Friday, January 27, 2012
I just had the loveliest visit from my Visiting Teachers today and I thought I would share my experience with you. First of all, I need to clarify something with you. I have not always had the kind of Visiting Teachers visiting me, that I needed to have. I also have to admit that at one time in my life, I asked to NOT have Visiting teachers come to me for a variety of reasons, even though I have always been active in this church. But this time, I do have them, and I am so grateful. Today, we had a great visit just talking about different things, and one of this partnership had to go to work, and left. The other half of the partnership stayed and we visited and visited and I felt loved.
She sincerely asked me to tell her what I wanted in a Visiting Teacher. From the experiences that I have had throughout my life, both good and not so good, I shared with her many of them that led me to know exactly what I hoped for in my Visiting Teachers. With a tear in my eye and tender feelings surfacing, I told her that bottom line with me was that I wanted to know that my Visiting teachers really want to come to my home each month to visit me. I want them to actually care for me and develop a genuine friendship. I said that when my Visiting Teachers left our visit, that when they said, "let me know if I can do anything for you", that they really mean it, and aren't just saying it.
I don't need all that I do for the ladies that I teach or even the things that I display on my blog, but I do need and want a trusted friend. I am so pleased to say that I believe that these two sweet sisters, are what I have hoped to have as Visiting Teachers. I believe that they really do care for me, and that if I needed a listening ear, or if I needed to reach outside of my own family for help in any way, that I could call on them. Now how nice is that?
I told this friend of mine, that I am the kind of Visiting teacher that I want to have, and that is important to me. I believe that everyone wants and needs to be thought about and watched over. I also know that unless women can understand just how important Visiting Teaching is in the lives of LDS women, that many will feel the way that I use to feel. NOW, I hope that these sisters don't get reassigned anytime too soon, because I love to be able to look forward to their visits, and know that our friendship will continue to develop over time.
Sisters, I have been very frank about my feelings and vision for Visiting Teaching. I have opened my heart and expressed my feelings that have been hidden for years. It's sort of like I told my Visiting teachers today, the reason I began writing my Visiting Teaching blogs, was because I hoped to promote the good efforts and maybe motivate sisters to understand the importance and vision of what this wonderful calling is all about. I began my google group "Extraordinary Visiting Teachers" because of wanting sisters to share uplifting ideas and conversation and get the job done. I hope that all of you will catch the vision and be the Visiting teacher that your sisters need in their life, remembering it isn't the numbers or percentages that really matter in this work, but it is the friendshipping, love and service that you provide. Watch care, that is what it is all about and Sister Julie Beck said it all in the following quote taken from this months Visiting teaching message:
"Through visiting teaching, we provide watchcare by contacting each sister, sharing a gospel message, and seeking to know her and her family's needs. “Visiting teaching becomes the Lord’s work when our focus is on people rather than percentages,” explains Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president. “In reality, visiting teaching is never finished. It is more a way of life than a task. Faithfully serving as a visiting teacher is evidence of our discipleship.”
Lives can be changed and hearts softened through Visiting Teaching! Many women who had fallen away are now back into this marvelous church because Visiting teachers kept coming. The time that you take away in doing your Visiting teaching will come back to you again and again. I know too that when we meet our Lord one day and when he asks us the accountability questions, and in particular..."And how did you do with your Visiting Teaching", I want to be able to look Him in the eye and say .... Lord, I did my best, and I loved and cared. I can only hope that He will answer... "Well done, thou good and faithful servant, and inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my bretheren, ye have done it unto me. "
It is my prayer that you will become a disciple of Jesus Christ as you minister over the sisters that you teach.
Enjoy! Katie G.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Home Storage - Build on the Basics: http://www.ldspreparedness.com/Files/dpEnsign.pdf
72 hour Checklist by Rachael Woods:
Directions for storing water:
One Year Supply Cooking Fuel - http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/fsme/docs/cookingfuels.pdf
Waste/Sewage/Toilet: This link is no longer valid.
Homemade Solar Ovens for cooking: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Cooking/cooking.htm
Card Board Box Solar oven http://www.instructables.com/id/Cardboard-Box-Solar-Oven/
Build a solar cooker http://solarcooking.org/plans/http://solarcooking.org/plans/
Bonnie has been collecting all this information over the years from different sources, and including a great booklet that you will see came from a prior ward that she attended, to give credit to them for their sharing as well. Also, the photos I have inserted all came from the basement of Bonnie's home. She practically has her whole basement dedicated to food storage, and it is so organized. This woman is AMAZING and so gracious for sharing her knowledge.
