Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Buddy System
In our church we have this awesome thing called vvisiting teaching and it is pretty much like the buddy system. You look out for someone else and they look out for you. When I lived in Nashville, I had a visiting teacher that changed my idea of this "buddy system" not because of what she did for me (which was amazing) but she taught me how to be a visiting teacher. I will be forever changed because of her example.
She didn't look at doing it to report that she had done it. She became interested in me. I don't know a Saturday she didn't call me to tell me about a great garage sale she had seen, wanting to know if she could drop a sonic diet coke by my house, she brought stuff for my girls all the time, never missed the opportunity to celebrate a holiday with a little gift. She taught me how to shop at costco, suggested I buy a different bra and told me where to buy it, had me over on Christmas day when my husband was at work, played Santa for my kids, tell me to calm down when I was over reacting, encouraged me to read my scriptures, told me to love my family more, cried with me when I had a really bad day, scrubbed my carpets the day before I moved out. The amazing thing is that she wasn't my visiting teacher for all those things, but she never stopped being one after the routes got changed. I love that Fran!
I am a better because of her and have a whole new look on visiting teaching. I have three women I VT here. One just got back from spending a year in Spain with her family. I called her to see if I could come meet her and she was frazzled, they just got back to the country and are re-doing their home, I could tell the last thing she needed was me sitting on the floor of her home while it is getting remodeled. When we were on the phone she probably said 5 times she couldn't find a ward list anywhere. I knew just what to do.
I had made these before and thought that this was just what she needed this month. If you go to your ward website and copy and paste your directory in a word document, clean up the header and dividing lines a bit, you can change the size so it is not so long, wa la you have the most updated list out there. You can also print out numbers and names for stake leaders. I added a page with a poem on the front and me and my companion's name and numbers and then some blank pages in the back for notes. You could also print the calendar for 6 months at a time. You can get it bound at any office supply store, the UPS store (nice plug huh Laura) or Kinkos. Make sure you put the plastic on the front and the back to keep it from getting wet.
Another great idea is fill out a questionnaire and send it to the gal you VT. Ask her her favorite treats, books, colors, drinks, breakfast cereal, T.V. show, magazine, birthday, etc. Then you always have some idea of something to drop by for them. (I also do this with Annie Kate's teacher every year and then send a copy to all the moms in the class)
Another idea is take one quote from the lesson that month, print it, laminate it, put a magnet on it and send it in the mail. Email them the lesson too or just print it out and put a ribbon on it and give it to them with their favorite cereal.
I love visiting teaching. it used to be a burden and I never feel like I was getting it done or doing it right, now I look forward to it!


Syd said...

You are just too cute!! Loved my pink envelope and ornament, so cute. LOVE the link to the PINK CHRISTMAS T-Shirts, can't wait to get one. You're amazing. You really are just to cute!!

Syd said...

I forgot to say that I also love your take on VT. Fran sounds amazing. We are about to get new routes, maybe my new comp and I can try to be Frans too!!

Liz said...

Thanks for sharing about your great VT!! I don't have a comp or route yet, but I hope to get one soon. When I do, I really want to be better at it than I have been! Thanks for the boost!

Jill said...

This is a great post Kristi. Fran sounds like a perfect visiting teacher, that's so nice to hear. I have really gained an appreciation of visiting teaching over the years and now take it seriously. I try to be a good friend to those I teach and never want them to feel like I care about them because they've been assigned to me, I care about them because I know them and love them.

I love this ward list idea and think it's great that you did that for your new, frazzled teachee!

Jenny said...

Thanks for sharing your VT story. You have so many great ideas. I think I may steal the questionaire one. What a fun idea. I actually was thinking about sending my letter route sister a "Good Mail" package instead of just the message. I thought I may get a better response and just maybe it wouldn't just get pitched in the trash or something.

michelle said...

I love visiting teaching and I'm always trying to find ways to do it better. I think I'll have to do the questionnaire -- great idea.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Kristi--you never cease to inspire me. These ideas are great. Thanks for taking the time to share your incredible thoughtfulness and creativity with the rest of us.

pam said...

What a great post on VT, it is something that I always struggle with and I have not had good VT to me ever. I love the out look that you have and thanks to Fran, who set such a good example for all of us to follow. I'm going to try to do better.