A Great Way To Teach The Plan Of Salvation

The following is a guest post from Chipper Whatcott. Chipper was born and raised in southern Utah. He served a full-time mission in Mexico City, and now attends Utah Valley University. You can connect with Chipper on LinkedIn.

sister missionaries using plan of salvation cardsTeaching the Plan of Salvation to people investigating The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be difficult, but there is a way missionaries can make it easier for them.

The Plan of Salvation is hard to teach because it’s really complex. As members of The Church, we know about Spirit Prison and Paradise, the Second Coming, the Resurrection, the Final Judgement, and the Kingdoms of Glory. We also have a distinct understanding of the Pre-Earth Life, the Veil, and our purpose on this Earth. Trying to teach that to someone who has never heard of these things is tough. It’s like trying to explain a foreign language.

When I was on my mission, my companions and I would cut out images from church magazines that represented steps in the Plan of Salvation. We’d laminate them and take them around with us to our appointments. It was a great teaching tool, especially for slow learners and children. Approximately 65 percent of the world’s population are visual learners, so it makes sense that this teaching tool was so effective.

While the images worked well, they weren’t ideal. They were all different shapes and sizes. Some were photos and others were hand-drawn images. Due to each image being different in shape and size, they were hard to store. I couldn’t wrap them in a rubber band or put them in a folder, so I just had to throw them in my backpack and hope for the best.

That is when I had the idea for teaching cards. A thin deck of cards would be lightweight, small, and easy to store. It wouldn’t weigh down my backpack, nor would it take up a lot of space.

Missionary with Box of Flagship Teaching Cards

Each deck, which I have dubbed Flagship Teaching Cards, comes in a small, lightweight metal box with a set of 10 ultra-strong, easy-to-use teaching cards. The cards are so strong that they literally cannot be torn by human hands. And they’re water-resistant too.

An added bonus is that none of the images on the cards include written words. This gives a missionary the ability to teach any investigator, no matter the language they speak.

If you would like to purchase a deck of these plan of salvation cards for missionaries, visit the Flagship Teaching Cards webstore.

Flagship Teaching Cards of plan of salvation

MTC at Home

mtc at home coverLast week we had a guest post by Rebecca Irvine, author of the book MTC at Home: Preparing the Lord’s Future Missionaries. Rebecca has generously offered to give away a free copy of the book to a visitor to the Mormon Mission Prep website. To have a chance to win the book, please leave a comment below telling what you are doing (or will do in the future or have done in the past) to make your your home a missionary training center.

Buy the Book: MTC at Home

MTC at Home is a book with dozens of family home evening lessons that incorporate concepts from the Preach My Gospel manual. The lessons are designed to help future missionaries learn to teach, testify, and invite. There is a CD-ROM included with the book with a wide variety of printable activity pages for children and youth of all ages.

Smith Family FHE Lesson from MTC at Home

Last week, for FHE, the Smith family decided to give one of the MTC at Home lessons a try for family home evening. We picked lesson number 6 on the four cornerstones of the restoration of the Church, based on President Gordon B. Hinckley’s February 2004 talk called Four Cornerstones of Faith. The chief cornerstone is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer. The second cornerstone is the First Vision of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Cornerstone number three is the Book of Mormon and the fourth cornerstone is the restoration to earth of priesthood power and authority.

Here is a picture of the Lego building I built during the lesson, with a different colored brick representing each of the four cornerstones of the restored church of Jesus Christ.

lego building with four cornerstones

After the lesson, the kids did the activity from the MTC at Home book/dvd. They colored a four-side church building where each side represents one of the cornerstones of the Church.

boy coloring cutout of church

Finally, we cut out the picture and glued it together to make a church building. The kids loved it, especially when I put our FHE treat, a piece of candy, in the cutout church building.

girl holding cutout of church

Book Giveaway

As I stated at the beginning, I have one copy of the book, MTC at Home, to give away to one of the luck visitors to this site. To enter, please leave a comment below telling what you are doing (or will do in the future or have done in the past) to make your your home an MTC. Please, only one entry per person, and the winner will be selected at random one week from the date of this post. Good luck.

