This blog is filled with all kinds of tips, handouts and ideas that can help to motivate and fulfill your calling as a Visiting Teacher, and more because it is filled with helpful ideas for Relief Society related topics. We hope you will visit often, and don't forget to check out my other blogs too at:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Being more like Christ this Christmas

I have had some very deep thoughts about some very difficult subjects over the past few days.  I finally acted on two of them, and I have a burning inside of me that what I did was what Christ would do.  I would like to share a couple experiences with you.

I have a family member who over the past 7 or so years, has become a totally different person.  She looks, acts and is so different from the sister I knew in prior years.  It has been an emotional roller coaster for my entire family, and her actions have dug deep holes into our once happy relationships.  She has estranged herself from our family and though she won't admit it, avoids every possible encounter with us.  Our mother is so troubled by the drastic changes in my sister both mentally and physically, that she has put up blinders and lives in an altered state of reality because it hurts her too much to believe who her daughter has become.  As a result, Mother is always on the defence with all the rest of her children who try to get her back into the reality and acceptance of how life is now.  Without going into any more detail, just know that our once close family isn't anymore, other than some siblings have maintained relationships with each other. 

This situation has troubled me immensity for years.  I too have been hurt just as much as my brothers and sisters and Mother, but I know that no matter what our sister has done, and who she has become, my Heavenly Father still loves her dearly and wants her back with him in his arms, one day.
Yesterday, I took the opportunity to extend an invitation to her to come back.  I invited her to spend Christmas Eve with my own family and children, in hopes that she will feel wanted, loved, and stir some feeling that she has long since shoved behind her heart.  I told her that I love her no matter the changes she has made, and that above anything in this life and the next, family is the very most important thing we have.  I told her that though I don't embrace and support the changes she has made, that I still love her because she is and always has been my sister, and we all need to move on and get to a better place.  We need each other and I basically extended to her the olive branch, that i believe that Christ would want me to do.  I did this for Him, but mostly for myself. 

I don't know if she will come and join in our family for the evening.  If she doesn't choose to come, she will be missing one great time, filled with joy, and marvelous food, games, laughter, and the warmth of family.  Free agency is alive and well, so I don't know whether or not she will choose to accept my olive branch, but I pray that she will.  I pray that she will come home, and join back with our family and hopefully mend some broken hearts.

Another story:

A couple nights ago, my neighborhood had the annual neighborhood Christmas Progressive dinner.  We have had this for 5 years now and it is still looked forward to and has become a fun tradition in our neighborhood.  This year, as in years past, I volunteered to host part of this dinner, and 50 people came through my door, and ate salad at my tables, and enjoyed great conversation, friendship and the warmth of my home.  It was time for the group to go to the next house for Soup, so after they had all left, my husband and I and my Visiting Teacher and her husband, stayed and cleaned up.  Before we had much cleaned up, there was a knock on our door, and standing on our porch was the familiar face of a woman who lives with her mother, just up the street.  We welcomed her in and invited her to dish herself up a hearty plate from the salad bar that we had just hosted.  She happily accepted, and all of us sat down and chatted with her as she enjoyed her meal. 
She was delightful, friendly, and I know she felt comfortable coming to our home, even though she waited until the rest of the neighborhood crowds had left.  She came at a time where she didn't have to face the rest of the neighborhood, and we chatted and enjoyed her visit for about 45 minutes.  My Visiting Teacher and her husband, who happens to be our Home teacher, had never met this woman, and I believe because she keeps to herself.  My guess is that most of our neighborhood has not met her either.  She has, much like my sister, chosen a lifestyle that is outside the typical role of a woman.  She is never seen with anyone but her dogs that she walks every day, and my guess is that she is lonely, however whenever I see her, she warmly welcomes conversation or waves.  

After she left, my thoughts were on what a wonderful and good hearted person she is.  I also realized that she finally reached out of her own comfort zone, and came to a dinner in our house, where she knew she would be welcome. My husband is the Bishop of our ward, and she knows from friendly in conversation in the past, that he is welcoming and non judgemental.

These two stories are very similar in that both women, have chosen paths that are unique to most women, but one thing for sure we have in common, is a loving father in heaven.  I know that many times we imperfect people, will judge others, and that estranges them from us.  They don't feel welcome, and sometimes others feel uncomfortable having them around but if we want to be more Christlike, we will remember that Jesus spent most of his ministry with the outcasts, the lepers, the sinners and those who most of the population shunned.  Jesus didn't judge any of them, but loved them and blessed them, and encourage them to follow Him. 

I pray that we as sisters of Christ, and daughters of our Heavenly father, will extend ourselves, and even go out of our own comfort zones, to be more kind, and considerate, provide service and give love, to all of those who need it..... The lonely, the infirm, the aged, the widows, the sick, and those who have gone astray.

A scripture come to mind and though it is specifically talking about missionary work, it can apply to the message that I share as well.  I am going to alter it a bit but it still has the same meaning  It is found in D&C 18: 15,16  "And if it be so that you should labor all your days crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my father....and if your joy will be great with one soul, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!"  Going on to verse 19.." And if you have not faith, hope, and charity, you can do nothing". In verse21 is the last part of what I would like to share because it says this..."Take upon you the name of Christ, speak the truth in soberness."

Sisters in this Glorious Christmas season on joy, I pray that we can all think about those who really need us in their lives, even if we have never reached out to them in the past, it is time that we do it now.  It is time that we invite them back, in genuine friendship and love.  God loves them every bit as much as He loves you, so remembering that, imagine His gratitude when one day you are with Him again, and He brings to your remembrance your deeds.  He will be so grateful for loving the lost souls, and will count you among those blessed children. 

Remember this at Christmas, and remember this all year thought. May the Lord bless you in your efforts to serve Him and to be more like Jesus Christ, who is Christmas.  Much Love, Katie G

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Visiting Teaching, a work of Salvation, and The Good Shepherd

This past month, I helped my husband with a message that he gives out in tithing settlement to all the members of our ward.  With this printed message, we give each ward member a small gift or treat for their family.  This year, we decided to focus on "The Good Shepherd", and of course our treat was to give a nice candy cane out to everyone who came into see the Bishop.  It is also a small gift from "US" and not just the bishop and I signed it as well as he. 

It is such a wonderful message, I wanted to share it with you.  It relates to all of us, as Visiting Teachers, and home teachers alike, along with everyone else who accepts calling in the church, to Shepherd over others or their children in different capacities.  I hope you will enjoy the spirit of this message and feel the love of our "Good Shepherd". 

I will probably be taking a break from posting for a couple months, as I am getting a complete knee replacement surgery after Christmas.  I feel pretty certain that I won't be clear headed enough for a while to post, do any graphic design or much of anything besides sleep, and do the physical therapy that will get me back on my feet, so please don't give up on me, because I will be back.  For now, here is a wonderful message for all of you!

Have a wonderful and joyous Christmas season.  Remember Jesus, and honor him through all that you say and do.  Best regards!  Katie G

The actual Visiting Teaching message from the church for December can be found here:http://www.lds.org/liahona/2012/12/visiting-teaching-a-work-of-salvation?lang=eng
When I read this message, I felt that the Christmas message that I am inserting went so well, with this message, I just had to share it with you.  May the Lord bless you as you faithfully shepherd your sisters. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy hits the East Coast


As I awoke this morning, my husband was getting ready for work and had turned on the television to get the latest updates on Hurricane Sandy, and the East coast states who would be hit.  Hurricane Sandy's devastating effects are see on every Chanel and not just in one state but many.  This has been such a hard hit, leaving people without homes and millions without power. I saw a whole neighborhood on fire with 50 homes ablaze in New york, and powerlines downed in the waters of the canals that use to be roadways. If anyone ever wondered what you can do to help those effected in this disaster, the words come into my mind of the song "Put your shoulder to the Wheel"

"The world has need of willing men, who wear the workers seal,
Come help this good work move along, put your shoulder to the wheel.
Put your shoulder to the wheel push along, Do your duty with a heart full of song,
We all have work, let no one shirk, put your shoulder to the wheel."
This song is talking about doing your duty in the callings we are asked to do, working together in this church. Each and everyone doing their part to move the work along.  There is greater application to this song than today, as we see so much work that will be needed to be done to repair the damage that has been done by Hurricane Sandy.  In safety, and under the direction of the Community leaders, you can put your shoulder to the wheel, and love your neighbors in a way that has not been done.  You can join in the efforts to help clean up, rebuild, feed and clothe, you know... all those things that we are suppose to do as Christians.  Reach out and assist our neighbors, and create bonds of unity and good will, lifting the weary and downtrodden.   Let them see who Mormons are and what we do when we see a need.  I don't mean to be sacreligious in any way, but the initials of our church could mean more than Latter Day Saints... today it can mean, "Lets Do Service".

