I can't remember if I mentioned in my last post that I was once in a Relief Society presidency before...as the first counselor...in a singles ward.
For those of you not of my faith, a singles ward is just like a regular LDS congregation except there are no married members besides the bishop and his counselors who lead the ward. It's a way for single adults to interact with like-minded people of the opposite sex and hopefully find friends and possibly even a spouse.
I'm sure being the RS president of a student ward has its own set of challenges, but I know for a fact we didn't have to deal with half of what a regular, family ward has to deal with.
Pretty much since day one, compassionate service has been on the forefront of what I do. Funerals, moms having babies, sick moms with sick kids, emergency room visits, deaths in the family...all things we didn't even think about when I was in the singles ward and yet have already dealt with in the three weeks I've been in the position. Of the 21 days I've been RS Pres, I think there has only been 7 days I haven't been called about someone who needs something. It's kind of wearing.
This past week, we had an incident that left an awful taste in my mouth and a pit in my stomach. I couldn't sleep all last night for thinking about it. I made a mistake and said yes to something and got taken advantage of...more accurately, the ladies in our ward who provided the service were taken advantage of (although I pray they never realize it and receive all the blessings they deserve for their generosity).
Yesterday, Matthew and I watched an hour of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood in the morning (he's sick so we didn't go to the gym like we usually do). One of the episodes was about making mistakes; everyone makes them and the important thing to do is to fix them if you can and to learn from them.
Well, I made a mistake and am determined to learn from it. I chatted with the bishop (the leader of our congregation) and he assigned me to come up with some guidelines for our ward's compassionate service efforts.
I believe in providing service to those in need. It's one of the three fundamental purposes of the Relief Society and it is a godsend to those who give and receive the services. I was counselled recently to never turn away from an opportunity to serve; however, I fear that there are members in my congregation who are abusing this service, and it makes me sick in my heart. Already, there are ladies in my ward who are getting burned out from all the compassionate service needs of our ward (we have at least a dozen women who are expecting babies in the next few months - we provide 2 meals for each pregnancy - plus all the elderly, sick, and others).
It's only been three weeks. What is in store for me the next year or so (hopefully not too long)??