Fether

Home teaching alone

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My home teaching companion is MIA. And has been for a while. I just moved into the Ward and was immediately paired with this MIA member. 

In the past I have always just gone alone if my companion wouldn't come (which my last one was less active and I got him to about half the lessons).

Besides with single sisters, Is there anything written that suggests we shouldn't go alone? 

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I admire you for wanting to do home teaching. Super admirable of you. 

I know it's frowned upon, but you might want to bring the missionaries. The blunt truth is that sometimes you'll be stuck with a companion where it just won't work-personalities or schedules will conflict, and you need to do you home teaching. 

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23 minutes ago, Fether said:

My home teaching companion is MIA. And has been for a while. I just moved into the Ward and was immediately paired with this MIA member. 

In the past I have always just gone alone if my companion wouldn't come (which my last one was less active and I got him to about half the lessons).

Besides with single sisters, Is there anything written that suggests we shouldn't go alone? 

My companion only comes with me to visit one of our families, he isn't on board with home teaching, but likes this particular family.  The rest I do alone, or with my wife.  Lucky for her, one of my home teaching families is also one of her visiting teaching families.

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I pretty much always home teach alone.  My companions are usually not active or available (I think I had an active companion back in 2008 but not since then).  I actually enjoy and even prefer doing it alone, as the logistics are easier and I like having full control over the teaching.  I also feel like I get to know my families better and develop better friendships when I am alone.

Edited by DoctorLemon

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I've never been too upset when I have a "less active" companion. Put the strong with the weak, That is typically how the Lord works. ( I'm pretty sure there is a D+C scripture that teaches that)

What really breaks my heart is hearing from every one of my new home teaching families that I am the first HT they have had in a long time.

Edited by Fether

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Interesting topic.  In the men's portion last Sunday the speaker asked me to explain to everyone what I do to magnify my Home Teaching.  I stood up and said:  "Well, first I'd ask someone what Home Teaching is, then I'd do it really loud?.?.?" or something to that effect.  One of the other members saved me.

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

My home teaching companion is MIA. And has been for a while. I just moved into the Ward and was immediately paired with this MIA member. 

In the past I have always just gone alone if my companion wouldn't come (which my last one was less active and I got him to about half the lessons).

Besides with single sisters, Is there anything written that suggests we shouldn't go alone? 

It isn't neccessary.  But it is highly advised.  There is a reason most companionships are two-by-two.

If your companion is MIA, you can try asking for a priest or even a teacher to accompany you.  And sometimes, your wife would be an appropriate companion.

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39 minutes ago, Fether said:

I've never been top upset when I have a "less active" companion. Put the strong with the weak, That is typically how the Lord works. ( I'm pretty sure there is a D+C scripture that teaches that)

What really breaks my heart is hearing from every one of my new home teaching families that I am the first HT they have had in a long time.

When Mrs. Carb and I were first married we never even knew who our home teachers were.  I think we were married about five years before we received our first home teacher.  Then, he didn't have a companion.  But he was very faithful.  In fact, he reminded me a lot of @MormonGator.  He had an unorthodox appearance (longer hair, scruffy beard, more informally dressed).  But he had a heart of gold.

We were just happy to have someone come to our home.

Today we have a home teacher who really is pretty busy.  We know exactly what his schedule is.  And I don't know how he carves any time out for us at all.  So, he only comes by every third or fourth month.  And we're ok with it.  We're pretty close to his entire family.  We see him all the time anyway.  And I feel like I can call him if I need to.

Twice we had some car problems at the most inopportune times.  I called him up (I'll call him Joe) and he was willing to come help us out.  The last time was that my son got the truck stuck in a ditch.  We finally got it out.  To ease my son's sensibilities I made a joke and said,"Well, I actually blame Joe for this."  He looked at me wondering what I meant by that.

I said,"Well, you notice that those months you come home teaching, nothing happens to us?  Then you skip a couple of months and bam!  I've got to call you.  This is just the Lord's way of getting you to do your home teaching."  We had a nice laugh about it.

Edited by Guest

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Someone is better than no one. Also, I remember reading a blog post some years back prioritizing a relationship of trust over monthly visits when it comes to home teaching. @Carborendums home teacher is an excellent example of that.

Anecdotes: I once had a home teacher who brought his then-13 year old son with him because the 17 year old son (the junior companion) didn't realize he had to work the same time as our HT appointment. And I remember being Primary aged and going on visits with my dad (he was also the branch mission leader, so the visits could have been in that capacity for all I'd have known). I had a visiting teacher who would bring her whole family (husband and two daughters), but she also would call the family to the living room when my companion and I would visit her. 

