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ElPatron

Missionaires allowed to call home weekly

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I quite preferred only talking to my folks twice a year, and was usually eager to get off the phone with them when I did. I'd be annoyed feeling like I had to call them each week.

Though I get that it could be incredibly helpful for some. I'd prefer just cutting back the draconian limitations that prevented missionaries who really needed it from being able to speak with family.

Old rule surely began because of the sometimes incredibly high costs of long distance calls, which the internet has dropped to zero. So makes sense.

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I am very pleased. It was very unnatural to put young people out there without their family support, especially now with many kids leaving before they have ever been on their own.

I would have loved this. My family was going through a very hard time during my mission. My dad's business folded, he was very depressed and lonely. I worked with him for years, we spent a lot of time together. He told me during my mission was the hardest time he had as an adult. It would have been nice to give each other a weekly pep-talks.

It has always been hard to be a missionary, but I imagine the Church is an even harder sell today (everywhere but parts of Africa and parts of Latin America). The world is more secular and lots of information is just a mouse click away. A younger cousin serving stateside said he had lots of initial contacts fall through because of something they read or watched. Interested one day, done the next. Even fifteen years ago, I did not experience such a quick change of feelings. I am sure this is not helping moral.

"Computer, what is the best way to cheer up a mother?"

Computer: "make a call and let them know you love them."

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I don't know if I would have liked it or not.  My parents weren't members, and weren't particularly pleased with my serving a mission (instead of doing something useful like going to college).  But I was not the baseline case.

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No one in the family are great phone talkers.  Might have helped my daughter process some of the diabetes issues, but I kind of doubt it.  Maybe she would have been interested in meeting a girl her age who had just been diagnosed the year before that my son had met in Utah.  At that point she was in almost full denial.

Otherwise, I would have told him call us once a month unless you want to call to take the pressure off.

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1 hour ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Pretty cool.

I  think one reason for the change could be related to decrease in the cost of long distance. You can get in touch with almost anyone using free Skype/FaceTime. No more using calling cards like we would have to do to make phone calls home.

Edited by Jean-Luc Picard
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1 hour ago, Jean-Luc Picard said:

Pretty cool.

I  think one reason for the change could be related to decrease in the cost of long distance. You can get in touch with almost anyone using free Skype/FaceTime. No more using calling cards like we would have to do to make phone calls home.

True dat. :) 

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On 2/16/2019 at 7:06 AM, Jean-Luc Picard said:

Pretty cool.

I  think one reason for the change could be related to decrease in the cost of long distance. You can get in touch with almost anyone using free Skype/FaceTime. No more using calling cards like we would have to do to make phone calls home.

But like your story, the church rules should have allowed those with a real issue to call home or get a call home.

Edited by Tacenda

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On 2/17/2019 at 11:34 AM, Tacenda said:

But like your story, the church rules should have allowed those with a real issue to call home or get a call home.

Yeah... if the extreme restriction on calls was sufficiently justified by simply cost - then that´s not good.  There are many ways to deal with costs, last of which is denying everyone calling their family when they need simply because some cannot afford it.

BTW, Hello Tacenda - looong time no post. You probably don´t even remember me - glad to see you are alive and kickin´ still.  Either way, I´m back (at least until school starts in June).

 

If it was not simply a very lazy/uncreative solution to costs, then I wonder what the actual justification was and how that justification no longer holds now.  What has changed about LDS youth that they were once justifiably kept from the love and support of their families´ voices but are not justifiably so any longer?

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7 hours ago, Joshua Valentine said:

Yeah... if the extreme restriction on calls was sufficiently justified by simply cost - then that´s not good.  There are many ways to deal with costs, last of which is denying everyone calling their family when they need simply because some cannot afford it.

BTW, Hello Tacenda - looong time no post. You probably don´t even remember me - glad to see you are alive and kickin´ still.  Either way, I´m back (at least until school starts in June).

