This past Saturday, we had an opportunity to attend a fireside with Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, the General Young Women's President and Sister Bonnie H. Cordon , 2nd Counselor in the General Primary Presidency, as well as Elder Kuntz who is our area authority.
All of the youth age 8 and up were invited to hear them speak, but because our family had been out on a big adventure for the better part of the day, half of my kids were less than excited about going to a fireside, no matter who was there!
My most excited child was my four-year old, and technically, she wasn't even invited. So I ended up driving in to Pittsburgh with just Scarlett (my 9 year old) and Honor (my 4 year old) to hear these church leaders speak.
Scarlett was in such a bad mood about it. She kept writing me these angry notes saying, "I want to go home. I'm leaving. I don't like it here." etc, etc.
I said a silent prayer, "Please, help her to feel the Holy Ghost at some point this evening."
I know how she felt, frankly I was tired and a little bored too, not so excited to sit and listen for almost 2 hours, but I listened hard to the things they were presenting and tried to actively participate while simultaneously trying to keep my 4-year old daughter from licking her hand and pulling up her dress!
Still scowling, I wasn't sure if Scarlett was picking up anything from the talks.
One of the things that I latched on to was when Sister Cordon asked us to sing "I am a Child of God" and then discuss principles taught in the song. She said that someone in another meeting suggested that the line "He has sent me here," meant to them that God has sent each of us HERE (for a reason)...not just to random places on this earth, but to specific places, and that he has a plan for us and a work for us to do. I am eager to learn what our purpose is HERE in Pittsburgh! It's still a mystery to me!
After the meeting, we almost rushed out, but I decided to see if the girls were interested in meeting the speakers, which we usually do if we can when an authority visits.
Scarlett suddenly seemed excited about this, so we walked up to the front and met both Bonnies and Elder Kunz (who we've met before).
I put out my hand to shake, but both women prefered to hug, which I thought was really different and sweet. They were so warm and friendly. They embraced my girls right away. They talked to the girls mostly, not to me, and made them both feel so special.
From that moment on, Scarlett was different. She was seemingly glad she came, she was excited about recanting some of the stories that she heard, and of course, they were more than happy to go out for milkshakes late on a Saturday night before returning home.
I'm not sure that Scarlett will remember much of what was taught from the pulpit during the fireside, but I suspect that she will always remember how these women made her feel. I too was impressed with how warm they were. Later, we took a picture with Sister Oscarson sitting on the couch outside of the chapel. I can't believe how casually I spoke with her. I kind of wish I had been more prepared and thought of some great question to ask her or compliment to pay her, but what an example she was to me of being approachable and showing love to all, even little children.