Dax Castro, member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is tired of making up excuses, and hearing other’s excuses, as to why another month has passed without completing his home teaching assignments. This led him to design an app that he hopes will make it easier for people to complete and report their home teaching visits on time each month.
“I got tired of feeling bad each month when the reminders to get your home teaching done came ’round. If this app can help[…] even a few people then I have done something good. Faith without works is dead. And this is my attempt to stop hiding behind excuses and start a movement within elder’s quorums around the globe. No More Excuses!”
Still in the developing stages, the app, My Home Teaching App, is set to have some very useful features:
This feature allows you, as the home teacher, to track a family’s progress with goals, such as: emergency preparedness, food storage plans, temple preparation, Family Home Evening, prayers, and scripture study. This allows the families that you visit to see how they are meeting their goal, where they can improve, and what seems to be working well for them. Tracking progress also helps you to know what you can do to help them reach their goals.
Take a photo of each family and each individual within the family on your phone and upload the image as their profile picture on the app.
This feature provides links to items on LDS.org to help with quick access to the First Presidency message, information on food storage, and even how to give a Priesthood blessing.
Personal Data Protection:
Any personal data uploaded to the app, about you or the families you home teach, is never saved online and the app requires a separate login. Therefore, the information is safely secured even if your phone is lost or stolen.
Smart Date Appointments:
The Smart Date Appointments feature helps make scheduling easier. Just select three dates and times that work for you, they will be sent to both your companion and the families you visit, and then those two parties will select the dates that work best for them. You will receive an email then prompting you to set up an appointment that is the most convenient for everyone.
Special Occasion Reminders:
Part of being a good home teacher is remembering days and events that are important to your assigned family. The app allows you to turn notifications on or off for special occasion reminders. Special Occasion Reminders can include birthdays and anniversaries.
Video Message of the Month:
For a quick lesson idea, simply pull up the video of the month and share the message as a spiritual thought from Church leaders.
In addition to all of the features listed above, Castro says that his favorite aspect of the app is the reporting feature:
I really like the ability of the app to compile all the status of each family and them create a pre-populated email where I can add comments if I want. Then when I press send it gets reported (emailed) to my Elder’s Quorum Secretary. I think giving status updates really helps beyond the “Yes I did my home teaching.” Gives more connection to the families at the EQ level and the user.
A kickstarter campaign for the app is set to open on September 1, 2014 and is meant to help raise money to fund the product. Castro says the goal is to have the kickstarter open for about 30 days and then launch the app 60 days after the kickstarter closes, which would make the app release date approximately December 1. 2014.
Learn more about this upcoming app at myhometeachingapp.com, and look for the kickstarter campaign to open on September 1, 2014. Those who donate to the campaign will receive a series of gifts dependant on the size of donation made (a free download of the app, a bumper sticker, a necktie, a t-shirt, or a sponsor link).