Give Advice, Get a Latter-day Mission T-Shirt

Latter Day Mission T-Shirts is providing five gift certificates (a $25 value each) for a free shirt at their online store.

If you don’t win the free shirts, you still ought to check out the Latter Day Mission T-Shirts website. They have a variety of designs and styles.latter-day t-shirtTo the right I am modeling a couple of their more popular designs. (Note to self: Do not go into modeling as a career. 🙂 I just don’t think I’m cut out for it. The photo’s are a good before and after of my hair cut though. Thanks Hon!)

The t-shirt designs are mostly of specific missions, therefore they are for people who have their mission call or who previously served a mission. There are some generic designs, though, for future missionaries such as the “I Love Missionaries” design and “Missionary Mom” design.

Each gift certificate is worth $25 at the Latter Day Mission T-Shirts store. That will cover the cost, tax, and shipping for most items on the website.

How to Enter for a Chance to Win?

To have a chance to win the t-shirt gift certificate, please leave a comment below explaining the most important thing you did to prepare for your mission. If you haven’t gone a mission yet, then tell about something meaningful you are doing to prepare for you mission.

These comments should serve as good advice for the up and coming future missionaries on how to best prepare themselves, physically and spiritually, to serve the Lord as a full-time missionary. I will pick my five favorite comments to win the t-shirts. Entries must be submitted by next Sunday night, January 26th, at 11:59 mountain time. Good luck.

Sponsored Message

The Saratov Approach

The Saratov Approach PosterThe Saratov Approach is a movie about two Mormon missionaries who were kidnapped in Russia in 1998. I found this to be an excellent movie, well made, entertaining, and very spiritually uplifting. I loved the way it showed the Christian community across the country come together to pray for these two young men who were in peril. I appreciated how the movie taught important lessons about listening to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, Christ-like love and mercy, and faith God.

The movie depicts the kidnapping of missionaries Andrew Lee Propst and Travis Robert Tuttle in Saratov, Russia. The kidnappers demanded $300,000 in ransom for the safe return of the missionaries, but neither The Church, the families, nor the US government would pay it. The missionaries were held for 5 days before the kidnappers finally, miraculously released them relatively unharmed (some bumps and bruises and a scary experience they will likely never forget).

The Effect on Future Missionaries and Their Parents

With the ever increasing number of LDS missionaries serving, I was initially concerned about possible negative effects this film might have on future missionaries and their families. But upon seeing the movie, I don’t have that fear any longer. The story is faith promoting and only increases my desire, and likely anyone else seeing it, to do missionary work and build the kingdom of God. Garrett Batty, the director and writer of The Saratov Approach, reports a similar reaction by most viewers.

“What we have found is the moms … all have those feelings going into it. [But] every one of them comes out of the film with tears in their eyes and they say, ‘Thank you for that.’ This film renews faith that these missionaries are on the Lord’s errands. It has almost been a tribute to the missionary moms. The amount of faith for a mother to send her son or daughter on a mission is immeasurable, and this movie recognizes that.” (See ‘The Saratov Approach’ director planned for movie 15 years ago on Utahvalley360.com)

Below are three of my favorite parts of the movie, scenes that were powerful, emotional, edifying, and spiritually uplifting.

