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Ask Angela: My visiting teachers and I don't get along

Published: Saturday, Feb. 2 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

Dear Angela: I don’t like when my visiting teachers come to my house.

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Dear Angela,

I don’t like when my visiting teachers come to my house. I know they are trying to be nice, but they talk to me exclusively about boys every time they come. “Who are you dating?” “Who do you want to date?” “When was the last date you went on” “Date blah blah dating boys blah blah.” Maybe the other girls in the ward like dishing about that kind of thing, but it’s not really my style. Plus, they stay for nearly an hour and a half when they come — and not to sound cliché —but “ain’t nobody got time for that.”

I wish they would come, have a few pleasantries and share the message without all of the boy talk. But since they haven’t done that, now I wish they just wouldn’t come at all. How can I communicate that without hurting anyone’s feelings?

Sincerely,

TaughtOUT!

Dear TaughtOUT,

Talk to your ward Relief Society president. Relief Society presidencies and sisters assigned to oversee the visiting teaching program spend a lot of time and effort matching everyone up and trying to make sure that all the sisters are enjoying meaningful visits. So if you feel like you and your teachers aren’t a good fit, express that to your Relief Society president. Maybe she’ll assign you new visiting teachers or maybe she’ll provide training to help your visiting teachers serve you more effectively — either way, she’ll do something.

In the meantime, cut these girls some slack! In a Mormon singles ward, the dating topic gets old fast, but you know, going into a girl's house that you may not know that well to talk about sacred things can be intimidating and talking about boys is an easy (albeit not the best) ice-breaker.

I just did my visiting teaching this past week (end of the month, oops!) and in the message it said, “Capture the vision that the Relief Society … can become (one of) the most powerful friendshipping resource(s) we have in the church. Reach out … and love them ….” One of the ways the Relief Society carries this vision is through the visiting teaching program. Plus, notice how the quotation doesn’t specify that the teachers need to do the reaching out — you can, too. If they’re talking about guys and you’re thinking “I hate this/them,” then change the subject. “For me, talking about boys isn’t fun, but I was thinking about (insert new conversation topic here), what do you ladies think about that?”

So, I want you to know that I feel for you on your I-don’t-have-time-for-this attitude, but don’t give up on the program. Participating in visiting teaching can bless you with greater spirituality, a more connected feeling at church, lasting meaningful relationships and help when you need it. I’ve personally experienced all of those things, and you can, too.

Love,

Angela

PS. Give us an update on how things go on our Facebook page or in the comments section!

Dear Readers: How have you benefitted from home or visiting teaching? Have you shared any of TaughtOUT’s struggles? How have you overcome those feelings?

Got a topic you'd like to submit for discussion? Send to askangela.dn@gmail.com and like us on Facebook to see video reactions to this and other Ask Angela columns: facebook.com/askangelaslc.

Twitter: askange_column; angelatrusty

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