A series of blog posts about books, t-shirts, teaching aids, and other products for missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Winner of John Bytheway, Before My Mission, Book

And the winner of the book What I Wish I’d Known Before My Mission is…Sarina.

Congratulations Sarina! If you will please go to the contact form and send me your address, I’ll get the book in the mail immediately.

Thanks to everyone for visiting the site and entering the contest. If you didn’t win the book, don’t despair, you can get used copies of What I Wish I’d Known Before My Mission on Amazon.com for as low as one penny, plus shipping.

What I Wish I’d Known Before My Mission

what-i-wish-id-known-before-my-mission Giveaway alert! Read to the bottom to see how you can enter to win a copy of this book.

What I Wish I’d Known Before My Mission is a great little book by John Bytheway. Not to detract from the other mission prep books I’ve reviewed, but this one, more than any of the others, will likely resonate with young future missionaries.

Bytheway has a great knack for connecting with the youth with his humor and stories. The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 discusses life between high school graduation and leaving on the mission. Part 2 covers importance of keeping the mission rules, and what life is like inside the MTC. Part 3 talks about the great blessings that can come to the missionary who makes the Lord his constant companion.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

  • “The kind of girl you want to date and marry will not only want you to go on a mission, she will expect you to.” p. 6
  • “Read the Book of Mormon again, keeping in mind the idea that you will be teaching it to others….tell [investigators] that you have read the Book of Mormon carefully and that if they read it, they will have spiritual experiences similar to yours.” p. 7
  • “Think of what would happen in the Church if every member traded one half-hour of TV a day for a half-hour of scripture study.” p. 9
  • “Control your thoughts…you have to vigorously defend your brain as if it were a plot of land. There will always be invaders, and you must try not to let them enter. If they do enter your land, you must chase them off.” p. 11
  • “The only way you’ll learn another language is to be humble enough to qualify for the Lord’s help.” p. 22
  • “The Lord gets the work done through his people, and his people ‘done’ through the work.” p. 24
  • “When you give your life to God, you allow him to bless you in ways you haven’t dreamed of.” p. 24
  • “You will feel overwhelmed…Every missionary I’ve ever known has made that comment about the MTC. That overwhelmed feeling is good, though, because it will help you realize how much you need the Lord.” p. 31
  • “Jump in with both feet, with a whole-hearted, don’t look back attitude. When it comes to that special someone you left behind, well, friend, it all comes down to good old fashion faith. You’ll just have to exercise it.” p. 32
  • “You have two years to do it, and the rest of eternity to think about it…You’ll find that a good night’s rest comes only after a good day’s work.” p. 34
  • “As a missionary, you can win hearts too. You can be kind, courteous, happy, and friendly—even if people don’t want to let you in! Leave their porch with a smile, and wish them a good day.” p. 43
  • “If you don’t understand some of the mission rules, have the faith to obey even though you don’t know why.” p. 57
  • “Never forget this important trio: The Lord, My Companion, and Me.  It is this trio that does missionary work.” p. 65
  • “If you start to feel weighed down by the pressures of missionary work, open your eyes and take a good look at your name badge…You carry his name on your lapel, and you want to be sure you also carry it in your heart. He wants people to be taught and baptized even more than you do! He is eager to send his Spirit to testify of the truth of what you are teaching.” p. 73
  • “I love President Kimball’s words: ‘You are the Church to these people.’ …[people around us] were forming their opinions about the Church and its message based on what they saw us do!…That’s a great responsibility!” p. 83
  • “The world is watching our missionaries. You represent the Lord, his Church, and [14] million others in the world. Represent us well!” p. 84

Giveaway!

For a chance to win the book “What I Wish I’d Known Before My Mission” simply leave a comment on this blog post answering the following question: What do you think is the most important thing to know before leaving on your mission?

Please, just one entry is allowed per person. Comments must be received by Monday, November 15, 2010. The winner will be selected at random and I’ll mail that person a copy of the book free of charge. Good luck!

