Around the web this week for stories of interest to future missionaries, missionary moms, returned missionaries, member missionaries, and missionaries of every sort and variety.
- Prepare to Serve “Deciding to Become an LDS Sister Missionary”– [Video] The faithful deliberate process this sister took while deciding to serve your mission will have you nodding along. “I remember when I was maybe twelve, and they announced over the pulpit, a speaker, ‘anyone who’s going to serve a mission stand up.’ And there was all the priests and the teachers, and I stood up as well.”
- Aaron Christensen “Scottish teenage musician uses talents to share the gospel” – When one Scottish teen decided to try out for a local church pageant he had no idea the journey he was beginning. “Hunter, a third-generation member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has lived his entire life in Airdrie, a small town in North Lanarkshire, Scotland. Hunter said confidence has played a large part in his ability to live the gospel and be an example to others. ‘I think it depends on how confident you are to speak up and share the gospel with others, and that’s what determines how easy or difficult it can be for you,’ Hunter said”
- Ruth Malan “How a St. George woman confirmed her LDS beliefs“– When we think about missionary work we often think about converting those not of our faith, but for one woman converting herself was the most important place to start. “‘Despite my activity in the church, there was always within me a steaming cauldron of doubt and insecurity about the very belief system to which I had dedicated my life,'”
- Quite a few people this week talked about the many impact the missionary age change has had on many areas of life. Patrick Kinahan “Church service adds degree of difficulty to BYU basketball’s mission” – Missionaries leaving directly from high school may allow the BYU basketball program to develop great coherence, improving their long term results. Lindsay Whitehurst “LDS missions cut Utah college enrollment, especially for women” – College enrollment numbers are down across Utah leading some in the state to worry that decreases in college graduation rates will follow. Peggy Fletcher Stack “‘Sister missionaries’ causing a gender shift in Mormonism, BYU prof says” – Greater numbers of women in the mission field may effect what church leadership looks like as those missionaries return home with vision and experience.
- Michele Amabile Angermiller “‘American Idol’ Alum David Archuleta Returns From Mormon Mission” – The most famous current full-time missionary has returned. “David Archuleta has returned home to Utah from his two-year service as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
- Tiffany Frandsen “This is Your Brain on Faith”– The Missionary Beat previously brought you the story of a UVU study on spirituality and the mind, set to be conducted on recently returned missionaries. The study is still a go, but facing some early bumps in the road. “The Religious Brain Project is currently low on funding, but researchers are hopeful that they can raise the money necessary for the project to continue. If they are able to accrue more funding than required, they will then expand their study to include more faiths and demographics.”
- Dana Rimington “Layton LDS missionary back at ‘work’ after serious auto accident in Phoenix“– Great news. The missionary in a very dangerous recent car accident is safe!
- Here are a few great examples of missionaries and member missionaries sharing their testimonies through service. Fox 13 News “Donated Utah Jersey Makes its Way to Africa”– “David Ostler, a mission president for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sierra Leone, was driving down an obscure road with his wife when they spotted a young man walking down the road wearing a jersey with his last name on it.Two years earlier, Ostler’s nephew Ben donated his Cottonwood High School little league football jersey to a D.I.” Danielle Wallace “Ozark’s Latter Day Saints Relief Society Teams Up with Red Cross”– “Members say it only takes a small act of kindness to man an enormous impact in the life of someone else. The ladies assembled basic hygiene products and emergency kits for families victimized by fire. ”
Craig Cummins “LDS youth volunteers, leaders tackle massive cleanup”– “On Saturday, 175 youth volunteers and 40 youth leaders gathered at a farm just west of Cobblestone Farms to clean up Maricopa and take initial steps to provide thousands of pounds of food to needy families in the community. Used as a dumpsite for the past 30 to 40 years, the land adjacent to the Skousen farm is riddled with decades-old trash deposits that have piled up and become buried beneath the sand. But a group of volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helped clean up the garbage, trying to bring the land back to its natural condition.”
- Genelle Pugmire “LDS: TV, social media helping to hasten the work” – What does the new generation of LDS missionary work look like? It looks promising. “Efforts by the LDS Church to bring its message to the world have been increased and enhanced significantly in the past few years, particularly in its missionary department. Elders and sisters whose generation is adept at texting, Facebook, Skype and other social media tools are finding new ways to preach the gospel.”
- Lisa Schencker “Some choose Mormon missions over graduation ceremonies”– If you could choose between a big party in your honor, or long hard days of selfless service, which would you pick? The one this 18 year old boy picked might surprise you. “‘I’ve always liked to just move on to the next phase of my life, and this is the next phase for me,’ said Hart, who graduated early from Taylorsville High so he could leave for his two-year mission in mid-April.”
- Alicia Hill “Three tips for Mormon missionaries who are preparing to serve”– Tired of long lists of specific suggestions on preparing for missionary work. These three simple and general ideas might just be the perfect direction.