Saturday, June 14, 2014

Cutting Edge in the MBM

Heyo!!! This week I thought I would share some exciting things that have been happening in the Massachusetts Boston Mission of late. President Packard is always trying to think of ways we can reach more and more people, and it has led to some really exciting projects specific to the MBM. (Not that I'm trying to say I'm serving in the best mission ever or anything ... but I am.)

The Portable Visitor's Center:
As missionaries, we occasionally give chapel tours to investigators/potentials. However, these are usually pretty short because ... well there's not a whole lot to look at in our chapels unless you want to pretend it's an art museum and look at every painting. But there is no denying there is a strong spirit in the church buildings! President Packard came up with an idea to give non-members in our church buildings a more interactive and exciting way to learn about the gospel - the portable visitor's center. These things are Temple-square worthy portable display canvases that can essentially turn any chapel into a visitor's center. When we're having an activity or event at the church where non-members will be in the building, we just call the PVC sisters up and they come and set these beauties up in the foyer! Each display has a theme with screen and corresponding iPad to choose from videos relating to temples, god's plan for you and your family, the Book of Mormon, the Restoration, Jesus Christ, etc. It's sweet! 

The PVC was just completed and the mission only started using them this month, but there has already been a lot of success with them! The Book of Mormon Musical was playing in Providence just down the street from the Providence chapel, so they set up the PVC and had missionaries lining the streets to direct people leaving the play right into the chapel! The Providence missionaries found a ton of new investigators, and when the non-members left they told everyone else on the street to go check it out! 

Some of the videos on the displays are straight from like this one (I will take ANY excuse to watch this video. I LOVE IT!), others were custom made for the display like this one (I love this one because you can hear my cute mission president's Texan accent!)

Digital Mission/Real Life Answers:
I know that lots of missionaries have been doing Facebook proselyting time, but here in the MBM we've been doing internet proselyting a little differently. Due to the presence of some really brilliant computer-hacking-program-writing missionaries in our mission, over the past year and a half we've developed a "Digital Mission". It involves a web-crawler that analyzes all of the religious conversations that happen on the web each day. There is a surprisingly large amount of people who search for religious answers on the internet! and have great answers to these questions, but a lot of people don't find their answers because they don't know the Mormons have them! So the Digital Mission finds these religious discussions and helps these people find answers via is a website created by our mission which is basically made up of lots of blog posts on tons of different topics. When a digital missionary finds a religious question we have the answers to, they just link this person to the website and voila! Web users who find answers and want to learn more can chat with the digital missionaries, who then can pick them up as "digital investigators" where they have skype missionary lessons and fellowshippers. It's really neat because there are people who would probably never let 2 strange, sweaty teenagers into their house to hear about the gospel (can't blame them!), but who are more than willing to learn online. The digital missionaries teach their investigators, set baptismal dates, and then contact the local missionaries. The first baptism that came from the digital mission was in Brazil a few months ago!

This week there was a blog post published by yours truly! ( If you want to help our cause, you can share my blog post or any other you like from the website on Facebook, Twitter, etc. and then link your friends back to The Digital Mission is also always looking for more articles to publish, so if you feel like you have an experience that can answer somebody's question of the soul, please email me and I would love to give you some more information about how you can write your own blog post! The more articles we can get, the more likely we will have someone's answer when they need it.

Anywho's, I'm done Vanna-White-ing now. But it's so cool! I love that there are so many ways to do missionary work, and the more ways we can reach out, the more people that can accept the gospel!

Sister Gledhill

P.S. We went to the beach last P-day. I'm. in. Love.

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