I love/hate teaching YW.
Hate: the time it takes to prepare. I spend hours. And I don't have hours. So I feel like I get behind in everything else in life.
LOVE: Everything else about it! I love sharing what I've learned with these awesome 12-18yr old girls. I love learning FROM these girls! I love studying the scriptures with them and learning together! There's a beautiful strong spirit in our classroom every week that energizes and refreshes my soul. I'm so grateful to observe the Sabbath day. What a loss to treat it like any other or think it's there for any other purpose than to worship our Heavenly Father.
Today's lesson was about strengthening our testimonies. Testimonies come by revelation from the Holy Ghost. He reveals the truth to us as we pray, study, and live the Gospel. I know this is true.
During the lesson, I asked for a volunteer to come stand up. Silence. Waited. Waited. Finally, one girl slowly came up. I smiled, handed her a dollar, said "Here's some cash! You can go sit down now!"
Shock and surprise from the rest! "WHAT?! I wanna volunteer!" "I'll do it!" "You didn't tell us what we'd be getting!"
I stated, "Looks like a lot of people here today missed out on an OPPORTUNITY. WHY did you miss out? Was it fear? Scared you'd have to do something dumb or hard or embarrassing? Was it apathy? You don't care and just wanna sit there and do nothing? Was it distraction? Your mind is off in la-la land, thinking of boys, school work, lunch, your phone, and everything besides what's most important right now? Was it hesitation? You wanted to volunteer, you were just too slow? You have so many opportunities right now in your stage of life. Sacrament Meeting, Sunday School, Young Womens, Personal Progress, Mutual, Seminary, Family activities, personal prayer and scripture study....Do NOT miss out on these opportunities because of fear, laziness, distractions, apathy....because the blessings of taking advantage of opportunities are better than you can ever imagine! You think CASH is a cool prize? Live the Gospel to the fullest, develop a rock solid testimony, and you will be rewarded with the greatest "prize" you can imagine!"
Then I had some girls come up and share snippets from GenConf messages I had them prepare ahead of time, highlighting specific ways to strengthen our testimonies.
Then, to tie it in with Mother's Day, I told them that sometimes we struggle and need to temporarily lean on others with more experience and wisdom than we have. Who better to lean on than our loving, strong mothers?! (fortunately, all my girls do have active moms, otherwise I wouldn't have done this activity of course). I handed them all a photo of themself and their mom when they were little. Then I handed them a short statement of testimony. They went around reading the testimonies, and when they thought it was the one the one their mom wrote they had to declare, "That's my mama's testimony!!" Then they put the photo and testimony up on the board together. It was so cool seeing them all listening so INTENTLY! At the end I put up the paper, "And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers saying..." and we all read the next sign together: "We did not doubt, our mothers knew it!"