May the Lord bless each and every one of you who have suffered this trial, or are suffering other devastation, trials, or hardship.  May there be ministering angels who come to your aid and help provide the strength and courage to move forward in faith.  May many hearts be softened and the most crusty ones be humbled as we all move forward to help our neighbors.  We all have work, let no one shirk put your shoulder to the wheel.  Love, Katie G

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Familyhow.com

A couple of months back I was approached by Deseret Digital Media, about writing for their new site that is being launched on the 30th of this month.  It can is called Family how and can be found at familyhow.com.  I am excited about this opportunity to do more writing besides all my blogging.  I also want to announce that I had a darling book I wrote, accepted for publication, and it will come out next year at 2013 in about June.  I am really excited about it and when more can be said about my book, I will let you all know. 

I appreciate all of you for coming to my blogs and following me.  I hope you will do the same for my new writing adventure on Familyhow.  My first article can be found here: http://familyhow.com/marriage/youre-addicted-whats-next?Itemid=631&fhtopicid=257  Let me know what you think, as I always value your opinion.

Thanks again and Enjoy!
Katie G

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I'm a Mormon

Listeining this morning to Sister Dibb, I heard what I knew would become a Quotable Quote.  I thought while I listened to the rest of the morning session of Conference, I owuld draw up what came to my mind, to have something to go in our homes.  Hopefully in time, I will make additional colors so it will match everyone's homes.  So... print it off and enjoy!
Much love for all of my wonderful sisters!  Katie G

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Halloween Printables/ Halloween Subway Art


My cute Halloween Subway art can be found at my new Printables store at this link:  http://printablesbykatie.bigcartel.com
I should say that I am just putting up my cute printables and creating as fast as I have time, so please be patient with me and keep coming back. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

LDS General Conference

General Conference is coming up this weekend, and I urge all of you to listen with intent.   You will find messages given by our Prophet and General Authorities, that will be written just for you.  While you listen, think about the needs of the sisters you Visit teach and thoughts about the message that you will want to share with them in November. 

How blessed we are to be able to listen to General Conference, from just about anywhere in the world.  I hope everyone will take advantage of this blessing, and enjoy all the inspired messages that will be given through the Lords chosen Prophet and church leaders.

This is a link that I decided to share, that will help you enjoy General Conference better as a family because there is a section for Conference activities for Kids. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865563640/Today-in-the-Bloggernacle-Conference-countdown-ideas-and-activities.html

Enjoy and I will be back to write more soon!
Katie G

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Brigham City, Utah Temple Dedication

What an exciting time for people of Brigham City, Utah, as well as the rest of the LDS Church members, for this weekend is the temple dedication of the Brigham City LDS Temple.  All of Utah will be able to be a part of this special dedication, as it is being broadcast into meeting houses throughout Utah.   A special recommend is issued by the Bishops of LDS individuals who wish to attend this Temple dedication.  Children ages 8 and up, and worthy individuals, meet with the bishop, and are given a special one time, recommend to attend this special occasion.
Each person in attendance is asked to bring a clean white handkerchief to be used in this occasion. Questions arise of why we need to bring a white handkerchief.  What is the significance? I have researched the answer to this question so that I can accurately give answer to this valid question.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, “Included in the Feast of Tabernacles was a holy convocation, which in this instance was called also a solemn assembly.  In our modern solemn assemblies, we give the Hosanna Shout, which also was associated with the Feast of the tabernacles anciently, except that ancient Israel waved palm branches instead of white handkerchiefs, and they exulted in such declarations, “Hosanna, Hosanna, and Hosanna, to God and the Lamb.”  (The Promised Messiah”, p. 426)  The Hosanna shout is recorded in the Scriptures (Matthew, Mark and John) that recount the shouts given in advance of when Jesus rode into Jerusalem.  The people lined the streets and had cut palms in their hands shouting “Hosanna” waving them as He passed, and some laid them on the ground before him. 
 “Today, the shout is conducted at temple dedications and at solemn assemblies. When the proper occasion arises for this spiritual congregational shout of praise and rejoicing (and it is now used only on rather special occasions), when the spirit guides the proper ecclesiastical authority, and when the congregation has been properly tutored and instructed in the sacredness and pattern of it.  The Hosanna Shout is one of the most dramatic and impressive ceremonies in the Church.
In January of 2001, President Gordon B. Hinckley gave a talk prior to the dedication of the new LDS Conference Center, built in SLC.  He also gave the dedicatory prayer, and invited those who wish to stand and join with them in the Hosanna Shout.  He instruction on the Hosanna Shout  included a  request that it be treated with deference and respect because it is very sacred and personal.

In March 1830 the Prophet received a revelation for Martin Harris in which the Lord commanded him to preach the gospel “even with a loud voice, with a sound of rejoicing, crying—Hosanna, hosanna, blessed be the name of the Lord God!” (D&C 19:37.)

So, what does all that mean?  Simply this, the waving of white handkerchiefs in the Hosanna Shout, which is a part of the dedication of LDS Temples, has been an ancient ceremony that has been carried on since then.  White is a color that symbolizes purity, so white handkerchiefs are waved in remembrance of the followers of Jesus Christ, in honor of Him.  The congregations who gather to commemorate this sacred occasion of the dedicating of temples, join together to wholeheartedly rejoice and glorify the name of the Lord. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Visiting Teaching White Board

One of the members of the Extraordinary Visiting Teachers google group, submitted a picture today of the white board system she uses to keep track of the districts, partnerships and such for Visiting Teaching.  I think they are magnetized, so she can move them around when changes are made.  I thought it was a really great idea to help with the arduous task of keeping track with a visual.  Much easier than thumbing through papers to make changes!  Here is the link to the Extraordinary Visiting Teaching google group to see it, and while you are there, sign up to be a part of an Extraordinary group of Sisters who serve.  http://www.facebook.com/groups/extraordinaryvisitingteachers/permalink/10151099454564340/#!/groups/extraordinaryvisitingteachers/

Enjoy!  Katie G

Thursday, August 30, 2012

September 2012 Visiting Teaching messsage


You can find the September 2012 Visiting Teaching message either in your September Ensign on page 7, or b y going to this link at lds.org http://www.lds.org/liahona/2012/09/special-needs-and-service-rendered?lang=eng

President Monson said that "The needs of others are present, and each of us can do something to help someone... Unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives." Ensign, Nov.2009, p. 85  This is so true especially as we look into our own lives, and realize that serving others is what we do, each and every day. I believe that the Lord knew that when we serve others that our capacity to love would increase, and as a direct result of this service and love, we would be happy.

Some of the most miserable, depressed, and unhappy people I know, could turn their lives around if they could focus themselves outward instead of inward.  I know it is difficult to do so, especially when there is illness or hurt or pain involved, but the act of serving must release some kind of feel good endorphins in the brain, because happiness is a bi-product of serving others.

A woman who I knew in a past ward, fell into a depression that she could not shake.  She was sad all the time, and it got to the point that her thoughts were bleak and dark, and she was absolutely miserable.  She went to the doctors and was prescribed antidepressants to help her, but even taking those, she did not get relief from her despair, and the darkness lingered.  It wasn't until one day as she was down on her knees petitioning the Lord on her own behalf, that she received the answer of how to release this looming despair and depression.  The answer was simple.  The words that came into her heart, was "to serve others."  At first I am sure that she must have considered that she was the one who needed to be served, but she also knew that the Lord loved her and as  in the past, He had answered her prayers.  So... she thought long and hard who needed to be served, and prepared herself for service.  I won't go into what she actually did, but when she began to focus her thoughts and actions outward, on others, and take her focus from herself and her own problems, her burdens were lifted, and the darkness lifted.

This woman became so happy that she shared with others her experience and she mounted a weekly service project, to help those she had focused her efforts on. By doing so, this service helped others who needed to share the joy in their own lives. This wonderful woman understood that not only when we are in the service of our fellowmen, we are only in the service of our God, but she realized that true happiness only comes when we serve others.

This is exactly the concept for Visiting Teaching.  Serving others, whether or not they are in need, but becoming friends so when they are in need they will feel comfortable to call for assistance, because they will already know and have felt the love of a Visiting Teacher.

The lesson tells of some really great ways we can maintain contact with our sisters or other acts of service--to watch over them and strengthen each other.  They are as follows:
  • Personal Visits
  • telephone calls
  • notes of encouragement
  • e-mails
  • sitting with her
  • a sincere compliment
  • reaching out to her at church
  • helping her in times of illness or need
  • other acts of service
I am sure that all of us could add to this list, and we should because there are endless ways we can serve. 

I loved the last little part of the paragraph I just quoted from the Sept. 2012 lesson, and that was this "and strengthen each other".  My message is that we are strengthened as we reach out to strengthen another".


John 13:34-35 reads, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shell men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another".   
It is my prayer that we will take the opportunity to use Visiting teaching as a tool to do as the Savior taught, to love one another as He has loved us, and we can do this in many ways, but especially through serving as Visiting Teachers.

I have prepared a cute note card, which was one of the suggestions of "giving a note of encouragement", and have posted it on my other blog.  Please go to http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com to print this off and write your note. 

Enjoy!  Katie G

Thursday, August 23, 2012

IMPORTANT MESSAGE PLEASE READ!!!

