“I’m Never Going Home Teaching Again!” Ensign, August 2009, 70–71
My 15-year-old son was excited about the many things going on in his life—friends, skateboards, cars, and his learner’s driving permit. He was not, however, excited about his responsibilities as a home teacher.
My heart sank one Sunday when he said, “Home teaching is a waste of time. I’m going to call my adviser and tell him that he needs to get someone else because I’m never going home teaching again!”
Before he had the opportunity to find his priesthood adviser’s name in the ward directory, however, the telephone rang. It was his newly assigned home teaching companion, Brother Bernd Suckow, who spoke with a thick German accent.
“Toby, I’m coming to get you right now,” he said. “You are my new companion, and I thought we could make a few visits. It is good? OK. Good-bye.”
Brother Suckow was either inspired not to wait for a response, or he assumed that Toby’s surprised silence was synonymous with consent. Either way, 10 minutes later there came a knock at the door. Before Toby could protest, an ebullient man had pulled him outside and stuffed a set of car keys into his hand.
“Your name is Toby? Nice to meet you,” Brother Suckow said. “Toby, it is the Sabbath, and I test-drive cars for a living. I think it is not so good for me to drive on the Sabbath since it is my vocation. Can you help me out? Do you have a driving permit? Can you drive us to our home teaching appointments?”
Toby’s jaw dropped as he saw the late-model sports car that Brother Suckow was test-driving that week. He quickly realized that he had almost lost what promised to be a memorable home teaching assignment.
When they returned a short while later, Toby showed Brother Suckow some new computer equipment, and they were soon talking about the latest trends in technology. When he left, Brother Suckow said, “I think it is good if we finish up our home teaching visits next Sunday. What do you think, Toby?”
Toby’s little brother blurted out, “Can I be a home teacher too?”
Toby never hesitated when it came time to home teach with Brother Suckow. After a few months, home teaching was no longer about the nice cars he had the opportunity to drive. Rather, Brother Suckow had become a genuine friend, and Toby learned how important home teaching was to the families they visited.
Brother Suckow and his wife, Barbara, eventually returned to Germany. Our stake misses them greatly. I will never forget Brother Suckow’s powerful example of love for a young man whose testimony of home teaching needed a jump start.