Winner of Raising the Bar Book

And the winner of the book Raising the Bar: Missionaries to Match the Message is…Jim.

Congratulations Jim! I’ll get the book in the mail immediately.

Thanks to everyone for visiting the site and entering the contest. If you didn’t win the book, don’t despair, you can get used copies of Raising the Bar: Missionaries to Match the Message on Amazon.com for as low as one penny, plus shipping.

Raising the Bar: Missionaries to Match the Message

Raising the Bar: Missionaries to Match the Message, is a great mission prep book by Ed J. Pinegar. I liked it so much, in fact, that I’m giving it away. Seriously!

Giveaway: Everyone who makes a comment on this blog post will be entered into a drawing for the book. The winner will be selected at random next week, and I’ll send that person the book.

raising-the-bar-missionaries-pinegarHere are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

Open Your Mouth and Preach the Gospel

  • “Tell the missionaries to open their mouths right away. Don’t wait until you feel comfortable with the language. Many precious souls may be lost if you wait.” p. x
  • Joseph Smith declared, “after all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel.” p. 3
  • “When we know what Christ has done for us, we will want to open our mouths, and they will be filled with everything we need to say.” p. 119
  • The sons of Mosiah “didn’t see these Lamanites as enemies, but as fellow children of God who needed the gospel too. That’s why they were such successful teachers.” p. 127

How to Prepare for Missionary Work

  • “One of the most important parts of preparing for your mission is catching the vision of the work—it will motivate you to prepare every needful thing.” p. ix
  • “Are we willing to prepare [for our missions]? So many people want to win, but as BYU coach Lavell Edwards has often told his football teams, ‘Maybe they don’t want to prepare to win.” p. 21
  • “Ye cannot say when ye are brought to the MTC that I will repent, that I will gain a testimony…Ye cannot say this , for the same spirit which doth posses you prior to the MTC will possess you after. Our true conversion must take place now. The Lord wants us already prepared.” p. 143

Teaching by the Spirit

  • “We cannot do anything in the mission field without having the Spirit, and we can’t have the Spirit unless we choose to be obedient.” p. 24
  • “Testify. Truth without testimony is hollow.” p. 67
  • “Sober-mindedness is one of the most essential traits in order to be a spiritual giant, in order to speak by the Spirit, to be led by the Spirit, to be Ammon-like and Moroni-like missionaries. The language we use is an important key in maintaining sober-mindedness. Words like ‘He’s a cool dude’ are totally inappropriate when talking about spiritual things.” p. 110
  • “With the Spirit, and by magnifying your call, you can do miracles for the Lord in the mission field. Without the Spirit you will never succeed regardless of your talent.” p. 137

Worthiness to Serve

  • “If the Elders cannot go with clean hands and pure hearts, they had better stay here. Do not go thinking, when you arrive…that then you will purify yourselves.” p. 31
  • “We must become missionaries to match the message, disciples of Jesus Christ, not just for a full-time mission, but for life.” p. 35
  • “When you are busy obeying, you don’t have time to entertain temptation.” p. 84
  • “Always sustain your leaders…Remember, sustain the prophet means you also sustain all the people under him in the priesthood line, and they you will have the blessings of the Lord.” p. 84

Getting Motivated and Understanding

  • “Our duty is clear—to invite all mankind to come unto Christ.” We must “be worthy, willing, and eager to serve.” p. 6
  • “If we are rooted in Jesus Christ, listening to the living prophets, and adhering to the scriptures, we will have a continual, living well of motivation.” p. 96
  • “When we don’t have enough understanding, we don’t trust in God and we fear what others will think or what may happen to us. When we gain enough knowledge, we see clearly, we have power, and then fear will flee from us.” p. 118

Rules for the Book Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win the book “Raising the Bar: Missionaries to Match the Message” by leaving a comment on this blog post saying what you are doing or would do to raise yourself to the bar. Please, just one entry is allowed per person. Comments must be received by Thursday, October 7, 2010. The winner will be selected at random and announced on Friday Oct. 8th.

