Terms and Definitions you may come across in Kyle’s letters. If you come across a term you are unfamiliar with, either in these letters or one addressed to you personally from Kyle, feel free to ask in the comment section and we’d be happy to include it here.
A.P.: Assistants to the President. Two missionaries from the mission are selected to act as assistants to the mission president, helping the president in his duties and responsibilities in overseeing the welfare of the missionaries, missionary training meetings and the progression of missionary work.
Apostle: The word means “one sent forth.” It was the title Jesus gave (Luke 6:13) to the Twelve whom He chose and ordained (John 15:16) to be His closest disciples during His ministry on earth and whom He sent forth to represent Him after His Ascension into heaven. The calling of an Apostle is to be a special witness of the name of Jesus Christ in all the world, particularly of His divinity and of His bodily resurrection from the dead (Acts 1:22; D&C 107:23).
Twelve men with this high calling constitute an administrative council in the work of the ministry. When a vacancy occurred with the death of Judas Iscariot, Matthias was divinely appointed to that special office as a member of the council (Acts 1:15–26). Today twelve men with this same divine calling and ordination constitute the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Bishop: See Ward below.
Branch: see Ward below.
Branch President: See Ward below.
Companionship: The smallest unit of the mission. All missionaries are grouped into companions of two, occasionally three, missionaries. The mission president selects the missionaries that make up each companionship. A companionship remains together for at least six weeks. A companionship lives, studies, sets goals, teaches, serves and works together. One of the companions, typically the one who has been in the mission the longest, acts as the senior companion to lead and train the junior, or newer, companion.
District: A district is made up of typically 2-6 companionships. A district covers a small area of a mission zone (see below). A missionary from any companionship is selected by the mission president to act as a district leader. They report to their zone leaders (see below) on the work and well-being of the district missionaries.
Heavenly Father: We are all spiritual children of a loving Heavenly Father who sent us to this earth to learn and grow in a mortal state. Heavenly Father is also referred to as God and is a member of the Godhead.
Investigator: A person who is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but is actively learning about it with the missionaries and members.
Gift of Tongues: A gift of the Holy Ghost that allows inspired individuals to speak in, understand, or interpret unfamiliar languages.
Godhead: The Church’s first article of faith states, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” These three beings make up the Godhead. They preside over this world and all other creations of our Father in Heaven.
Holy Ghost: The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit, without a body of flesh and bones. He is often referred to as the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, or the Comforter.
Junior Companion: See Companionship above.
Mission: A large regional area where a missionary is assigned to serve. Missions can differ in size, typically based on the population and needs of the area, ranging from as large as a couple of countries to as small as a portion of a city. The mission is presided over by a mission president and his wife. They are selected from among the church members by the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They serve for 3 years.
MTC: Missionary Training Center. The MTC is where young men and women as well as retired men and women from around the world come together to prepare to serve the Lord. The purpose of the MTC is to provide an atmosphere of peace, love, trust, confidence, and respect in which missionaries can prepare for missionary service. The MTC curriculum consists of up to 12 weeks of studying doctrine, learning to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively, and developing excellent communication skills. When missionaries are called to serve in foreign lands, their training also includes learning a new language. There are currently 15 MTC’s world-wide.
Preach My Gospel: A manual and guide to missionary service.
P-Day: Abbreviation for Preparation Day. Once day a week missionaries take the time during the day to email family and friends, do laundry, shopping, apartment cleaning, and errands.
Priesthood: The priesthood is the authority to act in God’s name. The same priesthood authority that existed in the original Church established by Jesus Christ exists in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today. The Church is directed and led through this authority. All male members of the Church who are prepared receive the priesthood in order to help lead the Church and serve Heavenly Father’s children. God expects those who hold this sacred priesthood authority to follow the example of Jesus Christ and serve with love, gentleness, and kindness. (see also mormon.org)
Scripture: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints use four books of scripture: The Holy Bible (Old and New Testaments), the Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
Scripture Mastery: Youth members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have the opportunity of attending church seminary in the early morning or during a release-time hour of their high school education. Each year for four years a different topic is covered: The Old Testament, the New Testament, The Book of Mormon, and Church History. Curriculum comes from scripture (see above) and church history. Twenty-five scripture verses each year, for a total of 100 verses, are memorized as part of the curriculum. These are to help the students gain mastery of basic tenants and doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ.]
Senior Companion: See Companionship above.
Stake: A geographic region of the church that is made up of approximately 5-10 wards (see below). The stake is presided over by a stake president. The president is assisted by two counselors together forming a stake presidency.
Ward: Local congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are called wards (or branches for smaller congregations). They are organized geographically and members attend a ward or branch near their home. To find a ward or branch nearest you, click here. The bishop presides over a ward; a branch president over the branch. The bishop (or branch president) is assisted by two counselors together forming the bishopric (or branch presidency).
Zone: An area made up of approximately 10-15 districts. Typically 2-4 zones make up a mission. A companionship from any district within the zone boundries is selected by the mission president to act as the zone leaders. They report to the A.P.’s (see above) on the work and well-being of the zone’s missionaries.