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New Missionary Handbook


pogi

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I think it's the opposite, it seems more rules and less "use your own discretion" For example, for years now my brother and I have had the elders and sisters over dinner, every month and it's always fun. Now, we have to have a female come over otherwise we can't. Well, 99% of the women we know are married and how odd would it be to have a married woman come over, every month-especially if they have children. We could get our Mom but I don't think it'll work every month but do we know any childless couples? 1 or 2 but we'd have to invite both over. So, I think we'll sadly have to scrap the sisters and just have the elders. For what purpose? why is this a thing now and not before? there have never been any complaints or problems or anything. Yet, if I was to be called as a WML I could have them over, but just not for dinner? what's the difference? If missionaries or members can't be trusted around each other then why on earth would I give them refferals or my friends or neighbors? I won't know them anymore beyond seeing them at Church. Missionaries are not allowed to go out on their own with members anymore, they can as a group or something. The sad thing about all of this is furthering the distance between members and missionaries and walls are going up, whereas there shouldn't be.  The Church has this idea and it's not just the Church but someone, somewhere goes to the bathroom and now everyone has to wear a diaper. 

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1 hour ago, Duncan said:

I think it's the opposite, it seems more rules and less "use your own discretion"

Interesting.  I haven't read it yet so cant really comment, but it would be strange for them to sell it to the media that way if it was the opposite. 

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2 hours ago, pogi said:

IT sounds like some mission presidents have "expressed concern over the lack of specific rules", to which Elder Nielson responded:

 

The thing is, it seems like mission presidents are still free to make their own mission specific rules. I get what the new handbook is trying to do, and also agree that it's not as much of a change as some would like it to seem (there are still plenty of rules in there). But the mission president here has oodles and oodles of mission specific rules and I don't see that changing.

Edited by Boanerges
Fixed typo
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8 minutes ago, Boanerges said:

The thing is, it seems like mission presidents are still free to make their own mission specific rules. I get what the new handbook is trying to do, and also agree that it's not as much of a change as some would like it to sees (there are still plenty of rules in there). But the mission president here has oodles and oodles of mission specific rules and I don't see that changing.

Good point!  I think the brethren need to address that problem.  Mission presidents should not be allowed to create their own commandment style rules or spiritual rules beyond what the church has implemented.  I can understand location specific rules that have to do with physical safety etc. with different curfews in unsafe areas, or insect repellent rules, etc. but to implement mission specific spiritual "rules" is out-of-line.  Spiritual guidance is one thing, but commandment style rules is another.  

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I don't know if it's directly related, but my daughter mentioned that the big change in her mission is that now they can wear headphones when studying or talking to family on the phone.  Until now, they were not allowed to wear headphones under any circumstances.

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5 hours ago, Duncan said:

I think it's the opposite, it seems more rules and less "use your own discretion" For example, for years now my brother and I have had the elders and sisters over dinner, every month and it's always fun. Now, we have to have a female come over otherwise we can't.

I read through it and can't find any specific rules that address this ( I may have missed it as I sped-read it).  Is this a mission specific rule perhaps?  The closest thing I can find is this:

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Avoid situations that could become physically or spiritually dangerous or that could be misunderstood.

Do not flirt or associate inappropriately with anyone.

 

 

Edited by pogi
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I found the food/water preparation and safety, mosquito precautions, and other general infectious disease precautions that all travelers to developing countries should be aware of (especially if you are going to be there 1 1/2 to 2 years) to be sorely lacking.  While I don't do post-travel care, I do practice pre-travel medicine and consultation and work with the infectious disease doctors at the University of Utah.  Just a couple weeks ago, one of the doctors brought up a concern about how many returned-missionaries she is seeing with post-infectious inflammatory bowel disease.  She is not LDS but expressed great sadness about how many young people are going out to serve only to return with a terrible and mostly avoidable disease.  We do see lots of missionaries at our clinic and give them a good education here and send them with informative materials, but missionaries going to developing countries are not required to go to a travel-clinic in preparation for their mission, so many are not well educated.  If the mission handbook is the only education they get, no wonder so many are returning with this condition! 

