Thursday, May 24, 2012

Visiting Teaching, California Style

Last time I posted, we were living securely in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. We aren't originally from there, and have no family there, but had been there for several years and had made a home of it. We owned a house and enjoyed serving in the ward there.

As of this writing, we have been living in San Jose, California, for nine months. My husband took a new job here, so we moved. Of course the actual moving was more complicated than that, but the concept is pretty straightforward: New job. Move.

Much as I didn't want to move to Wisconsin in the first place back in 2004, it broke my heart to drive away.
We really threw ourselves into our church callings in Eau Claire and grew to love the people there. But it has struck me that no matter where you are or which people you serve, it is all part of the Lord's work.

This was particularly clear to me as I went visiting teaching for the first time in our new ward. I'd had a great route in Eau Claire, and had built some lasting relationships with our sisters. But as I went on my first visits in San Jose, I had this underlying sense that this visiting teaching was only pretend. After all, visiting teaching for me meant going with Lisa to visit Virginia, Jane, and Dianne on a Friday afternoon in Eau Claire. In San Jose I was with a bunch of strangers.

But there was something familiar about it as well. The gospel was the same. The Spirit was the same. Even though I didn't yet personally know the sisters in San Jose, we could still come to a meeting of hearts as sisters in the gospel.

I still miss Lisa as my companion and good friend, and I miss visiting with Virginia, Jane, and Dianne. But if I were still in Wisconsin, I'd never have had the opportunity to work with Nancy as my new companion. I wouldn't have gotten to know Amy, Jenn, Margaret, or Julie. I wouldn't have had the chance to pray for them in their trials, or to learn from them and enjoy their company. I wouldn't have been able to learn how to magnify my calling as a visiting teacher from Nancy's steady example. I wouldn't have made these new friends.

I don't know how long we will stay in California. But I do know that the work of the Lord is the same wherever we go. Individuals and circumstances differ, but we are all children of the same Heavenly Father and part of the same work. The work is the same.


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