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                                                                                                                June 19, 2007



President Peter Jillings Shares Observations on Becoming a Member Missionary

      Our First Counselor in the Mission Presidency, Peter Jillings, has kindly written his insightful observations on what it takes to become a member missionary.  Most members have agreed that becoming a member missionary is a good idea, as essentially all of our modern-day Prophets have asked us to do so.  But most members have had the idea that to become a member missionary is hard to do, is too complex, requires a certain personality which they don’t have or is too intimidating. President Jillings, however, shares with us how he has become a member missionary and teaches us how to do it painlessly and effectively:

        “President Gordon B. Hinckley, like President David O. McKay, has challenged us, ‘every member a missionary.’  To many of us that’s quite daunting, feeling that we have to be scriptorians, and that we must know people really well before we can broach the subject.

                        “Several years ago, I learned from a great example set by our then Ward Mission Leader, Steve Reifenstein.  In his job selling cars he talked with a potential customer at his car lot who had with him a young son.  The gentleman was from Mexico, newly arrived in Canada.  Steve simply asked him, ‘Which Church do you take your son to?’ The man replied that they did not go to any, to which Steve replied, ‘Would you like to bring him to ours?’  Dr. Manuel Gomez and his son Manalito are now good members of the Church.

        “A few months ago, I set a personal goal of introducing 10 people each year to the Church by just inviting people to come.  The result has been one baptism to date and a second person attending regularly, who has had the discussions and is enjoying the meetings and the members.  The latter is someone we met in an elevator on a Sunday, and learned in our conversation that she had just attended another church.  I asked her which church she had attended, and she said she had tried one nearby.  I followed Steve’s example and simply asked, ‘Would you like to come to ours?’  This good sister accepted that simple invitation and is now enjoying attending and mingling with the members.  I tell this not to impress, but at the invitation of President Middleton, and with a desire to help move the work forward.

        “If we keep our missionary efforts warm and uncomplicated, the missionaries stand waiting and set apart to do the teaching with the Spirit, and answering all the questions that may arise.  Our opportunity is one of simply extending an invitation.  Great blessings await those to whom we introduce the Gospel, and the scriptures are also replete with the promised blessings of the Lord if we will but invite and bring souls unto Him.  Great will be our joy also, of which I testify.”

        President Jillings is leading forth in his member missionary duties magnificently.  We must teach all of our members to do the same in order to grow the Church here in BC as the Lord would have us do.  Being a member missionary simply requires that we offer a simple invitation to all our non-member acquaintances, understanding that most will decline to come.  Each member must come to realize that now, as this Star is being read, every single member knows at least one person who will say yes to an invitation he or she offers, who is the “elect of the Lord” (D&C 29:7).  All missionary work throughout history at all levels consists of “asking several to find the one,” and so it will be for each of us.

 President Bennie Soll Leads the Surrey Stake to Higher Planes of Missionary Success, by Elders Andrew Bristow (and Ryan Glass)

        “Our Stake President, President Bennie Soll, has really taken the Surrey Stake to a higher plane in missionary work.  Both Elder Glass and I meet with President Soll every Tuesday, along with the Language Zone Leaders, Elders Benjamin Thompson and Stephen Beins.  President Soll has asked us to bring a Progress  Record from each area within the zone to the meeting, and then name by name, area by area,  President Soll discusses each person and his/her needs.  By doing this, he becomes knowledgeable about the people with whom we are working.  If calls from him to bishops or other member leaders are needed, President Soll makes them to teach and lead them to become more effective leaders of the missionary work in their ward or branch.  We can really see the love and concern he has for both members and non-members alike within his stake.

        “We meet with President Soll for 60 minutes once a week, and that small sacrifice of time and energy has brought the Surrey Zone from the bottom of our mission to the top.” 

Editor’s Note: Our Surrey Zone is seeing a wonderful increase in baptisms this year as a result of President Soll’s loving, inspired leadership.  In a year when some stakes have actually seen a drop in baptisms this year versus last, the Surrey Stake is up 82% overall with 20 baptisms so far this year (up 86% in English-speaking and up 75% in language-speaking).  A few months ago Bishop Frank Hitchmough of the Victoria 2nd Ward noted that member missionary success all starts at the top. President Bennie Soll has certainly demonstrated the truth of Bishop Hitchmough’s observation as the Surrey Stake member leaders and members have responded magnificently to his inspired leadership!

                 We want you to know of our love for each of our full-time missionaries as well as our wonderful BC members.              

President and Sister Middleton

(Check off weekly whether you have achieved each of the eight goals below.)

q Ask for a referral name in every conversation with a member or non-member alike… “Will you bring an acquaintance on a Spiritual Tour?”

q Challenge members to Set-A-Date for a Spiritual Tour or a Church event which can be coupled with a Spiritual Tour  with their non-member friend at least 3 times yearly.

q Our goal is to find at least one new investigator daily. 

q       Our goal is to teach 15 or more full lessons weekly…

q       …with at least 3 Spiritual Tours weekly.

q Extend at least one baptismal invitation and commitment each week.

q 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.

q 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. 

“For it is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable.” D & C 104:13

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