Historic Missionary Broadcast

Hastening the work of the Lord

Ever since the announcement made by Pres. Monson last October, I have wondered what will happen to missionary work in the world as so many more missionaries start walking its streets. Recently the Deseret News reported that by September 2013, the number of missionaries serving worldwide will jump by 47%. That’s huge!

But let’s look at this closely. Where exactly are they going to go, and what are they going to do? Hey, let’s face it, even 30 years ago when I was a missionary, it was evident that the areas I served in were highly saturated with LDS missionaries. In some cases I was working a whole area within a month. For a missionary who would probably be in an area for an average of 3-6 months, that means working an area almost as many times.

Please don’t get me wrong, I never doubted the work I was involved in, and I don’t doubt the huge impact that this announcement will have on the Lord’s work. In fact, just typing this sends tingles up my spine…it is truly exciting and certainly a sign of the times. But I have to say, I have wondered just how it will work with so many more missionaries saturating the earth.

‘The Work of Salvation’ MIssionary Broadcast

Well, maybe we will find out this Sunday. Over the last week, information has emerged that this Sunday there will be an historic missionary broadcast for all, “Ward and stake council members, their spouses, full-time missionaries, and other interested Church members…” 

I have also heard that this broadcast will change the face of missionary work throughout the world, and is closely linked to the age change in missionary service recently announced.

I don’t know about you, but I think I will be one of those ‘interested church members’ linking into lds.org on Sunday afternoon (well, actually Monday for me) to find out exactly what kind of changes will be taking place. No doubt it will involve, not just the full-time missionaries, but every member of the church.

If you are interested in finding out more detailed information about this broadcast then follow the link to the Church News & Events page. But, in a nutshell, here are the basic details:

The Work of Salvation Missionary Broadcast
Live broadcast of a special session of the seminar for New Mission Presidents.
From the Marriott Centre in Provo.
Sunday 23rd June, 4pm mountain daylight time.
Local leaders have been instructed by the First Presidency to adjust their scheduled worship services to accommodate this broadcast.
Re-broadcasts of this session will be planned for other areas of the world. However, if you can’t wait for that then connect into either lds.org, mormonchannel.org, or facebook.com/lds at the given time to watch it streamed live.

In conjunction with this broadcast, there will also be a new website launched titled, “Hastening the Work of Salvation: A Unified Effort in Conversion, Retention, and Activation” 

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Did They Doubt?

My daughter has been home from her mission for 5 months now. Believe it or not, she only just gave her homecoming report to the Stake High Council this past Sunday. No fault of anyone in particular, just life circumstances that prevented it happening sooner.

Anyway, as I reflect on the things that have happened since her arrival home, I {again} realise that life doesn’t always go the way we want, or expect, it. Whether it is challenges the Lord throws in our way to make us stronger, or Satan’s sinister subterfuge; things can derail us if we are not prepared.

Five months down the track and my daughter had expected to be well into the second year of her university studies; picking up where she left off prior to leaving for her mission. But as life would have it, that has not been possible. Instead she was obliged to delay those studies and seek full-time employment for a few months until the start of the new semester in July.

The job she was forced to take was actually very similar to the work she was doing on her mission…like many other missionaries, cold call selling seemed to be a natural progression for her. With similar frameworks of goal setting, door to door approaches, and prepared presentations, it is a familiar pattern to a returned missionary. The only difference being that the rewards are not nearly as good as those on a mission.

Knowing she still had over two months before returning to her studies, about 3 weeks ago I got a text from her while she was out working…

“Mum, I want to quit my job, what do you think?”

The ensuing conversation between the two of us consisted of self doubt on her part, and a need to bring support and encouragement to the situation on my part.

While on her mission, we rarely had the need for these kinds of conversations. For the most, she seemed to manage the few down times on her own, and relished and shared the up times with us.

No parent wants to hear those words of doubt from their child – whether on a mission or anytime else.

So how does a parent instill in their child a sense of purpose, of overcoming doubts and battling debilitating discouragement? Every missionary will undoubtedly have times when those small seeds of uncertainty arise and bloom; many battle with it weekly, some daily.

I won’t go into my own experiences here, but needless to say there was many a day on my mission when my companion and I would be riding our bikes home after a long and fruitless day and my tears surpassed in quantity the pouring rain falling all around me.

The support of family and friends is vital in time of doubt. Having only had one missionary daughter serve so far, I feel inadequate to address this topic as a whole. But I did want to raise awareness of it; especially to those new missionary mums, dad’s and families who may not have considered it.

I also want to share with you a great article in the Meridian Magazine by a father of 5 returned missionaries – Larry Barkduhl – who discusses this topic in detail. It’s a must read for anyone who has sent, or is sending, out a missionary.

LETTERS TO STRUGGLING MISSIONARIES

I am pleased to say that my daughter didn’t walk away from her job that day, but managed to stay the course. I would like to think that it was because of the multiple quotes on success/failure that I sent her that tipped the scales. But in reality I think it was her own sense of understanding, and drawing on her own experience as a missionary, that helped her through it.

But for what it’s worth, here are a couple of the quotes I sent her that day…

‘You have never failed until you give up’  (Wall plaque in my home as I grew up)

‘Don’t confuse psycho-babble for reality’ (I own this one)

‘Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm’ Winston Churchill

‘Your attitude determines your success’ Spoken, I’m sure, by many a prophet and apostle

‘The only limit to our realisation of tomorrow will be our doubts of today’ Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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Press Conference Announcing New Missionary Opportunities

Elder Holland, Elder Nelson, and Elder Evans of the Seventy, announce that, effective immediately, men may now begin serving at age 18 and women at age 19.

