In The Field

Here are 50+ funny/embarrassing Japanese language mistakes LDS missionaries have made while serving a mission in Japan.

50+ Japanese Language Mistakes

  1. When asking for bread, I asked for “pan no mimisu.” (Should have been “pan no mimi.” So I asked for bread worms…I think. (Steve)
  2. Accidentally calling little babies and children ‘scary’ is something that frequently happens for new speakers of Japanese. That’s because the word for ‘cute’ is ‘kawaii’ and ‘scary’ is ‘kowai’. (Travis)
  3. Called a child Kowai so. (pitiful) instead of Kawaii so. (cute) (Craig)
  4. Nikkutai= physical body. Nekkutai= neck tie. Ninshin= pregnant. Nesshin= with conviction.  (Amaree)
  5. I got two words mixed up and told a family that my parents were growing illegal mango drugs in their backyard. (Baden)
  6. During the contacting process, instead of saying that they are volunteer activity performing missionaries, an elder said they were volunteer circumcision performing missionaries. Look it up. “Activity” and “circumcision” are similar when said. (Richard)
  7. One of my companion from Utah was telling someone about his family and he told that his grand-father had 20 “mushi” (mosquitoes), but he really meant to say ushi (cows). (Gabriel)
  8. “If you listen to the prophet, you’ll die.” That one still gets brought up at reunions. (Erica)
  9. The words for sweet bean paste (they put it in snacks or desserts) and poop are very similar, so a missionary meant to say they liked eating the sweet bean paste, but they accidentally said the other word. (Lacee)
  10. I told a man who answered the door that we were there to talk about the law of chastity. I meant to say the purpose of life. (James)
  11. I was teaching a lesson about the Word of Wisdom, and I explained that tea is bad for your books. (Paul)

See All 50+ Japanese Language Mistakes

Lots of other denominations would be thrilled by a 1.7% increase, but for Mormons this represents the slowest growth in any year since 1937 (when it was 0.93%), so no one’s exactly throwing a party.

But don’t despair: there are some silver linings in this seeming cloud. To find out more, I spoke with Matt Martinich, founder of the LDS Church Growth blog. For over eight years now he has tracked just about every aspect of Mormon growth and loss, tracking baptisms, retention rates, and more.

RNS: What do you make of the 2015 Statistical Report which shows a slowing rate of LDS growth?

Martinich: Annual membership growth has steadily declined in the last 25 years. It used to be 4-5% a year, and now it’s only 1.7%. I don’t think it will decrease much more than to 1.5%, though.

RNS: The report notes that convert baptisms are down by more than 13%. Why has growth slowed so much?

Martinich: The biggest reason is the “centers of strength” policy, which has been in place since the early 1990s. There’s not much information about it, but it’s a policy where the church intentionally restricts its missionary activities to only a handful of places in the world.

Prior to the 1990s the Church would very aggressively and kind of indiscriminately open new areas for missionary work. A lot of the rapid growth in Latin America and elsewhere was due to that. But in the 1990s the idea became that the church needed to have a “center of strength” and be well established in at least one city in an area so that administratively there would be enough leadership to run the church.

The problem is that many of these areas never become centers of strength. So you have a number of cities where the church has been there for some time, and they won’t create new wards or branches unless existing wards or branches are split, which is not very effective for growth.

The church in the 1980s and 90s had pretty poor standards for baptism, and changing that has also been a huge aspect of why growth has slowed. Low qualifications for baptism resulted in a lot of converts who didn’t come to church and didn’t contribute much.

Some would argue that secularism has also contributed. The Internet has nothing to do with it: In some areas the Internet has increased growth, and in other areas it’s decreased growth. It has more to do with the function of secularism, not whether people have information about the church that is negative or incorrect.

Read the full article at ReligionNews.com

Image via Google Street View

In case you missed the last post on Mormon Moments on Google Street View, check it out here.

A reflection of the Google Street Car in the window of the visitor’s center in Paris. (There used to be a great shot of missionaries conducting an open house here, but it’s gone.)