Redesign and Spanish Version of Mormon Mission Prep

Any of you who have visited Mormon Mission Prep since the beginning of the new year will have already noticed this, but over Christmas break I redesigned the Web site.  Actually, I have done far more than simply redesigning the look of the site, I added a Spanish version of the site and I changed the underlying technology the site is built on. I hope you all enjoy the new site design and new features.  Feel free to give many any feedback you have.

Spanish Version of Mormon Mission Prep

From the beginning, I have wanted to do the site in both Spanish and English.  Up until recently, though, I have used my limited time and resources to simply get the site up and running in my native English.   But with recent requests from readers, and the opportunity provided by the technology change, I decided to go ahead and create a Spanish version of Mormon Mission Prep.

Not all blog posts have been translated yet, but I will slowly be working on them.  What I have translated thus far is about 8 of the most recent blog posts, and most of the other pages in the top navigation menu. I’ve also created a Spanish Facebook page and a Spanish YouTube channel for the mission prep videos, though I’ve only translated one of the videos so far. Here’s a run down of the Spanish and English content:

Mormon Mission Prep Home English Mormon Mission Prep Home Spanish
Mormon Mission Prep Facebook English Mormon Mission Prep Facebook Spanish
Mormon Mission Prep YouTube English Mormon Mission Prep YouTube Spanish
Mormon Mission Prep RSS Feed English Mormon Mission Prep RSS Feed Spanish
Mormon Mission Prep Email Alerts English Mormon Mission Prep Email Alerts Spanish

Under the Hood Technology

For those of you interested in the technical details, I moved the site from being run on the Windows-based BlogEngine.net, to the Linux-based WordPress.  BlogEngine was okay during the first year of running the site, but I began to run into more and more limitations with it.  WordPress is a powerful free blog platform that provides me all the resources I need to run the site now and long into the future.

Winner of The Ultimate Missionary Companion Book

And the winner is … Wendy. Wendy, I’ll be reaching out to you to get your mailing address.

Thanks to everyone who entered.  I’m sure I’ll be giving another book away soon, so be watching for it.  If you didn’t win the book, I have good news, you can buy your own copy of The Ultimate Missionary Companion from Amazon. Used copies sell for a little as $0.22 plus shipping.

The Ultimate Missionary Companion

TheUltimateMissionaryCompanionbookGiveaway Alert: Read to the bottom and enter to win a copy of the book!

The Ultimate Missionary Companion, Inspirational Insights on Becoming the Lord’s Missionary is the next missionary prep book I have read and will now review for you.  The book is by Ed J. Pinegar, who served as president of the Missionary Training Center in Provo, UT, as a religion professor at BYU, and as the president of the England London South Mission. The book was very enjoyable, had great stories, and as the subtitle indicates, is full of insightful tips to help missionaries.  Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

The Purpose and Joy of Missionary Work

  • “This earth was made only to accommodate the vision of saving souls.” p. 4
  • “When you were baptized you covenanted to be willing ‘to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places’ (Mosiah 18:9)” p.4

Preparing for a Mission

  • “So many people want to win, but as Coach Lovell Edwards says, ‘maybe they don’t want to prepare to win.’” p. 11
  • “You can’t preach faith unto repentance until you live faith unto repentance.” p. 12
  • “If we’re not worthy, we can’t have the Spirit…we can’t preach, we can’t be led, we can’t be directed, we can’t know that things to say.” p.12
  • “Be aware… temptation is real, and Satan desireth to sift you as wheat.  You must pray every day to avoid and overcome temptation.” p.20
  • “Be a prophet for you own soul, receiving revelation from God on things you should do.” p.34

missionaries and provo temple Work

  • “Work ethic is crucial…Every single time an elder has a problem in the mission field is because he is idle.” p.47
  • “The beautiful part about a mission (is) the only thing you do is missionary work…(you) don’t have to think about girls or dates or ask ‘what’ll we do tonight?’ …All you do is eat, drink and sleep the scriptures, pray and ponder and ask how you can bless Heavenly Father’s children so they’ll come to Christ.” p.128 

