For years, I have made it a goal to become a "ward/church project." Someone who people at church that people have on their radar (free food, free friends, great life). Before you judge this goal, I will solidly state that I know it is a bad goal.. As a Christian, my goal is to act like Christ would if here were. This means looking for ways to serve others, and not thinking about ways to get myself served. Can you imagine Mother Teresa sitting around, plotting how to get someone to bring her dinner?
Regardless, I have ALWAYS joked about being a project. I was probably 12 or 14 when I first came up with the idea. I was probably sitting in a meeting, discussing activities that _____ would like, when I thought/-I want people to plan activities for me. (I know this is selfish.) As I got older, it got worse. There is a distinct possibility that I started a "Liz for ward project" campaign in college. Somewhere in the joking the desire started to become real.
In life, I have been really blessed. I have a great family with longevity in my jeans. I was able to go to college, have friends, and mostly succeed in life. My "mountains to climb" are probably little ant hills to many people. While this is great, it does make becoming the ward project difficult.
Answer: Move somewhere where you are the odd one out. End result, I decided to move near Sun Valley, Idaho-far away from all family and friends. I knew that I would be "the single girl." This had to equal ward project! I would be guaranteed the best home and visiting teachers. People would invite me over for dinner, plan activities for me. etc. Logical?
In reality, my main objective in moving to the Wood River Valley was not to become a project. However, I told myself that it would be an exciting plus. In fact, when I talked to my friends at BYU before moving, the "project" benefit was mentioned repeatedly. See the following example:
Liz: Well, I got the job in Ketchum, Idaho. I guess I am moving there.
Friend: Congrats, How do you feel about it?
Liz: I am a little nervous, but I feel good about it. Plus, the nearest singles ward is about one hour away. I guess going to a family ward will help me finally become the project. I will be the only young single adult.
Notice, the lack of talk about the actual job (which turned out to be great)
Truthfully, people took me under their wings and I was a "mini project." For a while, I was at my stake president's house more than he was. I did have a great home teacher. But, I wasn't "the project." Like I said, I have been really blessed in life, and many other people have BIG problems. And, I can actually be pretty independent (shocker!). End result: People were nice, but I wasn't on THE LIST. On a side note, I do have some awesome stories I should blog about in the future-involving demon deacons.
However, after all the years spent on this goal, I was not willing to completely give up. I had some high points that gave me hope for my goal. (Eg. When the Twin Falls singles ward talked about me in ward council, the Bishop of the Sun Valley ward inviting me to dinner every Sunday for a couple of months straight-I was in a Hailey ward- having people tell me that they would pray for me to meet a nice boy). Eventually, I gave up on being at the top of the project list and decided to drive the hour to be part of a singles branch again.
And then it happened. I did not suddenly move to the top of the list, but a real "ward project" moment occurred Today, the young men and women came caroling to my house and they brought a HUGE gift basket. There were even some of my demon deacons there. It warmed my soul. And then it hit me, this was a project moment. I have been in on enough meetings to know that they go to people's houses who need extra...love.
What a glorious moment!!!!