Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"Bear"-ing one anothers' burdens

123rf photos
When one of my YW is sick, injured, or having surgery, I like to let her know that I am thinking of her.  I like to buy a Teddy bear and place a Band-aid or bandage that corresponds with her illness or injury, tuck in her favourite candy bar and deliver it.  For example, I had a Laurel who was having nasal septum surgery so I put a Band-aid across the nose of a Teddy bear and delivered it.  It's a cute way to remember them and give them something to cuddle while they recuperate.  A class of girls can visit a sick YW as a group and deliver this as well.  Unfortunately, plain Teddy bears are getting harder and harder to find but I find the rewards for the search and delivery of the bear far outweighs the small inconvenience. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Teaching YW Budgeting

Choice and Accountability #7 talks about learning to budget.  Let's face it!  Girls will get money and then spend it on movies, make up, and fun stuff.  Most of them will pay their tithing (Yay!).  As a teen, I earned my babysitting money and spent it without much thought about tomorrow.  After all, as a teen - tomorrow is a long way away...until you are a Senior  Laurel and facing college or a mission.

A great Personal Progress activity is to have them learn to budget.  This is my form but there are some great others out there for your use.  I will add their links at the end. 


1.  What do I do to earn money?
2.  How much do I earn or how much is my allowance?
3.  What do I spend the money I earn on?
4.  How much do I save and where do I put my savings?
5.  Do I owe anyone money?  How much?  Am I paying off my debt?
6.  What do I spend only on myself and what do I spend on others?
7.  What skills am I developing to help me earn the money I need to meet my future goals?
8.  Do I keep a financial record?


Budget For:________________________________

Income                                                       Planned                           Actual         

Wages/Salary (after taxes) -
Other Income -



Church Donations -
Savings -
Food -
Rent -
Utilities/Cell Phone -
Laundry -
Fees -
Transportation -
Insurance -
Medical -
Clothing -
Other -

When my daughter left for BYU, we paid her tuition, books, and meals.  For extras, she had to earn her own way.  It was a wonderful experience for her and she has become a very frugal and thrifty mom today.  She was amazed at how much of her paycheck went to taxes and there is the never-ending saving of quarters for the washer and dryer!  This activity can be added to a lesson on tithing and fast offerings as well as meal planning or shopping.

A funny lesson taught by Bill Cosby to his son on the Cosby show:  http://www.imom.com/mom-life/mom-management/money-a-lesson-in-finances-from-bill-cosby/ 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Leadership for the Youth

Our time with the youth is full of lessons, Personal Progress, activities, camp, and meetings.  It is our responsibility, and indeed a blessing, to teach these young people leadership skills.  The Church has provided a wonderful resource for us at:  https://www.lds.org/callings/young-women/leader-resources/teaching-leadership-skills?lang=eng .  Each one of these lessons is designed for the YW to give to EACH OTHER in their presidency meetings.  

We often train our class secretaries to take roll and our class presidents to conduct.  This is the beginning of the training they receive for going out into the world as LDS leaders when they leave the Young Women organization.  When they are called as a presidency, these lessons should be assigned in turn, one to each member of the presidency, to be given in their presidency meetings.  I use them in lieu of a spiritual thought or scripture reading.  They are very short and do not require an enormous amount of effort to present.  This oftentimes gives them their first opportunity to teach.  It builds confidence and teaches important principles that they should incorporate in their presidencies.  

As in all things, this will require a little advanced preparation and some encouragement on your part. There are 18 lessons in this section, 6 for Counseling Together, 4 under Spiritually Preparing, 3 for Service, and 5 regarding Teaching.  If you are new to the YW organization, this can be a great support to you as well. (We oldsters benefit as well!)  Teaching these lessons inspires self-assurance in each member of your class presidencys.  They can bring the Spirit into their meetings and help them to plan activities that will build your organization in a wonderful way.  

It is an amazing opportunity to see a Laurel President lead the YW in your ward and to realize that she will be doing the same thing in her Young Adult ward in the near future.  This training will also be invaluable to them as they prepare to serve missions.  My daughters have expressed to me how much these leadership skills have helped them in their college careers, as single women, and in their married lives.  They have felt that the Church has given them skills in speaking, leadership, and organization often not found in the secular world.  The leaders of this Church are truly inspired in the ways they help our young people prepare for their adult lives!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Teaching the Only One

Have you ever found yourself in a classroom with only one active YW?  In small wards, oftentimes there is only one Laurel, one MIA Maid, or one Beehive in your class.  Although this can be challenging, in some ways, this can be a blessing to you and to her.  Living in a small area, this has happened to me several times in my YW service.  Because of this, I have developed a deep bond of friendship with a few of my sweet girls that has lasted now into their married lives.  

I think the new curriculum is much more conducive to teaching one-on-one.  You and your young woman can learn together and teach each other in a way not possible with a larger class.  There is little distraction and little peer pressure.  It is important that she feel your love, interest, and dedication to her.  Try to make this a special bonding experience so she will not feel the desire to quit coming because she is "the only one." 

Sunday lessons, for me, are much easier than weekday activities when there is only one girl.  Begin by discussing  what her goals are for her year.  Does she want to prepare for a mission?  Is she getting ready for college? What does she like to do?  What has she always wanted to know or learn?  Use these to plan some activities together.  

On Sunday, set up a small table with two chairs set catty-corner, close enough to talk freely and maintain good eye contact.  This allows for talking freely, sharing openly, laughing, and whispering as the Spirit moves you.  Continue to prayerfully prepare your lessons for Sunday.  Seek the Holy Ghost.  You may need His influence now more than ever.  Read scriptures together and ask for her insights or how it applies to her life. Give this special girl the same attention you would give a class of 12 girls.  Have a handout; share a video or story; read and mark a talk by a General Authority together.  Encourage her to invite friends and be a missionary.  If you have the time, visit some of her activities, games, or performances.  Root for her at scripture mastery and sit, smiling, when she gives a talk in church. 

It is important to meet with the other girls when given the opportunity.  She should meet for combined YW and YM/YW activities, opening exercises, and firesides so she feels connected to the group as a whole.  You may occasionally feel the desire to combine with a class in the next age group to hers.  This can be beneficial for all involved.  It can also soften the blow when two good friends are separated enough in age to be in two different classes as well as lessen the feelings of isolation.  Laurels, especially, are so busy.  This can be a wonderful way to teach and "fit" her activities into your mutual schedules.  

It can be such a blessing to teach this one sweet spirit and get to know her.  What a trust it is to be her leader and watch her testimony form before your eyes in a way that you may have missed before.  What a joy this can be!