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Posted: Mon May 31, 2010 8:11 am
It just seems a shame to me that we have a whole community set up to further projects which benefit the the Church generally and in particular there has been a big interest in mobile devices. These technologies are deemed to be a benefit to the general membership but not for missionaries. It feels like missionaries are being excluded and left behind.
I suspect that this is the way it is just going to be for the time being so I might as well accept it. I have asked now and if the answer is no the answer is no and I still have plenty of work to do.
Posted: Mon May 31, 2010 11:46 am
I think when the church rolls out a mobile-friendly version of LUWS, that may change. Then there will clearly be an advantage to having a little more advanced phone, such as up to date access to the ward directory.
Posted: Mon May 31, 2010 12:58 pm
I am not sure if this will be applicable to ward infomation or not but it might be.
I am trying to design parts of the Gospel Library application such that it could be recycled for other purposes. I note how Yanceware got used in some instances so that Clerks and such could carry around ward information on mobile platforms.
Once I am satisfied that the compact binary format I designed for the JavaME is working properly I will put the details on the Wiki. The document rendering system I am writing for rendering the scriptures is generic enough to render other kinds of documents or content. There are always possibilities.
I was thinking more recently that it was during my mission that the decision was made to allow missionaries to be able to have access to email. I know many of the mission presidents at the time were not keen on this. The concern was letting missionaries have access to email would distract from the missionary work. I think at the time due to mission presidents being slow or resistant to giving missionaries access the general authorities had to push to say "We mean it, they can use it." I got permission to use email but I could see the mission president wasn't happy about it.
After 8 years of missionaries having access to email it can't have gone too badly because it was never withdraw again in spite of all the concerns. It also wasn't even something I saw coming. On that basis, you never know how what might change in the future.
Posted: Mon May 31, 2010 1:50 pm
Carl Jokl wrote:After 8 years of missionaries having access to email it can't have gone too badly because it was never withdraw again in spite of all the concerns.
In general, yes. Not all missionaries have access to e-mail, though.
From time to time and for various reasons, access is withdrawn from some who do have access to it, sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently.
Perhaps eventually, as you suggest, the missionaries may gain mobile access to the ward directory and calendar.
These things move slowly. We wore hats for a long time after they were out of fashion.
Posted: Mon May 31, 2010 10:16 pm
Speaking of missionaries and the use of technology, I noticed a new Community project pop up on the Wiki a few months back called the Digital Area Book:
I had forgotten about it until now. If there is any clue as to where the Church is considering taking the Work, the introductory paragraph of this project is it:
The Digital Area Book is an electronic portal to help enable members and missionaries to collaborate in real-time about the people they are focused on in ward councils and missionary correlation meetings. It will include electronic records of contacts and teaching records, with an emphasis on Preach My Gospel. After logging into this tool, missionaries will be enabled to securely use email to contact investigators, members, and mission leaders, and to share key action items and calendars with members. Members can similarly log in and see a dashboard view, customized to their calling. For example, ward mission leaders will be able to see real-time Progress Records, as well as notifications on which investigators and new converts most need assistance. This project will eventually support multiple form factors, including mobile devices, netbooks, and desktops. This project is being piloted in Japan, with a goal of initial deployment in mid-2010.
Posted: Mon May 31, 2010 11:57 pm
now that sounds sweet!!
Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:03 am
Even if the Church were to go to a more robust phone, there would have to be a way to keep off extraneous content, and a way to get new content desired for missionaries wirelessly. And even then it may be desired to keep things at a minimum.
The missionary basic library now includes about six books besides the Scriptures and Preach My Gospel, and those can be found via ldscatalog.com. Most missionaries also get the Liahona or the Ensign, and in a few areas the Church News.
That is small enough of a library and basic enough for what the missionaries are doing, teaching the basics of the gospel to non-members or less-active members. The pamphlets they give out have more unfamiliar terms printed in red and a glossary at the end to help the person it is given to to help with defining those terms, other terms are also defined in Preach My Gospel, especially where it comes to the Restoration. What has been done is make the materials more basic, and thus the gospel more 'user friendly' so to speak, for those they teach, and focuses the missionaries' efforts directly on the first principles of the gospel and the restorarion along with some other necessary basics.
My feeling is the missionaries, with those materials, have what they need for their purpose, and a simple phone without the bells and whistles is more an aid to their work, much more than that and it might be a distraction. I went out 25 years ago, and I could do it again today doing exactly the same things save for the differences with Preach My Gospel, and a basic cellphone instead of a landline, and be right at home, even without a smartphone with all the content on it.
Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:43 pm
RussellHltn wrote:I think when the church rolls out a mobile-friendly version of LUWS, that may change. Then there will clearly be an advantage to having a little more advanced phone, such as up to date access to the ward directory.
Access to the ward directory probably won't be an argument for giving more technology to the missionaries. Not anytime soon anyway.
Missionaries are officially members of their home units - that's where their membership records reside. The new Ward Directory application would only get them access to the lists of their home ward and stake. There is no system that would allow the directory app to know which unit the missionary is serving in, and I don't know of any plans to develop such a system.
Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:18 pm
jdcr256 wrote:There is no system that would allow the directory app to know which unit the missionary is serving in, and I don't know of any plans to develop such a system.
It would require coordination, but the units could add them as out-of-unit members. The problem is keeping it up to date.
Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:08 pm
RussellHltn wrote:It would require coordination, but the units could add them as out-of-unit members. The problem is keeping it up to date.
Perhaps this is information the mission office for each mission could submit via their software, and have it trickle changes to each ward website from CHQ.