a great job or that I will be so great in the calling.  They seem to have so much confidence in me.  That or they are really good liars.  It too feels a little weird because I feel so insufficient.  There is so much that I lack and I feel like it is all so apparent.  Maybe others don’t see my weaknesses as much as I think they do.

I’m actually excited about the calling in a way.  I’m excited for the person that I will be when it’s all over.  I know it will be hard at times but that’s okay, hard things change us and when I went to the Lord in prayer that night change is what I was looking for.

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