Ever since I’ve been old enough to be in Relief Society I’ve been called to teach in Relief Society. It’s the calling that won’t leave me alone. My husband and I have moved about 6 or 7 times since being married. That at least 5 different wards and in EVERY ward I have been called to that same calling. No lie, I have never done anything else.
My most recent abduction to the calling was in Springville, Utah. When I received a phone call requesting a meeting with the bishop I knew what was coming.
“I’m going to say no,” I’d whine to my husband. “I have had it! I can’t escape it and I know it’s coming for me again.” I talked about it as if it were a relentless plague coming to get me, kill me for good.
It wasn’t that I hated what I was doing, I was just tired of doing it.
Come Sunday (or whatever day it was the bishop called me in) he said the dreaded words I only hoped I wouldn’t hear: “We’d like to call you to be a Relief Society teacher.”
I was only half expecting the words I said to follow: “I’ll pray about it.” The look on his face was something to the effect of: Oh no she didn’t! I could tell he wasn’t expecting that response either. He asked me to get back to him within the week and I did… of course accepting the calling. Although I’m still pretty sure the bishop couldn’t stand me after that.
In our most recent move to Austin I haven’t been given a calling yet. I started at a new ward in January and I know a calling is coming soon. Sunday after sacrament I was waiting for my husband in the chapel when a woman approached me. I’m a little hesitant at first. Here’s my strategy: Be extra nice to primary people, make sure they know how much I LOOOOOVEE kids, and be more shy around RS women, don’t let them know how cool I am. This woman had a baby on her arm and I immediately went soft.
“This isn’t my baby,” she said. “Sister Smith’s husband sits on the stand so I help her watch her kids during sacrament.” She talked about how she loves kids and I jumped right in, blurting out all of my business.
“Me too, I’m actually hoping I get a calling in primary or something so I can work with them,” I exclaimed. “I need to be really nice to the Primary President or something because I’m ALWAYS called as a Relief Society teacher.”
“Oh,” she smiled. “Well my husband is the bishop so I’ll see if I can put in a good word for you.”
[insert foot in mouth]
Good thing I have such dark skin because all of the blood was rushing to my face and all I could manage to say was “oh really?!” She probably thought I planned the whole thing.
Just then a short man walks up and introduces himself “Hi, I’m Bishop M. I had my wife grab you so I could introduce myself.”
“Cool,” was pretty much all I could think to say. I’m usually not hard to catch, but all I was thinking was ‘you’re the bishop? I thought it was the other guy with the brown hair.’ I’m always thrown off when there’s an extra high council member on the stand (you LDS people know what I’m talking about).
He asked to speak with me for a moment and I feared what was coming. I saw his wife whisper in his ear before we turned out of the chapel. I knew what she was doing, but it gave me little comfort… More embarrassment actually.
As we made our way into his little office I thought of a strategy: Get to him before he gets to you.
He sat me down and asked me one simple question: “So tell me about yourself.” And that was all I needed.
“Well, I moved here in June but was going to a different ward because of the time difference, and I have work at 1:30 and I’m so glad this ward, our real ward, is starting at 9am now and I’m so excited to be here, and everyone seems so nice and I am really excited for a calling but I’ve had the same calling for the last five years and I don’t know if it’s because the Lord is trying to tell me something or if it’s because I always go to those enrichment meeting things when I start in a new ward then the ladies try to–“
“–Immediately give you a call in Relief Society, I understand.” He interrupted me, but I could tell he could feel where I was going with this.
‘YESSSS‘ I thought to myself. ‘Success!’
“So you basically would like any calling but one in the Relief Society?” He asked me.
“Yes,” I replied a little too quickly.
“Great, well I can almost assure you that won’t happen. We don’t need you there right now.” He goes on to tell me they (whoever they are) are meeting on Tuesday to discuss callings and they may come up with something then.
So there I am glowing… ‘I’ll do anything’ I’m thinking. I met up with my husband in Sunday school and couldn’t wait to tell him the news.
“I’m going to get a different calling!” I cried.
Now here I am, excited for Sunday, or whenever it is that I’ll get a call about a calling. I’m a little worried that I said anything, but as long as it’s not something like Gospel Doctrine teacher I’ll be happy. But seriously people IS A PRIMARY CALLING SO MUCH TO ASK?! I thought I’d be a key candidate.. Young, married, happy, spawnless. What else do they want from me?
Nonetheless I’m excited to find out what my calling will be for the FIRST TIME. Solely because I know it won’t be Relief Society teacher, the calling I’ve been damned with for the last 5 years.