Please view the video above this post entitled "Mormons in America: Meet the Jacksons."  There is an advertisement that comes on first, but it is short.

I wanted to write a post hoping as many of the readers of my blog will get this and pass this along and spread the word really quickly Tonight, August 23rd,  there is a documentary that is on Mormons in America, and part of it was filmed in my ward a little over a month ago.  The focus was on a wonderful family that lives in our ward, and they are such a fabulous example of what a Mormon family should be, how to live and what they do in teaching their children, their beliefs and church.

This was actually filmed, with permission of the first presidency, in my ward, with my husband as our bishop.  This was a first, and it was spontaneous and such a wonderful and amazing 3 hour meeting block.  It was filmed on a Fast Sunday and you would have thought that the testimonies born were prepared, because they were spot on, and so inspired, but nobody knew that NBC would be there filming our meeting.  We don't know what NBC will include because the focus was on this particular family, but they filmed Brother Jackson teaching Sunday School that day.  The cameras went into the Young Women and Young Mens with the Jackson children who are such amazing examples of good LDS Youth. After Church NBC spent the rest of the day with the Jackson Family filming everything they do in their everyday life, and I cannot think of a better family to represent our Church as the Jacksons!

I have hopes that all of you will watch this, and we pray the the editing that was done by NBC will be a very good example of our Church, that nonmembers who watch, will understand us better. 

I urge you to pass this on to others.  The details are that it will air on NBC tonight... 10 pm/9c on NBC.  So you will have to determine your time zone to watch it.    They have done other great Mormons in America on Anne Romney and of the Bishops storehous, etc., that you might be interested in.

Thanks & enjoy, Katie G.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 2012 Visiting Teaching Message


This is the link to LDS.org where the full message can be found of  "Taking Action in Time of Need " http://www.lds.org/liahona/2012/08/taking-action-in-time-of-need?lang=eng 

As I read through this message the image of a historical woman came to mind who ministered to so many and had a huge impact on all humanity.  I am speaking of Florence Nightingale.  In reading her history, it is stated that she felt that God was calling her to do some work but wasn't sure what it would be.  She began to develop an interest in nursing, though her parents felt it was  inappropriate for a woman of her class and background, and wanted her to fall into the  mold of an upper class woman.  BUT...She wanted to go to nursing school and after years, they eventually relented and was trained as a nurse.  She went on to become a superintendent of a hospital for gentlewomen.  That following year, the Crimean War began and there was a desperate lack of proper medical facilities for the wounded British solders.  She was asked to oversee the team of nurses in the military hospitals in Turkey, where she greatly improved the conditions and actually reduced the mortality rate of the soldiers.  After the war, she returned home to England, and established the Nightingale Training School for nurses.  Her theories were published in "Notes on Nursing" in 1860 and became hugely influential for sanitation, military health and hospital planning, and are still in existence today.
This woman made an impact on the lives of thousands of people, both men and woman as she followed the guidance and direction of God, and served her fellowmen.  She was a woman who "Took Action in time of Need". 

We too can become Florence Nightingales in our own way through serving the sister we teach as Visiting Teachers. Our purpose as visiting teachers is to strengthen families and homes, without waiting to be asked.  The lesson states:

"In order for us to serve, we should be conscious of the needs of the sisters we visit". 

This to me means that we should should develop a friendship with them, knowing their needs, their lives, their families, their heartaches, and their joys.  We need to really get to know them beyond the surface, and seek to be able to get into their hearts and better still, let them know we love and care for them genuinely, and not just because we have been assigned as Visiting Teachers.  From the lesson it says that we should:

"....seek inspiration, we will know how to respond to the spiritual and temporal needs of each sister we are assigned to visit".

Then, just like Florence Nightingale did in the days of her stewardship on this earth,  we too should be "using our time, skills, and God given talents, in providing compassionate service for our sisters".  We should provide "prayers of faith, and spiritual and emotional support during times of illness, death or other special circumstances".

We realize that we have a great responsibility for the watch care for our sisters but we are not alone in this and need to be sure to be accountable to get our reports through the proper channels, to our Relief Society President and our Bishop.  The Relief Society President's focus is the sisters in our ward, but she is responsible to report to the Bishop who is ultimately responsible for all the members in the ward.  Through Visiting teachers, she can know the hearts of the sisters and their families, meeting their needs, and helping the Bishop in his call to nurture individuals and families. 

Do you see how valuable your service is as a Visiting Teacher? 
This is my Perscription for you:

Please make an effort to be diligent with this service, and in the process make a friend of the sisters you teach.  They can enrich your lives, as much as you can enrich theirs.  What a blessing it is to Visit Teach.  I pray we all can be a Florence Nightingale in our individual  stewardship as a Visiting Teacher.

Love, Katie G

For a blank perscription and  other really cute ideas to do when you visit teach this month, go to my other blog http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 2012 Visiting Teaching message

You can find the July Visiting teaching message on LDS.org at this direct link.  http://www.lds.org/liahona/2012/07/demonstrating-our-discipleship-through-love-and-service?lang=eng  Demonstrating Our Discipleship through Love and Service is the topic.

This is another of the good "Teaching" lessons that we have been getting as messages for Visiting teaching this year.  I have always loved the scripture found in this lesson, John 13:35.."By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another".  I use to play the violin with my mother and sisters and probably one of the most played songs for Church special musical numbers, firesides, funerals, etc. was one that was based on this scripture. Just reading this scripture, puts music in my mind as I read the words ..."As I have loved you, love one another.. This new commandment, love one another".... then the last part is the scripture that I just quoted above..."'By this shall men know, that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another!!  What a beautiful message and so true.  We show our discipleship by our actions and hopefully those actions will be loving and good.

This lesson talks about some things that we as Visiting Teachers or disciples of Christ, should do and they are:
  • Remember their names and the names of their family members and become acquainted with them.
  • Love them without judging them.
  • Watch over them and strengthen their faith "one by one," as the Savior did.
  • Establish sincere friendships with them and visit them in their homes and elsewhere.
  • Care about each sister.  Remember birthdays, graduations wedding,s baptisms, or other times that are meaningful to her.
  • Reach out to new and less-active members.
  • Reach out to the lonely or those in need of comfort.
As I went over each of these 7 items listed, I could picture the image of a woman who I know, who is the example of each.  Many of these women have several of these mantles on her, and we should try to emulate their examples, and do our best to be all 7.

This message is as much for the Visiting Teachers training, as well as for those we teach because in general,  you will be teaching others who Visit teach as well.  These lessons this year have been training Visiting Teachers, and women to be the type of women (nurturers, watch care providers, friends, neighbors, etc.) that women should strive to become.  By "loving one another" we become happy!  Now how nice is that... you know to just love others and thereby provide them warmth and happiness, the outcome is that it makes you happy too.  Visiting teaching is a two way street, with blessings that come to each. 

I am a strong advocate of Visiting Teaching as you well know, or I wouldn't have spent so many years posting and creating this blog.  I know the power of a devoted disciple of Christ who does her Visiting teaching.  I know of the blessing that comes into the lives of those who do it, as well as the blessing to the lives of those they teach. 

This summer is always the most challenging time to do Visiting Teaching. People are gone all throughout the summer on vacations with their families, and it isn't always the easiest to find mutually agreeable times to Visit teach.  Do your best, and if you find that a time or two you cannot get together, then think of another way that you can serve them.  Last month, my daughter had her baby C-Section and the date was moved up because of complications in her pregnancy.  As a mother, I had set aside that week to help her, and I planned to do my visiting teaching the week prior.  When the C section date was moved up, i could no longer go Visiting teaching, so I thought of other simple things that I could do to communicate, and serve my sisters.  Here are some of the ways that I have served my sister in the past, when I have not been able to get an in-home visit.  By the way, most of these are "Simple things" that really don't require much effort but a little time, and love.
  • I have offered my services to water plants, collect mail, take in and out garbage canisters on garbage day, feed and care for their animals.
  • I have taken over little remembrances, with a personalized note attached, to let them know that I was thinking of them.
  • Phone call.  Sometimes when it was impossible for an in home visit, I have called my sister on the phone, and had a great visit that way.
  • Understanding that when my sister's husband was suffering serious illness, and infirmities, that my sister suffers as well. I offer my services for cleaning help and yes, I do windows, running errands, and whatever she needs to support her.  Many times, all she needed was a listening ear, which I gave.  Other times, I took in a meals, to give her some rest from cooking so she could focus her efforts on taking care of her husband.
  • Holidays are fun times to do a little something special, so taking over a fun home made treat, or craft decoration, or whatever has been appreciated. 
  • Sisters lunch.  Sometimes I invite my sisters for lunch so we can all enjoy each others company.  I give the lesson as well and we each benefit from the incite of being together.
  • Take my sister(s) to R.S. meetings, neighborhood luncheons, or I create one for fun and invite my sisters to join me in a "Lets have fun day."
I can't think of all the things that I have done over the years, but the key is to just do your best, and try.

