I had been the primary secretary for 2 yrs when our stake was split in January 2013. When the bishop called me in I knew why. He told me that he was about to call another sister to be president but then stopped and realized he needed to call me. I was nervous and wasn’t always glad he extended that call. There were many times I was just DONE. But there have also been so many times that I’ve been so glad he did and I’ve been truly blessed to be in primary!
At the time I became the primary president it was amongst the chaos of half our of ward leaving and half of a new ward coming in. Adults and kids alike were sad to be leaving friends.
I didn’t know many people and we only had a few teachers in place. I browsed facebook a little bit while contemplating whom to call for my counselors and secretary. All I had to go on were names and maybe a profile picture. However, I was still able to get inspiration on the women that would bless our primary and, especially, me! I love them all and everything would have just fallen apart if it weren’t for them. I value their strengths, talents, and opinions, especially when they’ve differed from mine! I trusted and relied on them and they never let me down. I appreciate them more than they know.
During the 2 1/2 years I served I went through 3 second counselors, 3 secretaries, 3 music leaders, 3 pianists, and COUNTLESS teachers and nursery, achievement day, and scout leaders. On average, we had approximately 100 primary children and 25 nursery children. Our bishopric changed 3 times. Our church time and primary schedule changed 4 times. Our church building changed once.
Much of my time as the primary president felt more like I was a human resources manager! I spent so much time figuring out callings, memorizing the huge list of children’s names that constantly came in and out of the ward, putting out logistical and emotional fires, and just plain trying to get everything (or ANYTHING) to run smoothly!
Sundays and primary gatherings could be quite chaotic BUT, every once in a while it would just click. Usually they were the times when I or one of my counselors or music leaders shared our testimony to the children and teachers and the room would grow still.
I will miss working with all the men and women I came to know. I am such an introverted person that it usually takes me YEARS to feel comfortable in a ward and to make friends. This calling definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and I feel more at home in my ward and neighborhood than I ever have anywhere else. I LOVE my people!
And the KIDS. What a blessing they have been to me! I thought it would take me a while to feel comfortable up in front of them all but they made it so easy. I love each of their little and big personalities. I love their smiles. I love their quirks.
A couple of months ago I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting. I told the kids beforehand in sharing time that I was nervous because I was so used to talking to them, rather than their parents. So I asked them to help me feel more comfortable by looking up at me during my talk so I would feel like I was just in primary. And they DID! I saw SO many sweet faces looking up at me, supporting me. I love them for that moment and for many others.
My last Sunday doing sharing time was also special for me. I didn’t know it would be my last but it couldn’t have gone better. The topic was on sharing the gospel. As I was pondering my lesson, general conference came on and during one of the speakers I felt strongly that I needed to ask my dad to share his conversion story. I only vaguely remembered a portion of it so I didn’t know exactly what he was going to say. After I had the primary kids write notes to our new missionary that just left, I showed the video of my dad. It’s a good story!
I ended by sharing how grateful I am that someone shared the gospel with my dad because he was baptized. Then he and my mom taught me the gospel and I was baptized. Now my husband and I are teaching my kids and they are or will be baptized. During my dad’s and my own testimony, the room was still.
Afterward, our junior primary was invited into Sunday School to sing the closing hymn to the group. I held hands with a couple of the children while we sang I Am a Child of God. Once again, the room was still.
Those still rooms are a manifestation of children of God feeling the Holy Ghost tell them that what they are hearing and feeling is good and important. I didn’t accomplish every goal I had for my primary during the time I was serving but I think we, as a presidency, helped the kids know they are a child of God and how good it feels in our hearts when the spirit testifies. We tried to mention it every time we felt it happen so the kids knew that’s what they were feeling…the still small voice telling them that they are loved. Those are the moments I will savor forever.