Productive Mornings and Afternoons
Sent Date: Sunday, October 26, 2014
Author: President Hansen
Dear Elders and Sisters,
We thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of you over the last two weeks. We feel like we are the most blessed mission presidents in the Church to have such a wonderful bunch of missionaries. Elder White, a zone Leader from the Lafayette Zone brought up concerns over how to productively spend your time in the mornings and early afternoons when many people are working or running errands.
Here is what he said,
-----”We have tried formers, potential investigators, and looked up new people on the roster and have had no luck. So honestly, for the past few weeks on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (Monday p-day, Tuesday is usually district meeting, Thursday weekly plan, and Sunday church so those 4 days you use up those hours) we will take our lunch break from 10 to 11, and honestly tract one neighborhood for 2 hours with maybe one or two people even answering their doors and we will then go to another neighborhood and tract for 2 hours with a similar outcome. With the little success we've been having with tracting in the mornings, I have been thinking … if it's our most effective use of time for those hours… so few people answer their doors… I have a feeling this is a mission wide problem--missionaries (especially elders, since sister missionaries have more people to see due to the fact a good majority of women are at home during those hours). Thanks a lot President, looking forward to hearing what you have to say about this.”
Let’s talk about some things we could do during less productive times during the day:
1) We can do finding activities at universities, parks, downtown, libraries, etc. Some missionaries talk to fishermen fishing off bridges. Ask big issue questions to initiate conversations i.e. “Do you think that we lived before we were born? What is the purpose of our lives? Why are we here? What happens to us after we die?
2) We can do service for less actives and investigators. Make sure the service is meaningful. Try to make the service two hours or less. We aren’t trying to fill in time with service, there needs to be a missionary purpose to everything we do.
3) When we set appointments, always offer daytime hours first, “For our next visit would it be better to see you in the morning or the afternoon?” You don’t offer the evening hours, make them ask for them.
4) Always make your appointments with people who are unemployed, retired, night workers etc. for your time before 5PM.
5) Have a weekly service opportunity where we give service in a community setting: a homeless shelter kitchen, a community garden, Boy’s and Girl’s Club, etc. These would not just be for service sake, these would be finding activities.
6) I have known many missionaries who have a bus pass who do finding on the bus. Talk about the big issues: Importance of families, God’s love for us, Why there needs to be a prophet on the earth today, etc. Talk loud enough that some of the people around you can hear, too. Tell them you are Mormon Missionaries pass out cards like they are water. Let’s make our daytime hours way more productive. Maybe all y’all could give me some ideas that you have done that have been helpful and I will pass them along to the rest of the mission. We need to “hasten the work of salvation.”
Here are some great excerpts from some of the missionary letters:
-----And we just "happened" to show up on J'avien's (the grandson who had passed away) birthday planning to review the Plan of Salvation. How crazy is that! I'm a firm believer that there are no coincidences. God totally knew that she needed to hear that message again because she'd been feeling pretty down. I hadn't even recognized the Spirit in that one, but I'm glad we followed it.
-----Friday night we went and saw a less-active who LOVES having the missionaries over. It’s probably been years since she's come to church but we thought we'd stop by anyway! Well she's definitely a character and we had a good time and we talked about hope and how being close to the Lord is what brings hope. Well we were sitting in sacrament meeting and I looked over and guess who I saw????? This less-active and she smiled over at me! I don't believe I've ever had a happier moment. That was so incredible!!!!
THE VISION OF THE SOUTH
"Make no small plans: This is the vision I have for the South. I believe that one day the South will baptize more people into the church than all other English speaking missions in the world together....We will see the time when we will baptize hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands...In your day you will see a million members of the church in the South. There will be temples plural in the Southern States. What a great call you have to serve with these marvelous people." President Spencer W. Kimball