Saturday, October 30, 2010

Its a small world after all!

From the first day of school, I knew Juan was going to be tough to handle.  He hated doing work in class, he was always sleeping, he wouldn’t bring writing utensils, paper or homework to class, it was a mess!  My mentor teacher didn’t do very well in handling him either.  She would automatically resort to sending him out of class instead of trying to deal with him before resorting to outside authority.  I decided when I took over the class that I was going to kill Juan with kindness-something my grandmother taught me that I have always felt went a long way.
In the last couple of weeks, Juan and I have bonded.  Admittedly I have been a bit more lenient on him than I probably should have, but I knew that being ridiculously stern with him would just make him push me and what I was trying to do away.  So I have done everything I could to give him chances and it really has seemed to work.  He was missing quite a bit of work, so his mother was called and she was actually quite pleasant on the phone.  The next day he was doing better at answering questions and paying attention in class.  He brought all his work in too and is now passing my class.
Today as my kids were writing I put on some music.  I looked up a particular song on my computer and it happened to pull up with it Truman G. Madsen’s lectures on faith.  Juan walked passed my computer, paused for a minute and then walked up to me.  ‘Miss what church do you go to?’ he asked.  I got a little nervous since I am not really sure how much of my religion I can talk about at school.  ‘Why?’  I asked.  ‘Are you Mormon, Miss?’ he pried.  ‘Yeah I am.’ I said.  ‘Me too.’he responded with a smile.  My jaw about hit the floor.  
I got the kids started on what they were doing and I went back to talk to him.  I said (I was smiling the whole time and so was he just so you know, this was a friendly exchange), ‘I don’t believe you!’ He laughed and said, ‘I am!  I am Miss I swear!’.  Figuring I could catch him in a lie I said, ‘What class are you in in Young Mens?’  ‘I’m a priest.’  I just started laughing.  He shared with me that he was the first member in his family, that he had been baptized in Mexico and was followed into the waters months later by the rest of his family except his father who is still not a fan of the church.  
When he left today, he looked back at me, smiled and said, ‘I got you Miss.’  which is high school student for I respect you.
I am so glad I killed him with kindness.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Lord will provide a way

I love when things just work out.

So another thing that Elder Costa talked about was giving references to the missionaries.  He actually did it in a really funny slightly rebuking manner.  He asked everyone who had served a mission to raise their hand.  And then he asked us to think about what we had always wished for from the members when we were missionaries.  We of course said references.  Then he said, Well guess what, you ARE the members now! haha I laughed.  I set a goal to give the missionaries one reference a month.

Last week I was asked to give a talk on Elder Eyring's talk from general conference.  He spoke on listening to the words of conference and then immediately going and doing.  When preparing the talk I thought back to Elder Costa's invitation for us to give references to the missionaries.  I have been talking with a co-worker about the church and he even agreed to come with me the week after next, so I figured that could be my reference for the month.

Well today my roommate and I were waiting for the maintenance man to show up.  When he did I realized that I had talked to him a few weeks ago.  I had been walking to my front door and he and another man were hosing off the roof.  I asked in Spanish if they would kindly not get me wet.  They laughed and then were impressed that I spoke Spanish. A week after that he saw me and said hello in Spanish so we chatted for a while that day too.  Anyways, he walked in and helped us fix some lights.  As he got down from the ladder I said, in Spanish, 'And God said, let there be light, and there was light and it was good.'

Carlos laughed and started talking to me about the bible, which sparked a 30 minute conversation about the priesthood and authority and why churches teach correct principles but were lacking the most important things.  It was awesome.  I was amazed at how Heavenly Father had prepared me that week.  I had been reading in my Spanish scriptures, so they were sitting right there on the table.  I just loved it.  I could see though that it was going to take more than just me to speak to him, so I found the courage to just say, 'I have two missionary friends who would love to talk to you about this.  I'll even come with them.  Carlos, what is your phone number so that we can call you?'  I braced myself for the worst, and surprisingly, he gave me his phone number.

As I was leaving my apartment that night, he was working outside another apartment and he asked me when we were going to come.  I told him that the missionaries would be calling him.  It was just awesome.

So in case you were wondering, if you make it a goal to give at least one reference a month to the missionaries, you should be prepared for them to walk right into your house, fix your lights and then practically beg you to teach them.

Just so you know.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

That's my plan and I'm stickin to it.

Yesterday, I got to see Elder Costa speak in person.  He.was.awesome.

I have never seen someone glide so effortlessly between making me laugh histerically and bringing the spirit around like a powerhouse.  It was perfect for me.  He talked about quite a few things, but one thing in particular just hit me right to the core.

Elder Costa shared several stories about how he had delt with change and opposition in his life.  He talked first about being called to be the YSA Regional Stake Representative two weeks after becoming a member and accepting the calling without even knowing what a stake was. (His exact story was that after he accepted the call he mentioned he had two questions, one was 'What's a stake?' and the other was 'What's YSA?' HA!)  He talked about being two weeks away from marriage when he lost his job, but told us that he went ahead and got married anyways because he knew the Lord would provide.  Elder Costa shared stories from his years as a mission president, how he got called to be in the Second Quorum of the 70, the plans he and his wife made for after his release from that calling and other's reactions to his plan making.  At one point he told one of the other General Authorities that his plan was to retire and spend the rest of his life with his wife living on the beach.  This GA asked him, 'Well what if you get called to something else?' to which Elder Costa replied, 'I make my plans, the Lord have my number.  He want to change my plans, He call me!'  The man was just adorable.

I know that at least that particular part of his talk was directed at me.

Planning is not my forte.  In fact I would say that over the last couple of years I have mastered the art of drifting.  It is easier to be a victim of circumstance than it is to accept responsibility for poor planning, and I have done that a lot over the last few years.  Especially in the last few months when I have had to really think about where I want to be in the next couple of years.  I actually have to PLAN what I want for my life.  It is no longer acceptable to say, 'Well it depends on...'  NO! If the Lord has something in store for me, He will guide me to it.  I need to make decisions and weigh the options and show Him that I trust Him enough to let Him guide me to places and people and experiences that I need to grow.

So I am starting to formulate a plan.  Trust me it is not easier with my new found understanding.  In fact I would say it is down right SCARY to make plans for a life, just hoping that Heavenly Father will guide me to the things I want...but if there is one thing I know, it is that He has a plan.  I just have to be faithful and things will work out in the way they are supposed to.

Besides, the Lord has my number.