Like Alma and Amulek

Towards the end of the film, the two missionaries, handcuffed to a filthy bed, are talking with one of their captors, Nikolai. Nikolai explains how he wants to let them go, but he is afraid that the other captor, Sergei, will shoot him if he did. The missionaries, in one sense, were at the lowest of low points: kidnapped, beaten, threatened with death, handcuffed in cold, filthy conditions. Yet in this instance there is a feeling of freedom and exaltation for the missionaries, as the film contrasts them to the trap Sergei and Nikolai have gotten themselves into due to their circumstances and poor choices. It was then that the story of Alma and Amulek in a prison in the land of Ammonihah (Alma chapter 14) came to my mind.Alma and Amulek in prison

“And they did withhold food from them that they might hunger, and water that they might thirst; and they also did take from them their clothes that they were naked; and thus they were bound with strong cords, and confined in prison. And it came to pass that they all went forth and smote them, saying the same words, even until the last; and when the last had spoken unto them the power of God was upon Alma and Amulek, and they rose and stood upon their feet. And Alma cried, saying: How long shall we suffer these great afflictions, O Lord? O Lord, give us strength according to our faith which is in Christ, even unto deliverance. And they broke the cords with which they were bound; and when the people saw this, they began to flee, for the fear of destruction had come upon them….and the earth shook mightily, and the walls of the prison were rent in twain, so that they fell to the earth; and the chief judge, and the lawyers, and priests, and teachers, who smote upon Alma and Amulek, were slain by the fall thereof. And Alma and Amulek came forth out of the prison, and they were not hurt; for the Lord had granted unto them power, according to their faith which was in Christ.” (Alma 14: 22, 25-28)

Elder Tuttle Bearing His Testimony of the Savior

There was a very touching moment, about mid-way through the film, where the two missionaries asked each other why they decided to serve a mission. Elder Probst told how he always knew he wanted to serve a mission and from a very early age was doing everything he could to earn money and save it for his mission.

Elder Tuttle then explains how growing up he did not want to serve a mission. But a good priesthood leader brought him to a mission prep class where he was touched by the Spirit of the Lord. The class had a discussion on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and Elder Tuttle learned about how Jesus wished he didn’t have to drink from the bitter cup (the infinite suffering). Yet even more powerful, though, was the Savior’s desire to do his father’s and so he went ahead and paid the eternal price for our sins. Elder Tuttle then bears a powerful testimony of how he gained the desire to follow the Savior and do the will of his Father in Heaven and serve a mission.

Call from Another Missionary who had been kidnapped

Perhaps the most touching part of the movie for me was when the father of one of the kidnapped missionaries received a call from a man who had been kidnapped as a missionary in Argentina 20 years earlier. His words brought great comfort to the parents. He said that the longer their sons were with the kidnappers, the more likely it was that they would come home safely because, he testified, “light always overcomes darkness.”

Enos Praying by Robert T Barrett

The man who had been kidnapped as a missionary in Argentina further explained to the parents what was going through the minds of their sons. He explained how they were doing a lot of praying, not for themselves, but for others. He said they will not be thinking about their own welfare, but rather they will be praying that their parents, family and friends will be comforted. He said then, almost involuntarily, they will begin to pray for their captors. He said Christ-like love and mercy will pour over them and they will desire that their captors, who are spiritually lost and suffering, will be blessed by God.

At this point in the movie, the Book of Mormon prophet Enos came to my mind. Enos, while engaged in “mighty prayer,” prayed first for himself and then for his family and friends, and then his heart was turned to his enemies and he prayed for them: “Now, it came to pass that when I (Enos) had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites; wherefore, I did pour out my whole soul unto God for them. …And after I, Enos, had heard these words, my faith began to be unshaken in the Lord; and I prayed unto him with many long strugglings for my brethren, the Lamanites.” (Enos 1: 9, 11)

The Power of Everyday Missionaries

The Power of Everyday Missionaries is an excellent book by Clayton M. Christensen. Brother Christensen has served as a bishop, a counselor in the Massachusetts Boston Mission presidency, and an area seventy. He teaches at Harvard University, is a well-known management consultant, and has researched and written much on business innovation.

