The Beautiful Lessons I Learned as Relief Society President

When we first moved to New Zealand, we got involved in our church right away. We are members of a worldwide church, so no matter where we move or visit, we are sure to find a congregation that is teaching the same thing everywhere. It’s comforting to know that we can always find people with the same beliefs and morals that we have. Once we found the home we would be renting, we started attending church in our designated area. It wasn’t long before I was asked to be president of the women’s organization in our church. It was a huge commitment and I felt completely inadequate, but these are the beautiful lessons I learned as Relief Society President.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
I like to be in control. I like to be organized. I like to have things go smoothly. But, when you work with a group of women made of different backgrounds and talents, you don’t always get to do things your way. And things don’t always go as planned. I learned to go with the flow. I learned to not sweat the small stuff. Usually, it doesn’t matter when something is done differently than you thought you wanted it. The small things don’t matter. If someone forgets to do something or something doesn’t go as planned, oh well. There’s no sense in worrying and fretting about it. Carry on and don’t sweat it.
Kill People with Kindness
Being asked to be the Relief Society President in a new country, not knowing anyone, and being a foreigner could have been daunting, and it definitely was. But I didn’t let that stop me. I could choose to make this a good experience or a painful experience. I chose to make the best of it and dive right in.
New Zealand is full of people from all over the world. In our church, we have people from Scotland, South Africa, Brazil, the United States, all over the UK, Australia, Fiji, and Tonga. It is a very diverse ward. And that can be intimidating. But I chose to kill people with kindness. I chose to always smile, be outgoing, be welcoming, and complimentary. People are so much more open and accepting when you treat them kindly. I was able to make great friendships because I was willing to be open and kind and accepting. It’s hard to say no to a kind person. Being genuinely kind was such a blessing and enriched my life.
Love People Like Jesus Loves Them
Because of my position, I was able to get to know people on a different level. I was able to serve them, see their vulnerabilities and weaknesses, and love them unconditionally. I had a genuine and deep love for each woman in our congregation. I learned to see them through God’s eyes and to love them like Jesus loves them. I loved them like a sister and truly cared for them. It was a beautiful feeling and bond.
My experience in New Zealand would have been completely different if I hadn’t held the positon of Relief Society President. It forced me to get outside of my comfort zone, it caused me to look outside of myself, it kept me busy serving others, it helped me meet wonderful women, it opened my eyes to a love I never knew I could know. New Zealand will always hold a special place in my heart. Not because of the gorgeous country and fun experiences we had as a family, but because of the beautiful women and relationships I made while serving them.