At my Church, we all have callings which means we all do something for the Church. None of our clergymen (Bishop and two counselors and a bunch of auxiliary leaders) are paid, our Bishop is a pediatrician and his counselors are both dentists. My calling here in Washington consists of teaching classes almost every Sunday to a group of young women ages 16-18. At first I was really intimidated because these girls were born when I was in high school. That makes me ancient (or so it feels) but man, has it been fun!
When I used to work for the Firm, I was a huge training person. I trained interns, associates, managers, senior managers, and even partners from LA to Chicago. I absolutely loved it! It was a bit nerve wrecking to get up at first, especially when the room was more than 60 people and I needed a microphone to speak, but once I was up, it was great! I'd give anecdotes about the material, teach the material itself, vary my voice for some added fun, and always add in side remarks as I saw fit. And it was also fun preparing for it - I'd always be accumulating more team bonding games, highlighting with four colors different sections of team discussion, instructor lead discussion, exercise, and slides, and using all my Firm provided colored tabs (those things are expensive!). Now that I'm teaching classes almost every week for Church, it's sort of the same thing. I prepare throughout the week, thinking of ways I can structure the lesson, tell stories, or do a group exercise. Andy helps me a lot and I try to draw from ideas already out there and build on them. Though I feel a bit out of the loop having not grown up in the Church, I feel like that perspective gives me added commentary on why the information and teachings are so great. A lot of times I think, wow, I wish someone had shared this with me when I was their age!
For this past Sunday's lesson, I used an extended object lesson about why discipline in waiting or avoiding certain things could bring great rewards and amazing things later. I used an idea that Elder Utchdorf had mentioned in a Conference talk a few years ago about a Stanford study done in 1972 with preschoold children and marshmallows. The test subject children were given marshmallows and told they could have another one if they waited, or they could eat the one in front of them and not have anymore later. They followed the children who waited and those who didn't, and saw significant parallels in later life successes for the children able to wait. I told the girls they'd get something else if they were able to avoid eating their marshmallow until the end of the lesson. I'm sure they had more discipline than preschool kids, but we had our lesson about discipline and had some pretty good discussions about how it can help you do good things and avoid bad things, and then everyone got rice krispie treats for waiting! To add to that, Jordan and I made stickers for them this morning (yes, I have a sticker machine, are you jealous? My sister-in-law, Tammy, got it for me a few Christmases ago).
I had a few extra stickers but of course.. my biggest fans had lots of fun wearing them while watching football.