The Power of Everyday Missionaries teaches the what and how of sharing the gospel. It gives great insight and wonderful examples of how each member of the Church can use the opportunities in everyday life to share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with our friends and neighbors. I highly recommend the book to all members. Though it focuses mostly on member-missionary efforts, the knowledge and techniques he discusses will also serve to help young people who are preparing for a full-time mission some day.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

Blessings of Missionary Work

  • introducing a friend to Jesus Christ“Every time you take someone figuratively by the hand and introduce him or her to Jesus Christ, you will feel how deeply our Savior loves you and loves the person whose hand is in yours.” (p. 1)
  • “Having the missionaries regularly help us as a family teach the gospel to new and old friends through the power of the Holy Ghost has profoundly affected the faith of our five children and brought the Spirit of God into our home.” (p. 6)
  • “Sharing the gospel doesn’t just require that we have the power of God unto the convincing of men. It gives us this power…It doesn’t just demand our purity. It will help us be pure.” (p. 10)

Many People Are Waiting and Ready to Receive the Gospel

  • “The Lord’s statement that the world is “white already to harvest” (D&C 4:4) doesn’t have an expiration date. The world is still ready.” (p. 3)
  • “There are a lot of people with questions. Most of them have given up on churches as a source of answers. As a consequence, we [mistakenly] categorize them as not interested in religion.” (p. 30)
  • “People will learn when they are ready to learn. Discovering what questions are on people’s minds about religion helps me to see that I actually am surrounded by many more people who are religious than I had imagined–because they have questions.” (p. 34)

Making the Gospel Part of Our Conversations

  • “Finding people for the missionaries to teach and helping them progress toward baptism can be easy and natural for all of us if we learn how to do this in ways that mirror the mind and the ways of God.” (p. 13)
  • “It is important to view normal conversations with people in probabilistic terms. If 5 percent of people have some latent interest in the LDS Church, and I open a conversational door about the church with twenty people, one of them will express interest–and I can’t judge who it will be. If we open a door to a hundred people, five of them will be interested. This is why it is so important to make the gospel a part of our conversation.” (p. 26)
  • “The Restoration of the gospel allows us to categorize things by ‘truth vs. falsehood’ instead of ‘science vs. religion.’ This has made me unafraid. It helps me to instinctively draw upon concepts from religion to solve problems in business and academia.” (p. 67)
  • coworkers using gospel to solve problems“Just as we have been taught to put footnotes in essays when we use an idea from another person, we should simply be sure that our coworkers understand where the principles came from as we use the gospel to solve problems.” (p. 68)

Open Your Mouth

  • “(Satan) simply needs to convince the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that it is awkward and politically incorrect to talk about God’s plan with others at work.”(p. 53)
  • “Every time I have set a date–first to invite someone, and then to find someone who says yes, God has blessed me to intersect with someone who has accepted my invitation to come into our home to study with the missionaries. “(p. 77)
  • “In the equation that determines whether we can find people for the missionaries to teach, God’s role is constant, not variable. He always keeps His promises. The only variable is whether we have the faith that we will be blessed with miracles if we make commitments to God and then obediently do what we said we would do.” (p. 79)
  • “Each of these members and leaders [examples of successful member missionaries] were entrepreneurs in Zion. They rightly assumed that the power was in their hands to bring to pass much righteousness.” (p. 149)

Sharing the Gospel Online

  • “We realized only a handful of youth during their teenage years have regular opportunities to share their testimonies with nonmembers. We felt that asking them to serve as digital missionaries was a perfect way to help them have regular missionary opportunities and also to help them learn how to better articulate their beliefs.” (p. 86)
  • sharing gospel online youths native tongue“In many ways, the call to be online missionaries is a calling to share the gospel in their (the youth’s) native tongue.” (p. 86)

