It had always been our policy that our first week in a new ward we would introduce ourselves and ask the bishopric for callings. We like to stay busy in the church. We did the same when we moved here, and were rewarded with some pretty heavy callings. We were the activities committee (for the record, in a ward where there are very specific expectations of activities, it isn’t fair to call newbies) and I was also in charge of transportation.
When they called me to be the Beehive advisor in the Young Women I was released from coordinating transportation, and I wasn’t released from activities until Paul was, when he was then called to be the Sunday School president. Within the Young Women organization I’ve been the Beehive advisor, a Laural advisor jointly with Anna Jump, and then the Personal Progress coordinator. The legend goes that when Kristine Gunnell was called to be the YW president she said, “if I can have Heather.” She did, and she has put me to work.
It may go without saying that I didn’t expect to be removed from YW, so when the bishop asked to stop by on Friday night I assumed it was either a social call, or a new calling for Paul, who is currently the Deacon advisor. He told me that Kathy Lee was the new primary president, and I immediately said, “she’ll be great!” I didn’t even take the time to think about what hearing this privileged information meant.
When he told me she had asked me to be the second counsellor I immediately accepted, thrilled to be working with a woman I respected so much. He told me that the first counsellor was to be his wife, Dana Briggs, and again I expressed my glee.
After he left Paul turned to me and said, “wow, they must really think highly of you to be working with Kathy and Dana.” I agree, completely humbled that I’d be bundled with such women. Obviously this is an opportunity for me to learn and grow. I couldn’t be happier!
I feel good about the change, and I look forward to further changes in the ward. I know there are many to come, not just because of the domino effect that will happen once we get the leaders we’ve requested, but also because of the changes stake-wide. Last month they dissolved the Glendale Stake due to the changing demographics (it’s a black hole) and we were absorbed by the La Crescenta Stake.
We knew Elder Packer was coming for stake conference well in advance of the day. Three weeks before stake conference they announced that we would combine our stake conference with the La Crescenta Stake. I immediately thought of how inconvinient it would be for me, without Paul, to wrangle the boys in the La Crescenta building an hour in advance just to get parking and seating, but that it made a measure of sense to double up the conference so that more people could hear his inspired words. Then President Lee said, “now don’t go speculating…” Thanks a lot, I hadn’t even thought of that until they mentioned it! A month later we all consider it a foregone conclusion that the next step will be to combine or redistrict the wards. Today, even, the bishop didn’t set us apart after church, saying that we’d understand soon and it’ll all work out in the end. He could have just said, “not today.”
(It seems what happened to the Glendale Stake is now a source of Mormon gossip all over Southern California — everyone Paul met at the party on the 4th said, “we heard they had to dissolve your stake…”)
Thus we embark on a new adventure, equally as time-consuming, but better as it is different and I think I needed a change. I said to Kristine this morning, “well, we had a good run.” She replied, “I’m glad I got to keep you for as long as I did. People have been trying to get you for a while.”