This post is dedicated to a long time reader who needs a good laugh--a real laugh. I don't care what science says, the fake stuff just isn't as potent.
When you're a Mormon, Sunday mornings are really, really long. Regular old church lasts about an hour, Sunday School takes up a second hour, and then, the men and women split into their own Sunday School type classes for the last hour. That's three hours, you guys. I could drive to StoryLand, digest a soft pretzel, and catch a ride on the caterpillar roller coaster in the amount of time in takes me to formally commune with Jesus.
We pass by the Catholic Church on our way to church in the morning, and I always feel so jealous. I mean, c'mon--they've gone to one single hour of church, they get to pick what time they feel like going, and more often than not they get donuts after all is said and done. On the house.
Obviously, I'm missing the boat.
Anyhoo, on Sunday morning, after the first hour was done, my friend's husband (who doubles as the branch clerk--or something like that) came up to me and said, "The Branch President wants to meet with you and Jared after church today."
"Awesome," I replied, "I bet he's gonna give us a bill for something."
He laughed. I didn't. Everybody's billing me these days.
Now let's dive a little deeper into Mormon Doctrine for a second. When you're called into the Branch President's office, it means you're about to get a calling. When you and you're spouse are called into the Branch President's office together? Well, that means that one of you is about to get a big ass calling.
In this case, it was me.
But wait, let's back up. In most churches, you volunteer for additional duties. For example:
- I like children, I'd like to volunteer to teach the third graders.
- I'm friendly, I'd like to volunteer to greet people at the door.
- I'm chatty, I'd like to serve on the social committee.
- I'm really strange, I'd like to sit in the back corner, stare for a little too long, and make the women feel uncomfortable.
Welp, among the Mormons, this is not the way things happen. We get callings. In other words, church leaders have a role that needs to be filled, they think about it, they pray about it, and they pick you. For example:
- You have working arms and you're good at running--you've been called to teach the second graders.
- You're tone deaf, but you have great taste in clothing--you've been called to direct the choir.
- You have a hard time saying no, so you've been called as the Young Men's President.
- I get the feeling you partied way too much in college, we'd like you to use those talents as the activities coordinator.
Anyway. This calling was coming to me.
The Branch President said, "Amy, we have a new calling for you, and I think Jared should be here to help you decided whether or not you can accept it."
And without a moment of hesitation, in 100% seriousness I said, "You should know that I have a swearing problem. It's moderate to severe and I'm not willing to work on it. Not at all."
"You're funny, Amy."
"Funny with a pretty nasty swearing problem. Just ask Jared."
Jared nodded, "Oh yeah, she says 'em all. I mean ALL of them."
The Branch President tossed his head back, laughed, and affectionately said, "I love you guys."
We sat straight-faced. No response. We did not return the love.
"Well, swearing problem or not," he continued, "you've been called to be the......"
I know, the ...... is kind of cruel, but I'm not ready to go public with this one yet, I'm still digesting this assignment. It might take a while, like the time my sister forced me to eat paper and grass--lots of farting, not a lot of pooping.
So anyway, Jared and I looked at each other and shrugged. The Branch President cleared his throat and asked, "So will you accept this calling? You'll get a lot of blessings from this type of service."
"Physical and temporal blessings? I think that's what we'd enjoy the most."
More laughter, more love. Once again, we did not return the love. But I did say yes. And now, I'm the new ......
I'll tell you when I'm ready.