The ward dynamics here are very different than what I am used to, but I'm finding my calling very fulfilling and a lot of fun! Our Relief Society Presidency is outstanding, and we have had a great time working together.
Last night was our annual Relief Society Birthday party celebration event thing-a-ma-jig. We decided to go with the theme, "My Sphere of Influence," and it ended up being a wonderful evening!
Here's how it went:
I made the invitations (and yes, I realized after the fact that I had misquoted the scripture) and then mailed them all individually. I sent about 101 invitations, and we were hoping for about 50 people. Only 30 showed. But that's okay! We were just happy people came! And with all the left over food, we were able to feed the missionaries at their conference today. So, it all worked out. (Sorry the photo is so small. It was a screen shot of the PDF file.)
We made it very simple and pretty. We decided to go with a Spring look (please, Spring, could you come and stay? That would be really lovely), and wanted to incorporate the lanterns to stick with our theme. One RS counselor made little notebook with the photo we used in the invitations. I loved them!
*Chicken Salad sandwiches
After dinner, we moved to the Relief Society Room for three short presentations.
Our first sister spoke about discovering who we are as individuals and how that can help us understand our individual missions in life. She was so much fun! She put together such great visuals and had several sisters help her out. She discussed all the different ways we can find ourselves (taking personality tests, aptitude tests, reading our Patriarchal blessings, praying) and where we have the most influence for good is in our families and providing for ourselves temporally, as well as focusing on returning to Heavenly Father.
Our second sister (our senior sister missionary) spoke about all the different spheres of influence we have in our lives, and how we have more influence in some than in others. She also explained how it is our duty as disciples of Christ to influence others for good, and especially in our spheres of responsibility. She spoke of how we may feel inadequate in our little spheres, but it only takes a little bit to magnify and shine our lights a bit brighter in order to make a difference.
The last sister (our RS pres) spoke about how our influence lasts for eternity! She spoke of people that were obvious (Eve, Esther, Mary) but how even "little ol' us" can have eternal influence --and she pointed out that we do. She displayed four quilts for us: her grandmother's, her mother's, hers, and her daughter's, and how her grandmother's influence of quilting and Christianity was still being felt. She encouraged us to remember that even if we feel we don't have any influence on those around us, we do. And it will last forever.
The Spirit was so strong during the last presentation, and everything leading up to it fit in so perfectly!
We ended by singing "Lead, Kindly Light" and a prayer.
We then went back to the gym for our fun 3-2-1 dessert! I brought my microwave for the presentation, and our RS president showed us how it's done (she was the one who found the recipe).
Combine one bag of any kind of cake mix (we used Red Velvet) and one bag of Angel food cake mix. Then put 3TBS of the mix in a mug. Add 2 TBS water. Stir. Put in microwave for 1 minute. Voila! Cake for one in a mug!
We had them pre-made and had strawberries and whipped cream for toppings. (Didn't get a photo of them at the event, so these will have to suffice.)
A HUGE thank you goes out to my girls and their friend for running the nursery for me (they ended up only having to watch three kids), to my husband for watching the boys (we did a swap. I drove all the kids to the church after school to help set up and then Brandon drove from work to the church, swapped cars with me, and took the four boys home, and it's a big deal because he's still very, very sick), the Elders (missionaries) for helping us clean up, the Sisters (missionaries) for helping with the presentations and cleaning up, and the husbands of the RS presidency and our senior sister missionary for helping us with EVERYTHING.
I love the women in my ward. They are all so unique and wonderful! This experience has simply shown me how much I need to be here --not that they necessarily need me, but that I am where I need to be in order to learn and become what I need to become. It made me very happy, indeed.
What did you do for your Relief Society Birthday in your ward? What is your calling? Do you enjoy your calling?