So, what is a visiting teacher? Well I like to explain it like this: they are sisters who visit with you, and teach you a lesson (share the thought for the month). It's not like institute or anything, more like a discussion, really. You really get to know and appreciate your visiting teachers. They are there for you and will help you with anything you need! Here's an excerpt from one of the church handbooks about visiting teaching:
“Visiting teaching gives women the opportunity to watch over, strengthen, and teach one another. Through visiting teaching, the Relief Society president helps the bishop identify and resolve short-term and long-term needs of the sisters and their families” (Handbook 2, 9.5).
The bishop can't be everywhere at once. This is why visiting teaching is such a blessing!
My first experience actually teaching was a different story. I was not prepared at all, and that is the one thing that I absolutely can not stand. I need to know what's going on, when, where and why. I got that from my mother.. :0
So one of my visiting teaching companions couldn't make it, so it was just my neighbor (and also friend) and I who went to these sisters' house. I didn't know there was a lesson involved until it was too late. I didn't know the structure, I didn't know what it entailed and I didn't know the sisters. I don't have a problem making new friends at all, but that was the cherry on top of the cake for me. I was incredibly overwhelmed. So that time was a bust. I'm hoping this month will be better!
If I were asked what tips to give, here's what I would say:
1. Know the lesson before hand. You can find them here.
2. Get to know your sisters. Don't make it strictly a lesson.
3. Let them know that they can come to you in time of need! (You are representing the Relief Society president as well as the Bishopric when you visit teach).
4. Have a tentative schedule. Here's an example I like to follow.
-talk about life, past week etc.
-make plans for next month
5. Know your companion. If they are shy, don't put them on the spot. Don't do the talking either. Let the Spirit guide.
6. Don't go to the same location every time! Spice it up! Try Starbucks, or an inexpensive restaurant!
Good luck ladies!! I know you will be great!