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                                                                                                               March 11, 2008

Members:  Keep Inviting To Find the Elect You Already Know 

In a Revelation given by the Lord to the church members in September 1830 we learn of the following commandment, which applies to each of us now as it did to those early members of the church:  “And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their heart.”  (Doctrine & Covenants 29:7)  Elder Gene Cook of the First Quorum of Seventy has noted that every Church member knows someone who is that “elect” of the Lord, someone prepared by life’s circumstances and by the Lord to say yes when that member invites them to “come and see.” (John 1:39)  The problem every member faces, however, is that they don’t know which of their several non-member acquaintances that elect is.  In our experience it is impossible to pre-judge which of your acquaintances is that elect who will say yes, and often it turns out to be the acquaintances you as a member had pre-judged to not likely have an interest.  So how does a member assure that they are fulfilling the commandment given through all of our prophets, “every member a missionary?”

Plan to Methodically Invite Every Non-Member Acquaintance

                The only way to fulfill our missionary obligation is to plan to invite every non-member acquaintance to some Church-related event.  For years members have been praying to meet someone who is the “elect,” yet have not done any inviting to make it happen.  It seems like many members, through asking that prayer, expect the Lord to suddenly turn a searchlight on the person they should invite.  We need to lovingly but very clearly teach members that the “elect of the Lord,” whom they already know, will likely only be found after we invite 8 or 10 or more non-member acquaintances first who decline our invitation.  Members cannot become discouraged.  They must come to know that missionary work now and forever consists of asking several to find the one.  The prayer each member should utter, often, is to give them the boldness to invite and the organizational skill to invite regularly and often (one invitation each week takes no more than 5 minutes).  They need to accept that most people they invite will decline to come just then and they need to be assured that they will never lose a friend even if the friend declines to come. Furthermore, they need to realize that to become the member missionary the Lord would have them be they will need to make it a gospel habit to invite their non-member acquaintances regularly (an invitation weekly is the simplest commitment a member can make).

How Many Must Be Asked to Find the One?

                Brother J. P. Tremblay, the excellent Surrey First Ward Mission Leader, has recently shared with us and his ward missionaries his personal experience inviting.  He notes that in recent months he and his wife have extended 22 invitations.  Of those, 10 were accepted, 5 of the 10 failed to come to the event to which they were invited, 3 did come, and for 2 more the events had not yet occurred.  So of 22 invited, 3 had come to a Church-related event, or 1 in 7. 

                Sister Rosemarie Schiemann, the Burnaby Relief Society President, has a “Tree of Life” hanging on the Relief Society wall to track invitations her sisters have given to their non-member friends.  Sewn beautifully, she honors every sister’s missionary event by ironing on another leaf onto the branches of the tree; for each invitation which results in a conversion/baptism, she sews on a small gold bell, which represents a fruit on the tree.  In the past year 67 leaves have been placed on the Burnaby tree, each representing either an invitation to a Church-related event or some other missionary related activity such as giving out a Book of Mormon.  The tree has 5 golden fruits appended for the 5 baptisms which resulted.  So their experience was 5 baptisms from 67 missionary events, or roughly 1 baptism for every 13 invitations.

Member Invitations are Phenomenally More Successful Than Tracting

                We see then that a personal invitation from a member to a non-member acquaintance in BC results in anywhere from 1 in 7 to 1 in 13 subsequently joining the church.  By comparison, we estimate that Personal Finding by our full-time missionaries (tracting, GQ’ing) results in 1 baptism for every 1000 or more contacts. While we full-time missionaries must constantly strive to achieve 50 or more contacts each day to follow the Savior’s commandment to “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15), and realizing that we do obtain baptisms from our Personal Finding,  clearly the rapid Church growth in BC which we seek and need will occur when every active member begins inviting regularly.  We urge that our missionaries help organize each ward and branch so that a class or quorum member (preferably a presidency member) takes 3 minutes at the start of each quorum or class to honor those who have invited during the week by at the least having them raise their hand (both for the essential positive feedback for the members who have invited during the week and the creation of subtle peer pressure to motivate those who have not invited to do so).

Richmond Ward Chinese New Year Attracts Many, by Elders James Cornwell, Seth Green, Austin Bowles, and Paul Heinzen

                On February 22, 2008, the Richmond Ward was the site of a great Chinese New Year celebration.  A marvelous program of music and dance featured our own Mandarin missionaries performing inside the traditional white and black lion costumes, and several non-members joined with our members in song, dance and musical instrument numbers.  At least 30 Chinese non-members were present, and so many people came that it was standing room only in our cultural hall.  After the program, areas were set up to sample Chinese dishes, create posters with Chinese characters, and other fun activities.  The evening was under the direction of Sisters Cathy Ou and Betty Wang, and it was a huge success.

