Editor’s note: As women have commented on the recent post on visiting teaching, I was reminded of this post from a few months ago, and thought it was worth sharing again. I heard Becca share this experience in a Relief Society meeting, and it really touched me. It’s a reminder that while often visiting and home teachers are called upon during significant trials and times of need, service in the ebb and flow of daily life can also be meaningful. (See Emily’s comment for another example of how simple efforts on her part ended up being significant to the woman she was assigned to visit.
Several years ago, when my children were all very small, it was a very busy morning. I was trying to get my four little ones dressed and ready to be out the door so we wouldn’t be late dropping one off for pre-school. I was bent over in the closet trying to find a matching pair of shoes that my daughter would be willing to wear. Behind me I could hear little voices with different needs and then the phone rang. I felt frustration as I stepped out of the closet to run get the phone. It was my visiting teacher. She asked how I was doing, and I responded in my best voice. “Just fine, how are you?” I really did think I was fine, since some mornings felt hectic, like this one did. She told me she was well and asked again, “How are you really doing?” Again, I said, “Fine.” Her response surprised me when she said, “That’s not what I’ve been told.”
I quickly wondered who she had been talking to, and even glanced out the window wondering if a neighbor could see in my window as shoes were being flung from the closet. I said, “Oh! Who have you been talking to?” She said, “Heavenly Father. You see, every morning I pray for you. I ask Heavenly Father to bless you to have a good day and that your needs might be met. This morning, I felt that you might need a little extra help today. Heavenly Father loves you and is aware of you. I am also here to help you in any way. I would like to bring dinner over tonight. What time is good for you?”
I blinked back the tears as I felt so overwhelmed and amazed. Even though this was a happy and good time in my life, some days were hard and overwhelming, just with the daily responsibilities. Heavenly Father wanted me to know that he loved me and was aware of me and my needs. This dear sister was in tune to the Spirit. She brought dinner over to my family that night and once again reminded me that she loved me and was willing to help me out anytime. She also told me how much Heavenly Father loved me.
A few weeks ago I ran into this dear sister. I told her that I had been reminded of this experience that involved her. To my surprise, she didn’t remember. As I thought about our conversation, the experience I had years earlier became even sweeter. I felt good knowing she had been an instrument in God’s hands to help me, but to her, it was another day. She had not served me to receive recognition, blessings, or other rewards. She truly had acted on inspiration. Sometimes life is like that! We are impressed to help someone out. It can make a huge impact in their life, and we go on never knowing how inspired we were in our acts of service.
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful experience you had with visiting teaching. It has caused me to reflect on a great learning experience I received as a young visiting teacher.
Several years ago I was assigned to visit teach a lady who was struggling with an eating disorder. I was young and didn’t realize at the time how much this illness affected her life. I knew she was ill, but I didn’t know how ill she truly was.
As I had opportunities to visit with this sweet lady, I came to learn what a kind and caring person she was. She offered to give my family an extra bed she had, for my first daughter who at the time was transitioning from a crib to a bed.
I also recall one particular Sunday when she was not able to attend church because she was so ill. She gave her tithing to me and asked me to give it to our Bishop. She was a very faithful lady, who was battling with a difficult illness.
I think the greatest blessing I gained from being her visiting teacher however, came as I took the opportunity to visit her in the hospital. I was busy and I could have easily put off that visit. But fortunately I didn’t. I had a wonderful visit with her at the hospital. As I walked from the hospital that afternoon following our visit, I did not realize that would be the last visit I had with her. Shortly after she was released from the hospital she passed away at her home.
I’ve reflected often on that visit. How grateful I am for the promptings of the Holy Spirit that I received to pay a visit to this sweet lady in the hospital, and how thankful I am that I listened and obeyed.
I had the blessing to be assigned as this good lady’s visiting teacher. However, I feel like I was the one that was taught.
Thank you for the reminder of the great impact that visiting teaching can have on our lives.
Thank you for sharing that experience. Following the Spirit is so important in this work. Thank *you* for the reminder of the impact of visiting teaching.