Mission Vocabulary

Just as certain countries develop their own unique words or ways of saying things, missions also develop some unique vocabulary. We recently asked missionaries in the Spain Barcelona Mission about words or phrases a new missionary might not fully understand. Here are some of their responses.

"Momento clave" - Literally, "key moment". Missionaries use this to describe what needs to happen in every teaching situation. The contact, investigator, or member needs to feel the power of the Spirit teaching them in their mind and heart (see D&C 8:2). When that miraculous event occurs, as it does and should in every visit, we refer to it as a "momento clave." Investigators need frequent "momentos claves" as they prepare for baptism and confirmation. And missionaries need frequent "momentos claves" in their quest for discipleship.

"Inspired questions" - One of the keys to contacting and teaching effectively is to ask inspired questions. When we can ask questions inspired by the Spirit, those we are teaching will feel the Spirit and find answers that they need. In short, inspired questions lead to "momentos claves." We sometimes call these inspired questions, "questions from heaven."

"Power Statements" - Preach My Gospel instructs us, "When you meet people, be prepared to teach brief summaries of restored truth so that the Holy Ghost can bear witness that you are the servants of the Lord... People are accustomed to short, powerful statements." We sometimes call these brief summaries Power Statements - a simple restored truth that conveys the Spirit. "God is your loving Heavenly Father. He knows you and loves you," is an example of a Power Statement.

"Righteous hunch" - The Spirit speaks with a "still small voice" (1 Kings 19:12). Impressions come quietly and simply. It may be an impression to talk to someone on the metro or to knock a specific door. It is not ususally a strong or forceful impression, but a quiet, simple thought. Missionaries often refer to these simple impressions as "righteous hunches." When we act on them, we see miracles!

"Conversion plan" - This is exactly what it sounds like: a detailed calendar and plan to prepare an investigator for baptism and confirmation. Preach My Gospel says, "When an investigator has set a firm baptismal date, schedule when you will complete all the events that lead to baptism and confirmation as listed in your daily planner. Carefully review the Teaching Record to ensure that you have taught the basic doctrines and that the candidates are prepared to address each question in the baptismal interview. Review this schedule with the person in your next meeting" (Preach My Gospel, p. 204). We call this schedule a conversion plan.

"We baptize worthy converts" - The missionary purpose is found on page 1 of Preach My Gospel:
Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
That purpose is a short, one sentence summary of the Doctrine of Christ as described in 2 Nephi 31, 3 Nephi 27, and several other passages. You will often hear missionaries shorten this purpose even further by saying, "We baptize worthy converts." By this we mean that investigators must develop faith in Christ (be converted), repent (be worthy), and be baptized so that they can receive the Holy Ghost which enables them to endure to the end. It is what we do in the Spain Barcelona Mission; it is the only thing we do.

"El Faro" - As in, "I served in el faro," or "Somos el faro," or "He is a true el faro missionary!" Faro means lighthouse. It is reported that some years ago Elder F. Burton Howard was touring the mission and referred to the mission as the lighthouse of Europe. Ever since then, missionaries have referred to the mission as "el faro." The phrase has emerged to represent all that we hold dear about the Spain Barcelona mission. "El faro" is difficult to define or describe, but every missionary who has served here knows what it means!

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