Wednesday, November 19, 2008

LDS Missionary Factors : The Poll

I have read hundreds of comments from missionaries about how they would rate their mission. Many have said either they felt it was worthwhile or on the other hand it was not overly successful. Most of what I read is anecdotal so I am going to conduct the poll below to see if I can get a large enough body of statistical evidence to do better than guess how the thousands of missionaries felt about their mission. I apologize about the format but it the only one I have free access to so you will need to cast your vote on each individual item.

I think the church should use longitudinal studies to see how effective the methods, practices and procedures undertaken in the missions throughout the church is perceived by the returning missionaries. I would give every missionary a survey of agreed upon questions that took ten or fifteen minutes to validate how effective and efficient the practices really are. I am not sure that the results and efforts of missionaries is all about their ability to teach or to follow rules. Longitudinal studies would help to eliminate practices that are ineffective and allow the leaders to get a better idea of what is really happening in the mission field and possible tweak a few things they are doing. I think it wouldn't put out the mission president who interviews you and gets general impressions. I would do it anonymously so as not to embarrass the missionary so their answers would be more honest. Maybe it could be given to them after they leave.

These questions are my first attempt at finding out what the hundred of thousands of returned missionaries perceived happened on their mission and need refinement. They are in no way inclusive of what a missionary does or doesn't do. They are just my attempt to look at a few general areas of how a missionary might rate what he did or didn't do on a mission. If a sizable enough number take this survey honestly we might be able to describe what they did. It is a snapshot in to the process from the participants which according to one of my doctoral professors is better than guessing. As one BYU relgion professor used to tell us Joseph Smith didn't receive any revelation in a vacuum so we should use tools to see what is happening out there.


Betty said...

You did not have one group of missionaries in there that should be counted. The Senior Single missionaries. This groups is only a minor factor of a mission. It give the single/widowed/divorced something to do. It is a very lonely experience and there are very few times when they qualify for most of the questions. Most do not teach; most do not prosletyze; most do not have companions as elders/sisters/couples. It is a very lonely experience. I worked in the office and was not included in the comings and goings of the couple missionaries. They had their own thing going with getting together and connecting. I interacted with the elders and sister missionaries in the office and I dearly love that age group and their personalities. Single older women in the church are really second class citizens. It remains such in the mission field.

Dr. B said...


Good point I am adding one now. I am not always up on today's mission field stuff. When I served senior single missionaries usually served with another sister as a regular proselyting sister. I learned a new thing today. Thanks.