They have learned to read it on my face.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Hope you enjoy this enlightening perspective on visiting teaching:
I would to tell you about a few of my previous visiting teaching experiences.
1. When I was 19 and married I didn’t have any visiting teachers and I knew only 3 sisters in the ward and they were all women that knew my mother. But I was fine.
2. New ward still no visiting teachers, but I knew the 80 year old lady that lived next door. And I was fine.
3. New ward finally called as a visiting teacher and I had two older sisters who would come to see me, problem was it was before I was even up for the day because of a sleepless night with a baby that wouldn’t sleep through. I think I saw them twice. But I was fine
4. New Ward called as a visiting teacher and had visiting teachers occasionally but couldn’t get into see one sister. This is the time that I started to really learn stewardship for my sisters. When I would call the one sister she would say Tuesday is not good for me I will be in Salt Lake. Then Thursday was not good for her she would be in Salt Lake. If she was going to be difficult I just wouldn’t make the effort to see her. It wasn’t until she died a few months later of cancer that I realized why she was always in Salt Lake. She was going for treatments. Wow, did I feel bad. A short time later her husband hired me to clean his house before the grandparents came. He wanted a women’s cleaning done. I saw a picture of her in the bedroom. She was Miss BYU at one time. I felt so guilty that I had judged wrongly and hadn’t been of help when she might have really needed me.
5. About the same time I had a sister that had a new baby. She lived in a camping trailer. When we made a visit we saw the baby on the floor in an army coat, no blanket. The next day we went back and he was still laying there. We were asked to go in everyday and just hold him for a while and be an example. One day this sister needed to go someplace. My companion took her and I took the baby. When I got him home I bathed him and put on clean baby clothes. Boiled his bottles and wrapped in a nice blanket. Why she came I realized what I had done and didn’t know quite what to say to her. So I told her what we had done and blamed it on my children. I told her we played with him like he was a doll and had bathed him. She asked me how he liked it. It was his first bath since the hospital. She didn’t have hot water to wash him. Neither of these sisters was fine. But I only picked up on the one. I often wonder what happened to that baby boy.
6. Next ward I had visiting teachers for a while then the ward was short of visiting teachers and since I was the bishop’s wife someone decided I probably didn’t need them as badly as other sisters. This was not true but I guess I was putting on a good front. And I was fine.
7. Next I had a sister that would come but wouldn’t give me a lesson. She actually said that since my husband was in the stake presidency I probably didn’t need to hear it. Ok, I guess I was fine.
8. Next ward Sister Smith. She would be so embarrassed if I used her real name. We were brought together by the death of her son. I was the RS president and the bishop forced me to go see her. I didn’t know her and she was called the Witch by neighbors because of her floor length dresses and her long straight gray hair. When she was assigned to me it is was because I was the only person that she knew and liked her. She would come alone, give me the message and do acts of service, remembering our birthdays both mine and Mark’s, bring fresh hot bread and even trimmed my bushes when I was out of town. She followed me to my new house and continues to visit at least once a month. Her neighbors do not know what they are missing by not being her friend. She knows when I am not fine.
9. Finally, when I moved here and I had two wonderful sisters who truly seemed to care about me and don’t consider that one visit is enough if they think I need a little extra attention. They send little notes or bring over something good to eat. They don’t have to ask if I am fine.
They have learned to read it on my face.
Now what does I’m fine mean really mean?
Friendless Isolated Neglected Excluded
Forgotten Imbalanced Needy Empty
Freaked Out Insecure Neurotic Emotional
Frustrated Imperfect Naïve Envious
Fragile Invisible Numb Exhausted
Fellowshipped Inspired Needed Enriched
I have been all of these fines at one time or another.
Do you know your sisters well enough to know what their fine means?
Do you let your visiting teachers into your heart so that you can trust them with what your fine means?
It is my prayer that we will all be Fine. . . Fabulous Included Nurtured and Edified
---By Connie P. (Orem, UT)