A missionary couple tends to the flowers at the Hyde Park Chapel Visitor’s Center in 2008:

If you’re ever in Folsum, California, you must get a picture of yourself reading the Book of Mormon at the crossroads of Reading and Mormon streets.

Read the full article at My Best LDS.

I’ve listened to 100s of mission stories…here are 5 of the most CRAZY and DANGEROUS situations missionaries have been in…

*Think these stories are crazy?? Watch a dozen more crazy stories.

*Watch 15 of the Most Spiritual Mission Stories.

*Disclaimer: Missions are one of the safest places for young adults to be. Though many missionaries have crazy stories, you should take into consideration that they are often sharing the craziest experience they had over the course of their mission.

*I should also let you know I’ve heard many dangerous mission stories that strengthen my testimony of the Lord’s care over His missionaries. Many, many dangerous situations have been evaded by simply listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

As millions of Latter-day Saints around the world prepare for the 186th annual general conference of the Church, Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Seventy and executive director of the Missionary Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sat down for an interview in mid-February to reflect on the progress of the Church’s missionary program.

Media initiatives, the use of technology and the age requirement change have bolstered the missionary efforts of the Church in the past several years.

“We work regularly to make sure that people know about our church and understand what we believe,” said Elder Nielson.

Missionary Surge Subsides

There are currently about 75,000 full-time missionaries serving in more than 400 missions in many countries. Over the past five years, about 230,000 missionaries have completed their missions and 1.3 million have served since the Church was organized in 1830.

“At the beginning of this year, we had 418 missions in the Church,” reported Elder Nielson. “We’ve just created the Vietnam Mission, which is now officially in place, and by July we will have created two other new missions in Africa, which will give us a total of 421 missions.”

After the age requirement for young men and women was lowered in October 2012, the missionary force hit a record high of nearly 89,000 men, women and senior couples. Young men can now serve at age 18, and women can begin their service at age 19.

“As that surge passed, we’re now down to around 75,000 missionaries, which is where we think we’ll stay for a period of time as that gradually increases,” he said.

Many of the missionaries who were part of the surge have now returned home following their service, which is 18 months for women and two years for men.

“That stretched our resources; it stretched our mission presidents just to take care of that many missionaries, even though we had created 58 new missions to do that,” said Elder Nielson.

Read the full article at Meridian Magazine.

Image via LDS Living

Elders Mason Wells and Joseph Empey received a wonderful surprise Wednesday when Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Elder Brent H. Nielson, the executive director of the Missionary Department, visited the mission companions at the University of Utah medical center.

Both missionaries were injured in the Belgium terrorist attacks when two suicide bombs detonated in the Brussels airport. Shrapnel from the explosions punctured the missionaries’ bodies, leaving them with injuries that required surgery. Fire from the bomb left both Elders riddled with second and third-degree burns on their faces, heads, and hands.

But, Elder Wells and Empey are doing well and recently returned to Utah to receive further medical treatment.

Elder Oaks praised the missionaries for their service, for their faith, and for the examples they have been to people of all faiths and from all over the world as they’ve shared their hope and testimonies in the midst of dark times.

Read the full article at LDS Living.

Image via Missionary Geek

We’ve all heard it before. The ‘Doom and Gloom’ speech that starts with, ‘Missions are tough’! Like that shocks anyone anymore. No, we’ve all heard it a thousand times in mission prep classes. “Missionary work is work, and it’s tough, and you can’t come home, you’ll get bitten by a dog and have people slam doors in your face every day… oh, and you’ll lose your right leg on top of that…. b.u.t. (with a long pause) It’s worth it” they say.

So, if you’re looking for a Doom and Gloom list, then you’ve come to the wrong place. Here are 8, very common, positive parts of being a mormon missionary. So whilst you mission prep, think of the good times you’ve got coming.

