Archive for March 29th, 2008

I am Sister Melanchuk

Posted by Amanda on March 29th, 2008

I’ve arrived at a new milestone in my life.  I am now Sister Melanchuk.  I didn’t really consider myself “Sister Melanchuk” in the past.  Of course, in Primary the kids did call me Sister Melanchuk (or Sister Watermelanchuk), but that was different because they were like 6 years old.

I’ve mentioned several times the ILP teachers.  ILP stands for International Language Program.  It is a program that sends native English speakers to Ukraine, Russia, and China to teach children English.  It seems that for the most part, the teachers are members of the Church.  I remember seeing their booth at BYU all the time and really wanting to go to China, but that’s another story.

Each semester a batch of ILP teachers comes, and they attend our branch for church.  Since they are mostly girls, that means they are in Relief Society and I have some sort of stewardship over them.  In January a group arrived with 22 girls (and 4 boys).  As the Relief Society president, I wanted to be able to get to know them, but trying to visit all of them was quite daunting.  Not just visiting, but finding the places since they live all over the city with host families, and traveling with Kathryn and Amelia or getting a babysitter, etc. 

Then I had the bright idea to have them over to dinner in small groups.  I’ve now had all but one (she was sick when her “group” was coming) in our home for dinner.  It has been a truly wonderful experience.  First of all, they rave about the food, which makes me feel really good!  And they eat a lot!  We try to make something that they probably aren’t getting at their host family, like taco soup.  I have had a great time getting to know them better, and have been truly impressed.  They are very bright, intelligent, articulate, spiritual, just wonderful girls.  “Sparkly”, as one of our former bishops would have said.  Kathryn loves the extra attention, and several have returned to babysit. 

So now to my point.  It is always interesting to me, because half of the time I feel like I am “one of them”.  It was only four short years ago that I was in singles wards, going to all those activities, dreaming of my future husband, etc (okay four years ago, Darryl and I were officially dating, but only since March 19th).  The other half of the time I feel extremely old, which to them I surely am – at least ten years older than most of them. 

The clincher was when I heard some of them at church telling some others, “We’re going to Sister Melanchuk’s house tonight.”  Sister Melanchuk?!  At first I thought it was so weird, but I quickly latched onto the idea.  I felt respected, and like I had become a real adult.  I am very happy being Sister Melanchuk, and it reminds me of others who will always be “Sister” to me.  Even though I am now an adult, I just can’t seem to use their first names, and I think it is not only because I knew them when I was a child (or at least not an adult) and they were adults with their own children, but because of the respect that I have for them.  Sister Wyler, Sister Drennan, Sister Lee, Sister Conner, Sister Kriser, Sister Toolson . . .