This is a non-traditional blog post in that it is more sharing information than an actual gem but I think it is still applicable and will provide beneficial information to many of you.
Each year during the holidays, I often reflect on my many blessings as I’m sure a lot of you do. As I think about my blessings, I often reflect on how lucky I am to have the gospel in my life when many others do not. This year I’ve thought a lot about missionary work and how I can help others find the gospel. I wanted to share a resource with you that I’ve found helpful in planning out and getting help in sharing the gospel.
A couple weeks before Christmas in my BYU ward they held a missionary fireside. I thought it was going to be a general invitation to participate in missionary work but it turned out to be something much different. We had elders from the Provo MTC Referral Mission come and give us a presentation on using technology to share the gospel. For those of you who have not heard of this mission (I would guess most of you have not) it can be known as the “online mission” for the church. The missionaries assigned to this mission work on contacting potential investigators via the internet. They are available 24/7 on lds.org to chat with members or investigators, they write blogs with spiritual thoughts and their testimonies, they teach lessons via phone or video chat using Skype, they are on Facebook, etc. They shared some pretty amazing stores with us about how they’ve reached people through the internet and had about 300 baptisms this year for their mission.
In talking with the elders in this mission, I’ve realized what a great resource they are for me and other members of the church. They’d love to answer any questions you have about their mission or about your interactions with nonmembers in sharing the gospel. They would also be happy to have you refer any investigators to them that they can answer questions for or teach. I just wanted to share this information with you because I think they offer some unique benefits. Some of these benefits in my mind are:
1. Chatting with nonmembers on the internet or phone. I feel like it is often a lot less threatening to nonmembers to chat with a missionary online rather than set up an appointment for a lesson right away. They mentioned that they also feel that nonmembers are more open with them at times because they are not sitting with them face to face. It is an easy way they can get answers to questions beyond what their friends can tell them.
2. Flexibility. In their presentation, they mentioned that they often work with people who have very busy schedules or move around a lot that would have a hard time keeping up with missionaries in their area.
3. Referral. After working with them for a period of time, investigators are referred to local missionaries who can help continue their progress in learning about the church.
I realize that everyone is busy and this may not be the right resource for everyone but I know this is not a well-known resource and I wanted to share it with those of you that it may interest. The best way to contact the elders is by becoming their facebook friends (Elder Seth Spencer and Elder Andrew Howden (that’s their actual facebook names)). They’d also be happy to set up an appointment with you over phone or chat if you prefer that once you get in touch with them.
I hope each of us can remember during the holiday season how blessed we are to have the gospel in our lives and become more motivated to share it with others throughout the coming year and years to come.
“You were chosen and foreordained to have the gospel in your life and to be a leader in the cause of the restored gospel.” Neil L. Andersen, “Preparing for Your Spiritual Destiny,” Church Educational System fireside for young adults, Jan. 10, 2010