From our time serving aboard the USNS Mercy, we learned to complete an ‘after action report’ to gather information about the good and bad things involved in any event. There is the planning, the actual doing, then the after action meeting where you discover how well your plan worked, and what changes need to be made for the next time. This is my report regarding the very successful Open House at the new Mwembila ward building here in Lubumbashi.
Mwembila Ward Building OPEN HOUSE (Katuba Stake, Lubumbashi Mission)
After-action Report April 24, 2014
Information About the Open House
1. Open house held on Saturday April 19, 2014
2. There were TWO sessions:
A. The first session was for invited dignitaries that began at 10:00 (this included a choir, a tour of the new building, opportunity for the dignitaries and the Stake President to give a few remarks in the Chapel; light refreshments, and a gift bag to all those attending that included a hard cover copy of the Book of Mormon, church pamphlets, and a bottle of water)
B. The second session was open to the public and began at 13:00, ended at 17:00.
3. Basic set-up:
a. Rooms were set-up with information about doctrine and church organization; each room had a member or missionary that would explain the doctrine or organization associated with each room.
b. The rooms were: Primary, Relief Society, Priesthood, Temple and Genealogy, Aaronic Priesthood, Young Men/Young Women, baptism at the baptismal font, Sacrament meeting in the Chapel.
c. There was a table near the end of the tour where two missionaries obtained referrals from those who wanted to know more; and gave out pamphlets and Book of Mormons.
d. There were also a series of LDS Church videos being shown in the Chapel for those who wanted to stay longer.
e. Missionaries would wait at the gate for families/groups to arrive; then one missionary would take a group on the tour, answer questions, etc., and direct them to the referral table near the end of the tour. They would also linger, if need be, to answer questions and direct them to the Chapel to see the Church videos.
Estimated number of visitors who attended: over 2,000
Number of missionaries participating: 22 from Kisanga Zone, 14 from Katuba Zone, one senior couple
Number of referrals obtained by missionaries for future teaching opportunities: over 500
Number of dignitaries who visited: about 20
Number of first-time visitors that came to church the next day: over 30, with over 25 being men (not counting children)
Information from the After-action meeting with the participating Missionaries
1. Many people asked questions about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. The next Open House should include
a room dedicated to teaching people about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.
2. Often members who were assigned to a specific room struggled to answer questions from visitors. It was suggested that each room have both a member and a missionary to aid in discussing the specific topic in the room, and answer questions.
3. The film The Restoration should be shown in the Chapel as an additional tool to teach people about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.
4. All church missionary pamphlets should be available (we did not have pamphlets on Chastity and Tithing). With many of the visitors being young in age, there was a need for Chastity pamphlets.
5. Information concerning the Open House should begin earlier. In this instance flyers were only available to the missionaries a few days ahead of the Open House. They should be available to hand out to people at least one week ahead of the Open House.
6. Someone needs to be assigned to count the number of people who come.
In general, it was one of the best, most successful Open Houses I have been associated with. It lasted from 9:00 (missionaries arrived for final prep and instructions) to 19:00 (final clean-up).
Lubumbashi, DR Congo