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Advice Missionary Meals


Katie

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Hi, 

My husband and I received a new calling as the Missionary Meal Planner. Apparently, our specific town has the worst record of taking care of the Missionaries for meals. I am looking for suggestions on how we can improve this. We are in a rural farming town. We have a small ward with mostly older couples retired or married students/teachers from the local University. The Elders need to eat at 5 pm and frequently need a ride too.  The weekends are mostly taken care of but during the week is a huge problem. There is always the complication of needing someone of the same sex present for single Moms or ladies. What does your ward do? Any thoughts on how we can proselyte with this time? 

Thanks, 

Katie 

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We just pass around a sign up sheet during the last hour of church.  In wards where that doesn't work very well people will call and specifically ask someone if they can feed the missionaries on whatever date is needed, and if not on that day then they'll ask about other dates.

Most people won't say no to a personal request to help.

Edited by bluebell
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2 hours ago, Katie said:

Hi, 

My husband and I received a new calling as the Missionary Meal Planner. Apparently, our specific town has the worst record of taking care of the Missionaries for meals. I am looking for suggestions on how we can improve this. We are in a rural farming town. We have a small ward with mostly older couples retired or married students/teachers from the local University. The Elders need to eat at 5 pm and frequently need a ride too.  The weekends are mostly taken care of but during the week is a huge problem. There is always the complication of needing someone of the same sex present for single Moms or ladies. What does your ward do? Any thoughts on how we can proselyte with this time? 

Thanks, 

Katie 

Our ward passes the signup calendar around during Relief Society and Priesthood. That 5 PM mealtime means they don't always have dinners with members on weekdays. Most people working day shift work until 5PM, then you have drive time, etc. Personally, I get off work at 6PM, and we don't have dinner until 7 or 7:30 most days.

Edited by mnn727
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The easiest way nowadays is to use one of the electronic send a meal to someone apps that allow you to sign up to take food, and to send food if you'd rather do that.  And be sure you send the opportunity to less active members,  some of whom will be happy to send a pizza even if they don't want a visit.    That means you don't have to be in a meeting to sign up, and some of the apps send reminder notices for whatever you've promised to do.  

When the rules set the time for 5PM, most working people cannot do it, but that doesn't mean they can't make something and drop it off in the morning on their way to work that the missionaries can heat up for dinner.

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15 hours ago, Katie said:

Hi, 

My husband and I received a new calling as the Missionary Meal Planner. Apparently, our specific town has the worst record of taking care of the Missionaries for meals. I am looking for suggestions on how we can improve this. We are in a rural farming town. We have a small ward with mostly older couples retired or married students/teachers from the local University. The Elders need to eat at 5 pm and frequently need a ride too.  The weekends are mostly taken care of but during the week is a huge problem. There is always the complication of needing someone of the same sex present for single Moms or ladies. What does your ward do? Any thoughts on how we can proselyte with this time? 

Thanks, 

Katie 

Hello Katie,

Our ward used to use a sign-up sheet in church, but recently it has gone totally electronic.  For those single women, single parent, etc., they are made aware that missionaries may eat with them, but it must be outside - a park, a picnic in the yard, etc. are all acceptable. It is just not acceptable in the home itself.  

The 5:00 time period is hard for us - as many don't get home until later.  The members are asked to sacrifice one time each quarter and be home by 5:00 p.m. in order to host the missionaries.  It seems to work.

Edited by Storm Rider
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7 hours ago, Katie said:

......My husband and I received a new calling as the Missionary Meal Planner. Apparently, our specific town has the worst record of taking care of the Missionaries for meals. I am looking for suggestions on how we can improve this. We are in a rural farming town. We have a small ward with mostly older couples retired or married students/teachers from the local University. The Elders need to eat at 5 pm and frequently need a ride too.  The weekends are mostly taken care of but during the week is a huge problem. There is always the complication of needing someone of the same sex present for single Moms or ladies. What does your ward do? Any thoughts on how we can proselyte with this time? ..............

One of my home teaching families in Southern California used to schedule me and the missionaries on the same nite.  You might find that very convenient, and kill two birds with one stone.  I especially liked the idea of having a free meal for going home teaching, and the missionaries were always happy to give the lesson.  If you schedule everything carefully, you can also increase your home teaching (well now "ministry") efforts for the whole ward.

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Katie,

May I make a few suggestions?

1. Work closely with the Ward Mission Leader. If you don't have one, then ask the Bishop to assign one of his counselors to act as the WML. 

2. Have the WML (or assigned counselor) discuss in ward council what part-member or less-active families could be asked to feed the missionaries. 

3. Have the missionaries prepare a specialized message for the part-member or less-active families. This message probably ought to be on either the restoration of the gospel, or the doctrine of Christ (i.e., the first principles and ordinances of the gospel). This message must contain an invitation to act. E.g., "Will you read chapter X of The Book of Mormon?" or "Will you attend church together as a family this Sunday?"  

4. Have the full time missionaries practice teaching this message in their coordination meetings and/or in the homes of ward council members. 

