Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Very Mary Sunday

First off, (I mean after the usual Sunday stuff, like translating for Natalia, a Russian sister in the family ward Relief Society), I was asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting. Don't get me wrong--not a problem. I love public speaking. This time, though, in addition to just mulling and then writing and outline and then winging it from the pulpit, I decided to try something new and actually write the talk down. Once, when I was a sophomore, someone asked me for a copy of my talk and I was obliged to admit that it was notes on a napkin. Not that I'm cocky enough to expect my 10 minute talk to go into circulation, but I wondered if I might experiment with the Spirit and seek the right words at my kitchen table in front of a computer, instead of the chapel in front of the congregation. Granted, this took a lot more time, hemming and reading aloud, trying to figure out the correct diction, but the plus side was, when, after the first speaker rambled just a little, the second speaker (who was actually quite remarkable and--I might add--working from an outline on a scratch piece of paper) went and then we sang all verses of "I Believe in Christ" and there was a high councilman on the stand who might be announced as a surprise speaker at all times, I was glad to have an excuse to stick to the length I had prepared.

It went well. I tried not to just read, but look up, and I did almost cry, but hopefully I didn't come across as overly emotional and afterwords, everyone told me how much they liked it. I never know what to say. "Thank you," of course, but then, I prayed a lot and I care about the subject--home and visiting teaching. So I tried to say something like, "Well, I worry about it." Home and visiting teaching, that is, and not speaking in church. Of course this leaves all my visiting teachees to feel like now I need to deliver the goods.

Then Sunday School where I tried desperately not to talk too much without looking like I wasn't supporting the teacher. Hard balance to walk.

Then Relief Society, where I wasn't anxious at all about the long announcements--for this one, too, I had prayed and prepared, but I was expecting plenty of sharing. Mostly we just read the story of the creation, shared what things we had done this week that we could "see it was good," and then I read a quote from Elder Holland's most recent conference address. I gave them a handout with "homework" encouraging them to see what they're doing right and not get overwhelmed and bore the testimony I had, although a little conscious of how often I've done this already. Then we moved the chairs back out of a circle and went home.

I don't teach again for 3 weeks. Hopefully by then they have regained their taste for me.

1 comment:

Emily Lyman said...

What a great contribution you made Mary! Way to light up the Sunday.