In case you don’t know it, my name is Arianna. My name and address and phone number are probably typed neatly on a piece of paper that you’ve somehow managed to lose or maybe never got or maybe hung up on your fridge with the intention of looking at it, but instead you’re letting it turn yellow and curl at the corners.
Whatever the case, I am not just a name on a paper, nor am I a number to add to the slim percentage that looms like an ocean storm over our ward and wards like our wards. I’m 21 years old and I am currently attending Utah State. I love collecting books, blogging, watching old Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn films, disappearing into the mountains for a few hours, and taking photographs. I’m the oldest in a family of six, or nine, if you count the dogs. I worry that I’m not a great sister, I worry that graduation is coming and I don’t know what will happen in my life, I worry that I’ll be alone.
I worry about a lot of things. Sometimes I worry that you don’t care much for me, that you’re afraid of me for some reason or you just don’t want to get to know me. I try not to think that that’s the way it is. After watching President Monson’s talk from the Priesthood Session, I got really excited and hoped that you had watched it and would come. So far, you haven’t. I don’t even know who you are or if you’ll ever come. Maybe I’ll never really have a solid home teacher — I can count the consistent ones I’ve had in the past three years on one hand. That might be okay to you and to the others like you, but it isn’t okay to me.
I don’t mean to guilt-trip you. Maybe you don’t think you’ll make any sort of difference. Maybe you say to yourself, “I see that girl at church. She’s doing fine,” when, in reality, I’m not always doing fine. It’s hard to go to school then work on my calling then go into work all day, day after day. Sometimes I get really overwhelmed by it all, really lonely, feeling like someone who completes tasks instead of someone who needs and deserves love and concern. You may think that I’m too busy for you, that you’d be a burden. But you wouldn’t be.
Maybe you’re busy. Maybe you say to yourself, “I’ve no time to visit this month.” But I’m not just a task on a to-do list. I’m a human being, a daughter of Heavenly Father. You’ve been assigned to look after me. Maybe you don’t get how important that is, how much good that can do for you as well as me. Maybe you just don’t understand how to prioritize. We all struggle with it, but at some point, we all have to own up to our faults and fix them.
When you come and visit, I feel the spirit and the comfort of knowing that someone cares enough to give me their time. When you come, I get to feel of your testimony and analyze my own, look at where I need strengthening. When you come, I know that I’m not alone, that someone is praying for me. When you come, I am more inspired than ever to love the girls I visit teach, to help lift and support them. I see Priesthood when I see you, and I feel of its power and partake of its blessings. Even if you feel like you’re not a great talker or very sincere, I still know that part of you cares, and that is enough. Sometimes all I need is the reassurance that someone is there when I need help.
I pretend that I can get through my week on my own, without the help of others. But my burdens are never so light when they are prayed for, looked after. Those are your responsibilities. You may see it as a duty that inconveniences you, but to me, you are a lifeline, a conduit through which I can feel the love of my Heavenly Father, especially in times when doubt pushes His love away and I can’t obtain it myself. You may think it’s no use trying, or, heaven for bid, that I am not worth your time. But I know that I’m worth His time, or He wouldn’t have put me on any list.
I don’t know who you are or what you’re like or what kind of a teacher you are, but I do know that your time and your presence matters to me. It matters a lot. When we both sacrifice these things, we are both edified. I want to be edified, but I also want you to be edified. I want to feel like I have helped you in some way, and I cannot do that unless we meet and talk together.
Home teacher, you have a life and you have worries and you have work and you have little time, but so do I. That’s why I need you now more than ever.