Originally from Los Angeles, California, Natalie Cox currently lives in Gilbert, Arizona. She is the mother of five kids ages 10, 14, 16, 18, and 19, and a new missionary mom. Her son left for the Columbus Ohio mission last month and her daughter will leave for the Scotland Ireland mission next month. She is an entrepreneur at heart and has started a few businesses over the years. In 2019 she launched Māedn Bags and running that keeps her pretty busy during the week.
At church, Natalie has served in many capacities in Primary, as the first counselor in stake Primary and then as the stake Primary president. She is currently serving as ward Young Women president and considers it an honor to work with the young women. She loves the youth and spending time with them on Wednesdays and Sundays is the highlight of her week.
02:15 Kurt introduces Natalie and her background.
03:40 Getting called as Young Women president in her ward. Natalie felt very strongly that she needed to serve in Young Women even though she was the stake Primary president. She discussed it with her bishop.
09:20 Natalie started her calling terrified and unsure what to even say to the girls.
12:10 Establishing a relationship with the young women. Natalie describes what it looked like for her as she tried to build these relationships with each girl.
15:50 Silent ministering. No one knows who is ministering to whom. Not everyone had a silent minister but some girls that were struggling did. None of them knew the term silent minister because then they would question if it was authentic or not.
21:45 While it’s not allowed, Natalie personally believes in texting individuals. She says that there is nothing more powerful for her relationship with them. She sends encouragement, that she misses them, and asks them how school is going.
23:40 Should we always stick with the rules? What if we feel inspired to go against the rules?
26:00 Natalie takes some of the girls on one-on-ones. It started because a mother reached out to her and asked her to take her daughter on one. It’s an incredible way to get to know them, tell them why they matter, tell them what you see in them.
28:20 The positive development of any young person requires three additional adult influences other than their parents.
29:10 There are rules and we want to keep everyone safe but the things Natalie is trying to do are for the benefit of the youth and are deepening the relationships there. Maybe the best way is for leaders to always ask parent permission.
32:10 Natalie’s ward has a lot of girls. There have been 28 girls in just the oldest class (31 next January) and it’s nearly impossible to connect with all of them without taking extra steps.
33:10 Leaders are terrified of teenage girls. Just remember that it’s not about you and it’s all about them.
35:40 Some youth are so hard to reach. Natalie shares an experience she had with a girl in her young women. Natalie kept reaching out to her but never got a response until six months later. The girl sent her a heartfelt message thanking her. The moral of the story is that you might not be getting a lot of feedback but what you are doing matters.
38:30 Working together as Young Women and Young Men organizations
43:00 Natalie really wanted the young women to be greeters and help them have purpose and interact with the adults. The bishop said no but the feeling kept nagging her. She gave it some time and the bishop finally agreed. Remember that impressions can be different for each leader and to give it time.
46:45 Natalie explains how they involve the young women in ministering. They call it ministering bread.
49:00 Natalie shares her final thoughts on leadership and how serving has blessed her.
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