Visiting Teaching

I forgot. I almost forgot. But I remembered. Late, as it happens, but I remembered.

My visiting teacher came over today.

For the uninitiated, I will explain Visiting Teaching and Home Teaching.

Visiting Teaching first. See, visiting teaching is a program in our church where, in the standard program, two women in our branch go out and visit a few women each month. They will bring a spiritual message, find out how the sisters are doing, and basically become friends and make sure that everything is going okay and there aren’t any unmet needs.

Who the visiting teachers visit is assigned by the Relief Society presidency.

Originally, the program was designed to provide food, clothing, and other needed items to widows and the poor. Since then, it has been expanded to make sure that all the needs – and there are many different kinds of needs – are being met.

In reality, it tends to work. In reality, it tends to promote closer friendships, closer ties among the women in the branch or ward. In reality, it’s a great program.

Home Teaching is similar, but it’s men – two of them – who go out and visit the families in the ward or branch. The purpose and goal is pretty much the same. They also bring a spiritual message and make sure the needs of the family are being met. They meet with the entire family, whereas with visiting teaching, the visiting teachers meet only with the woman. Home teachers can also help meet any needs. If, for example, it’s a single parent family, the home teachers can help with plumbing or simple repairs – that has happened many times. But that’s just one example of how they can help.

In Sri Lanka, because distances are so great – some people travel an hour and a half each way to get to church (I’m guessing public transportation, which can be very slow) – and people live in very disparate places, one woman goes by herself. I’d prefer a companion, but it doesn’t seem practical here, and they’ve received special permission from the Area Presidency to do it this way.

My visiting teacher is Marlene Bennion. She came over today, bearing fudge and a gift.

What? You didn’t have to do that, Marlene.

But secretly, I’m touched. It was very thoughtful of her, and she didn’t have to do that.

The fudge went immediately into the fridge – it would melt otherwise in our tropical heat – and the gift I decided to open when Fahim got home. Marlene already told me it was chocolates.

We visited for a few minutes and I got her fudge recipe straight – it’s going into next month’s Relief Society Newsletter (and I’m thinking of publishing them onto this site, too, just for the heck of it.)

When she left, she was headed to Marlene’s – and it can get confusing when there are two Marlene’s in the branch. So Marlene the humanitarian missionary went to Marlene’s the teacher at OSC.

Last month, because Marlene the teacher just moved, I went with Marlene the missionary, because I figured it was easier to point and guide than to give directions that can get confusing. Heck, I know where Marlene the teacher lives, and streets here can be confusing, especially when they aren’t all labelled.

Later, after Fahim got home, I opened the gift (it was addressed to me, not me and Fahim :)) And Lo and Behold! It was chocolates!

We’ve run out of incentive chocolates – chocolates I get after I write ten pages in a day, et cetera. So after discussing it for about five seconds, we agreed that these chocolates would become my new incentive chocolates.


Author: LMAshton

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