Last week, my sister entered the MTC. I patiently awaited her first email, which explained her new missionary schedule. From her letter it seemed like she was adjusting well and happily to the MTC. After this general email to the family, she sent me another, which looked a little like this:
Subject: GIVING UP ALMOST!
I WANT TO GIVE UP!! It is soooo hard! I am trying, but it is so difficult!!
Okay. So I am really being dramatic. I know. But I am trying really hard. Español es muy dificil (Spanish is very difficult) and frustrating. I don’t feel very good at it! I just want to be able to speak.
Then she wrote the universal feeling all missionaries experience, whether they admit to it or not.
I am super scared. So, I basically need you to tell me to that I can do it!
I replied, “YOU CAN DO IT! You’re amazing. Keep a prayer in your heart! I love you!”
Like my younger sister, most missionaries will experience moments of doubt, weakness, and discouragement. They may lack the confidence necessary to attain their full potential out in the field. As encouragers and supporters, we can help motivate our missionaries.
From personal experience, the best (and my favorite) mode of motivation came from the letters and emails my friends and family sent. Letters/emails are gold on the mission. Each one had the underlying theme “YOU CAN DO IT!” I, like many missionaries, needed that reassurance, especially on the hard days.
Here are five ways to send letters filled with the “you can do it!” spirit.
All missionaries need to hear encouragement. Remind your missionary of the incredible job they’re doing. Express how important the Gospel is in your life and how incredible it is for them to share this message.
2. Spiritual experiences
Share spiritual experiences you’ve recently had.
- Refer to the upcoming Sunday School lesson.
- Write about your findings from your scripture study.
- Tell about an answer to prayer you received.
Send scriptures to your missionaries.
- Cyndi, a mother of many missionaries, said, “I sent laminated scriptures that I would come across during scripture study that I thought would help lift and inspire them, or console them, depending on the challenges they were facing.”
- Make them a “pick-me-up” scriptures card. Fill an index card with 10-15 inspiring scriptures that your missionary can refer to when they need more spiritual energy. Encourage your missionary to fill the rest of the card with personal favorite scriptures.
Tell your missionary about the blessings you’re receiving because of his/her service.
- One missionary whose mother expressed these blessings in letters to him recounts, “You always told me how many blessings the family was receiving because of my service as a missionary. Knowing that Heavenly Father was pouring out blessings on the family at home made knocking on doors and getting rejected OK, because I knew the blessings were still coming, even if I wasn’t seeing them personally. It made me feel good to know that although Heavenly Father couldn’t change people’s minds, He could make my mission wonderful in other ways and let me know my offering was accepted.”
5. Missionary experiences
Write to your missionary about your personal missionary experiences.
- Your missionary experiences can inspire your missionary with new ideas to share the Gospel.
- He/she will be inspired by your faith in missionary work.
The mission is the best place for your missionary to be. Your inspired letters/emails motivate and empower them to accomplish all that God has planned for them. They need your words and support. Remind them they CAN do it!