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                                                                                                           October 30, 2007

All the Lord asks of us: Hard, Smart Work

President Ezra Taft Benson stated, “I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the spirit; he will teach by the spirit; and if he teaches by the spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy.  There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry.  Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work” (PMG, 121). Preach My Gospel notes further, “The Lord expects you to work diligently—persistently and with great effort and care…Diligence in missionary work is an expression of your love for the Lord  and his work….Don’t wait for your leaders to tell you what to do….Continue until you have done all you can even when you are tired.  Pray for guidance and strength.” (PMG 121)

Strive for 50 or More Contacts Daily

In the Doctrine and Covenants 24:12, the Lord gives all members important counsel about their missionary obligations when He stated, “At all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night.”  Our obligation to our Father in Heaven could not be stated any clearer, and that is why he exhorts us further to be, “anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will.” (D&C 58:27)

In the book “Law of the Harvest”, written by a recently returned missionary, David G Stewart Jr., the observation is made that we must “sow bountifully to reap bountifully”.  He noted that early in his mission he and his companion did their personal finding at a leisurely pace, assuming that in answer to their prayers they would automatically be lead to the “elect of the Lord” (D&C 29:7).  Very few baptisms resulted.   Only when he and his companion stepped up their pace dramatically did the Lord bless them with baptisms, and then he saw the direct connection between the number of contacts made daily (defined as a 30 second introduction of the missionaries and the Church coupled with asking for a commitment for a return appointment) and the number who went on to baptism. He and his companion found that achieving a goal of 50 to 200 contacts daily produced baptisms regularly and abundantly; it was a case of sowing bountifully to reap bountifully. (2 Cor. 9:6)

                We have asked each companionship to achieve a level of work output that will result in 50 or more contacts daily, on average.  It will require 1 to 2 hours of intense, well-planned personal finding daily. We promise you that not only can it be done, but that accomplishing it will bring great blessings. We urge you each to experiment upon this promise.  Expect the blessings to follow when you do!

A few great missionary observations:

The Vernon Ward “Lost Sheep” Program, by Elders Brian Fisher (and Spencer Lassetter)

“In the Vernon Ward we are doing a program called,  ‘The Lost Sheep.’ During each Ward Council meeting, the leaders choose 3 individuals or families who they feel have potential to be reactivated. We as missionaries make the first contact and evaluate the situation, and determine which organization would be best to work with them, Primary, Relief Society, ward missionaries, etc. So far it has helped us missionaries develop a contact with many part-member families that we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work with.  It also fosters unity between the members and missionaries.”

A Non-Threatening Contact Approach, by Elders Jacob Earnest (and Richard Ashton)

                “There is a tracting approach we have used that has had some success in its objective. During our approach the person we have contacted might say something such as, ‘Well we are already Christians,’ or ‘We already have a church,’ etc.  Then in response we would say something along the lines of  ‘We are not here to force you. We just want to share our message, which takes only about 30 minutes, and then we leave it up to you.’ I have found that some are more willing then to have us back. I think it relieves some pressure they might have felt, and makes us seem more non-threatening.”

Giving Spiritual Chapel Tours Earns Member’s Trust by Elders Dan Banks (and Andrew Bristow)

                “Our ward recently finished revising our Ward Mission Plan.  Bishop Henricus Croonen set an excellent example for the ward. He brought 4 non-members on a Spiritual Tour.  The Spirit was strongly felt throughout the Tour. Bishop Croonen was sufficiently impressed with our teaching skills that he felt prompted to tell the ward in Sacrament Meeting subsequently about his experience on the Tour. As he was speaking to the ward he bore his testimony of the Spiritual Chapel Tour program. He closed by saying, ‘You can trust these elders with your most cherished family members and friends.  They have the Spirit with them, and they won’t let you down.’  As we spoke with members after that Sacrament Meeting, it was obvious that there was a renewed enthusiasm towards missionary work. We have come to realize that earning the leadership and the ward member’s trust is crucial in motivating members to do missionary work.”

Editor’s Note: Please give Spiritual Chapel Tours often, at least 3 per week, if at all possible. Every missionary must practice giving them regularly or skills will erode. If needed, use District Meetings to practice Tours, giving them to each other. A Spiritual Chapel Tour remains the best single method to initially present the gospel to a non-member who has known little about the Church before.

                Know that you are in our prayers always. Know that we love you.               

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 there are many yet on the earth --- who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.”  -- D & C 123:12


The Coveted “Off the Hook” Award:

(Week-ending October 28th, 2007)

In Recognition of the following:

Baptisms Year to Date:

Abbotsford Zone (20 Baptisms)

Baptisms this week:

Vancouver/ Kelowna Zones (1 baptism)

Investigators with a Baptismal Date:

Surrey/ Vancouver/ Vancouver Lang. Zones (5 Baptismal Dates)

Investigators Attending Sacrament Meeting

Abbotsford/ Vancouver Lang. (16 Investigators at Sacrament Meeting)

Lessons with a Member Present:

Abbotsford Zone (24 Lessons with a Member Present)


Kelowna Zone (28.46 contacts per day)

Progressing Investigators:

Victoria Zone (16 Progressing Investigators)

New Investigators:

Vancouver Lang. Zone (16 New Investigators)

Full Lessons:

Victoria Zone (Average of 17.8 Full Lessons)

Full lessons to Non-Member:

Vancouver Language Zone (Average of 14.0 NM Full)


Elders Davis & Johnson: 1 at sacrament, 1 with a date, 7 with a member present, 44 other, 121 contacts, 15 full, 9 nm full

Elders Wilhite & Brown: 1 with a date, 4 at Sacrament, 3 progressing, 72 contacts, 17 full

Sisters Wilcox & Nibley: 1 with a date, 2 at sacrament, 6 with a member present, 65 other, 143 contacts, 16 full, 10 nm full

Elders Ramirez & Hunsaker: 2 with a date, 28 other, 6 progressing, 6 new investigators, 23 full, 11 nm full

Elders Huo & Hea: 1 with a date, 58 other, 4 new investigators, 198 contacts, 33 full, 29 nm full

Elders Bakow & Saito: 1 with a date, 5 at sacrament, 3 member present, 51 other, 5 progressing, 320 contacts, 15 full, 13 nm

Elders Wells & Hatton: 4 at sacrament, 4 with a member present, 32 other, 120 contacts, 17 full

Elders Jensen & Godfrey: 1 with a date, 6 at sacrament, 6 member present, 45 other, 6 progressing, 356 contacts, 22 full

Elders Klekas & Whittenburg: 4 at sacrament, 3 member present, 47 other, 4 progressing, 187 contacts, 22 full, 12 nm full

Honorable Mention:

Elders Ward & Magnusson: 1 with a date, 2 at sacrament, 22 full Sisters Dye & Overlock: 4 progressing, 17 full  Elders Fillmore & Parson: 4 at sacrament, 31 other, 153 contacts, 15 full Elders Jenkins & Hall: 32 other, 150 contacts Elders Martinez & Shaw: 1 with a date, 2 at sacrament, 48 other, 135 contacts Elders Pack & Barker: 1 baptized, 3 with a date, 3 at sacrament, 40 other, 130 contacts, 16 full Elders Collins & Mun: 1 with a date, 3 at sacrament, 95 other, 187 contacts, 23 full, 21 to nm  Elders Binks & Mather: 4 new investigators, 108 contacts, 15 full Sisters Caribou & Falk: 1 baptized, 80 other, 195 contacts, 15 full Elders Walton & Mousseau: 45 other, 105 contacts

 Congratulations on your accomplishments this week! 

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