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{LDS How-to} Write a Missionary

LDS Living staff - February 16, 2011

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A letter from a loved one can make a world of difference for a missionary in the field. But staying in communication can be a bit tricky.

Here is some practical advice for those who want to effectively boost their powerful priesthood proselytizer!

1. Emails. Most missionaries are only allowed to email immediate family, but email rules are often up to the discretion of the mission president. If a missionary is allowed to email anyone, remember they have limited time on the computer and should use it to primarily communicate with their mission president and family. However, it is perfectly acceptable for family members to forward a missionary’s family emails on to others. Dearelder.com is another online option. They offer free same-day letter delivery to the Provo MTC, and charge the cost of a stamp for all pouch mail services. Simply go to dearelder.com, select the mission and missionary, and start typing.
 
2. Letters. Nothing is better than a hand-written letter—especially if it includes pictures, drawings, and stories—but be disciplined in what you include. President Hinckley gives some advice when it comes to letter writing: “Missionaries love to hear from home, especially from close friends. What makes it tough to concentrate is what is contained in the letters. Write about their mission. Share personal missionary experiences you are having at home. Write about insightful things you’ve learned in the scriptures. It’s all right to write about home; just don’t dwell on it. If you are focused on his mission, he will be too.” When in doubt, err on the side of too many stamps.

3. Pouch. The pouch provides a cheap and reliable mail service to many places where receiving mail is difficult, but be warned! Sometimes, the pouch service can take a LONG TIME and any letters that do not meet the requirements will be returned. The service does not accept envelopes or packages. In order to use the pouch, you have two options: either write a postcard or write a letter on one side of a single sheet of printer paper. If using a piece of paper, fold it into thirds, fastening the top with tape and placing a stamp in the top right corner. Address the sheet to church headquarters:

Name of the missionary
Mission name
P.O. Box 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150

4. Packages. In the United States, most packages are sent to the missionary’s mission office. Packages to foreign missions are usually sent to the mission home, but the mail service outside the country is not always timely or reliable. Valuables may be stolen and cookies may get moldy.
When in doubt about how to communicate with your missionary, feel free to contact the secretary of the mission, the MTC, or the missionary to find regulations and suggestions specific to each mission.
 

© LDS Living 2011.
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