**The actual press conference begins at about the 1 minute mark.

Former Evangelical Pastor Shares Mormon Conversion Story

I saw this today and just had to share it. As I watched it I realised the great work that our missionaries are involved in, and that it doesn’t take the most eloquent, educated missionary to have an effect on the Lords people.

I hope that each missionary mum out there realises the impact that their son or daughter can have.

Thanks to Mormon Women Blog for sharing this.

The Value of a Full-Time Mission

In my online wonderings today I found this new video that the church has published on The Value of a Full-Time Mission.

I know there are many young men and young women out there who are struggling with the decision of whether to serve a full-time mission or not. So today I am posting this video here for anyone who is feeling this struggle in their life, or for any mum or dad who might need an extra resource to share with their future missionary. I hope you enjoy it, and PLEASE…..share it with your friends and family.

Have you had an experience where you or another person in your life have struggled with this question? For the benefit of those out there who are dealing with it right now, I would love if you can share a little bit about that struggle.

Joining the Conversation – Online Privacy and Identity Protection

Welcome to Part 1 of our ‘Joining the Conversation’ Series. Here we will discuss the various aspects of online privacy and identity protection – important issues to consider if you are planning on sharing your story online.

We are living in a world of information sharing. On the whole this is a good thing, as it allows us faster and more efficient ways to control many aspects of our lives, and allows us opportunities to connect with other people across the globe. However, it lays open to the rest of the world another portal to our personal information.

English: Photograph of a key ring with one Chu...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you choose to participate in any online conversation, then 99% of the time you will be required to create some kind of login account that involves a username and password.

Passwords are like the keys to your home or family safe. Every effort should be made to protect them. Setting strong passwords across the many different online platforms you use will assist in protecting your identity  and maintain your privacy online.

Please note: This should not make us fearful. I doubt that any of us would consider the idea of never leaving our homes for fear of losing our house keys. Similarly, online security is just a matter of finding sensible and safe ways to protect access to our personal information.

The following are some simple things you can adopt to protect this information and your identity to safely join the online conversation.

1. Password Protection for your computer:

Something that many people don’t even think to do, which should be at the top of your list of personal security items, is the password protection of both your home network system and your personal computer.

If your home network password is known, it is very easy to track any computer use within your home (particularly if it is a wireless system).

Additionally, if personal computers are not equipped with password access, then any information stored on them is available for exploitation.

Always ensure that proper passwords are set for both your home network system and any personal computers connected to that system.

2. Online Password Protection:

There are two levels of online passwords.

  1. Critical passwords – These would be used for online banking, access to personal documents and information, PayPal, or anything else that contains access to your financial information and assets. Every effort should be made to make these passwords as strong as possible, and they should be changed every 3-6 months. NEVER mix them with the less critical passwords described below.
  2. Less critical passwords – These passwords would be for sites where there is less critical information involved – such as social network sites, blogs, and email accounts. They are not as critical as those described in #1 above, but you will probably use them more frequently, and will therefore be more readily remembered. They should be changed every 6 months.
Welcome to the Hotel California
Cover of "Hotel California"

Cover of Hotel California (Amazon.com)

Tips for setting strong passwords:

  1. Don’t use common things, such as family names, birthdates, addresses, or obvious things like ‘password’ or ‘123’.
  2. Try to make your passwords at least 6 characters long (longer if allowed) – the more characters, the safer the password.
  3. Use a mix of characters – upper case, lower case, numerals, and special characters. The more complex the character set, the safer the password.
  4. NEVER write your passwords down, or record them anywhere on your computer.
  5. Use passphrases or mnemonics if you find it difficult to remember your passwords. A passphrase is a sentence or a line from a song, or poem, in which the first letter of each word becomes the password. To add different characters you can substitute things like ‘to’ with ‘2’. Eg. “Welcome to the Hotel California by The Eagles”, would read ‘W2tHCbTE’ (and no, I haven’t used this as one of my passwords – its just an example).
  6. Always use a unique password for each site.
  7. Don’t share your passwords with others.

Here are a couple of websites that give you more detailed information on creating a strong password:

3.   Other Forms of Online Security

Using an Avatar (profile picture)
One way of helping to protect your identity online, while still maintaining a consistent and credible presence, is to create an avatar that you can use across many different platforms.

Your Facebook profile picture is an example of a type of avatar. Some people may use an actual image of themselves, but it is also quite acceptable for people to create an online avatar that is used as a representation of them.

For example, I use a cartoon avatar of myself to represent my MMM blog. I use this avatar to identify myself on other associated blogs as well. I also have a more personal avatar, which is an actual photograph of myself, that I use on social network sites where I connect with people I know on a more personal level.

Here are a couple of links to some fun avatar creation sites:

You can also use one of your own images that can be cropped to the standard avatar image size.

Using an Online Username (pseudonym)
Similarly, choosing a username that you can use across different platforms allows you to maintain a consistent presence online, without revealing too much personal information – such as your full name. If you are serious about ‘Joining the Conversation’, creating a consistent username gives greater credibility and consistency to your comments no matter where you visit.

If you feel you must use your own name, always keep it to just your first name.

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Next week we will be looking at the the different ways we can share our stories online. This part will help us determine to what extent we wish to join the conversation, and evaluate the different platforms available to us to do this.

If you have any questions about the first part of the series, then please leave a comment below and I would be more than happy to answer them.