Friday, November 5, 2010
Mormon ad experiences:
Mormonads www.boncom.com/mormon/ are changing the image of the church, Elder Sweetland --- delivering a Book of Mormon media request in the country, the woman said, “I thought you all lived in Utah and had 500 wives; I saw your Mormonads, realized I was wrong and looked at Mormon.org. I want to read your book!”
YOUTH AND MORMON ADS:
One of the groups most impacted by it are the youth –youth in all the schools are going up to their MORMON friends and asking about the ad campaign because they’ve been on mormon.org and like what they see.
Elders Evanson / Berns
One member brought her friend to Young Womens and said she is thinking of joining. She had seen Mormonads and talked to her Mormon friend about them. Missionaries have since talked to her mom 3 times. She keeps telling them how much her daughter loves their church --- “Candace is on Mormon.org all the time. She’s never been baptized --- what do we have to do to get her baptized into your church?”
Youth cannot profile themselves so Pres. Toronto (counselor in the Anoka Stake Presidency) profiled his family within his profile, so they refer their friends to their dad’s profile.
Elder Lambert / Elder Haponen
Had some time left one night, were contacting down a street and ran into a young couple who had just barely gotten engaged. They asked them about the Mormonads, gave them a Mormon.org card, got their information. The missionaries were going to call them the next day to set up an appointment.
But Katie called them the next morning to make an appointment. An investigator calling them first to make an appointment never happens they said. Ford and Katie, this young couple, had checked out mormon.org the night before. (Then they weren’t in their area. They were referred to Cedar Lake Elders Long / Lue. They have had an appointment, the spirit was really strong. Ford knelt down and prayed at the end; they have a return appointment.)
Elders Berns / Evanson
They on were on exchanges and an appt. fell through. They felt they should 10 X 10 the neighborhood. A woman came out and asked them, “are you Mormon? I’ve seen your ads and have some questions.” They taught a short lesson right then on her porch. Two days later they went back and taught her again, with a member. She went to church that Sunday and was baptized the 9th of October!
Another of their investigators has a date set ---- was on the internet went to mormon.org web page --- before they talked to him he knew this is what he needed to do. (This was a mormon.org referral from a member. The member said he was looking to meet with missionaries.)
Elders Jensen / Elder Ralph
They received a call from the online missionaries that teach from the MTC. They had been teaching a young woman named Kayla Thompson. They had been teaching her because she saw a commercial on TV and before she knew it she was on the internet, where she found the tool to contact the missionaries. After having 2 or 3 lessons on skype with the missionaries, they referred her to Elder Jensen and Elder Ralph. She has a boyfriend who was a less active member, saw the commercials, got online. She’s a new investigator --- taught her one lesson. She went to church, had a date set, has run into a lot of opposition. We fasted and prayed for her with these Elders, need to check on her progress.
Elder Brooks / Elder Howard
Habtamu Mamo is from Ethiopia and grew up as a Christian. He was baptized on Saturday, Oct. 9.th In Ethiopia he was imprisoned and released 1 ½ weeks later; he is a political torture victim. Escaping from Ethiopia, he paid to be smuggled into Mexico, then America. The border control caught him, and gave him asylum because he was a torture victim. He came to MN, saw the Mormonads --- at the very end they would say “I’m a Mormon!” He wondered what that was, checked out mormon.org, the missionaries on mormon.org. told him where to go to church. But the missionaries saw him the very next day on Friday and stopped him on the street. On Saturday they taught him a first lesson; the spirit was really strong --- he pointed out the spirit himself and on Sunday; it was stake conference. Elder Gong was the visiting authority. If the missionaries hadn’t met him on the street Friday before stake conference, he would have gone to an empty building for church; they gave him the stake conference address. He found the missionaries and told them he had heard the word of God that day! They taught him again later that week. His wife is waiting for him to gain asylum, then she will come and be taught here, as well. She is in Greece.
Elders Berns / Evanson have been talking to employees at Walgreens about the mormonads and tracted into one of these employees the other day. “I love your commercials” --- she wants them to check back with her ---
Elders Hoskins / Birkel West Bloomington
A member invited Kerri Conte to come to church, but he was scared. Elder Hoskins and Birkel pulled up a member, Ryan Kraus’ profile; he wanted to meet him. Ryan met him at the door on Sunday.
Crystal ward Elder Dearden:
Terry rice came back to church after seeing the ads.
Samson came to church and wanted to be baptized, after seeing the ads.
Natalie, a 16 year old girl, saw the ads and biked to church on her own, started filling out her personal progress sheet in Young Women’s --- have to get to the parents interested!
Elder Sabey’s President’s letter:
Darrell (our Date set) is being baptized on the 30th of October. He is a self-referral. He requested a Bible from Mormon.org. He thought he was getting the Mormon Bible (aka the Book of Mormon.) But we showed up with the King James version of the Bible. But we found deep with in ourselves the charity and let him also have a copy of the Book of Mormon... He has come to church two weeks and is loving it. He says his friends are all negative about the church. It is amazing how much negativity there is about the church in the U.S. I'm not sure I ever understood or will understand. I am constantly amazed at people’s hesitation to learn about the church. Everyone has walls unless they know a member that has broken down the walls. The Mormon campaign is brilliant because it is attacking the walls that are put up when the word "Mormon" is said.
