“Dear LDS Senior couples – where are you?! We Need You!!”
That is the desperate cry coming from hundreds of mission fields around the world. But, for some reason the plea is not getting heard & answered! In fact, it’s reached crises proportion.
And, now it’s personal.
So, today I’m doing my small part to raise awareness. If you’re reading, I believe you’re here for a purpose. I pray the Holy Spirit will touch your heart, and you will feel impressed how to act, serve, or help spread the word.
Did you know…
There has been a 30% drop in Senior missionary couple applications since last year.
Shocking? Yes. But 100% true!!
Ever since the historic age requirement change, younger aged missionaries applying and serving have sent statistics soaring off the charts! And yet, now we learn during the same time period, numbers of our senior couples have been tragically and exponentially “dwindling”!
These statistics are especially disconcerting considering that right now the Baby Boomer generation has reached its peak for missionary-aged service.
In other words: There’s never been MORE LDS Seniors in the history of the church potentially eligible to serve, and yet…
“At this point we have over 100 mission offices without senior missionaries (couples or single sisters) and the number grows daily. Many more couples are returning home than are departing. The number of senior missionaries is declining.”
- excerpt, letter from the LDS Church Office missionary department to my parents who are serving as a full-time senior couple, May 2014
Called To Serve
Mom and Dad have been serving in the Santa Rosa California mission ten months as of this week! Wow, how time has flown since they opened their mission call! They couldn’t be happier. And when your parents are so incredibly happy, it’s incredibly “contagious” for the whole family. Oh, how they love their mission! Oh, how we love that they love their mission! Their joy and enthusiasm is such a blessing. We look forward to their weekly letters, fun updates, and inspiring messages of faith and encouragement.
But, over the past few months their letters have included one troubling theme. The missionary couples serving in the office are ending their months of service (several having extended their time of service) and there is no one to replace them! The workload has climbed impossibly higher and higher for those who remain.
“When we came there were 3 full time missionary couples in the [Mission] office counting ourselves. In January the Kinney’s our housing couple finished their mission and were not replaced. A local couple came forward and asked to serve and were able to give us 2 days a week. So we have soldiered on with two couples and a part time couple. Now the Winders will finish their mission on May 19th and Salt Lake has told us that they will not be able to replace them due to the fact that senior missionary couples applications are down 30% this year in comparison to last year. … There is just no way that we can do their job and ours. Both jobs require a very full time (plus!) couples. . . . We need your prayers!
Remember, we have a senior couple who are serving their 7th mission and we got to celebrate his 85th birthday last month! If he can do it we all can!!
- excerpts, Mom’s mission letter, April 20, 2014
Senior Couples Get Family Time!
This past weekend our family had a joyous brief reunion when Mom & Dad flew home to attend my youngest brother’s wedding.
We spent three glorious days together before they hurried back to their mission duties.
Did you know senior missionaries can do things like that?
Yep. Sure can! Senior couples and single senior sisters have a lot less restrictions than younger missionaries. Visits with family and friends [to and from the mission] are not only allowed but encouraged. They can also send emails or call home whenever they want (within reason & at their own expense of course). Those are just some of the many ‘perks’ of being Senior missionaries.
LDS Church policy changes for senior missionary couples
(effective 1 September 2011):
*Couples can now serve 6-month missions (in addition to 12, 18 and 23 months)
*Couples can serve internationally for less than 18 months (6 or 12 months) if they pay for their travel to and from their missions
*Couples may, at their own expense, take a short leave of absence from their missions (normally no longer than 7-10 days) to return home for a critical family event
*Couples will pay no more than $1,400 for housing costs (rent, utilities and furnishings). This does not mean that the total cost of the mission is only $1,400 per month. Couples are also responsible for personal expenses (food, medical, insurance, internet, phone, etc.) and transportation costs within the mission
*Missions or area administration offices will locate and secure appropriate housing that is safe, clean, modestly furnished and economical before couples arrive in the field
*Couples are not expected to follow the same schedule of work hours and missionary activities as young single missionaries
*Couples may communicate with their families more frequently than is outlined for young single missionaries
Oh, dear Seniors – if only each of you knew how much you have to offer and how incredibly blessed your life and the lives of your family will be for your service, then you would be running, not walking to get out the door and into the mission that the Lord has prepared and is waiting just for you!
“We are a missionary church. That is the nature of our ministry. We have responsibility to reach out to all the living and all the dead.
“And so our message to all of our mature couples is simple: we dearly need you. We are doing everything we can to make it as convenient as possible for you to go. The Lord promises unlimited blessings to his servants in the vineyard. So please — go. The times cry out for it. There are people who need you.
“Please — go.”
- Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, LDS Church Desperately Needs More Senior Missionaries, Sept. 14, 2011
ARE YOU CONSIDERING SERVING? … PLEASE DON’T DELAY! TALK TO YOUR BISHOP TODAY! THERE’S A MISSION ANXIOUSLY WAITING FOR YOU!!!
Visit The FULL-TIME SENIOR MISSIONARIES PAGE
There are so many unique ways to serve & customized opportunities to change lives forever for good (including your own)!
“it’s the greatest joy you could ever imagine!”
You don’t have to have perfect health. You don’t have to have a lot of money (in fact, Mom and Dad discovered they are SAVING money by serving) … you don’t even have to leave your home! If you desire to serve, don’t wait to be asked…just call your bishop!
TIP: In case you are looking for the very ‘best’ mission in the whole wide world, and getting the chance to work with the very “best of the best” of mission presidents, missionaries and senior couples, why not request the Santa Rosa CA Mission on your paperwork?! ;)
[Yep, Seniors can make requests]
Be an answer to a prayer! - MoSop