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brycematheson

Missionary FAQ

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I'm currently preparing to serve a mission (I get my mission call in a week!!) and the closer the date comes for me to leave, the more I realize how unprepared I am. This question is addressed more to RMs and/or Investigators/Previous Investigators.

I was wondering what your most commonly asked questions were by people on your mission as well as your response. I just want to be prepared to answer anything that might be thrown my way. I know as I'm out in the field, I'll get more comfortable and what not, but I'd just like to learn all that I can while I'm still home.

Anything would be great! Thanks in advance!

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I was wondering what your most commonly asked questions were by people on your mission as well as your response. I just want to be prepared to answer anything that might be thrown my way. I know as I'm out in the field, I'll get more comfortable and what not, but I'd just like to learn all that I can while I'm still home.

A lot of that depends on where you go. If you're assigned to the American South, you're going to get a lot of questions about blacks and the Priesthood. If you're assigned USA Spanish speaking, or anywhere in Latin America, you're going to have to deal with praying to Mary, and people who think all Christian Churches are the same (or at least equal in their goodness and importance).

A lot of how you learn to respond and deal with these questions you will learn from your trainer and first few companions. You may learn a lot from your MTC teachers, too, depending on where they've served. But pay attention to these mentors, and learn from them.

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I can't say that I had any FAQ from my people. The questions varied so greatly. Wingy is correct that your MTC teachers can prepare you to what you should expect as well as your senior comps. Plus, I can say firmly that the Holy Ghost is with missionaries in abundance. When you are set apart as a missionary, you are given specific blessings and the HG does put words and thoughts in your mouth and head to know what to say--even when you aren't sure if that is the right thing to say. I served a foreign speaking mission and found that the Lord blessed me on several occasions on knowing what to say, how to say it, and even when not to say anything. It's a unique feeling to have the Spirit prompt you like that.

Congrats and remember that you will NOT be perfect on your mission. But the Lord will be pleased with your sincere efforts regardless.

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Congrats on (soon) getting your call! What an exciting time for you. :D

I'm not a returned missionary, but I am mom to two returned missionaries and to one still serving.

One thing that my sons were often asked was to tell their own conversion stories. And investigators also wanted to hear the conversion stories of other converts, too. My two oldest sons both asked me to write out my conversion story so that they could share it.

Best wishes!

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Guest mormonmusic

I'd get hold of Preach My Gospel and start reading it over, and learning the basic concepts of the discussions. Go out with some really good missionaries and figure out how they teach with the Spirit.

Keep a journal so you have a record of your experiences, start now so you have the full range of experiences recorded, from pre-mission, mission to post-mission. Write it for posterity so you're not ashamed to give it to family at some point in the future so they remember who you are.

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I'm currently preparing to serve a mission (I get my mission call in a week!!) and the closer the date comes for me to leave, the more I realize how unprepared I am. This question is addressed more to RMs and/or Investigators/Previous Investigators.

I was wondering what your most commonly asked questions were by people on your mission as well as your response. I just want to be prepared to answer anything that might be thrown my way. I know as I'm out in the field, I'll get more comfortable and what not, but I'd just like to learn all that I can while I'm still home.

Anything would be great! Thanks in advance!

First of all I would say your "realization of how unprepared you are" - assuming you are speaking of gosple knowledge and spiritual readiness can partially be due humility and you may therefore be more prepared than you think. A lot of missionaries go out thinking they are going to convert the world and only find frustration and dissapointment.

Last Fall the Huntsville Alabama stake (my stake) had the honor of having Elder David A Bednar attend our stake conference (what an amazing experience!) One of the things he said that really stuck with me, and I am paraphrasing this, is that if one was require to have vast amounts of experience, knowledge, and success and other qualifications to be an apostle, he would not have been chosen. Likewise with missionaries. He said, "David Bednar is not qualified to be an apostle!" Then he continued to explain that the Lord knows our strengths and weaknesses far better than we will ever and that with his help we can accomplish anything. Just remember that you would not have been called to serve a mission if you were not capable because the Lord does not call people to fail!

Its good that you are concerned though because that shows that you are ready and willing to do your part. Just do all that you can to prepare and you will be fine. Stay alert and dont adpot the attitude of, "I can kick back and relax because the Holy Ghost will jump in whenever I need him". I fear that the new "Preach My Gosple" program instills this attitude in some missionaries because they do not understand when it tells them to follow the spirit rather than teach a 'lesson in a can'.

