Book of Mormon DAY at festival. Sat, Jul 28, 2007.
07/28/2007. 855. Some missionaries and I had a joyful day contacting people and providing at least 22 people some joy in finding reading material in their native non-English languages. I let the missionaries do most of the talking, but I helped a little when they took breaks to eat.
I rented a booth at the local African Festival, in order to display and give out copies of the Bible, Book of Mormon, church videos, and Gospel Fundamantals (Sunday school manual) in various languages. I exhibited at this festival three years ago, in 2004.
I went through the missionary Zone Leaders (who are the missionaries assigned to the ward that shares a chapel with my ward) to get missionaries to staff the booth. The Zone Leaders took the first shift from 9:30 to 3:00pm, and the full-time missionaries in the ward whose boundaries include this venue took the 3:00pm to 8:30pm shift.
Two missionaries are generally enough to cover the booth, but there were some times when we were so busy that we could have used four. Festival booths are usually 10 feet across, and the organizers provided the tables and chairs.
The 15 African language copies of the Book of Mormon, some English and French Bibles plus some videos fit on the 10 foot-wide table. However, we used a collapsible shelf to hold the Gospel Fundamentals (aka Gospel Principles Simplified) and Joseph Smith Testimony pamphlets off to the side.
For a more complete visual presentation, or to accomodate a larger crowd that would attend a larger festival, I would recommend a double booth of 20 feet in width, and four missionaries on duty.
We tried to keep track of the number of people we gave material too, and what we gave out. We gave material to a total of 42 people, 33 of whom received one or more copies of the Book of Mormon, with the rest receiving Bibles, videos, or Gospel Fundamentals. 16 people requested further contact and gave their contact information.
The elders seemed to be impressed at the number of contacts that were made. The elders also noted the look of pleasant surprise that many people had when they saw something in their native language.