Vancouver Mission Star

This message was written by President and Sister Middleton.  It also appears in the Vancouver Star, the weekly newsletter of the Vancouver Mission.  It is sent to each companionship throughout the mission.

Canada Vancouver Mission Newsletter                                                                                                             January 2, 2007


         First, may we wish all of you a very happy and prosperous new year.  The prosperity which we wish for you is a missionary prosperity that you might find, teach and baptize at an accelerating rate, that you will be blessed with good health, that your families at home will be blessed through your dedicated missionary service.  We pray that you will grow during 2007 in your testimony, in your teaching and organizational skills, in your Gospel knowledge and in your love for the Lord.

 The Essence of Missionary Success—Ask Many

        Reflecting on the nature of missionary work reveals that the process is always the same—we ask several to find the few who are prepared by the Lord to learn of His restored Church, His “elect.”  It has ever been so.  As we read of the missionary labors of the saints in ancient times in the scriptures, throughout the Old and New Testament, and throughout the Book of Mormon, missionaries have always had to present their invitation to learn of Christ and His Gospel to many people before finding the few elect of the Lord.  The same is true in this last Dispensation.  While their message was initially ignored by many, faithful Church members have heeded the command of the Lord when he told them, “And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts” (D&C 29:7).  Undaunted, faithful Church members have continued to ask as many acquaintances as is needed until they find one who consents to come with them to a Spiritual Tour of the Chapel, or to a Church dinner or activity which can be coupled with a Spiritual Tour. 

 Missionary work is much the same for full-time and member missionaries

        All full-time missionaries know and understand the concept of having to ask many to find the few.  Even the very best full-time missionaries must ask several hundred through tracting, GQing, etc. before they find the one who goes on to baptism.  When members ask their acquaintances, on the other hand, they ask far fewer than is necessary for full-time missionaries to ask before finding the one, but nonetheless they must ask several to find the few.

        Members don’t yet understand this concept.  They must be lovingly, patiently taught that if they Set-A-Date for themselves, a date by which they will have found an acquaintance to come with them to a Spiritual Tour of their Chapel with the full-time missionaries, or to a Church dinner or activity which can be coupled with a Spiritual Tour, they will likely need to ask 5, 10 or more acquaintances before they find the one who will come with them.  They must be patiently taught that their member missionary work is very similar to the work of full-time missionaries in that regard.  To accomplish the member missionary work the Lord has asked of them in Preach My Gospel, and in the thousands of talks given by the Brethren on the subject of how all members must become missionaries, members must understand that they will need to ask several to find the few.  It is a winnowing process the Lord has asked us to do, sifting through several before the elect is found.  To succeed, members must embrace the concept that they must keep asking with the same upbeat enthusiasm with each friend until they find the one.

 Every Active Member Knows Someone Whom the Lord Has Prepared

        Elder Gene R. Cook has made the excellent observation that there are hundreds if not thousands of the Lord’s elect living in all missions including in BC whom the Lord has already prepared through their life experiences to receive and accept an invitation to learn about the Church.  It is likely that every Church member in BC even now knows someone who is the Lord’s elect, but members won’t know until they ask which of their acquaintances is that elect.  They must lovingly be taught that they should ask repeatedly until they find the one.  With faith they must be taught that that person or family who is prepared is already known by them.  They then must ask lovingly but boldly several to find the one.  When all members fully embrace their important calling as a member missionary, a calling which every Church member accepts by virtue of being a member, the missionary work in their ward or branch will accelerate immensely. 

 Greater than 15 Full Lessons Brings Blessings, by Elders Russell Nebeker (and Joseph Pettersson)

        “We were worried about Rudy, one of our investigators, but he came to Church today and all is well.  We had seven non-members at Church today, so I can tell you that going over 15 full lessons really does bring promised blessings.”   

 Talks and Member Spiritual Tours Lead Members to Set-A-Date Commitments, by Sisters Jill Berrett (and Kristiana Bardardottir)

        “Several weeks ago Sister Little and I had planned with the Branch Council in the YSA Branch to have a Sacrament Meeting dedicated to missionary efforts, and specifically the Spiritual Tours.  I was asked to give a talk.  Inspired by the talk given to us by Elder Ronald Rasband, and with much divine help as I prepared, I knew that my words were what Heavenly Father wanted the branch members to hear, not simply what I wanted to say to them.  In my talk I told them about our need to find Heavenly Father’s “elect” (D& C 29:7) and the effort that it is going to take on each member’s part.  I then felt strongly that they needed to know why all of the missionaries are so focused on the Spiritual Tour of the Chapel, so I shared with them the idea that by focusing on this finding tool all of us will become the best at it that we can.  I shared with them a few of the Spiritual Tours that Sister Little and I had been able to give with some of the YSA members and their friends, and then asked them to think of how those Spiritual Tours would have felt to one of their friends or neighbors who had never felt the Spirit.  The Spirit was very strong in the meeting, and our Relief Society President was able to keep that Spirit going into Relief Society.

        “Before the Relief Society lesson she shared her own experience of coming on a Spiritual Tour with us.  She then passed a calendar around the room, asking the sisters to sign up for a day that they could come on a Spiritual Tour with us.  The calendar filled up, and we have at least three people signed up every week until the end of next month.  I realized how much these sisters wanted to help us—they just needed a little more information combined with a very powerful Spirit.”

        That we might boldly invite many to find the one is our prayer for each of our full-time missionaries and members.

--President and Sister Middleton


Reminder: Ask for a referral in every conversation with a member or non-member alike…

“Will you bring an acquaintance on a Tour, and when?”

Challenge members to Set-A-Date for a Tour or a Church event, which can be coupled with a Tour at least 3 times yearly.

Our goal is to find at least one new investigator each day.

Remember our mission goal: 10 Gospel contacts per day per missionary outside our usual finding and teaching duties. That includes a Gospel message to everyone you see.

 “Be not afraid, only believe”   -- Mark 5:36

 As weekly goals are set for each Key Indicator, pray for inspiration, and set goals that are lofty yet achievable. Our ultimate long-term goal is for at least 3 baptisms per companionship per transfer.

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