Being Continually Motivated as a Missionary

  • “We can be continually motivated and successful missionaries if our perception is clear and our motives are pure.” p.57
  • “Our behavior is nothing more than a reflection of the depth of our conversion to Jesus Christ.  The deeper the conversion, the greater the motivation and the greater the Christ like behavior.” p. 59
  • “In our mission we had an attitude of ‘always one more door.’ So we would knock on all the door and one more.” p.62
  • “Don’t you realize how special you are?…You are fulfillment of prophecy…you are one of the noble and great ones saved for this day.” p.63

Communicating and Opening Your Mouth

  • “Be prepared to communicate…If we don’t communicate our message, our message is not heard.” p.75
  • “Don’t go anywhere without opening your mouth…on the streets, at the bus stop, as you’re walking down the street…in the grocery store.” p.87
  • “When we know what Christ has done for us, we will want to open our mouths.” p.90
  • “If the words we utter reflect the feelings of our hearts, the strength of our character, and the depth of our testimony, then the Lord will help us.” p.91
  • When setting an appointment, “tell them it’s a long way to travel,” (p.97) and they’ll be more likely to be there.
  • See my previous post: Open Your Mouth

Bible_book_of_Mormon Using The Book of Mormon as the Key to Conversion

  • “You will never be the missionary you were destined to be until you love and live this book.  It is the key to your converting power.” p.110
  • “The Book of Mormon is the tool that will retain converts better than any other thing.  If we root the people to our sociality, or friendliness, or love, we root them to us instead of to Christ.” p.113
  • “Before our investigators can sense the power and divinity of the Book of Mormon for themselves, they must sense it in us.” p.114
  • See my previous post: The Power of the Book of Mormon

The Mission After Your Mission

  • “You can’t coast after your mission and live on your life of past service…you must continue in your service.” p.166
  • “Remember, with care, the things you learned on your mission and apply them to your mission in life.” p.169
  • “Don’t become commanding and demanding just because you’re home.  You should treat everyone like an investigator.” p.170
  • To paraphrase Brother Pinegar: After you mission, keep reading the scriptures, keep praying, keep going to church, keep doing what is right, keep serving others.  The same formula that worked for your investigators will work for you to stay on the strait and narrow path.

Giveaway

Now, for the moment you have all been waiting for—the giveaway. To enter to win a free copy of The Ultimate Missionary Companion, just leave a comment on this blog post answering this question: Where would you like to go on a mission and why? 

Please, only one entry per person. Entries will be accepted over the next week and I will cut off entries on Friday, November 27, 2009 at midnight Mountain time. The winner will be selected at random, and I will make the announcement the following day.  Good luck.

Winner of Prepare With Honor Book

random number Ten people entered the contest to win a free copy of the mission prep book Prepare with Honor, Helps for Future Missionaries by Randy L. Bott. The winner was selected by using the random number generator provided by random.org.  And the winner is…

Christine Smith of Frederick Maryland who’s favorite scripture missionary is Nephi.

Thank you all for entering the contest.  If you didn’t win this time, don’t worry, there will be other book giveaways in the future, so stay tuned. Keep coming back to the site, I post at least one new article per week, and keep preparing for your mission.

Buy Prepare with Honor for just $4: By the way, for those who might want to go out and buy the book, you can buy used copies of it on Amazon.com for just $4.

Free Mission Prep Book Giveaway

big prizec olorfullFor those of you who overlooked it at the bottom of my previous post, which was a review of Prepare with Honor by Randy Bott, I am giving away a free copy of the book. To enter, just leave a comment on the Prepare with Honor blog post answering this question: Who is your favorite missionary in the scriptures?