Edited by pogi
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1 hour ago, pogi said:

I read through it and can't find any specific rules that address this ( I may have missed it as I sped-read it). 

'Another adult of your own gender should be present with you and your companion when you eat a meal with someone of the opposite gender'.

I'm not aware that this is new in any way but.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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1 hour ago, pogi said:

I read through it and can't find any specific rules that address this ( I may have missed it as I sped-read it).  Is this a mission specific rule perhaps?  The closest thing I can find is this:

 

2.4.5. “Another adult of your own gender should be present with you and your companion when you eat a meal with someone of the opposite gender.”

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44 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

'Another adult of your own gender should be present with you and your companion when you eat a meal with someone of the opposite gender'.

I'm not aware that this is new in any way but.

 

24 minutes ago, Duncan said:

2.4.5. “Another adult of your own gender should be present with you and your companion when you eat a meal with someone of the opposite gender.”

Thanks!  It sounds like you actually need another male with you, and not a female.  Don’t know if that makes things easier for you at all...

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Just now, pogi said:

 

Thanks!  It sounds like you actually need another male with you, and not a female.  Don’t know if that makes things easier for you at all...

They were speaking to the missionaries, i.e. the missionary handbook, so specifically the sisters! getting another guy would be easier!

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32 minutes ago, Duncan said:

They were speaking to the missionaries, i.e. the missionary handbook, so specifically the sisters! getting another guy would be easier!

Wow!  That was my dimwit moment of the day.  Stay tuned for more tomorrow.

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1 hour ago, Duncan said:

They were speaking to the missionaries, i.e. the missionary handbook, so specifically the sisters! getting another guy would be easier!

This is not new. You may just not have been following it, but it was in place when I was called as WML back in late 2013.

And yes, it's a hassle ... especially now that our ward is back to having only Sisters. If I have a male friend for them to teach -- and I have several of these -- the only way to make it happen is if the Sister missionaries and a third female ward member show up together, at which point, it feels a bit intimidating to my mates, so I've just given up. I still have them around for gospel discussions, but I do it on my own.

What has changed this time is that missionaries can no longer have members as their companions -- i.e. splits. Teaching with members now requires three people showing up no matter what. Maybe it's a cultural thing, or maybe our houses are just smaller, but inviting three women into my home feels a bit like an invasion.

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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

This is not new. You may just not have been following it, but it was in place when I was called as WML back in late 2013.

And yes, it's a hassle ... especially now that our ward is back to having only Sisters. If I have a male friend for them to teach -- and I have several of these -- the only way to make it happen is if the Sister missionaries and a third female ward member show up together, at which point, it feels a bit intimidating to my mates, so I've just given up. I still have them around for gospel discussions, but I do it on my own.

What has changed this time is that missionaries can no longer have members as their companions -- i.e. splits. Teaching with members now requires three people showing up no matter what. Maybe it's a cultural thing, or maybe our houses are just smaller, but inviting three women into my home feels a bit like an invasion.

it could be old but yeah, never followed. To me, it seems like the Church is divorcing the members from the missionaries, they aren't in meetings anymore, the WML is no longer in meetings and now this dinner stuff, if they can't be trusted with dinners then my gosh why would we trust them with referrals? It's more walls where none should exist. If I get another lecture on how the members should work with the missionaries then i'll say yes great, but in policy made by the Church it's another story

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1 hour ago, Duncan said:

they aren't in meetings anymore ...

FWIW, the new handbook specifically mentions attending 'meetings like ward council when invited'. This is clearly a local decision.

