Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Chinese Pass Along Cards

This morning we attended a "mission tour" training conducted by Elder and Sister Haleck and Elder and Sister Balli with many of the young missionaries as well as quite a few of the seniors.  This was the first opportunity since assuming his new position as Area President that Elder Haleck addressed all of us. There were three separate training scheduled so that all the missionaries could be included.

Mission Tour training 26 July 2016.
Larry and I left right after lunch so we were not there when the group photo was taken.

As part of the training each senior missionary served as a "listening partner" with two 
of the young  elders or sisters to give feedback on their role plays and discussion about 
how to teach effectively.  The two sister missionaries I met with relayed a story about 
finding a big stack of  Chinese pass-along cards in their apartment.

Pass Along Cards are "small picture handouts, which replaced almost all tracts provided by the Church for members and missionaries to give to those they feel might be interested in the Church.  About the size of an index card, the pictures usually have a photo or image on the front and a brief message inviting the recipient to request the item shown on the back and includes the image of the item offered.  The cards are distributed occasionally in the Ensign Magazine as well as in packets through Church Distribution Centers.  The cards usually focus around a topic, such as families, the purpose of life, or the Scriptures.  A card is also available for Christmas offering a video featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir."
 (Mormon Wikki)

Apparently whichever missionaries had lived in the sisters' apartment before them had served in the Chinese branch and must have left these behind when they moved out.
Since neither of these two particular sisters spoke Chinese and they were serving among English speaking members and investigators, they initially planned to simply hand the cards over to the missionaries serving in the Chinese branch.  However, in their companion study they talked about how they could be more effective in teaching.  One of the goals they set was to talk with every single person they had an opportunity to meet - whether on the street, in the market or out tracting.   

In the past, whenever they encountered Chinese speaking people (a common occurrence here in Auckland) there would be a lot of confused head shakes and shrugging of shoulders as both acknowledged they could not understand one another, then the sisters would move on.  Both somewhat shy by nature, the two young ladies sometimes felt very awkward struggling with the language barrier, and were embarrassed not knowing what to say. That had happened so many times that these missionaries had begun avoiding approaching any Asian people they saw, which here in New Zealand means skipping over a whole lot of the population.

After talking about it some, they decided they would keep these pass along cards to hand out to any Chinese person they met who they could not communicate with.  Once they started doing this, they began having much more positive feelings about approaching ALL people. They found several English speaking Asians they would have otherwise missed.  They also had a way of leaving a positive message with those who did not speak English.

The sisters talked about overcoming their personal shyness and reserve to boldly greet more people than ever before.  We talked about gaining confidence in being messengers of Jesus Christ.  As our session ended I encouraged them to continue to look for other unexpected tools to help them overcome any obstacle they might face and trust that the Lord would give them what they needed when they needed it.

Working in the Pacific 
Area Office (PAO), we generally don't have much contact with the young sisters and elders serving in our mission.  This conference was a great opportunity to feel of their spirit and be reminded that we are all engaged in the same work.  While we seniors all have specific assignments other than direct proselytizing , ultimately all of us have the purpose of bringing others to Christ.

Link to article about President & Sister Balli

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