BCC Zeitcast 60: The Cyber Elders

And now for something completely different!

In this episode, Scott B. interviews the Cyber Elders–a pair of missionaries who have been called to serve in an experimental mission devoted solely to online missionary work. And no, we are not making this up.

Links for your convenience:
1. Elder Moxley on Mormon.org
2. Elder Moxley’s Facebook Page
3. Elder Meza on Mormon.org
4. Elder Meza’s Facebook Page

If you have problems with the audio player, then you can download this episode here here. Subscribe to the BCC Zeitcast in iTunes or through our dedicated RSS feed. (And don’t forget to leave a review in iTunes!)

Comments

  1. Steve Evans says:

    er, wow. So I guess they weren’t fake.

  2. Cynthia L. says:

    “Worst injury in MTC history.” Awesome!

  3. And now for something completely different!

    Hey Rocky, Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!

  4. Cynthia L. says:

    I think that is really interesting what Elder Moxley said about getting a new call letter signed by the First Presidency. I wouldn’t have thought thought about that possibility, but I can really see how that could make a huge psychological difference in accepting the new direction of the mission. I’m glad it occurred to the powers that be to add that detail.

  5. Wow, this is mind blowing in so many ways, I don’t even know where to begin.

  6. Steve Evans says:

    Oh B.Russ, that never works.

  7. Great interview Scott!

  8. Best zeitcast ever. Thanks, Scott.

  9. First Zeitcast that I’ve listened to, so I’ll have to take Ardis word for it. But I did think it terrific, and loved the concept of an actual mission for this sort of thing. What other missionaries get to spend 10 to 12 hours a day in live chat, facebook, and blogs? The downside is that you spend your p-days in Provo, I guess.

  10. Thanks Ardis, though I strongly disagree with your opinion on this being the best zeitcast!

    I have to say this:

    I do not believe that I could have done what Elders Moxley and Meza, along with their fellow missionaries, are doing. Certainly, it’s impossible to know what decision I would make if I was actually faced with the choice of going home early or serving an extended period of time in the MTC, but my feeling is that I would have buckled. As such, I have a tremendous amount of respect for them personally–it takes a different sort of perseverance to endure, not only a change of location, but a complete change in the basic missionary experience. God Bless you, Elders.

  11. Cynthia (#4),
    I also found that additional detail to be really interesting and impressive.

  12. Kevin Barney says:

    Outstanding interview, Scott! Those young men were very impressive, I thought. I think this mission is a great idea.

  13. They were really impressive.

  14. I really appreciate the complement Scott, especially in #10. It is really humbling for me to be surrounded by missionaries that could choose any minute to be home with honorable release and be there within 24 hours. It’s happened before.
    #9, I laughed. Today is of course, P-day in Provo and we had just finished debating what we’re doing for lunch.

  15. Elder Meza’s interests listed on FB include “orthopedic surgery.” Ha!

    Their sense of humor has to be one reason why these wonderful men can survive in the online world. I have some new heroes.

  16. wow! What a unique mission. What a challenge to remain on a mission with injuries and go through all the surgery/medical junk and therapy far from family . What an adjustment. I wonder how much they change companions, or if that is more of a flexible situation.

  17. britt k,

    I wonder how much they change companions, or if that is more of a flexible situation.

    Perhaps Elder Moxley will answer that question himself, but my impression is that, even if they switch frequently, “companionships” aren’t quite the same as in a typical mission, since all of the missionaries work together in the same room every day. This is similar to the way companionships work in the MTC for all missionaries–you do, in fact, have an official companion, but there is a much larger group dynamic at play, and exchanges or splits are very frequent. Thus, it’s possible that switching companions could (practically speaking) mean as little as who you sit next to in the computer room and who you have study sessions with in the morning.

  18. Great podcast, Scott, as usual.

    Elder Moxley and Meza, you guys sure sound like the right men for the job. I was impressed. You’re pioneering something new and it’ll be interesting to see what it turns into 10 years from now.

