Reality VT: Grateful for Visiting Teachers
I’m thankful for Visiting Teachers! I sometimes get caught up in being a Visiting Teacher that I don’t allow myself to have Visiting Teachers come and visit with me. I guess, I just know how much time goes into being a Visiting Teacher. I always feel bad having them worry about me. But I have to remember that Heavenly Father blesses all of us for our Visiting Teaching service. How can I deprive those sisters the opportunity for more blessings? How can I say “I don’t need Visiting Teachers,” or “no, no don’t worry about me I’m okay?” The reality is we all need Visiting Teachers, we all need to feel loved, we all need to know someone else is watching out for us. It’s true, when you get to know your Visiting Teachers and know how busy their lives are or how much stress they have in their lives you feel guilty for taking their time away from them. At least I do. I always feel like, “How’s the mother with 3 kids or how’s the grandmother of 15 grand kids or how’s the Relief Society President going to find time to visit little ole me?” Well, that’s not for us to answer. I know that when I serve I am blessed and so I have to know that when they serve they too will be blessed with whatever they are in need of.
So, I am thankful to all my Visiting Teachers for always coming and sharing a message with me, forgiving me for forgetting visits, bringing the spirit when I need it most, for taking time to make treats, dinner & things for me (one of them made me a nursing cover!), for checking up on me throughout the month, for coaching me through yet one more day of nursing for listening to my worries and letting me know that Heavenly Father does love me, because He has sent them to show me that He knows me and my needs.
We should also express gratitude to Heavenly Father for our Visiting Teachers and especially let those sisters know that we are grateful for their service to us so they can feel good and continue to want to serve us. Elder David B. Haight (1906–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught, “Gratitude … can bless our hearts and our minds and our souls to where we’d like to continue to carry on and do those things that we are asked to do.” (“Were There Not Ten Cleansed?,” Ensign, Nov 2002).
Talking about how grateful I am for them, makes me think of some ways to help my Visiting Teachers. I don’t want to be a difficult or an ungrateful Visiting Teachee, because Visiting Teaching is hard enough. Here are some ways I came up with to think F.A.S.T. about our own Visiting Teachers:
- Be Flexible: Sure we know they should ask us when is best for us, but why not ask when is best for them? Maybe, at the same time as their other visit(s). Maybe in the early morning?
- Be Accepting: Accept any gifts or service they try to give or do for you. You like giving/service and so do they! (This one is tough for me, I don’t really like accepting help, but I’ll accept treats all day long. LOL)
- Be Selfless: Sure, we don’t like kids running around our house, which we can hardly keep clean, but what if their husbands don’t get home till really late in time to watch the kids, what if their husbands are busy at church with their callings, what if their husband is home sick and he needs a break too, what if their husband is away on a trip, what if they don’t even have a husband, what if they don’t know anyone in the ward well enough to trade babysitting with, what if they don’t feel they can watch anyone else’s kids in order to be able to trade, what if, what if, what if…I am mainly saying this because I’m guilty of feeling this way. “Why do they have to bring their kids over, I don’t even have any kids and they are just making a mess.” Of course it’s difficult for us to know but we shouldn’t judge, and sure we know they’d rather go without their child(ren) if they could. I’ve decided I would just let them know in advance that it’s okay to bring their kids if they can’t find anyone to watch them. It’ll make it easier for them to come at a time that’s best for me anyways.
- Be mindful of the Time: 1. Remember your appointments! (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten and not even been home, poor ladies just out there trying to serve me and I’m gone! All of their hard work down the drain because of me. At least I know they were being blessed for their efforts.) 2. If you’re like me and love to chat about random things first and possibly Twilight related, we have to remember that 2 other people + their families, not to mention your own family, are all being kind enough to be on hold for you. So yes, do chit chat but remember the purpose is to feel the Spirit. If you’ve read the message, which you should in order to make it more effective, let your Visiting Teachers know what your favorite part was and ask them theirs so they don’t have to read the whole message to you. And going along with the aforementioned bringing of their child(ren) into your home..both you and they will want to make it even quicker. – I used to have Visiting Teachers who would each bring 4 kids. It was like a party, but they had the fastest visits ever! They brought a treat, asked about me, got to the point of the message, bore their testimonies, prayed and left all within 15 min. Phew! Talk about being spiritually and physically fed. LOL
So, I am sure there are other things we can do to serve those who serve us and help them with their calling as a Visiting Teacher but those are just my top 4 and its easy to remember because we all want our visits to be F.A.S.T..
Are you too good for Visiting Teachers? Have you taken advantage of your Visiting Teachers, like I have? Tell me your thoughts on your Visiting Teachers. I bet you’re all great and appreciative Visiting Teachees!