Friendshipping is the number one way to turning the heart of a nonmember, or inactive sister.  Even if that person never joins the church or become active, you both will still benefit from the friendship that was created in the process and getting back to the original scripture of this months lesson..."Love one another" and by doing these types of simple things, you become His disciples"... this is what Visiting Teaching is all about.  Enjoy!  Katie G

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

June 2012 Visiting Teaching message

You can find this message on LDS.org at this link http://www.lds.org/ensign/2012/06/visiting-teaching-a-sacred-assignment?lang=eng
I am thinking that these messages are being focused on the Visiting Teacher, vrs. those we are teaching for some very important reasons.  Why?  I can think of a few reasons, but keep in mind, these are just my own thoughts:

1.  The younger women of our church are needing to learn about this wonderful role of a visiting teacher.  They are a new and wonderful generation that needs to know how to and the importance of doing Visiting Teaching,  but also to love going, and making a difference in the lives that they teach. 
2.  All LDS women can use a refresher course in all the roles that we take on and our church is repetitive in teaching these responsibilities.  Just like we rotate the teaching of the different Standard works every 4  years, we need to circle back and pick up and refresh our knowledge about our responsibilities with Visiting Teaching.  We all can benefit from relearning our duties and recharge our VT Batteries.
3. With the growth of the church all over the world, training needs to be provided because new members are stepping into roles that they may not have known prior to their baptism.  Newly baptized women step into leadership roles, and need to be taught about the importance of the role of a Visiting teacher.
4.  Visiting teaching is a friendshipping effort.  Even in established Wards and stakes, there are lots of needs! Women, being the natural nurturers that we are, play a huge role in the friendshipping efforts in not only member retention, but in reactivation and missionary efforts. Ernest Visiting teaching efforts will bless the lives of those we teach as well as be a blessing to those who teach.
5.  With the growing responsibilities of the Bishops of the wards in the church, it is next to impossible for a Bishop to know about all the needs of ward members.  Visiting Teaching plays a vital role in assisting the Bishop to minister to the needs of the ward members, as well as the Relief Society to provide compassionate service, and watchare as needed.  Visiting teachers are a play a vital role in a Ward team, besides the other vital players - Home teachers, and the Priesthood.

I would love to hear your comments about what you think about the message for this month.  Please take a moment and share your comments!  Enjoy, Katie G.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Visiting Teaching message for May 2012 (General Conference Talks)

I would like to share with you the talk from General Conference 2012 given by Dieter F. Uchtdorf titled “The merciful Obtain Mercy”. I picked this one as I has hit home in my life this past month as I have very recently had a son who had wandered off the path for many years, come back, and only last weekend was sealed to his wife and family in God’s holy temple.  I will expound more later but I want to share a few quotes from President Uchtdorphs talk:
“We all depend on the Savior; none of us can be saved without Him. Christ’s Atonement is infinite and eternal. Forgiveness for our sins comes with conditions. We must repent, and we must be willing to forgive others.
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, said that those who pass judgment on others are “inexcusable.” The moment we judge someone else, he explained, we condemn ourselves, for none is without sin. Refusing to forgive is a grievous sin—one the Savior warned against.
Our Savior has spoken so clearly on this subject that there is little room for private interpretation.  “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive,” but then He said, “…of you it is required to forgive all men.”
This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon.  When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:  “Stop it!”  It is that simple.  We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children.  God is our Father.  We are his children.  We are all brothers and sister.  I don’t know exactly how to articulate this point of not judging others, with sufficient eloquence, passion and persuasion to make it stick.
I will quote a bumper sticker I recently saw.  It was attached to the back of a car, whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson.  It read, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”
I wanted to pick up here with my own story that happened only a couple of weeks ago.  My son and his wife had been meeting frequently with our Bishop for many months, repenting of their sins, and doing all that they needed to do to get back on track with their lives.  Their greatest desire was to be able to go to the temple and be sealed together for eternity as well as to have their three children sealed to them.  They had done all that was required and one Sunday, Temple recommends were issued to both of them.   They set the date for their personal ordinance work sealings to take place in the temple.  The week before they were to attend the temple for the first time, I took my son and daughter in law to the store to purchase their temple clothing.  My son showed up to our house looking nice, but his arms were exposed, showing the tattoos that were marking them.  I have never liked tattoos and felt they were a mark that would cause a lot of judgment from others, against him.  I am guilty of judging him as well.  And I said to him, “Son, why don’t you put on a jacket when we go into the store for your temple clothing.” 
He said, “I don’t need a jacket as it is warm outside.” 
I then replied, “My thoughts were that you cover up your tattooed arms so no one will see them.” 
Now, I knew that he had been forgiven of his sins, but I just couldn’t get past my own thoughts and judgments about not only myself seeing him try on temple clothing with tattoos all over his arms, but my thoughts were drawn to what the workers would say or how they would react, when they saw him coming.  At that moment, my son said something pretty profound, which has made such an impression on me that I will never forget for the rest of my life. 
He said, “Mom, I will enter that store, me and my tattoos, proudly holding my temple recommend in my hand.  I will be as worthy as anyone else who goes shopping for their temple clothing, and if they want to judge me because I have tattoos on my arms, then that will be their problem.  I have made my peace and have received forgiveness from the Lord and He has found me worthy to enter the temple.  This recommend is all that anyone needs to know about me when they see me buying my temple clothes.”
I thought for a moment, and realized that he was absolutely right.  He is every bit as worthy to be in that store as anyone else, and it was my own personal judgments that I expressed, that needed to be repented of.  When the Lord has judged my son worthy, who am I to judge and even hold on to those thoughts.  I and others can will always see his tattooed arms, but we all need to look on him as God sees him…. Pure and clean, and worthy to enter Gods house.  Yes, I will always wish he had not marked up his skin, but once again, when we go on to live with our Heavenly Father one day, those tattoos will be left in the earth, and he will enter God’s presence unmarked and as he left it before birth.
I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to see my son take the hand of his beautiful wife over God’s alter and be sealed together for time and all eternity.  Then even more precious, as their two little sons (age 1 and 4) were brought into the sealing room all dressed in white, my eyes were wet, and gratitude and thanksgiving filled my heart.  My greatest desire for my son and his family , was being fulfilled.  My husband also took his place as the proxy for my son’s first baby boy who died only moments after his birth, and I was also blessed to be able to hold my 1 year old grandson as they were sealed as a family, together forever.  I didn’t look upon my son’s arms as a mark of the past, but looked into his eyes and heart and the great hope his family has ahead of them.  I cannot tell you what a marvelous experience it was that day.  This was the icing on the cake if you will, the best of what this earth life has to offer, and our Savior made it all possible through his Atoning sacrifice.    
Don’t judge me, because I sin differently than you”, will forever ring in my mind and I want to thank President Uchtdorph for sharing that with us in General conference.  This was a message that everyone needs to hear.  We all sin because we are human, but if we will apply the Atonement in our lives, we can be made perfect…”Even as our father in heaven is Perfect”. “Forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not…(stands) condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin” (D&C 64:9) and “Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

Visiting Teaching and Home Teaching

I am really excited about a new program for your computer desktop, phone and tablet, for Visiting Teaching and Home Teaching.  My sister just sent me the link and I was so excited when I went to their website http://ldsplan.com  This program takes away the hardest parts of Visiting Teaching and Home Teaching… you know the scheduling between you, your partner, and those you teach.  It actually sends out the dates that you can go teaching on to your sisters, and gives them the time and date options, and then gets back to you the best times and dates for everyone, eliminating all the time and phone calls and emails that usually have to happen.  Then it fires back another email to your sister’s the confirmation of the date.  After visiting teaching is done, it also reports to your supervisor as well.  It is automated and takes the hardest part away so you can just go and do your assignment and also have it recorded!
I am trying it out right now and I will report to you on how well it did.  There is a little bit of set up for you to do as far as entering the names of those you teach and their contact info, but after that it seems to be a breeze.  I set up my Visiting Teaching available times, and will wait to hear.  I will let you know if it ends up being as functional and simple as it appears.
You can go to the website and check it out.  Even better, besides being on your computer there is an app for iphone and tablets!!!! No excuses, go register and they have a facebook page as well at http://www.facebook.com/HomeTeaching  It is free on the internet, but the apps are not free if you want to have it on your phone or tablets.

I will write back soon with the details!  Katie G

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May 2012 Visiting Teaching message

OOOOOhhh, I am excited for the Visiting teaching message for this month because as you know, the month following General Conference, we get to pick our own topic from the Conference talks.  I have not made my selection yet, but it is a wonderful opportunity to go back and read through the talks, and then make the choice.  Maybe you could combines several quotes from different talks or maybe you will just pick one.  We shall see!  Enjoy the ride... as I think that the talks each Conference get better and better.  Just when you think that one General Conference could not get any better, the next one tops it.  Our Church leaders are so inspired as they confront and talk about the very things that are needed the most.  No holes bared, just plain and precious truths... that seem to go straight to my heart.  I don't know if it is because I am such an imperfect human, but each talk really gets me revved up to do better, and hold to the rod even tighter. 