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2 hours ago, seashmore said:

. Also, I remember reading a blog post some years back prioritizing a relationship of trust over monthly visits when it comes to home teaching.  

I agree completely. But a good relationship shouldn't replace the monthly visits.

On my mission we pushed talking with everyone and setting baptisms on the first visit with investigators (among other things).

Many elders would not talk with everyone. When asked why, they would complain about other elders just doing "for the number" and say things like "numbers aren't important, people are". A very similar situation with setting baptismal dates.

I propose that the number and the person are not just important but both are essential to building the kingdom of God. Church leaders cannot keep track of everyone's relationship with everyone else in the Ward. What they can do is keep track of who is being met with regularly by a home teacher, who's duty it is to report back any problems.

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When I did have a family to home teach, I've never had a companion to go with me, I just went it alone. I've been lucky to have really easy families that were really into the message. I don't have one right now and it has been three years since I have had one. I've brought it up in HP a few times, but the matter remains on the back burner, I imagine they have it covered. 

My home teacher is the first counselor to the Bishop, so, when I get a visit, the Bishop is usually in tow, or his second counselor. (I make sure I am an extra good boy when they are there) So, there is no flubbing up with my colorful tongue. I get regular visits, I also get phone calls twice a week, we're close, my home teacher and I. 

I'm not worried about the whole home teaching thing as much as I am anxious for our youngest son to be able to fend for himself as I really want to go on a senior mission with my wife. I'm hoping she can handle it, she's got some health issues plaguing her. I think she would be a gorgeous missionary. 

Ok, I fibbed, I do miss home teaching from time to time. 

Edited by Bad Karma

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12 hours ago, Fether said:

My home teaching companion is MIA. And has been for a while. I just moved into the Ward and was immediately paired with this MIA member. 

In the past I have always just gone alone if my companion wouldn't come (which my last one was less active and I got him to about half the lessons).

Besides with single sisters, Is there anything written that suggests we shouldn't go alone? 

I think you can always reach out as a friend/acquaintance. Elder Holland's recent clarifications allow you "visit" in the hall, by phone, e-mail, texts, letters, etc. Or you can get a buddy to go with you for safety, I think an in-home visit is always the most valuable.

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11 hours ago, Carborendum said:

It isn't neccessary.  But it is highly advised.  There is a reason most companionships are two-by-two.

If your companion is MIA, you can try asking for a priest or even a teacher to accompany you.  And sometimes, your wife would be an appropriate companion.

Re taking a juvenile priesthood holder with you my minimally informed opinion says that is a bad idea. In scouts we can't be alone with them, but now you want to have one alone with you in your car?  I'd just go alone rather than take someone's kid with me. I don't trust them.

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12 hours ago, Fether said:

My home teaching companion is MIA. And has been for a while. I just moved into the Ward and was immediately paired with this MIA member. 

In the past I have always just gone alone if my companion wouldn't come (which my last one was less active and I got him to about half the lessons).

Besides with single sisters, Is there anything written that suggests we shouldn't go alone? 

When I was a ward missionary (different from full-time missionaries), we were called upon to "substitute" for home and visiting teachers whose companions are traveling or moved out, etc.  It was part of our calling.  Usually though, home teachers whose companions are unavailable would bring their wives on the visit.  If the wife is not available, then they call on ward missionaries.  If they can't get a schedule worked up, they send a letter instead of make a visit.

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46 minutes ago, paracaidista508 said:

Re taking a juvenile priesthood holder with you my minimally informed opinion says that is a bad idea. In scouts we can't be alone with them, but now you want to have one alone with you in your car?  I'd just go alone rather than take someone's kid with me. I don't trust them.

You can take your complaint up with the Lord who specified:

Quote

46 The priest’s duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the sacrament,

47 And visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties.

....

51 And visit the house of each member, exhorting them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties.

52 In all these duties the priest is to assist the elder if occasion requires

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Can it really be said that going it alone is discouraged?

I mean, I won't get in the way of a motivated companion who really wants to go home teaching with me, but I certainly do not go out of my way to encourage an under-motivated companion.  Instead, I just do it alone (and, being fully honest with myself, I generally like doing it alone better unless I am really good friends with the companion).

Being fully honest with myself, this is how I feel about home teaching companionships.

Is this attitude wrong?

