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Effective, Efficient Goal Setting

Elder Austin Rushton on Oregon beach

Elder Austin Rushton

So this week has been somewhat of a change of pace from what I’ve experienced in the past. Our numbers reflected that probably better than most else.

We taught three lessons to investigators, two to less-actives/recent converts, and EIGHT to members.

Yeah, I know what most of you are thinking, “Why are you wasting so much time teaching MEMBERS, aren’t you supposed to teach the gospel to NONMEMBERS, isn’t that your JOB?” Well…yes, it is, but how am I supposed to teach those people if I can’t even contact them, let alone get in the door?

This is where the new vision for the Work of Salvation comes in. June 23, 2013, I got to attend the broadcast where this vision was first announced. President Monson stated the vision thusly

“Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard, to bring souls unto Him.”

Our big push has been to narrow that down from an entire church’s perspective to our specific ward. Everyone wants to assist in this work, but M. Russell Ballard of the Twelve correctly expressed the two biggest reasons people do not: fear and misunderstanding. People want to help, but they do not know how, and if they do, then they are afraid. So how do we overcome this?

Ballard stated that we must eliminate fear through faith. We trust in God, we pray to Him, and we accept his guidance. Next, we must understand. This is where we come in as missionaries. We are to teach the members how to share their beliefs.

The best way Elder Mock and I have found to do this is by first establishing a vision with people. Where do these members want to be in their missionary efforts; what is their potential; what is possible? Next, we help them establish goals and things they can do to bring this to fruition. And that’s it! That’s all it takes! Amazing, isn’t it?

We have taken special liberties this week to work with our Ward Mission Leader, who now is getting in contact with the Bishop. They are catching the vision, and when they do, the members will follow. And the result? Everyone will prepare someone for us to teach. We want to be teaching 20-30 lessons per week, and this is how we will do that.

So yeah, that’s pretty much been my entire week. Well, that and the fact that we are continuing to get the investigators we do have closer and closer to baptism. It’s really become a tangible work now, and the game is afoot! Pretty soon, I doubt we’ll even have to plan for anything but how to teach our investigators.


-Elder Rushton



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