Saturday, March 18, 2017

"Dear Students..."

Dear seminary students,

I get it.

I know that it's hard having the new student teacher. I've been there. I remember being a freshman and being moved from one of the best teachers to the "new guy." He was weird and awkward. My desire to go to seminary dramatically decreased. Going to class felt like having 2 cement blocks for feet, and dragging myself into the classroom felt like a chore. I dreaded it, but I knew he was trying. I remember I tried to help him out by answering questions, but there was only so much I could do before it became too much. He needed other students to answer, and nobody wanted to do it.
He didn't get hired.

So, I promise I get it. Really, I'm not that much older than you. Heck, I'm young enough to be your older sister!

But, I want to thank you. Thank you for showing up to class everyday. You are here because whether or not you want to be here, you made the choice to do so.

Dear students,

I get it.

Life is insane right now, and high school can be scary! You're freshman, and you're trying to figure out exactly where you fit in in this new crazy realm that which is high school. You want to be cool. You want to be accepted. Being the youngest, you're the "babies" of the school. You are just stepping into the water, testing to see what will happen if you do this and that. Or maybe you're sophomores. You're the middle child of the high school family. You're not the baby anymore, but you're also not the older sibling who have figured out what you want to do, where you fit in. Or maybe you have, and you just really want to get out of that awkward middle ground and move on with life. Maybe, regardless of age, you're going through some tough things. Sophomore year was my worse year for me: first boyfriend, first heartbreak, first time losing friends. I remember I was legitimately friendless for 2 weeks because I stood up for myself. I remember I hated going to school, because I didn't want to be bullied or ignored, and I didn't know how to stand up for myself. Seminary became my safe haven during school hours. My teacher was my confidant. Those lessons were my "me time."

Dear students,

One day, you'll know.

You'll come to find that there is life outside of high school, that cliques comes to a "dead end," and you'll come to know that is when life really begin. There will be adventures that will take you on journeys you can't even imagine right now, people who will come into your life that will be angels that lift you up. Some of your best memories will happen in college or on missions. Some of you hardest times will come from them, too. And when they happen, that is when the gospel becomes the rock.

Dear students,

One day, you'll know.

Perhaps you will experience a trial of your faith. Perhaps you will be pushed to your limit. You might experience trials that cause you to ask, "Why!" and "What did I do?" You might feel alone, wondering what you did to deserve this. You might ask "Is God really there?" You might need answers to questions that seem completely unanswerable.

I get it.

I'm still there sometimes.

And I promise, those "seminary answers" become the foundation. I promise those simple things you learn in seminary are the key to becoming a rock. You might not know now, but you will look back to your time in seminary and realize that those questions are answerable.

And I hope, when that time comes, you will remember.

No, I don't hope you remember the games we played, or the videos we watched, or the role plays we laughed through. I don't hope that you remember what hymn we sang that one Friday, or the details of the stories we read in the scriptures. Those are important. But there is something more.

I hope you remember the spirit you felt. I hope you remember that your question was answered because of someone's testimony. I hope you remember how you felt when you shared your own experiences when you felt the Savior's love in your life. I hope you remember that you are SO LOVED by your Savior then, and now.

Because that is what matters above everything else.

Dear students,

We are all "students" in the gospel.
You teach me so much.
You strengthen me.

And I thank you for that.