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                                                                                                          February 27, 2005


          As we bask in the spiritual glow of General Conference it is important to reflect on the inspirational messages we received. We were very pleased to hear and see President Hinckley speak, recovered from his recent surgery. An extremely well-read man, President Hinckley’s reflections on his life were particularly tender.  He quoted part of Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken as he began his reminiscences,

                                                                                            “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

                                                                                            I took the one less traveled by,

                                                                                            And that has made all the difference.”

          He reflected in the Sunday afternoon session upon his remarkable association with many great Church leaders, and his life inspires us all. The advice given to President Hinckley by his father as he left for England on his first mission some 75 years ago was recalled by Elder Jeffrey Holland in his Conference address, “Be not afraid, only believe.” (Mark 5: 36).  That advice became the driving force for President Hinckley through his life as he made increasingly more important decisions in the management of Church affairs and so ably led all of us Church members with his wise exhortations and counsel, inspired always by the Lord. What a privilege to know that we are led by a living prophet, who is in turn led from on high.

Members Roll in Missionary Work is Critical

          We were pleased to speak at the Smithers chapel on March 25 and 26 as part of the Terrace District Conference. President Daniel Tanner, Counselor in the district presidency, asked a very important question in his address on Sunday.  He asked everyone in the congregation to stand who had joined the Church as a result of a member referral – about one half (or more) of the congregation stood. He then asked for those who had joined the Church through tracting to please stand – about 6 stood. In my subsequent talk I noted that over the past three decades, when most of those converts joined, our full-time missionaries spent approximately 95% of their time in tracting and 5% in teaching member referrals. Seeing how dramatically more effective member referrals are than tracting, we challenged the members to increase their referrals of their friends and acquaintances to the point that our missionaries spend 95% of their time teaching member referrals and just 5% of their time tracting. When that occurs in the Terrace District and all over BC our growth will explode!

Missionary Plans for Fraser Ward - by Sister Christala Hatch (and Sister Ha Anh Khong)

          “Your talk in the Fraser Ward Sacrament Meeting was very inspiring to all the ward missionaries of which we now have fourteen. That afternoon we began rewriting the ward Mission Plan and the whole focus is toward three Tours per member per year to obtain 33 baptisms per year for the Fraser Ward. Everyone has adopted that goal.  Every month there will be an activity designed for members to bring their friends and acquaintances to the Church, and have an opportunity so that the members might reach their three Tours commitment.  All of us will go on splits and do multiple Tours at the same time.

          “Counting adults only, there are 79 active members in the Fraser Ward and we will expect the youth to take the challenge also.  One of the ward missionaries is going to make a chart with names and Tours:


Active Member

Tour 1

Tour 2

Tour 3






          “The ward missionaries, all 14 of them, have set the goal for themselves of 6 non-member referrals each year, one every two months, while the goal for all other ward members is three referrals per year. We’ll list everyone on separate charts, including Leadership, Ward Missionaries, Priesthood (probably divided into High Priests and Elders Quorums), Relief Society, Young Men, Young Women and Primary.  One ward missionary will be in charge of keeping track, and each month there will be some type of recognition/reward for the most missionary-minded auxiliary of the month.

          “The ward missionaries are going to take some responsibility for getting all the members motivated to do the work as well.  A blitz will be used to visit active members not participating, and we will show them By Small and Simple Things.  We are also going to have a newsletter for the ward similar to the Vancouver Star but a little different, designed to keep the members missionary-minded. Candace Day will be in charge of it.”

TeachMembers to Refer

          In British Columbia one of every seven member referrals who goes on a chapel Tour or to another similar Church activity joins the Church. When all active members achieve three referrals per year our baptisms will climb by 10 times! Our BC-specific data shows this to be the case. Members need constant encouragement and support by us full-time missionaries to step forward boldly with faith. They need to understand they might ask six or eight acquaintances before one agrees to come on a Tour.  They need to understand further that while one in seven referrals goes on to baptism, six of seven do not, and it may take two years for a given member who is bringing forth three acquaintances per year before their one in seven joins. They cannot, must not, become discouraged. Members must be carefully, lovingly taught that asking will not fracture a friendship even if that friend chooses not to go on a Tour just then. The member has done his or her part in fulfilling the prophet’s commandment of every member a missionary if they bring their acquaintance on a Tour – the acceptance of the Gospel is then up to that investigator.  If every active member in their ward brings three per year, within three to five years the ward will need to be divided!

          Our Church growth in B.C. is dependent upon our faithful member missionaries. That we might all step forth boldly, confidently, as true member missionaries is our constant prayer.  We love you.   

--President and Sister Middleton

Remember our mission goal: 10 Gospel contacts per missionary outside our usual finding and teaching duties.

That includes a Gospel message to everyone you see.

“After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel.”

(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg 113)

Reminder:  We are praying for at least one baptism per companionship per transfer – more than one if you and your ward or branch is filled with faith. Set your baptismal goal prayerfully as a companionship, a goal that will stretch your faith and missionary abilities.  

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