The Visiting/Home Teaching Dilemna

Since my conversion in 2009, I have never had an active Visiting Teaching partner and have never done a VT with someone assigned to partner with me. At first, I was ill at ease to do my visiting teaching by myself.  I thought being a convert, I’d be paired up with someone more ‘seasoned’ if you will. After a while, I accepted it and in the past year, I’ve worked alone and did the best I could with making time for the sisters I’m assigned to teach. Some months it’s a card or a letter, maybe just a phone call…but I try because I look forward towards my visit teachers visiting/teaching me and to be honest…it’s a pretty cool gig.

Earlier today when I called to schedule my meetings, one of my households asked who my partner was. This took me by surprise as it’s been quite apparent I didn’t have one. She gave me a tsk tsk…and said I should have one. I MUST  have one.

I hung up the phone with a knot in my stomach. Sighing, I wondered why something which carries many blessings have to be so difficult?

Sometimes things aren’t going to be exactly the way they’re meant to be. That’s called life. Usually, I only have one teacher visit me, but I never doubt either of their compassion or love for me. Schedule conflicts, time restraints, family duties…it isn’t always the ideal scenario in which the Church instructs for us. You do the best you can and hope for the best

I always brag about my visiting teachers because both have taught me many things in very nontraditional ways. I never felt their visits or  speaking with me during church breaks were ‘dutiful’. It has been my hope and prayer that the ladies I teach feel the same way about me as I look forward towards visiting with them.

Of course, being I am a paranoid and insecure person, I immediately thought the woman who tsk tsk me doesn’t like me or perhaps I offended her? We all seek wisdom and guidance from others and I’m the least knowledgeable between the two of us.  I can totally understand her wanting  to have someone else there, preferably a person who didn’t sound like Mae West.

I guess the entire thing took me by surprise as I am one of those people who feel we are all doing the best we can do. Knowing the ward list for visiting teaching is a never-ending chore as members move in and out all the time, I didn’t want to nag my district supervisor about having a partner. She-along with the entire RS presidency knows already and have been working on it.

As for home teaching, I’ve had two visits from my home teacher since my joining the ward in 2009. The two visits are from my current home teachers as I went the first two years without home teaching. (If I had  home teachers, I was not aware of them.) I’ve toyed with the idea of casually suggesting new home teachers as one is a good friend and there is a huge schedule conflict between the three of us, but I keep thinking it will all work out.

But it hasn’t…and this is why:

I am in a place in my life in which  I need to surround myself with as many spiritual leaders as I can. I need more spirituality from leaders in the church…as being married to a non-member, it is easy (and quite justifiable) to find reasons and excuses that go against church doctrine. I often find myself feeling as if I’m treading water and at any moment the beginning of a leg cramp is going to take me under.

So dear readers, I ask you: How do you handle visiting teaching and home teaching? Life is busy and conflicted for so many…how do we remain influential when we ourselves are at times struggling?

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Visiting Teaching Message/ September 2011

Strengthening Families by Increasing Spirituality

(Taken from Ensign September 2011 and lds.org)

Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president, said: “There has grown in me an overwhelming testimony of the value of daughters of God. … I have felt that there has never been a greater need for increased faith and personal righteousness. There has never been a greater need for strong families and homes.”

Sisters can help create strong homes and families as they act on personal revelation. “The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life,” Sister Beck continued. “Qualifying for the Lord’s Spirit begins with a desire for that Spirit and implies a certain degree of worthiness. Keeping the commandments, repenting, and renewing covenants made at baptism lead to the blessing of always having the Lord’s Spirit with us. Making and keeping temple covenants also adds spiritual strength and power to a woman’s life. Many answers to difficult questions are found by reading the scriptures because the scriptures are an aid to revelation. … Daily prayer is essential to having the Lord’s Spirit with us.”1

We also strengthen our family members spiritually as we help them understand Heavenly Father’s eternal plan. “What can we do to better prepare our children spiritually for their eternal roles?” asked Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “Perhaps the most inclusive answer is: Teach them how to live the principles of the gospel.” This teaching comes through daily prayer, scripture study, and family mealtimes as well as weekly family home evening and Church attendance. Elder Ballard explains: “We prepare each day, right now, for eternal life. If we are not preparing for eternal life, we are preparing for something less, perhaps something far less.”2
From the Scriptures

Proverbs 22:6; 1 John 3:22; Doctrine and Covenants 11:13–14; 19:38; 68:25
From Our History

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught the sisters in an April 1842 Relief Society meeting that they had a solemn obligation to seek their own salvation. He said, “After [my] instruction, you will be responsible for your own sins; it is a desirable honor that you should so walk before our heavenly Father as to save yourselves; we are all responsible to God for the manner we improve the light and wisdom given by our Lord to enable us to save ourselves.”3 He taught them to be righteous individuals, to become a holy people, and to prepare for temple ordinances and covenants.
What Can I Do?

1.How can I help my sisters increase in spiritual self-reliance?
2.How can I improve my own ability to recognize and respond to the Holy Spirit?

For more information, go to http://www.reliefsociety.lds.org.

Notes
1.Julie B. Beck, “And upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2010, 10, 11.
2.M. Russell Ballard, “Spiritual Development,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, 65, 66.
3.Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 355.