Oh, and if you go to Russia, for goodness sakes, don't buy a trench coat!

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I was wondering what your most commonly asked questions were by people on your mission as well as your response. I just want to be prepared to answer anything that might be thrown my way. I know as I'm out in the field, I'll get more comfortable and what not, but I'd just like to learn all that I can while I'm still home.

Anything would be great! Thanks in advance!

By the time you "learn it all", you'll be on your way back home.

Let me share with you my own philosophies:

1. Never respond to a question or comment in a "smart-alec" way. Things like "But what about ____?" Or trying to show "one-upmanship" to see who knows more about the subject. It won't invite the proper Spirit between you and the other person.

2. Always give each question or comment thrown at you a 2+ second pause before responding. Show that you are actually pondering what they are saying AND it gives you time to THINK. It doesn't matter WHAT they say or ask! You are showing that you are listening to them. And you'll attract more bees with honey than you will with vinegar.

BTW, imagine if they say something stupid or disrespectful like "Joseph Smith was only doing it for the money." If you are just QUIET and look at them for a few seconds, with a stillness and confidence, the pressure is shifted from you to them. Then you can bear testimony and know that the Spirit will carry the truth of your words to their hearts.

You also won't be provoked to wrath if you give yourself time to pause. It may diffuse a "Bible-bashing" session. You'll also show that you truly care about the other person... and they'll feel that. In a way, you'll grow to love the people in your mission more than the message. The truth is, is that you'll love the people because of the message that you share.

3. If brought into a "Bible-bashing" session, quote Book of Mormon scriptures from your own memory. Don't open your scriptures. Bear testimony.

4. Find reasons to agree with the other person... then find ways to build upon what they bring up. It's not "you versus them". It's you HELPING them and teaching them! Teach them the areas where they are RIGHT! Then build on it! Many times, your investigators will help you direct the direction of your lesson and teaching. To change the subject slightly, you can ask questions like "Have you ever thought about how preachers are called of God?" "We believe that..." What do you think?

Have conversations with people and let them share with you their thoughts. If their thoughts are "slightly off" from what you're teaching, ask them to PRAY about what you've shared and to continue to READ in the Book of Mormon. Give them some reading assignments of your favorite chapters. If they haven't read, ask if you can read the chapter WITH them. If they HAVE read, ask them what they thought about what they read?

Be more interested in the people, and not in "proving yourself right". You could be right, but you wouldn't be able to attract our Father's children to baptism... if you have too big of a chip on your shoulder.

These are things that they don't necessarily teach you in the MTC... at least I don't remember that session... but it's been about 12 years since I was there.

So, my suggestions have almost nothing to do with learning different scriptures or memorizing the Preach My Gospel lessons. It's about how you interact with others and how you deliver the message you are called to preach.

Bonus tip: Try not to have an ego on your mission - particularly with your trainer. Be patient and continue to learn and study what you need to focus on. If you're too critical of your trainer, you'll regret it once you get your next companion!

Edited by skippy740

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Hello and well done becoming a missionary. I am a brand new member. So new I still squeak when I walk into the chapel.

Your worry and concern speaks well of you and your future ability. I agree with all the advice already listed above but I would also add one more thing.

You will be coming into contact with so many different kinds of people. Do not get judgemental. Dont be a pushover,either....but especially with the difficult people find a way to know them as your brother or sister and love them. Then get all missiony and teach....but look for love and mutual respect first. :D

Your investigators will always remember their elders. Oh, and also...if you do get discouraged, dont give in to it. Remember you may not be there to teach and baptize a person, but only to be the farmer planting a seed for a future harvest. In fact, you may never know or find out how you layed a foundation for someone to make this step years after you left....there is one elder due to transfers and going home that I think does not know that I did the dunk, and that he was part of this....so...never ever give in to discouragement, despair or worry that you are wasting time.

Be well soon-to-be elder

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Be wary which ward members you introduce to your investigators. I am a single mom and for some reason a few of the previous Elders would ask the other single ladies in the Ward to join us for lessons, presumably so I could meet "others like me". Well, it discouraged me. I want to remarry and these women were all about twice my age and had never remarried. I would have had more in common with a married lady my own age.

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