|ATTRIBUTES OF DILIGENT HOME TEACHERS||
I have had, and do presently have, Home Teachers who are exceptionally good. Right now it is our elderly missionary couple. (We have a small branch). What impresses me is how hard they work, doing everything possible to help everyone possible, both active and inactive. I mean, these are elderly people and they’re out shoveling snow and doing whatever’s necessary to take care of their little flock of sheep. They call, they drop in, even outside of “Home Teacher” hours. They are genuinely concerned for each and every one of us members; they put 2000% effort into all they do. When they enter my home, the Spirit is with them, you can feel it! They are gentle, kind, and soft-spoken. You can feel the love. They bring food when I am ill; I was snowbound for ten days about a month ago, and they showed up with a pizza, trudging through the snow to my apartment. I, and all of our branch owes them a lot. I love and respect them and pray that I have 1/3 the energy they have when I am their age.
In my opinion, the best home teacher and/or visiting teachers are those that are action takers and not passive in their calling. Just showing up each month has its place too, but being alert to what can be done and even making a goal to DO something once a quarter or twice a year. For example, get the Scouts together and rake a family’s lawn or clean out a garage. Sometimes one would have to get creative but the action is remembered far beyond just the visit. The action could be to take the sacrament weekly to a shut in or befriend a troubled teen by going with him/her to things they enjoy (sporting events, opera, plays, and movie).
I have only had one home teacher that stands out in my mind and he built a rapport with me that made me comfortable to call him when I needed help be it a blessing or a broken pipe. That’s not easy—the rapport—with a lot of people. Being a single mom with six kids and proud as all get out, calling for help is not something that came easy. He made it easy and most of the time he just showed up and did stuff. He knew what needed to be done because he was around enough to know. He knew where all my water shut offs were and how the furnace worked and on and on because he made it his business to know. He was the one that pulled us from the flood last year when 8 feet of water converged upon us. He was the one that stayed night after night pumping the water out. Guess you can see why he stands out in my mind. I wonder sometimes how we would have survived without him.
At our last ward, we had wonderful home teachers. They never missed a month the whole 2.5 years we were in the ward. When it snowed where we lived at the time, he came to our home and shoveled our sidewalk, not to mention all of the meals he and his wife brought when I was sick during pregnancy and so forth.
Being single, I have appreciated tremendously my present home teacher who calls me on a regular basis to see what my needs are in the home. He checks my furnace, gets on the roof and hooks up my swamp cooler, fixes things in the house, or gets someone who can, he arranged for a mechanic to fix my car for free, has driven me places when I needed. He has a strong relationship with his wife and he honors the priesthood and never puts himself in a situation around me where I would feel uncomfortable or which would be compromising. He listens when I need to talk and has been a great support emotionally. He shares his testimony with me but is not judgmental at all. Only supportive and not only asks what he can do to help but also informs me of things we need to do to ensure safety of my home and car, like making sure the antifreeze is okay; the pipes are prepared so they don’t freeze. The manner in which he has approached this extra service to me has been like having Heavenly Father right there to help me in areas where I lack skill and knowledge. He has mowed my lawns, put weed and feed on, arranged for the Scouts to do a major clean up and weed pull and pruning one Saturday afternoon. All this which has not been widely known or acknowledged.
My home teacher often comes with his wife. It is nice to know that they are willing to help with blessings when needed and they keep in touch often to see what the needs are. Mine called and offered to watch my home, take in the mail and put the salt in my soft water unit while I was in Vegas. I have a lot of trust in him, obviously, and I do not feel uncomfortable in any way. But there is much respect and caution we both use in our relationship.
My sweet, wonderful grandma, my mother’s mother on whose birthday I was born, passed away yesterday morning. She was with my mom in LV and collapsed with a major heart attack. We were very close. My home teacher is going to give me a blessing tonight.
The best home teacher is the one I currently have. If I’m not at church, he calls me. If I need a blessing and he can’t get away to do it himself, he finds someone who can. He comes prepared with a lesson and will discuss aliens with my husband and listen to him complain about the ward, the church, and life in general. He is also one of my best friends. I can also talk to him about anything. He looks out for me, and tries to catch when something is going wrong that I need advice for.
I put home teaching right next to visiting teaching in importance. One of the principles we hold dear as LDS is that one day we will inherit our own kingdoms. How can we expect to inherit a kingdom if we can’t even see to the needs of five or six families?