Instead of taking to knocking doors, missionaries are taking to pounding sidewalks—with chalk, that is.
Missionaries serving in Italy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints say they have discovered that many people in Italy say they are Atheists, even though many were raised in the Roman Catholic religion. Anziano “Austin” Jensen, a Latter-day Saint missionary in Bologna, Italy, told Religion News Service that many Italians have lost their faith in God after enduring a tragedy or not receiving an answer to their prayers. Jensen further explained, saying:
They wonder where God is in the midst of the chaos and difficulties of the world… As missionaries and servants of God, we joyfully testify to them that God has always been and will always be there.
With tracting being less effective in this area, the missionaries decided to use sidewalk chalk to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jensen and other missionaries in the area draw depictions of Bible stories, depictions of Joseph Smith and the restoration, and even images that teach the Plan of Salvation. With this new strategy, Jensen says he has received varied responses from pedestrians. Those who are uninterested in the gospel message will continue walking past, but others will stop to talk with the missionaries, oftentimes leading to in-depth conversations.