Laie Temple Visitors’ Center missionaries use Facebook as a tool to share the Gospel with tourists, but they said they need members to help in flooding social media with the truth.
Matt Herring, a junior studying business management from California who served in the Georgia Atlanta Mission, said it’s important for members to use Facebook to “reach out to their friends in just one simple post about Jesus Christ and hundreds of people would know.”
“My last three months were the time that had the most converts during my whole mission, and that’s because we were able to stay in touch with them and follow up with them through Facebook.”
Sister Whitney Boyce, from Utah, is serving at the Laie Temple Visitors’ Center and said Facebook has been a great resource. For members looking to help the missionaries, she said, “Add the sisters who are serving in your ward, share their posts, and make comments on them so that they can reach their circle of friends and the community here.”
Another Visitor’s Center missionary, Sister Jessica Taylor from Utah, said, “Actively find a way to share a post online because the more genuine you are on Facebook, the more people will care and pay attention.”
Herring added, “Even friends back at home who have Facebook can see and it might touch them. There’s been a couple instances in our mission where there were friends back home and they weren’t members, but they saw the posts that the missionaries were posting and they decided to join the church.”
The missionaries are also able to talk with people who aren’t in their area as long as they have permission from the mission president, said Boyce. They create uplifting posts that invite people to learn more about the Gospel.
Halston Wood, a sophomore from California studying TESOL and a former missionary from the Washington, D.C. North Mission, said, “It was nice to have Facebook because it was beneficial to contact people and find people who are interested in the gospel that missionaries couldn’t proselyte with, couldn’t reach, or just haven’t gotten to yet.”
Boyce added, “We meet a lot of people online who aren’t ready to meet face to face yet. It’s cool to use Facebook Messenger and be able to communicate that way. The hope is that we will be able to progress them to feel comfortable meeting face to face. It’s not to replace person contact but it’s to support it. … It adds another dimension to missionary work.”
Madison Coon, a junior from Texas studying accounting, served in the Florida Tampa Mission and noted, “I think frequent posts of your testimony or a personal experience and a picture goes a long way. These small acts will help those on your social media feeds. It is true: ‘By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.’”
One of the most effective techniques Herring noted was making a group with an investigator and members who can help meet the investigator’s needs. “You can always share ideas so it’s very helpful in multiple ways.”
Taylor said, “It just really helps connect us with the people. We love the members and we love people in this community. We want to be a part of their lives, and nowadays so much of a part of their lives is on Facebook.”
Boyce added, “I love being able to create relationships with members and people we meet here in the Visitors’ Center. It’s a great way for us to keep in touch with them … and it’s a great way for us to teach them and continue to save time for them and to have a face to our tag.”
Wood concluded, “I think that we’re a generation that has the internet for a reason and it’s not to just share cool videos or funny quotes … I truly believe that the internet was created to share the Gospel. We can … reach almost every single corner of the Earth and touch them with the Gospel.”