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.
Why Every Member Needs to Invite Often
In a letter from the First Presidency sent Feb. 6, 2008, to all Church leaders worldwide, captioned, “Reissued Statements on Missionary Work,” President Monson and his counselors wrote, “Members and missionaries will be blessed by sharing the gospel with as many people as possible.” It further states, to underline the urgency of how every member must become anxiously engaged, “It is important to meet and talk with people at every opportunity.” The letter then emphasizes the new PMG focus on who must lead members and missionaries alike in this missionary effort, “Stake presidents and bishops have responsibility and accountability for the finding of investigators within their stakes and wards.” (emphasis added).
Surrey 3rd Ward Training Session for Ward Members Very Successful
On March 30th we were privileged to teach a Fifth Sunday combined priesthood and Relief Society on member missionary work by invitation in the Surrey 3rd Ward. The Surrey 3rd Ward has been inspired to organize for success along PMG guidelines for several months, with the Second Counselor of each Auxiliary organization and priesthood quorum called to be a member of the ward missionary coordinating committee as well. The ward activity chairman, membership clerk and the singles leaders are also members of the coordinating committee. Weekly Missionary Coordination efforts have been chaired by J. P. Tremblay, the excellent Ward Mission leader, with fabulous assignment-specific minutes being distributed by e-mail to all ward leaders each week.
Despite their inspired PMG organizational infrastructure, Bishop Lorne Olson and Brother Tremblay felt that something was missing as the excellent full time missionaries, Sisters Falk and Weber, were not seemingly being supplied with many new investigators. Bishop Olson and Brother Tremblay then approached us about presenting a missionary lesson for their Fifth Sunday lesson, which we were pleased to do.
Ask Several to Find the One
Bishop Olson is a realtor, in the business of selling homes. We asked him to calculate the average number of people who must be approached before a home is sold. His number: 450. We had him share that with the class. We noted that missionary work is far different than selling houses, but there is an important parallel in that in missionary work we must ask several before we find the one who is the elect of the Lord, who will “come and see” in response to our invitation.
Brother and Sister Kyle McAdam are excellent Surrey 3rd Ward member missionaries who have invited often. We had them share with the class that they had invited 22 non-members in recent months of which 3 came to a Church-related event, or 1 out of every 7 they invited. We then shared the observation of Sister Rosemarie Schieman, the Burnaby Relief Society President, that her sisters had invited 67 non-member acquaintances in 2007, of which 5 were baptized, or 1 in 13.
Surrey 3rd Ward Was Promised 18 Baptisms in the Next Six Months
We started our meeting in the Surrey 3rd Ward by promising the assembled saints that they would see at least 18 baptisms in the next 6 months if they each adopted the simple precepts we would present, all totally consistent with PMG. Realizing that every member will have to invite 7 acquaintances before one of them comes to a Church activity or other Church event, and realizing that 1 of 7 who comes to a Church activity goes on to baptism, the 18 baptisms in the next 6 months will be realized if as few as 40 ward members adopt a Personal Mission Plan of inviting at least one acquaintance each week. If each of the 40 members invites just 22 acquaintances, as did Brother and Sister McAdam, 880 will have been invited. One in 7 will “come and see” (126 people-our Sister missionaries will be very busy), and 1 in 7 of those who “come and see” will be baptized – 18 baptisms. We feel with great certainty that our promise will come true.
Don’t Pray to Know Whom to Ask, Pray for Boldness to Ask a Different Acquaintance Weekly
In his marvelous missionary book, Law of the Harvest, David Stewart notes that the practice of members praying to know “which of my neighbors is ready to receive the gospel” has become the standard. He points out that there is no scriptural basis to support the idea that members will be inspired to know whom they should invite. This said, the scriptures are filled with admonitions that each member should invite everyone they know –“And at all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel” Doctrine and Covenants 24:12 (see also Matt 28:19; Mark 16:15; D & C 18:41; D & C 19:37; D & C 28:16; D & C 80:3; etc., etc.) We know of many faithful members who have been praying for years to be guided to the one, and have yet to invite a non-member acquaintance to come and see. Furthermore, as Elder Gene Cook has noted, every member knows someone who is “the elect of the Lord” (D & C 29:7), who will say yes to an invitation to come and see, and who will go into the waters of baptism. Members cannot know or pre-judge whom that elect might be—they must methodically invite them all.
Give Members Who Invite Recognition Weekly
In the past, members have become discouraged when they have invited 2 or 3 or 4 of their acquaintances who have declined to come. We can turn that rejection into a positive event by having those who have invited raise their hands weekly in their class or quorum to receive the recognition and positive feedback from class members needed in order to be motivated to continue to invite weekly until they find the elect person they know. Most acquaintances they invite will decline (6 of 7 on average will decline to come), but no one will lose a friend if they choose not to come. We pointed out as emphatically as we could to the Surrey 3rd Ward the absolute necessity of weekly recognition; that recognition can nicely be achieved in each class or quorum by the Second Counselor, who is also called as a ward missionary coordinating committee member. Repeatedly we must emphasize to every member that 5 minutes of their time weekly, the time it takes to invite an acquaintance to a Church activity or event, will make them an excellent member missionary. Importantly, it will accelerate the growth of the Church beyond anything seen in our lifetime.
