“They Came in a Golf Cart,” Ensign, Apr. 1977, 69
Let me tell you about my first Relief Society visiting teachers. When I say my visiting teachers I say it very possessively. They were mine and I was theirs.
I married out of the Church, and for the first two years my husband and I lived in an apartment in town and I worked six days a week. If visiting teachers came, they never found me at home.
Then two marvelous things happened: we had a darling baby girl and we bought a house—a 30-year-old bungalow in an old section of town. From a financial point of view, it may not have been the smartest thing to do, but from an eternal perspective, it turned out to be one of the best purchases we ever made.
We moved in on the first of October, and within two weeks my visiting teachers made their first visit. They arrived in a tiny green electric car, a golf cart really, and drove right up to the front door. Sister Nielsen was tall and thin, about seventy-five years old, and a convert from Sweden. The golf cart belonged to her. Sister Dietz was short and plump, eighty-two years old, and a convert from Germany. Although they had both lived in this country for many years, the language was still a problem. I could not understand much of what they said, and they often could not understand each other.
Physically, there was nothing they could do for me. I was young and healthy, my husband had a good job, and life was rosy. But spiritually there was a great deal they could do, and they seemed to know just how to do it. They never failed to tell me that they knew this is the true Church. I often wondered if I would have had the courage and strength to leave my native land for the Church as they both had done.
Sister Dietz had never met my husband, but somehow she knew that he was a good man. Every month without fail she would say in a lecturing tone, sometimes pointing a finger for emphasis, “You’ve got a good man; now you be good to him!”
Both Sister Dietz and Sister Nielsen had many grandchildren and even great-grandchildren, yet they took an interest in my baby. They seemed to care about her teething and learning to walk. They even took her for a ride in the golf cart.
It was disappointing when they were transferred the next October and two ordinary women, driving a Ford sedan and with no fascinating accents, took their place. It has now been twenty-four years since the days of Sister Nielsen and Sister Dietz, and in those years there must have been at least twenty-four pairs of visiting teachers. Naturally, I’ve learned to love them all, but there will always be a special place in my heart for those first two wonderful women, my visiting teachers.
The effects of their visits have been with my family over the years. Six years after they first came, the members of our ward had loved my husband into the Church and we were later sealed in the temple with our children. Our daughter can’t remember the ride in the golf cart, but she has a bit of a legacy from Sister Dietz. When she was married last summer in the Oakland Temple she said, “Mom, do you have any last minute advice for the bride?” The only thing I could think of to say was, “You’ve got a good man; now you be good to him.” Mildred B. Lindley, Walnut Creek, California