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Posted by: Perdition ( )
Date: April 07, 2021 05:10AM

Missionary work has, of course, changed drastically during the pandemic and the church has long wanted to accelerate its online outreach.It's all about Facebook posts and Zoom calls these days. Yet the misionaries day is just as long as ever from 6.30am to 9.30 pm. In places like European countries, how the heck are these kids filling their day?

Service work is out, door-to-door tracting is all out due to Covid restrictions. There's no way that they have enough investigators or potential investigators to spend 6/7 hours a day online. Anybody got relatives out in the online mssionary field?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/2021 05:21AM by Perdition.

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Posted by: heartbroken ( )
Date: April 07, 2021 05:35AM

The dedicated missionaries must be having a difficult time trying to be productive, but the goof offs will figure out how to occupy themselves doing non-mission activities. It's probably easier to monitor them with today's technology so maybe they can't get away with goofing off like they used to back in my day when most apartments didn't have phones and the only way the mission president knew what the missionaries were up to was by reading the weekly reports that could easily be fudged.

I honestly think I'd rather go door to door than sit in front of a computer all day, trying to find creative ways to harass people on Facebook. At least there's exercise involved walking from door to door. The missionaries must be getting really fat just sitting on their behinds all day.

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Posted by: thedesertrat1 ( )
Date: April 07, 2021 10:24AM

A grandson just went to south America
I am concerned for his safety and well being



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/2021 10:44AM by thedesertrat1.

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Posted by: Perdition ( )
Date: April 08, 2021 03:44AM

They shouldn't be sending missionaries out at all. Period. The Church has recognised that tracting and having 19 year old kids from Utah or Idaho wander the streets of any given country is less than effective. They now claim in any case to find more converts online than anywhere else (that sounds pretty unlikely to me).

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: April 08, 2021 06:48AM

Which country Desert Rat? I have a nevermo son who lives in Peru.

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Posted by: thedesertrat1 ( )
Date: April 09, 2021 05:40PM

Soft Machine Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Which country Desert Rat? I have a nevermo son who
> lives in Peru.
Paraguay

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Posted by: Tyson Dunn ( )
Date: April 09, 2021 07:29PM

Paraguay has two missions: Paraguay Asunción Mission and Paraguay Asunción North Mission. They don't cover the whole country.


The Asunción Mission covers the 6 central departments of Cordillera, Caaguazú, Guairá, Caazapá, Paraguarí, and Central.

The Asuncion North Mission covers the 7 northern departments of Alto Paraguay, Boquerón, Amambay, Concepción, San Pedro, Presidente Hayes, and Distrito Capital.

Neither mission has any of the 5 departments bordering the Paraná River: Canindeyú, Alto Paraná, Itapúa, Misiones, and Ñeembucú.


There is a Facebook page for the "Paraguay Asunción Mission 2018-2021" which I won't link to. A post there reports that as of April 4, 2021, the entire country had been in quarantine for COVID for 9 days, but that it was ending that night, and the missionaries would be returning to the streets.

As the article I previously posted suggested, Paraguay is not the most dangerous country in South America at present. You might be able to find other mission parents and grandparents on LDS forums to share your interest and concerns. I know that's hardly the most encouraging thing to say, but they will likely have the kind of vested interest you have in seeing their family members' safe return.

Tyson

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Posted by: thedesertrat1 ( )
Date: April 11, 2021 12:41PM

Grandson is in Paraguay Asunción
I was in Argentina 1958 and way back then many parts were very dangerous for foreigners to enter.

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Posted by: Tyson Dunn ( )
Date: April 12, 2021 11:35AM

I'm not surprised. I can't imagine Americans were popular at all during the military rule. So, yes, Argentina would have been bad then.

Tyson

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Posted by: Tyson Dunn ( )
Date: April 08, 2021 11:10AM

Obviously, an entire continent with 12 countries will vary from region to region. This article talks about safe and unsafe places:

https://www.layerculture.com/blog/safest-places-south-america/

And even within the countries, the danger levels vary considerably.