Helping Investigators Learn and Feel the Spirit

  • “Consider the difference made by a shift in approach. Phil had regularly commanded my dad to get off the porch when the proposal was “Phil, you need the Church.” But when the pitch was, “Phil, the Church needs you,” instantly he said yes.” (p. 37)
  • “Many of us misdiagnose the reason why so many investigators don’t follow through on their commitments to read and ponder the Book of Mormon, to pray to learn if it is true, and to attend church. When investigators repeatedly fail to keep these commitments, we and the missionaries are prone to conclude that the investigators really are not interested. But often investigators don’t do these things because they don’t know how.” (p. 91)
  • “We know that we learn much more when we teach a lesson than when we hear a lesson. We now know that the same principle applies to those who are learning about the restored gospel. They learn it far more deeply when we give them the chance to reach us.” (p. 106)
  • “We can schedule meetings with our investigators in a church building before they come to Sunday services. Given them a tour of the building and tell them what goes on in every (room). …We want them to feel that the church building is a sacred place because people like to return to places that they consider sacred, places where they know they will feel good.” (p. 109)
  • “When our friends are preparing for baptism we should expect temptation and deception to intensify. This means, consequently, that our job as missionaries is to teach our friends how to identify temptation and withstand it.” (p. 112)

Missionary Oriented Wards and Stakes

  • “Every ward in the Church can bring the Spirit into their meetings. But it helps if they know which investigators are coming and what each person needs.” (p. 110)
  • “God trusted the Weston Ward. He knew that when His children prayed to Him for help and guidance, if He could just guide them to the Weston Ward or one of its members, He could trust the members to take it from there.” (p. 140)
  • “Everyone in the branch was brought by a friend, and then they brought friends.They were given responsibility the day after baptism to be proselyting missionaries. …Predictably, not miraculously, hundreds of people accepted baptism, and most of these converts stayed committed to the faith.” (p. 147)
  • “A sense among some in the Church is that obedient Saints are those that follow the programs assiduously, and that innovation is a symptom of rebellion if it hasn’t been ‘approved.’ These Saints [examples of successful member missionaries] followed the Spirit in an unscripted way.” (p. 149)

 

Chance to Win Mormon Mission Prep Book

Earlier this year I published Mormon Mission Prep: A Practical Guide to Spiritual and Physical Preparation. The book and eBook have enjoyed great success, and to celebrate, I thought I would give away some copies (of the physical book that is, you can always download the Mormon Mission Prep eBook for free).

Like Mormon Mission Prep on FacebookEnter By Liking Mormon Mission Prep on Facebook

Simply “Like” the Mormon Mission Prep Facebook page and you’ll be entered for a chance to win one of three free copies of the book. If you have already liked the Mormon Mission Prep Facebook page, then you are already entered. If you haven’t Liked Mormon Mission Prep on Facebook yet, here’s how you do it:

Mormon Mission Prep Facebook Like

  • Option 1: Go to the Mormon Mission Prep Facebook page, and click “Like” at the top.
  • Option 2: If you’re on the Mormon Mission Prep site now, you can click the “Like” button in the right hand side panel.

Rules

Everyone who has liked the Mormon Mission Prep Facebook page by Sunday, September 4, 2011, is entered. I’ll be giving away three books: one book each to three different people selected at random. I’ll notify the winners via Facebook and get their address and send them out the book. Good luck!

Mormon Mission Prep Book Announcement

Mormon Mission Prep Book CoverI am very excited to announce the publication of a book I have written called Mormon Mission Prep: A Practical Guide to Spiritual and Physical Preparation. The book contains answers to the most common questions I have gotten over the last couple of years of running the Mormon Mission Prep website. Questions like:

  • How much will a mission cost?
  • When do you start the paperwork?
  • What clothing do you bring with you?
  • What if you have questions about worthiness?

The Mormon Mission Prep book takes a unique look at missionary preparation by focusing on the practical as well as the spiritual side of preparing to serve the Lord. The book provides details on the application forms and estimated timelines of when to start and how long steps should take. Knowing the mission call process can relieve stress and help prevent unnecessary delays in getting the mission call.

Becoming an effective missionary also means knowing and using the scriptures, maintaining your worthiness, understanding the gospel, and developing a testimony. I address all those issues and more in this book that is full of tips on preparing both spiritually and physically for an LDS mission.

The book makes a great gift for teenagers and young adults who are preparing (or should be preparing) for a mission.

