So, recently I got to teach a Young Women's lesson -ON MY OWN- for the very first time. It's been planned before, but this was the first ever time that it actually came without any interruptions from sickness, or it being not planned enough. This was happening, and I was petrified out of my wits end.
"What Can I Do To Help New Members?"
Being a convert of about three years now, this one was perfect and I felt the Spirit prompt me to take that one. I have been blessed to have been on both side of the spectrum; being a very new and unlearned baptised convert, and now a member that has helped numerous other converts (Including my own family) and gone teaching with the missionaries. I felt like, if there was any topic I'd be able to feel confident speaking on, it'd be that one.
So, off I went to pray and fast and prepare for this lesson about two weeks in advance. I researched statistics of convert retention, inactivity, and what the rate of baptism was. I researched scripture, and found many quotes from Prophets and Apostles on this topic. I was prepared, but I felt unprepared emotionally to teach.
Now, when I say petrified, I mean every aspect of that word. Every doubt, fret, worry, frustration and discouragement filled me when preparing for that lesson. Though I desire to be a missionary, I fear and loathe teaching. I'm' not sure why, and perhaps it's because of my own perfectionism that leads me to be scared to even try...I'm not sure.
I began to become so horrendously scared of teaching, that I prayed and fasted frequently. I knew that if there was a way for me to actually teach well, it could only come from divine intervention 'cos there was no way I was going to teach a lesson well on my own strength. I had two weeks of fretting, self-doubting and pitying, and so many times where I was so close to backing out...but I know that growth begins outside of your comfort zone, and that was my motto for this year. I couldn't back out in the eleventh hour, so I pushed on.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the gospel. I love talking, teaching, understanding and learning about it. I love it in every way possible. It's being in the spotlight when teaching, that was what was getting to me.
Finally the time did come up and I needed to go and teach. I had all my gear set up, all my handouts, and my mummy there to be on the panel that I had decided to do. It was all there, and it was just up to me to open my mouth and let the words flow out.
I was pleasantly surprised when the lesson went so well! The girls that were present (Only 2) were so vocal and gave answers when necessary, bearing their own testimonies and personal experiences.
Why do I share this though?
It was a pivotal learning moment for me of how all those fretful and worried thoughts I have never even arose in the slightest. There was no possible change of the girls laughing or mocking, there was no change of me completely forgetting the lesson...none of that would ever happen, and yet I spent valuable time worrying about it and scaring myself. After the lesson, I realized that I had done all that I could do to call upon the powers of Heaven, and that was exactly what I received. I prepared, I prayed and fasted, I showed up and had the Spirit with me, and I went with teaching about Jesus Christ in mind. It was all perfect except myself letting those doubtful thoughts into my mind which clearly needn't have any place there anyway.
through this experience, I learnt that all I need to focus on is what lies in my power to do. I focus on my preparation, my attitude and what my goals are for that lesson, and that's it, and the Lord does the rest. The Spirit teaches the lesson, not you. The people who you teach decide whether or not to take anything away from it, not you.
When you focus on your power, you have none.