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Ward Mission Program

Discussions around miscellaneous technologies and projects for the general membership.

#11Postby WelchTC » Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:16 am

jeffphil wrote:Really wouldn't it be nicer if the missionary's dinner appointments were on a calendar in the missionary section of the LUWS? Then members could just mark down which days they would be availble to invite the missionaries over, and perhaps the ward missionary leader could approve the final schedule and e-mail them a confirmation.

Of course it would. It's just that it is not available so that is why I wrote this program.

As for the actual missionary work, keeping up with investigators and such, an online site is much better for colaboration. Referral Manager isn't just for headquarters referrals. Mission leaders can enter anybody's name in there locally for everyone we're teaching.
Agreed.

A desktop application is nice for organizing one's own notes, but when I'm out in the mission field I want to have everything on paper so I can carry it with me and see what is going on in the neighborhood I'm in. I'm not sure I want to be dragging my laptop around. I suppose I can print reports. But, that requires me to enter all the information I can into Referral Manager, and then that same information again into this Ward Mission Program, plus the rest of the details Referral Manager didn't have room for. Then I'd still be printing the reports to take with me. Where as now, I enter what I can in referral manager, print the reports, and then write the rest of the details on those reports in my binder to take with me. Seems a little easier just to do it on paper, at least for me. I can see where the program would be nice for some people though.

One of the things I've not finished was the reporting because when I would go to my WML meetings, I did not take my laptop. I'd copy everything by hand and then update the software. Ideally I would like a nice printed a report of the history with a way for me to update the new notes. Someone else is helping me design the reports. If anyone wants to help code them, that would be AWESOME!

Tom

-Jeff.[/quote]
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#12Postby atticusewig » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:00 pm

jeffphil wrote:Really wouldn't it be nicer if the missionary's dinner appointments were on a calendar in the missionary section of the LUWS? Then members could just mark down which days they would be availble to invite the missionaries over, and perhaps the ward missionary leader could approve the final schedule and e-mail them a confirmation.


tomw wrote:Of course it would. It's just that it is not available so that is why I wrote this program.


Well it's not in the actual Missionary Section on the LUWS, but
a Ward Website Admin can easily add a resource calendar
that will show up under the Resources section.

Normally, resource calendars are used only by the Stake for
scheduling buildings, but on a ward level they can handle
scheduling whatever you want - Missionary Meals,
Splits, or various other date-based events.
In our ward we use one to schedule the use of the
ward computer so Elders Quorum and Relief Society
don't both arrive to update their Home and Visiting
Teaching at the same time.

-- Atticus Ewig
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#13Postby jeffphil-p40 » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:03 pm

atticusewig wrote:Well it's not in the actual Missionary Section on the LUWS, but
a Ward Website Admin can easily add a resource calendar
that will show up under the Resources section.


Hey, that's a pretty cleaver idea. I never thought of using the resource calendar for people/eating resources instead of building / equipment resources.
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#14Postby JamesAnderson » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:38 pm

I've been looking at this, and I've got a possible idea here.

Full-time missionaries keep an 'area book' (see Preach My Gospel for more info on this) and they put alot of similar information in those area books, which basically contain alot of information about the proselyting area as well as about alot of investigators they may have or have had over a certain amount of time.

Taking it to the technology and application level then, let's say that the missionary were to be able to log into his/her Church-provided email account, and like other webmail apps out there, there could be things in the Church-provided email site that could be customized for the missionary to use to upload information on referrals received and other information relative to their work including what happened with the referral, etc.

Once the information was completed by the missionary, some data could be ported via the 'net over to the ward mission leader, who would then know right off what the fulltime missionaries were doing in his ward. The potential for an online 'progress record' also exists. That way, if the missionaries could not attend PEC as often as they would like especially here in Utah where some sets cover several stakes, the ward mission leader could then

I'm not sure how to get it from the missionary to the WML electronically, using Church systems, someone will have to fill that one in for me.
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#15Postby russellhltn » Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:26 pm

atticusewig wrote:Well it's not in the actual Missionary Section on the LUWS, but a Ward Website Admin can easily add a resource calendar
that will show up under the Resources section.


What's more is a stake admin can create a "resource" that is shared by two or more units. That would help if a set of missionaries are assigned to two wards.
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#16Postby bhofmann-p40 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:53 am

JamesAnderson wrote:I've been looking at this, and I've got a possible idea here.

Full-time missionaries keep an 'area book' (see Preach My Gospel for more info on this) and they put alot of similar information in those area books, which basically contain alot of information about the proselyting area as well as about alot of investigators they may have or have had over a certain amount of time.

Taking it to the technology and application level then, let's say that the missionary were to be able to log into his/her Church-provided email account, and like other webmail apps out there, there could be things in the Church-provided email site that could be customized for the missionary to use to upload information on referrals received and other information relative to their work including what happened with the referral, etc.

Once the information was completed by the missionary, some data could be ported via the 'net over to the ward mission leader, who would then know right off what the fulltime missionaries were doing in his ward. The potential for an online 'progress record' also exists. That way, if the missionaries could not attend PEC as often as they would like especially here in Utah where some sets cover several stakes, the ward mission leader could then

I'm not sure how to get it from the missionary to the WML electronically, using Church systems, someone will have to fill that one in for me.


