How quickly we "adults" tend to forget the counsel found in Proverbs 3:5-6 to "Trust in the Lord ... and lean not unto thine own understanding." We all need to practice trusting the Lord in all things, whether we are missionaries, Bishops, or even helicopter parents. Perhaps this is a means of preparing us for times when trusting in Him is our only recourse.
Whenever I called home, as a missionary, it took me out of the "missionary mindset" and took me several days to get back into it. My mind wandered to home, people, places, etc. Will calling home on a weekly basis be too much of a distraction? Is this a response to the "snowflake" generation?
Miracles already seen happening. The contact with the parents and relatives who gather there resulted in me replying to a political and church critic with soft words instead of full political stance. I'll take that as a positive. Also coming through the lines the powerful missionary spirit to bless the home and give more "home power" for teaching our "out of the world" kids" IMO. But then, i wasn't a die hard obedience Mormon during my mid years--got battered around and had to crawl the long way back.
While I got that some cases were special, at first it bothered me that missionaries WOULDN'T depend on the Lord AS much - if at all - if they could go running back to mommy & daddy.
Still, I know that the Lord knows what He's doing, and now missionaries will not be required to rely on Him, but CHOOSE to rely on Him rather than other humans. Much like the changes to how we learn and teach the Gospel now (home centered, not building centered). The missionaries, like any of "the general population" of The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints, are receiving opportunities for growing BEYOND our comfortableness.
In case no one's noticed, we're being tested to see not only if we "buy oil" but go to the correct "Seller" of the Oil - our Savior.
We had Stake Conference this past weekend and the Visiting General Authority made an interesting comment about this new change. He stated that if you think about it, previously it would have been extremely expensive for missionaries to call home each week. He mentioned that a short phone call could cost a hundred dollars. With existing technology, the same call can now be made free. It was something that I never thought of. We weren't allowed to call home on Christmas or Mothers day during our mission, so there have been changes and this is another one.
I am hopeful that this change will result in the decline of missionaries returning home early due to issues not related to worthiness. I am surprised by the number who return home early that this change could possibly help.
We support the new policy and we believe it has come through revelation, and we just have one observation. For the first time in all our years of having grandchildren serve missions and supporting them by prayers (which we will still offer) and letters (which we will still write) and financially (we get blessings for that), we got up this morning with no copy of an email full of missionary experiences of the week before and that wonderful feeling of love for the work which we have so missed especially since coming home from serving as Senior Missionaries. Maybe all the missionary families could suggest that their missionaries not forget the grandparents!!
If it's a good idea now, why wasn't it a good idea 30 years ago?
I am a Bishop and have two “momma bear” “helicopter” moms with Elders out in the field. My concern is that the moms will hear of an illness or things that most missionaries don’t share, until their home, and freak out, call the mission presidents in panic and it will make for a negative experience. By and large I think this will be a positive experience for all. I hope the missionaries will keep each call, chat etc.. positive and share the amazing spiritual experiences they have. I’m just waiting for one of these moms to call me and ask, is it okay if I call the Mission president? I think my son has a cold! Not kidding!
Missionary zeal is like lightning in a bottle.....I like that and that alone is a compelling reason to improve the communication between missionaries, family and friends....we need more zeal.
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