“Thank You for Your Service,” Ensign, April 2016, 11
I don’t know your name, how old you are, or anything else about you. All I know is that you are Joann’s visiting teacher, and I appreciate your conscientious service with all my heart.
I know that visiting a less-active sister like Joann (name has been changed), my daughter-in-law, is not easy, especially when she probably isn’t very welcoming. I doubt she even wanted you to come at first. But Joann has told me you have been a real friend to her, stopping by to see how she’s doing and accepting her as she is.
In the 19 years since Joann married my son, this is the first time she has ever mentioned having a visiting teacher. Recently she told me how regularly you visit and how thoughtful and kind you always are. She said you have helped her several times when she was sick and have even offered to take my granddaughter to Young Women.
For the past 10 years, she, my son, and their family have lived hundreds of miles from us. I have prayed that others would love and care for them as I do, and I have pleaded tearfully with Heavenly Father that others would reach out to them as I would if they lived close by. From what Joann says, you are the answer to my prayers.
Even if Joann and my son don’t obey the Word of Wisdom and don’t attend church, they are still good people and they love their children. Somehow your eyes were not clouded by Joann’s cigarette smoke. You did not define her by whether she attended church. You got to know her and learned that she is a loving mother who wants her daughter to attend church and gain a testimony. And when Joann had surgery, you brought in dinner instead of wondering if she had brought some of her health problems upon herself.
How grateful I am that you are an example for my granddaughter. She can look up to you as someone who cares about everyone and goes out of her way to show loving concern. She told me that one day when you didn’t have a car, you walked more than a mile to her house with your small children to bring cookies.
“I was thinking of you and your mom and wanted to do something nice for you—just because,” you told her.
I wish I could tell you how much I appreciate your dedication to your calling as a visiting teacher. You epitomize those women who, since the days of Nauvoo, have served each other through loving and inspired visiting teaching. You have demonstrated that service and love through the way you have affectionately visited my less-active daughter-in-law.