Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Another HFPE Tomorrow...

Tomorrow is our January enrichment night and I'm a little nervous. Nervous because the preparations aren't going as I'd like them to. Nervous because I'm afraid nobody is going to come because they think the night's title sounds stupid. Nervous that the evening just won't go off like I want it to.

Our night is called "Who's Your Sister?" and is all about getting to know the other sisters in the ward. We're going to play a bunch of get to know you games. I feel like there is a huge disconnect in our ward and there are either cliques or that nobody cares to know anyone else. I just can't decide. It's not a real friendly ward and I, for one, feel alone. I know there are others there that feel the same way. So, I wanted to do something that would help bring the sisters a little closer together.

One other thing that is weighing on my mind is that I'm really afraid the turnout will be really low - so low, in fact, that the games won't be able to be played. But, a lady from one of the web forums emailed out this quote tonight and it was perfect timing:

“We should bear in mind that the success of a given activity cannot always be judged by its size. Rather, it must be judged by its effect on the lives of those participating.” President James E. Faust, “Strengthening the Inner Self,” Ensign, Feb. 2003, 4.

I thought that quote was so wonderful and so timely. It gives me a renewed vigor and hope for tomorrow!

I'll have to let you know how it goes...but, for now, I've got to get back to finishing up preparing!

January 10th, Update: HFPE was awesome tonight! It went so well! I met each sister by the entrance door and gave each one, that I could, a hug. They then were instructed to put on a name tag and then list two truths and a lie about themselves on an index card and put it in the basket. They mingled amongst themselves while we waited for more sisters to arrive. When we finally got started (15 minutes late because we were waiting for more to arrive), I had them pull a strip of paper out of a bag and tell us about whatever it said to tell us. There were things like "Tell about what you 'do'," or "Tell about the worst marriage advice you ever received," or "If money were no object, where would you go on vacation?" It was fun to hear everyone's answers.

Next, I had all the sisters move to the other side of the room where there were 4 long tables set up with chairs on both sides facing each other. The sisters on one side were given 30 seconds to tell the sister across from them whatever they wanted to tell them. Then, at 30 seconds, I blew a whistle and the second sister had to tell the first sister whatever they wanted about them. Then, at the 30 second mark, I blew the whistle twice and each sister had to move one seat to the left. Then, the process started over again until all the sisters had visited with each of the sisters. At the end, I told them what I had observed: that as they first started the activity, they were just sitting there talking. As the time progressed, they started to move in closer to each other. Their hands got closer to one another. They sat in more active listening positions - where you could really tell they were listening to what the other person had to say. It was a great activity!

Next, we shared refreshments - everyone was asked to bring a dessert, if they'd like to volunteer. We visited for about 10 or 15 minutes while eating and then we moved into the 2 truths and a lie game. That was quite fun and although I had only planned to do about 8 of the cards, they were insistent that I read all of them, so I did. People are quite fascinating!

Last was the Relief Society Sister Feud game. What a hoot! I had found a bunch of LDS type questions in a Family Feud format and had made a version that we could use on a magnetic chalkboard (I originally tried doing a computer version, but that didn't work out). I selected the participants by having sticky cut out flowers on the bottom of their chairs. Talk about hilarious. Some of their answers just cracked me up. They were laughing and having a great time. I think a lot of them had always secretly dreamt of being on Family Feud but then when it came time to answer a question, they kind of choked, but it was still fun to see them working together to come up with the answers.

After the game was over, I shared a handout with them. On one side there was "The Path to Christlike Friendships" and then on the other side was the following poem called God Gave Me a Sister:

When God sent me down to earth, He knew how hard it would be
He knew I would need someone to love and understand me.
So God gave me a sister, a sister as a friend
A special soul who would love me and help me endure to the end
God knew I would grow weary, He knew the days would be long.
He knew the trials would come often, He knew I would have to be strong;
God knew that I would have problems, He knew I would need a helping hand.
He knew I would want someone to listen with her heart and understand.
When sisters truly love each other, their spirits often unite
With added strength of a sister, it is easier to do what is right
That is why God gave us sisters; sisters as our friend
Special souls who love us and help us endure to the end.
Oh God, help us to be sisters, sisters as well as friends
Special souls loving and helping others endure to the end.

I knew I needed this night as much as some of the other sisters did when I noticed the shaking in my voice as I was reading it. I found myself fighting back the tears too. Denise Pau then gave a beautiful closing prayer - so befitting - and it was done. I went into the kitchen after a few moments to clean up a few things and I turned around to notice a small line forming to say goodbye and thank you to me as the sisters were leaving. There were hugs and thank yous. I'm SO glad they had a good time and I truly hope that we sisters will continue to grow closer.

In all, there were about 26 sisters there tonight. That is about 2 more than I thought would probably come. There were 35 last time. Childcare continues to be an issue on whether or not we should have it on the non-major HFPE nights. We'll have to continue to pray about that one and see what we should do. But mostly, I'm concerned about the other 70-80 women that should be there but continuously aren't. How do I get them to want to come?


Cindy said...

I like your new blog look too. It's fun to be able to change them around. Just look for a couple of new pictures a week and store them away--then you have them to choose from and it doesn't take as much time! Let us know how the HFPE went!

Kristin said...

That's a great idea! HFPE is going to be all about getting to know the other sisters in the ward. I hope it will be a lot of fun!

Cindy said...

Sounds like it was just 'what the doctor' ordered! Good job!

Casey Lu said...

Kristin, I myself have always felt alone in the ward and I have to tell you that I absolutely loved that HFPE night! I am quite shy but I do have a hard time feeling like I fit in at all. But I do have to say Thank you for coming up and talking to me yesterday at church and letting me sit by you. For once I felt comfortable sitting next to someone as usually I don't. YOur doing a great job with HFPE and I look forward to getting to know you more!