 

If it was not simply a very lazy/uncreative solution to costs, then I wonder what the actual justification was and how that justification no longer holds now.  What has changed about LDS youth that they were once justifiably kept from the love and support of their families´ voices but are not justifiably so any longer?

It was to isolate them so they could be more easily brainwashed and indoctrinated. Is that what your snide insinuation is meant to convey.

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9 hours ago, The Nehor said:

It was to isolate them so they could be more easily brainwashed and indoctrinated. Is that what your snide insinuation is meant to convey.

What was snidely insinuated in my question about the difference in treatment? The closest I get to less than level tone is when I say ¨lazy/uncreative¨ about the idea that calls were restricted because of costs - but I don´t think that´s so bad - it is inherently uncreative and quite possibly lazy to generally remove all benefit simply because some can not afford it themselves - there are many possible solutions that avoid such generalized restriction and denial.

Also, how does the inability of some to afford it justify the stress and tears and stories of breakdowns by so many?

Brainwashed and indoctrinated? I did not get even close to insinuating such, the question was honestly posed.  I do not know the answer - I was asking others what they think might be the motivation.

Please, less venom, The Nehor, and more careful reading of my posts.  Thank you.

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On 3/29/2019 at 12:15 AM, Joshua Valentine said:

Yeah... if the extreme restriction on calls was sufficiently justified by simply cost - then that´s not good.  There are many ways to deal with costs, last of which is denying everyone calling their family when they need simply because some cannot afford it.

BTW, Hello Tacenda - looong time no post. You probably don´t even remember me - glad to see you are alive and kickin´ still.  Either way, I´m back (at least until school starts in June).

 

If it was not simply a very lazy/uncreative solution to costs, then I wonder what the actual justification was and how that justification no longer holds now.  What has changed about LDS youth that they were once justifiably kept from the love and support of their families´ voices but are not justifiably so any longer?

Thanks for the "hello" shout out, Joshua!  Good to see you back on the board. I'm here kickin' still, but not always "all here". ;) 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/29/2019 at 6:12 PM, Joshua Valentine said:

What was snidely insinuated in my question about the difference in treatment? The closest I get to less than level tone is when I say ¨lazy/uncreative¨ about the idea that calls were restricted because of costs - but I don´t think that´s so bad - it is inherently uncreative and quite possibly lazy to generally remove all benefit simply because some can not afford it themselves - there are many possible solutions that avoid such generalized restriction and denial.

Also, how does the inability of some to afford it justify the stress and tears and stories of breakdowns by so many?

Brainwashed and indoctrinated? I did not get even close to insinuating such, the question was honestly posed.  I do not know the answer - I was asking others what they think might be the motivation.

Please, less venom, The Nehor, and more careful reading of my posts.  Thank you.

I like Venom.

03-venom.w700.h700.jpg

So about all this stress and tears and breakdowns.......are you suggesting that it could all be averted by talking to mom? If so, bwahahahahahahahahahahahaah! Missions are hard and tears and stress are normal. It is part of the experience.

I am also curious as to how we would have gotten all missionaries calling home weekly 40 years ago. I spoke to someone out on a mission at that time. It cost almost a thousand dollars in 1980 money to talk with her parents for an hour. How could that problem have been solved? Please share your easy and economical solution.

Edited by The Nehor
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2 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I like Venom.

03-venom.w700.h700.jpg

So about all this stress and tears and breakdowns.......are you suggesting that it could all be averted by talking to mom? If so, bwahahahahahahahahahahahaah! Missions are hard and tears and stress are normal. It is part of the experience.

I am also curious as to how we would have gotten all missionaries calling home weekly 40 years ago. I spoke to someone out on a mission at that time. It cost almost a thousand dollars in 1980 money to talk with her parents for an hour. How could that problem have been solved? Please share your easy and economical solution.

Oops, I mistook the rest of you reply (below Cutie there) as tag quotes.

