I’ve been learning a lot about Visiting Teaching lately. Visiting Teaching is part of the Lord’s program for taking care of the women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Between my mother’s visiting teaching companion (since we are usually sent out two by two, this is her friend or “side-kick”), and my own feelings attending a new ward (congregation), visiting teaching is taking on a whole new meaning for me.
My mother’s companion knows my mother well enough that if my mother isn’t in church, her friend knows that she is not feeling well. So she’ll call after church and say, “You are sick, aren’t you?” Then she finds out what is going on with my mother. I love that!
And being in a new ward, I found myself going to church after a week or two, wondering “Who will be my friend? Which of the ladies here are similar in age and interests and will befriend me? or can I reach out to?” And when I was made a Visiting Teacher, I thought that I would get to know my companion and the sisters (our word for other women in the Church) we were assigned to visit, so we could become friends.
Reaching out to them seemed only natural, and trying to contact them and get to know something about them so we could meet their needs was what occupied my mind.
So last Sunday when they announced in Relief Society (the women’s organization of the Church) that this Wednesday evening would be a dinner in honor of the birthday of Relief Society, my immediate thought was, “Hmm, which of my visiting teaching sisters and companion are not here and how can I get word to them of this special evening so they can attend if they’d like to?”
Realizing that I only saw one of them in the room, I determined to contact the rest to ask (thanks to my mother’s visiting teaching companion) if they were ill and to let them know about the special dinner. So Monday I called all but one.
The phone number I had for the final one doesn’t work. She doesn’t live all that far from me, and as I was driving home from work the thought came to me to go stop by her home and drop off an invitation. So I did.
Talk about inspiration from God! She was home, was very nice, and we had a nice long chat. She would love to go to church more often when she feels well enough, but doesn’t drive. So I quickly volunteered, and told her any time that she felt well enough to go, to please call me and I would come and pick her up and take her with me. It was as natural as could be.
I have been a visiting teacher for many, many years. And I have tried to visit my sisters regularly, sometimes with great success and other times with little success.
But somehow, now it feels different. It feels like simply reaching out in friendship, and getting to know women who are individuals and have various strengths and needs, and determining how I might be able to reach out in love and kindness to help, love, and support each one.
I am so grateful to have opportunities to learn and grow even after all these years, and for the inspiration of the Lord to help me know how to love and help others, and for this program of the Church.
Visiting Teaching, wow!! 🙂