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.
INSPIRATION FROM ELDER AND SISTER RICHARDS
We were privileged to have Elder H. Bryan Richards and Sister Lynn Anne Richards tour our mission from June 7-9, 2006. Inspiring counsel and advice was given, and all who participated in their training came away uplifted and instructed in how to be a better, more effective missionary. Because of the brevity of their tour the Prince George and Vernon Zone missionaries could not participate, regrettably. In this and subsequent Vancouver Stars we will attempt to share highlights from their visit.
Preach My Gospel Principles Essential to Missionary Success
Elder and Sister Richards repeatedly made the point that missionaries who knew and embraced the concepts taught in PMG would have great success. Not only must we know the contents of PMG, we must embrace its precepts and use them wisely and diligently. Exact obedience is the sine qua non for success. With exact obedience tremendous success will be achieved; without it little can be accomplished and the time spent in the mission is wasted. The Lord states, “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” D & C 82:10
A poll was taken at each of the Zone Conferences by Elder Richards, asking the following questions of the missionaries and obtaining these answers:
1. What is the mission exact obedience estimate? 70% of our missionaries.
2. What is the work ethic in the mission? 60% are working hard at all times.
3. How many missionaries are constantly looking to find new investigators? 50% of them.
4. How many missionaries are using the Daily Planner to set goals and plan daily and weekly, as urged in PMG Chapter 8? 85% of Zone Leaders are, 68% of the rest of the missionaries are.
5. What is the faith that you will baptize monthly? 77% are confident they will. l.
We have no reason to doubt the accuracy of these polls. The percentages are disappointing. To each question asked we would ideally find 100% of our missionaries totally compliant and obedient. When each missionary in our mission is 100% exactly obedient, and can honestly answer yes to each of these questions, our success, as missionaries will soar!
We would challenge each missionary to help his or her companion to achieve exact obedience in questions 1 through 4. We would ask each bishop and branch president in his weekly meeting with the missionaries to ask about questions 1 through 4. When a missionary companionship gives an unqualified “yes” to these 4 questions, their answer to the last question about whether they will baptize regularly will immediately become affirmative.
Revise Goals Weekly
Elder Richards noted that some of our missionaries are not using the Missionary Daily Planner properly. Each day must have the day planned, and the “Back Up Plan” column must be filled as well. The “To Do List” should be filled in as well as the “Study Topics” and “Key Indicators” should be written in daily.
Most importantly the “Weekly Goals” page must be filled out weekly at the Friday planning session. While companionships would be well served to have a goal of 3 or more baptisms per transfer, PMG asks that we prayerfully and realistically set weekly goals for each of the Key Indicators listed on the “Weekly Goals” sheet in your Daily Planner. We will ask to see your Daily Planner at each interview, and want to discuss with you how your weekly goals are established (hopefully with prayer and with a realistic assessment of your assigned area).
Concentrate on Expanding Your Teaching Pool
Elder Richards noted that our mission baptisms per month follow an irregular jagged curve - - up some months and low other months. The reason for this is that companionships obtain a progressing investigator and then fail to add new investigators to their teaching pool until after the progressing investigator is baptized. Then after the baptism they must start over to find new investigators and it is a Transfer or two before another baptism occurs. May we urge that each companionship strive to continually find as has been urged by Elder Richards. As you establish weekly goals in the Daily Planner, be sure that filling your teaching pool becomes a priority.
Express Thanks Often
Carry mission “Thank You” cards always, and leave them with a short message or give verbal thanks to everyone who helps you. Express thanks to member leaders often, and ask frequently what you might do to help them make their job easier. It is common courtesy but also will determine often whether or not you are a successful missionary.
Each of the points mentioned in this Star are small but will accelerate your success. There is already a quickening of the Spirit in British Columbia; attention on our part to these details will make us all the more successful.
Finally, may we urge that you have fun in His service! We love you.
--President and Sister Middleton
Reminder: ask for a referral in every conversation with a member or non-member alike….”Will you bring an acquaintance on a Tour, and when?”
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.
“…The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them.” Bible Dictionary, pg. 753
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.
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