7 Ways Not to Write Your Missionary

Keep in contact with your missionary without complicating the work.

"You will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make." "We need to follow the spiritual pattern of small and simple things." —Gordon B. Hinckley

Photo by Barbalis

It’s Monday and your inbox is bombarded with weekly missionary emails—stories of being chased by dogs, sprinklings of foreign jargon, and endless retellings of miracles. Now it’s time to write your missionary a response. Missionaries love receiving letters, but could your communication be more of a distraction than a support? In the New Era article “Missionary Mail,” Connie Myers suggests ways to make the most of your letters:

  1. Don’t be a robot. Be yourself; write as though you’re talking to your missionary face-to-face. Have a sense of humor. Missionaries want a message from you.
  2. Don’t count down. Don’t mention the number of days until your missionary comes home. You may want to think about how much time your missionary has left, but he or she doesn’t.
  3. Don’t gossip. While your missionary will enjoy hearing about updates from home, don’t crowd your letters with every detail about the neighbor, the ex, and the postal worker.
  4. Don’t be “mushy.” If you’re a romantic interest of your missionary, avoid the mush. Lovey-dovey words may sound endearing to you, but they’ll be distracting and perhaps embarrassing when read with a missionary companion peering over his or her shoulder.
  5. Don’t vent. Avoid mentioning every problem that arises at home. While there are some problems that your missionary should know about, many other problems will cause unnecessary worry and stress.
  6. Don’t ask for stats. Missionary work is not about the statistics. Don’t ask your missionary about the number of baptisms he or she has had. Focus on asking about the progress of individual investigators.
  7. Don’t give up. Even if you’ve missed writing for a few weeks—or months—your missionary still wants to hear from you.

Whether your letters to your missionary are lengthy novels or are written haphazardly at the last minute, make sure that they are helpful and not a hindrance! For more ideas about writing missionaries, read Connie Myers’s articleMissionary Mail.”

Source: New Era Magazine

—Alisa Hulme, Mormon Insights

feature image by kristiansen

Find more insights

Read “Letters? Clippings? Candy? What to Send a Missionary,” by Sharon W. Allred, for ideas on what to write and send to missionaries.

Read or watch “To a Missionary Son,” by Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander, to find advice for future missionaries.  

Check out “Sweet Is the Work: Gordon B. Hinckley, 15th President of the Church” to learn more about President Gordon B. Hinckley and his missionary experience.

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