Sunday, June 14, 2015

Visiting Teaching Conference

On May 3rd we held our Visiting Teaching Conference during the third hour of the block. The priesthood took care of the YW and Primary so that all the sisters could attend Relief Society together. The theme was "We are His hands" Here are some highlights that were requested to be made available on the blog..

Sister Margo Jacobson shared the following:  I’m convinced that we will never be asked to do anything that doesn’t matter.  Sometimes that takes a lot of courage.  Sometimes that means we do things that we wouldn’t normally do.

I want to share with you an excerpt from a talk I heard several years ago at Education Week by Mary Ellen Edmunds.  She has always been one of my favorite speakers at Education Week.  She served for many years as the director of training in the Missionary Training Center in Provo.

She said, “One time in the missionary training center we were talking about the joy and sometimes the challenge of helping those who have gone away from the church for whatever reason to come back. We read a quote from Elder Neal A. Maxwell where he said, “Sometimes you have to learn to pat a porcupine.”  One of the sister missionaries in the group who was about 31, a little older than many of the sister missionaries said, “I was a porcupine.”  And I said, “Oh, can you share your story and she said “sure.”

She said, “When I was about 18, I went away to college, my first time away from home, I could make my own decisions.  I could do, so I thought, whatever I wanted to do.  Some of my decisions were not very good ones.  I began doing things in place of church activities, school things.  Gradually, other things encroached more and more on my church activity and church time.” And then in her words she said, within a couple of years she was totally inactive.  That’s the way she described herself.  She said,  “It made me feel guilty, really uncomfortable to have anyone come and visit me from the Church, home teachers, visiting teachers, the bishop.  And so she said, “I got with the bishop and requested that no one come to see me from the Church.  I told him I don’t want home teachers, I don’t want a visiting teacher, I don’t want somebody with the Primary Penny Parade, I don’t want anybody getting me to subscribe to the Ensign or New Era.  I don’t want anybody to come and see me.”  Well everything was OK for her for several months.  And then one day there was a knock at the door and she said she opened the door to find someone standing on her doorstep far too cheerful.  Well, let’s speak for the woman on the doorstep.  Have you ever been so nervous that you giggled or perhaps seemed too happy?  This is what happened.  The girl said she opened the door and the woman on the doorstep said something like this, “Hello, I’ve been assigned as your visiting teacher.”  And the girl said (I felt bad later) but I was so cold that I greeted her with something like, “Why are you here? I don’t want a visiting teacher.  I told the bishop I didn’t want anybody to visit me.  I don’t want you.  I don’t want a visiting teacher.”  Anything could have happened.  This is one of those moments in eternity.  She could have said something like, “Well, I never in my life.”  She could have scratched her name off her list until the paper disappeared, wiped the dust off her feet.  She could have gone back to the Relief Society president and said, “She’s evil, don’t dare let anybody go there anymore.”  Anything could have happened, this is what did happen according to this young woman’s account.  She was saying then, “I don’t want you,
 I don’t want a visiting teacher” and this woman at the doorstep said, “Oh, good, then I can just be your friend” and walked right in.  And for seven years she was her un-visiting teacher.  After seven years this younger woman called her up and said, “I want to come back. I don’t know how to start, where to start and what to do.  Will you help me?”  And her un-visiting teacher said, “I’ll do anything I can to help you.”  How do think the un-visiting teacher felt when this younger woman accepted a mission call.  Was it worth waiting for seven years and being her friend, her un-visiting teacher?  That’s almost any easy answer.  Of course it was worth the seven years.  Was it worth the courage it took on the doorstep to do something she said just wasn’t her?

Does the spirit ever prompt you to do things that are unusual and require courage and maybe some inconvenience or possibly even sacrifice?  I’m convinced that we will never be asked to do anything that doesn’t matter.  We will never be asked to do something stupid in God’s kingdom on this earth.  Visiting teaching or whatever it is. It matters.  In 3 Nephi 18:32 Jesus said . . .

There may be things that we are asked to do that we don’t realize how much it matters or even know why.  Respond to the promptings of the spirit.  Isn’t it wonderful when God can count on us, He knows we’ll be there when He needs us to do something for someone else.

President Hinckley said, “Try a little harder to be a little better.”   Let’s apply that to our visiting teaching.  Let’s all try a little harder to be a little better at our visiting teaching.

Here is an article that I shared about the phrase "call me if you need anything" and how we need to strike this from our vocabulary. Click HERE to read the article.

Here are the lyrics to the song that Sister Barbru Nielsen shared:

"Nothing More"

To be humble, to be kind,
it is the giving of the peace in your mind.
To a stranger, to a friend...
To give in such a way that has no end

We are love
We are one,
We are how we treat each other when the day is done.
We are peace.
We are war.
We are how we treat each other and nothing more.

To be bold, to be brave;
It is the thinking that the heart can still be saved.
And the darkness can come quick;
The Danger's in the Anger and the hanging on to it.

We are love
We are one,
We are how we treat each other when the day is done.
We are peace.
We are war.
We are how we treat each other and nothing more.

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