An excerpt from my friend, "Vern's" blog... (I'm the friend)
Several months ago my friend and her family were preparing to move and she was a little concerned that her strong personality would alienate her new associates at church before they really got to know her. So my husband made her a deal. For SIX MONTHS at church she couldn’t make any controversial comments, share any opinions, or make sarcastic remarks to the person sitting next to her. If she could go a whole six months, Cory would pay to take her and her husband to dinner at their favorite restaurant. [Reason #39 of why we are friends: Highly motivated by food.] The very first Sunday in their new ward would prove to be difficult when the Sunday School teacher asserted his opinion as doctrine, but others in the class chimed in and saved her from having to lose this bet on its first leg of the race. Week after week her challenge got easier, and she settled into emphasizing her easy going and pleasant sides. Four months later she got a call from her Bishop. Hours after that she called me. She was a little edgy. It was 10:00 at night, and she was ranting on about how something was our fault. Apparently the Bishop had an important question for her. As in “We’ve been thinking long and praying hard and feel strongly that you are the person to serve as our new Relief Society President. Will you do it?” Tempted to question his propensity for accurate inspiration and by the way did you know I’m not normally this pleasant? she reluctantly agreed.
Sometimes I call her “President” to her face because I find the rolling of the eyes to be highly rewarding. When she gets hostile on the phone, I accuse of her not acting very presidential and I think she secretly loves that. But it has officially been 6 months, so Friday we made good on our end and took them to dinner. She now spends 15-20 hours a week on the phone or visiting personally with people to assess their needs and address their grievances. One of her biggest challenges so far? People telling her how “sweet” she is. I tell her not to worry, pretty soon they’ll know better than to say such things. In the meantime, I don’t think their Relief Society could be in better hands.
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