Sister Watson: Sister Colby and I have been meeting each Wednesday night since October 1994 to work together on basic literacy skills. Sister Colby has had only a sixth-grade education and tested very low on the pretest that I gave her. Because of this, I began at the beginning of the Church Educational System's literacy materials. This proved to be a good decision.
We were both very nervous about starting - she as the student, and I as the teacher. We had many concerns and questions. As we begin our classes each time, we offer a word of prayer, invoking the Spirit of the Lord to be in attendance, and truly it has been.When Sister Colby first attended class, she could not look me in the eyes because her self-esteem was so low, and she was not able to take a turn in offering the prayer. After a few short months, she is now taking her turn praying, her reading is much better, her spelling skills have improved greatly, and she is writing in a journal daily. She has borne her testimony and given a talk in sacrament meeting that she prepared. This is a woman who two years ago suffered from deep depression.
With much love and support from the bishop and ward members, she has fulfilled all the requirements for and has attended the temple. Achieving this goal has strengthened her self-esteem and given her the courage to keep trying to improve her reading. In addition to our regular literacy lessons, we read the scriptural material each week for our adult Sunday School class.
The literacy effort has been a tool in strengthening Sister Colby's testimony. I feel blessed to be a part of her spiritual and educational growth.
Sister Colby: I am writing to express my great appreciation for the literacy course I started on Oct. 19, 1994. When I began the course, I was very scared and nervous. At times, I became very frustrated and even felt like giving up. Fortunately, I have had the strength and guidance of family and friends, and most of all, from our Heavenly Father to keep at it.
I have given a talk in sacrament meeting - which I prepared myself - about my experience with the Gospel Literacy Effort. The program has helped me feel proud of myself, especially when I read and understand things better. It has also helped me to strengthen my testimony. Since I started this course, my reading, writing and spelling skills have improved a great deal.
I would like to give my deepest thanks to Sister Watson, who is my teacher, for her support and time and understanding. I would also like to thank the Church for giving me the chance to learn. This course has changed my life, and I will always be thankful.