The completely non-essential mid-week report

I taught at EFY this week and got back tonight.  The first day of teaching was kind of intimidating because there were only 3 teachers, and the other two besides me (him and him) have both published books and talk tapes and fancy stuff like that, and I– well, I have a blog and I can teach a mean FHE lesson . . . ugh.  Plus I had some technical difficulties with my slide show, and when mentor #1 gave me constructive feedback for my first day of lessons (which I asked for), what he said was absolutely true and stuff I already knew about my teaching style (99.5% doctrinal, .5% entertaining), but because I was already feeling a little insecure, I interpreted it to mean .5% interesting.  I worried that I wasn’t holding the kids’ attention.  He told me today he had a dream last night that I was offended by his feedback and didn’t show up for the second day of classes.  I wasn’t.  I appreciated it.  And I showed up.  It helped me tweak a couple of things for my last two classes that I think made them better.  I bought a smokin’ new outfit to wear for that first day of teaching (smokin’ modest of course).  I loved it until I actually started teaching.  The cute hot pink blouse happened to fit under my armpits in such a way that it was like a giant receptacle for nervous sweating and I had the hugest, wettest armpits all day long which was all kinds of not awesome.

Day two went much better.  I made sure to wear about five levels of clothing plus a blazer to contain my failing antiperspirant.  I taught about two of my favorite topics– missionary work and the Atonement.  The morning devotional given by the aforementioned mentor was about not comparing ourselves to others, which frankly was a tender mercy for me and helped me re-establish my confidence in myself. I was a little more emotional than I like to be (I came home with one of those cry-headaches), but I just can’t help myself when I start talking about stories from my mission, and hello, who can be all straight-faced and emotionless when you’re testifying about the doctrine of the Atonement and how much the Savior loves us?  I got some neat feedback from some of the youth and was able to walk away knowing the Lord had helped me to answer some questions and build some testimonies, so I felt good.  I’m always traumatized by the EFY experience; it stretches me a lot in a good-but-hurting way.  I tell myself that if one or two youth were improved by something I said then all the worry and angst was worth it.

So that’s it.  I will now recover by loading up all my children in a pop-up camper and retreating to the mountains for four days.  Yeah right, if recovery equals taking a worn-out body and mushed-up brain and making them worse.  It’s okay though, some good memories will be made and Matt will let me take a nap every day.  Right, honey?

Thanks for tuning in to the completely non-essential mid-week report.  Carry on.

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12 thoughts on “The completely non-essential mid-week report

  1. Wow… what an experience! I can see that you were stretched, and perhaps that wasn’t the most sought after assignment you have been given; but honestly, WHAT AN HONOR to be blessed to do that! I’m sure you did a fabulous job and were plenty entertaining as well. I hope you get to relax and unwind in the woods… :)

  2. Oh, Stephanie. I remember my EFY days when I was a counselor, and this whole post just took me right back! Maybe someday I’ll write about it, but it wasn’t all sunshine and happiness like I thought it was supposed to be, either. But I did reach one or two young women and we still keep in touch, so I wasn’t totally hopeless, either. And I’m sorry, but the kids don’t have to be entertained ALL THE TIME. A little spiritual feasting is good for them! A lot would be better!! And I wish you would post a picture of you in your smokin’ modest outfit….? ;)

    Have fun camping, and I can’t wait to hear more of your EFY adventures!!

  3. I so want to do this. I actually was ready to apply a few years ago, then I had a baby. Then I had ANOTHER baby, so I haven’t gotten around to it yet. But I’m pretty sure I’m done with the babies so now I should absolutely try.

    I love your midweek report, cause I totally love you.

  4. I bet you were awesome! I would’ve loved to see you. I miss EFY, I need a good dose of EFOM (especially for old moms!) We are heading to your neck of the woods at the end of next week for a couple of weeks, visiting family in Alpine…any chance that there will be a GNO? Just wishful thinking!!
    Have fun in the mountains making memories.

  5. your missionary lesson today was so lovely. oh, the whole thing made me super nostalgic for my mission too. and let me just tell you, so many of my girls mentioned the bit where you shared the first vision in song as one of their most spiritual moments of the day!

    I wish I could’ve heard the Atonement class too. some of the other counselors said their kids loved it. :)

  6. You are so stinking lucky, Hank was one of my BFF’s back in the day (we were counselors together) and helped my man put togther his marriage proposal! You rock, good job. They will be itching to make you a session director in no time.

  7. What a great opportunity to be at EFY (minus the armpit ordeal- so something that would happen to me)! I found your blog recently and love it. Thanks for the inspiration you share. :)

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