    As for the recommendation for sending investigators to BCC — that made me laugh. That’s like expecting to get converts through the YM basketball program! Oh, wait…

  19. good point scott…as a sister missionary, the MTC wasn’t exactly that way for me.

  20. britt k,
    Scott B hit the nail on the head. We have six week transfers and our mission president assigns which elder we’ll have a computer next to, teach lessons, hold companionship study, and share a residence with. Just like Scott said, we do have a group dynamic like that, which makes it much easier to cover doctors appointments and errands when some elders aren’t quite as mobile.
    Since we don’t have physical areas we can be assigned to, distribution of investigators is based on who found them. Companions teach and plan for their investigators together, and then when a companionship is broken up, they go with the missionary who found them. This creates a real challenge, since investigators may build too strong a relationship with that elder, but that is usually overcome by not letting contact stray too far from it’s purpose, and by fostering relationships with local members.
    We’ve actually had some success stories in the past with sending investigators to members blogs, especially for women who think they that women won’t be respected at church and want to see a second opinion.

  21. Very cool. I loved the fMh question. The Elder dodged it well.

  22. Just finished. Loved it. Good luck Elders.

  23. Wait, did you ask the Elders to send trolls to BCC? Did I understand that right?

    Really good stuff. I think in a roundabout way this ties into Natalie’s post “Turning Inward, Turning Away”. Particularly Kevin’s point that the world is changing, and so is the social dynamic of the church.

    I can’t help but think that in some ways this would be the easiest missionary experience on earth, but in many ways, the hardest.

  24. Wait, did you ask the Elders to send trolls to BCC? Did I understand that right?

    The bannination stick is ready, willing, and able to greet all comers.

  25. Fantastic interview! I think if I could have played the part of an internet troll, I would have enjoyed role playing exercises much more.

  26. Researcher says:

    What a lovely interview. Thanks, all, including the comments that encouraged me to listen to my first ever zeitcast. It was worth the 45 minutes!

  27. Excellent. Scott brought the funny. Very informative stuff, and surprising really.

  28. Researcher,
    I’m glad to hear that you finally succumbed and listened in. Hopefully you’ll find future offerings similarly engaging and worthy of your time. (I should note that this was very much on the long side–I try to keep things at about 30 minutes, or else split things into two parts.)

  29. Thanks Stapers. I was quite impressed with the Elders, and found their descriptions of their routine and job description to be very interesting indeed.

  30. Great interview.

    I’m not sure I could have served this type of mission. I’m too shy.

  31. Penance for your first response to the detection of Cyber Elders amongst the BCC commentators?

  32. E. Moxley (I think) said that he had a ‘speciality’ in the multiple accounts of the first vision. Does this mean you have had access to other non-FAIR or non-LDS sources? Are you directed to certain sources? How did this become your speciality? Just curious.

  33. Peter (31),
    I admit no wrongdoing.

  34. Aaron, 31. It’s my specialty because I’m still the only one in our mission who’s read through all of the accounts of the first vision, and really appreciates knowing the full details of the first vision. Before my mission, my baptist girlfriend’s mother challenged my beliefs by bringing up “contradictions” between them. I studied them out seriously and prayed about it. When the other elders have transferred a chat to someone who wants to bash about the different versions, I always blind side them by bearing testimony of my favorite principles presented in accounts most missionaries haven’t read (like how one of Joseph’s biggest concerns was really his standing before God), and then challenging them to read and ponder over them as they would the Book of Mormon and pray about it to know if Joseph Smith really had that experience.

  35. … a complete change in the basic missionary experience.

    Kind of like having to start teaching those dumb Gentiles. That might have been a testimony shaker 2000 years ago.

  36. … “companionships” aren’t quite the same as in a typical mission, since all of the missionaries work together in the same room every day.

    Sounds like a first step on the slippery slope leading back to polygamy.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,590 other followers