Opening a mission call with the extended family gathered around taking pictures has been a tradition in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for a very long time. Technology enabled us to video the entire process and then to share it on social media. Now technology could partially do away with the whole experience.
On Sept. 5, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that it is rolling out a new initiative in which missionary candidates receive their assignments online instead of in the mail. This process has been tested in various parts of the world for the past several months and will now be expanded to all of Utah and Idaho.
By the end of 2018, it is anticipated that nearly all missionaries around the world with reliable internet access will receive their calls online to serve in one of the Church’s 407 missions in more than 150 countries.
Through the process, almost all mission calls would be delivered through a secured website after the prospective missionary is notified by text or email that an assignment has been made. By simply logging into the website, a future elder or sister missionary will be able to open an online call letter to learn his or her mission assignment — along with other key details such as their mission language and where they will report for missionary training.
Prospective missionaries will get a prompt (as distinguished from a prompting) that their call is about to show up on the screen, so they can gather their families around the computer (or phone).
If your family is like our family, we have always tried to figure out how long the call will take in Salt Lake City and then how long it will take for the call to arrive in the mail. The fact that we now live in Utah has made that wait time pretty short. Think about how long it takes for future missionaries who live very far away from Utah. That aspect of waiting for a mission call is about to disappear.
The digital mission call letter can be printed out for framing and scrapbooks. Low tech does have its place!
To read more about receiving mission calls digitally, go to LDS Church News.