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Alethea & Athena
Stake conference 
22nd-Feb-2015 03:33 pm
We've had a pretty relaxing weekend, made more relaxing by the fact that it was stake conference, so we didn't have to worry about teaching Primary. Not that I don't like dealing with the children, just that I feel like I'm supposed to be getting some kind of a message through to them and failing. I don't like failing, and I haven't figured out how not to do that yet, so teaching Primary continues to be stressful.

But today! we didn't have to worry about that. We did have to worry about music, though, because we were asked to be in charge of it for the session of stake conference today. It's only a little bit more nerve-wracking than being in charge of the music for a regular sacrament meeting, because the congregation is bigger. Also, it's in a different building and I'm not as familiar with the organ. I'm constantly worried about whether or not I'm playing loud enough, but I don't know how to increase the volume any more than I already had, so I just hoped for the best.

Anyway! for the congregational number, we did a really cool thing. Because there are so many cultures represented in our stake, we sang "Called to Serve," and we sang the first verse four times: once in English, once in Spanish, once in Samoan, and once in Tongan. It was awesome. And fortunately, all of those languages use the Roman alphabet, and with the exception of English, all the letters make the sounds you expect them to make. At least, we think so anyway.

It was kind of funny, though, because there was a choir number performed by the choir from the Samoan ward. So all the choir seats were filled and there were a lot of people singing all around me at the organ. When we got to the Samoan verse, they sang extra loud! And then it was the Tongan verse and they weren't so sure of themselves. I imagine the same thing happened for everyone when it got to a verse that wasn't in their native language, but the stake president (who is Tongan) said before we sang that it's okay if you sing it in broken sentences.

There were some great messages, too, but one of the things that stood out to me the most was a comment that was almost made in passing. We had a youth speaker--a teenage boy who was a convert to the church. He said he was interested in the church because he liked the missionaries, not because he was particularly interested in the church itself. That made me think, because the full-time missionaries are probably the people in the church who are most strictly living all the teachings of the church. So if you want to know what a member of the LDS Church is supposed to act like, ideally, then getting to know the missionaries would probably give you a really good idea.

Today I'm thankful for a nice relaxing weekend, having a backup ride to choir practice tonight, having cookies in the oven, getting to hear the stake sing "Called to Serve" in four different languages, and getting to take home our copies of the music with all four languages.
23rd-Feb-2015 12:16 pm (UTC)
I don't remember what ages you have in Primary, but if I recall correctly, it's preschool? I used to work in a daycare, with ages 1 1/2 to 3, and then later with the 4's and 5's. I also taught Sunday School (yeah, I know, ME!): first grade, and later on, fourth grade. I know that whatever you're teaching the children, you are not failing. Your example alone, by treating them with kindness and humor (which I know you are), will have a far-reaching effect on them. And they'll remember some of the lessons, even if you don't think they do. With primary age kids, planting the seeds is all that is necessary; I still remember my (elementary school) kindergarten teacher because she was kind, and my first-grade teacher because she was not. I still remember my preschool and kindergarten Sunday School teacher because she was kind, and because she taught us that God loves us, and that we should be kind to others. And, oddly enough, my high school Sunday School teacher was the same woman who was my elementary school kindergarten teacher, and she was as good with teens as she was with kindergarten children - because she was kind.

I'm glad that your stake conference was good for you. ♥
23rd-Feb-2015 10:39 pm (UTC)
Yes, I have the 4- and 5-year-olds (which is only 4-year-olds in our Primary, unless there are 5-year-old visitors). Thanks for the support! We do take comfort in the fact that one of Athena's kids still seems to think we're pretty cool even though she makes no attempt whatsoever to hide her boredom in class. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what the problem is in order to find a solution. Maybe it's that I want to make sure the children are not bored, but to also have the lessons be lessons and not just musical chairs for an hour. This week's lesson seems to have plenty of fun activities in it, so maybe it will help me figure out ways to make future lessons fun, too.
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