5. Call the assigned part-member or less active families, and invite them to feed the missionaries *on specific dates.* E.g., "Hi, sister Smith! I am sister Katie. I have the special calling of helping to find people to feed our full-time missionaries. As you know, they are far away from home and don't get many opportunities to spend time with families that are so wonderful as yours. I'd like to know if you'd be willing to have them in your home for a meal on May 15th, between 5 and 6 PM? They will stay no longer than an hour, and with your permission, would share a brief message. If May 15th doesn't work, they are also available on May 18th."

6. Make sure the missionaries are prepared, on time, and courteous for their dinner appointment. After they eat with them and share a message, they must seek a return appointment to come back and teach them again, and follow up on their commitment. 

Best of luck to you! 
 

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I must be totally misunderstanding..but are you talking about meals all seven days?

I have never heard of this calling..but I am from a tiny town...this is a wonderful idea.

 

Edited by Jeanne
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25 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

I must be totally misunderstanding..but are you talking about meals all seven days?

I have never heard of this calling..but I am from a tiny town...this is a wonderful idea.

 

Hi Jeanne, 

Yes, it is actually meals every day but P-day (Mondays). We are a somewhat small town too of 10,000 people. Well, 15,000 when the University is in session. 

Thanks, 

Katie Sturgell 

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Thanks for your reply.I guess in my own mind.....that this was just  a weekend thing.  My little town had about 2000 people..including the cows and pigs...so I was thinking why they could not make their own meals during the week.  what gracious people you are!!  Maybe big leftovers could tie them over..good luck in your service!!

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We use the signups at church, but also takethemameal.com. That way people who want to check their calendar at home can sign up st home. We most this on our ward facebook page. You can keep editing it and adding more days as you go along. They do have an option to order a meal to be delivered, but it is fairly expensive.

I can tell you that when I was a missionary and in an area that didn't have a lot if members we understood that we wouldn't be fed every day.  We had about 10-15 members in that area. We were just grateful to those who did participate.

 

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On 4/30/2018 at 6:43 PM, rpn said:

The easiest way nowadays is to use one of the electronic send a meal to someone apps that allow you to sign up to take food, and to send food if you'd rather do that. 

Only if you use 'apps' -- many middle aged and older people still do not which lets them out. 

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26 minutes ago, mnn727 said:

Only if you use 'apps' -- many middle aged and older people still do not which lets them out. 

So invite your older and middle aged members to a youth night at the church where the youth help them set it up and have fun with them.  And maybe youth could be in charge of calling directly members who don't attend church regularly and don't have phones or computers that access the meal planners.

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Some people (me for instance and I do tech support for a living, but many others also) don't use apps not because we don't know how, but because the phone screen is too danged small to work with.

Edited by mnn727
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While having the missionaries in your home is a the goal there are people who would donate a meal that they can take to their apartment and/or with them.

Bread, meat, cheese, chips, potato salad.

Meals that can be microwaved at a future date

Gift cards (if you have places like that in small town USA)

Soup, stews, casseroles,  even fried chicken.

 

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10 hours ago, mnn727 said:

Some people (me for instance and I do tech support for a living, but many others also) don't use apps not because we don't know how, but because the phone screen is too danged small to work with.

Oh.. this is so me...besides..I am not into change.

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I have missionaries that come and see me at the bakery.  I do the markdowns for the department and let them know what breads/cakes and things are on sale...☺️  It is a hoot when they can get an upside down pineapple cake for $2.00 that will last them a couple of days...breads too!

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On April 30, 2018 at 4:14 PM, Katie said:

Hi, 

My husband and I received a new calling as the Missionary Meal Planner. Apparently, our specific town has the worst record of taking care of the Missionaries for meals. I am looking for suggestions on how we can improve this. We are in a rural farming town. We have a small ward with mostly older couples retired or married students/teachers from the local University. The Elders need to eat at 5 pm and frequently need a ride too.  The weekends are mostly taken care of but during the week is a huge problem. There is always the complication of needing someone of the same sex present for single Moms or ladies. What does your ward do? Any thoughts on how we can proselyte with this time? 

Thanks, 

Katie 

Always remember, they are young men and women, always hungry. In my 39 years of feeding missionaries, they don't want to be experimented on with exotic dishes, at least here in the U.S. So Burgers, Hotdogs, Sandwiches, etc, where they can add their own condiments. Or, ask what their favorite meals were at home, even seek out the recipe from their parents. It will thrill the parents to know their children are being cared for, and the missionaries will spout wings and fly for the remainder of the week!   

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On 5/16/2018 at 11:51 AM, Bill "Papa" Lee said:

Always remember, they are young men and women, always hungry. In my 39 years of feeding missionaries, they don't want to be experimented on with exotic dishes, at least here in the U.S. So Burgers, Hotdogs, Sandwiches, etc, where they can add their own condiments. Or, ask what their favorite meals were at home, even seek out the recipe from their parents. It will thrill the parents to know their children are being cared for, and the missionaries will spout wings and fly for the remainder of the week!   

It's really going to depend on the area you are in.  Some areas missionaries get a lot of burgers, hot dogs and pizza. They soon tire of it. Other areas they get more fancy things.

I've had a few missionaries get excited over veggies because they get so little. One even had 3 large helpings and could not stop talking about how much he liked them. 

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