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gem2477

Mission Question

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In my experience, being in contact with my family gets me involved closely with family affairs. There are times when I have to take days off from work so I can take care of family business, otherwise, I won't be able to concentrate on my job for worrying my head off over family affairs.

This, among others, is the reason a missionary is required to leave their family behind when they go on a mission. Girlfriends too.

Well, no contact just means worrying about what you don't know. I would rather have them in the know talking to family a few minutes a day then constantly worrying about a family member, not knowing if a surgery went well or what ever is happening.

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Yes, but if they are paying for the mission, doesn't that mean that they should be able to chose more things for themselves?

Uhm... they didn't pay for the mission to BUY a mission... they pay into the mission so they can eat and have a roof over their heads.

I would NOT be okay with only calling family and friends 2x a year. It would not be good enough for me. I would want to hear a familiar voice in a strange place with people I don't yet know.

The mission is your family. If you don't think this is plenty enough support in a strange place then don't go on a mission.

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Yes, the military is a job where you get pay and benefits - not so with missionaries.

Yes. It's a volunteer job. Like Save the Whales or some such... you do it because the "pay" is the spiritual blessings and knowledge and experience you gain from 2 years of mission work that benefits your life both in the spiritual and secular arena.

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Well, no contact just means worrying about what you don't know. I would rather have them in the know talking to family a few minutes a day then constantly worrying about a family member, not knowing if a surgery went well or what ever is happening.

When your focus is the mission and not your family, your worries are superceded by the mission. You forget... you are in contact with your family every week through letters or facebook. Only PHONE CALLS and personal visits are not allowed. That layer of distance is what insulates you from family drama.

Well, the parents can visit their children in the mission field if they so desire but they have to go through the mission office to get an appointment to see their child.

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In any case, you have a very different perspective because you haven't been on a mission.

If you can't trust the leaders of the Church to know what works best in the mission field, then, in my opinion, your problem is not the rules of the mission. Your problem is a testimony of Church Leaders and their authority. I think that's where you need to take this discussion.

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So why are they missionaries if their brains haven't fully formed? What's the point of letting them be ambassadors if they are just going to go crazy and can't think for themselves?

Most of them DON'T "go crazy". Because they have rules to guide them. :)

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BTW, for those not aware the idealized native language speaking missionary schedule is:

6:30 am- Morning prayer, exercise, and showering.

7:30 am- Breakfast

8:00 am- Personal Study

9:00 am- Companion Study

10:00 am- Proselyting

12:00 pm- Lunch (You can take an hour for lunch, the exact start time is a bit fluid).

1:00 pm- Proselyting

5:00 pm- Dinner (Again, you get an hour but the exact start time is a bit fluid).

6:00 pm- Proselyting

9:00 pm- Planning (If you are teaching this can get moved back a half hour)

9:30 pm- Bedtime prep

10:30 pm- Bedtime

So there is ~3 hours of scheduled down time depending on how quick bedtime and wake-up prep takes you. The schedule also doesn't show things like travel time, if you are street contacting your way to an appointment, taking a bus, or driving, it isn't particularly strenuous. It also doesn't show things like bathroom and watering breaks. Lessons often involve sitting down, so you have physical rest there. Also, once you are no longer green the lessons, and things like random conversations with people at bus stops aren't particularly mentally taxing, and this is coming from someone who went into the field taking anti-anxiety medication, so it wasn't because I'm naturally gregarious and just can't help myself from talking with random people. So believe it or not, chatting up some nice guy at a bus stop is actually a break as are lessons with established investigators.

When you successfully lose yourself in the work it becomes a lot less like work, and this is an introvert saying this. Of course it depends how you go about the work, if you are bound and determined to tract dawn till dusk it can be fairly taxing mentally and physically, but while there is urgency in the work, there isn't a call to run faster than you have strength. Also, the strength and comfort that comes from the spirit can't be discounted. Indeed the fact that you are doing the Lord's work makes comparisons to secular work to be somewhat strained, there is a spirit around missionary work that simply isn't found as a cashier at Walmart or what have you.

Edited by Dravin

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In any case, you have a very different perspective because you haven't been on a mission.

If you can't trust the leaders of the Church to know what works best in the mission field, then, in my opinion, your problem is not the rules of the mission. Your problem is a testimony of Church Leaders and their authority. I think that's where you need to take this discussion.

I think you're on the right track. The poster also doubts the Church's ability to properly handle tithing money, so I don't think the real issues is about mission rules or tithing.

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So why are they missionaries if their brains haven't fully formed? What's the point of letting them be ambassadors if they are just going to go crazy and can't think for themselves?

