Letters and Emails
If you're not communicating regularly with your missionary, that's a good goal to begin with! Here are some additional ideas for jazzing up your communication and making notes to your missionary more meaningful.
6. Write pen and paper letters
Emails are wonderful, but as a missionary, there is something extra special about getting an ink-and-paper letter in the mail. It might take a bit of extra effort to hunt down an envelope and stamp and to walk it to the mailbox, but your missionary will feel that additional love and it will make his/her day.
Old-fashioned letters are also great for sending mementos. When I was a missionary my mom would often send me uplifting clippings from newspapers or comics, our home-ward newsletter, doodles that my younger siblings had drawn, and other tangible tidbits that she thought I might find interesting. These little mementos were always a delight to receive and helped me feel more connected to my family back home.
7. Tell them you are thinking of them--and be specific
Writing, "We're thinking of you and praying for you!" is great, but even more meaningful is sharing a specific example. Did you think of your missionary when you were in the grocery store and suddenly marveled about how they probably aren't buying peanut butter in Asia? Did you kneel by your bed Tuesday night and pray for them to be able to find someone to teach? Do you have a picture of them on your cell phone screen that makes you smile every time you get a text? Tell them so!
8. Share spiritual insights
Make a more concerted effort to share your own spiritual experiences and insights with your missionary. If you make a goal to share at least one spiritual insight in each letter, you'll find yourself recognizing more often the hand of God in your life and placing a greater priority on spiritual matters so that you have something to share. Not only will your missionary appreciate the extra boost, but you'll receive the blessing of having your spiritual eyes opened to the daily tender mercies of our Heavenly Father.
9. Create a conversation
When you sit down to write a letter or email to your missionary, make it a goal to pull up the latest that he/she sent you so that you can respond to the happenings in their life, share additional insights, and ask good questions. As a missionary, it's incredible to hear from family, "How is so and so investigator that you mentioned a few weeks ago?" or, "I loved hearing about your experience on the bus last week. It reminded me of a time on my own mission when . . ." or, "Really? You ate that? DISGUSTING!"
Show you care by engaging with the details of their letters. Who knows, you're responses may even inspire more details from a missionary who is less-inclined to share them.
10. Share the love
As appropriate, share your missionary's letters and emails with family and friends. Many families do this by forwarding emails or posting updates on blogs, but there are other ways to share as well. Consider making it a tradition to read your missionary's emails out loud each week during family home evening or when everyone's gathered at the dinner table. Or you might include your missionary at holidays or family gatherings by having a "missionary moment" where you share stories and chat with extended family about what your missionary is up to.
You can also share the love by encouraging others to send notes to your missionary. You could make it your goal to set aside time at family home evening or other gatherings for family members to write and send brief notes.