For a cute little newly created bookmark by me, go to my surprise blog and pick it up.  http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com


Enjoy!  Katie

Friday, April 27, 2012

Visiting Teachers are Heaven Sent

I was just reading through my blog and I reread my motto on the right hand column by Elder James E. Faust, taken from the Nov. 20o2 Ensign called "You are all Heaven Sent".  I believe that Visiting Teachers are indeed Heaven sent, because I know that our Father in Heaven watches over us daily.  He needs us to be His helpers to carry forth and do His work on this Earth.  What we do in His name will not only bless the lives of those we serve, but will ensure some wonderful blessings for us in
the eternities. 

Serving others builds personal qualities such as integredy, compassion, love, generosity, and shows our children that their mommies are indeed the one of the two greatest influences for good in their lives, as well as in the lives of others.  Serving others through Visiting Teaching is a Win/Win situation for all of us!

This idea of Visiting Teachers are Heaven Sent, could be a wonderful theme for a Visiting Teaching Conference, lesson, or simply an evening meeting with the Relief Society Sisters.  You know me by now, if you have been following my blog for a while, that I just can't stop my mind from producing new ideas.  Well... here you go... you can use this theme in lots of ways:
  • There are limitless stories of how Visiting Teachers have blessed the lives of the sisters they teach, and you can share some of these, or supply your own as a motivation for your sisters to get their VT done.  I love the story that I have used this month shared with me by my VT companion. (Scroll down and read it as it is also published in the Ensign)
  • What about taking the direction of Heaven Sent and doing a play on words, and changing "sent" to "Scent", which takes on a whole different meaning.  If you wanted to have an activity to go with the spiritual message, you could create wonderful "Scents" through a Cooking class demo for making and mixing your own homemade spice combinations, Fabuluous recipes with a cooking demo from India, Mexico or any other country that highly spices their foods. 
  • Another play on the word Scent might be to go the direction of making your own homemade perfume, spritzers, cleaning products, using household items. This could encourage Self reliance!!!
  • To me, there is no better "Scent" than the aroma of homemade bread baking.  It permiates the entire home and makes your mouth water from the scent alone.  How about an evening of making homemade rolls, breads, etc., and teach how to use a grain mill, grinding your own flour for bread.  Talk about storing yeast and other products used in making bread

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 2012 Visiting Teaching message


Go to http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/
to get the larger image to print this card to go
with you as you Visit teach this month.
This month, my sweet partner and I went out and did our Visiting teaching.  It was her turn to present the message.  I feel such gratitude for her and the wonderful story she shared because I personally could not seem to come up with any kind of a lesson to teach with this months message.  My only thoughts were to make sure that my sisters knew that they were loved and I would ask them if they felt comfortable enough with their Visiting Teachers, that they really would call on us in their times of need.
 
My Partner shared an absolutely beautiful story of a woman who had lost one of her children in a tragic drowning accident in their home.  This woman fell into depression and could barely function.  One day a woman in her ward showed up at her door.  This woman could see the state of mind she was in and  she just jumped in and began to help do things around the house.  Each day she would call and if her voice sounded like she was still in a bad state of mind, this woman would then come over and help her sister in need.  The woman who had lost the child was in such a state for many months, that many time she was oblivious to the fact that this woman was even in her home.  Anyway there is so much more to the story, in particular about the circumstances of the women who was helping out this sister. The greatest part of the story was at the end, where my Visiting Teaching partner shared with us, that she was the woman in depression. 

This story is a must read and especially if you are struggling with a message this month like I was, this story was published in the 1997 Ensign, under the topic of "Feeding His Sheep".  Here is the direct link http://www.lds.org/ensign/1997/03/feeding-his-sheep?lang=eng  There are several stories told under this heading but her story is entitled "Reaching out with Love".  The first half of the story is sort of a preamble to the story that my partner told our sisters, so don't think you have the wrong one.  After a few paragraphs, it changes to the Paragraph that says: "Two months after we moved to England, tragedy struck our family...."  This story in the Ensign was not printed with the amount of grief my partner was feeling after the death of her child, so I must tell you that she was in such a state that she could barely function or take care of her other children and this went on for months.  So read what happens and I know you can see why I directed you to this article. 

We women have the ability to bless the lives of those around us in need, if we will.  In return our lives are blessed by our reaching out and touching the lives of those around us.  I think Heavenly Father made it this  way and made us as women, born nurtureres, with emotions and sensitivity and the ability to just jump in and know what needs to be done in any time and in any place. 

Bless you sisters, for your dilligence in Visiting Teaching.  You are filling the needs of your sisters, and you are becoming an earthly ministering angel for then.  Much Love, Katie G.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Visiting Teaching Videos

Go to http://www.lds.org/service/leadership/relief-society?lang=eng#visiting-teaching-in-the-work-of-salvation and see the wonderful videos that are there about Visiting teaching.  These would be great if you are having interviews, or training throughout the year.  Our church does such a wonderful job with their media and these are great examples of ways that will inspire all of us to do better!  Enjoy!
Katie G.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

LDS Easter Advertising Campaign Easter Weekend

I received this from the church and felt it worthy to pass on.  Please take this message and pass it on to your friends, family and others who might want to learn more about the church.  Be a part of this missionary and good will effort! 

Easter Advertising Campaign - April 6-8, 2012
Dear Profile Owner,

The Church is launching a three-day advertising campaign this weekend in conjunction with Easter. The campaign will take place on YouTube and Facebook. The focus is to help those not of our faith understand that we believe in and follow Jesus Christ. The campaign features members of the Church sharing their beliefs about the Savior.

Short advertisements will be shown on YouTube on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (April 6-8). We anticipate the ads will be viewed a minimum of 15 million times. The advertising will link to a specially designed mormon.org page has been created where visitors can share why Jesus Christ is important to them, learn more about our beliefs in the Savior, download the Bible videos app, or order a free Bible (U.S. and Canada only).

Visitors to the mormon.org Facebook page will also be encouraged to share their feelings about Jesus Christ. It is hoped that thousands of Church members and nonmembers will express their testimonies of Jesus Christ during the Easter weekend.

Church members are invited to be involved with the campaign in several ways:

1. Tell family and friends about the campaign and encourage them to tell their family and friends. Encourage family and friends to participate on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday by visiting mormon.org/easter or facebook.com/mormon.

2. Encourage family and friends to look for the YouTube ads and visit mormon.org/easter.

3. On Friday, Saturday, or Sunday Church members are encouraged to visit mormon.org/easter and share their feelings about Jesus Christ.

Note that the mormon.org/easter page will not be "live" until early Friday morning.

We believe this will be a unique opportunity for Church members to engage in conversations with those not of our faith about the importance of Jesus Christ in the lives of God's children.

Media Division,
Missionary Department

Monday, April 2, 2012

Easter treats

Last year I posted that I found these darling little hollow sugar eggs with a little Easter scene inside. I have had a few questions about where you can get them this year, so because I am nice and like to be helpful, I phoned Peppermint Place in Alpine, Utah to see if they had any of those left.  SOOOO sorry to dash your hopes, but they are all sold out of those, but they do have other things there.  They do have the same kinds of eggs in a larger size but they sell per egg, and are higher price, so if you were thinking of treating your R.S. Sisters with those, the larger one would cost probably too much

Good news though.. I asked what things they had in bulk for cheap prices and I was given a few ideas to pass on to you:
  • Easter Decorated Suckers on a stick $.50 each
  • Spring Suckers on a stick in the shape of a flower, the same price $.50 each.
  • Hazelnut Chocolates or Chocolate for a 6 lb box $11.99.  I am not sure what this really is, but I think they are individual chocolates and 6 lbs of them could go a long way.
  • They always carry the striped candy stick for a box of 200 it's$15.00.... however I don't know what flavors they have in right now.  You would have to go and see.  That would certainly be a reasonable priced treat for the R.S. Sisters!I have seen pastel ones in the past, but once again, I don't know if they have any now.  Mabye call them before you go there.
They have lots of other things, but those of you who have inquired about them specifically wondered about the cheaper priced items that you could give to large numbers and wouldn't break the budget or bank.

Peppermint place is located in Alpine, Utah at 188 North Main. It's worth a visit, and make sure you drive around and see what a beautiful town Alpine is! I lived there for about 12 years.

I don't know if Sister Julie B. Beck will be upset at me for telling this, but she lives in Alpine, Utah and not far from the Peppermint Place. Now I won't disclose the exact location, but Sister Beck and family has lived in Alpine for many, many years.  It was such a surprise that she was released as General Relief Society President this past Conference.  She has truly touched the hearts of women everywhere in the world, and her vision and impact will be felt for years to come. 
Hope this helps you as I like to pass on good tips.

