Well its all over, I was in Utah for about 11 days I think, and had a really great trip. I fully intended to do various posts while I was there but did not end up having the time. Which I guess is a good thing.
For the first half of the trip I spent a lot of time meeting up with people. I met up with 2 Utah church Pastors, one from the Provo area one from West Jordan. This was a great chance to learn what ministry life in Utah is like not just for those focusing on Mormons, but for local leaders seeking to reach out to and care for anyone that may walk through their church doors.
I also had the chance to meet up with a number of LDS people including a BYU Professor. Again this was great to build some relationships and understanding, there was of course some discussion on the issues that are often raised on this site, however talking face to face I think can be much more authentic and personal, it was great to do this with some of the people I often have dialogue with online.
The second half of the trip was spent at Manti. There I was with around 100 or so Christians witnessing for 5 nights to some of the thousands of LDS people making their way to their seats to watch a kind of stage show, of their theology and believed history. This was a great but challenging time seeking to dialogue with people. Each night I had some conversation with LDS people and I hope and pray some seeds were planted. Here is a video from Matt Slick of Carm.org from his time there this year.
One key thing that I got from the trip was this. For years now I have been kind of living in the hope of one day moving to Utah. Part of the reason in going on this trip was to further build some links with this in mind. However I have decided that we will no longer aspire to do this. I feel challenged and compelled to keep our focus on reaching out to LDS and Jehovah’s Witness people in the UK. I think the mission field here already has such a need and significance that we are dropping this idea. At least for now. Utah Mormons you can sleep safely haha 🙂
I think one of the major encouragements from going to Utah is the opportunity to hang around with so many Christians with a heart for the same ministry that I am called to do. This is really great and a reminder that it’s no fun doing this stuff alone. Mission trips to Utah is definitely something I want to carry on doing as regularly as possible for many years to come.
If there is anyone else reading this in the UK with a heart for reaching these groups I would really love to hear from you and have you get involved if you would like too, I see running a structured ministry like this as a way of connecting with people with the same mission, please get in touch.
Thanks for all of your prayers and support for this trip and I look forward to sharing more as time goes on, on where we are going as a ministry. Posts will go back to normal in the coming weeks.