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                                                                                                                  July 25, 2005


        President John Young, the new Prince George Stake President, has developed with his stake and ward leaders a powerful idea to help stake members attain the goal asked of them to bring three non-member friends or acquaintances on a Church Tour yearly.  His inspired, visionary plan, which is a variation of the “Set-A-Date” Program the Brethren have asked us to do for years, is outlined below: 

Prince George Stake President John Young Develops a Set-A-Date Tour Program, by Elders Taylor Edwards (and Samuel Wolfe)

        “President John Young has really caught the vision.  Elder Wolfe and I attended a Stake Correlation Meeting with him at which he outlined his new Tour plan for the stake.  Previously, the stake members have had the somewhat vague goal of three non-member Tours per member per year.  It wasn’t a bad goal, but nothing was happening with it.  Nobody was calling us for Tours.  So President Young developed a variation of the “Set-A-Date” program.  He has asked everyone in the stake to set up a Tour with the missionaries about two or three weeks in advance and then bring a non-member acquaintance with them.  They do not need to have asked someone ahead of the time they schedule their appointment to come on a Tour, nor do they even need to have the person or persons in mind when they set the Tour date with the missionaries.  This makes the invitation to their non-member acquaintance much simpler and even less intimidating because now they only have to ask someone to come on a Tour with them which they have already scheduled.  The best part of President Young’s challenge is that he doesn’t want these Tours to be cancelled if the family can’t find anyone to bring.  Instead, he has asked that they come on the Tour anyway and prayerfully consider other people they can invite to come on a subsequent Tour.  The missionaries will work with the family on the Tour on their language used to invite their non-member acquaintances to a subsequent Tour, pointing out ways to lovingly invite in a non-offensive, non-threatening way.  They then set up a subsequent appointment then and there for a Tour with an acquaintance.  President Young hopes thereby to achieve the stake goal of three non-member Tours per member per year.

        “President Young has asked that we help the ward and branch leaders implement this plan.  We are really excited about it, and we believe that with this specific plan we can reach the goals we have set for the stake.  If a similar plan in other stakes is adopted, the goal of three referrals for a Tour yearly can be achieved mission-wide.”

      Editors Note:  We view President Young’s inspired insight as perhaps a “Eureka Moment.”  If other stake and district presidents consider a similar challenge to each member, the goal of three referrals per year (or 4 per year in the case of the Vancouver Stake) will become easily attainable. 

Place Copies of Preach My Gospel with Every Member Family, by Elder Jeff Davis (and Logan Rasmussen)

        “When we started working in the Burnaby Ward, we found that Bishop Harry McLean was a great bishop. We decided to show him that we were there to work.  We started by doing everything he asked and then going the extra mile.  Slowly he began to trust us.  We then decided to visit and teach him so he could see us in action.  After lots of prayer we decided to teach him from Preach My Gospel with the intention of strengthening his testimony of it so he would use it more often.  He loved what he heard, and we then presented him the idea of purchasing enough copies for each active family in the ward to have their own copy.  He then suggested offering it to members for the reduced price of $4.50, and he ordered 100 copies. 

        “We went to work visiting the members and giving them a “tour” of Preach My Gospel, hoping they would feel of its import as the bishop did.  By the end of each lesson, the members were “sold” on the manual and wanted their own copy ASAP.  The lesson we gave the members consisted of the following:  One of us would introduce the manual with some background information and then give a short 3-5 minute overview of Chapter 1.  We would highlight the “My Purpose,” then note how the first word is “invite” and how all it takes is a simple invitation to their friends to come to Church on a Tour, read the Book of Mormon, etc.  We then continued alternating teaching each chapter, all the while focusing on how Preach My Gospel applies to the member and how they can benefit from owning and using one. 

        “Other highlights we mentioned included the several ways the members can use PMG to introduce friends to the Church:  Chapter 5, pg. 107, “Questions of the Soul,” Chapter 6, pg, 126, “Attribute Activity,” Chapter 7, “Learn the Language,” (great ideas if a friend is learning English).

        “This manual applies wonderfully to members, but they would never know that until someone shows them how.  We teach them that if their friend rejects an invitation, “no effort is wasted” (pg. 170), and that they have fulfilled their responsibility.  Chapter 10 can help all members give better Sacrament Meeting talks and Sunday School lessons.  The numbers of ways that Preach My Gospel can be applied to members are innumerable.  We worked hard to have the ward leaders obtain a testimony of Chapter 13, “How Do I Work with Stake and Ward Leaders.”  Jonas Prasad, the Ward Mission Leader, then spoke in Sacrament Meeting encouraging members to purchase a copy from the bishop for $4.50.  They sold quickly!  The bishop just had members mark “Other” on their tithing slips, and since this big push for Preach My Gospel, the missionary work has greatly increased in the Burnaby Ward!”

        Editor’s Note:  No bishop or branch president will trust a full-time missionary fully, and no member will refer one of their non-member acquaintances until their assigned full time missionaries truly are anxiously engaged in the work, filled with enthusiasm, and acting totally upbeat at all times.  Coupled with an understanding of Preach My Gospel by members, we are impressed that Church growth in British Columbia is poised to explode! 

Start the Book of Mormon Blitz on July 31, 2006

        We anticipate having completed our mission-wide reading of Preach My Gospel by the end of the week.  Please start the “Book of Mormon Blitz” reading in your companionships on Monday, July 31, 2006.  We are using the same ten-week reading schedule as previously, which was distributed in the white binder to new incoming missionaries as they entered the mission in recent months.  Parents and BC leaders and members are invited to read with us and can access the reading schedule through the unofficial mission website at  Enjoy! 

--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.  

 “…I will shew thee my faith by my works.”  James 2:18

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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