Home Ad Visiting Teachings Service
New as a home teacher or visiting teacher? Please note these nine suggestions from ib home tutor.
I know it’s the end of the month again. I’m so sorry that we haven’t managed to talk about the visiting message yet,” Sister Julie B. Beck’s visiting teacher apologized. When she said that, she was about to leave the FHV president’s house with a basket full of ironing that Sister Beck wanted to bring back ready ironed. “Do you think we could count that,” she asked Sister Beck hesitantly.
When Sister Beck talks about this little experience, tears come to her eyes and she asks, “How did this dear friend and dedicated visiting teacher come up with the idea that she hadn’t been looking after me as a visiting teacher and watching over me? It wasn’t the first time she had come by this month to see if she could help. How could it be that she wasn’t aware that she was always taking care of me and helping my family? Her care and interest are for me the epitome of visiting teaching. Of course she could report that I had been visited!
As Sister Beck’s experience shows, inspired visitation teaching and home teaching is far more than a formal visit and is never completely finished. Home teaching and visitation teaching is about taking care of someone, not ticking off anything. If you do it right, it’s about people, not numbers. We are given the task of watching over each other and looking after each other, just as the Redeemer served his fellow men. These tips might be helpful:
Find out who you should visit and who your partner is. Priesthood or Relief Society leaders in the ward will provide you with the names of families or members to visit and contact information. Introduce yourself to your partner and the members you will visit. Build a relationship.
Visit the members. If possible, make visits to members at home. If this is not possible, you may want to meet near the workplace, take a walk, or meet before or after Sunday meetings. Teach and edify each other – for example, you could start with the First Presidency message or the visiting message. Give your testimony. Tell them what experiences you have in your life. Develop love by being kind and interested. Listen carefully. Deal confidentially with everything that is entrusted to you. Continue to be friendly. Often it is only with time that you gain trust in a person.
Pray with and for those who visit you. Perhaps it is appropriate to ask at the end of the visit: “Could we pray together? The head of the family should determine who prays. During the days and weeks between the visits, continue to pray for those you care for as home or visiting teachers. Ask the Father in heaven for help so that you may know how to watch over them and care for them lovingly.
Take care of them. Pay attention to what is needed. Maybe a sister you visit is about to pass an important exam, and you could bring her a meal during the week so she has more time to study. If a brother you visit as a home teacher is looking for work, you can introduce him to people who might be able to help him.
Ask useful questions. Asking questions can give you the opportunity to give comfort, share important Gospel principles, or provide meaningful service. For example, you might ask, “Is there anything that worries you? “What questions do you have about the Gospel? Or more specifically, “Can we help with the housework in any way? “Could we take you shopping or to a doctor’s appointment?” Questions usually lead to better results than the statement: “Call us if you need help”.
Strive for inspiration. The Holy Spirit can show you how to help those who have been entrusted to you. You may get the inspiration to talk about a particular topic or offer help. As you get to know the members you visit better, you may even receive the inspiration to inspire them to receive other sacred acts and covenants of the Gospel, or to continue to strive to receive all the blessings the Gospel offers.
Report correctly. Report the temporal and spiritual well-being of those you visit, the help you have given, and any needs you may have. Confidential matters should be discussed only with the Relief Society president or the elders’ college president.
Coordinate with your home teacher or visiting teacher. Everyone can take on certain tasks to make contact and look after the assigned members. It may also be useful to take turns when it comes to making visits, providing help or reporting on the well-being of members.
What to think about. Pay attention to important events in the lives of those you visit, such as birthdays and everyday things, which are important to them.