Remember: One entry per person. I have extended the deadline until the end of the day Wednesday (11:59 PM mountain time on September 9, 2009). The winner will be selected at random, and I will announce the winner on Thursday.  Thanks.

Prepare with Honor

prepare with honorPrepare with Honor, Helps for Future Missionaries, is a great little book by BYU professor Randy L. Bott. Brother Bott served a mission to Samoa when he was young, and later in life, he was called to be a mission president in Fresno, California.  He has taught a missionary preparation class at BYU for many years, so he has a wealth of information and experience on the subject of mission preparation.

The book is just over 100 pages and will be an easy ready for any young person preparing for a mission.  Book topics include:

  • Tips for studying the scriptures
  • Learning to teach
  • Learning to pray
  • Getting along with others
  • Being worthy to serve
  • Being physically prepared
  • Learning to recognize the Spirit
  • Developing your testimony
  • Preparing financially
  • Learning self control
  • Serving for the right reasons
  • Deciding to be obedient

shopping for missionPreparing to Serve

Despite parents and leaders encouraging young people to prepare in every way to serve a mission, according to Brother Bott, “too many young men and women seem to think all they have to do is show up and they will be prepared to serve.” (page 4)  “On the day each of them arrived…at this point new missionaries realize that more diligent preparation would have been helpful.” (page 1)  Comparing preparing for a mission to preparing to play football, Bro. Bott says, “what a shame it is to be unprepared when it’s your time to play.” (p. 6) Continuing he says, “preparation eliminates the fear of failure, and you are not called to fail.” (p.7)

Learn to Teach by Practicing Now

Brother Bott says that missionaries should start now to prepare to teach by learning the scriptures and practicing whenever they can such as in Sunday School, family home evening, or doing home teaching.  Bro. Bott says, “you will be more motivated to learn the scriptures and doctrines as you discuss sacred things with others.” (p.15)  He further encourages future missionaries, “Don’t ever turn down an opportunity to speak, because preparation forces us to learn.  Also, the challenge of teaching allows us to grow.” (p.18)

missionaries teaching familyKeeping Yourself Worthy to Serve

Missionaries must keep themselves worthy and avoid sin because ”your sins make it impossible for the Spirit to teach you” or guide you in the work. (p.31) Brother Bott says that many future missionaries “have believed that could live whatever lifestyle…[then] change just before their mission…[but] habits are hard to break.” (p.55)  He urges futures missionaries to obey all the commandments and to especially avoid sexual sin because the most “serious sin that can disqualify you from fulfilling your…mission is immorality.” (p.31)  Brother Bott says that as a missionary, you must continually be an example of righteous living because many eyes will be on you and “you cannot choose whether or not to be a living testimony…[just] between being a good or bad example.” (p.72)

Serve with Honor

randy bott“Simply being away from home for two years [does not] constitute serving a mission.” (p.88) Brother Bott suggests that “faithful service will set the course for the rest of your life,” (p.75) and “a mission is either the best or the worst time of your life.  It all depends on you.” (p.77) He further encourages people at a young age to “make the definite decision that you will serve” (p.61) and if you do, when the time comes to go on a mission it will be easy because the decision will already be made. And reminding young people to serve with honor no matter where they are called to go, Brother Bott concludes by saying “the place doesn’t make a difference, but how you serve makes all the difference.” (p.104)

Giveaway

Now that I’m finished reading the book Prepare with Honor, I want to give it away to one of the young people reading this blog in preparation for their mission.  Is it lame to give away a used book?  I hope not because it’s really about all I can afford since I don’t have a budget for this site.  The book is in great condition; I didn’t mark any of the pages as I read it.  I’ll even pay for shipping, so all you have to do is enter, win and I’ll send you the book.  To enter, just leave a comment on the blog post answering this question: Who is your favorite missionary in the scriptures?

Rules: One entry per person. Entries will be received for at least 24 hours from the time this post is made, but may extend further. The winner will be selected at random.  I will announce the winner later this week.