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If I get another lecture on how the members should work with the missionaries then i'll say yes great, but in policy made by the Church it's another story

I'm not where you are in my frustration, but it is definitely getting harder. When I was WML, we developed a fantastic thing where one evening a week, after coordination meeting, members would come to my house and take a missionary out to teach someone the member had been working with. When we had eight missionaries in the ward, this meant coordinating eight members, each with a planned visit, but it worked, and we got so much done. It also really forged a strong link between members and the full-time missionaries. Now, with only one set of Sisters in the ward and the new instructions, we would only need one sister from the ward to do such visits.

At least two of the Elders who served in our ward have told me that I was their favourite 'companion' because we spent so much time serving together one-on-one. Removing the option of 'splitting' with members will limit this as well. I'm sure there are reasons; I just don't like them ...

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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7 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

FWIW, the new handbook specifically mentions attending 'meetings like ward council when invited'. This is clearly a local decision.

I'm not where you are in my frustration, but it is definitely getting harder. When I was WML, we developed a fantastic thing where one evening a week, after coordination meeting, members would come to my house and take a missionary out to teach someone the member had been working with. When we had eight missionaries in the ward, this meant coordinating eight members, each with a planned visit, but it worked, and we got so much done. It also really forged a strong link between members and the full-time missionaries. Now, with only one set of Sisters in the ward and the new instructions, we would only need one sister from the ward to do such visits.

At least two of the Elders who served in our ward have told me that I was their favourite 'companion' because we spent so much time serving together one-on-one. Removing the option of 'splitting' with members will limit this as well. I'm sure there are reasons; I just don't like them ...

it's like we spent so long trying to bond missionaries and members, we even had a mission president who used M&M's (members and missionaries) in his talks but now it's all being torn up. Like you say there has to be a reason, but what it is I have no idea. I hope the fallout won't be like it was when I was out, ward mistrust of missionaries, lack of concern for missionaries etc. We used our local mission rules and just used our discretion, if they trusted us to go on a mission then they trusted us to be on a mission, but that's not the case anymore

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34 minutes ago, Duncan said:

Like you say there has to be a reason, but what it is I have no idea.

I served in one threesome as a missionary, and I hated it. Three men (or women) are intimidating in ways that two simply aren't, in my experience. Now, whenever members and missionaries work together, it will be a minimum of three people. (The handbook actually says it could be more!)

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4 hours ago, Duncan said:

it's like we spent so long trying to bond missionaries and members, we even had a mission president who used M&M's (members and missionaries) in his talks but now it's all being torn up. Like you say there has to be a reason, but what it is I have no idea. I hope the fallout won't be like it was when I was out, ward mistrust of missionaries, lack of concern for missionaries etc. We used our local mission rules and just used our discretion, if they trusted us to go on a mission then they trusted us to be on a mission, but that's not the case anymore

My best guess but only a guess is that it has to do with the lowering of the age for male missionaries.  When there is a big change (lowering the missionary age) and then later on another big change (not allowing missionaries to split up for teaching with members) then in my limited brain I always suspect a link.

Edited by Metis_LDS
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13 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

'Another adult of your own gender should be present with you and your companion when you eat a meal with someone of the opposite gender'.

I'm not aware that this is new in any way but.

Yes, maybe it was just my mission, but we did on my mission 30 years ago - not just a meal thing, but any time you might meet with someone. Through the years as I have been in charge of getting meals or talked with sisters it was always a thing. Even in September and my son left on his mission and my husband had a meeting I ended up having to pack the meal to go for them when they couldn't come in.

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14 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

'Another adult of your own gender should be present with you and your companion when you eat a meal with someone of the opposite gender'.

I'm not aware that this is new in any way but.

This was the rule in our mission when we I served in 98-99.

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7 hours ago, bluebell said:

This was the rule in our mission when we I served in 98-99.

 

9 hours ago, Rain said:

Yes, maybe it was just my mission, but we did on my mission 30 years ago ...

think it was a rule when I served as well, but I honestly don't know without looking it up because this was one area that our mission president didn't emphasise. When I was his assistant, I asked him about that, and he said a mission president has to 'pick his battles', and since our mission had no historical record of this being a problem for missionaries, he just trusted us not to do anything stupid.

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