Support: Key to successful mission work

Support and enthusiasm have been the key to success of the Waipahu Hawaii Stake mission endeavor, according to stake mission Pres. Herbert Horita.

The mission endeavor focuses, he explained, on having stake missionaries team up with full-time missionaries to visit less-active families, part-member families and non-member families and, it is hoped, set appointments to teach them the gospel.In addition, the stake missionaries bring those interested in the gospel to a meeting at the stake center, to dinner at a member's home or to a beach party. At these activities, an LDS family explains what being a member of the Church is all about, and others bear their testimonies. Those participating at the stake center or in a home might also watch a Church video and sing Church hymns.

Hawaii Honolulu Mission Pres. Marlin A. Fairbourn described the mission effort as a "unique way to mobilize members to do missionary work."

"The Waipahu endeavor has definitely been a success," he added. "The stake presidency, stake mission presidency, the bishops, full-time missionaries in the area and the many member-missionaries have worked together finding, teaching, baptizing and fellowshipping new members into the Church."

The success of the missionary effort was evidenced last year as the Waipahu zone led all other zones in the Honolulu mission in baptisms. This year, the stake exceeded last year's results in the first six months.

"Also important is the retention rate," Pres. Fairbourn noted. "Retention is more than 90 percent. It's also interesting to note that reactivations are up too."

The current stake mission endeavor began in September 1992. With the approval of Stake Pres. `Alifeleti Malupo, Pres. Horita and his counselors, Paniani Loelu Jr. and Lamont Lindsey, worked closely with the wards in implementing the mission work. They attended ward correlation meetings and baptisms.

Bishops of the wards in the stake found members eager to be called by the stake presidency as stake missionaries. The missionaries were then set apart and received badges on which their names were imprinted. And it's not only the rank-and-file members who are involved, said Pres. Horita. Many ward and stake leaders are also participating.

Pres. Malupo and Pres. Fairbourn directed the training of the new stake missionaries.

"One training session lasted an hour and a half, and the majority of stake missionaries were present," Pres. Fairbourn said.

In the first half of this particular training session, the stake missionaries were divided into four groups with each group receiving instructions from Pres. Fairbourn, Pres. Malupo, the stake mission presidency or full-time missionaries. The stake missionaries also participated in role playing so they could practice missionary dialogue.

During the second half of the meeting, participants heard testimonies from converts and inspiring talks from the local and mission leadership.

"It's gratifying to see this positive endeavor unfold," said Pres. Fairbourn. "But what is really special is to listen to the testimonies of the new members as they express their joy and new-found happiness in the gospel of Jesus Christ."

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