The Calling

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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.

Is it just me, or does this happen to you too?

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  1. Yep. Activities Committee. Every time. At least people saw you being an intelligent, good leader and teacher. People see me and apparently think I’m only capable of party planning.

  2. Just remember whatever you get.. that you asked for it… =)

    Did you ever think you got the calling in RS because in your aswesomeness you have so much to share with other ladies… who prob looked to you as an exmaple… =) (so not being funny or spiteful here.. just asking.. lol..)

    Anyways.. however it works out… woohoo!! Prayers youll get a calling you will be excited about! =)

  3. I could see where it would be wierd to always get that same calling.. send some of the vibe this way as I want my old calling back in the new ward.. lol….

    *** ALso wanted to point out that I think your pretty great… I love reading your posts.. =)

  4. Well, Jenn. I’ve had 5 music callings. Ward organist, RS pianist, RS chorister, choir accompanist and PRIMARY CHORISTER. The last one was the best. The only non-music calling I’ve ever had? Young Single Adult Advisor. So I know how you feel.

    Maybe you and Brian will be the nursery leaders! LOL!

  5. Since I “graduated” from Young Women’s I’ve been called to the nursery twice (once before I got married) and as Sunbeam teacher twice (a total of roughly 4 1/2 years reading from the same manual), so I was excited to teach the CTR 7s this year. Outside of Primary, I’ve never had any other calling.

  6. Didn’t you know that they always call black women to Relief Society? JUST KIDDING!

    No really, that’s funny. I remember when I got my first calling, I’m so much like you. I told the RS president that I was very creative and always wanted enrichment. My bishop in the singles ward loved me (I caused zero drama as I never broke the law of chasity, unlike the other new member girl who had endowed boys… I won’t go on, you get the picture!) Anyway, he gave me enrichment and I loved it… until I realized there was NO budget (seriously).

    You’ll be in primary before you know it. The kids will love you.

  7. I have all piano related callings right now, but we have a shortage of piano players in my ward. I wanted to be Primary Chorister, I had that once and I agree it was so much FUN! I’m RS pianist and ward organist.

  8. You are so funny! This has happened to me, I’m in the Primary Presidency again…but, I do like it. You are right, I think Primary is one of the best callings you can have. You learn so much. HOpe it’s primary!

  9. It’s funny that you mention this because being called to be a RS teacher is my worst nightmare! I know it can’t be that bad but it just terrifies me to no end. Primary would be a great calling for you but your comment about being “young, married, happy and spawless” may put you in Young Women! (another great place to serve BTW, I was just released as YW Pres. before having the triplets)

  10. Bet you were THE best RS teacher after all those years 🙂 Way to go, teacher – bet you’ll be wishing you were back in there one day.

    By the way, if you like contests, I have one running this week (and every week) on my blog at . The prize is a signed copy of Dr. Stan Gardner’s signed DVD of one of his lectures on the
    musculoskeletal system, entitled A Pain in the Neck (Back, Joints, and Other Places). This is brand new and not yet in stores. It will sell for $49.97 when available. The lecture is one hour twelve minutes. Dr. Gardner will also send a handout copy of the accompanying PowerPoint slide presentation so the contest winner can take notes as the lecture proceeds.

  11. I’ve been the primary activity person–cub scouts, activity day girls–over and over. The truth is that I don’t really like other people’s little kids.
    I know, that sounds terrible to say, but here’s the thing–I certified as a *secondary* teacher for a reason. I like older kids! I love my own kids of course, but other people’s little kids kinda make me crazy.
    I would adore teaching in RS. The best calling I ever had was the ward preparedness specialist–why did they think a newlywed 23yr old could teach everybody about food storage and a years supply? Um, I think somebody had a revelation about the kind of woman that my mother is (and the things she taught me). It’s the only possible explanation. LOL!

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