On Friday, Feb. 15 the Church announced communication changes between full-time missionaries and their families. In light of this announcement, the Church News recently asked three Church leaders how parents can best support their sons and daughters who are serving as full-time missionaries. Here are those responses.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and chairman of the Church’s Missionary Executive Council
Bear witness of what you feel and express gratitude for your child’s service as a missionary. Focus on the spiritual dimension of your child’s service. A missionary’s phone calls home are wonderful; they can change the dimension from “What did you have for breakfast?” to “What is your favorite scripture?” and from “How did you sleep last night? Did you overcome your cold?” to “Which family or individual are you teaching now and what lesson? What has strengthened you most?” The danger is sometimes that we focus on the trivial and neglect the spiritual.
Here are 17 of the best reactions from families about how they are staying in touch with their missionaries.
Sister Bonnie H. Cordon
Young women general president
When a mission call suddenly finds you a world away from your son or daughter, you may not be able to walk side-by-side with them but you can still share the spiritual journey. You may not share a meal, but you can still feast together on the word of God.
• Increase your own scripture study and share your insights in your next email.
• Attend the temple and join them in the glorious work of bringing families unto Christ.
• Seek your own missionary experiences so together you can discover the joy of sharing the gospel.
Join your missionary in the work — study, serve, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ! As you do so, you will both reap the promised blessings of missionary service.
President Stephen C. Chase
President of the Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission
Consider three recent statements from President Russell M. Nelson and the First Presidency and some suggestions to go with them:
• They are “the choicest spirits of this generation.” Remind them they are stronger than they know, chosen for this work at this time (2018 Mission Leadership Seminar).
• “It is time for a home-centered Church.” Share how you make your home an extension of their mission, including your own “gathering” experiences (October 2018 general conference).
• “Be more involved in (your) missionary’s efforts and experiences.” Pray for and with them and include those they teach. Study the Book of Mormon scriptures assigned to those they teach and share your personal insights (New Guidelines for Missionary Communication with Families).
Remember, and please remind them, their mission president and companion love them.