Some weeks back, my favorite RS teacher (at least in this ward) gave a lesson on a topic I don't remember. But I do remember something really insightful that she said. She was very honest when she said that prayer was hard for her. She said that she often forgot to do it, and often felt like answers weren't really forthcoming to her. I was surprised, because I often feel the same way and feel strange when people go on and on about their great prayer experiences, when my own have been more rare.
Then, this teacher went on to say that she thinks just as people have different ways of communicating with one another and with learning, perhaps the Lord approaches us in our own way too. She said that though her talent for prayer was not strong, she believed her talent for meditation was, because her answers would often come after some days of thinking deeply about a particular situation or event. She taught that there were a LOT of ways for the Lord to communicate with us, the important thing was to keep the various channels open--prayer, scriputre study, doing our callings, temple attendance, etc.--and not get discouraged if it seems everyone around us is better at getting an answer. Diligence and patience would eventually show us the ways the Lord can best communicate with us.
For me? I think I've figured out that it is the temple. I'm kind of a stressed-out multi-tasky person in general, and the calmness of the temple for nearly two hours helps me to let enough of that go that I'm perhaps better in tune. I've had some really cool experiences in the temple, some of which are really sacred, and all of which have grown my testimony in amazing ways. I've realized that one of the biggest challenges to living in this part of the Northwest is that our nearest temple is a couple of hours away. I know that for most people in the world, this is not any kind of a distance, but it is a new experience for me. (Even on my mission I attended the temple at least once during my time in each area: at one point the temple was only a five-minute bus-ride away.) A Saturday mid-morning session, if my hubby and I want to go together, costs nearly $30 in gas and finding someone to babysit three kids for a whole day. This is NOT easy.
So, last time Plantboy was in Portland on business, he took part of an evening to go, and today I'm going up without him on the ward bus. I'm excited--this is a thing I've never done before. I feel like I'm REALLY out of Utah now! Maybe it is the sacrifice to get there? Maybe it is the evening away from my kids? I don't know why, but I'm really looking more forward to this evening at the temple than I have in a long, long time. Maybe I'm hoping the Lord will speak to me tonight. I hope I'm prepared to listen.
Happy Conference weekend!