Hey, you know what? God gave mankind an awful lot of commandments. Why were those commandments needed? Because mankind isn't yet fully matured spiritually, and the commandments keep them safe.

But if mankind--each of whom existed as children of God, in His presence, before being born--isn't spiritually mature enough to go down to the earth without going crazy and being able to think for themselves, what was the point in sending them to earth at all?

Hmm . . .

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Most of them DON'T "go crazy". Because they have rules to guide them. :)

Amen. The reality is that the missionaries are inexperienced young men and women (mostly) who are capable of applying thought and introspection into how they approach the mission and missionary work who benefit from guidelines and rules stemming from institutional, and in the case of Mission Presidents individual, experience. The dichotomy that missionaries must, as adults, be beyond befitting from rules, guidelines and institutional experience or are too immature to be in the mission field is one I find to be false.

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"One of the greatest secrets of Missionary work is...work. If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit. If he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people, and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time, talents, and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. That is the secret--work, work, work. There is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work."

~ President Ezra Taft Benson ~

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Well, no contact just means worrying about what you don't know. I would rather have them in the know talking to family a few minutes a day then constantly worrying about a family member, not knowing if a surgery went well or what ever is happening.

There are some things you don't WANT to know as a missionary about what is happening back home.

What good would worrying do? What can a missionary who is serving away from home DO about what is happening?

Answer: They can't do a darned thing. Why cause unnecessary worry and distraction?

My girlfriend waited for me while I served. We wrote every week. There were things that she wrote about that I asked her to stop. And the reason was because I can't worry about her problems when I am completely powerless to do anything about them.

Writing to a missionary is NOT about talking about every single facet of life back home and dumping your problems on them. It's about talking about your life and how you feel great about their missionary service and that your faith will carry you through whatever is troubling you.

Now, take that mindset just from writing letters, and multiply it by 10. That feeling of hopelessness and being powerless regarding things back home becomes a HUGE distraction that will hinder the work.

Some things are better off not talking about or even knowing.

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A little lesson in sustaining Church leaders:

The Challenging and Testifying Missionary

We are privileged to sustain the authorities of the Church. I hope you understand how important it is to sustain this work. The consent of the people or missionaries is sought for; but when the will of the Lord is presented actually our free agency becomes expressive as we sustain and not oppose. We do not have the veto power when the general authorities of the church are presented. It is the same way in the missionary work. We don't have the veto power in changing the missionary work. You have only a sustaining power in it and this is the basic principle that the Reorganized Church never did understand or the opponents of Joseph Smith. As you know, they have set up in their Church the veto power of its members over the revelations of the Lord.

If we are to understand the ways of the Lord, we must understand we are but the servants. We sustain Him. It is His work. It is not our work. We must annex ourselves to His will and purpose. It matters not whether in the priesthood work, missionary work, or any other work in the Church we are to do it the way the Lord wants it done.

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If you are talking about young adult missionaries, the changes you suggest will never be implemented.

If you are talking about retired couple missionaries, I'm pretty sure they already have permission to listen to music and media, call the kids, and so forth.

Not exactly. Missionaries are starting to be allowed to call ANYONE to at least help with lessons or at least those in call centers. I just returned from the Oregon Portland mission Tuesday. The ward mission leader's daughter could call him whenever.

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Not exactly. Missionaries are starting to be allowed to call ANYONE to at least help with lessons or at least those in call centers. I just returned from the Oregon Portland mission Tuesday. The ward mission leader's daughter could call him whenever.

I find that curious. Not that I don't believe you, but PERHAPS the rule had little or nothing to do with 'homesickness', but with long-distance telephone costs and upholding a long-standing tradition?

As long as it's not distracting from focus on the work of the Lord or interfering in a companionship relationship... well, I'm open to new ideas.

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Well, no contact just means worrying about what you don't know. I would rather have them in the know talking to family a few minutes a day then constantly worrying about a family member, not knowing if a surgery went well or what ever is happening.

As someone already said what is the point of worrying? Some people knowing that someone they know are going through surgery or multiple surgeries would make them dwell on the fact that they have surgery for two weeks and then they don't teach. Then a relative passes away and then you think about them for two or three weeks and then your girlfriend stops writing you for a month or two and the whole time you are panicking because you have no idea what is going on. Then she writes and dumps you and now you're sad for another month or two. Then your family decides to move and now you are worried you may never see your old friends again. Your Dad gets fired from his job after a week in the new city and you wonder how are you going to make it if you are relying on them for help, or when you get home. And I can go on and on and on.

