Future missionaries waiting for their call may now bid farewell to the white envelope and long days of waiting – on September 5, the Church announced a new initiative of sending missionary calls via electronic-mail. This is one of the most recent change to missionary work.
Elder Brent H. Nielsen, executive director of the Missionary Department remarked, “Technology is there, and it’s so easy to do.” He also noted how this new initiative can expedite the process, “We just put it online and they can read it in a matter of minutes.”
Apart from helping prospective missionaries access their call in a much shorter time, Elder Nielsen also noted how this move can hasten the VISA application process and help save on postage costs. Elder Nielsen called this news a “wonderful change.”
This initiative – which has already been started in Utah and Oregon – is expected to be implemented in all missions by the end of 2018 and Filipino prospective missionaries expressed a “mix of emotions” over the news.
Carla Esguerra expressed her initial disappointment that she’ll no longer experience the traditional way of revealing calls. “Opening a white envelope containing your call in front of your family and friends has become such a sweet tradition here in the Philippines. I’m just a little surprised to know that I could probably not experience that anymore but then I believe that since technology helps us access things easier, this will help future missionaries prepare more.”
Louise May Javelona said she feels that this initiative “is an evidence of how the Lord is hastening His work.” She further stated that this new change can “help prospective missionaries have more time to evaluate themselves and prepare more to become excellent missionaries before entering the Missionary Training Center.”
Most of the prospective missionaries in the Philippines are “beyond excited” with this change. Brent Arconilla expressed excitement over the fact that he’ll get his call faster without worrying about anyone seeing his assignment first. “I always believe the work of the Lord can’t be frustrated. It goes forward – and using technology in the missionary process is an evidence of it.”
Despite the mixed reactions, these prospective missionaries are sure that this move is an evidence of the hastening of the work of Salvation. Brent added “Technology today is so advanced. Missionary work is also moving forward in a rapid pace considering more and more Young Single Adults are preparing for missions. This change just shows how much the Lord wants us prospective missionaries to have the best missionary preparation experience.”
Apart from receiving calls online, future missionaries for the Church will also receive mission materials – which include maps, list of things to bring, and information about the mission they’re serving in – electronically.