Latter-day Saint Missionaries Now Able To Call Home On Weekly Basis
Feb 15, 2019, 10:12 AM | Updated: 8:38 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Friday announced that missionaries will now be able to communicate with their families on a weekly basis.
Missionaries had previously only been able to phone home twice a year, although they were able to communicate more frequently through emails and letters.
The change is effective immediately.
Those serving missions will be able to contact their loved ones via text messages, online messages, phone calls and video chats in addition to letters and emails, according to The Church.
NEW: Starting now, missionaries with the @LDSchurch can "communicate with their families each week on preparation day via text messages, online messaging, phone calls, and video chat in addition to letters and emails." @KSL5TV @KSLcom @kslnewsradio #lds #ksltv pic.twitter.com/jA88yz9MpD
— Ladd Egan (@laddegan) February 15, 2019
“Regular communication with their families is an important part of a missionary’s service,” the faith’s First Presidency wrote in a statement. “One of the major purposes of this adjustment is to encourage families to be more involved in their missionary’s efforts and experiences.”
Missionaries will use what’s knows as their preparation day to communicate with their families, but The Church advised loved ones not to initiate the phone calls or video chats so as not to interrupt the missionary’s schedule.
“We encourage missionaries to communicate with their families each week using whatever approved method missionaries decide,” said Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and chairman of the Missionary Executive Council. “This may vary based on their circumstances, locations and schedules for that week. It is not expected that all missionaries will call or video chat with their parents every week. The precise manner of communication is left up to the missionary as he or she decides what will best meet their needs.”
The Church also encouraged missionaries to contact their families on other special occasions such as birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas.
There are currently more than 65,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving missions. Young men typically serve two-year missions starting at the age of 18, and young women typically serve 18 months beginning at the age of 19.