Monday, March 05, 2007

Amharic to sister missionaries. Mon, Mar 5, 2007.

03/05/2007. Journal entry. I was on the West side of town doing errands and decided to go the single adults family-home-evening that is regularly held at a chapel just west of downtown. At the chapel I met the sister missionaries who serve in that ward. I had met the one, and the other had heard of how I give out copies of the Book of Mormon. The newer one asked me if I had a certain translation in a foreign language, checked her appointment/note-book, and asked for an Amharic Book of Mormon.

I said "sure," and went out to my car and retrieved an English and an Amharic Book of Mormon, an Amharic New Testament (which I bought at International Bible Society, but is no longer carried by them), an English New Testament, and an Amharic copy of Gospel Fundamentals. I looked for an English edition of Gospel Fundamentals in my car, but didn't find one.

The sister tried to give the hardcover English Book of Mormon back to me, saying they had some, but I wanted her to keep it as the missionaries don't have enough. They only get 10 copies of the Book of Mormon from their mission office every 6 weeks.

For some reason, some missionaries think their 10 books per 6 weeks is a maximum, or a quota from which they should not deviate. I hope missionaries think outside the box, and realize they too can flood the earth with the Book of Mormon, giving out as many as the local members will pay for or provide. Parents can also send extra Books of Mormon to their sons and daughters serving as missionaries. If they are serving in the US, you can order books for them at, and have them dropped ship anywhere.

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At 3/07/2007 06:37:00 PM, Blogger East of Eden said...

Are you sure missionaries have a BoM quota? When I was a missionary we had a case in our apt and were encouraged to give them away liberaly. The missionaries in our ward also have the same thing, and the Ward keeps several cases in the meeting house for everyone to use. I've never heard of a BoM is a missionary supposed to be effective with such limitations?

At 3/07/2007 11:32:00 PM, Blogger Bookslinger said...

Yeah, it frustrates me too.

Our missionaries in the Indianapolis Indiana Mission get 10 books per companionship every 6 weeks from the mission office. The mission office does not give out any more than that.

If there is a case of books in an apartment, it means that the previous missionaries didn't give out at least 10 per 6 weeks.

If missionaries want to give out more than 10 per 6 weeks, they have to get them from the ward mission leader, or members, or have their own family send them. And if they are in a cheap or poor ward, they don't get any from the ward.

The saying in wards is "If the missionaries need some books, we'll get them some" but the word "need" means active investigators. As far as I can tell, from every missionary and WML I've talked to, no one is encouraging missionaries in these parts to give out BoM's to just anyone who'll receive one. They have to be an active investigator.

I remember one Spanish speaking missionary, who taught so many people, the office couldn't keep up with his need for Spanish BoM's even for investigators. So when a family or individual stopped
progressing in the discussions, he asked for the Spanish BoM back, so he could give it to someone else.

That one missionary is also responsible for at least 1/2 the converts in the Spanish branch in town.

Every missionary I've met was under the impression that you have to be an active investigator to get a BoM. When I give the missionaries books and ask them to give them out to anyone who will receive one, nor just investigators, that is something new to them, and they look at me weird like "How do we do that?"

Some of them still don't grasp the idea of giving a BoM to someone who hasn't scheduled at least one appointment for a lesson. It's just unthinkable to them.

And a couple missionaries were under the mistaken impression that the 10 per 6 weeks to give out was a MAXIMUM from any source. I tried to give some books to that companionship, and they refused, saying they were only allowed to give out 10 per 6 weeks, and that that came from the prophet. It was frustrating.

Apparently, the BoM's that the WML gives to the missionaries come from special donations to "other" on the donation slip. The "Book of Mormon" line on the donation slip goes to Salt Lake for church-wide printing.

The WML's books may also be taken out of the ward budget. But that line item, for the WML's BoM's, is set on a ward-by-ward basis. And some wards just don't want to spend money giving out BoM's to just anyone, and want there to be at least one missionary lesson.


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