Click here to buy the Mormon Mission Prep Book in paperback.

Or download for free the Mormon Mission Prep eBook

for your Kindle, iPad, or other electronic book reader.

Giveaway: Missionary Cards or Priesthood Line of Authority Print

missionary cards by Express Digital ImagesThis week we are holding a contest to give away either a set of 100 missionary cards or a customized priesthood line of authority print. The winner will be able to pick whichever one he or she wants. These items are being provided by Express Digital Images, a company that has been serving the LDS and business community since 1987. The owners are friends of mine and I highly recommend their services.

Readers have one week to enter the contest. There are three ways to enter:

  1. Share your mission call on our virtual Missionary Farewell page. This is primarily for missionaries who recently received their call.
  2. Submit a Mission Report. Any returned missionary can share his or her experiences and testimony here.
  3. If neither of the first two options are applicable to you, you can enter by leaving a comment on this post.

Let me take a minute and tell you a little more about the products we’re giving away.

Missionary Cards

missionary cardMissionary cards are a convenient way to keep in touch with friends, converts, investigators, members, companions, and other people you will meet on your mission. Missionary cards from Express Digital Images come in two sizes: 2″ x 3.5″ typical business card-sized, and a larger 2 1/2″ x 4″ card. For the traditional-sized card, you can choose between “The field is ready to harvest” wheat field background or a white background for the front of your card. The back of the card can be left blank if you like or you can have a favorite scripture printed on it. For the larger 2 1/2″ x 4″ card, you the same choices for the front of your card, and on the back you can have either the 13 Articles of Faith or your favorite scripture. This is a great gift for newly called missionaries or ones already in the field.

Priesthood Line of Authority Prints

priesthood line of authorityEach Priesthood holder’s line of authority is the way in which he can trace his priesthood authority back to the Lord Jesus Christ. It shows who ordained you, and who ordained that person, and so on until you get back to Joseph Smith, Peter, James and John, and the Savior. Priesthood line of authority prints from Express Digital Images come in dozens of sizes and varieties. Ready-to-frame priesthood line of authority prints are available in an 11″ by 14″ size and larger with seven different backgrounds to choose from. They also come in a size to fit in your scriptures: large, regular, and compact scripture sizes. These also make a great gift for missionaries or any priesthood holder, husband, brother, or father (Father’s day is fast approaching).

P.S. When you order a priesthood line of authority from Express Digital Images, you’ll need to provide the names and ordination dates of everyone in your line of authority. EDI has instructions on their website how to request that information from LDS Church headquarters if you do not have it.

Raising Ourselves to the Bar

I just finished reading a great mission prep book called Raising Ourselves to the Bar by Brad Wilcox and Russell Wilcox. Here are some of my favorite parts of the book:

  • “When Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve was directing the work in Chile, he said on several occasions, ‘The bar is not an obstacle to get over, bur a vision to reach for.'” (p. x)

God: He Loves Me — Satan: He Loves Me Not

  • Regarding a mission, says Brother Wilcox, “this is a journey that is hard on the shoes, [but] good for the soul.” (p. 2)
  • “Satan, the so-called prince of this world, is reigning with blood and terror…He thinks there is no one to stand in his way. He’d better think again! We are not going to lie down and let him reign unopposed.” (p. 16)
  • “It is on those days when I am feeling very mediocre that I have to remember that the word mediocre comes from the Latin, mediocris, which means ‘halfway up the mountain.’ No one stands on top of a mountain without passing through the halfway point.” (p. 18)

God Parted the Red Sea, and He will Help You

  • “God didn’t remove the Red Sea, but he provided a way for the children of Israel to go through it. In the same way, God doesn’t remove the requirement of mission service or the difficulty of meeting that challenge. Instead, he helps us through it.” (p. 24)
  • “To be successful and effective missionaries, we need to change [TV] channels in our lives and take the focus off our needs, our problems, and our worries (channel one) and put it on the needs of others (channel two).” (p. 28)
  • “When a missionary feels his spirit is willing but his flesh is weak, fasting can strengthen the spirit and remind that weak flesh who is in charge.” (p. 36)
  • “Recounting missionary experiences invites the Holy Spirit in the conversation. Listening to them can stir a young man’s soul and help instill in him a desire to experience these things himself.” (p. 37)

