a replacement camera lens is reportedly on its way to me now, after many many emails and phone calls on my part, because 6 weeks and 1 day later, they still don't have the part to fix my old lens. really? i have been so impressed with nikon up until now. but let me focus on the positive....and that is that i will soon be taking photos again. lexi's camera completely died last week, and natasha's (a hand-me-down from me) went on the blink (literally, all it would do is blink, couldn't be turned off or on) on sunday as she tried to photograph a herd or 6 or more deer grazing on the perimeter of our yard. so we have been completely camera-less. and i do love cameras and the pictures they create.
i have a little window of time in my life that i haven't had for over 4 years - some time to myself 5 days a week. and i am gratefully enjoying this small gift of sanity time while gracie naps and noah is at school. it turns out that this time would be necessary in my life, as just days before i began to enjoy it, i received a new church calling....
bishop: we would like to call you to be the new relief society president.
me: are you serious? laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh, and laugh some more. really? laughing, laughing, laughing.....
bishop: straight faced, completely unaffected by the laughter, goes right ahead with more information about the calling.
you need to understand that i had been to relief society exactly one and a half times when i received this calling. and both of those times i had been sitting on the floor in the back of the room, trying to keep gracie quiet so others wouldn't be disturbed and i could hear some of the lesson. i didn't even know who the current relief society president was. and i knew the names and faces of approximately 4 sisters in the ward. almost everyone i had met at church up until that moment had been visiting, participating in the pageant.
the majority of the sisters in the ward are about twice my age. and EVERYONE has lived here longer than i. i have done this once before, in a newly created, tiny japanese branch. this is both easier and harder. i have had some moments of pure panic mingled with anxiety and stress. but now i feel a peacefulness settling over me, an ability to use my time more wisely, more clarity of thought, a little more energy to make it through the day, more patience with my children, more courage and strength, and i know these blessings come with the calling. i have felt them before.
not knowing anyone in the ward is an obstacle. but i learned from the obstacle of my language barrier in japan that obstacles bring blessings, because they force one to rely on the lord, instead oneself. and that is my greatest desire, to rely on the lord, and do things his way. if i can only do that, all will be as it should, i my life, and in relief society. and not knowing anyone is also a blessing, because i don't have pre-conceived prejudices. sunday was my first time to function in my calling, and brock was/is in japan. but gloria was here, and that was a comfort.
it is thought provoking that we are where relief society all began. on labor day we found ourselves as a family at the red brick store, where relief society was founded, and later at sarah granger kimball's home. sarah began the movement that became relief society. we hadn't planned these destinations with my new calling in mind, but we must have been led, and it was poignant for me. i hear the words of jospeh smith, "the Lord has something much better in mind for you." and i feel that he still does...something much better than we understand or have yet stretched ourselves to become.
the weather is so beautiful, and so cool. we awoke to frost this morning. i do think that the farmer's almanac is correct. we are in for a cold winter.