The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Friday an update to guidelines regarding communication between full-time missionaries and their families.

Effective immediately, the Church’s 65,000 missionaries are authorized to communicate with their families each week on preparation day by text messages, online messaging, phone calls and video chats in addition to letters and emails. Previously, missionaries only communicated with their families via phone calls or video chats twice a year — on Christmas and on Mother’s Day.

“Regular communication with their families is an important part of a missionary’s service,” said the First Presidency 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.”

The significant adaptations to missionary communication are the result of the “options, possibilities and technologies now offered in some parts of the world,” said Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and chairman of the Church’s Missionary Executive Council.

Learn about the new missionary planning tool that helps prospective missionaries determine the best time frame for their service.

Communication should occur on the missionary’s preparation day and be initiated by the missionary. Missionaries are asked to use good judgment in determining the length of phone calls and video chats and to be considerate of their companions.

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