"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Sunday, July 31, 2011

first Sunday in our new family ward

Thanks to various events (being on a honeymoon, going to the wrong ward, etc), today was my first time attending our new family ward! After 5 years of being in a ward for single college students and consequently only having about a 7-year (or less) age range from the oldest to youngest, it was quite a change! We were a little bit late thanks to staying up late (yesterday was our 1-month wedding anniversary, so we had some late-night errands getting groceries, stomach meds, and red-box rentals, and then stayed up late baking an anniversary cake and watching Harry Potter 7 part 1 to celebrate!) plus Trevor accidentally set the alarm on his phone for Thursday instead of Sunday...so we woke up late. We still managed to make it to our seats while they were singing the opening hymn of Sacrament Meeting though, so we really weren't too late. After the opening prayer the bishop announced three funerals that are being held this week. My goodness! I've been in my little world of young healthy people so long, I forgot that in normal family wards, people get old and die sometimes. Then children proceeded to scream and make noise for the entire meeting. It was SO LOUD! Partly because I'm still not used to it, partly because I was exhausted and less tolerant, and party because, well, they were especially disruptive. Not the best experience I've ever had at Sacrament Meeting, but church is church. The bishop was really nice. He came and introduced himself to us afterwards, gave us a 'hint' about Trevor's future calling that was actually a dead give-away, asked us both to speak in church in a couple weeks, and sent us off to get our pictures taken for the directory.

Sunday School was much better. The teacher wasn't quite my favorite, but then again I'm used to being taught by my peers instead of by a random man I haven't gotten to know yet.

Relief Society was my favorite, as per usual :) I signed up to bake cookies for one of the funerals even though I have no clue who any of the people who died are. I just like baking cookies (and eating them :)! And if I give some away, I'll eat less of them, be less sick, I'll be doing service, and I'll finally have another excuse to bake again! Win/win/win/win! Done. There doesn't appear to be many other people my age in my ward now, which is really kind of sad, but I guess I'll get used to it. A lot of the women are pretty old it seems, and as my aunt Camilla informed me, they have all been in the same ward for like their whole lives with my grandparents, and my mom growing up, and everything. So...at least I'll have lots of examples of moms, grandmas, and great-grandmas to look up to? There are a bunch of younger moms too though, and I'm guessing the age-gap will feel smaller over time. It'll be good. It will just take some getting used to. The lessons - interestingly enough - was on reverence. Of course in a room full of mothers, there was plenty of discussion! The poor teacher didn't even get through the first page of what she had prepared because everyone had things to say! A lot of really good things were said, and I actually really liked the discussion/lesson.

Here's a list of some of the ideas that were given about how to help children behave during church:
- practice being reverent for the Sacrament during FHE. Set a timer for 10 minutes and have them practice how they are going to be. 
- teach them about reverence at home so when they get to church it's not just about being quiet for an hour and 15 minutes
- be an example of reverence for them, don't be messing with your phone, talking to friends, chewing out your kids, etc.
- when they're old enough, they can read the Sacrament hymns and try to memorize them during the Sacrament
- give them options and let them know what's ok and not ok BEFORE it's an issue. One lady gave her daughter the options 1) sit and listen quietly 2) read her Sunday book about Christ 3) color in her Living Scriptures coloring book. Eating during church wasn't an option so it was never an issue, and she was allowed to go to the bathroom one time during the meetings
- instead of whispering threats, getting after kids, getting mad, punishing, etc. praise them for when they do something well

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