October 20, 2010
Elder Willis / Elder Ferguson
Called with a Mormonad miracle. They received a media referral for a Book of Mormon. They called several times, didn’t catch them home. So they stopped by Sunday, after church. The young family was at home. Neil Rado, the dad, said he didn’t realize the missionaries came with the book, nevertheless, invited them in. They weren’t interested in organized religion. The missionaries talked to them about prophets anciently, how you could trust them and how such prophets are on the earth again today, also referencing family values. They have a return appointment.
October 30, 2010
Elder Draper / Elder Long
They received a media referral requesting a bible from mormon.org. They called; he didn’t answer. Called back, left a message. Finally, after exchanging messages, they connected, and scheduled the first chapel tour.
Elder Long / Elder Dearden did a chapel tour with him. They taught him again on October 23rd. He wanted another chapel tour because he really liked that. He is looking for a different church. We taught him the plan of Salvation. They taught him about the sacrament, asked him to be baptized --- November 20th is his baptismal date. He doesn’t drink or smoke --- they’re not sure if he drinks coffee, don’t think it will be an issue. Asked him how he felt about being baptized, never felt so peaceful in his life. He came to church on Sunday, Oct. 24th !!! His name is Charles Anderson!!
Elder Hunter (Hmong missionary)
One of the members is in a diversity class on campus, which was talking about religion. They were talking about the Mormons because of all the Mormonads. Upon the member’s suggestion, they had several Mormon missionaries to talk to the class for an hour about the church. As soon as they came in, they were asked, “what about these mormonads?” One of the interesting questions was, “why do you always ride bikes?” They responded, “it’s easier to talk with people!” They asked them lots of questions and the missionaries thought of questions of stereotypes and myths to dispel stereotypes about the church. At the end of the class, the teachers asked, “How can I get a hold of you? We need to do this yearly!”
We are working hard to find our brothers and sisters who are prepared. We have noticed that as we integrate the "I'm a Mormon" ad campaign into our contacting we see a lot of success and the conversations are better and longer. We also build a lot of trust with the people. This campaign has changed the mission in so many ways.
Elder Fonua / Elder Forsyth
They were 10 by 10ing a house, tracted into this lady. She opened the door and said, “I’m a Mormon!” In the conversation, they asked “Are you a member?” “No, I saw your ads!’ She had a lot of questions about the plan God has for her --- And she is super excited to see them again on Wednesday!
Oct 29, 2010
Elder Muir / Elder Evanson
They had an appointment with an investigator, knocked and knocked on the investigator’s door; nobody came. They were about to leave to go back to their car. When someone living next door to the investigator came out, they asked him, “have you seen the Mormonads?” “Yes,” he responded. He had some questions, asked them in and his wife joined them. They taught them right there, leaving a Book of Mormon, after having a great discussion. There was a wonderful spirit; they were really interested and the missionaries have return appointment. As they were leaving the investigator they had had an appointment with came out, “Are you going to teach me?” He hadn’t hear them knocking --- though they had knocked and knocked. They gave him a lesson; it went well; they have a return appointment. They felt impressed Heavenly Father had arranged for them to teach this investigator’s neighbor as well!
Elder Smith / Elder Peterson
Two days ago Elder Smith and Elder Peterson were tracting and came across Stephen. He said he had seen the Mormonads and set an appointment for them to come back. But he kept asking them a lot of questions. So they gave him a short lesson on the spot. They came back on October 29th. When they arrived he had a friend there, who left as soon as they began teaching; they gave him half a plan of salvation lesson. Apparently the friend had been giving false information about the church, as he immediately brought up polygamy. They gave him a simple explanation and that was fine. Then he said, “You don’t drink!?” After they gave him a simple response he replied, “Oh that’s okay, I can give that up!” Then he told them he wants to learn, that he hasn’t been progressing much since being baptized into the Lutheran Church. They said he is a golden investigator, asking his own inspired questions and that “he that preacheth and he that receiveth were both edified and rejoice together!” (D & C 50:22) applied to their lesson!
Stake Presidents’ experiences with the Ad Campaign:
President Lash Oakdale Stake---
Pres. Lash loves the mormonads! --- His stake recently held a temple fireside in Oakdale in conjunction with the Mormonads, to explain more about the temple next to the stake center. President Archibald, the temple president, closed his remarks with a brief Mormonad-type profile of himself. The Mormon Chorale sang; there were 40 investigators there --- people in the surrounding neighborhoods just walked in. Some of the members brought their non member friends. There was a very powerful spirit. There were quite a few referrals, goals set and hearts touched. “I want to know more about this!” one investigator told President Howell. Other investigators already being taught by missionaries set temple goals.