It´s not so much the stress and tears and breakdowns that I think could have been avoided but the doing so alone (without family) that I think may have been unnecessarily experienced because of the general restriction - although, hypothetically, such support on a weekly basis would probably have drastically reduced the amount of stress and tears and, thus, breakdowns.

I technically don´t have to worry about 40 yrs ago because technology is a legitimate explanation - but in that case there still does not have to be an actual official policy in place denying contact as the limits of tech in that day already do the restriction themselves. So, bit of a red herring😉

But once the tech was there - even expensive - it seems silly to restrict all simply because most or some could not afford it. Also I believe creative solutions might have included everything from a ¨Family Contact Fund" for all to pay/donate into so that all could get an allowance to contact more often than twice a year. Also, as tech was available, or even spearheaded by the LDS Church, calling cards set up with better rates thru negotiation with the phone companies and the ¨invention¨ of calling cards, would at least allow for better rates on 15 min calls - 1 hour seems a bit much (but not undoable).

Some may not agree with me or claim 20/20 past vision but I believe that IF money were the sole motivation THEN they could have done a lot better a long time ago.  But, out of assumptions of better problem solving skills had by the leadership, I don´t believe money was the reason, thus my question of what was the real justification? And how did such a justification no longer apply to missionaries of today?

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26 minutes ago, Joshua Valentine said:

Oops, I mistook the rest of you reply (below Cutie there) as tag quotes.

It´s not so much the stress and tears and breakdowns that I think could have been avoided but the doing so alone (without family) that I think may have been unnecessarily experienced because of the general restriction - although, hypothetically, such support on a weekly basis would probably have drastically reduced the amount of stress and tears and, thus, breakdowns.

I technically don´t have to worry about 40 yrs ago because technology is a legitimate explanation - but in that case there still does not have to be an actual official policy in place denying contact as the limits of tech in that day already do the restriction themselves. So, bit of a red herring😉

But once the tech was there - even expensive - it seems silly to restrict all simply because most or some could not afford it. Also I believe creative solutions might have included everything from a ¨Family Contact Fund" for all to pay/donate into so that all could get an allowance to contact more often than twice a year. Also, as tech was available, or even spearheaded by the LDS Church, calling cards set up with better rates thru negotiation with the phone companies and the ¨invention¨ of calling cards, would at least allow for better rates on 15 min calls - 1 hour seems a bit much (but not undoable).

Some may not agree with me or claim 20/20 past vision but I believe that IF money were the sole motivation THEN they could have done a lot better a long time ago.  But, out of assumptions of better problem solving skills had by the leadership, I don´t believe money was the reason, thus my question of what was the real justification? And how did such a justification no longer apply to missionaries of today?

I think money was the real issue. Money going into a Family Contact Fund is money not going to other funds to fund missionaries, build temples, etc.

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33 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I think money was the real issue. Money going into a Family Contact Fund is money not going to other funds to fund missionaries, build temples, etc.

If time is money, or money is money, then to build temples is not where it´s going now either.  But it is going to missionaries😊

Also if it were simply money, then this change should have come years ago.  I´ve been poor but with a cell phone for over a decade. Even Instant Messenger (or other instant writing correspondence) could have been utilized even sooner. Also it seems possibly telling that other ¨liberties¨ and allowances have been introduced lately to missionaries - this is not the first.

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4 hours ago, Joshua Valentine said:

If time is money, or money is money, then to build temples is not where it´s going now either.  But it is going to missionaries😊

Also if it were simply money, then this change should have come years ago.  I´ve been poor but with a cell phone for over a decade. Even Instant Messenger (or other instant writing correspondence) could have been utilized even sooner. Also it seems possibly telling that other ¨liberties¨ and allowances have been introduced lately to missionaries - this is not the first.

You seem to be very provincially focused on the United States and the developed world when you argue that long distance communication has been cheap for years.

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

You seem to be very provincially focused on the United States and the developed world when you argue that long distance communication has been cheap for years.

