5 Topics To Avoid Writing Your Missionary About

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


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!

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Sunday 29th of December 2019

I disagree with all of this, too. As a recently returned missionary myself, I would have been so upset if any update on my family was kept from me. I feel like we worry too much about missionaries becoming too distracted that we forget that they are human. We care our about families and loved ones at home. But, we also know are duty and know when we need to focus and to work. I also wrote my soon to be husband all throughout my mission and, not to toot my own horn, but I believe I was a very focused and hard working missionary. My mission President didn't even know I had someone at home. It all depends on who the missionary is. We're not robots.


Tuesday 9th of July 2019

I really disagree with some points on this and feel following them can cause some real damage. My parents avoided telling me about a health problem they thought would distress me, so I ended up finding out when my mother was in the ICU on death's door. It was one of the most traumatic experiences I have ever had in my life. I wouldn't email a missionary saying "we found something that is a total mystery" and leave them wondering, but keep them appraised. Emails that are only positive often make a missionary feel they can only respond in kind, and so they can't share when things get hard fro them. It ends up being two fake smiles back and forth, and neither can uplift or pray specifically for the other. It's possible to send a letter that shares hard things but is uplifting in nature. My sister wrote me about financial problems her family was having, but shared how the Lord strengthened her and how they were acting in faith and so felt peace. It was one of my favorite emails from my whole mission. I reread it often as a missionary. It helped me realize my service mattered, my family struggled just as I did, and I felt like I could also choose to act in faith. My counsel would be to be real, but recognize for yourself and acknowledge to your missionary that God is good, that faith is a choice. That's a higher pattern. That's the pattern of the Book of Mormon, and the pattern of our leaders in General Conference. That's how to knit hearts together in love, even when separated.


Tuesday 16th of July 2019

I 100% disagree, I had companions that were totally wrecked because of the health drama back home and the emails about it. Trust the mission president, confide in him and ask for his guidance on how to help your missionary if you think they need to be told, he might personally deliver the message with an offer for a Priesthood blessing. But as a rule, avoid health drama as all it causes is drama.

Christine Montgomery

Monday 16th of October 2017

This is really common sense since doing something positive should be kept in a positive light. Share it when your missionary gets home if it is important. He / she has their own concerns while in the field and doesn't need to worry about things that can wait. This is a powerful "work and a wonder".....an honorable privilege.......a blessed calling from our Heavenly Father. I was a missionary in the England East Mission. So I know.....


Thursday 15th of June 2017

wow, awesome!


Friday 4th of December 2015

I read and really enjoyed the article and then for some reason I thought of a humourous ( -less?) example of the kind of letter not to write :

Dear Son, I just wanted to write and let you know we can't send you any money this month because your brother was in car accident, and your father lost his job. So we are selling our house the week before you get home , and moving to a new one. . We saw your girlfriend, Jenny, at church. She just got engaged to Elder Jones that you were companions with 6 months ago. He got home , as you know , last month and is now is the same stake as us!. We are really looking forward to seeing you when you get home and will catch you up on all the family and ward drama. I think you will enjoy helping us settle in to our new home , whevever, it is that we end up moving to. Think positive! Love, Mom

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