Happy Easter! Love, Katie G.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

April 2012 Visiting Teaching Message

You can find the April 2012 Visiting Teaching message at this link: http://www.lds.org/liahona/2012/04/love-watch-over-and-strengthen?lang=eng
On the Extraordinary Visiting Teachers facebook page, one of the members wrote in and said this about the message for April: 
The April message seems more gaged more to the help the visiting teacher, rather than to give a message to your ladies. Is that how you perceive it?
This was my response to it and maybe it will help you too when you sit down to study and prepare how you will give your message to your sisters in April.  I have also added other ideas to it as I have written this post.
Yes, the focus of April 2012 is on the Visiting teachers. Some or all of the women you Visit teach, will most likly be Visiting teachers themselves and need the message as much as you do. It is always a good thing for everyone to have an evaluation of how they are doing and making sure that they understand the important role they play in the lives of those that they teach. That list is as follows:
  • Pray daily for her and her family. 
  • Seek inspiration to know her and her family. 
  • Visit her regularly to learn how she is doing and to comfort and strengthen her.
  • Stay in frequent contact through visits, phone calls, letters, e-mail, text messages, and simple acts of kindness.
  • Greet her at Church meetings. 
  • Help her when she has an emergency, illness, or other urgent need. 
  • Teach her the gospel from the scriptures and the Visiting Teaching Messages. 
  • Inspire her by setting a good example. 
  • Report to a Relief Society leader about their service and the sister’s spiritual and temporal well-being.
It might be a good time to go down that list of what Visiting teachers are suppose to do with those they teach, and make sure that they know that you are there for them in all of those areas!   It could bring good conversation about making sure they know  to call on you when they are in need and that you will do your best to anticipate a need. They need to know that you are their friend and if you have not built a friendship, you need to. Everyone wants to feel the friendship of others and how blessed would you feel to know that both of you know that you are true friends, and that your visits just aren't made out of duty or filling your calling as a Visiting Teacher. 
Another wonderful thing about this message that I could see is that there are some scriptures that are wonderful, particularly the last one stood out for me.  It was  3 Nephi 27: 21 and it says...
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even shall ye do". 
This scripture speaks of discipleship, and it would have been a great scripture to bring out in this current month of March's lesson on becoming disciples of Christ. You could go one step further and ask your sisters about what is going on in their lives, upcoming events, surgeries, their children and family, important occasions, concerns, etc., so that you can help them through these and be a support and listening ear.  As a personal example of this, I remember many years ago, when my family had moved to a Nevada, and I had just had a new baby, my family was preparing to go on vacation to visit our family in Utah.  One FRIEND knew this, and before we left, she brought over a Tupperware filled with treats, snacks, car games, etc., for us to take with us to make our 9 hour trip easier for all of us.  Now how nice was that?
Most importantly is that you would know what is going on in their lives, and let them know you are interested in them and you don't have to be the same age to make a good friend.  Another personal example of this was when my family moved to Nevada, I was given an older woman in the ward to visit teach.  She had quite a reputation for being honery, and brash and drove people away. Knowing this, I made every effort to make sure that she knew I wanted to be her friend.  It took some time and her unique nature came out, but as I overlooked that part of her, I was able to see into her heart, and truly love her.  She knew and felt this and I told her so.  She became a surrogate Grandmother for my own children because she gave back to me through the friendship we developed, what was missing as we lived so far away from our own parents and grandparents.  She came to my children's special events, and even made quilts for each of them for their birthdays and for my new baby. 
I have a favorite quote by Edwin Markham and paraphrasing it:  "There is a destiny that makes us brothers (sisters), each one goes his way alone. That which he sends into the lives of others, always comes back into his own."
I didn't go into Visiting teaching to get something back, but sometimes it is a natural and positive consequence of true friendship and service.  I mourned with her own family when I found out she had died, after I had moved back to Utah many years later.  I loved that wonderful woman, and surrogate Grandmother.  She knew it, and felt it and that love was returned.
Well, I hope that what I have shared will help you gather your own ideas to share as you visit teach in April.  Happy Visiting teaching!  Katie G

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patricks Day!

I have a bit of Irish in my heritage, in my "O'Doyle" side of the family,  so I am going to leave my Irish blessings with you for Visiting Teaching and for you, this St. Patricks Day.....

May the Sisters you teach, within your ward,
Make your Visiting teaching not so hard…...

Finding joy in your visit, and a welcoming sight,
Even when your visit lasts into the night.

May the Spirit be with you learn the message you teach,
May you go home & remember to practice what you preach.

May you & your companion have a schedule that’s the same,
May the vehicle that takes you, never go lame.

May you realize the importance of this service you give,
May your you name be called ‘Blessed” as long as you live!

Love, Katie G

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Great Idea for Visiting Teaching Coordinator and Supervisors

This morning, I received an email from my Aunt who is the Visiting Teaching Coordinator in her ward.  She shared with me a great idea that I felt was very much worth posting and sharing on my blog.  This idea creates a feeling of importance for Visiting Teaching and it also teaches the sisters the message each month.  Each sister hears a part of the message each month, and is better prepared to share that message with their sisters.

Here is part of the email that my Aunt LouJeanne Smith sent to me:

"I have worked with our Relief Society presidency to have a visiting teaching thought every week in opening exercises.  We don't want to take away time from the teacher so we take only a minute or less.

As coordinator, I take the first week and mention the new theme.  Then I type up different thoughts and quotes from the monthly message and type them in the largest size fonts, add a boarder and print.  In my Relief Society room, on each side of our chalkboard are areas (bulletin boards) to post things.  We usually put two printed sheets with portions of the message on one side and two sheets on the other side with the rest of the message.  The print is large and everyone can read them from the anywhere they sit in the room.  They are just a short Visiting Teaching thought, but after glancing at it a time or two, they retain it.  We show the same message for two week is, then put up another message from the same theme.  We switch these messages with the primary and young women so they see them also.


We want our visiting teachers to feel more important, more needed, and feel the spirit of teaching.  Our supervisors take turns giving the minute-or-less thought each week. That way they each of us have a turn to get up in front of the class and all the women soon know who all our Visiting Teaching supervisors are.  I make out a 3 month schedule so they know which Sunday is theirs.  Our ward knows we have VT messages every week and hopefully know that Visiting Teaching  is a more important calling than they realized".


Monday, March 5, 2012

March 2012 Visiting teaching message

Here is the link to this month's Visiting teaching message. http://www.lds.org/liahona/2012/03/daughters-in-my-kingdom?lang=eng

She was the poster child
for the Utah Easter Seals
Campaign in 1949 at
7 years of age.
 My thoughts have been drawn to my sweet sister in law who passed away this past week.  She had been living in a Care facility for 22 years.  She was born with Cerebral palsy 69 years ago and has lived a very simple existence and she was content.  Her life consisted of watching TV from her wheelchair, typing or writing words on paper,  that she found in her TV guides and dictionary.  When she was much younger, she use to enjoy music and collect 45 rpm records, and she had every family members birth date memorized, as well as trivia about them. She loved hamburgers, fries and a soda and would eat them every day if she could have. Her family indulged her somewhat as they made visits with her and brought her favorite snacks such as cookies, chips, and soda fountain soft drinks, she would nurse on all day long.  These simple things made her happy and visits from family were the icing on her cake!
She did as much as she was capable of doing, but probably the greatest gift she offered, was her love of family. Over the years, I have often wondered what her purpose in this life was, being unable to walk, dress herself, prepare her own meals or even do much of anything. What does a daughter of God do, who is as a paralytic,  to "Prepare for eternal designations?" 


Sister Julie B. Beck says,  "The success of families, communities, this Church and the precious plan of salvation is dependent on your faithfulness....(Our Heavenly Father) intended Relief Society to help build His people and prepare them for the blessing of the temple. He established Relief Society to align His daughters with His work and to enlist their help in building His Kingdom and strengthening the homes of Zion."  The V T lesson goes on to say that our Father in Heaven has given us specific work to do to help build His Kingdom. He has blessed us with the spiritual gifts we need to accomplish this specific work.


When I read this quote from sister Beck, it became clear to me exactly what my sister in law's life purpose has been.  Sister Beck's quote mentions the word "faithfulness" and then goes on to mention "strengthening the homes in Zion".  My dear sister in law was faithful in everything that was required of her. She loved and she seemed to be the glue that has kept my husbands family together since the passing of both parents. She strengthened her family by providing opportunities for us to gather. 


Julie was the facilitator for our family gatherings at least twice a year.  Each year for her birthday and for Christmas, her brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews gathered to celebrate with her.  When we gathered, it was like a family reunion that drew use closer as we chatted about the comings and goings of each of our family members since the last time we met. 
Julie faithfully remembered to call on the phone, each and every family member throughout the year, to wish them a Happy Birthday.  She never forgot a birthday up until she became so ill, that she could no longer do so. Julie's purpose was to be the example to all of her family of strength in enduring the hardships of this life.  Julie never complained as was brought out by one family member in a tribute to her.  She had lots to complain about but never complained of pain that she felt in her arthretic joints hands and fingers, and legs or that she couldn't walk.. She simply endured everything without murmuring or complaint. What an amazing example to me of enduring to the end, no matter how difficult her circumstances. 

