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Church announces communication changes for missionaries

SALT LAKE CITY — The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has just announced that missionaries can now communicate with their families weekly in ways that used to just be reserved for Christmas and 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 judgment for how long those communications will be will be left up to those who serve, and the church is encouraging families to let the missionaries initiate that contact.

“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.”

Communications with family members would take place on what is known as preparation day, or P-Day, the day when missionaries take care of other tasks like laundry, writing letters, shopping, etc.

Currently, the church has more than 65,000 missionaries who volunteer and serve around the globe as representatives for the church.

Young men can serve beginning at the age of 18 and typically serve for 2 years, and young women can serve as early as 19 and typically serve for an 18-month term.

“We love the missionaries and know the Lord values their selfless service,” said Elder Uchtdorf. “We continue to try to find the best ways to support and help them and their families while they serve.”