The list of distractions outside the mission is immense and even what I mentioned above can easily distract for a 1/4 of your mission if not more. This doesn't include the in-mission distractions. What about companions who don't do what they should, that are cruel, that look for every shortcut they can, that are insensitive in highly sensitive moments? What about areas that are struggling, that no one wants to talk to you, or maybe they will but it has to be about anything but the Gospel? What about members who don't support you, accuse you, blame you for their problems, who purposely sabotage things because they are offended and so on? Let me tell you the list goes on.

What is learned then by obeying the rule to only communicate with family when allowed? It teaches you to trust the Lord. Trust that he is taking care of your family, that you find someone much better than your girlfriend, that you get into your school that you need to, that your testimony will grow in the Plan of Salvation as your loved one passes away, you also have more energy to handle the mission issues, you find greater success in overcoming those trials and thus comes great satisfaction as you see growth. At the beginning you might fail at a task, late in your mission you overcome, and you feel grateful for the growth and the help of our Heavenly Father. There are so many blessings just for following this one rule. Think of your other blessings for following other rules? They will truly be many. Even the seemingly insignifcant ones.

Here's one, Lock your bike every single day. The first day I left my bike unlocked, three months into my mission, it was stolen. My mission, let me tell you was not a thieving place, it was EXTREMELY trustworthy. You could talk to a stranger at a bus stop and say I'm going to be back in 10 minutes can you watch this? Go away, get your food, come back, and nothing has been touched. It taught me how to trust other people. But yet I suffered the consequences of disobedience from my first act of disobedience to that rule.

Edited by skippy740
fixed quote

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Not exactly. Missionaries are starting to be allowed to call ANYONE to at least help with lessons or at least those in call centers. I just returned from the Oregon Portland mission Tuesday. The ward mission leader's daughter could call him whenever.

The ward mission leader's daughter could call him anytime? I would hope so, since the ward mission leader is usually a ward member, likely raising a family.

If my nephew is allowed to talk with us on FB to help teach people, I can see that they might let missionaries use the phone for proselyting purposes. :shrug:

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There are some things you don't WANT to know as a missionary about what is happening back home.

What good would worrying do? What can a missionary who is serving away from home DO about what is happening?

Answer: They can't do a darned thing. Why cause unnecessary worry and distraction?

Yes and no. The grandfather of one of my missionaries became gravely ill with a relatively uncommon disease. Based on the elder's demeanor when he talked to me, his mother only had time enough to tell him that grandpa was very ill and the name of the disease. Personally, I think maybe she shouldn't have told him, but she did and we had to deal with that reality, not what we wish had happened.

Anyway, the next time they came over, the elder asked me to find out about the disease. We sat down together, I looked it up, looked up the treatments, outlook, etc. I knew enough to understand what we were looking at and tell it to him in a way he could understand.

When he left, he was much calmer, had an understanding of what was happening, and much more able to teach the Gospel than he would have been if we hadn't looked things up and he had continued to be distracted by thoughts of his grandfather's illness.

I still haven't rec'd a response re 'new missionary rules.' Are they going to be allowed to call home once a week? What are the new rules?

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They choose to go or not go. Missionaries know what the rules are going into it.

I respectfully disagree with you. I don’t know about anyone else, but I was never presented with the missionary rulebook before my mission so I could read, and accept the rules before I went out. I’m sure that there has been more than one missionary that asked, “I can’t (or am forced to) do what?”

Edited by rayhale

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Yes, the military is a job where you get pay and benefits - not so with missionaries.

Getting paid isn't what legitimizes an endeavor.

- It's not like murder isn't okay, unless you get paid. Then it's fine.

- Or that parenting isn't important because you aren't paid for it.

- An unpaid internship can have FAR more value/be more attractive than a paid internship.

Similarly, we often pay (instead of being paid) to be a part of an endeavor:

- A 50k per year Ivy League university may be far more attractive than a 10k per year community college (even though you're losing 40k a year in choosing one over the other).

- We pay to drive cars (buying them, licensing ourselves and them) and then have to follow the rules of the road.

Money just simply isn't the point, much less the only point.

It MAY be a factor, but it's not what makes one thing okay, and the other thing not.

If we wish to be part of something, abiding by the rules is part of that, and should be part of the consideration in choosing to be a part of it.

Q

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D&C 4:4

4 For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;

Not a bad "payday"! :)

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I donno, though I get paid for my job, I loathe it with every fiber of my being, have almost been run over, and it commonly tosses me down into depression spirals

I probably wouldn't have a seething hatred for missionary work like I do for the regular sort :lol:

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