A few weeks ago I was given the calling as Primary Chorister. On Sunday Cory received a calling. He was called as the Elders Quorum secretary. It will be a big responsibility for him but I know he will do well. I also think it will be good for him because he will still get to go to Sunday School and also to Priesthood. So he won’t feel isolated from the majority of the ward. Yesterday was the third Sunday that I have done my calling.
The first Sunday I just used bright colored hearts, each heart had a song on it. I picked songs that we had prepared to sing for the “primary program” that we were preparing for when I was still in the singles’ ward. Then I used the magnates to hold the hearts to the chalkboard till it was picked by one of the children. They were really good for me. The SR Primary sang really well, the JR Primary didn’t sing but they were quite and I had their totally attention. Along with the hearts, I also used things like having them hold their finger to their nose, having their hands on their head, and sitting on their hand while they sang the song. They would all do it every time, even when they didn’t sing. It kept them occupied.
The second Sunday I did two different activities, one for the JR and the other for the SR. In JR Primary we only worked on the first verse of ‘When Jesus Christ was Baptized.’ I had a picture to represent each line and after singing the verse all the way through, I picked children to come up and pick a picture to remove from view. Then we sang the verse again. Once all the pictures were removed and we sang the song twice through then I had some children up to put the pictures back into order. It worked really well and they seemed to be getting the song well too. For the SR Primary, since they had already shown me they knew ‘When Jesus Christ was Baptized’, I made a pink flower out of construction paper and each petal had a song to practice from the Primary Program. At the end of singing time all that was left of my flower was the stem. The children seemed to like plucking the flower.
Then this last Sunday, I was going to be given an extra 5 minutes for Singing Time. The primary president wanted to give me the extra time to start polishing the songs for the primary program, the program is going to be Oct 26th. But between now and then I will be gone one Sunday, General Conference, and Stake Conference. For JR primary I spend the time going over the first and second verses of ‘When Jesus Christ Was Baptized’. I mostly did the same thing I did the week before, sing, take pictures away, then put them back in order. They know the first verse super well. For SR primary I had a jar with all the songs for the program written inside on slips of paper. Each song that was drawn we sang at least two times through. That went well too.
The children are so intimidating. There is one of me and a room full of them (and I do the room full twice). I also don’t have much experience in working with a good number of children at one time. As I said intimidating. I know that I can do this, and I will grow from this experience. I know I will have blessings from it. I will miss going to Relief Society, but primary will be a growing change. I am about as intimidated as I am excited for this new adventure. Many of the teachers in the primary have told me that I am a natural at this, that I am amazing for just starting this calling. I don’t feel like it is coming naturally, or that I am amazing. I have a hard time taking people at their word, I always feel that they are giving me a compliment to try to make me feel better. One of the hard parts is getting past the feeling that it isn’t really my calling. That instead of feeling that the calling is mine, I feel like each week I am preparing to substitute as the chorister. Each Sunday I feel that I just need to make it through this week. I want to feel like I own the calling. That I know exactly what to do in every situation. But I have a feeling that working with children will always be unpredictable and no one ever feels that they own that sort of calling, like being a parent. Each new situation that arises, there is a new choice to make. I get the impression that a parent is a job that is constantly changing and that as soon as you feel like you are getting the hang of that stage of life, the child grows up and you’re the new bee again. I can’t speak with authority because I don’t have any children, I have never been fully responsible for any child, but this is the impression that I have gotten over time. It’s one of the reasons becoming a parent is intimidating for me, I guess I don’t see this calling as too different then being a parent, except parenting is permanent, primary chorister is a calling for maybe a few years. Maybe this calling is to help me prepare for motherhood.