We had another of our visiting teaching socials this evening - only had 4 of the sisters come, which was a little less than we had hoped - 8 or 10 is better. There were several last minute calls - a couple were sick (thank you for not coming!) and one sister who visits a difficult sister got a phone call from her and decided she needed to do that visit instead (agreed!).
Even so, we had a great time and again there was someone who seemed to have a very personal need and found help tonight. She is dealing with a teen-age daughter who at 15 has suddenly turned extremely difficult and she is at her wit's end. Another of the sisters there has a daughter who is in her first year of college, but they went through the exact same thing with that daughter. It was just what Kristin needed - to talk to someone who had been through it and whose daughter is now at BYU-I and completely back to her original wonderful self. The two of them spent almost the whole time by themselves talking. So that alone made it a success!
The rest of us shared a few personal stories - the suggestion is "something we don't already know about you." We had some great stories and it really helps to build a connection. We also did the VT interviews. When everyone had left, the three of us in the presidency discussed the interviews and felt good about what we had learned.
This is certainly a different way to do this, but VT Conferences or Workshops just don't cut it. We feel that we are reaching more sisters and it is so much more personal that there will be benefits down the road that will far outweigh the burden on us having these socials every week or two. They will continue into April before we finally get them done and then we will have to personally meet with those who never came to a social to get their interviews. The bishop is very pleased with the success so far, though, and is encouraging us to keep it up. He likes that we are trying something new. Obviously the old way was not working!