Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Visiting Teaching

Last Sunday in church we had our annual Visiting Teaching Conference.
There were talks designed to teach and inspire us on the subject and they were very motivating.
It also got me thinking about my history with Visiting Teaching and Visiting Teachers.

My first experience came when I was about 8 years old. Mom had Basil cell carcinoma on her forehead and went into the hospital for a few days for surgery. Mom made up casseroles for dinner for each night she would be gone and gave me instructions on how to cook them, so dinner would be ready and the table set when Dad got home with the younger kids. The first afternoon I had just put the casserole in the oven when a knock came to the backdoor, and there stood Sister Blomberg and one of her daughters with dinner. We were only partly active and I had never heard of Visiting Teaching nor was I familiar with the habit of Mormons bringing meals in time of crisis. I wouldn't let them in and I wouldn't let them leave the meal, because I already had dinner in the oven and I didn't need their food. They had driven 45 minutes to get to our house. Fortunately Mom's best friend Dearle Kinney lived around the corner and Sister Blomberg went there and had her call me to tell me that it was OK and to save their food for the next day. That was the only meal I remember being brought to us during that hospital stay.

Another Visiting Teaching memory I have from Childhood were all day visiting teaching trips. During the summer Mom & her partner Dearle Kinney would pack all 8 of us kids 4 of us & 4 Kinneys into a van and off we would go Visiting Teaching. It was nearly an hour drive to get to their assigned sisters so it really was an all day event. Our job as the children was to stay out in the yard of each sister and play quietly with each other. At the end of the visits we would go to a mill store in the area and have a picnic lunch near the Old Mill Stream. After lunch while the other kids were playing my friend Gayle and I would be allowed to go into the Mill Store with our Mothers to look at fabric. It was there that Mom & Dearle would buy fabric for our school clothes, for quilts and for projects that the Relief Society sisters would do for our annual Bizarre & Rummage Sale.

Over the years I made many meal deliveries at my Mom's side. I loved meal deliveries, because it meant seeing a new baby or visiting people, it also meant that we got to eat whatever we had delivered because there was another identical meal at home.

My first Visiting Teaching Companion was my Mom. She taught me the ropes before I was given a new companion. At one time I was part of a Visiting Teaching Triangle. Because our Ward was large and there were limited Sisters in the outlying parts of the ward 3 sisters would get together and as long as they were all present they were all visited. my triangle included Nancy Gregory, Charlene Hiers and Myself. It was a fun experiment and it worked well for us.

I have not always been a visiting teacher, sometimes life and work schedules haven't allowed it, but I have always tried to be able to be one. My Mom was always a great example of what a good visiting teacher should be.

My current partner Emily Mather reminds me a lot of the kind of Visiting Teacher Mom was, I wish I could be so good at it.

Emily and I

1 comment:

Anne Bradshaw said...

Just letting you know there's another contest running on my blog this week, in case you're interested. It's such a good book.