Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Moment #689. 4 people at a festival. Aug, 2006.

08/2006. I had rented a booth in my name at this cultural festival. I told the organizers that I wanted to give out copies of the Book of Mormon in their country's languages along with English, and it was fine with them.

Perhaps a better way to do it, and make it official, would have been to go through the full-time missionaries and mission office, or the ward mission leader, or the stake Public Affairs Council, and have the booth in the church's name. But then there's a lot of rigamarole getting approval from different church leadership, committees and councils. Then you would have to have planning meetings, schedule people to man the booth, bla bla bla.

Nobody else I know has done this kind of thing before, so that might have made it even a harder sell, and getting consensus on what to do. It's simpler to just plain "do it." So I did it.

Due to the location, I was hesitant to have full-time missionaries with me. But I have had them with me at a previous festival where I had a "Book of Mormon booth." I probably could have asked a ward missionary, or another member, to be a helper, but I didn't plan ahead well enough.

In addition to books, I took a TV and a DVD player for the videos that included that language. But that didn't generate much interest.

I had a sign on a posterboard, and had it up on an easel, but I didn't make the word "FREE" prominent. I had "free" printed on the book wrappers, but that still didn't make it obvious enough, as people still thought I was selling the books.

One passerby politely gave me a little tract from her protestant church, which I politely accepted.

I gave out pairs/sets of books to four people, and one of the people also accepted two DVD's. One of the people who accepted books was working the booth next to mine, and another person was their spouse. So only two people who walked by accepted anything.

Not a huge success, but I learned that I needed better signage, and that having the full-time missionaries would not have been a problem for the festival or for the venue. Though I'd probably recommend sister missionaries instead of elders for this particular venue if it's at the same place next year.

Next year I'll recommend that the mission office, or the ward do it officially. And if I'm available then, I'll volunteer to coordinate it. Now that having a "Book of Mormon booth" has a track-record at this festival, it should be easier to get official approval through official church channels, instead of "just a guy with some books."

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