Thursday, March 26, 2009

Another voice (shocking! I know)

I ran by a woman in our ward's house today to pick something up, and ended up spending half an hour talking in her driveway.

And I enjoyed it.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I have the WORST time feeling like I have friends in our ward. ANY ward we've been in, actually. I think it goes back to being the weird mature girl in young women's with big boobs who went to a different school and didn't play sports and always felt more comfortable with the olders single sisters than the girls my own age. I mean, I'll KNOW people, but not really feel like I have a connection with them.

It's the same thing with visiting teaching. I have my issues with it -- the issues that everyone seems to have (it's "forced" friendship... or "we have nothing in common"). And I don't really feel super buddy-buddy with MY visiting teachers. Even when I try to have a deeper discussion of the month's message, they just sort of smile and nod and stare at me blankly. It's not horrific, mind you. I had VTs in California who came to my house and talked to each other about curing autism with auras and papaya juice and never said more than a sentence to me. My current VTs are infinitely better than that.

But the 3 sisters that I visit teach? They're wonderful. We have tons in common, and not the usual things. The sweet-looking mother of 3 has irish twins like I do, and loves AC/DC, and can quote every episode of King of the Hill with perfection, and hated breastfeeding as much as I did. The single mom of 4 hides dirty dishes from company the same way I do (on cookie sheets in the bathtub, covered by a white sheet so you can't see them through the shower curtain). And the much older sister -- who you'd think I'd never have ANYTHING in common with -- is passionately political, just like me. I enjoy visiting them. I never would have known ANY of this if I hadn't been "assigned" to sit on a couch and talk to them for 30 minutes a month.

As grateful as I am to have found connections with my "teachees," I think that I'm more grateful for what I've learned about the women who teach me. No, I don't feel like they're my best friends. Despite my best efforts, I haven't been able to find much of anything that I have in common with two grandmothers from Cache Valley. And I can't seem to hold more than a basic conversation with them.

But I know that Sister A has grandchildren in Arizona, a thing for president Kimball, and a magic touch when babies get fussy 30 minutes before the end of relief society. And that Sister T really loves working in the university singles stake with her husband. And we smile when we run into each other at church, or running errands. A

nd I'm starting to realize that we don't have to be best friends or even have anything in common to try to love each other. Yes, it is wonderful to find people in your ward that you love and have tons in common with --

but there's a lot to be said for having to learn how to love others.


Roxie said...

This is something I'm going to have to work on some more because I was just blogging today how I don't feel like I fit in with anyone around here. I really need to get "Go visiting teaching" off my to-do list, and have it off because I did it and not because I felt guilty looking at it every day.

Mrs. B. Roth said...

Amen to all that!

It takes me about 3 years in a ward to settle. I'm just getting there now. It's so nice to know people well enough to call them for favors or if you're bored and want to get together. To feel like and oldie rather than a newbie.

You and I should VT each other; any time I try to go any deeper with a VT message, it's crickets for me, I tell ya, crickets. Oh, and then, once in a while, my partner will randomly ask me to bear my testimony on something, out of the blue. At the not-temple-endowed sister's house, she told me to bear testimony on being sealed in the temple after a civil marriage ... awkwardness ensued, as this sister's just not ready yet ...

anyway. yes, love your neighbor.


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