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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Visiting Teaching

Taught by Nancy S.

Terry asked me to teach my lesson on Visiting Teaching.   I decided to begin my lesson with a skit called "Relief 
“SOLE”-ciety, a Visiting Teaching Message” that my daughter-in-law, Heather shared with me.  The skit begins with the Relief Society President and Sister “Blister” who’s “sole” is really hurting.  The RS President suggests she needs Visiting Teachers, but not just any will do.  They see the following, but none will do:  loafers, flip-flops, sneakers, slippers, boots, and finally, high heels.  The high heels will help you reach new HEIGHTS.  They RISE to the occasion and help you REACH your potential.  They will ELEVATE you and help HEEL your troubled SOLE.  It was fun, and I appreciate the Presidency for being good sports and helping me out.

They even pitched in to sing:

Have I done any good in my calling today?
Have I helped any sister in need?
Have I called on the phone to a sister who’s alone?
If not, I fell “flat” indeed.

Have I been a “loafer” neglecting my call,
Or a “sneaker” not visiting at all?
Have I “converse’d” about sisters, had a “slipper-y” tongue,
Or “flip-flopped”, not getting things done?

I’ll “buckle” up now, and set my goals high.
I’ll “pump” up my sisters with love!
Visiting Teaching’s a pleasure: a joy beyond measure,
A blessing – of duty – and love.
*You can read the entire clever skit at the bottom of this post.

In every Visiting Teaching assignment, we most likely have taken the part of every character in this skit during one month or another.  We are all very busy and occasionally a “slipper” (slipping in and out) might have to do, but to fulfill our calling to watch over and minister to our sisters in a continuing effort to follow Jesus Christ, much more is expected of us. 

Visiting Teaching requires commitment, dedication, and sacrifice.  It is an ongoing assignment; it is never really completed.  Since each sister’s circumstances are different, visiting teachers need specific guidance from the Holy Ghost so they can know how best to help each one.  Pray for your sisters daily.  Teach truths from the scriptures.
Instead of saying, as you’re at the door ready to leave, “call if you need anything”, be specific.  You might ask, “Would you allow us to help you with ______________?” 

Sisters shared their testimonies of how they became converted to visiting teaching.  Each example seemed to be when they were given a very challenging visiting teaching assignment.  What started out as just trying to be obedient because they accepted a calling, turned out to be an opportunity to feel love, to give love, and to gain an unexpected friendship. 
By accepting a call to be a visiting teacher, we have the opportunity to develop the pure love of Christ, which can be the greatest blessing of our lives. 
Visiting Teaching heals the soul!

“My Desire is to plead with our sisters to stop worrying about a phone call or a quarterly or monthly visit,
and whether that will do, and concentrate instead on nurturing tender souls”
Mary Ellen Smoot, 13th General Relief Society President

How do we minister?
Pray daily for the sister you visit and her family.
·      Seek inspiration to know her and her family.
·      Visit her regularly to learn how she is doing and to comfort and strengthen her.
·      Stay in frequent contact through visits, phone calls, letters, e-mail, text messages, and simple acts of kindness.
·      Greet her at Church meetings.
·      Help her when she has an emergency, illness, or other urgent need.
·      Teach her the gospel from the scriptures and the visiting teaching messages.
·      Inspire her by setting a good example.
·      Report about your service and the sister’s spiritual and temporal well-being.

We will know we are successful in our ministry as visiting teachers when the sisters we visit can say:

§  My visiting teacher helps me grow spiritually.
§  I know that my visiting teacher cares deeply about me and my family.
§  If I have problems, I know my visiting teacher will take action without waiting to be invited.

How to Report your Visiting Teaching
**Please call your supervisor by the 31st of each month.
ü Supervisors need to have their reports to the coordinator by the 5th day of the month.
ü Questions supervisors will ask when getting reports from Visiting Teachers.
1.   Did you watch over and care for your sisters?
2.   Do any of your sisters and/or their family have confidential or urgent needs that need to be reported to the Relief Society president?
3.   Is there anything the Relief Society presidency can do to assist you with caring for the needs of your sisters and their family?

**If you are made aware of a confidential need, please report it directly to the RS president, not to the supervisors.

 “Relief “SOLE”-ciety, 
a Visiting Teaching Message”

(This humorous skit has been performed in units all over the Salt Lake Valley in recent years. According to this skit was written by Laurel Hart and was orginially presented at a Stake Visiting Teaching Workshop, in Provo, UT, USA, 1984. This skit is sometimes also called the Shoe Skit because it has so many shoe-related puns in it.)

RS President: Hello, Sister BLISTER. Can I help you?

Sister Blister: I don't know. My SOLE is really hurting.

RS President:  Yes, I can see that you are in need.

Sister Blister:  Oh, I am afraid I'm beyond help.  You see I'm becoming CALLUSED and I FLATLY refuse to think that there's any hope for me.