Pres. Paynter Anoka Stake
Pushing his members to get on mormon.org / encouraging them to do their profiles, really working on mobilizing ward mission / Pres. Toronto constantly giving out mormon.org cards / check out my profile
Pres. Smith Duluth Stake / gave out Preach My Gospel buttons for everyone who read PMG at Stake Conference / Profiling yourself on Mormon.org was also spoken about
Pres. Weiberg St. Paul Stake encouraging people to profile themselves; Elder Gong closed with his profile stake conference!
St. Paul stake Young Men’s Pres. He is using his own I Am a Mormon profile on his answering machine, others are following his example.
Pres. Weiberg (St. Paul Stake)
Had a colleague at work (he is a defense contractor) start writing a profile for him:
“I am Mike Weiberg; I build weapons of mass destruction; I am a Mormon!”
Pres. Bautista Minneapolis Stake / President Naatjes Burnsvilles
They are doing a I am a Mormon Fireside with the WCOO weatherman (TV station here) who is a Mormon --- Br. Fairborn, after which they will both speak briefly.
Pres. Foote & Pres. Cragun Rochester Stake
Pres. Cragun was one of the first to profile himself on mormon.org even before the ad campaign.
Stake President’s Dinner with Elder and Sister Hinckley, Mormonad miracles and observations:
Pres. Naatjes said creating profiles is slow for members; they don’t know they are supposed to do it.
This corresponded with a missionary’s comment, “The members tell us: with so many members online, why do you need my profile?”
Sister Lash, President Lash’s wife from the Oakdale stake said that she is teaching each auxiliary how to profile themselves online. It’s easy to show them at church the profiles of ward members online and get them going.
Pres. Lash (Oakdale Stake)
Their daughters’ friends ask them at school all about the Mormonads. One of her friends has downloaded all the scriptures onto his ipod. He is Catholic and came to the last mission president’s fireside recently.
Pres. Lash’s new business card is now a mormon.org pass along card. He hands them out regularly. The other day a colleague wanted to play raquetball with him; he handed him a mormong.org pass along card, with his information on the back and said call me. His colleague looking at the card closely said, “I already have one of your books --- I received it in Columbia!”
Pres. Naatjes (Burnsville Stake)
His daughter has 3 friends who have seriously asked her about Mormons. They want to come to seminary. One of them asked her for a Book of Mormon.
Pres. Naatjes has a friend at work who saw the mormonads. He has worked with her for 14 years; she is an attorney. She and her sons recently visited Utah and went to the BYU campus. She asked him how she could start the process to become a Mormon. Her 3 sons want to live there, attend BYU and love the church. Her husband is not as enthusiastic. She is working on him . . .
Sister Miller, wife of Pres. Miller, counselor in the mission presidency said that one of her Mia Maids introduced herself recently like a mormonad at an beginning musical practice at school. Several other LDS members of the cast followed suit and introduced themselves in mormonad fashion.
Pres. Weiberg’s stake (St. Paul) recently had a Preparedness Fair with community leaders involved. A first responder was there, realized she was actually in a “Mormon” church and couldn’t believe it. She expressed her love for the mormonads and said she didn’t realize this church was even in her community. After having a positive conversation with her, they sent her home with mormonad pass along cards ---
Pres. Wiberg also suggested that missionaries could follow up on the profiling in wards and branches, also making an outline of how to profile themselves. One of our sister missionaries, Sister Hart, has already made a wonderful how-to outline for profiling --- we will share with the missionaries, to share with members.
Branch President / Member experiences with the Ad Campaign:
Oct. 29, 2010
Our daughter-in-law talked to us today about her son’s play group (40 mothers total / all nonmembers, late 20’s to early 30 year olds). She said several have frequently asked her about the church. But since the Mormonads most of them have become involved in long discussions about the church. They started by talking about the Mormonads, asking, “are you trying to get new members?” To which she replied, “We do have a great missionary effort in the church, but no, we are just trying to dispel false ideas concerning our church.” They talked for some time about the Mormonads, leading into various aspects of the church. She came to us with several typed pages of answers because she told the whole group that she would email the answers to their questions!
Elder Evanson / Muir
They received 10 member referrals October 24th from our branch president (President Naatjes --- there are three Naatjes brothers in the same stake!) Pres. Naatjes gives them the addresses of his good nonmember friends and business associates. They then tract into them, ask if they’ve seen the Mormonads? Do they like them? Do they know a Mormon? They bring up their friends the Naatjes family, which leads to a gospel conversation. They are already teaching 4 of his friends. The missionaries had a FHE with one of his friend’s family October 25th in President Naatjes’ home! President Naatjes encourages all the ward leaders to give the missionaries referrals in such a manner. Three leaders have already done it! One leader was able to give a Book of Mormon out. When a joint teacher comes with the missionaries, they leave his profile up for the family to check out.
This is an easy non-threatening way to contact a member’s friends. As church members report back the miracles, other members become mobilized!