This week I got a reminder of what visiting teaching is really about. I’m sure that in your mind you’re thinking about the typical visit where you sit for a while, give a brief message, and then leave while issuing the standard “Let me know if you need anything.” While this phrase is often sincere and almost always well-intended, I know I’ve never called my visiting teachers when I had a need. Whether you’re being visited or are the visiting teacher, there are ways to make visiting teaching a better experience all the way around.
My learning moments came about in two conversations I had with different women. The first was my mom who shared that she visits a lady who has a very specific need regarding visiting teaching. She is a bright, busy mother of several children and when Mom and her companion were assigned to this woman, she promptly informed them that all her needs were met, but what she needed from them was adult conversation.
So when Mom and her companion go visiting teaching to this sister, they plan on sitting down with her and having a great conversation. Even though she’s a busy woman (they all are) she was up front enough and understands her needs enough to get exactly what she needs from her visiting teachers. I loved it. How often do we have a specific need and either don’t know how to articulate it or don’t choose to articulate it?
The other example came from my own visiting teaching companion. Last month, she graciously took care of our assignment for me as I had a newborn and was recovering from labor. What a gift. Then this month, she came to see how I was doing, and let me know how one of our sisters was doing. This sister is expecting, and as the summer months get warmer and warmer, she’s hot and uncomfortable. So what did my companion do? Suggest a Slurpee run. It takes the edge off the heat and gives us time to visit with her while we enjoy a simple, inexpensive treat.
I love the way my mom and my companion have helped me understand visiting teaching a little better this month.