Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday School - my mr. the Bishop

That day.

 
Once in a while there are changes made in our church congregations that kind of rock member’s worlds. Things like changing Sunday meeting times once a year in a shared building, ward boundary changes, and changes in leadership our ward was rocked. 

In July of 2012, our ward was rocked. We got a new Bishop

Early last July, I got to go on a whirlwind road trip with the youth from our ward and stake. We went to Nauvoo, Illinois and other important church historical sights along the way. It was wonderful. I was finally in a comfortable place with those beautiful young women I’d been working with. I felt that now that I was comfortable and close to them, I would really be able to more effectively affect their lives and their testimonies of Christ.

I didn’t know it then, but I would not have much time left serving with those beautiful young women. Shortly after returning from that trip, my mr. and I were asked to visit with our Stake President and he extended the call to my mr. to serve as the new Bishop of our ward. My husband’s first assignment would be to find a replacement for me. 

It took some time for me to process, but I’m ok with it now. It would just be too hard for me to serve as the Young Woman’s President with him being Bishop.  We did have a couple Sundays and one Wednesday overlap and that about did me in. His time away coupled with the time and energy I needed to give was just too much.

This was the second major calling I’d had to leave because of changes with him (the first being in Washington when an employment change led to our relocating out of state). I would be lying if I said it didn’t make me feel a little cheated. But as we went through those early weeks, I came to the knowledge that I needed that time with the youth to help them with their connection to him. Because they knew me, they were more open to him.

I declared- “no callings for me until all the other people in this crazy big semi-transient ward have callings.” Which worked for a few months. I’ve been managing our family and a few other things for him - one of those things which has turned into an unusual calling of “new member specialist.” I am interpreting that to mean: meet the new people, help them find their way around, and plan a three times a year ‘new member social’ (aka- come meet the ward leadership because they want to get to know you & make new church friends & realize that it’s highly likely that the person you are sitting next to in church is new too – ok, I am exaggerating a bit on that one- every Sunday is not like this- we seem to have surges in arrivals and departures in June, August and January- this year’s been especially busy).

I’ve been shy to talk to our friends about what’s going on with him and church, but with all the commitments he’s had coaching the boys’ soccer teams and other things, I’ve had to let people know why he’s not around or why we need help with things.  Our non LDS friends have had reactions that surprised me a bit.  They’ve said things like, “what an honor,” “you must be so proud,” and other things along those lines. That made me feel a little uncomfortable- so I’ve had a chance to talk to them about the LDS way of running our organization. How it’s different. He didn’t apply for the position. He didn’t aspire to the calling. In fact, knowing what it required of a LDS Bishop, it’s a little scary.  It’s not a matter of pride, but a blessing that he’s lived his life so that he can minister to our brothers and sisters in this way.

That’s where the biggest change has appeared.

He used to be very uninvolved in other people’s lives. He used to be very quiet. He used to not want to talk much. He used to get in, get the job done, and get out. He’s always been out and about doing things.

Now he’s talking with and ministering to people. Now he wants to talk so much more. Now he gets in, gets the job done and stays around to visit. He’s out and about doing things. Now he just gets home later most evenings.

He doesn’t talk to me about the people he visits with and I am very thankful for that.  But he wants to talk about other things. A lot.  I think he’s got so much going on in his brain, he has to get some of it out. I am not used to that. I’ve had to learn to live with his quiet over the last twenty something years and it’s hard to get used to this new my mr.

He stands up at the pulpit and I think, “Is that him? Is that my mr.?” And when church friends ask how it is being the wife of the Bishop, right now my answer is “weird.” It’s just weird. Weird and incredible.

2 comments:

  1. He's been blessed with the gift of gab. Hey, is that a spiritual blessing too? :)

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  2. It's funny, when people congratulate other's for their callings, I always cringe inside a bit. It's not something to be congratulated for, it's another calling for people to see the Lord's hand in all things. I truly believe that you have to be just as worthy to be a primary teacher as you do to be a Bishop. Now, that being said, I do believe that Heavenly Father blesses those He calls, and I know that Rudy has been prepared for this step. I can't think of a more humble and selfless man to be a mouthpiece. He will do awesome. :)

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