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Change To Missionary Communication Policy: Phone Home On P-Day!

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On 2/15/2019 at 12:56 PM, cinepro said:

The First Presidency has just announced a change to the missionary communication policy:

Normally I wouldn't care very much, but my daughter is on a mission, so this will obviously make a big difference to our family for the next few months!

Personally, I enjoyed having space and distance from my family.  :)

I feel it helped me grow, mature, and focus, not hearing about their issues, problems, things they wouldn't fix, etc. each and every week.

Having kids that will serve though, I am relieved to hear about this updated policy.

 

 

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I’ve dealt with criticism that we isolate our youth for two years, blocking them from all family contact, in a cultish way.  I’m glad not to think about that any longer. 

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12 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

Personally, I enjoyed having space and distance from my family.  :)

I feel it helped me grow, mature, and focus, not hearing about their issues, problems, things they wouldn't fix, etc. each and every week.

Having kids that will serve though, I am relieved to hear about this updated policy.

 

 

I don't think I ever would have called home weekly, but once a month might have been nice. Missions are stressful, it will be good for missionaries to have access to their support networks

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One downside to all this is now you can Dear John or Jane letters, on Skype "yeah so Herman, you know your friend Ronald....."

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^^^ thank goodness for the unique out of the box thinking 🤔 of the Nelsons .  :)

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5 hours ago, cinepro said:

Or do we conveniently forget the fact that until very recently, long-distance phone calls were very difficult, time consuming and expensive?

This.

When I was studying in America, I received Fullbright funding to spend my summer holiday studying in Indonesia. Before I left, I bought a phone card to allow me to ring back to the US for US$100. That got me three five-minute phone calls, one per month. In order to make those calls, I had to take a bus to a phone shop in the centre of the city, wait in a queue until a phone was available, and then stand there and have a very public conversation.

This wasn't very long ago. Now my Indonesian friends all seem to have smart phones, and we talk to each other quite regularly.

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On 2/16/2019 at 4:19 PM, The Nehor said:

I said the exalting of the service missions over proselyting is milquetoast. The service missions themselves are a viable and valuable method to provide service for couples and those young missionaries unable for whatever reason to serve a proselyting mission.

I do decry the pernicious idea that proselyting missions are inferior to service missions when they are the primary mode of missionary work in this dispensation and the most crucial to fulfilling the objectives of the Savior.

I must have missed the statement that proselyting missions are claimed to be inferior to service missions.  I know for a fact that the Church (meaning the 15) regard proselyting missions and service missions as equivalent.

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36 minutes ago, ERMD said:

I must have missed the statement that proselyting missions are claimed to be inferior to service missions.  I know for a fact that the Church (meaning the 15) regard proselyting missions and service missions as equivalent.

I think he is responding to suggestions that we should stop proselyting altogether and just shift to all service missions.

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Having served my mission in South America in 1979-80, I obviously didn’t have texting or inexpensive phone calls. I can say, however, that regular “live” communication with my family would only have made me miserable. (When I was at BYU, I never went home at Thanksgiving, because I still had three weeks left in the semester and didn’t want the distraction.) What would have helped on my mission, however, was a sync-up between how long it took a letter to reach me from the U.S. (4-5 days) and how long it took my letters to get to the U.S. (10-14 days, typically). It was frustrating for me to be responding to letters my parents had written me the previous week when they were responding to letters I’d written them three weeks before.

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I believe that the change has come because many of the 18 year olds are homesick. And they are not used to living without their moms or dads. They are most likely having difficulties on their mission because of it. We are now dealing with a new generation who haven't been asked to sacrifice much and who have perhaps been enclosed in a bubble. Of course, not all, but I do think that missionaries were having problems with the work and the discipline. Now they have an outlet to talk about it with mom, dad or sister or brother.

Of course, we should feel sorry for those missionaries that had to go without such a policy. They existed on two calls a year. And these poor souls must be a little a grieved that they missed it by a year or month etc.

Edited by why me

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5 hours ago, why me said:

I believe that the change has come because many of the 18 year olds are homesick. And they are not used to living without their moms or dads. They are most likely having difficulties on their mission because of it. We are now dealing with a new generation who haven't been asked to sacrifice much and who have perhaps been enclosed in a bubble. Of course, not all, but I do think that missionaries were having problems with the work and the discipline. Now they have an outlet to talk about it with mom, dad or sister or brother.

Of course, we should feel sorry for those missionaries that had to go without such a policy. They existed on two calls a year. And these poor souls must be a little a grieved that they missed it by a year or month etc.

Trust the prophets that this is a chosen generation or go with the age-old cliched complaint of the elderly that “this generation is weak and feeble”.

0*td_CzxiZtHyNHivr.jpg

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13 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Trust the prophets that this is a chosen generation or go with the age-old cliched complaint of the elderly that “this generation is weak and feeble”.

0*td_CzxiZtHyNHivr.jpg

You may be right. However, the revelation would come because of the problems that this generation may have been having in the field. Usually there can be catalyst for such a revelation.

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22 minutes ago, why me said:

You may be right. However, the revelation would come because of the problems that this generation may have been having in the field. Usually there can be catalyst for such a revelation.

While I am sure the decision was confirmed by prayer I believe that this is mostly just a procedure change due to the growing ease of global communication.

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On 2/18/2019 at 5:02 PM, Hamba Tuhan said:

This.

When I was studying in America, I received Fullbright funding to spend my summer holiday studying in Indonesia. Before I left, I bought a phone card to allow me to ring back to the US for US$100. That got me three five-minute phone calls, one per month. ...

Good grief!  That's between $6 and $7 per minute! :shok::blink: $400 bucks for an hour!

