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:

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

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 to print this off and write your note. 

Enjoy!  Katie G

Thursday, August 23, 2012


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 where the full message can be found of  "Taking Action in Time of Need " 

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:

" 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

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 \

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

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 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:

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 Also there is another account of Elizabeth found in a book that you can read by going to this link...,+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 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 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
For Spanish you can go to

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 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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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 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 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 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.