Monday, February 8, 2010

:::Tra, La, La, I'm Going to Pretend This Isn't Happening:::


It's snowing, again.

We're on winter storm warning, again.

10-20 inches tonight and Wednesday.

Happy thoughts. Let's talk about something else.

Blogging friend Jill recently wrote a post about visiting teaching. I commented that I find it funny that after all of these years, we still, still aren't doing our visiting teaching. Such a simple concept, and yet it is seemingly impossible to execute. Realizing that I am by no means excused from visiting teaching, here are the main reasons why I don't faithfully fulfill my VT assignments:

1. I'm not already friends with the women I've been assigned, so I'd have to get to know new people. Factor in shyness and anxiety.

2. Making the first contact is scary. Again, shyness and anxiety.

3. Having less than committed partners is a drag. I have wished many times that the partnering aspect of visiting teaching would be done away with. Trying to schedule visits with 2+ women is hard enough. Throwing in the schedule of a partner just makes it more so.

4. It's scary opening up to people about your deeply held spiritual feelings.

5. I worry that my testimony pales in comparison to the women who have been assigned to me.
6. I don't want anyone critiquing my testimony.

7. I don't have cute enough clothes.

8. I hate small talk.

9. I'm not married, so I can't relate to wives/mothers.

10. I don't date, I hate talking about dating, or the lack thereof, so I have a hard time relating to many of the common woes of single women.

11. I don't want to give up my free time.

12. I don't have a car.

13. I currently have 4 assignments and a partner that could care less about visiting teaching.

14. I worry that the women I visit teach and my partner are judging me.

15. "When a woman's got a husband, and you've got none, why should she take advice from you? Even if you can quote Balzac and Shakespeare and all them other high-falutin' Greeks." -- Music Man

16. I have yet to find a comfortable sitting-on-the-couch-addressing-someone-sitting-to-your-side position.

17. I don't always love, love the message.

18. I don't want to get ready go out again after I've just come home from work.

19. I don't want to go visiting teaching on my way home from work -- I just want to go home.

20. I don't want to get stuck in the home of some crazy, nut job, right wing Republican and have to hear about all of their 'fun' ideas about politics, race, religion, etc. Notice I said 'crazy' and 'nut job', this isn't a general burn against Republicans.

21. I've never visit taught someone, to my knowledge, who came from a similar background as I did. I'm afraid that the average LDS woman won't get where I'm coming from and will think I'm weird.

22. I don't like giving up details of my personal life to anyone I have to see on a regular basis.

23. I'm waiting for the perfect visiting teaching situation (what does this mean?).

24. I doubt that anyone wants to hear from me and listen to my perspective on the gospel (very closely related to #21). I've never had an 'in the box' life as an LDS person/woman and have had to make the gospel work for my own weird and not-optimal situations. I know sometimes people like to hear stuff like this, but on the other hand, sometimes they don't.

25. It brings to mind all the ways that I'm weird and different from everyone else (very closely related to #24).

26. Worrying about making a cute handout and bringing a delicious and impressive treat stress me out.

27. I have a hard time getting over all of my fears about myself and other people (bingo).

So, now that I've made myself look like a complete tool, why don't you share what your reasons are for not visiting teaching.


Rachel said...

First, all of your snow pictures have been fantastic. You really have an eye for photography.

Second, your most recent snow post made me laugh out loud and snort.

Third, I am actually surprised that you feel like most of the people you have visit-taught have been "in-the-box" LDS people. I have found just the opposite to be true. I almost always come away from visiting teaching thinking that I've lived an extremely sheltered life, in an in-the-box Mormon kind of way. I don't even know what that means, exactly. You probably have more in common with people--married or otherwise--than you think. Or, conversely, you have nothing in common, regardless of marital, education, social status, but maybe that's beside the point.

But I'm not answering your question. I am not 100% with my VT-ing because I am lazy! But I am 100% in 2010! :)

You're great. :)

michelle said...

Man, that is a LOT of snow! Whoa.

This is an interesting post.

I agree that scheduling with the woman you visit and your partner is a challenge. I often think it would be a lot easier if I could just go alone. Still, I enjoy getting to know my partner as well as the sisters we visit, and quite often my companion will have something to contribute that is really interesting and/or meaningful.

I hardly ever bring a handout or a treat. Hardly ever. I like to take something to my sisters on their birthdays, at Christmas, and if I'm really together I make them some kind of a Conference bag or basket. Occasionally if I'm making holiday treats at some other time of the year I will take something to them as well, but that's it! You shouldn't worry about that.

I get being shy. I get hating small talk.

But I will take issue with you thinking you don't have anything in common with these women. I cannot even tell you how many times I have thought that about either my companion or the sisters I am assigned to visit. So many times I have wondered what in the world I could share with them that they might find helpful in some small way. So many times I have thought that we would never be able to connect, that we would never like each other or find common ground. I have always, always been proven wrong. In one case, it took two years to happen, but we did become friends. In fact, some of my favorite people are women that I at first did not think I would like or relate to. So persevere, Rebekah!

MBC said...

I'm not answering your question. I just want to say that I wish you were my visiting teacher. Once, back in the day when we lived in the same ward, I was having a super fantastically bad weekend that was filling me with despair and then I had dinner with you and Joanna and Jenna, and you were so HI-larious and I enjoyed your company so much that I left feeling lightened and less burdened. That was some pretty good (unintentional) work on your part.

Jill said...

Wow Rebekah, you came up with 27 reasons why you're not faithfully fulfilling your visiting teaching assignments...I think it would be easier to just do the visiting teaching, ha!

I'd like to give you my take on your reasons in the least offensive way possible so I will use President Hinckley's father's words..."Forget yourself and go to work."

Most of your reasons involve your own issues and insecurities, while the whole point of visiting teaching is to take care of the sisters you're assigned to. YOU are working on behalf of the Lord and bring unique perspectives, talents, humor, kindness, and insights that no one else has. Having you as a visiting teacher would most likely be an incredibly refreshing change for the women you teach.

As for scheduling, what about doing it before or after church each week for 15 minutes? Then you wouldn't have to give up your time after work and transportation wouldn't be an issue.

Also, if you have an unenthusiastic partner then you're free to make plans on your own without the encumbrance of a companion...your dream come true.

We're all more alike than we are different.

Sheans said...

You know what I do? I mail them the message and a note and on the holidays I take them a treat. Every other month I try to call and see how they are doing. If I like them, I might actually go by and see them.

That's probably not what the prophet had in mind, but it works, so there.

Sarah said...

If your companion isn't in to going, this just got a LOT easier for you. Run and do it now before they give you a companion who you have to schedule with!!!!!