Thursday, April 17, 2014

Look who's home! (and how to survive being a bishop's wife)

Rustin spent his first Tuesday night home with us in 5 1/2 years! 
Can you believe it's been FIVE years since Rustin was called to be the bishop?!  It seems like a few months and a decade all at the same time.  Rustin hasn't sat with us in sacrament meeting since Dallin and Landon were NINE. 
 He's in for a rude awakening... 
Actually he already missed out on the fun years.  Everyone is pretty self-sufficient these days.  I just pass Jackson off to whoever is getting wiggly and all is well.  
We have had a beautiful five years.  We could not have been more blessed.  

The new bishop's wife asked me if I have any tips and I do.  Here's my top ten:

1.  Memorize the executive secretary's phone number and repeat, "I'm sure the bishop will love to talk to you--his secretary can set up an appointment time." This is especially helpful for the people that call and ask for "Mister Bishop Hatch."  (We get a. lot. of calls from non-member community members needing help. For a while we had three to four calls a week from people in the community who were in a 'crisis' and it took me a while to figure out that unfortunately, many people have figured out how to make the rounds through all of the community churches and resources. If they don't know what ward they are in they can call the DI--they have an up to date map.  If they are serious about wanting to meet the bishop they will make an appointment and show up. Then the bishop can look into their eyes he can determine what they really need. ) 

2.  When someone calls and says "Is the bishop home?" feel free to translate that to what they really should have asked which is, "Is the bishop available to take calls?" The kids have learned to come ask me, "mom is dad home?" when someone calls for him.  If he's visiting with his kids for the only hour that he has home for the day it's okay to say, "He's not available but I'm sure he would love to talk with you.  His secretary knows his schedule better than I do."  
(see #1 above) 

3.  Never Ever say "I'll have him call you."  Just tell the person on the phone that you don't know his schedule for sure so you don't know when he will be able to return calls but you'll give him the message that they called.  Auxiliary presidents should have his cell number. 

4.  Just call a handy man. 

5.  Don't make it hard for him to have the spirit.  Tuesday at 5:30 is not the time to have a conversation about things that irritate you.  (Bishopric meetings and interviews are on Tuesday nights...) I think of this as my part of service.  I have learned to just let some things go.  

6.  Don't plan on him being home.  Especially Sundays.  We just go about our day and if he catches up with us we are happy to have him but we don't plan on him being home or being available even if he is home.  Being the bishop involves a lot of study and prayer time.  

7.  Don't be offended if he gives you that 'I-need-to-take-this-phone-call-by-myself-will-you-go-out-of-our-room' look.  It's not personal. 

8.  Have a box in a safe place for mail/tithing.  Bishops get a ton of mail.  Everything the ward orders for supplies, from printer ink to manuals to sacrament cups, will be sent to your house.  

9.  He'll be gone the whole week of scout camp/girls camp.  It seems like a big sacrifice to have him use vacation time for the youth but it is one of the most rewarding and important things he will do as the bishop.  Those youth need to 'play' with him to really know and trust him.  And youth really need to trust their bishop. 

10.  Enjoy the spirit that comes from service.  There's nothing else like it!

Rustin's last day as bishop was spent in the temple with this darling couple and their two kids.  
Such a sweet experience!

What did Rustin do on his first Sunday afternoon home? 
He slept for five hours.  
With a smile on his face!

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