Missions are soul-stretching experiences. But missionaries from all walks of life are willing to step outside their comfort zones to take part in what President Russell M. Nelson has called “the greatest challenge, the greatest cause, and the greatest work on the earth today.”
Encouragement from home is most effective when it’s loving and faith-promoting. The support of family, friends, and ward members can mean the world to missionaries as they navigate daily challenges or difficult transfers.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, we’ve brainstormed four ideas to share some extra love with your missionaries this February and support their sacred efforts.
1. Share a Missionary-Themed Valentine
In Alma 31:5, we read that the word of God has a powerful effect on our minds, leading us to turn to Christ and do good.
Here are a few uplifting messages and scriptures to help support a missionary through an email, letter, or care package. We’ve also included a few printable candygrams that you could send as valentines.
Send these scriptures with heart-shaped candy like Reese’s, Swedish Fish, Dove chocolate hearts, or conversation hearts.
Send this quote from Preach My Gospel with mints.
Send this scripture with Lifesavers candy or a box of Life Cereal.
Other Heart-Themed Quotes from Church Leaders to Share
“The first great commandment of all eternity is to love God with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength—that’s the first great commandment. But the first great truth of all eternity is that God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind, and strength. …
“If we give our heart to God, if we love the Lord Jesus Christ, if we do the best we can to live the gospel, then tomorrow—and every other day—is ultimately going to be magnificent, even if we don’t always recognize it as such. … So keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland).
Scriptures on Love
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. … Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. … There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. … We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4: 9, 11, 18–19).
2. Try This Simple Technique for a More Meaningful P-Day Call
Video and phone calls are often most helpful for missionaries when the conversations are focused, intentional, and positive. As a guide, try asking questions based on a design-thinking technique centered around popular Valentine’s Day flowers—roses.
The “rose-bud-thorn” approach focuses on the following topics: 1) the positive (“rose”), 2) an opportunity for growth (“bud”), and 3) an area that needs support (“thorn”).
Here are a few questions you might ask to create a deeper conversation:
- What do you think your strengths are as a missionary?
- What was your favorite teaching moment this week?
- What was a personal “win” this week?
- How do you feel you’re improving as a missionary right now?
- How did you grow closer to Christ this week?
- Who are you excited to teach right now, and how are they progressing?
- Who or what should I keep in my prayers to support you this upcoming week?
- What would be the best way for me to support you in your current challenges?
- What’s helping you get through difficult moments right now?
3. Study Missionary Resources to Build Unity
Becoming familiar with missionary resources can help you understand your missionary’s current focus and support them in their calling.
When my stake president set apart my sister for her mission in December, he encouraged my family to think about how we could find ways to share the gospel during this time as well.
“[Studying] the gospel and sharing it daily can be accomplished by anyone with or without an official call. Please remember that it doesn’t take a name tag to do missionary work!”
The Church recently updated the Preach My Gospel manual, which is a fabulous resource for learning more about how to share the gospel and strengthening your own commitment to the covenant path. In addition, the resources Adjusting to Missionary Life and Adjusting to Service Missionary Life provide excellent tips for coping with stress and homesickness that you could share and talk about with your missionary.
Come, Follow Me is another wonderful way to build unity and share your insights about the Book of Mormon together. As you study and talk about these inspired resources and scriptures, you can fortify and learn from each other’s testimonies.
4. Pray and Fast for Individuals by Name
Prayers are powerful, especially as we are specific and intentional. In Alma 6:6, we read that we should gather together often to “join in fasting and mighty prayer [on] behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who [know] not God.”
This Valentine’s Day, consider making an extra effort to pray for your missionary, their companion, their mission leaders, and the people they are teaching by name. Ask your missionary if there are any specific challenges or things that you can be mindful of in your prayers, and make a note or set a reminder on your phone so you won’t forget.
You might fast with this purpose in mind next month or even consider adding names to your local temple prayer roll for any individuals who need special blessings.
From journals and study tools to uplifting music and items, Deseret Book has everything you need to support and encourage your missionary from afar. Check out our complete missionary collection here.
▶You may also like: 15 ways to support your missionary besides sending a package