For myself, when I served my mission in France, I was assigned for 7 months to an area in the Parisian suburban projects where the missionaries before and after me and my comps managed to run into trouble. Myself on the other hand, not so much.

Was I lucky? Perhaps a little. After all, in cleaning up some of the records of a previous set of missionaries, we managed to stumble upon one of their secrets for finding people to talk to: tracting a long-term homeless shelter. That's the only place where we had anyone get mouthy with us. We were surrounded by a bunch of youths, who probably thought they might be able to screw around with us at best, maybe rob us at worst.

I kept my cool and simply answered their questions in French. Did it help that I had really good French? Probably. When it became clear that we were friendly but boring religious types who had no money, despite our cheap suits, we proved to be an uninteresting target.

It took us going to the building to figure out that it was a shelter, and we never went back after.

The missionaries after us were robbed. They cut through the middle of a block - the blocks had open park-like squares in the middle - and were set upon. They only lost their money. The ones before were hit up on a train in late hours.


Situational awareness was key, and not all the missionaries knew how to practice it:

- Not going into areas that the locals told you were dangerous was a good start. Not riding around after dark.

- Avoiding tricks like people blocking your path by dropping money on the ground and stooping over in front of you - when they do that, there's another guy who's the dip, trying to pick your pocket.

- Avoiding scammers with sob stories who want you to go anywhere with them.

- In our case, avoiding anywhere you saw the CRS (French SWAT teams) massing. My comp and I beat feet the one time we saw that happening. We were out of there as fast as the locals - hightailing it to a major road and back to our apartment.


This would probably be good advice to have on a Mormon website, now that I think about it. Maybe some of the people who served in Latin America can chime in.

Tyson

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: April 08, 2021 01:23PM

I served in Mexico, so I'll chime in:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ_X1thbljY

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Posted by: Perdition ( )
Date: April 09, 2021 06:17AM

Brother elderolddog,I felt a burning in my bosom and a murmuring in my heart upon pressing the link. I shall now ponder the chimes with thoughtful intent.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: April 09, 2021 05:48PM

EOD is quite Zen when you get to know him.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: April 09, 2021 08:23PM

I saw a bumper sticker that said "zen as fuck". I don't know what it meant but it made me laugh for some reason.

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Posted by: heartbroken ( )
Date: April 07, 2021 02:41PM

I think most parents are worried about their missionary children but send them out anyway. Until they stop letting LDS Inc. dictate their lives the missionary program will continue.

The Mormon church doesn't care about the missionary's mental and physical well-being. If they did they wouldn't send missionaries out during a pandemic, or ever.

I was somewhat "normal" when I left on a mission. I endured physical and psychological trauma that left lasting scars.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: April 07, 2021 01:31PM

Just a guess, but I think the floor fell out of church growth around 2000 with people finding the truth on the internet. I seriously hope that the church has better prepared their mission presidents to understand that the wild days of convert baptisms (late 1980-1990s) are over!

I would not want any missionary to be told that they are the reason people don't want to hear the church's crummy message. Some of us endured screaming mission president blaming everyone for a decrease in mission stats. My mission had so many hoops to jump through when we got to the 4th or 5th discussion (ie having members present, having the ward mission leader or stake missionaries involved in the discussions~ it took a lot of coordination and was burning out already tired members). I was told that I had wasted the Lord's time during my last interviews. I wish that I had secretly taped it.

I am hoping that the church has lowered the bar of the definition of a successful mission. Maybe if the missionaries can teach a discussion every month or get a less active member to attend church again.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: April 07, 2021 05:04PM

I would think that a lot of non-Mormons would be really turned off by having so many people in their homes. I know I would be. Two strangers talking to me about religion would be more than enough. At that point, the investigators should be going to meetings anyway, where they can gradually be introduced to the ward. I think this is another example of how Mormons don't understand non-Mormon culture.