Enjoy! Katie G
I received an email from a reader telling me that the church now days encourages people to get a 3 month food storage supply rather than a years supply. Essentially telling me that a 1 year supply was outdated information. My feelings are that yes, the church does encourage you to have a 3 month supply, but on Provident Living.org, they also say that the 3 month supply should be those things that your family would normally eat, but long term storage should also be stored. This is exactly what they say copied from the website:
"Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for three months. These items should be rotated regularly to avoid spoilage"
If you scroll down further on the site, it also has a Longer Term Food Supply recommendation that reads as follows:
"For longer-term needs, and where permitted, gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive, such as wheat, white rice, and beans. These items can last 30 years or more when properly packaged and stored in a cool, dry place. A portion of these items may be rotated in your three-month supply.
I have written a letter to Provident Living in hopes to clarify further this question of a 1 year food storage supply. I have not yet received an official reply as of yet, however I believe that a 3 month supply is to get us by in a short term crunch, however if there were such a disaster that lasted longer than 3 months, and it took more time to get on top of the challenges that come from such disasters, those who have only prepared for the short term, maybe wishing that they had heeded the words of our prophets who have for years, told us to get a 1 year long term food supply for our families. I hope that life as we know it does not ever require us to have to live on a wheat and water and the few things like the pioneers had to live on while they crossed the plains. I hope we always live in a land of plenty however we already know of countries whose population lives with famine and starvation.
I believe that if we follow the advice and counsel of our leaders to prepare a 3 month supply, as well as prepare for long term needs of at least one year, that we will be blessed and will be prepared in the event that we may need it. If you disagree with this, and only prepare for 3 months, then that is your choice, but as for me and my house, We will follow the council we have been given for years to build a 1 year food supply.
Friday, January 13, 2012
I wanted to just put in another punch for the Google group that I started some years back called "Extraordinary Visiting Teachers" To this point, there have been around 400 women join, and finally the commentary has begun and it is wonderful. Women are sharing their ideas of what they are doing with regard to Visiting Teaching and being an Extraordinary Visiting Teacher. Come join, and please be sure to comment. Just click on the Title of this post, and it will magically take you to the Extraordinary Visiting Teachers Google group.
Enjoy! Katie G.
Monday, January 9, 2012
My husband and I were having our Family home evening tonight, and he was sharing with me some of the messages he has read in this months Ensign. For some reason, I found it surprising that he read the Visiting Teaching message, and even more surprising, that he pointed out to me a quote, that didn't jump out at me when I first read the message. He read to me this quote from Eliza Snow, the 2nd General R.S. President:
“A teacher … should surely have so much of the Spirit of the Lord, as she enters a house to know what spirit she meets in there. … Plead before God and the Holy Ghost to get [the Spirit] so that you will be able to meet that spirit that prevails in that house … and you may feel to talk words of peace and comfort, and if you find a sister feeling cold, take her to your heart as you would a child to your bosom and warm [her] up.”
When my husband read this to me, immediately my mind was drawn to some past visiting Teaching visits, where the sisters that I taught needed what Sister Snow said..."peace and comfort" and as she describes in a different way... I think she means "A HUG". I thought about the instances where my sisters needed a hug, and I knew just how important that a timely visit from me really was for them. They needed a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, someone to commiserate with and words telling them that they aren't alone. I am so grateful for the Spirit opening my heart to listen, and know what those needs were.
I too have had need for a hug from my visiting teachers from time to time, and I have felt so blessed to have been given some caring sisters to provide me the watch care I need. We all have need of watch care, and how blessed we are when we have sisters whom we have developed a friendship with and know that they really do care when they say they do. Not only do they care, but they act upon those feelings and provide the watch care that is needed.
I will be the first one to admit that I have not always been able to develop the kind of relationship with all of my visiting teachers that I should have. Trust has always been a huge issue with me, and I personally need to feel that I can trust that when my Visiting Teacher says she wants to be there for me, or help me, or bring in a meal or whatever, that she isn't just saying it, but she really means it. Believe me, I know the difference. I want to know that when my Visiting Teachers leave me with a hug, that I feel their warmth and friendship, that our spirts have connected, and I and know that they genuine in their watch care of me.
