Pre-mission group teaches communication skills

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The upcoming Pre-Mission Life Skills Group put on by LDS Family Services in Provo is aiming to help students who are preparing to serve missions and looking to improve their communication skills.

The group will begin meeting in February at 6 p.m. at 1190 N 900 East for 90-minute sessions. The class is offered on Wednesdays from 3–4:30 and is $25 per session.  

Kristee Curtis will teach the class and said students will learn skills that will help with the social aspect of the mission, such as how to communicate with strangers and live with a companion.

The group is made up of both males and females and will include about ten to twelve people.

“That’s the best way to do it, in a social setting,” Curtis said.

According to Curtis, the class will follow a specific curriculum. The group will role play mission situations and will work on things that need improvement such as voice volume, eye contact and body language.

Daxten Bowen, junior and economics major from Orem, said before going on his mission to Columbus, Ohio, he went on some trips with his dad to New York where he was able to meet different people and talk to them about his mission.

“I think that helped, meeting different people from different backgrounds and relating the gospel to them,” Bowen said. “You draw on times when you’ve had to make a stand.”

Bowen said if you learn to love the people on your mission, it will help with all future relationships.

In John Livingstone’s mission preparation class, students are encouraged to talk to and teach each other during class, which, according to Livingstone, “is designed to increase comfort with social interaction.”

Livingstone said for those who are shy, a good way to prepare for a mission is to share yourself with others.

Just acknowledge people who make eye contact with you, you nod or you smile or wave your eyebrows,” Livingstone said. “If you will just simply practice giving a little bit of yourself away, it will make the mission social life much easier because you’ve already been practicing some social skills, as minor as they may seem.”

Livingstone said that in terms of converts to the Church, both spiritual conversion and also social conversion are important to experience.

“Gordon B. Hinckley said you need a friend, a church calling and to be nourished by the good word of God,” Livingstone said, “so he realizes that friendshipping and fellowshipping (are needed). If you’re oblivious to that, you may not connect your investigators to your members very well.”

The social aspects of the Church extend beyond the mission field.

“The Lord pulls us together in groups stakes, wards (and) missions so that we can help each other out,” Livingstone said. “Almost all church work is in the form of service, and you cannot escape the social implications of that.”

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