Ah…Visiting Teaching, for me this is the best calling one could have in The Church because after the intial awkward “get to know you” stages, I end up with the bestest of friends including my companion. But trust me the first stages are always the hardest to overcome, but you’ll know as soon as you have passed that stage.
About Visiting Teaching
“Visiting teaching is the heart and soul of Relief Society. The purposes of visiting teaching are to build caring relationships with each sister and to offer support, comfort, and friendship. In visiting teaching, both the giver and the receiver are blessed and strengthened in their Church activity by their caring concern for one another.”
This caring concern is described in Moroni 6:4 “And after they had been received unto baptism, . . . they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way.”
To be named and numbered has special significance for those in need. Elder Henry B. Eyring describes it beautifully:
“You are called to represent the Savior. Your voice to testify becomes the same as His voice, your hands to lift the same as His hands. . . . Your calling is to bless lives. That will be true even in the most ordinary tasks you are assigned. . . . You see, there are no small callings to represent the Lord” (“Rise to Your Call,” Ensign, Nov. 2002, 76 or view it here.)
What You’ll Need
- A list of the people you visit teach and their contact information. Birthdays and a list of names and ages of those living in the homes of the sisters you visit are nice, too.
- Your companion’s name and contact information
- The name and contact information of the person to whom you report your visiting teaching
- Your scriptures
- A copy of the Visiting Teaching Message from the Ensign/Liahona, or in November and May, a copy of a General Conference address with a message that best applies to your sisters.
- And of course any Visiting Teaching message enhancers, these of course are not mandatory but are great tools in helping to convey the messages being taught.
New Sisters Questions
Here are some questions that may be helpful for you to ask (or simply observe) during your first contact with the sisters you visit that will help you determine needs and how to meet them.
- What time is best for us to visit with you? Collect information on school, callings, and work schedules that will help you schedule visits at a time that is least inconvenient to your sister.
- Is it alright for me/us to bring my/our child(ren) when we visit? Be sensitive to the needs and preferences of your sisters. Some sisters may be uncomfortable having young children in their homes, or children can be distracting during a visit. State the ages of children that might accompany you. I’ve heard of sisters trading off with some friends in your neighborhood or ward.
- Are there any special circumstances/needs we need to be aware of when we come to visit you?
- Provide the sister with both, you and your companion’s contact information. There may be some time after your first contact and until your first visit, so provide the sister with your contact information before then.
How to Make a Visit
- Discuss with your companion who will schedule appointments and how each can take part in presenting the message. Both companions should be involved whenever possible. Check out my Companion Equation.
- Schedule an appointment.
- Prepare the message. Adapt the message and the teaching methods to the circumstances, background, age, and interests of each sister you teach.
- Pray with your companion before you leave on your visit.
- Present the message. Remember to be sensitive to the time constraints of the people you visit.
- Open and close with prayer, if acceptable to the person visited. You may want to ask, “May we leave you with a prayer? (if yes, then) Who would you like to pray?”
- Discuss with your companion any concerns and ways you can effectively meet the needs of this sister.
- Immediate or confidential concerns should be addressed with the Relief Society President as soon as possible.
- Report your contact to your Visiting Teaching Supervisor, Visiting Teaching Leader, or Relief Society President.
What to Report
- What type of visit? Did you make an in-home visit, telephone visit, or other type of contact?
- Did you and your companion make these contacts together?
- Do you have any non-confidential concerns? (Confidential concerns should be reported directly to the Relief Society President.)
Great Resources & VT Articles
- The Teaching Part of Visiting Teaching
- Becoming a Better Home Teacher or Visiting Teacher
- Instruments of the Lord
- A Vision of Visiting Teaching
All this information was quoted from LDS.org