This is probably one of the greatest reasons that I am doing what I do with this blog. I have such a strong testimony of the value and importance of good Visiting Teachers, that if I can encourage anyone who reads this blog, to go the extra mile, or to understand and gain the testimony of her own, of the importance of the watch care given as a Visiting teacher, then I will have accomplished something great on behalf of my Heavenly Father.
My Ward has a phenomenal Relief Society President. She is tireless, constantly filled with love and fervor, and absolute zeal in her calling. Every single Sunday when she takes a moment to bolster up the sister in Relief Society, I feel like I have been spiritually fed through her words. She lives every word that comes out of her mouth. She says, and she does, if you know what I mean. I know how much time she spends in watching over the sisters in our ward. I know because my husband is the Bishop and she is at my home or on the phone very often discussing needs, concerns or whatever about the sisters she has stewardship over, with the Bishop.
One occasion in Relief Society, she was sharing how important those little papers are to her, that are shown in the prior post. After you have finished reading this post, scroll down and see the "Caring that Counts" page. She says that when these reports are turned into her monthly, she pours over them and it allows her to really know the sisters and their needs, and act upon meeting the needs of those who have things going on in their lives that need care given. These little papers, which are essentially feedback from vigilant Visiting Teachers, are so important because no matter how much time she spends in her calling, she can't know everything, unless we, her Visiting Teachers, do our part. So just how important do you think Visiting teachers are? Without them, how many sisters needs wouldn't be met,just because nobody knew about them?
Anyway, I hope you appreciated my thoughts, and perspective on Visiting teaching for this month. Enjoy! Katie G.
P.S. A little note about the photo that I have used for this blog post. When I began searching for the right photo, I was absolutely drawn to this one, and it was from "The Daughters of my Kingdom" book that our church recently published and distributed to all the women of the Church. Here is the link to that wonderful book and if you have not yet taken the opportunity to do so, read it! http://lds.org/relief-society/daughters-in-my-kingdom/manual/chapter-7?lang=eng
I think the reason I liked it so much was because one of my sisters I teach looks just like the woman who is giving the Watch Care to the elderly woman. Ironically enough, this sister is also providing care for her own mother, and I imagined this picture continually as she cared for her own mother.
Monday, January 2, 2012
1. We provide watchcare by contacting each sister
2. Sharing a gospel message
3. Seeking to know her and her family's needs
How much more clear does it need to be? We need to contact our sisters and share the message and make sure that we don't leave until we know her needs as well as the needs of her family.
My ward Relief Society President went to the yearly training meeting for the Relief Society presidencies all over the church that was held in Salt lake City, Utah. She said that she was able to sit on the front row, and afterwards was approached and spoken to by Julie Beck herself. She was so edified by what she had heard from Sister Beck that she brought home the message, studied it out in her own mind and came up with a way to be more accountable for the Visiting Teaching that is done in our ward. She came up with a program that was taken from the very words that Sister Julie Beck spoke at that meeting. Below is the record sheet that our Relief Society President has designed and implemented in our ward.
A. Are there any needs or concerns that she has? If so, how are you helping to resolve the issues?
B. Have you seen her in Sacrament meeting?
C. Is there any good news she has to share?
Each visiting teaching partnership fills this out for each sister that they visit teach and either submits it to their supervisor or if there are sensitive things that are disclosed, submits directly to the Relief Society President. These papers let the Relief Society President know exactly how all the women are in the ward. It is difficult for her to know everything but when the Visiting teachers are doing their jobs, then she does know and then can act to assist the needs of the sisters of the ward. It is a wonderful and inspired program and I wanted to share it with you because after all... my blog's purpose is for ideas, tips and handouts about Visiting Teaching.
Enjoy! Katie G.
General Conference Talks
General Conference Reports
Proceedings of Recent General Conferences
What shall we give?
An Apostles Easter Thoughts on Christ
This short video is an Important message from the mouths of our Prophets!
July 6 - Pioneer Cooking
Click on this link to take you to the Pioneer Recipes:
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 2nd - Diana Lucina Spicer Block
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.
Posted by Katie Gauger at 10:41 AM 0 comments
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"Returning to the Past" A Relief Society Activity Idea
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.