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 4, 2006


             Having presided in the Canada Vancouver Mission now for 15 months, we have obtained an excellent sense of what missionary approach works best, and which approaches work less well.  The very most effective missionary tool we have, by far, is to have a member ask an acquaintance to come on a Tour of their chapel with the member and the full-time missionaries present.  Chapter 9 in Preach My Gospel lists 22 finding and teaching options, including a chapel Tour.  We are finding that the Tour works better consistently than any of the others here in British Columbia, with our BC-specific experience being that one of every seven non-members brought on a Tour by their member acquaintance goes on to baptism.  That success rate is better by far than any other approach of which we know.   

For it to Happen, the Ward or Branch Leadership Must Lead by Example

            Each stake presidency in BC has challenged every member or member family to bring three or more non-member acquaintances on a Tour through their chapel each year.  While members are aware of their challenge, until they commit to a Set-A-Date schedule for themselves three times each year, they will not likely reach their goal.  By committing to the full-time missionaries and the ward leadership the specific date and time they will be going on a chapel Tour, two or three weeks from the time they commit, and then asking everyone they know until they find someone to come with them on that Tour (which is really a non-threatening ask of their friends), members can easily accomplish their goal of three Tours per year.

            As Bishop Frank Hitchmough of the Victoria 2nd Ward has pointed out, it starts at the top.  When the ward leadership leads by example, everyone in the ward follows suit.  The following letter underlines the importance of this point:


Bishop Frank Hitchmough and Other Ward Leaders Set-A-Date, by  Elders Jed Pugsley (and Maclain Miles)

            “The work here in the Victoria 2nd Ward is going very well.  We now have a total of 17 Tours set within the next four weeks [from the time of the report written on September 18, 2006].  The Tour dates were established by Bishop Hitchmough explaining in PEC and Ward Council about the Set-A-Date program.  He then followed through by committing everyone present to Tour dates.  It was way awesome!

            “…We also committed a fellow who came to the President’s Fireside to baptism.  It was really cool!  He wanted me to thank you for that.” 

            Editor’s note:  Congratulations to Bishop Frank Hitchmough and his inspired Victoria 2nd Ward leaders!  With one investigator in seven who is brought on a Tour by a member going on to baptism, we can expect two or three baptisms to come from the 17 Tours already set up in the Victoria 2nd Ward!  It works! 

            We are asking each missionary companionship to achieve at least three Tours per week through their ward (which is the Abbotsford Stake minimal challenge to each of their wards and branches).  However, with each active family bringing three acquaintances on a Tour per year, we expect each companionship to eventually reach six or more Tours per week.  As each companionship meets with their bishop or branch president each week to go over their Key Indicators, which are e-mailed to each bishop and branch president weekly, the “referrals from members” column should be at least three to achieve the goal of three Tours per week.  Prayerfully, lovingly, patiently teach ward and branch members how to Set-A-Date, and stress to the leadership their all-important “lead by example” roll.


How to “Manage Up,” by Elder James H. Curry, senior missionary

            “How to effectively ‘manage up’ will be one of the most important skills you can learn.  After you graduate from college and are working in the business world, this skill will have a great impact on your salary.

            “As a supervisor or manager of any large company, you will be required to write annual objectives that are clear, concise and measurable.  Each year you will be evaluated on how well you completed your objectives and how important they were to your employer [and to your supervisor].  You “manage up” to succeed in the company by helping your supervisor succeed in achieving his or her goals.

            “…The same principles apply to our calling as missionaries.  We should all have written objectives that tie in to our District Leader, Zone Leader, Mission President, the Prophet, Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly Father.  Heavenly Father’s and Christ’s objective is to ‘bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.’  The Prophet has called us to teach the Gospel to all men, and Preach My Gospel asks us to ‘invite others to come unto Christ.’

            “President Middleton has a goal for the Canada Vancouver Mission to have 1500 baptisms per year.  Our Zone Leaders and District Leaders also have goals for their areas of responsibility designed to help President Middleton reach his goal.  Our objective should include all aspects of missionary conduct as found in the Missionary Handbook.  Remember to be specific when addressing areas where you have control.  Example:  I will study the assigned memorization scriptures so that I will be able to recite them whenever required or needed.  By following all Mission rules to the letter, we will have the Spirit with us strongly at all times and be able to teach with power.  We cannot have an objective of a specific number of baptisms per transfer because we do not have control over that.  We can, however, have a goal and pray that Heavenly Father will help us reach our goal.”

            Editor’s note:  Elder Curry spotlights an important truth.  Our success is our leader’s success, and all of our success collectively brings success to the head of our Church, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

            We love you and love working with you.

--President and Sister Middleton



“But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink,he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? “ (Matt 14:30-31)  Doubt  not, fear not.  Go get ‘em!  


