Teach the Children

There’s a Christmas story popular among the general Christian public today about Santa Claus coming to a Father and giving him a number of objects, each a symbol, explaining to him what they mean and telling him to teach the children. The idea of the story is basically to inspire people to teach their children about the true meaning of Christmas and Christ’s birth. In my last post, I talked about some of the future relationships that I’ll have, including being a mother. There’s responsiblities given to parents to teach their children truths.

I’ve been reading some books of real topics lately and all of them touch my heart with every page. They’ve started a spark, a flame inside me that burns with pain and love for those in the world have been hurt. I was reading today about Columbine and was brought to the attention that two of my dear friends just older than me have no idea what Columbine was. I was in shock. Not to bash these friends at all, I just can’t understand how someone in our world today can’t know about tragic events that have happened in our lifetime and shaped the world into what it is today. Every time a school shooting occurs, I hear mentions and comparisons of Columbine. How could someone not know about this event?

After learning that they didn’t know about it, I was overcome with an overwhelming feeling that I must teach my children. When I have a family of my own, my kids need to know about what went on in my lifetime, before my lifetime, and what goes on in theirs. They need to know about the good and the bad and be informed so that they can be sensitive to others. I owe it to them, and I owe it to my Heavenly Father.

I’ve always beena  seeker of knowledge, wanting to know about people and pleaces and things and learning as much as I could from books and articles and school. I learn things everywhere and I pay attention. Current events always interested me and I shed countless tears over the lost lives of strangers whose stories became important to me. There’s been so many things I’ve learned that I was appalled to not have learned earlier (Key example: About the Lithuanians in World War II held captive in Russia—Go read Between Shades of Gray if you have no idea what I’m talking about). There’s been a lot about World War II that I wasn’t taught in school that has caused me to be distrusting of the education system whom it seems would rather keep me in the dark about distasteful things my country has done than tell me the truth. I was taught about Columbine in school as well as from my parents. They made it known to me that this was an important event and that I should care. In school we learned about Rachel’s Challenge, a challenge issued by the parents of the first Columbine victim.

I want my kids to be seekers of knowledge as well. I want them to be educated about the Wars that have plagued the world, about the leaders of our country and other world leaders. I want them to know about 9/11 and Columbine and Sandy Hook and the life of Christ. I want them to know all of these things and more. I want them to look for more. I don’t want someone to mention a large event that occurred int heir lifetime to them someday and them to not know what it was. This is my responsibility. I have to teach them. And for me to teach them, I have to know more.

So if you’re reading this, I hope you too will want to learn and will decide to teach your children. They need to know.

Why?

Remember all those Dystopian and Utopian novels that have been popular in the last several years? I would venture to say that those people either didn’t teach their children, or they weren’t brave enough to do anything with the knowledge they had.

Go out. Make a difference. Care about the world. The news may be dreary and depressing, but that’s what it is. We shouldn’t stop caring just because they only talk about sad things. We need to know about our world. If we don’t, how will we change it?

Learn a lot, Camelot.

❤ Annee

Someday

“We do not doubt our mothers knew it.”—Alma 56:48

Someday, I will be your girlfriend (you, being my future boyfriend, whoever that is). You’re out there somewhere and I hope you’re preparing like I’m trying to. My Heavenly Father is probably putting you in some pretty difficult situations to refine and teach you in preparation for meeting me. I think the key parts of the words girlfriend and boyfriend are friends. More than anything, I want a best friend.I have a lot of those, actually, but none of them are you yet. I can list off ten people immediately that I call “my best friend” when referring to them. But someday I’m going to have you. I’ve talked about my rules for dating in my other post, A Safety Guide to Natural Selection and all of that still applies. I want to be a good girlfriend though, supporting and not overbearing. I want to be someone worth spending time with. For the last several months, almost year, I’ve been really missing two of my best friends. They were my texting buddies. We’d talk everyday about the most random of things but now they are both gone on missions. I miss them dearly and I plan on resuming our normal friendships when they get back, but in the mean time, I had to find something else to do. The other day I started up a page of notes on my phone full of things that would be texts to you. Now before you get the wrong idea, realize that these are things like “I learned today that snails grow their own shells.” It’s the things I pick up my phone to text you before remembering I haven’t met you yet (cue Michael Buble music). It’s the things I want to share with someone, but especially you. Somewhere, you’re there. And obviously we’re not ready yet, but I hope we are both ready when that day comes that our adventures together begin. It’s going to be great.

Somewhere out there
Beneath the pale moonlight
Someone’s thinking of me
And loving me tonight

Somewhere out there
Someone’s saying a prayer
That we’ll find one another
In that big somewhere out there.

Someday I will be a fiance. Please, oh please don’t let me be a bridezilla. Remind me everyday that you love me and to be kind to those that are helping us prepare for that wonderful day. And please care, just a little bit, about our wedding. I want to make choices together since that’s what we will be doing for the rest of our eternity. If we can’t work together for a wedding, how can we possibly do anything else. Remind me to have patience. I have so many wedding ideas I’ve fallen in love with already like every other girl on the planet, but most of all I just want it to be a day I share with you. And also I want lots of dancing. And pictures. And a trillion ring. And a knee-length wedding dress. And of course a temple marriage.

If I had three wishes/ I tell you what they’d be/ If I had three wishes/ You would be all three

Someday, I will be a wife. I feel like this is what I’m least prepared for out of all of these roles. I don’t know how to be a wife. Still, I look forward to it and the way your last name will sound with my first. I’m excited for our adventures. I will apologize now for my lack of knowledge when it comes to cooking. I can follow a recipe and cook well, it’s just that I don’t cook often or make many different things. I’m going to try though and I hope you will join me. Actually, you better join me. Cooking and cleaning are going to be team efforts. Deal? Also I hope you love reading. I want to go to bookstores and not be rushed. I you to look at the books and gets just as lost in different worlds as I do. It’s magic. I hope you will preside over our household, protect me and love me always. I hope we never raise our voices and everything we do is out of love. I know it won’t be perfect but I think we can be amazing together. One more thing: kiss me everyday. And let others see it sometimes. Oh and…

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance.

Someday, I will be a mother. I don’t know how many kids I will have or if they will even be mine, but I will be a mother. I pray that I will be a good one. I also pray that you will be a good father. I pray for our children. I pray for the world they will have to grow up in, likely worse than the one we had. In one of my sociology classes, I learned that the parenting structure for the lowest risk of juvenile delinquency is with the parents in equal power, the father slightly more. This better be the way it is. Parenting is a team effort. I want my children to be raised steadfast with love and in the gospel. I learned from an example once, of a man who never grounded his children. When they did something wrong, he would sit down with them, tell him he loved them and then talk about how they can fix their mistakes. I aspire to be like this. I never want to be angry with my children. They are just children. They are children of Heavenly Father that I have been given permission and responsibility to watch over. I hope we make time for family everyday: family prayers, family scriptures, family laughing and family love.

I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.

With all of these things, I want to be like the mothers of the stripling warriors, like Eve, like Heavenly Mother. I want to be the best that I can be and continually improving. I know I can be too. With patience and love, with teaching and learning, with honesty and integrity, and other Christlike attributes, I will become.

I see my mother kneeling with our family each day.
I hear the words she whispers as she bows her head to pray.
Her plea to the Father quiets all my fears,
And I am thankful love is spoken here.
Be sweet, parakeet!
❤ Annee

Mission Impossible

“To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.” —Paulo Coelho

My doctors and those around me often remind me to only do what I’m able to and know more. At the Behavioral Health Clinic, I was taught that on your best day, you shouldn’t go and sign up for the things that you won’t be able to do on your worst day.

This week has been a rollercoaster as always, but it truly has been better than most. The first few days were kind of rough, but as soon as I started getting enough sleep it got better (shout out to my psychiatrist for excellent med management). However, despite having a good week there’s been something on my mind making me rather sad.

When I was in Primary when I was little and through growing up we would sing songs in church like We’ll Bring the World His Truth and I Hope They Call Me On A Mission and I would always get kind of irritated and sing under my breath out of spite when the boys got to sing these songs by themselves. I didn’t understand why the girls didn’t get to sing too. All I wanted was to be called on a mission. I wanted to wear a nametag proudly and share the thing that brought so much joy to me with others.

I kept this perspective as I went into Young Women’s and everyone—family, friends, leaders, etc.—all knew that I was stuck in stone about serving a mission. I planned to go to college for a couple of years until I was old enough and then serve a mission. I was so excited for it. People used to ask me “What if you meet Mister Right before you go?” and I would respond, “If he’s Mister Right he’ll wait.” And I honestly believed this with all my heart. I had decided that any guy who was right for me would be willing to wait while I served the Lord, the most important thing to me.

Growing up, people always told me I would be a great teacher or a principal for a school. I always twisted up my face at this, hating the idea of teaching and being intimidated by it. I didn’t want to handle a classroom of people, let alone a school. Still, elementary through high school people were telling me I’d be excellent at it.

I had always been kind of shy about public speaking. I didn’t particularly enjoy giving talks in church or school. I was completely comfortable with performing on a stage, but speaking by myself was another matter. Sometime early on in high school though, I came to the conclusion that it was simply easier to get speeches and presentations over with first instead of stressing about them so I began volunteering to go first in every class and I became more confident in it. It was easier when I was in a class of people I knew and could sneak in little jokes that would make my friends laugh. Just before I left for college I was given a calling to teach the Sunbeams in Primary. I was so excited and fell in love with teaching these little ones. They were so impressionable and so smart and they taught me so much. I loved every crazy minute and missed them dearly when I went to school. My third semester I was given the calling to teach in Relief Society. I was nervous but again, fell in love with this calling. I became comfortable with managing a class and leading a discussion. I was led by the spirit and learned much from that experience. I was grateful for all of these callings and opportunities that I knew would help me on my mission.

I had a countdown on my phone of days until I turned 19 beginning from the time I was 17 1/2. Everyone at college knew about this as well. They too posed the questions about Mister Right but my response was still the same. Some people were encouraging of me going on a mission and others thought that I should be more open to other ideas. All of them shoved their opinions upon me insisting they were right. I stayed strong in my opinion however and planned to take mission prep Spring 2016 so that I would have it my last semester before I turned 19. On February 4th, 2016 I could start my papers and I looked forward to that day. On April 4th, I could turn them in and I kept that in my calendar as well.

People in church always moan, groan and complain when others say “On the mission,” or similar but I on the other hand always listened intently when people said this. I loved to hear mission stories and so when I asked RM’s for their stories we were both happy because there’s nothing more RM’s love than to talk about their missions.

I’ve been waiting to go on a mission my whole life. I could have my call by now. I could be shopping for mission clothes and going through the temple and learning a language. If everything had gone to plan, I would be months away from a nametag.

Earlier this year though, my depression and anxiety were diagnosed. At this point, I don’t even bother mentioning a mission to my bishop because I know he wouldn’t allow me to go. I can maintain a stable mood for maybe 5-7 days. My meds are still getting figured out. If I went on a mission this year as I’d been planning to, I would be sent home. The thing is, that I realized last summer I had never asked about a mission. I’d always assumed it was right for me because everything told me it was. When I realized this and started praying about it, my answer was always “not right now” and I didn’t understand why.

This makes me so sad. I see all of my friends getting their calls, leaving and then I get all of their emails and look forward to them every week. I still want it. My patriarchal blessing talks so much of a mission and it sounds like a traditional mission that I would be serving during this time. I don’t know if I’ll go in the next several years though. It may be decades, before I can serve a couples mission. I don’t know. And it hurts. It hurts to have something I’ve always wanted be taken away just as soon as it was in reach.

My roommate often mentions or asks about missions in life and what the rest of us think ours are. I had never really thought about this until she asked but I guess it makes sense that we would all have one.

Right now, I’m not preparing to serve a mission because it doesn’t feel like I’ll go. I’m still staying strong in the church and worthy and such but a mission isn’t my main focus. I’ve shifted to a different type of teaching that also brings me immense amounts of joy. I never expected it to come into my life but I’ve fallen in love with teaching dance. I’m hoping to teach the basic social dance class here at BYU-I starting in the Fall or Winter and everyone around me has been so encouraging of this. They all tell me what an excellent teacher I am. I’ve been and am an assistant teacher for multiple social dance and team classes. I teach on campus at social dance nights and multiple times have taught a group of 15+ couples. I’m loud and when I step up to teach, I fall into place of being in charge. No matter how bad my anxiety or depression have been that day, the instant I become the teacher, that all goes away.

I’ve taught my friends and tons of random strangers. I get thrown into teaching things I’m not comfortable with and still manage to do it in a way that people can understand. I haven’t been confident in all of the steps, but the more I’m asked and forced to teach them, the easier it becomes. People compliment me and thank me for teaching them and it feels so good. It feels like home.

I don’t know if I’m going to serve a mission. I know the whole every member a missionary and all of that and I believe it. It still makes me very sad that I don’t get to go right now. But I’m happy with teaching dance. It’s not the same thing I’m bringing to people to share happiness, but I’m still sharing happiness and for now, that’s enough for me.

Hasta manana, iguana!

❤ Annee