Last night, I think I finally began to understood the true joy that comes from visiting teaching.
I have thought a lot about a talk from the Relief Society Broadcast 2010 given by Barbara Thompson. (The words from General Conference truly become part of me when I listen to them constantly while I am exercising.) She said, "The beauty of visiting teaching is not to see 100 percent on the monthly report; the beauty of visiting teaching is seeing lives changed, tears wiped away, testimonies growing, people loved, families strengthened, people cheered, the hungry fed, the sick visited, and those who are mourning comforted. Actually, visiting teaching is never because we watch over and strengthen always." Later she continues by saying other blessings that come to you personally by being a visiting teacher are you get to know and become friends with others that you may not have had the chance to otherwise meet.
We attend a married student ward and change is a constant for us. People move in and out often--especially when the semester ends. We rotate through callings fairly quickly just because there are holes that need to be filled. We have attended our ward for about 15 months now and I have had 5 different callings. Along with that visiting teaching assignments fluctuate often. It is not uncommon to have a new companion, sisters to visit or new people visiting you every other month--sometimes even every month.
But somehow despite the constant change, I have been richly blessed to be able to be with the same companion for at least the entire school year, if not longer--I can't remember when we were first assigned to be companions. We are so completely opposite and I don't think we ever would have met except for being assigned to go visiting teaching together. She is from California, attends UVU majoring in community health, served a mission to Tennessee, is going to be a model for ModBod, and is addicted to Lost. Yup... none of those things connect to me. When we were first assigned to be companions, I didn't even know who she was. We figured out our schedules and went, probably more out of obligation and to check it off our lists than out of love. But slowly that obligation has transformed into love.
And last night, I witnessed that change... that love. We were at one of our sister's home for well over an hour. Yeah, it was a long time but we didn't realize it until we left. We were all just laughing and talking. And laughing some more. We realized we have all had similar experiences, all experienced struggles, and each one of us has THE best husband ever. I can't speak for my companion or the girl we were visiting but I know my testimony was strengthened. My life was changed. My heart was cheered. And a friendship developed that will last a lifetime.