Editor’s Note:  The Brethren in Salt Lake have urged that each ward and branch have at least one activity each month, to which non-members can invite their non-member acquaintances, such as the Richmond Chinese New Year.  The activity doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive, but it should be well done so that an investigator who comes is positively impressed. 

                We love you all.

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.  

 “And speak freely to all.” -- Doctrine and Covenants 19:37

The Coveted “Off the Hook” Award:

(Week-ending March 9, 2008)

In Recognition of the following:


Baptisms Year to Date

Abbotsford (7 Baptisms)

Honorable Mention: Vernon (6 Baptisms)


Baptisms this Week:

Surrey and Vernon (1 Baptism each )


Investigators with a Baptismal Date:

Vancouver Language  (6 with Baptismal Dates)

Honorable Mention:  Abbotsford (5 Baptismal Dates)


Investigators Attending Sacrament Meeting:

Abbotsford and Vancouver Language (19 Investigators at Sacrament Meeting)

Honorable Mention:  Victoria (16)


Lessons with a Member Present:

  Abbotsford Zone  (27 Lessons with a Member Present)

Honorable Mention: Vernon (20 Lessons with a Member Present)


Other Lessons Taught

Vancouver (20)



Vancouver (29 contacts per day)

Honorable Mention:  Victoria (24 contacts/day)


Progressing Investigators:

Vancouver Language Zone (22 Progressing Investigators)


New Investigators:

Vancouver Language and Nanaimo:  (8 New Investigators)


Full Lessons:

Kelowna (17.5 Average per companionship)




Elders Klekas and Taylor:  4 with baptismal date, 5 at Sacrament, 4 member present, 54 other, 8 progressing, 402 contacts, 19 full

Elders Bowles and Smith:  6 at Sacrament, 4 member present, 23 other, 8 progressing, 73 contacts, 20 full, 17 to non-members

Elders Shibayama and Fullmer:  1 baptismal date, 4 at Sacrament, 6 member present, 27 other, 1 progressing, 356 contacts, 16 full,10 to non-members

Sisters Falk and Weber:  1 Baptismal date, 1 at Sacrament, 56 other, 3 progressing, 112 contacts, 15 full, 9 to non-members

Elders Mun and Jung:  6 at Sacrament, 44 other, 3 member present, 6 progressing, 167 contacts, 14 full, 7 to non-members

Elders Banks and Walton:  1 at Sacrament, 3 member present, 31 other, 185 contacts, 16 full

Elders Earnest and Knapp:  1 at Sacrament, 4 member present, 77 other, 273 contacts, 17 full

Elders Godfrey and Hea:  5 at Sacrament, 4 member present, 35 progressing, 124 contacts, 24 full, 9 to non-members

Elders Binks and Seebeck:  1 at Sacrament, 1 member present, 27 other, 3 progressing, 99 contacts

Elders Stevenson and Wells:  2 at Sacrament, 5 member present, 22 other, 109 contacts, 14 full


Honorable Mention:


Elders Saito and Leavitt:  1 at Sacrament, 1 member present, 50 other, 3 progressing, 318 contacts, 11 full, 8 to non-members

Elders Kim and Huh:  4 at Sacrament, 7 member present, 35 other, 4 progressing, 61 contacts

Elders Spongberg and Taylor:  3 at Sacrament, 3 member present, 27 other, 1 progressing, 162 contacts

Sisters Nibley and Burt:  1 at Sacrament, 58 other, 171 contacts

Elders Heinzen and Roberts:  6 at Sacrament, 24 other, 6 progressing, 154 contacts, 17 full, 16 to non-members

Elders Mousseau and Douglas:  1 with baptismal date, 3 at Sacrament, 4 member present, 23 other, 4 progressing

Elders Carlisle and McDowell:  191 contacts 

Elders Heaton and Anderson:  1 with baptismal date, 4 at Sacrament, 7 member present, 4 progressing, 137 contacts, 15 full, 8 to non-members

Elders Mousseau and Douglas:  1 with baptismal date, 4 at Sacrament, 3 progressing

Sisters Dalling and Lee:  3 at Sacrament, 2 member present, 29 other, 4 progressing, 110 contacts, 16 full

Sisters D’Amours and Anderson:  2 at Sacrament, 3 member present, 50 other, 3 progressing, 124 contacts, 12 full, 8 to non-members

Elders Scoffield and Deitz:  6 at Sacrament, 4 member present, 20 other, 4 progressing,

Elders Curtis and Wilson:    4 at Sacrament, 6 member present, 17 other, 2 progressing, 94 contacts, 13 full, 9 to non-members




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