President Henry B. Eyring has counseled each member to become an excellent member missionary in his article in the March 2008 Ensign, “Come Unto Christ.” He notes, “Every member of the church…has promised to stand as a witness of Jesus Christ at all times…to invite people to come unto Him. We know from experience that some will not respond. By helping others come unto Him, you will find that you have come unto Him yourself.”
That we might redouble our efforts in His service, that we might help every member come to embrace the concept of inviting someone weekly, is our prayer. We love you.
--President and Sister Middleton
(Check off weekly whether you have achieved each of the nine goals below.)
Ask for a referral name in every conversation with a member or non-member alike… “Will you bring an acquaintance on a Spiritual Tour?”
Challenge members to achieve 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. Help them understand that the best way members can reach this goal is to adopt a Personal Mission Plan by which they issue at least one invitation each week.
Our goal is to find at least one new investigator daily, and spend at least one hour daily in focused, effective Personal Finding.
Our goal is to teach 15 or more full lessons weekly, with 50% or more with an investigator present…
Our goal is to have at least 50 contacts daily (100-200 per day is possible in most areas in the mission), with the contact goal being prayerfully set for each area by each companionship.
With at least 3 Spiritual Chapel Tours Weekly.
Extend at least one baptismal invitation and commitment each week.
Remember our mission goal: a Gospel message to everyone you see.
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.
“He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” 2 Cor 9:6
The Coveted “Off the Hook” Award:
(Week-ending April 6, 2008)
In Recognition of the following:
Baptisms Year to Date
Vernon: (10 Baptisms)
Honorable Mention: Abbotsford (8 Baptisms)
Baptisms this Week:
Vancouver Language: (2 Baptisms )
Investigators with a Baptismal Date:
Vancouver Language and Vancouver: (5 Baptismal Dates each)
Honorable Mention: Abbotsford:(4 with Baptismal Dates)
Investigators Attending Sacrament Meeting:
Vancouver Language (20 at Sacrament Meeting)
Honorable Mention: Abbotsford (19) and Surrey Language (18) at Sacrament Meeting
Kelowna: (141 other lessons)
Honorable Mention: Surrey (136 Other lessons)
Lessons with member Present
Abbotsford: (23 lessons)
Surrey Language (34.3 contacts per day average)
Surrey and Vancouver (19 Progressing Investigators each)
Honorable Mention: Surrey Language (16)
Vancouver Language: (6 New Investigators)
Surrey Language (17.3 Average per companionship)
Abbotsford (6 Tours)
Elders Mousseau and Douglas: 2 with Baptismal date, 4 at Sacrament, 4 member present, 4 progressing, 1 new, 107 contacts
Elders Earnest and Peck: 1 Baptismal date, 2 at Sacrament, 5 member present, 58 other, 4 progressing, 191 contacts, 16 full
Sisters Nibley and Anderson: 5 at Sacrament, 2 member present, 41 other, 3 progressing, 113 contacts
Elders Mun, Gist and Jung: 7 at Sacrament, 43 other, 7 progressing, 474 contacts, 21 full
Elders Fullmer and Hea: 1 at Sacrament, 2 member present, 63 other, 1 new, 231 contacts
Elders Mather and Cheng: 6 member present, 23 other, 2 progressing, 2 new, 224 contacts, 18 full, 12 to non-members
Elders Roberts and Bowles: 3 Baptismal dates, 10 at Sacrament, 10 member present, 9 progressing, 21 full, 18 to non-members
Elders Miles and Banks: 1 with baptismal date, 114 contacts, 19 full, 9 to non-members
Elders Godfrey and Hall: 2 member present, 20 other, 4 progressing, 2 new, 80 contacts, 16 full, 9 to non-members
Elders Whittenburg and Parson: 2 at Sacrament, 3 progressing, 17 full
Elders Spongberg and Kirby: 4 at Sacrament, 85 contacts
Elders Curtis and Wilson: 4 at Sacrament, 2 New
Elders Stevenson and Wells: 4 at Sacrament meeting
Sisters Overlock and Lee: 5 at Sacrament, 4 member present, 4 progressing
Elders Ruesch and Fillmore: 4 at Sacrament, 2 progressing, 103 contacts, 17 full
Sisters Caribou and Wu: 2 progressing, 118 contacts
Elders Terry and Hunsaker: 5 at Sacrament, 6 member present
Sisters D’Amours and Falk: 4 at Sacrament, 22 other
Elders Marianno and Hassell: 1 with Baptismal date, 18 full
Elders Deitz and Carlisle: 3 at Sacrament, 7 progressing
Elders Howard and Ramirez: 3 at Sacrament
Elders Johnson and McAllister: 2 at Sacrament, 2 member present, 36 other, 1 progressing, 125 contacts
Elders Heinzen and Green: 9 at Sacrament, 3 member present, 21 other, 6 progressing, 140 contacts, 21 full, 18 to non-members,
Elders Klekas and Taylor: 3 with Baptismal date, 4 at Sacrament, 8 progressing
Elders Marcum and Homer: 93 contacts, 17 full
Elders Zmoos and Smith: 45 other, 210 contacts
Elders Kim and Huh: 42 other, 3 new, 19 full, 16 to non-members
Elders DeHerrera and Martinez: 2 Baptized this week, 2 with baptismal date, 6 at Sacrament
Elders Shaw and Taylor: 3 at Sacrament, 3 member present, 2 progressing, 130 contacts
Elders Park and Barker: 3 at Sacrament, 2 member present, 40 other, 2 progressing, 115 contacts, 18 full, 10 to non-members
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS THIS WEEK
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