I just finished my first week as an efy counselor. I’m a teensy bit tired and my thoughts are rather scattered, but I thought I’d write about some of the things I learned/noticed this week.
This Monday was my birthday. My last two birthdays were interesting, as mission birthdays are, but I noticed this Monday how really wonderful it is to have a day when people let you know they are grateful for your existence. It was quite uplifting.
When I first started my mission, I cried quite a lot. The lessons we taught were often spiritual, and I’m one of those people whose spiritual sensitivity is tied directly to his tear ducts, so I got used to carrying around tissues. After about a year, however, I stopped crying during lessons. I accepted the change, and figured that it was a part of my spiritual maturing—that because of the experience that I now had feeling the spirit, I didn’t need to cry any more. Thursday evening as I sat in devotional crying--for the third time this week--I realized that I was wrong. I’m still a big softy at heart, and may never get over my testimony-tear-duct thing.
Teenagers… I’m thinking a lot about what being a teenager is like, and how I as a young adult who was one not too long ago can best relate to and help them.
There are a lot of similarities between being a missionary and being an efy counselor. I sacrificed sleep and personal interests in order to help other people. I thought about fulfilling needs and answering questions and teaching doctrines effectively. I ate lots of salad. I woke up early. At the end of every day I was exhausted and spent, but also content and fulfilled.
There are lots of differences between being a missionary and being an efy counselor. Part of my job description was dancing energetically (and can I just say how fun it is when 10-15 teenagers are copying every dance move you do?) My companion this last week was way cuter than any of my mission companions. I was encouraged to take midday naps. Instead of being in bed by a certain time, I had to make sure that everyone else was in bed by a certain time. My leader told me to flirt with girls.
It is in those moments when you aren't thinking about yourself at all that God will give you the sweetest and most tender of His tender mercies, teaching you things that will be of most benefit to you personally.
I still have four more weeks as a counselor. I'm excited for everything else I still get to learn!