Hello, You’re Our New Home Teachers


“I haven’t had home teachers since I moved into this ward and I don’t think they have even assigned me visiting teachers.”

I was irritated that the negative thought would break my concentration while I sought the guidance of the Spirit in preparing my Sunday School lesson. But the thought would not stay away.

Why had they not come? Possibilities came to mind. “My roommate and I have been in the ward only two months,” I told myself. “Perhaps, like me, they have been too busy to locate us. Or maybe they have fears that stop them from coming.” I had suffered from similar reservations myself. Three wards back, I had had some less-active persons on my visiting teaching list. I remembered how afraid I had been to visit them—and how enjoyable the actual visits had proved to be.

It was then that the thought came to me: “Are your home teachers and visiting teachers the only ones responsible for making the visit possible and productive? Don’t you have a responsibility also?”

The question redirected my thoughts. There had to be something more that I could do. The thought of my responsibility was persistent. The last statement in the lesson I had been preparing on priesthood helped me realize that I am responsible for helping others magnify their callings.

As I thought about the significance of that responsibility, ideas started coming. As my thoughts developed, I excitedly wrote them down. They formed a step-by-step plan.

When I discussed the plan with my roommate, she agreed to help me implement it. We wanted to encourage our visiting and home teachers to “find” us. Since we also understood that home teachers may feel awkward in the homes of single sisters, we wanted to avoid any possibility of this in our house.

Step one was to discover just who our home teachers and visiting teachers were. We invited them, along with our bishop, to come to our home on a particular night with their spouses.

Step two was to clean our home, preparing it and ourselves for the arrival of these servants of the Lord. Cleanliness, coupled with prayer and fasting, allowed us to invite the Spirit of the Lord to be with us that night.

We next prepared a questionnaire to help us get to know our guests. The appointed evening came. As each couple arrived—home or visiting teachers and their spouses—we handed them the questionnaire and asked them to fill in the blanks. This gave a short synopsis of each person’s life. These were passed around for others to discuss and enjoy. We found that one of our home teachers and his wife had been in the ward only a short time and had previously lived all over the world. One of our visiting teachers was recently married. These facts opened the door for conversation.

We spent the rest of the hour sharing general and spiritual experiences. We enjoyed the evening very much, and it was gratifying for us to help make our home and visiting teachers comfortable in our home.

That evening was the beginning of some rewarding friendships. Our home teachers and visiting teachers started coming to our home regularly. We scheduled their visits on our calendar and continued to prepare our home to be a bright spot on their rounds. The bread we cast upon the waters that night has returned to us a hundredfold.

[illustration] Illustrated by Carol Stevens

Shirley Haycock is currently Single Adult representative in the Pioneer Ward, Fremont California South Stake.