Being a YW President is probably one of the hardest things I have ever done, and not one of those things I have felt my past experience has "trained" me to do. I was not a "normal" giggly YW- always more comfortable with adults than teens. Not much has changed in my life. I've spent a good portion of my adulthood in Relief Society, and a couple of stints in Primary off and on. Until last year, I'd only served in the YW for about 10 months as an advisor with a short spell as a camp leader or sports coach- and each of those were in different wards. There hasn't been a lot of continuous YW experience for me.
The past year in Mesa I got to serve with a wonderful group of girls and leaders, but was happy to be moving when I learned the YW President was being released. I was not off the hook. 7 short weeks after moving here, I was called to be the YW President to a group of girls who, other than my daughter, I couldn't have distinguished from Eve (sometimes not even each other!). Not only that, I needed to pick counselors and a secretary from ladies I had barely even met. In fact, I'd never even seen one of my counselors until two weeks after we were called. I was more than a bit overwhelmed, but very grateful I'd at least been able to get my feet wet a little before being unceremoniously dropped in the pool. At least I was familiar with the YW theme again!
Now, I can say with absolute certainty that the Lord is at the head of this work. He guided me to a Presidency that has been terrific. No, none of us is perfect, but we work so well together and in general things have gone smoothly. I struggled with the girls at first. My personality has not changed in a lot of ways. Adults are definitely more my thing than teenage girls, but I have really grown to love them. I even leaned over to Greg on Sunday and told him that something must be going right because I hope I have this calling for a long time. I think I am finally beginning to gain a testimony of what a good youth program can do, rather than just being swamped by everything there is to do. I still feel overwhelmed a lot of the time, but little things come along to help point me in the right direction and I can definitely feel the direction of the Spirit.
Sunday was one of those "pointer" days I had needed. One of my counselors emailed and asked if we wanted to try to go up to Salt Lake for the training the General YW Presidency holds right before conference. I had always wanted to go, but completely forgotten about it. Both my counselors and I were able to go this morning and all I can say is, "Wow!" It was the fastest 2-1/2 hours of my life and I filled buckets I didn't even realize were empty. Instead of looking at a calendar and wondering how we're ever going to fill it with activities, I'm looking at it wondering how we're ever going to have enough time to do everything that we need to do. I can't wait to get out there and spend more time with those girls. Do I expect life to be perfect? No. Do I have a much better outlook on how things can go? Yes. Is that going to make a difference? You bet! I keep telling myself that as long as I'm trying, I can't mess up the Lord's plan. He'll guide us where we need to go. Today, it finally sunk in and I really believe it. What a miracle.