Julie was a daughter of God who strived to live as His disciple. She helped build God’s kingdom here on earth and was worthy to return to His presence.  Our family was strengthened not only by her life, but through her passing and were gratified to know that the when she was called home, she would walk and run into the loving arms of her parents without crutches.  Julie can now do everything that she could not do on this earth.  Her example of enduring to the end could be her epitaph for this life. 

Julie was faithful in her church attendance, walking to church using crutches to attend all of her meetings.  On days that it was snowy, her father would carry her in his strong arms. When she was older, Julie received her endowments in the Provo, Utah Temple.  She also enjoyed attending the Mt. Timpanogos Temple as well until she was no longer physically able.
 
I believe that the specific work that our Julie was given by the Lord to do in this life was to "build up His Kingdom" in ways that only the Lord knew she could.  Her purpose was to love and strengthen her family, to provide opportunities of service for her family and friends and literally a poster child for enduring to the end.  She showed that you can be happy with simple things. She was faithful and determined to live each day the best that she could do.  Her good life was what brought angels from the other side of the veil to greet her and preparer her for the next life.


What a blessing she has been for our family.  It is my prayer that we would look at ourselves and try to discover our own purposes for this earth life, that we as very imperfect humans, can strive to do the best that we are capable of, and be faithful in our serving the Lord and paraphrasing the scripture, "When ye have done it for one of the least of these, ye have done it unto Me."
Love, Katie G. 

General Conference Talks

Hear the words of the living prophets.
General Conference Reports
Proceedings of Recent General Conferences
There is no question in my mind, that we who call ourselves Mormons, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are indeed Christians. Those who would say otherwise remind me of the words my Savior, Jesus Christ spoke as He hung upon the cross... "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." This same Jesus Christ attoned for my sins, and died that we all might live.

What shall we give?

<>Other wonderful Christmas Videos, go to \http://www.lds.org/topic/christmas/christmas-videos.html

An Apostles Easter Thoughts on Christ

"This Easter and throughout the year, may we have uppermost in our minds His divine teachings, the unparalleled example of His pure love, and His willing sacrifice of self to accomplish the holy purposes of God, the Eternal Father." The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints"

This short video is an Important message from the mouths of our Prophets!

My sister sent this to me today and I feel like it is an important enough message, that I wanted to share it with all of my blog readership. The words spoken are directly out of the mouths of our Prophets, past and present. Hear them, heed them. Love, Katie G. You can find this at this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehD390q9G3k

July 24th - Pioneer Day

July 24th - Pioneer Day
Click on the picture and it will take you to the last post. Did you get your Visiting Teaching done by today? If not, just keep on trying, just like the pioneers. I would love to hear what you have learned from these wonderful Pioneer Women's stories. I know that I have learned alot about sacrifice, and persecutions of the early saints, and of a strong testimony that these Pioneers had to have to endure all that they did, and gave in establishing zion. Once again, I say, Blessed, honored Pioneer! If you would like to comment, please email me at ktgauger@gmail.com or click on the link and comment on the last story. Happy Pioneer Day! Love, Katie G.

July 22 -Maggie Anna Ferrell Orr

July  22 -Maggie Anna Ferrell Orr
Copy and paste into your address bar and this will take you to the story of Maggie Anna Ferrell Orr, another of the wonderful Pioneering Women.

By now you should be alittle curious about your pioneer heritage.

By now you should be alittle curious about your pioneer heritage.
Do you want to find out if you have Pioneer ancestry. This site is most useful to those who have had members of their family tree that belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the Mormon migration period of 1847-1868. By the way, the goal for this Pioneer Women Journey is about to reach it's end. You only have one more day to do your Visiting teaching, before the 24th of July, which was the goal. You still have time to push the proverbial handcart up the hill, so get out and get it done. Share a pioneer story with your sisters, and you have pleanty to choose from right on this site.

My broken wagon wheel, hath bit the dust!

My broken wagon wheel, hath bit the dust!
Wo is me, I am so behind on my own treck of keeping up wonderful Pioneer women posts. Actually I have a great excuse, and almost made it when I realized how little I have to complain about. Ok, so I am going to tell you anyway. My air conditioning has been off for 6 days now, and I am having to live in my basement, though my computer in upstairs. It is ten degrees cooler in the basement, but my main floor has been up to 92 degrees inside my house. Wo is me.... and what do I have to moan about. I began thinking about the pioneers in their covered wagons, crossing the hot, hot prairie, and their only hope of relief from the blazing sun is the cool shade of a tree, or a stream, or night time if it cooled off enough for them to actually sleep. I have not slept well until I decided to go in the basement. Wo is me. What do I have to complain about. I have been so sick from the heat and a medication change that I have been nauseated all day long. So what do I do... hop in my car and go to Walgreens and get some acupressure wrist bands that took away some of my nausea. Wo is me, but what do I have to complain about.... the pioneer women suffered without any relief. If herbs didn't work for them, or if they didn't have access to them, they just suffered. I feel so blessed to live in this day and age where even if I have to be inconvienenced by having no air conditioning, I still can go in my basement, or hop in my car and turn up the air full blast, or just drive down to a store and walk around and shop, or even go to the pool and cool down that way. You know that poem.... "Father forgive me when I whine, I have two legs, the world is mine"? I have no reason to complain, but you still didn't get the updates on the Pioneer women because I am still too sick and hot to stay upstairs long enough to do them. Count this one as an update and count your blessings along with me. The wagon might be broke for a bit, but once the wheel is back on, the wagon will keep on rollin. Now, I am going to hurry back down stairs and try to replenish the sweat that is pouring off my face and body with gatorade. Don't give up on me, I will be back! Love, Katie G.

July 17 - Handmade by the Pioneers

July 16 - Margaret Alice McBride

July 16 - Margaret Alice McBride
....You know the drill... click on the photo and it will take you to the story of Margaret Alice McBride. Enjoy! Katie G

July 15 - Julia Ann Chapman Lee

July 15 - Julia Ann Chapman Lee
This story is told through the eyes of Julia's husband. It is a short but touching story, all to familiar to Pioneers. Click on the image and you will be directed to the story.

July 14 - Louisa Miller Belleston

July 14 - Louisa Miller Belleston
I thought it was important to realize that not all pioneers only traveled from Missiouri, Ohio or other Eastern States, but many were converted to the church and traveled from overseas. This story tells of the Church Emigration fund, and Louisa's family traveling first by boat and then on to Utah. Their travel took them 8 months to get there, with their fair share of challenges. Click on the picture and it will take you directly to the story.

July 13 - Mary Ann Payne

July 13 -  Mary Ann Payne
This is a cute little story about Mary Ann Payne that I found, and I know that you will enjoy reading about her. She is the top right photo. Click on the photo and it will direct you to the link that has the story. Enjoy!

July 12 - Margaret McNeil (Ballard)

July 12 - Margaret McNeil (Ballard)
Click on the picture of Margaret and you will be taken to the link that you can read about her.

July 11 - Jane Jenkins Howe

July 11 -  Jane Jenkins Howe
Please click on the photo to see the history of Jane Jenkins Howe entitled - A WIDOW SUPPORTING HER FAMILY

July 10 - Julia Anne Phippen Eldredge Evans

July 10 - Julia Anne Phippen Eldredge Evans
Click on the photo and it will take you to the link to read about Julia Anne Phippen Eldredge Evans

July 9 – Camilla Dorothy Jacobsen Corbett

July 9 – Camilla Dorothy Jacobsen Corbett
Click on the photo and it will take you to the link to read about this amazing Pioneer woman

July 8 - Catherine Gougar Goodman

July 8 - Catherine Gougar Goodman
This is a short story of a non-Utah Pioneer woman, who was taken by the indians as a little girl, and to read the rest of the story, you will have to click on the picture and it will take you to the link you need.

July 7 - Elizabeth Case Miliam Wheeler

July 7 - Elizabeth Case Miliam Wheeler
The life of this marvelous Pioneer woman can be found by clicking on the photo which will take you directly to the link. This woman is classic Mormon History as her story tells of her being apart of so many of the historical accounts in Nauvoo, Hauns Mill, handcart pioneers, and so much more. I found her story so interesting that I couldn't stop reading until it reached the end. It was also interesting to me that she was given 3 Patriarical blessings in her lifetime, and she was truely a wonderful woman. I know you will enjoy reading about her as I did. Love, Katie G.

July 6 - Pioneer Cooking

Since all of us cook, I thought it might be interesting to find out what Pioneer Women cooked, how they did it and recipes they used. I found quite a few recipes, but I would like to open this one up to you and if you have any authentic pioneer recipes, please send them to me and I will add them to this post. My email is just to the right of this page.

Click on this link to take you to the Pioneer Recipes:
http://visitingteachingsurprisedocuments.blogspot.com/2009/07/pioneer-recipes.html

I was also thinking that if you were to copy some of these recipes and print them off, that might be a fun handout for the Sisters you Visit Teach!

