March 11, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to PreparetoServe.com!

We hope to make your experience here as positive and enjoyable as possible. Here’s a few quick tips so you understand how it all works! Some things may be intuitive for those familiar with how Youtube playlists function, but these may help for those who are not. If you are viewing the website via a mobile device, you may want to scroll down to the section about mobile devices.

How This Site Works


How do I use the Prepare to Serve playlists?

There are a lot more videos than you can see at first glance! You can browse 100s of Youtube videos on missionary work as well as to learn about each country/state because the videos are organized into Youtube playlists (at Youtube.com/PreparetoServe).  (Some areas don’t have this many videos up yet, but we’re constantly adding more).

When you click on “Playlist” (at the top corner, when you hover your mouse over the video player) it will display the playlist so that you can browse all the videos contained under that topic.

You can also click on the playlist thumbnail  (the rectangular icon at the bottom, when you hover your mouse over the video player).  To exit playlist view so you can watch the video, simply clicking on it again.

You can also skip to the next video in a playlist by selecting the button that has a play arrow with a line in front of it.

Please let us know if you are having problems browsing so we can work on improving the site for all viewers. We haven’t tested the functionality of the video player on all devices yet.

Why can’t I browse the Youtube playlists on my mobile device?

You may not be able to browse the video playlists while viewing the website from a mobile device. You can watch all playlist videos from your mobile device, but it has to be one video at a time.  Unfortunately we haven’t yet figured out how to make the embedded Youtube playlists easier to browse on all mobile devices.  Eventually we plan to make the website mobile-friendly or create a mobile app for the website.  For now you can access the complete awesomeness of Prepare to Serve through your laptop or desktop.

How do you find the videos about each country/state?

We browse Youtube for clean, educational videos relating to each country/state, copy the video urls and paste them into Youtube playlists.  Sifting through Youtube videos is a crowd-sourced effort- if you would like to recommend .  If you want to help, you can contact us here.

What if I find something inappropriate on the site?

Our goal is to make sure that pre-missionaries and their families have as positive an experience as possible while browsing PreparetoServe.com. We are constantly striving to screen the videos we embed to create a wholesome atmosphere consistent with the missionary purpose . If you ever see a video with inappropriate content that we somehow didn’t catch, please let us know so we can take it down.

Because the videos on PreparetoServe.com are hosted on YouTube, occasionally you may see “related videos” show up at the end of a video* (see the picture below). These video recommendations are generated by YouTube. Occasionally inappropriate or even anti-Mormon videos are among those recommended, which can be misleading. Please don’t click on these. We do not endorse these videos in any way. While we have complete control over what videos are included in our YouTube playlists, we unfortunately do not have complete control over what YouTube recommends to viewers after a video.

*This usually only happens at the end of the very last video in a given playlist, but it may happen more often on mobile devices or other types of browsers. We haven’t tested the website on all browsers and devices so we don’t yet understand how all devices interpret embedded YouTube playlists. Thank you for your understanding as we try to work through this technical difficulty.

How should I use PreparetoServe.com?

PreparetoServe.com is meant to be a supplementary resource for preparing to serve a full-time mission. It is not an official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We hope that by helping future missionaries learn about the places and cultures where they are called to serve, it will help build their excitement and add another layer of preparation so that they can more focus fully on missionary work while out in the field.

Obviously, this cultural preparation should not replace the far more important spiritual preparation needed for a mission, such as studying Preach My Gospel and the Book of Mormon. We hope that pre-missionaries, their families,  and other members will benefit from using the general mission preparation videos on the homepage in their FHEs, personal studies, and as part of a lifetime preparation for missionary service. We also hope that it will help members to get excited about doing member missionary work.

You may have noticed that we have content up for countries where missionaries are not currently serving. While the content of this website is mainly geared towards prospective LDS missionaries, we also hope that others who chance upon the website may benefit. Homeschoolers, travelers, military families, etc. may find the country and state videos a helpful geography resource, for instance.

Thank you for visiting, and please let us know if you have any suggestions for how to improve this resource for future visitors! We appreciate your feedback.

What resources do you plan to create for PreparetoServe.com and in what order?

Besides clean, educational Youtube videos, we plan to share 100s of video interview clips with natives, converts and returned missionaries from each country/state.  We also plan to create a forum, comprehensive list of missionary blogs, photo albums from each city within each mission and inspiring journal entry excerpts from returned missionaries who served in each area. If you would like to request a resource for a specific part of the website, you can email us and we’ll let you know what we can do for you.  If we are too busy to fulfill your request, you can make a donation, requesting a resource and we will do our best to create the resource.

Why did you start Prepare to Serve?

Long story made short- we feel it’s something Heavenly Father would have us create at this point in our lives. Click here to learn more about our purpose and and how it all started.

What are your plans after building out Prepare to Serve?

Time will tell, but we’d like to create open, educational resources, similar to Khan Academy.  Particularly we’d like to create interactive video interview websites where you can learn answers to your questions by simply clicking on questions and viewing people’s immediate video recorded answers.

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