Saturday, March 2, 2013

Seek and Ye Shall Find

The work of finding the less-active has begun in earnest.  The missionaries working in 26 wards/branches have received their documents.  There are 17,761 members over 18 years of age in those units.  About 2,100 of these members attend sacrament meeting.  I estimate that 10,000 have out-of-date or unknown addresses.  Nearly all of these members have not had contact with the church for years and many for decades.  I estimate that 8-900 are deceased.  The task of finding these less-active members is monumental!  We should have good updated addresses for about 8,000 of these less-active members.  Some of them will accept our invitations to come unto Christ again.  Imagine if we could get 10% to come back it would increase our sacrament meeting attendance in those units by 800 or 38%!!!!  I believe that they had a concerted effort in the Philippines to reach out to the less-active and they were able to increase sacrament meeting attendance by 12,000 within a year.
Each companionship received by email a member list with name, address, birth date, baptism date, move-in date, and priesthood office.  They also received a pdf document with the database search results for each member 18+ showing the latest address.  Now the missionaries need to go verify each one and invite them to come home.
When they get their documents they will map out the new addresses so they can effectively use their time and not be crisscrossing their areas all day long.  Our missionaries are asked to have plans for every 30 minutes during their proselyting day with backup plans every hour.  They are also asked to do what is called "U" contacting.  Whenever they are trying to make contact with a potential investigator or less-active member they are to go to all the immediate neighbors while they are in the neighborhood.  This is why seeking out the less-active is such a gold mine.  When they are looking for a person they ask the neighbors and often start teaching new families that they weren't even looking for.  It happens all of the time.  Plus, when they do find the less-active families that are interested in returning to church there are usually non-member family members they can teach and baptize.
This whole process could dramatically affect the work here.  We hope and pray it does.  We've got 40 more wards and branches in our mission to get ready for.

"And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith."  (Moroni 6:4)

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