With the ward split that happened, our church time changed to 9:00 Relief Society followed by Sunday School and then Sacrament Meeting. Last Sunday, I arrived in Relief Society a little early and sat by myself. A lady I had not seen before came and asked to sit by me. I asked her name. I said, "I'm your visiting teacher!" Then I asked how long she had lived in the ward. She said only three months. I had been assigned as her visiting teacher when I was recovering from surgery, so I had not yet gone to visit.
She then asked me, "Do you have any children still at home?" I said, "We can't have children and have decided to pursue life without them." She proceeded to tell me that she was adopted (my guess is 50+ years ago).
I went to visit her on Wednesday afternoon. After we sat down in her living room she said, "I need to apologize for the question I asked you at church on Sunday. I usually ask that question when I meet someone new, but I have never had someone respond as you did. I learned a lesson on a question not to ask." We then had a great discussion on an appropriate question and an appropriate response. She was kind and understanding. I told her I try to be matter of fact in my response to that question and explained to her that the better question to ask first is "Do you have children?" Since the other question assumes everyone does have children. She thanked me for calmly teaching her something new.
I was very grateful for her receptiveness to understanding my situation and learning a better way to make small talk with someone new.