July 5 - Ann Parker

July 5 - Ann Parker
Sorry I am so late posting this story, but click on the photo and it will take you to the link where her story will be told.

July 4 - Margaret Ann Howard McBride (My Ancestor)

July 4 - Margaret Ann Howard McBride (My Ancestor)
I had to post about someone very special to me on this day. I chose one of my ancestors whose trek took her with the other ill fated pioneers of the Martin Handcart Company. I could not locate her photo, so I substituted one of her son's wives photos. Click on the photo and it will take you to the account given by two of her sons, of what she and her family dealt with after joining the church.

July 3 – Elizabeth Simpson Haigh Bradshaw

July 3 – Elizabeth Simpson Haigh Bradshaw
I hope that you are enjoying so far, the stories of these wonderful Pioneer women. I hope too that your testimony will strengthen as you read about those who came before us and the unimaginable things that they had to do to pioneer the way for us to have what we do in our wonderful church. My gratitude and love for them has deeply increased, and I would echo the words in the hymn..."Blessed, honored, Pioneer!" Click on the photo of Elizabeth and it will take you to her history and for more reading about Elizabeth, you can go to http://students.ou.edu/G/Erin.R.Ging-1/story3.html Also there is another account of Elizabeth found in a book that you can read by going to this link... http://books.google.com/books?id=rzkAcWtngX4C&pg=PA104&lpg=PA104&dq=BRADSHAW,+Elizabeth+Simpson+Haigh&source=bl&ots=UJEtgTZ4Sf&sig=2h_qWhKeYEiK6hM8ev95tiRuu2M&hl=en&ei=kHE-SpW4JpDosQOe94n0CA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4

July 2nd - Diana Lucina Spicer Block

You can find the posting of a marvelous Pioneer woman, whom I have chosen to spotlight on my other blog that is located at http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/ and just click on the link and it will take you there! I hope you are having some good Pioneer fun!

July 1st - Anne Eliza Leavitt Baker

July 1st - Anne Eliza Leavitt Baker
Did you think I forgot? Actually my life became so hectic today, that I am just getting some time to make my first Pioneer woman post. I hope you will enjoy reading about these marvelous women who came before us. I hope that you can feel their courage and understand that we too have a purpose for living in our generation. We are the generation that lives to prepare for the second coming of Christ,though none of us know when that will be.... and with that I will just say... Keep your wagons rolling along in good works, do your Visiting Teaching, strengthen your sisters through your testimony and determination to get your visiting Teaching done. Click on the photo and it will take you to the link where you can read about our Anne, who is most likely the woman in the middle front of the photo, holding the baby.

Visiting Teaching Tips, handouts and Ideas
For many years, I have been creating very cute and fun things to take to the ladies I Visit Teach. I have shared from time to time, my ideas with others and they have really appreciated them. I decided that since I do these anyway, I would start doing one every month and then post it on this blog to share with anyone for their Visiting Teaching. I do need to make a disclaimer.... the ideas, thoughts, stories, graphics etc. used are created by me and they are not in any way official LDS Church quotes, handouts or ideas. They are my creations or others as noted, except for the quotes that will come directly from the Monthly Visiting Teaching message found in the Ensign. Also, many thanks to the talented designers of the digital paper and elements that I use to create the beautiful artwork, and handouts you see on my blog.

You can go to http://www.lds.org/ and look up and even print the monthly message if you do not have your own Ensign magazine subscription in English or to choose to read the Liahona or Ensign in a different language go to http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=03103c7ff44f2010VgnVCM1000001f5e340aRCRD&locale=0.
For Spanish you can go to http://www.sud.org.es/

I highly recommend you get your own subscription because you will find a wealth of really good & wholesome, moral reading, that you can't find anywhere else. If you go to http://www.lds.org/ and click on "Gospel Library" then click on "Magazines" you can order your own Ensign, Liahona, New Era, or Friend magazines.
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Downloading

When you click on the pictures or ideas that I have on my site for you to download, sometimes the picture ends up really large. What you need to do to size it is to go to the "page button" then click on zoom. Take it down to 50% and that should fit better on your screen for viewing . Also, if you right click "save picture as" then save it to a file on your computer, you can size it using your own desktop publishing program and then print it off with my compliments! Enjoy!

A February Enrichment Idea

A February Enrichment Idea
"The Hearts of Angels" dinner & program. Click on the picture and it will take you to where you can find the entire program written out. Once you get to the site which is my Visiting teaching surprise, make sure to scroll down a ways because there are alot of other great ideas, printables and handoust before you will find this wonderful "Angelic' program. Enjoy!

Enrichment Ideas Anyone?

Enrichment Ideas Anyone?
I have also been enrichment leader from time to time as well as have been asked to do many projects for Enrichments. I am not sure if anyone would be interested in some of my ideas, but if you are, please leave me a comment and I will respond. One thing that relates to Visiting Teaching that I wanted to share is something I have taught for many years, and in fact my Daughter in her Park City ward just used this idea in their Super Saturday last week for the second time. It is Glass etching and it is really pretty easy and turns out to be a great project. The etching I do is etching glass casserole or platters with the name of the person who will receive this gift or for whomever is signed up for the class. I have given etched casserole dishes as wedding gifts and have taken many casseroles, rolls, cakes, and all kinds of goodies to people, and always get my dish back, because it has my name etched in it. Go to http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/ to get instructions.

Gardening with Kids

Gardening with Kids
Read the idea below

"Returning to the Past" A Relief Society Activity Idea

This is an email I received from a wonderful sister as well as a new Relief Society President about an idea that they will be doing as a theme for their activities for this year. (if you have a great idea to share, please email me at katie1956gauger@mindspring.com and we can add it to all the other terriffic ideas!

Dear Katie,
I just found your blog. It is so great. I love the idea of the Hearts of Angels. I am trying to figure out how we can use it for our VT conference and incorporate some of the things for our VT interviews. I am a new R/S president and all these things we have to do throughout the year are a little overwhelming. I love all of you ideas. So much work involved, thank you for being willing to share with all of us! I would love anything else you could pass my way.
WE had the thought earlier to use a theme of "Returning to the past" for our activities this year. So all of your old-fashioned pictures will be great to use as invites and handouts.
You might be interested in the idea we had for our B-Day dinner. We always have a progressive dinner in December to the homes of different sisters. We divide them up into about 5 smaller groups and go around to the different sisters homes in the ward. Because of the weather we cancelled it and had it at the church. We decided to do it for our B-Day dinner instead when the weather would be better. We are having the women bring a sack lunch with them and to wear something old, like a grandmothers broach or shawl, or to dress up in the time of the 1800's, and to bring a pint jar with a lid. We will have the sisters make lemonade at the first house and take with them in the jar that they brought, and then go to the next house. At the last house we will have and old fashioned cake to serve like apple walnut cake or something like that.
We still have some details to work out but at the end each member of the presidency will be at a different home and will share a prepared script. It will be written as if they were at the very first R/S meeting when the prophet Joseph Smith organized the R/S with just a handful of women.
Anyway, thank you for sharing what you have! You have a great talent!
Stacey McClellan - Blackfoot, Idaho


SELF RELIANT SISTERS BLOG HAS A GREAT ACTIVITY ABOUT GARDENING WITH KIDS - go to http://selfreliantsisters.blogspot.com/ It is well worth the time and a terriffic idea as Spring is just around the corner! Here is a tiny bit of information that you will see at the site.....

Gardening with Kids has great tips on getting kids started with gardening. Give your child some space; literally! Kids loving having spaces that are all their own, whether it`s their own desk area in the house, or the tent they've created with chairs and blankets in the family room. The same is true for gardening. Dedicate a small plot of the garden just for them. Put a fancy border around it, perhaps purchase one of the stepping stone making kits found at crafts stores in which they can mold their name and make their hand print.
Let them join you at the nursery. Let your kids know you value their opinion. Ask them which kinds of plants, flowers, and vegetables they like. Explain what will work well in your garden and what won't.
Give them (limited) choices. While you're at the nursery, ask them if they'd like pansies or petunias, marigolds or zinnias. This will give them the feeling of power without letting it get out of control.
Remind them money doesn't grow on trees. With older children discuss the budget. Let them help select seeds and blossoming plants at the nursery - and turn it into a math lesson. Let your child do the money calculations; they can tell you when the money runs out.
Let your child do what he will (especially if you have a preschooler). Let him dig, explore, play with bugs. You may be tempted to steer your child in another direction (like actually watering or weeding his garden), but this is a great way for your child to explore this exciting new universe.
Plan, plan, plan. If you have older children, say 8 or 9 or older, let them plot out their own garden on paper. Provide him or her with graph paper, pencils and seed catalogs. Give them a group of flowers and vegetables from which to choose, and then let them draw out their garden.
Get them their own gardening tools. Nothing will motivate your little gardener more than having her own little shovel, her own gardening gloves, and her own watering pail. And don't forget those bright colored rubber boots.
You need to go to the site and explore all the rest of the links and ideas.