Study

  • “Not only does Seminary provide a welcome daily respite from the worldliness that permeates our schools, but it also plants noble thoughts, an understanding of the scriptures, and a love of the Savior in a young person’s heart.” (p. 57)
  • “It is more beneficial and certainly faith promoting to spend our time studying the gospel rather than reading anti-Mormon materials. Secure people don’t worry too much about what others think of them. It is the insecure who are forever concerned about what ‘they’ say. It is food to be informed, but not dominated, driven, or defined by other’s opinions.” (p. 71)

Resources and Attributes

  • “When it comes to the world of missionary work, it truly is all about who you know. Effective missionaries know their companions, investigators, and the members of the wards and branches in which they serve.” (p. 94)
  • “While missionaries can look good, it is more important that they be good. The Savior cursed the fig tree that looked good but didn’t bear fruit.” (p. 113)
  • “It is not enough to just try to empty our minds of evil or ‘dirty’ thoughts. It is a matter of filling them with goodness, light, perspective, and purpose.” (p. 116)
  • “They will be amazed at the changes they can make when they stop relying on willpower alone and start relying on God’s power.” (p. 122)

Astonishing Skills

  • “This gospel is astonishing. Now get out there and astonish someone!” –Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (p. 147)
  • “In preparing our young people to serve missions, we need to communicate high expectations…Many of our youth are willing to respond when challenged to stretch and give their best efforts–especially when those expectations are given with sincere and genuine concern and love.” (p. 159)
  • “If we feel as though we have to leave our personalities behind when we check in to the MTC, we’re going to have long missions. In D&C 4 we read that we must serve with all our heart, might mind, and strength. That includes serving with our unique personalities as well.” (p. 161)

Going the Extra Smile

  • “People expect missionaries to be happy and outgoing. Missionaries may have knocked on hundreds of doors, but it may be the first meeting for the one opening the next door.” (p. 166)
  • “Russell tells the missionaries that unless they smile, people are not even going to be interested in the language, lessons, and scriptures they are working so hard to learn.” (p. 167)
  • “What should we do to help our children better prepare?…Turn off the TV a little more. Turn off the Nintendo and computer games. What missionaries need are people skills, and those are not developed or honed in front of a monitor.” (p. 172)

You can buy Raising Ourselves to the Bar for as low as $3.00 plus shipping on Amazon.com.

Mormon Mission Prep Feb 2011 Site Redesign

mormon-mission-prep-screenshot-feb-2011It’s been almost two years since I launched Mormon Mission Prep, and I have just finished my second major renovation of the site. Those of you who have visited the site in the past two days will have already noticed this site redesign. The changes to the look and feel only scratch the surface of the elements of the redesign. Let me tell you a little about the improvements to the site:

  • Faster page load time: This is one of the major reasons behind the site redesign. The new site loads more than twice as quickly as the old site.
  • New Mission Farewell and Mission Report features: These features are designed to increase the amount of community involvement in the site. Whether your coming from or going to your mission, share your good news and your testimony with us.
  • New look and feel, but not too new. You’ll still recognize the wheat field to remind us all that “the field is white already to harvest” (D&C 4:4).
  • Updated navigation and page structure including breadcrumbs. This should help people get around the site and find what they are looking for faster.
  • The Mormon Mission Prep Spanish and Portuguese sites have also been updated. The Mission Call and Mission Report features are not yet up and running on those language sites but soon will be.

I hope you enjoy the new site. Please let me know how you like the new features. Just reach out to me through the contact page.

Reminder of ways to connect with the Mormon Missionary Preparation site