Excited. Excited!

Upon opening my inbox this morning, there was a lovely email from one of our Relief Society sisters regarding our ward's Relief Society Birthday dinner.  As part of the program, several sisters have been selected to "act" as past General Relief Society Presidents.  Each part consists of appearance as well as a brief little reading.  I am stoked to see my name on the list of those invited to participate in such a way.
Now, this whole adventure is really hitting home for me, as several years back, while serving in the YW program in Idaho, we had a similar program for New Beginnings.  We invited a handful of women to dress in costume & represent some prominent women from history whole exemplified each of our YW values.  The night stirred the souls of all who attended.  My gal, Tiffany, was marvelous!  She WAS Florence Nightingale that night; she was our woman of Good Works.  She was dressed appropriately in period clothing, had the perfect little backdrop of a cot, small table, letters she had written, and her medical bag.  The visual was AMAZING to say the least...but it didn't stop there.  The moment Tiffany opened her mouth and began her part, the Spirit swept through the room.  She had been able to even liken her accent unto what would have been quite close to Florence's.  We were all astounded.  By the end of the evening, there wasn't a single one of us who left the building actually left unchanged by the evening's performances.  It will forever be one of my favorite nights.  

The sister I have been assigned is Sister Bonnie D. Parkin.  I'm even more excited since I REMEMBER her: sweet, gentle, and completely full of love!
I haven't actually seen my speaking part yet, which is OK.  And, I don't really know all the details about THIS night to come, however I'm excited.  I'm sure I won't be as "spot-on" as my friend was, but I pray that this evening will again change my life & my heart.  That's all I hope for.
So, I wanted to know more about Sister Parkin than what I remember, so I hopped online to do a little research.  There was a great bit of info to be had.  And, when I went to mormonwiki.com I loved her even more.  Especially after reading why she feels she had been prepared for service in the Relief Society: "...she has been single, in the workforce, had children and now grandchildren. She has seen the terrible twos and troubled teens. She has nursed a mother after a stroke and a father with cancer. She has sent sons on missions to foreign lands and welcomed daughters-in-law into her embrace. She has known farm life and school life and city life and non-American life. She has seen close-up the effects of alcohol, disbelief, illness and disappointment.... 'I know what it means to have a husband gone for many hours a week, days on end. I know how it feels to be alone with young children with no one to talk to.' "  I can relate to that last little bit of her statement, with Mr LKP's military career, and his trucking work (including on the oilfields of Wyoming=1-2 weeks working 3 hours away & hopefully 1 week home at a time) throughout our marriage.  Loneliness is something I'm very familiar with.  The funny thing about loneliness is that you feel COMPLETELY alone in it!  What a relief to finally recognize that despite all the perfect "cookie-cutter" families I'd thought I was surrounded by at church my entire life, there ARE women who know how I've felt. I'm truly NOT alone, and my perceptions were all wrong!
I love the story of how she came to love the Scriptures.  Perhaps I'm the only one on this, but growing up I would see pillars in the church.  Men or women, didn't matter, you know the ones.  Kinda like Hercules?  They came to this earth with memorized scriptures & no weaknesses...at least not any obvious ones?  It's nice to know that great leaders & examples in the Gospel (especially modern-day) have had weaknesses they have overcome.  Helps me have courage.  Helps me not give up on myself over my vulnerabilities.
The article also shared the story behind her hearing-loss.  Quite interesting as I hadn't realized she copes with such a disability.  This endeared her to me even more so, as my step-mother is hearing impaired.  If I remember correctly, she is completely deaf in one ear & has only 40% hearing in the other.  My step-mom is one of my heroes, considering all she's been up against in life & the time in which she has lived.  As signing is more obvious, my step-mother chose to instead read lips & use hearing aides as much as possible in order to avoid as much drawn attention as possible.  The world was not as accommodating in her childhood as it is now to those with disabilities.  So, I love that Sister Parkin has an inkling as to what its like for so many sisters in the world.
I also appreciated her talk that I found here, on Personal Ministry.  It's nothing short of phenomenal & DEFINITELY inspired.  I'm grateful to my Heavenly Father for directing me to it.  Considering all the gray outside, I know I needed the boost right about now.  Awesome how He works, eh?
Anyhow, I hope your day's started off on as nice of a foot as mine.  One that makes you want to sing & actually BE AWAKE (rather than wishing you were still tucked snuggly in your bed.  Between you & me, I have those days...more often than I'd like).  And if your day hasn't brightened for some reason or another yet, then check out Sister Parkin's talk.  Her legacy may sprinkle over into your legacy before you know it...at least for today anyhow!


Cherie said...

How fun and how could they NOT pick you. I mean the cute new doo, the bubbly personality, the shining pearly whites!!!

Our ward did this a couple years back and It was a huge hit. I think everyone enjoyed it and it was definately memorable!!

I also think it is fun to research and find out information...which it looks like you have been doing. What did we ever do without the internet!!

Congrats it will be fun.

The Garden of Egan said...

You will do a great job. You will have to post pictures of what you look like and tell us all how it went!

ericksons said...

Sounds like fun! Even the night with the young women sounds amazing. I'm wondering if we could pull something off like that here. I'm excited to hear how your part actually goes. You'll do great!

Pam Anderson said...

I love your enthusiasm.

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