5 Topics To Avoid Writing Your Missionary About
Because of the drama surrounding letters and emails Pday became a day of mixed emotions when I was serving my mission. Some missionaries loved getting emails, and letters, but others dreaded emails and letters. Why did some love letters and others dread them?
Because some emails and letters are full uplifting messages from family and friends. But some emails and letters were full of bad news, or drama that stressed us out or made us homesick.
In one of my areas, we joked about skipping emails altogether! Because of all the negativity that came from the letters we talked about how we wished everyone would stop emailing us about certain things. Here are the 5 Topics To Avoid Writing Your Missionary About!
- Financial issues
It was always hard to hear about your dad losing his job, or how money was running out. We are already stressed with the Lord’s work it was hard to hear about these problems that we have no control over. Emailing about a job loss, or how money is tight, is putting undue stress on us. I saw countless missionaries worried sick, about their family because of letters or emails!
Missionaries worry about their family back home and their financial situation. Almost all of my companion’s families had financial issues, we would pray for their family every night. It was the only thing we could do. So remember, we’re already praying for you! Help us focus and God will bless both of us!
- Heath Problems
On my mission I heard my dad had a very small heart attack, every time our phone went off and it read “President” I was afraid I was getting a call that he had died. Spare your missionary that stress, don’t email them unnecessarily about heath problems. What is the goal of telling us about health issues? What can we do? We’re already praying for you, and God has already promised to bless our families.
If it is something serious talk to the mission president.
Trust in the keys that the mission president has been given by the Apostles. If you feel the need to share health updates talk to the mission president first, if nothing else it allows him to know what is going on, and he will direct you on the approach to take. If it is something major, he may even drive out to the area and tell your missionary in person, and give them a priesthood blessing of comfort and counsel.
- Girlfriends (or Boyfriends)
If there is something that distracts more missionaries than girlfriends, I never ran into it. Giving us updates on girls (or guys) is super difficult. We are taught to have a set apart heart. And when we get an email about a girl we really like it is hard to focus! I’ve had companions that it took DAYS for them to fully refocus after some bad emails. Or perfume drenched letters…
- “When you get home”
When a missionary gets near the end of their mission they are trying super hard to focus on the work, and not get “trunky”. The closer it gets the harder it becomes. It is extremely hard to do so when you’re getting emails that keep pulling your thoughts to “When you get home…” At one point on my mission, it got so bad I replied. “I am a missionary now, I’ll talk about home when I get home.”
I knew many missionaries that the last 2 transfers they just gave up, they got “Trunky”. They mentally were home, but physically on the mission still. It was just awful. The work would stall, and everyone was hurt due to trunky missionaries. Please help us focus, don’t email us about when we come home, ask us about the area! You should plan for things like college ahead of time.
Drama is awful and it is gossip. We should not be your venting source. We deal with drama, and people who have problems in the field every day. Help us find repose on Pday, after all what good does it even do to tell us about drama? Share with us the good around you!
If you are ever unsure if it is appropriate to share, basically apply this rule. “How will this make them feel?” If it will draw their thoughts away and occupy their time. Don’t do it. It affects far more than just your missionary. If it will make your missionary miss you, and miss home, and want to come home. If you might be sabotaging them, don’t do it.
And after applying this rule, if in doubt ask the mission president! His job is to help your missionary!