Talking with Mormon Missionaries
Did you catch that title? Talking with Mormon Missionaries. Not debating or arguing. Not talking to them but with them. Seeing these young adults as people, not projects, who need the love of Jesus is vital in reaching them.
A look at the life of a missionary:
Imagine you’re 19, right out of high school. A lot of your classmates are getting ready to head to the dorms for their first year of college or headed out to find a full-time job. But not you. You’re getting ready to go on your mission. You say goodbye to your family, who you won’t see for about 2 years and head to your training which is only about 2 weeks long. Did I mention you might have to learn a foreign language? In that case, you get 2 months of training. Now, it’s time to head to a city you don’t know, with people you’ve never met. You are assigned a companion, with whom you are to be with at all times. No quiet time walks, no separate bedroom, no TV time, no music. Are you feeling anxious yet? It’s time to get out on the streets, going door to door, to share what you believe to be true. Many people slam their doors shut, don’t answer (even though you can hear them inside), or yell that what you believe isn’t true and throw all of these statements at you, not even letting you speak.
Imagine if finally, behind one of the doors, was a kind family who may not believe the same things you do, but listen to what you have to say, ask questions, and are friendly. Imagine if they ask you about your family, invite you to decorate their Christmas tree, make you dinner. They keep inviting you back and they just seem so happy. Each time you meet, you discuss something in the Bible and they soon share their joy comes from Jesus. You yearn to know more and more.
When you see these young people for who they are, what their situation is, and the joy that can only come from Christ is lacking in their lives, it’s hard not to speak lovingly to them.
The key to talking with these young Mormon missionaries is to build a relationship with them. Show them you are willing to listen, to get to know them, and they will do the same with you. Isn’t it obvious when someone is interested in what you have to say? They maintain eye contact, maybe nod their head, possibly take notes, ask questions. All of these show they are truly listening to you. And doesn’t that make you all the more willing to listen to them? This is also true with Mormon missionaries. They are constantly getting doors slammed in their faces or Bible verses thrown at them, one after another. Someone who is willing to listen will be a fresh breath of air and they will be willing to then listen to you.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Am I the right person?” “Do I know enough about the Bible and theology?” “I don’t know if I can do it.” I was right there with you. So many of us have been and still are today. But I’m happy to tell you that you CAN do it! God has given you every tool you could ever need: His Word. And what honestly helped me take the leap is knowing that this is a low-risk relationship. These are not my close family members and friends. These are people I may never see again. It’s so much easier to get into a theological discussion with someone who a) you don’t know and b) is already there to have a theological discussion! God has literally opened the door for you to share His Word! So now, please open the door for these young people who are lonely, scared, lost, depressed. Show them God’s love through being kind and then share the wonderful news that Jesus has done everything for you!
Please Open the Door is a program helping you talk with Mormon missionaries. The greatest thing is the mentor program. You can request a mentor to help you along the way: providing advice, encouraging you, and holding you accountable. There is an abundance of helpful articles on common LDS topics and how to respond. There is also a Facebook support group where you can share encouragement, stories and prayer requests. This program truly helped me take the leap in reaching these young LDS missionaries and I pray it will do the same for you.
Blessings as you witness Christ in love!
About the Author: Tasha serves as the Creative Content Coordinator for Truth in Love Ministry. She has an eye for making things beautiful and a heart for sharing Jesus with the lost. “His word is in my heart like a fire” (Jeremiah 20:9).