WhatsApp which allows for free calls, texting, and video chat  anywhere in the world has been around for a decade.  It is heavily used in Europe.  You just need to be in a wifi zone.  I have used it for years when I am in Europe.  Free wifi has also been pretty easy to come by in most countries, even in the more poor countries.  We would go to the local McDonalds which always had free wifi for years, at least in Europe.  

I don't think this is about money.  I think it is more a shift in policy to allow missionaries to have a closer connection to their families.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, The Nehor said:

You seem to be very provincially focused on the United States and the developed world when you argue that long distance communication has been cheap for years.

I get that possible criticism, but as I mentioned in my last comment (I think) we don´t have to keep ourselves to just phone calls for this issue - weekly contact is not just about voices but relatively extreme frequency, specifically via texting or online messaging, could have been an option for this rollout much sooner than long-distance calling. I also said that just because some cannot afford it themselves is no reason to deny it of everyone - in fact, that a good many (even majority) can afford it makes it that much more affordable for the LDS Church to make it happen for those that cannot - this already occurs with the cost of a mission anyway.

Oh also, on a previous thread you pointed out that the name change initiative does not mean that other worthwhile initiatives are not being attended to by the Presidency.  So, too, just because some money is allocated to family communication, does not mean that missions will suffer - in fact if I´m right about what I suspect below - it may have been a wise investment to improve all missions long ago.

Even if we keep to phone calls I still think that the money/cost issues could have been dealt with for most if not all LDS missionaries years and years ago. Internet call technology (apparently Voice over Internet Protocol tech) seems to have become much more convenient and started to expand rapidly in market use starting in 2003. IF it was cost, this seems to have practically solved the issue over 15 years ago.

Online messaging brings this option for weekly affordable communication into the mid-to-late 1990´s.

I suspect that the restriction was meant to help the missionaries focus on their mission, and since the tech was there for over a decade before this change, then the restriction would have remained indefinitely (despite the tech) if not for an increase in early returning missionaries that probably began soon after the minimum age was lowered to 18 for male missionaries - eliminating a full year of living away from but near home (on own or at college) that probably helped 19 yr old  male missionaries transition to greater independence before their mission. 

Edited by Joshua Valentine

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4 hours ago, california boy said:

WhatsApp which allows for free calls, texting, and video chat  anywhere in the world has been around for a decade.  It is heavily used in Europe.  You just need to be in a wifi zone.  I have used it for years when I am in Europe.  Free wifi has also been pretty easy to come by in most countries, even in the more poor countries.  We would go to the local McDonalds which always had free wifi for years, at least in Europe.  

I don't think this is about money.  I think it is more a shift in policy to allow missionaries to have a closer connection to their families.

Just saw your comment after posting my previous one.

I think my remedy-for-age-change-early-returns (which actually should also be a change for an increasingly super-connected generation of youth) is more likely the reason for the difference in treatment between previous hundreds of thousands of missionaries and the missionaries out now. While your idea of closer connection to their families is certainly a great reason to make this change - it is also a reason that has always existed. This could still actually be the reason, though, as part of the common theme for other recent changes - ¨home centered, church supported¨. But then, many reasons could have led to this imperative - including 18 yr old men returning early for not being ready to be out so early.

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On 4/2/2019 at 10:32 AM, The Nehor said:

I like Venom.

03-venom.w700.h700.jpg

So about all this stress and tears and breakdowns.......are you suggesting that it could all be averted by talking to mom? If so, bwahahahahahahahahahahahaah! Missions are hard and tears and stress are normal. It is part of the experience.

I am also curious as to how we would have gotten all missionaries calling home weekly 40 years ago. I spoke to someone out on a mission at that time. It cost almost a thousand dollars in 1980 money to talk with her parents for an hour. How could that problem have been solved? Please share your easy and economical solution.

(bold mine) The church should pay in those circumstances!

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43 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

(bold mine) The church should pay in those circumstances!

Why?

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