We missionaries are in a very different ball game compared to how we did missionary work just over two years ago, and it’s not a bad thing.
The Lord has prepared us for this drastic yet vital change in bringing about His work; His work remains the same.
We reach more people faster than we ever could on foot or knocking on doors. Since the UK’s first lockdown, we have done all our finding and teaching online.
We have created videos of us doing normal and natural things, e.g., cooking, going out for a walk, and playing and singing songs. These kinds of videos help those who aren't members better understand that both missionaries and members are just like them. It offers them the comfortable visual insight that they might not have had before.
We find people online by joining diverse local community groups on various social media platforms. We use the search bar to find people who live in certain places and have specific names.
The Church has placed advertisements on Area Facebook pages. There are pictures and a thought-provoking question; if the person is interested in learning more, they fill out a form, and instead of us going to them, investigators come to us.
Here is an experience that Sister Krull had.
Jonny, whose name has been changed for privacy purposes, was a local area Facebook referral.
We introduced ourselves and explained our purpose as missionaries. Over a few months we had the opportunity to share with him Jesus Christ’s restored gospel.
We helped to answer all the questions circling in his head. He grew up with a Christian background but, like many others, noticed that not all we said was in the Bible; he eagerly accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon.
Jonny had a desire to learn more about God and to become a better version of himself. He agreed to be baptised at the beginning of 2021. His baptism, due to the Covid pandemic, was limited in the number of people that could attend. Now, all of this sounds like a typical missionary story, but not so.
For some months, all we knew was the sound of Jonny’s voice over the phone call. We had never met him in person until the day of his baptism. Finally, we could put a face to the name we had been teaching.
I mention this because many people think that you can only feel the spirit when you are face to face. That couldn't be further from the truth. Once you are testifying of the Saviour Jesus Christ, the spirit is there.
The fact that Jonny was baptised showed us that we weren't the only ones to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. All of this happened because of a Facebook advertisement that invited him to understand and seek God.
This experience is a witness of how missionary work has continued to move forward despite the crazy times we are in.
Members might wonder what they can do to help further the work of the Lord in these different times. Well, the help of the members is and always has been fundamental.
As President Hinckley said, 'Let there be a cultivated awareness in every member’s heart of his own potential for bringing others to a knowledge of the truth. Let him work at it. Let him pray with great earnest about it.'
Here are some things members can do without even needing to leave the comfort of their homes.
- Share things that are posted on the Church's local pages with online friends.
- Review lists of friends and see who would benefit most by a call from the missionaries.
- Send a scripture that personally means a great deal, to someone that would also appreciate it.
As in the past, members are the bridge connecting missionaries like us to those we teach, and supporting them to stay strong in the gospel.
We need members to build lasting bonds of friendship with those who are new or are investigating the Church.
This helps them feel they belong and have a place and people to call ‘home’. We love this work, and we love our fellow members!