Monday, January 7, 2013

the hardest thing today

There are few things I really love to do. I can do many things tolerably well and enjoy that I know enough about them to get by. But as for things that I love, things that define who I am and how I spend my time, they're few and far between.

Teaching is one of those things, though. I love chattering about the knowledge I've acquired, and seeing understanding and hope dawn in people's eyes. Epiphanies are exciting things, and facilitating one is one of the best feelings in the world.

I especially enjoy teaching the gospel, though. Nothing can replace the sense that a classroom full of Christians are unified, building each other up and teaching each other about the Redeemer of the world. The peace in the room clears the cobwebs from our souls - a breath of fresh air and a sweet brightness enlivens our hearts. That just can't be beat.

So, you'd think that I'd be really, really excited about my new calling. I'm a Sunday School teacher after all, and since it's Gospel Principles, I get to deepen my love of basic truths. Pretty fantastic, right?

You'd think so. Except I'm teaching in the Spanish branch.

It's so humbling. Every gringo in the branch seems to have served a Spanish-speaking mission, or gotten their education in Spanish, or practiced hard for more than a decade, or all of the above. Then there's little ol' me, with a couple of years in high school and a couple of semesters in college, and just happens to be, somehow, willing to use what comparatively minuscule knowledge she's got.

So yesterday, I taught Sunday School, in Spanish, for the first time. This must be how a missionary fresh from the MTC feels. I depended almost completely on my written lesson plan, as well as smiling and nodding (though my eyes had all the glaze and fear of a deer in headlights) through the comments I couldn't understand. Which was most of them.

My class was very forgiving, though, and we mostly just laughed it off. Chris helped to fill in the blanks in my vocabulary. Most importantly of all, the Spirit was present, giving me a layer of composure and purpose - as well as teaching my class what they needed to hear, I assume.

And the Spirit did teach me, as well. Yesterday I learned that doing really hard things makes all the little annoying things seem like nothing at all.

"No matter what else I do today," I told a friend, "it couldn't possibly be harder than that!"

It was a joke, especially considering that Sundays definitely aren't "hard" days for me. In retrospect, though, I wonder how else to apply this principle. Most of the troubling things in life right now are interconnected "little annoying things." Things like cleaning my kitchen. Budgeting. Not getting enough time in a given day with my husband.

That, of course, leads me to rejoice. And wonder how on earth I got it this good.

Today, I will probably miss Chris terribly. It's the first day of the new semester, and therefore the first day in weeks that we will spend more time apart than together. This is guaranteed to be the hardest part of my day. But I take comfort.

It sure makes washing those blasted dishes look easier by comparison.

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