I guess I could do better in seeing home teaching as a chance to take care of my companion as well as the families I am assigned to teach.

Edited by DoctorLemon

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25 minutes ago, DoctorLemon said:

Is this attitude wrong?

 

No of course is isn't. In the real world, even two people who share the same basic values and beliefs will not always get along. It's called "life".

While all of us should try to put our personalities aside and work together (after all, we are all brothers/sisters) it would be shockingly naive of us to think it will always work out with hearts and flowers. There are people on this site that wouldn't go to the same ward as others here, much less home teach with them (Seriously, you ever met this guy @mirkwood? Total jerk!). 

As long as you are getting it done, that's all that matters. 

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28 minutes ago, DoctorLemon said:

Can it really be said that going it alone is discouraged?

I mean, I won't get in the way of a motivated companion who really wants to go home teaching with me, but I certainly do not go out of my way to encourage an under-motivated companion.  Instead, I just do it alone (and, being fully honest with myself, I generally like doing it alone better unless I am really good friends with the companion).

Being fully honest with myself, this is how I feel about home teaching companionships.

Is this attitude wrong?

I guess I could do better in seeing home teaching as a chance to take care of my companion as well as the families I am assigned to teach.

Compassionate Service doesn't have to be administered in pairs.  Teaching, on the other hand, is to be done with a companionship.  This way, truth can be better supported.

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My oldest son started home teaching when he was about 12.  My companion was often not able to come with me because of his work schedule, so I just took my son.  I would have gone alone, I had families, no single sisters, but decided to start teaching my son about HT early.

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3 hours ago, DoctorLemon said:

Can it really be said that going it alone is discouraged?

Yes.  I just did say it.  So, obviously it can be said. :D

BSF...

I think it is more about "in the mouth of two or three witnesses...."  But obviously Ammon went alone as a missionary, while his brothers went two-by-two.  Alma went alone and found it was not successful.  But then Amulek joined him...

I had a single sister that I once taught.  As I called to make an appointment she asked if I had a companion (I did not have one assigned to me) I told her that I'd be bringing my deacon aged son.  That was acceptable to her.  After we met, she realized that I was much younger and much smaller than her.  So, she told me it would be ok if I didn't bring my son.  I guess she didn't feel threatened anymore.

So, there are reasons that you want to have two people.

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3 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

So, there are reasons that you want to have two people.

Many reasons, actually. The sad truth is that sometimes you need an extra person for a witness for depressing reasons. How would your wife feel if the single sister you visited said you made a pass at her or something? If you have a witness there he can say "Um, no." It's a sad life truth and I'm sorry for even bringing it up. 

Edited by MormonGator

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2 hours ago, MormonGator said:

Many reasons, actually. The sad truth is that sometimes you need an extra person for a witness for depressing reasons. How would your wife feel if the single sister you visited said you made a pass at her or something? If you have a witness there he can say "Um, no." It's a sad life truth and I'm sorry for even bringing it up. 

I once walked into and was somewhat trapped in a potentially dangerous situation when visit teaching alone. I have made new rules for myself, never visit anyone that you do not know well alone.

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19 hours ago, mirkwood said:

My oldest son started home teaching when he was about 12.  My companion was often not able to come with me because of his work schedule, so I just took my son.  I would have gone alone, I had families, no single sisters, but decided to start teaching my son about HT early.

My ward puts young men in the HT rotation.  I thought this was a standard thing with the Church.  They always assign young men with their fathers.  Fathers with 2 or more priesthood holder sons gets to have 2 or more HT companions.  They even put young men on the... ugh, can't remember the name for it.. you know when missionary companionship split up and take members of the ward with them to teach instead.  What's that called again?  Anyway, they get to be put on that list with their fathers.

Edited by anatess2

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17 hours ago, Sunday21 said:

I once walked into and was somewhat trapped in a potentially dangerous situation when visit teaching alone. I have made new rules for myself, never visit anyone that you do not know well alone.

Yup. The blunt truth that some members can't accept (some, not all) is that just because you go to the same church and share the same basic values doesn't mean you are a "good person" not capable of doing wrong things. In my view, this is why Utah is known for Affinity fraud (not an insult or pejorative, statement of fact. http://www.economist.com/node/21543526) . People think "Hey, he's my elders quorum president, so he's a nice guy. I'll give him my money for his shady business." It might by a cynical way of looking at things, but there is some truth to it. Just because the guy goes to church doesn't mean he's a good person. 

Edited by MormonGator

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