1, You may actually like your companions 

RM’s can’t seem to talk enough about their ‘worst’ companions, but in fact you’ll probably make more lifelong friends than be stuck with challenging people. I’ve not met a missionary yet who doesn’t keep in contact with at least a few, years and years on. They are kind of comparable to your war buddies. You come back into civilian life, where most people don’t know what it was really like. But your mission companions do, they relate completely. Remember, you can learn something from everyone you meet.

2, You could lose that extra bit of weight or, bulk-up  

What a perfect opportunity to walk, cycle, run and play sports. Even if you don’t normally. Just start slowly and build it up. You’ve got 18-24 months to get into some good habits and a companion to help you to do it. The more you notice a change, the more motivated you’ll be. Whether you want to bulk up or lose the weight, there’s time and support to make it happen. It’s easier when everyone’s doing it. To read more, check out: how to lose weight on a mission  #bestversionofyou

Read the full article at Missionary Geek.

Image via Mormon Newsroom

On Sunday, 28 February, His Royal Highness Viliami ʻUnuaki-ʻo-Tonga Lalaka moʻe ʻEiki Tukuʻaho of Tonga, Prince ‘Ata, and over 100 members of the Nukuʻalofa Tonga North Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), undertook an historic journey together.

They travelled 10 kilometres by boat to the beautiful island of ‘Atata, off the coast of Tongatapu, to hold the first Sunday services of the Church ever to be held there.

Local Church leader, President Tu’ihalangingie, presided at the services. He thanked His Highness for allowing them to dedicate the home which has been renovated into a meetinghouse so members don’t have to travel back and forth to Tongatapu to attend religious services.

He also thanked the Town Officer and others for their help in preparing the meetinghouse.

The historic gathering provided an opportunity for President Tu’ihalangingie to bless the new Church facility as a gathering place for Latter-day Saints and others to worship on the island.

Read the full article at Mormon Newsroom.

Image via LDS Living

Here are some fun LDS moments caught on Google Street View. Don’t miss the Rome Temple ones at the bottom! They will take your breath away.

 

A brilliant sunburst over the Helsinki Temple! So lovely.

And hello to the Elders at Piazza della Signoria in Italy, circa 2008. I like how the statue in the upper right appears to be looking at the Google Street car too.

Pretty nifty bikes there, Elders! This is from 2009 in the Netherlands. I wonder what they’re doing now…

Read the full article at MyBestLDS.com.

0 584
Image via IMDb

It was one in the morning at a bus station in Chile, and everything was still and quiet. Even the street dogs seem more subdued, I thought as I moved my foot out from underneath one that had collapsed on top of me. I held my backpack a little tighter, and I leaned against my tired companion’s head, which rested on my shoulder, as the third hour of waiting for my bus came to a close. These nights of picking up and dropping off missionaries at the bus station in between transfers were always random. We never knew if our bus was going to be a few minutes early or a few hours late. This particular night, we had the latter. Our zone leaders kindly waited with us and another companionship of elders who were waiting as well, and we soon began discussing a few movies we’d missed while on the mission. All of the sudden, one of the elders perked up and said something had been bothering him for a long time.

“I never understood how Harry Potter, a misfortunate orphan with a terrible childhood, could find out he was a wizard and get accepted into a prestigious wizarding school and still get bad grades and slack off. If I was accepted into Hogwarts to become a wizard, I’d freaking pay attention in class!”

I was dumbstruck. Of course! How could Harry be so reckless? I recalled reading the books and thinking of all the times Harry and Ron ditched their homework to go to Quidditch practice or to steal ingredients to make a polyjuice potion. They blamed their lack of success in potions class on Professor Snape, because he obviously hated them. But why would anyone take MAGIC CLASSES for granted? Hermione sure didn’t. Her attitude seemed the exact opposite. She took advantage of every moment she had to learn and understand everything she could about this new world she was introduced to. She took harnessing her new-found power very seriously and, consequently, became known as the most clever witch in her class. I suddenly realized that Hermione was the only rational one in the group. Knowing this made Harry’s situation more baffling.

Read the full article at MormonBuzzz.