Talk about "reach[ing] out and touch[ing] someone"! :mega_shok: 

;):D 

Edited by Kenngo1969

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On 2/18/2019 at 8:27 AM, MustardSeed said:

I’ve dealt with criticism that we isolate our youth for two years, blocking them from all family contact, in a cultish way.  I’m glad not to think about that any longer. 

You may not have to think about it, but don’t hold your breath that mean-spirited criticism is going to abate any time soon. 

Bear in mind that even under the old rules, missionaries were admonished to write home once a week. I dare say that’s more frequent and regular contact than many kid who go away to school or the military have with their parents. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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On 2/22/2019 at 2:52 AM, why me said:

I believe that the change has come because many of the 18 year olds are homesick. And they are not used to living without their moms or dads. They are most likely having difficulties on their mission because of it. We are now dealing with a new generation who haven't been asked to sacrifice much and who have perhaps been enclosed in a bubble. Of course, not all, but I do think that missionaries were having problems with the work and the discipline. Now they have an outlet to talk about it with mom, dad or sister or brother.

Of course, we should feel sorry for those missionaries that had to go without such a policy. They existed on two calls a year. And these poor souls must be a little a grieved that they missed it by a year or month etc.

I for one don’t feel any resentment or grief over it. 

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17 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I for one don’t feel any resentment or grief over it. 

I don't, either.  Depending, of course, on where I ended up serving if I were to do so under the new policy, I would tell my parents, "Please note the conditional, permissive phrasing of the policy: It says I may telephone home weekly, not that I must.  Don't count on it." ;)   As I said earlier, I think excessive frequency of real-time contact would have been too much of a distraction ... at least for me.  Others' mileage may vary.

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On 2/21/2019 at 3:09 PM, esodije said:

Having served my mission in South America in 1979-80, I obviously didn’t have texting or inexpensive phone calls. I can say, however, that regular “live” communication with my family would only have made me miserable. (When I was at BYU, I never went home at Thanksgiving, because I still had three weeks left in the semester and didn’t want the distraction.) What would have helped on my mission, however, was a sync-up between how long it took a letter to reach me from the U.S. (4-5 days) and how long it took my letters to get to the U.S. (10-14 days, typically). It was frustrating for me to be responding to letters my parents had written me the previous week when they were responding to letters I’d written them three weeks before.

I also served my mission in South America in 1979-1980 (Colombia Bogota). I once received a letter from my mom one week that said, "Grandpa is doing much better now." I had no idea what had happened to Grandpa, until I received the letter three days later that had been mailed first that stated that he had suffered a heart attack. Such was the way of the Colombian mail system.

And then there was the time that I had to call home because of a medical issue. It cost $50 to talk for about 10 minutes. There were no calls home for Mother's Day or Christmas back in those days.

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On 2/25/2019 at 1:51 PM, Wiki Wonka said:

I also served my mission in South America in 1979-1980 (Colombia Bogota). I once received a letter from my mom one week that said, "Grandpa is doing much better now." I had no idea what had happened to Grandpa, until I received the letter three days later that had been mailed first that stated that he had suffered a heart attack. Such was the way of the Colombian mail system.

Oddly enough, I had a similar experience. I received letters one day from my brother and my mother. I read my brother’s letter first, in which he’d written, “Dad’s doing okay considering all he’s been through,” without elaborating. Luckily, my mother’s letter did explain what had happened to my father. (He had had gall-bladder surgery, during which the doctor had sewn in a shunt with cat-gut stitches. In the follow-up visit, the doctor yarded on the shunt, expecting it to come right out...only it didn’t. Apparently the pain was so intense that it caused my father to have a mild heart attack. Just the sort of thing one wants to learn while in the mission field.)

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14 minutes ago, esodije said:

Oddly enough, I had a similar experience.

My experience consisted of my mission president ringing early one morning to tell me he'd just spoken with my father and things weren't nearly as bad as the latest letter may have suggested. Only, I hadn't received any communication from my family that week yet. The mission president was as clueless as I was, so he encouraged me to ring my dad for the whole story. Which was bad (Mum had been quarantined with a deadly strain of pneumonia) ... he just didn't want me to worry.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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Back when we had yet to get a cellphone my husband took the redeye to New York for work. 

The next morning I was getting the kids ready for school and his boss called me. He told me my husband was ok. I was thinking, "ok...what is wrong?"  His boss said, "oh! You probably haven't heard yet. "

My husband had no change to call me, but he could call work's 800 number. He had flown into JFK about a month after 9/11 on the day the plane went down in Queens. He wasn't on the plane,  but the airport was crazy and he didn't want me to worry about planes in New York. 

My mom actually often does this to us. "Your dad is ok now" and then we find out he has been in the hospital for several days, but she doesn't want us to worry till they know more. 

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Any mom or dad's on this forum who got to talk with their missionary kiddo this week?

How did it go?

Was it awkward?

Was it awesome?

Did you sense the missionary spirit leave their body😉?

I for one heard a collective sigh of all mission presidents and their wives from around the world.

They won't have to be the surrogate mom and dad for 200 missionaries all the time.

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15 hours ago, Jean-Luc Picard said:

Any mom or dad's on this forum who got to talk with their missionary kiddo this week?

How did it go?

Was it awkward?

Was it awesome?

Did you sense the missionary spirit leave their body😉?

I for one heard a collective sigh of all mission presidents and their wives from around the world.

They won't have to be the surrogate mom and dad for 200 missionaries all the time.

My daughter is on a mission a few time zones ahead, so I get to wake up on Monday mornings to her calls.  She talks to my wife for the most part and has talked her in to buying her a bunch of clothes.  :rolleyes:

 

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