Thursday, May 14, 2009

Joy Comes in the Morning--And for me that is 5:45 a.m.

One of the greatest, all encompassing, overwhelming and totally thrilling joys in my life this past year came at 5:45 in the morning----in the form of 22 14/15 year olds.

My seminary class.
This picture was taken in the beginning of the year and so they look much more grown up and mature now. :-)

This is my fourth year to teach and my eleventh year to be involved in the seminary program, and it just keeps getting better and better.

My class this year is perfect. Okay, so their attendance isn’t always perfect, and they don’t always come on time, and their singing is actually pretty awful most of the time, but you could travel the world from sea to sea, and not find a better, more fun, smarter group of teenagers than I am blessed to spend my mornings with. And I don’t say that just because my daughter is one of them and all her friends are in the class. I say it because it is true.

Sometimes they make me laugh. Like the morning we talked about the resurrection and one student asked if we would be able to eat in the next life. Haylee quickly added, “If I can’t have chocolate and crab, it won’t be Heaven.” I then said, “Let’s think about that for a moment. We know Christ ate with his apostles after his resurrection, so we know we will be able to eat. But will there be death in the next life?” Haylee immediately got a horrified look on her face and gasped, “You mean I will have to eat the crabs live?” Yes, Haylee. And they will stay alive all through your digestive system. :-) Yummmm.

And sometimes they make me cry like the day they shared experiences with receiving answers to prayers.

They came from 11 different elementary schools, three states and four different wards. Some are cheerleaders, others are in band or orchestra and some play basketball, soccer or swim. Some are too shy to say a word in class, and others are hard to keep quiet.

But they are all mine, and I have loved them. And every school day, despite their differences, for 45 minutes we have been united as we study, search and apply the teachings of the New Testament and the Life of Jesus Christ.

Here are pictures from a couple of our activities over the year. In this first one the kids were making oil lamps. Later in the year we went outside and lit the lamps and then had a testimony meeting. It was a very sweet experience and one I will always remember.

We also had a lot of fun playing scripture mastery games --although we didn't play as many of them as I am sure my class would have liked. This was a camel race relay where they were racing to match key words with their references. They are supposed to be riding the camels, but as you can see most of them just ran with them.

And this was the very fun fly swatter game. In this game we posted key words around the gym and then gave a scripture reference. The kids raced to be the first to swat the correct key word. This game got pretty crazy!!

Today was our last day of seminary for the year. That has made me feel so sad! I am going to miss them all terribly. But what a blessing each student has been in my life.
And what great . . . joy they have brought to my journey!


Carolyn said...

I wish you were my seminary teacher! Why don't they have early morning seminary for adults?

I'm jelous.

The Kurtzeborn Family said...

You were the BEST seminary teacher! I always enjoyed your class. I'm quite sure your students are missing you too! They might not miss getting up so early, but none the less, I'm sure they are missing you and your wonderful lessons!

Shannon said...

What a fun calling. I'll bet you're a great teacher to go along with the great students. I loved seminary. THey're lucky to have someone to help them learn and make good memories. Enjoy your summer!

in time out said...

...I am posting SEVEN wordless wednesday, on SATURDAY!!! along...can you guess. starting at 9am....every hour...♥

Christina said...

What a great opportunity for you (and them!). I taught Seminary part-time for a year and a half before my first child was born and it was such a wonderful experience.

JUST ME, THE MOM said...

What a wonderful year, full of so many good memories, that has to be bittersweet as the year is coming to an end. I'm sure all that cute bunch is going to miss you and all your inspiration also. I know I am so thankful for my kids seminary teachers over the years, each one of my children frequently shares wonderful insights they gained from their teachers.


Momza said...

There should be a special holiday for Seminary certainly deserve any honor that can be given!

Dave and Camille said...

You are such an amazing seminary teacher! I wish I had had a teacher like you... oh yeah, I did! I'm sad your class is over but I'm really really excited that you might get some sleep now! Love you mucho!!!

Small House said...

Gotta hand it to you! It must be a lot of work, and you can tell that the youth love you.
Have a great day.

KC Mom said...

I found you through someone's blog and had to comment. I'm a seminary teacher too and so I just had to tell you how proud of you I am! I thoroughly enjoyed your post today. Our last day was last week and it really quite a ride! Enjoyed your blog! I'll be back!

Da Bergs said...

Omigosh, you MADE oil lamps!!! WHERE did you get the directions???!!! I teach institute.... LOVED your post!!! What a fun game... I have not seen the fly swatter game!

Rhonda said...

I have loved the fact that our kids also go to Seminary. Having 3 already graduate from the early AM program here, our last two will also stick it out. They love going and being with all their "Sem Buds" as Susie (4th daughter) calls them.

They did the lamps too. Our kids go to Seminary 10 miles away, and on those below zero mornings, and 12 years into it, my husband and I have often joked about the possibility of home study. Our kids will have NOTHING to do with it and are up and ready to go at 5:30AM every single morning.

They make me proud. And YES, I have pride! Not an easy thing to do when, like you mentioned, all the other outside activities are also competing for our kids time. They simply amaze me.

Rhonda said...

...forgot to put in the plug for ALL our GREAT and extremely DYNAMIC and dedicated Seminary teachers.