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|Visiting Teaching on Facebook: Does it count?|
Aug. 12th, 2012 at 9:43 am
I was recently given a new visiting teaching list of sisters to visit. One sister, who I’ll call “Susan,” is a woman a keep in regular contact with on Facebook but who hasn’t attended church in our ward since she was baptized last summer. She attends with her fiancé in his ward occasionally, but they mostly travel a lot and run marathons.
Another of the sisters, who I’ll call “Patty,” is an inactive young woman with whom I also keep in regular contact via Facebook and even see in person occasionally. I’ve been this young woman’s visiting teacher for a few years.
The third woman I am assigned to visit, who I’ll call “Fran,” is someone I see regularly but we do chat via Facebook quite often. We’re on somewhat opposite schedules and her personal life is complicated. And my companion has been inactive for over a year and also pops up on Facebook occasionally.
So here’s my question: Does checking in with and holding “conversations” with the sisters we are assigned to visit qualify as actual visiting teaching?
In my case with Susan, she joined the church rather quickly and her fiancé is a life-long member who understands how we keep tabs on one another through home and visiting teaching. I don’t think she personally attended enough to get a good grasp on the program, though. So I don’t know if she understands the purpose of the programs. While I can reach Susan quite easily through Facebook, I know others seem to struggle reaching her. If she’s comfortable with this “level” of contact, is it enough? Or should I drop by her house with cookies and a “message”
In the case with Patty, I know she has little interest in the church. Her family is mostly active and lives nearby. She knows I’m active and that I am assigned as her visiting teacher. She lets me stop in to visit her from time to time and is very friendly. I try to keep our relationship casual and avoid too much discussion of religion. We recently had dinner (before my newest addition arrived) and she asked about joining our ward’s playgroup. I feel like this is good progress. But, does it count as visiting teaching?
Susan is a new assignment as of this month. Patty has been on my assignment list for a few years. And since I’ve been assigned to visit Patty, I’ve been marking my visiting teaching as completed with her each month as long as I’ve communicated more than just by clicking “Like” on her status.
What about you? In this age of instant-contact technology, do you connect with your assigned sisters via social media? And, if you do, is this enough to “count”?