The idea is simple: On P-days, a missionary calls a toll-free number, talks to a machine for five minutes, then hangs up. A link to the recording is then emailed to the missionary’s friends and family.
The implications are exciting: Families can hear their missionary’s voice, the missionary doesn’t have to spend as much time on email, and the process is well within LDS mission rules (the missionary never speaks to a live person, and calls are toll-free). The family can download the messages as a missionary voice journal or order a CD from the company at the conclusion of the mission. The service is called Listen to the Mission, and it’s up and running now.
“As we’ve talked to mission presidents, they’ve told us, ‘We hear so often from parents that they’re not hearing enough from their missionaries,’” says Kim Scoville, who came up with the idea for Listen to the Mission. “This helps solve that problem. And one of the common conflicts between companionships is how to spend P-Day time — to not have to spend the time to take a trip to the library and email home but to be able to just use the mission phone to record an update on your way to the zone or district activity makes it easier for them as well. We’re really excited about it. It solves some problems for mission presidents and for missionaries, and missionary moms love it.”
Listen to the Mission is a voice recording service for full-time missionaries. It’s an idea Kim had for years, but one she didn’t act on until she had a missionary of her own.
If you enjoy watching Prepare to Serve video interviews with returned missionaries, you should be pretty excited about this. Lifey.org will soon host custom-built, embeddable video players for each mission, so that you’ll be able to easily browse all the video interviews for each mission.
Here’s an example of what the mission video players look like:
It takes a good chunk of time to create 450 of these mission video players, so it may take until the end of the summer for them all to be completed, but we’re adding new mission video players every week.
Simply click on your mission in this Lifey LDS Mission Index to see what resource we’ve created for your mission so far.
And if you live in the Utah area and would like to share your mission stories on the Prepare to Serve YouTube channel, email [email protected] . Thanks!
You may not be in the habit of taking pictures often (I’m certainly not), but once you leave the Missionary Training Center and enter the mission field, your friends and family at home will want to know everything you’re up to. A photo sometimes says more than an email ever could. Plus, you’ll want to visually document your 18 months as an LDS Sister Missionary so that you can remember those special experiences long after you’ve returned home.
Here are five photos you should be sure to take when you arrive in your first area.
1. Your Trainer
Your mission president may have snapped a picture of you and your first companion right before shipping you off to your new home, but if he didn’t, make sure that you take a photo of your trainer. Your family and friends will want a good look of the missionary you’re being entrusted to for the next six to twelve weeks! Write in your email home about your first impressions of your trainer. You’ll want to have a record in your own journal too of these important moments.
2. Your Apartment
Even if you’re serving a mission in the same country you grew up in, living situations are different all over the world. You’ll want a picture of your (probably) tiny apartment or space in a member’s home to remember years down the road, and it will be fun for your friends and family to get a look at the environment where you study, pray, and get those precious hours of sleep. I sent my parents a photo of the futon I slept on in Tokyo, Japan, and they couldn’t believe how different it was from my bedroom back in America!
I would like to share with you the conversion story of Johnny Ortuno. His wife and daughter had been baptized three years earlier but he would never make the commitment, in spite of numerous visits from many missionaries over the years. He always had many difficult questions for us Hermanas (sister missionaries), and he refused to read the Book of Mormon.
He also had strong opinions against tithing, he opposed the construction of temples, he objected to fasting, and even disagreed with the need for a modern day prophet. In short, he believed that all organized religions had been corrupted by men. After visiting with him for several weeks, my companion and I decided that it was futile. He was not sincerely listening to us and would often end the lessons with a conflict over some doctrine or gospel principle. We decided to put him on the back burner because of his constant criticism of the church, and focus on other families.
Three months went by without any contact and one day, completely out of the blue, I felt a distinct impression to call Johnny and check on him. I didn’t have time that evening, but the next morning, during our planning session, I picked up the phone and called him. He sounded pleasantly surprised to hear from us again and gladly invited us to return to his home for a visit and lesson. As we walked into his home at our scheduled appointment, I immediately felt a different spirit present. The Holy Ghost was there during our pleasant conversation. As we started the lesson, he was very receptive and open to everything we were teaching. We wondered what had happened to him!
We asked what had made such a difference. He then explained to us…