Seriously, who can compete with working with kids and teaching them music? I currently teach seven kids, all of whom are very sweet and eager to learn. Incidentally, for a bit of extra income during one lesson David tutors their oldest daughter in math for an hour while I teach their youngest recorder. David and I have grown to love and admire their family. The mom works at CNN as the Senior Medical correspondent (aka she's important) and the dad teaches at Georgia Tech.
They have 4 kids--all girls--and are Jewish. It has been so incredibly refreshing to interact with those who are not LDS but are just as faithful in their religion and believe in family values.
They traipsed off to Israel a few weeks ago for their daughter's bat mitzvah. And when they came home they gave David and I a box of chocolate! They thought a heart shaped box would be lovely considering we were just newly married. (Granted, we have been married for a year...but that isn't TOO long...)
Believe me, those chocolates were beyond delicious.
During our last recorder lesson the student asked me out of the blue: "Are you Jewish?" "No." Are you Christian?" "Yes." "Oh. I can't eat bacon." "Oh really? I can't eat certain foods/drinks too!"
It was neat sharing about our respective religions in just a friendly manner. Living in Atlanta is so great. Missionary work in Atlanta is just as important as missionary work in Provo, but it is different. There seems to be such a stigma against missionary work and talking to people about our beliefs in Provo. Maybe it's just me. But in Atlanta it just seems the natural thing to do and say.
It is a neat experience sharing my testimony (i.e I don't drink coffee, we believe in families) with those around me. It is neat because I am learning about other religions as well. Do not bash Provo with me. I love it with all my heart. I loved growing up with friends who were LDS. Being in a "bubble" has its perks--and pitfalls--and I wouldn't trade my teenage-hood for anywhere.
I love Atlanta because the culture is new to me. I love Atlanta because it is so different from Provo. And I love Atlanta because, just like Provo, you get earnest people trying to be good.
But if I ever move back to Utah, (No! Whenever I move anywhere else), there is one thing I want to take with me and teach those around me, and that is to not judge quite as swiftly. And that it is ok to be different and not fit into the "Mormon mold." And, most importantly, one of the best ways to show love for another is to talk to those that do not fit the stereotype that you, yourself, find yourself in. The Atlanta Ward has taught me this.
Note: Believe me, I know, there are people who judge, and those who don't, ANYWHERE you go. Just sometimes I feel there is a specific brand of judgement from LDS members. Sometimes. Not everyone. :) Sorry if I gave offense....