|SETTING UP APPOINTMENTS||
From my own experience, I found the following things helpful in setting up appointments early enough in the month to allow me to reschedule within the same month should one of my appointments fall through.
Kim Siever, Elders Quorum President, Surrey First Ward
Surrey British Columbia Stake, Canada
Schedule Appointments as far in advance as possible, and if possible on
the same day each month (i.e. the first Tuesday) Then not only you but
the families you visit will know when you are coming and other events
can be scheduled around your night with them.
When I first began home teaching, I frequently found myself running out of time and scrambling near the end of the month. It seemed to happen every month. Then I realized the problem. It wasn't priorities, per se. It was just that I thought of Home Teaching as a monthly task, because I was expected to report on my progress monthly. I changed my way of thinking, and considered Home Teaching to be a weekly task. Since I made that simple change, I have rarely missed a visit. Each Sunday I take time to review all my families, and make plans for that week, and phone calls. As a result, I have found that I am spending 4 times the amount of focus on Home Teaching than I would If I did this only monthly.
Not every visit has to be the traditional one. It is important to visit
the home to feel the spirit there and to look for any temporal needs.
However be experimental a few times a year. Go to a ball park together,
out to dinner, or to a concert. Show the family that they are part of
your "social circle". Invite them to your house for dinner or a party.
I have a hard time making appointments with the Sisters I visit as I don't like to be on the phone and just do it. SO... I like to work with the graphics on the computer so I made cards to send to the Sisters with a time that would be convenient for me, and usually will meet their schedule. Then in my calendar I write the date and times I have scheduled. I also write 2 days prior to the day a note for me to call and verify the appointment. I also make a card for the Visiting Teaching co-ordinator so that I can mail her the report when I am completely done. This has worked great for me.
The months when my companion and I have had the highest success rates home
teaching (meaning simply visiting all of our families at least once per
month), is when he would tell me in advance which days that month he could
home teach. He is a student, and had days of the month that he could not
home teach, due to studying for finals, etc. Myself, not being in school,
had certain days of the week that I could home teach, and others that I
could not normally home teach, due to other weekly commitments. Armed with
this knowledge, I was able to set up appointments with our families, knowing
that there was a really good chance that we could actually home teach them
which ever night we chose. Without that knowledge, I would always think, "I
need to set up an appointment with them, but let me talk to my companion
first, and see when is good for him."
It really doesn't matter who has what type of schedule; what matters is that
you communicate it with your companion, so that one of you is informed
enough to set up a tentative appointment. If that day turns out to be bad,
you can actually change it, but if you never set the appointment in the
first place, you will never get into the house.
Taking turns setting up the appointment is nice, but getting it done is the
It really doesn't matter who has what type of schedule; what matters is that you communicate it with your companion, so that one of you is informed enough to set up a tentative appointment. If that day turns out to be bad, you can actually change it, but if you never set the appointment in the first place, you will never get into the house. Taking turns setting up the appointment is nice, but getting it done is the important part.