A Good Visiting Teaching Experience

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I am not a great Visiting Teacher.  In fact, most of the time I'm not even a good Visiting Teacher.   I've often grumbled in the past that I haven't really had many good Visiting Teaching experiences-either as the sister being visited or the one doing the visiting.  But from time to time I am reminded that I need to get over myself and recognize and celebrate the strength & service in the Sisterhood of my little branch.

Last year, one of the sisters I was assigned to Visit Teach had to have major spinal surgery.   If she survived the surgery, she would be completely unable to care for her home and family for a number of months.  She would not be able to be alone with her small baby for many weeks because she wasn't allowed to lift anything or even bend over.  My companion and I took on the task of finding day help for her once her family had done all that they could to help by making several long distance visits.  We had a LOT of dates on the calendar that needed to be filled.  I was very intimidated when I sent my little calendar around the room on a Sunday in Relief Society and asked for sisters to check their schedules and see if they had any time they could offer to help care for this sister.  I was sure that my companion and I would be spending a lot of time with this particular calling in the next 6 weeks.

When the calendar came back to me, there were ONLY 3 dates left for us.  I almost felt cheated!  I was so proud of my sisters for really stepping up to the plate - or altar - and making that sacrifice to care for one another.  I was so glad that everyone was willing to show their love and I felt humbled to be able to help co-ordinate that care and service.

Several times in the past few months when everything was in shambles because of our crazy housing situation, and always when I felt I had reached the end of my rope, I woke up to hear my Visiting Teacher driving in to drop off a ready made meal  for the evening.  One small thing I didn't have to worry about that day - just that one small thing that relieved enough pressure to allow me to stand up and take a big breath and move forward.

I had another great Visiting Teaching experience this week.  I had one of The Crappiest days of my life this week which culminated in our receiving the news that my dear friend's mom passed away that day, very unexpectedly while my friend was 18 hours away on vacation.  This friend also lost both her dad and her Father-in-law earlier this summer to long and grueling illnesses and this last blow has just about shattered everyone. 

I went to work on Thursday feeling incredibly fragile and small and helpless.   I warned my co-workers "If I cry, it's not your fault!"  Then my new Visiting Teacher stopped by with a small gift for me for the new house - a small, framed Greg Olson print of the Savior.  So I cried.  She hugged me.  I felt slightly less pitiful and helpless.  It was exactly what Visiting Teaching is supposed to be about.

teach themImage by brittany soucy via FlickrToday, I've been working with my friend's Visiting Teachers to co-ordinate a meal for the family after her mom's funeral.   Again, I'm encountering lots of sisters who are eager to help, to make food, to deliver food, to help with whatever they can help with.  No complaining.  No excuses.  Just lots of "Let me know if there's anything else I can do!"

How do people live without this?   Most people think they have friends.  Many people even have friends who want to help when there is a crisis, but where else do you find a circle of sisters like this - who give and give and give again even when their lives are busy and hectic?   Only here, I think.  In Relief Society.
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