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 30, 2007


                Preach My Gospel makes the point that our full-time missionaries can be used by bishops and branch presidents in home teaching (or sister missionaries in visiting teaching) to visit less-active and part-member families (pages 214-215).  It further states, “Preferably you will be paired with a member for such visits,” or in other words the companionship might go on an exchange, each full-time missionary with a different member.  There are excellent benefits from such exchanges:  1) The member who knows the less-actives or part-member families can set up the appointment; 2) The members quickly learn to know the missionaries and their teaching skill and power; 3) The full-time missionaries can complete twice the number of teaching appointments in the evening – instead of a twosome, our missionaries become four during the exchange; and 4) A fellowshipping bond is developed between the less-active family and ward member on the exchange which will endure (while the relationship to the full-time missionary is transient as he or she will be transferred eventually).  Not only does this exchange model allow for better reactivation, it also leads to teaching part-member families so that the entire family might enjoy the blessings of baptism and Church membership.  It serves as a marvelous resource to grow the ward or branch.

 Do Weekly Exchanges with the Youth

                We urge our full-time missionaries to aim towards weekly exchanges with the youth, the Elders with Aaronic Priesthood young men; the sisters with young women of the same age. In this age group everyone has dozens or hundreds of school acquaintances, and they can Set-A-Tour-Date with their friends to come with them on a Spiritual Tour of their Chapel to learn about our Church.  Exchanges with the youth are also called “Mini Missions,” and they serve to let the youth come to understand the joy of missionary service so that they can become excited about future full-time missions for themselves.  Young men who are Priests can stay overnight with full-time missionaries in multiple day “Mini Missions,” although Deacon and Teacher age youth cannot stay overnight, but rather limit their “Mini Missions” to just one day at a time.  Weekly exchanges with YSA members can also be especially productive – if at all possible set up YSA exchanges once or even twice weekly.

 Exchanges with Ward Missionaries and Ward or Branch Leaders

                PMG points out that the bishop (or branch president) should call a vibrant Melchizedek Priesthood holder to be the ward Mission Leader, and should also call “a sufficient number of ward missionaries to meet the needs of the ward” (PMG p. 218).  Several wards have multiple ward missionaries in BC, and often they also serve as counselors in priesthood quorums or auxiliaries to better align the ward organizations with the missionary efforts of the ward.   According to PMG, those in attendance at weekly Missionary Coordination Meetings, which are chaired by the Ward Mission Leader, are all the ward missionaries plus an assistant from the High Priest’s Group Leadership, a counselor from the Elder’s Quorum Presidency, and a counselor from the Relief Society Presidency (PMG p. 219).   There is great wisdom and power in having our full-time missionaries do exchanges with all members who attend this Coordination Meeting, weekly or twice weekly, perhaps rotating through members of presidencies.  The quickening of the proselyting work in such wards is evident, and the Lord will surely bless each ward or branch which fully adopts the idea.

 Using the Spiritual Tour of the Chapel for Less Actives and Investigators, by Elders Andrew Bristow (and Jose Guerrero)

“The Prince George area(s) are going really well.  We are all working hard and seeing results because of the hard work.  There is a less-active family with whom we are working whose children are all in their twenties.  When Elder Guerrero came here, I pointed out the family and we decided to make visiting them one of our weekly focuses.  It looks like good things will happen!  After service with the family at their cabin last week, they invited us over for dinner, and while there, we committed them, the whole family, to take a Spiritual Tour.  They accepted!  There will be 3 or 4 non-members on this Tour, and this could very well be the turning point in reactivating the family.

Bishop Ron Meek took a non-member on a Spiritual Tour of the Chapel this week also.  He invited a woman who used the building for Scouts to come about 30 minutes early for a Spiritual Tour, and she accepted.  The Tour went great and we found that she has just moved in from Quesnel.  We offered to help in any way; she accepted and things are really going to go well!  See, it’s really not hard to invite!  If you want to ‘chalk it up’, that is the ninth Spiritual Tour to which Bishop Meek has brought non-member friends!”

 Proselyting Success at Christmas, by Elders Youngho Hea and (Elder Richard Ashton)

“Following the idea that President Middleton suggested to put more effort on tracting around Christmas time, my companion and I decided to go out tracting near the Vancouver 41st Chapel.  As we started to walk outside we saw a number of people happily talking to each other.  Then we soon realized that the Lord softened the hearts of the people to help them let us share the message of The Restored Gospel.  In only three minutes after we began talking to them, we got a phone number from one of the ladies.  As obtaining phone numbers from people on the street in our proselying area rarely happens, we were astonished!  Then we started to knock on doors of houses on the street.  Instead of the feeling of doubt whether the people would open the doors or not, we were filled with a feeling of confidence and started to feel the Spirit strongly.  The results?  We knocked on about 20 doors, and everyone opened the door, except for two.  We shared our message with them, and to some of those people we talked for more than 20 minutes. We tracted for two hours on that day and gained a strong testimony that the Spirit of Christmas (Christ) truly softens people’s hearts.  It was the best tracting I have ever done in my life.”

That we might join forces more effectively with our faithful members to find the “elect of the Lord”,  knowing that at least one ‘elect’ is known by every member, although they don’t yet know it, is our prayer.  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 daily.  Our goal is to teach 15 or more full lessons weekly.

Extend at least one baptismal invitation and commitment each week.

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.

 “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2: 17). 

 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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