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Posted by: Perdition ( )
Date: April 08, 2021 03:33AM

I agree with all of the above. However, I doubt that the Church has lowered its demands on missionaries. I suspect that the pressure from the mission president is as intense as ever. Knowing the European mission field, I can't imagine that many online conversations/Zoom calls are actually proceeding to potential attendance at church or observance of baptismal services. I think th online missionary brethren are just 'encouraging'/harrassing inactive members via social media.

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Posted by: Eurotrash ( )
Date: April 09, 2021 08:05AM

messygoop Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Just a guess, but I think the floor fell out of
> church growth around 2000 with people finding the
> truth on the internet. I seriously hope that the
> church has better prepared their mission
> presidents to understand that the wild days of
> convert baptisms (late 1980-1990s) are over!

My local ward was doing fifty baptisms a year before all the extreme lockdowns came in. Retention is the problem. We have a lot of students and lonely foreigners in town.

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Posted by: Perdition ( )
Date: April 09, 2021 10:27AM

Holey Moley!50 baptisms a year!I can only assume that this is not a ward in the UK or Ireland.

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Posted by: JoeSmith666 ( )
Date: April 07, 2021 04:49PM

"I was told that I had wasted the Lord's time during my last interviews. I wish that I had secretly taped it."

Wasting - any more than God himself in creating mankind and then getting so pissed he killed all but eight...

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Posted by: Eurotrash ( )
Date: April 09, 2021 08:02AM

I live in Europe. Baptisms are allowed again here and services are running. The place looks and feels like a totalitarian hell... And it's going to get worse because they're saying you'll need government ID to go to the shops.

A few American missionaries have pitched up here since Covid. The extreme lockdowns and menacing signs everywhere telling you to obey without question must be a culture shock to them.

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Posted by: Perdition ( )
Date: April 09, 2021 10:20AM

The missionaries will be fine with blind obedience and deferring to authority.It will all be totally familiar if they hail from the Morridor.

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Posted by: Rubicon ( )
Date: April 09, 2021 08:51PM

We got a gym membership and worked out. Nobody in my mission area was interested in the church. We were there so much and knew what we were doing the gym wanted to hire us.

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Posted by: Perdition ( )
Date: April 10, 2021 03:23AM

Brother Rusty has received new, inspired revelation: 'The missionaries shall now devote a substantial part of each day sharing spiritual messages with gentiles at their neighbourhood gyms. This is to be known as the Plan of Perpetual Workout'



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2021 03:25AM by Perdition.

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Posted by: Rubicon ( )
Date: April 10, 2021 07:47PM

We played racketball, we swam, we played basketball, we lifted weights. I came home totally ripped. Ha! Ha! People would go don’t you work? Don’t you go to school? We said we were doing the European thing of taking a year off before going to college
and getting serious. My companion was from Germany and people bought the line.

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Posted by: Chicken N. Backpacks ( )
Date: April 12, 2021 01:28PM

Here in sunny Southern California, the tactic is to go on FB groups and offer service for free--moving, yard work, what have you: no mention of the fact they are Mo' mishies unless you click on their profile. They post "My roommate/friend and I just moved to *name or our little tourist town* and we're offering to help with yardwork or moving..." I recognize a few of the local Mo's who hit the "like" button, but there are probably 50 non-mo people who are clueless and like or post comments about how wonderful these kids are. One mishette sent me a note on FB messenger about something I'd posted and it took me a minute to realize she wasn't the daughter of a hometown high school friend--she was from Utah.
I saw the classic mishie pair a couple weeks ago along the narrow winding road that goes to the other town I live near: one Pillsbury Doughboy and the other the tall, sallow type; they were in their tracting outfits pulling weeds on someone's retaining wall about 1 foot from traffic.
There are those mishies who are at least half-truthful and offer "Bible study" in English or Spanish, but mostly they're being instructed to be helpful humans. Good on them, but I'm sure they have been ordered to drop the BoM bomb on those who hire them.

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