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 9, 2007


        When Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi toured our mission, he gave us several excellent, inspired and very practical ideas for our missionary labors, ideas by which we might reach President Gordon B. Hinckley’s challenge to double our baptisms.  He has followed our mission’s progress since his tour and sent us a succinct summary of his thoughts on how to be a successful missionary recently, a copy of which we have shared with our missionaries last transfer.  We focus in this STAR on Elder Kikuchi’s challenge to us in regard to striving toward more “full lessons” (30 or more minutes of teaching focused on a lesson or principle in PMG):

        “Teach full lessons—planned with prayer—of 30-45 minutes or more.  Increase the number of full lessons and teach 2 or 3 everyday until you are reaching up to 18 lessons per week.  The mission should average eventually 15-18 full lessons in a week.”

        Elder Kikuchi went on to observe, “When the mission averages 12-13 or more full lessons each week by each companionship, then convert baptisms will at least double.  When the mission averages 15-18 full lessons per week by all companion sets, convert baptisms will increase even more.”  Elder Kikuchi has promised that the Canada Vancouver Mission will more than double its baptisms when the goal of 15 or more full lessons is attained weekly by each companionship!!

 Why Does a Mission Average of 15 Plus Full Lessons More Than Double Baptisms?

        To achieve Elder Kikuchi’s challenge requires intense, focused, hard work.  It requires making many phone calls each evening to confirm the next day’s appointments, and to fill in gaps in the next day’s schedule with member or non-member Spiritual Tours and lessons.  Elder Kikuchi noted a few other components in missionary success, all of which will be realized by any companionship achieving 15 or more full lessons weekly.  Those components include member referrals, the KEY to success (his emphasis); exact obedience in morning schedule (“the morning is the symbol of our resurrection”); challenges to “eternal investigators” to progress; working with non-member spouses and children in part-member families; achieving companionship unity; finding more faith, “like unto the sons of Nephi in the Book of Helaman” (Hel 3:27-28); contacting many people daily by “your own finding;” and mastering all the lessons so that “you can teach your investigators with power and authority at anytime (emphasis by Elder Kikuchi).  To this list he added the importance of presenting Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision using Elder Kikuchi’s style: “present it speaking slowly (15 miles per hour speed), with a prayerful, humble attitude with the power and authority of God.”

        All of these attributes can and will be realized by each member of a companionship which averages over 15 full lessons weekly.  That is why the goal of 15 or more full lessons is so important, and the results of compliance with his admonition will be so great!

 Fifteen Plus Full Lessons Weekly By Every Zone

        Understanding the importance of Elder Kikuchi’s challenge, our missionaries achieved 15 or more full lessons for the week ending Dec. 24th in 6 of our 9 zones (20.8 average full lessons that week by the Victoria Zone, with Sisters Brittany Dow and Dionne Oliver reaching 40 full lessons that week)!  Our mission averaged 15.2 full lessons for that week!  Congratulations are in order.  Our goal of having every zone average over 15 full lessons weekly is within sight.

        We would challenge every companionship to reach 15 or more full lessons weekly.  Of course that isn’t always possible, if sickness or other problems beyond your control intervene.  But if healthy, we would challenge all to reach 15 or more full lessons.  As Elder Kikuchi has promised, and as our missionaries are finding, the Lord will bless you.  If you serve in a ward or wards with many members, a companionship goal of 20 or more full lessons would be more realistic.  The commitments obtained at the end of each full lesson, of course, play an important role in the increased baptisms realized by reaching at least 15 full lessons each week.

 Spiritual Chapel Tours Bring Success in North Vancouver, by Elders Scott Marianno (and Kelby Godfrey)

        “The Church Spiritual Tour program is finding success in North Vancouver.  The North Shore Ward currently has 15 Tours set up in accordance with Elder Ballard’s Set-A-Date Program.  We recently gave a Tour to a non-member visiting from Las Vegas.  She is married to a less-active member who ‘invited her to attend Church while she was in Canada.’  The Spiritual Tour sparked her interest in the Church as well as introduced her to the message of the Restoration.  The Spirit was strong as we testified in the chapel of the truthfulness of the First Vision.  She now has a baptismal date set for later this month.  We attribute her success to the Spiritual Tour, which enabled her to become familiar with the Church before Sunday services as well as the member support system that was immediately built when two members came along on the Tour with her.  The Spiritual Tour Program works! 

        “In regard to the Spiritual Tour Program and less-actives, Elder David A. Bednar in his recent conference address has invited all less-active members to come back into fellowship in the Church.  The Church Spiritual Tour Program is an excellent tool in rekindling the fire that may have been lost in inactivity.  We recently gave a Tour to a less-active member who had years before been baptized in the North Shore Chapel.  After refreshing his memory on the wonderful programs of the Church, showing him the exact place where he covenanted to always remember Jesus Christ and to keep His commandments, we shared the familiar message of the Restoration using Elder Kikuchi’s technique of speaking slowly with great power and solemnity.  His response after our testimonies was, ‘What can I do to come back?’  The Spiritual Tours can help rekindle that testimony that may have been smothered by offenses, addiction, or other causes.  It is ultimately their choice whether or not to come back, and some may not, even after a strong witness of the Spirit.  But we can extend our arm out and invite those who have left the fold to no longer cut themselves off from the blessings of the Restored Gospel by inviting them on a Spiritual Tour of their Chapel.  It works!”

        That we might each become more powerful missionary tools in the Lord’s hands by striving mightily to achieve the objectives outlined above which were given through inspiration to Elder Kikuchi, one of the Lord’s Anointed, is our fervent prayer for the coming year.  We love you.

--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.

“A great and marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men… Behold, the field is white already to harvest” (D&C 11:1-3).

 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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