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Comments about ‘LDS Church halts sending North American missionaries to Russia’

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Published: Monday, July 14 2008 6:03 p.m. MDT

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Shuuurrre!

Right- It's due to Visa problems. Truth is, other countries have the same hoops to jump through. The conversion rate in Russia is one of the lowest in the world!

Hermana C

However, in other countries, renewing the visa does not require 3-4 days and the long, expensive journey. That's valuable time. I served in the Montevideo West Mission but was assigned to a branch over the river in Argentina. All we had to do was cross the border every two weeks into Uruguay and we could return immediately to Argentina with our stamped passports. So we would go to Uruguay for district meetings. There is a huge difference between the two.

Not Uncommon

When I was in Croatia, we had to exit the country every three months to renew our visas. We were lucky enough that we had borders nearby we could cross and return all in one day. It can be a long process and take days, especially if there are no nearby borders. There are other countries where no North American missionaries serve with lower conversion rates than Eastern Europe.

J. Lennon

Imagine that there were no borders.

Imagine a world that didn't discriminate because
of where one is born.

Imagine a world with-Out so much "Red Tape".

I know i'm just a dreamer, but I'm not the only
one.

Re: shurre

I doubt the LDS church would withdraw because of a low conversion rates. Why do people insist the church only cares about numbers? They didn't say there won't be missionaries or that they are closing the missions they just won't be staffed by North American missions. But thanks for your negativity.

JOHNJ

I'm sure glad that in this country we have freedom of speech. It's always interesting to read the people who gloat, swagger and state their overbearing pride of arrogance. When there's a story about the chuch in the news.

person

If the church was taking missionaries out because of low conversion rates, they would just do it without saying a word and not cover it up with some loud announcement.

UkrainianRM

I think that it is sad the the Russian gorvernment is being so unworkable. I'm sure the Lord new this would happen and that's why there is a temple underconstruction in Kiev, Ukraine and not Moscow.

Adan

I would feel angry, but Russia's visa laws aren't all that different from our own. Russia, like the US, seeks to discourage foreigners from coming in.

jmg

love the jonh lennon comment!!!!!!!
now we know what other people has to go trough when they come to America.

To: Shuuurrre!

If low conversion rates were the criteria for sending or not sending out missionaries - then most, if not all, of European missions would not have any North American missionaries! Plus several other nations on different continents!

I know of missionaries serving in some of the European missions, and if their success was measured in baptisms (or, numbers for the cynical), then they are unsuccessful!

I also know of missionaries in Russia being arrested on the street, just for being missionaries! so it is not surprising that Russia is making it difficult, if not impossible, for North Americans and other foreign nationals, to obtain visas, and then fulfill the requirements to stay in the country!

BeenThere

Do the math--There have been 20,000+ baptisms in Russia in less than 20 years. That puts the Russian missions way ahead of Western Europe. This has nothing to do with baptisms. It's all about politics, and the Russians are getting uppity. The church is very careful about entering countries through the front door. In this case, the entry fee is getting way too high. The same-day processing fee for an American to get a Russian visa is $300. Next-day service is $200. Add in the travel and lodging costs, and the ongoing visa renewals cost about as much or more than the ongoing cost of living. Visa renewals for EU citizens are half the price, and CIS citizens don't need any visa at all. If the missions can be staffed from those countries, then do it!

interesting

Interesting. In my trip to Biisk, south of Barnaul, working for uncle sammy, I met a catholic priest who was trying to establish some catholicism in that area. The russian ortho. church was just plain awful toward the catholics. Awful.

Apparently Putin has made more deals with the russian orthod. to save it any competition.

and so it goes...........

Some thoughts...

Elder Holland visited our mission in Ukraine in late 1997. He told us in very strong words that we were not there to baptize large numbers of people. Our specific assignment was to find and establish a strong leadership base for the future, and that rapid growth would only come after a generation had grown up in the church, served missions, and came home prepared to be strong local leaders. Ukraine is still very welcoming to foreigners and foreign missionaries, but it looks like the time may be coming to truly test the local leaders in Russia.

Truth

Any common sense would lead to agreement with To: Shuuurrre! | 8:19 p.m. July 14, 2008. Any other style of thinking is wrong and is proven so by its own statement of disbelief. To state that a group is false or lying without statistics, facts, intelligent basis which is supported still by other facts is only to condemn ones self. By doing this there is open acknowledgment of bias. The bias of refusing actuality to substitute with a pretended reality is proving itself false. It is a simple I am open... or I have already made up my mind about what ''I think' they are really doing...and by the way, I have nothing to prove it; I'm just right.'

The logic not only proves itself false but proves that it is more likely an agenda motivated bias. Now more likely isn't enough to support a claim. I merely bring this point into context with the proving statement- your title. "Shuuurrre!", which shouldn't include an "h", alone by its modern sarcastic meaning, proves the agenda claim; which the elongated spelling defines the the audible tone required to pronounce the word this way.

In defense of my religion and true intelligence.

is it just me?

I thought the goal of every mission was to have missionaries from their own area, language and culture. Although I doubt that there are enough Russian missionaries to staff all of the missions, isn't is a step in the right direction to have missionaries from at least the same hemisphere serve there?

Jake

Truth, you said a real mouthful,but what do you mean???

To Shuuurrre

If this was an issue of conversion rates then why is this happening now? The number of baptisms is drastically going up, at least in the Samara Mission I know it is. You are correct that Russia in general has a pretty low rate, but that is no reason to stop sending missionaries from North America (which make up 80% or more of the missionaries in some Russian missions) when there is still so much potential in the country. The reason is the expense.

It was very expensive and time consuming to send missionaries out of the country every six months to the Baltic Countries like was done in the past, I can't even imagine the expense to send them every three months to places like Prague. Talk to those who have been doing it the last few months and they will tell you it isn't cheap and it disrupts the missions. It's too bad that this is happening and that the Russian government is making it harder and harder. Hopefully the number of missionaries in Russia won't decline too much and those from European countries can fill in.

Served in there 14 years ago...

I served in Moscow from '93-94 (sister) and I remember when Elder Wirthin came and told us that we needed to find strong members that could carry on the the church in Russia w/out us in case the missionaries ever had to leave. Hmmmm....I'm not suprised by this at all. Also, I have a friend (from my mission) who works for the church in Moscow and she has told me that this would happen. Remember Putin and now Medvedev are both hard-liners. My friend told me that they have fewer freedoms now than when I was there. The members are great in Russia are AMAZING and they will do just fine! I have complete faith in them!

Sarah

You know, I was initially a little saddened after reading the article, but after the comments from the returned missionaries who served in the area, I'm beginning to see what a truly inspiring set of circumstances this could be. I appreciate those posters that helped show the other side of this, thank you.

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