Ask Angela: New Year's resolution: Stop hating my YSA ward

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 31 2013 8:00 a.m. MST

Struggling to actually enjoy going to church? Here's help!

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Dear Angela,

My resolution for the new year is to stop hating my singles ward. How do I do it?

Sincerely,

The New Me

Dear "The New Me,"

This is a great goal. Here are some things I've tried in the past — some worked and some didn't:

Participate more in class. (Worked) It's a big self-esteem boost to share your thoughts at church and have it make a difference in another member's life. Plus, it makes you realize that you're not only there for yourself. The next time you're sitting in a class and you feel like it's dragging and you're asking yourself questions like, "Why does it even matter that I'm here?" find some way to participate. It will almost instantly change your attitude.

100 percent attendance at all ward-sponsored activities. (Didn't work) My schedule couldn't sustain this type of goal and instead of getting to know people I mainly felt guilty for what I wasn't able to do. Instead, I'd suggest looking at your schedule and making attendance goals. Activities are a great way to get to know the other people in your ward, and when that social aspect is there and healthy, it makes for a better overall experience. So, plan for ways to do that without overbooking yourself.

Pray for positive experiences. (Worked) This worked primarily because I believed it would. What does a positive church experience look and feel like for you? Whatever that is, ask for those types of experiences and then look for them, work for them, create them. Prayer is real, and situations like these are no exceptions.

Learn everyone's names. (Didn't work) This may work for some people, but it didn't for me. I kept getting mad that I was knowing people's names and they weren't knowing mine. LOL. Still, reaching out to a few people every Sunday will make them feel more comfortable reaching back, and that human interaction is a lot of what Sunday worship is all about.

Overall, what really "worked" was changing my attitude about the whole thing. If I was hating it, which I kinda was, that was totally within my power to change. I think having that thought process will open your mind to ideas and solutions that you may have missed.

Readers: Have you ever had problems actually enjoying church? What have you done to make it a positive experience for you and for your family?

Share your best advice!

Love,

Angela

To keep up with the stories of "The New Me" and other readers, join our Facebook page and visit the Ask Angela Blog.

Angela Trusty is a millennial writer who lives and writes about the Latter-day Saint experience. Twitter: askange_column

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