Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How I Became a Mormon--Part 14

Called to Serve

Soon after we were baptized and confirmed, my wife and I received our first callings in the church. For those who are unfamiliar with the church, a calling is an assignment, a job, if you will. In our case, my wife and I were called to be teachers—my wife as a teacher in the Relief Society and me in the Elder’s Quorum.

The “call” was issued by the Bishop of our ward, Matthew Corry. Born and raised in Utah, Bishop Corry worked as an editor and technical writer for the Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate. He, his wife, and three daughters live in the same Keapuka (Kaneohe, Hawaii) subdivision where my wife, our children, and I live.

From what I have come to understand, the bishop prayerfully sought an inspiration from the Lord to determine where we and every other member of the ward was to serve—what our jobs would be, in other words. And after prayerfully seeking inspiration about my wife and I, me received a confirmation that we should be teachers.

Understand that as brand spanking new members of the church, we were intimidated by the notion of having to teach in a class filled with longtime, and in some cases lifelong members of the church. I liken it to a kindergartner being assigned to teach a graduate school class. Imagine that.

But Bishop Corry assured us of the inspiration he received, and that with the help of the Holy Ghost which we had received the gift of from confirmation, we would do fine. I did feel better after he said this, but when I walked into class on my first assigned Sunday to teach, I became in my mind that kindergartener facing a class of PHD hopefuls. And to think that I teach for living (English at Leeward Community College).

I will admit that my wife had an even bigger challenge, for she had to teach in the Relief Society, renowned throughout the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for elaborate and spirit-filled lessons by well-prepared and enthusiastic sisters of the church. But as Bishop Corry assured us, we did fine. And no one kicked us out for not being Scriptorial gurus. In fact, we received lots of encouragement and well wishes from the brothers and sisters of our ward. This, we found out, is the Mormon way that have come to know and embrace.

No comments: