Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Surprise Visit

I was recently called to teach Gospel Doctrine in our new ward. (Which, for me, is a daunting task in and of itself). And last Sunday, New Years Day, it was my turn to teach. As we were hustling into church there was an elderly couple hanging up their coats. (A strange thing to see in a student ward). We passed by with a quick "hello" and immediately my first thought was, "that man looked quite similar to Elder Oaks." When I turned around to head into the chapel, I noticed a bunch of ward members clustered together whispering and giggling. By their abnormal behavior I was able to deduce that the man I saw was in fact Elder Oaks.

Elder Oaks took his place on the stand and Sister Oaks sat towards the back of the chapel, near where we were sitting. One by one, families strolled in recognizing the apostle on the stand. It was a wonderful meeting, with a theme on repentance and new beginnings. After the last assigned speaker gave his talk, Elder Oaks shared a few words with us. He said that he woke up that morning feeling impressed to attend one of the student wards at the University of Utah; he knew that the meetinghouse on Sunnyside would certainly have a ward in attendance. And sure enough it did, and it was ours! He spoke on the upcoming election and advised us to be forgiving of the shortcomings of those campaigning.

At the close of the meeting I said hello to Sister Oaks and introduced our family. She was a very sweet lady and extremely personable. We then took Van up to the stand to shake hands with Elder Oaks. Other members in the ward had the same idea so we made our way out of the chapel. It was Van's first day as a Sunbeam, so we walked him into the Primary room to find his spot on the row. As we were headed to Gospel Doctrine, one of the counselors in the bishopric informed me that Elder and Sister Oaks would be coming to my class. (Oh the horror)! Butterflies soon started to swarm inside my belly. Spencer was very supportive and tried to calm my nerves by stating that everything was going to be fine. I took a few deep breaths and reminded myself that they were just normal people, like everybody else. (Ya, right).

The lesson seemed to go well. I think it helped that Elder and Sister Oaks were sitting towards the back and were hard to see. There was also a lot of class participation, which is always refreshing. Sister Oaks even made a comment to one of the questions that I asked. I was so thrown aback I didn't really know how to respond. After the closing prayer Elder Oaks walked over to where we were sitting and said that I did a very good job. He said that he's sat in on other classes before and those teachers didn't seem nearly as composed as I did. (Sigh of relief). He asked us where we were from, how we met, and what Spencer was studying.

It was an exciting and eventful Sunday, one that I am sure to never forget. And hopefully now, after teaching Elder Oaks, I won't be as nervous to teach again.

7 comments:

i {heart} hawkes said...

holy moly. i guess that 6+ hours of prep the day before was for a good reason! what a fun experience. that pic is great by the way.

ellie said...

oh my goodness! I think I would have completely frozen! I would have a total Lucille Ball episode- maybe even donning a fake mustache and hat and saying that the real me was home sick. No way that I would have gotten a compliment on my composure! Way to go!!!

Abbie said...

I'm not surprised one bit that Elder Oaks thought you gave a good lesson!

Sammy said...

Wowza! Pretty impressive, Ash!

Kate said...

I would have died! you are amazing.

Jennefer said...

Yikes. I was nervous just reading your post. Congrats on pulling that one off!

Hartley Family said...

OH MY GOSH! Just now catching up on your blog- and I would have DIED!!!!!!!!! You're awesome- way to pull it together! :)