Monday, November 29, 2010

Event Recap: Missionary Fireside
Sharing the Gospel in a Digital World

Missionaries use technology to share the gospel
On Sunday Nov 22nd 2010, my final project group and I helped host a missionary fireside for the BYU 61st Ward  (congregation).  It was epic!  Two missionaries from the MTC Referral Center Mission, Elder Seth Spencer and Elder Andrew Howden, came to speak to a audience of 50+ members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  After a hymn (Called to Serve) and prayer, Elders Spencer and Howden shared how they are spreading the gospel using digital tools such as Skype, chat, Facebook, and blogs.

The Elders started out their presentation by skype-ing Elder Bryan Sabin into the room and projecting the video chat onto the screen so all could see.  Elder Sabin spoke briefly about how the missionaries use Skype to teach lessons to investigators they have found through the chat.  Elder Spencer and Howden then went on to explain that missionaries choosen for the Referral Center mission often have had medical problems that might prevent them from performing the physically rigorous work that may be a part of serving an "in the field" mission (biking, extensive walking, tracting, etc.).

The Elders spoke for about half and hour sharing stories of how they have used the Internet to find, teach, and bring people into the Church as well as taking questions from a captivated audience.

Following the missionaries' presentation, a quartet sang LDS hymn #263 "Go Forth with Faith" which encourages members to "Go forth with hope and courage strong to spread the word abroad."  A member of the 61st ward then gave a quick introduction of how LDS Church members can create a profile on which they can then share with their friends.

To finish off the fireside, the digital civilization class group shared ways that members can get involved in sharing the gospel.  James Wilcox introduced the audience to Prezi and invited members to join in translating missionary media so the Referral Center missionaries have more language tools at their disposal besides Google TranslateAndrew DeWitt, Kurt Witt, and Rhett Ferrin all helped in showing a quick web-slide-show of the LDS Church's online presence.  Most notable of the web-pages were:
Andrew then ended the fireside by inviting people to use the things they had just learned to share the gospel then share their missionary story on this website as well as bearing testimony on this coming Sunday for Fast and Testimony meeting.