RS President:  Now, now, don't talk that way.  You've taken a STEP in the right direction coming to our conference. After all, this is the Relie-SOLE-ciety and we specialize in taking care of DE-FEET!

Sister Blister:  You do?

RS President:  Oh yes. We have a solution for the Relief Society sisters like you. What you need is Visiting Teachers to FIT your needs and offer tired SOLES some SUPPORT.

Sister Blister:  (with great relief in her voice) Oh, I need Visiting Teachers now!

RS President:  Not so fast! Not just any Visiting Teachers will do.  You have very special needs, so we must be selective to obtain the most COMFORTABLE FIT. Let me show you what I mean.


Sister Blister:  They look very nice.

RS President:  Yes, but they're really just a couple of LOAFERS.  They accepted the call to be Visiting Teachers but they just refuse to get INSTEP with the program.

LOAFER #1: Should we go Visiting Teaching, PENNY?

LOAFER #2  I can't. I'm studying to be an OXFORD graduate. Besides my ARCHES are killing me.


Sister Blister:  They don't seem very SUPPORT-ive.

RS President:  The Visiting Teachers I know truly love and understand Relief Society sisters. They are vivacious and energetic and work hard to help you in any way they can. Let's keep looking. Here comes another pair, but I don't think you'd want them either.


Sister Blister:  Why not?

FLIP-FLOP #1  Let's go visiting teaching.

FLIP-FLOP #2:  Oh, let's not.

FLIP-FLP #1:  Okay, let's not.


Sister Blister:  I guess they're the THONG kind of Visiting Teachers to have.

RS President:  Oh dear, I'm afraid so! The sisters I know are so dependable.  You can always count on them!


 Sister Blister:  What about these two? Are they for me?

RS President:  Well, I have my doubts.  They're really in the FAST LANE.

SNEAKER #1  Oh, I don't think I can STRETCH my schedule to fit in Visiting Teaching this month.

SNEAKER #2:  Me either MARY-THON. I know I'm certainly TIED up. Maybe we can just SNEAK in and out.


RS President:  KEDS will be KEDS I guess!

Sister Blister:  I'm afraid I'm never going to find the right Visiting Teachers for me.

RS President:  Oh we will! Please don't get discouraged. There are sisters who will take time to get to know you. They would not think of SPRINTING in and out. Their SUPPORT of others is more than CUSHY AIR SUPPORT. When they visit you they will have a special spirit and strong testimonies, too.


Sister Blister:  Boy, they look great!

RS President:  Yes, but don't let their appearance fool you!  There is no strength beneath that soft exterior, They say they want to help and may even offer, but sooner or later you'll find that these Visiting Teacher always manage to SLIP OUT of their callings.

SLIPPER #1:  What are we going to do? Sandy said she needed help moving today, but I've got to go FLUFF up for my date tonight!

SLIPPER #2:  LOOSEN up! We don't need to do an actual home visit. I said "hi" to her at the mall last week.

SLIPPER #1:  FUR-sure!!!


Sister Blister:  Wow! I'm afraid I would have a hard time knowing when those two were FUR-real.

RS President:  My Visiting Teachers are so GENUINE you would know that they were sincere about helping you. They are WARM and friendly and true examples of women who love the gospel and their sisters.


Sister Blister:  So, what about them?

RS President:  Oh, Dear-oh Dear! I'm afraid not. They STOMP INTO your home and TAKE OVER. They can really TRAMPLE enthusiasm.

BOOT #1:  Hi! We just visited your neighbor Sister BUNNION. It looked like someone had been in there with the ugly stick, but we SPURRED her on.

BOOT #2:  Say, your hair looks better than it usually does...Now let's BUCKLE down and give your problems the BOOT.


Sister Blister:  Boy, talk about LOOSE TONGUES. They just say the first thing that comes to their minds.

RS President:  I'm afraid their acceptance of others is very CORN-ditional. But don't give up hope. I know we will find true Visiting Teachers who lead in such a kind and gentle way. They're dependable and bless the lives of those they serve.


RS President:  Now these Visiting Teachers are the ones we are looking for.

Sister Blister:  (excitedly) Oh yes! They do look so UPLIFTING!

HIGH HEEL #1:  Our goal as visiting teachers is to help you reach new HEIGHTS. We'll RISE to the occasion and help you REACH your potential. We'll STAND beside you and give you all the SUPPORT we can. We want to LIFT your spirits each time we visit.

HIGH HEEL #2:  The visiting teaching messages we share help to ELEVATE all of us.  We'll help you understand the POINT of each message to help HEEL your troubled SOLE.

Sister Blister:  These Visiting Teachers are the best FIT! I'm sure these are the Visiting Teachers that can RAISE my spirit and HEEL my tired SOLE!

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