Last night was our ward’s monthly Enrichment night. This is my thing, my responsibility, my church calling, and I have a love-hate relationship with it. It is a LOT of work getting everything set up, and it’s a never-ending process. When one activity is over, there’s never any down time; I’ve already got to be thinking about the next month’s activity. I have a committee to help me, but we’re still coming together and figuring things out, and while I’m trying so hard to delegate the responsibility, when committee members don’t follow through, I’m the one that has to pick up the pieces. It is TOTALLY worth the stress, though, when people have a good time, there’s a lot of socialization, and we have a feeling of unity and love.
Some months are good, and others are disastrous. While most wards can boast about their high attendance of fifty-plus, I feel lucky if ten women show up. If I’m being completely honest, our lack of ward participation makes me wonder why I go to all the effort. (I know, I know… it’s my job. It just feels futile, some months.) Last night there were twelve women in total, and we had a blast. It was definitely a “good” month for the 5th Ward Relief Society, even with such (comparatively) low attendance.
The plan was to discuss Elder M. Russell Ballard’s General Conference talk on honoring mothers, share our feelings about his (wonderful! encouraging!) words, and offer suggestions about how to squeeze some me-time into a busy schedule, as well as fun ideas for pampering on a budget. We also offered an easy (but not-so-quick, it turns out…) and inexpensive Mother’s Day gift for anyone who wanted to put it together. They were these cute little soap bottles that had this message inside them:
Clean Hands Loving Hands
Giving Hands Praying Hands
Caring Hands Friendly Hands
We personalized them, so some said “Grandma”, some said “Aunt”, and two even had the names of my kids’ teachers, in celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week. (Look at that! It paid off for me to be in charge! No one else had personalized teacher gifts! ha ha)
The finished projects
So, I’ve done these events enough times to know that nothing ever quite goes according to plan. I couldn’t get some of the women to stop giggling and chatting long enough to pray, let alone review an article. The Conference-talk plan quickly fell to the wayside in favor of discussing houseguests (and how to evict them when they’ve worn out their welcome), home remodeling, carpet cleaning, and American Idol. (Seriously, one of the funniest things I heard all night was not that the women aged 55+ were talking about the contestants with knowledge and authority, but that their super-serious, over-sixty-five, High-Priest husbands faithfully voted for David Archuleta each week! Several times per night! It was all I could do to keep a straight face. I am going to have a real problem keeping my composure on Sunday when I see those men!)
We snacked on fruits and vegetables, dips, and bread while we visited, and eventually the soap-bottle-making got underway. We cut, stuffed, stuck, poured, twisted (and rinsed, usually, because the soap got EVERYWHERE!) and tied, and three hours later, everyone had cute bottles to take home, that only cost $1.75 each. You can imagine the mess after 12 women made 78 bottles. (Whoever shampoos the carpet next will have more than enough soap to clean the entire church, with the amount of soap spilled in that one room. *shrug* At least it will smell nice for Gospel Doctrine this Sunday.)
I dragged myself home at 10:15 PM and fell asleep almost immediately. Poor Kenny…
Yeah, it was a good month for the 5th Ward RS Enrichment.