Elders:  Daniel Banks (Wellsville, UT), Jason Barker (Millville, UT), James Brown (Thunder Bay, ON), Jacob Earnest (Culver, OR), Justin Fillmore (Trophy Club, TX), Adam Hassell (Woodburn, OR), Youngho Hea (Seoul, S. Korea), Abram Howard (Narrows, VA), Ryan Mousseau (Jim Thorpe, PA), Nicholas Ramirez (Irving, TX), Gavin Ramsey (Phoenix, AZ), Carlton Taylor (Pleasant Grove, UT), Daniel Walton (Highland, UT), Jason Wells (Roosevelt, UT)



Elder Taylor Clyde

My friends, I love you.  Thank you for serving our Lord in this great and latter-day work.  Remember, all good things require effort.  That which is worth having will cost.  Pay the price!  We are but servants of the Lord.  It is His work we are doing.  Submit yourselves to Him.  Our cause is just.  Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and He lives.  Take care.

Elder Michael Donohue aka Don Don

“When people point and laugh, and you ask, “why me?” just remember, Christ died for you, because that’s how it had to be” (unknown).  This is the best work around, so enjoy the epic times.  Live it up and get ‘er done.

Elder Andrew Drayson

Only those who receive temple ordinances gain eternal life.  Seek the Holy Ghost to confirm that your goal is acceptable by God and then make it happen.  A member invited me to a YSA activity; he had met me two weeks before.  I was baptized six weeks later.

Elder Tron Graham

“When we try in faith to walk in obedience to the requests of the priesthood, the Lord opens the way, even when there appears to be no way” (Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley).  Catch the vision, sustain your leaders, pray always, be obedient, work hard, and most of all, have fun!  I love the people here.  I love the Savior, and I love all of you.

Elder John Grover

My last words: GET TO WORK and everything will fall into line.  Be yourself and rely on the Lord like nothing else.  That’s where you will see the true divine.  “God be with you ‘til we meet again.”  GET TO WORK NOW!

Elder A. Michael Hansen aka The Count

Romans 8:16-18 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God: …joint-heirs with Christ; if so be we suffer with him [in this work].  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”  The hand of God in this work is real!  Christ does guide and sustain it.  It’s been righteous serving with you all!  Have fun!

 Elder Michael Masterson

If we don’t try, then we don’t do.  And if we don’t do, then why are we here?  “Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed” (DC123:17).

Elder McKenna

“Eagle, fly high, touch the Great Spirit.  Share your medicine.  Touch me, honor me, so that I may know you too” (Siskiyou Buckle).  “True love is letting go” (Rufio).

Elder Magnum Morgan

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and of a sound mind.  Don’t fear things, because if we could see the end so clear, we would surely lose our fear” (unknown).  Step out of your comfort zone and earn your sleep.

Elder Garrin Palmer

 Joseph Smith was a prophet.  The Book of Mormon is the Word of God.  Christ is leading this work and is our Savior.  I know that now more than ever before.  The mission was tight and “this opportunity knocks once in a lifetime” (Eminem).  So live it up.

Elder James Powell

“What we do in life echoes in eternity” (Gladiator).  It has been a pleasure to serve with all of you in this great mission.  Remember to cherish every moment, because one day it will be over.  Jesus Christ lives and He loves us.  His Church has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  Sweet is the work!

Elder Jordan Sparks

Alma 36:26 Do the work and have a dang good time doing it!  Once the Spirit hits your lips, there is no stopping the Lord’s servants.  Much love to all.

Elder Shawn Swapp

Why was 6 afraid of 7?  Because 7, 8, 9!  Have fun, be obedient, and follow the Spirit and you will never lose.  Remember, “When you’re on your knees, you’re taller than trees” (Johnny Cash).

Elder Ben Whipple

“…This time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream….” (Jacob 7:26).  I love our Savior Jesus Christ.  I love serving Him, and I will continue to do so.   DON”T WORRY!  I love you all –especially my boys.



Abbotsford: Karena Coulson     Nanaimo: Michael Ellis, Crystal Lorenzen       Prince George: Constance Cornelissen, Denise Davis, James Patterson               Surrey: Frederick Embree, Tristan Goodes, Praveen Kumar, Stewart Zukerman

Surrey Language: Ally Zhang   Vancouver:  Geoffrey Akena, Roy Gong, Body Jockene, Martha Ojulu, Steven Reader Vancouver Language: Ji Yeon Lim, Claudia Wong          Vernon:  George Swerdelian, Jamie Johnstone   

Victoria: Erma McArthur, Kevin Lu, Susan Lu



Oct 11 Van/Van Lang  Oct 19 – Surrey/Sur Lang/Abbots  Oct 26 – Nanaimo/Victoria  Nov 1 – Vernon  Nov 3 – Pr George



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?”

Challenge members to Set-A-Date for a Tour or a Church event, which can be coupled with a Tour at least 3 times yearly.

Our goal is to find at least one new investigator each day.

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, the Lord, am bound when you do what I say; but when ye do not what I say ye have no promise.” --D & C 82:10


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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