To encourage families to be more involved in their missionaries’ service, Church leaders have announced in an official notice that “effective immediately, missionaries are authorized to communicate with their families each week on preparation day via text messages, online messaging, phone calls, and video chat in addition to letters and emails.”
In connection with the announcement, the First Presidency said in a statement: “Regular communication with their families is an important part of a missionary’s service. One of the major purposes of this adjustment is to encourage families to be more involved in their missionary’s efforts and experiences.”
The official notice also explains that “it is not expected that missionaries will call or video chat with their parents every week.” (Read the official notice here.)
Missionaries should initiate the communication so that it doesn’t interfere with their schedules. They are also advised to use their best judgment when it comes to the length of phone calls and video chats and to be considerate of their companions. Missionaries are also encouraged to communicate with their families on other special occasions like Christmas, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, parents’ birthdays, and other holidays significant to each individual’s culture.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who serves as chairman of the Missionary Executive Council, released a video with more information.
“That is the joy of missionary work,” Elder Uchtdorf says in the video, “to share what you do, and also for the families back home to hear what their wonderful missionaries do out there—how they proclaim the gospel, how they bless the people, how they build the Church.”