Dec 31, 2013

Adam was a prophet (FHE)

For Family Home Evening (FHE)* in the upcoming weeks, I’ll be basing my lessons on the Follow the Prophet 9-week series from the website, a wonderful site for toddler FHE ideas.  This site had been my inspiration for FHE the past year.  Monday’s lesson was on the first verse of Follow the Prophet from the Children’s Songbook (song #110).  The song goes as follows:

Adam was a prophet, first one that we know.
In a place called Eden, he helped things to grow.
Adam served the Lord by following His ways.
We are his descendants in the latter days.
Follow the prophet.  Follow the prophet.  Follow the prophet. Don’t go astray.
Follow the prophet.  Follow the Prophet.  Follow the prophet. He knows the way.

We learned about prophet Adam, focusing on how he tended the plants in the Garden of Eden and how we are all his descendants.  My objective with this lesson is, by using Adam’s example, to teach June how to work and how to be obedient to the commandments.

We were fortunate this week to be in Amarillo, so we did FHE with my dad and two of my brothers.  After an opening prayer, we all lined up in a row and played a game of follow the leader while singing the first verse of Follow the Prophet.  As we marched around the house and yard, we each took turns as the leader.  Then, we repeated the song and June got to be the leader the whole time.  She kept looking back at everyone marching behind her, grinning ear-to-ear.  
Following the song, my brothers and I took turns reading June the story of Adam and Eve from the Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible.  She enjoyed the story at first, but began to get antsy about half-way through. She was being sneaky and kept trying to get into the supplies for our activity.  I think next time we’ll read the story first before she builds up a bunch of energy during the song.  Hopefully then she would be a little more attentive.  It’s a great book though, told in an easy-to-understand fashion with beautiful illustrations in true Berenstain Bears style.
Afterward, it was time for the activity!  Adam not only tended the plants in the Garden of Eden, but was also told by the Lord to grow crops because “thou shalt eat the herb of the field” (Genesis 3:18) so that “in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread” (Genesis 3:19).  Accordingly, June got to plant her very own windowsill herb garden!   This way, June will enjoy the tasty cilantro and basil after she has worked to take care of it.

June got to decorate her pot, fill it with potting soil, plant her seeds, and then water them.  She enjoyed each step so much, she decided she was going to plant her uncles’ and grandpa’s herbs as well.  While she was planting (with minimal help from her uncle Tommy), I discussed the above lesson.  In addition, I also explained that Adam and Eve served the Lord by keeping His commandment to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth”, (Genesis 1:28).  Since they were obedient, all of us today and all of us who have lived on this earth are their many-greats-grandchildren.  Just like the tiny seed she was planting would “be fruitful” and “multiply and replenish” her herb garden, we also are the fruits of Adam and Eve’s seed.

I didn’t realize how much June would enjoy the planting!  She practically pushed her uncles out of the way so she could just keep filling the pots with soil.  Or she would attempt to steal their seeds so she could plant them all by herself.  It was absolutely adorable.  I do wish I had better prepared for decorating the pots.  If we do this activity again, I will make sure to have glue, ribbons, stickers, and markers so she can add a June-touch to her garden.  Moreover, I will probably end up printing and laminating herb-care instruction cards and labels to stay with the plants for easy reference.

Overall, the lesson was a success.  Every time June and I tend to her herbs, she can continue to remember and apply the principles of work and obedience in her own life.  Plus, we get to reap the rewards as we harvest the garden-fresh cilantro and basil.

If any of you end up doing this activity or a similar one, please comment below and let me know how it went!  I’d love to hear from you.

*Family Home Evening: aka FHE, is a time for families to study the gospel together and to do other activities that strengthen the family spiritually, create family memories, and increase unity and love.

Dec 29, 2013

Welcome! A bit about the Running Mormon.

Welcome to my new blog! I fully intend to post at least twice a week. I love running, so you'll hear about my upcoming races, training, workouts, and weird things I see it do on my runs. I'm also a devout Mormon, so I'll be writing about such things as Family Home Evening (FHE), my wonderful youth Sunday school class, Visiting Teaching, temple trips, missionary work, and the gospel.

I love being a mother to my beautiful 3-year old daughter, June. I think she is the best kid and absolutely perfect. I graduated with my bachelors of arts in Russian Language and Area Studies from Texas Tech University. I'm a veteran of the air force where I was an intelligence officer. I'm a certified personal trainer through the International Sports Sciences Association.  I'm currently serving as a Sunday School teacher for youth ages 15 through 18 in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints.  I like fitness, yoga, running, biking, swimming, anything outdoors that doesn't involve heights. I also love reading the scriptures, reading in general, playing guitar, being pampered, and traveling.

I love when everything seems to align just right for a perfect lesson. After looking over the lesson topics for December on the Come Follow Me webpage (the lesson manual for teaching the youth), I felt that the lesson I needed to teach was on "How can I effectively share the gospel?" So I prayed, asking my Heavenly Father if this was the lesson He wanted the youth in my class to have this week and before I could even get all the words out, I felt a resounding  "YES". The spirit enveloped me like a warm blanket and I knew this was the lesson.  Reaffirming this lesson topic additionally, the sacrament meeting talks were about member missionary work! All the speakers gave me a perfect segue into my lesson. To top it all off perfectly, my class was merged with the 12 through 14 year olds so I was teaching all the youth; each one of them answered questions, made comments, and read scriptures.  They also loved the candy canes  I handed out at the end with a few pass-along cards and seemed excited to start on a New Year's resolution challenge: to prayerfully pass out one of the cards by the end of 2014. 

The power of prayer is truly amazing. Our Heavenly Father loves us all so much and wants to help us with anything: big, small, and everywhere in between. He wants us to ask Him questions, give thanks, and talk to Him about what is going on in our lives. All I asked Him for here was to know what lesson I should teach. Not only did I get the answer, but all things were aligned in such a way that the lesson turned out to be the best I could teach. I hope that my students felt the spirit and have learned something they can apply in their lives to strengthen their own testimonies of Jesus Christ.

As this is my first real blog, I hope my writing becomes more articulate and just a good read for you. I'd love to hear your questions, and if you feel so inclined, join me on a run or at church.