I think this would be a great long term solution but I think there are many missionaries who don't have access to computers. I think the uploading of information would be best handled by the Ward Mission Leader. Then information would be handled by someone who is more permanent as well.
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#17Postby bhofmann-p40 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:08 am

tomw wrote:Awesome data. If you think of more things, let me know.

Tom


I was thinking about your application during Correlation meeting this week and I think you have all of the basis covered. I agree that a web application is better for collaboration but it might be better to start with your client-side piece. I think we need to know if people will use it and get feedback from them before setting it up as a web-based application.
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#18Postby jeffphil-p40 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:49 pm

JamesAnderson wrote:I've been looking at this, and I've got a possible idea here.
...
Once the information was completed by the missionary, some data could be ported via the 'net over to the ward mission leader, who would then know right off what the fulltime missionaries were doing in his ward. The potential for an online 'progress record' also exists. That way, if the missionaries could not attend PEC as often as they would like especially here in Utah where some sets cover several stakes, the ward mission leader could then.


I think what you're describing here is a website that would substitute or significantly cut back on the time spent by the RS, HP, and EQ counselors, mission leader, full time missionaries, and ward/branch missionaries so they can focus their weekly missionary coordination meetings to a greater degree on the spiritual needs of the investigators, leaving the "who-done-what" info to be coordinated electronically. This could cut back on time spent in PEC as well, as the mission leader could prepare his report in advance using some cookie-cutter template of stats reported from the site, and adding in some comments or extra bullet points he wishes to address. Perhaps if a tool existed on the site itself to prepare such a report to the priesthood leaders, then they could themselves login to read it. Then in PEC the mission leader would only need to answer any specific questions the unit leaders can't find answers to browsing the site on their own.

I'm not sure how to get it from the missionary to the WML electronically, using Church systems, someone will have to fill that one in for me.
That all depends on how much technology you want in the mission field itself, and how the ward/branch & full time missionaries will cooperate with it. I certainly don't want to be lugging my laptop around when I'm out doing missionary work. I've debated using a PDA instead of my 3-ring binder as an area book. That might work in our case since we don’t have any full time missionaries here. But, if we get a pair back here again I fear the majority of their efforts wouldn’t make it into the database so it wouldn’t be that effective.

Out here we've had some discussion of the fact that we can never get a hold of the full time missionaries. (We're allowed to borrow them from the neighboring ward sometimes if we feel like going and getting them.) They are of course not in their apartment to answer the phone from 10 AM till 9 PM, so if somebody wants to get with the missionaries after work it's hard to determine their exact location at the time we arrive, and quite frankly we don't know exactly when we'll be getting out of the office before we leave in the morning with all that comes up during the work day.

We as members would find it much more suitable if the Elders had a cell phone that we could reach them on. In our mission only the AP's get cell phones from what I understand. I imagine the fear is something along the lines of the potential for certain Elders to abuse their use. (Calling their girlfriend back home, etc.) I'd personally like to see each companionship carry a smart phone with a built in PDA that has IP access over the cellular carrier's network. Perhaps some special software that permits it only to be used for missionary work could be installed to subdue the mission president’s fears. But then again, we don’t actually know what those fears are. Maybe he’s just afraid they’ll lose or break the phone, in which case a smart phone would only increase the potential loss.

I could probably think of 50 ideas of how a smart phone with online connectivity could be used in missionary work… Actually, I just thought of 51:

http://beta.tech.lds.org/forum/showthread.php?t=310
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#19Postby mkmurray » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:42 pm

I don't think there's much that a member would need to tell a missionary that would require getting a hold of them immediately. In fact, we got too many calls to give blessings to members and for other service needs that should have been fulfilled by home teachers. For member referrals or other missionary related needs, I would think leaving a message on the answering machine would be sufficient.
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#20Postby jeffphil-p40 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:50 pm

mkmurray wrote:I don't think there's much that a member would need to tell a missionary that would require getting a hold of them immediately. In fact, we got too many calls to give blessings to members and for other service needs that should have been fulfilled by home teachers. For member referrals or other missionary related needs, I would think leaving a message on the answering machine would be sufficient.


The issue for us is that we aren't able to help the missionaries if we can't find them or get a hold of them. When your boundaries cover 1000 square miles, the Elders could be anywhere. We might have arranged the day before to meet at a specific location at a specific time, but things happen. The missionaries might have planned to be working through several referrals in one of our outlying communities all afternoon to meet with us afterwards. Sometimes you just get a bad streak where nobody is home or nobody is interested in the message, so every appointment on your list gets crossed off quite rapidly. Then you have cases where we are detained to stay late at work and won't get to the appointment to meet the missionaries at our preagreed place until an hour late. So, they're stuck in this neighborhood all afternoon and into the evening waiting for us to meet them, when they could have just gone to another area to work through those referrals. They can't be bouncing back and forth because of the restrictions on their vehical allowance. Most of the pay phones in our area have been removed. Without a phone, they can't call us and we can't call them. As such their efforts are less effective and our usefulness in offering to go on splits or assist with missionary work is reduced to really actually being more of a hinderance in some instances. A cell phone would solve those problems as we could call and figure out where they are when we have time to meet up with them.

-Jeff
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