Thursday, December 20, 2007

Picking Up Kids in the Mission Field

There has been a great deal of controversy over picking up kids in the mission field. Many mission presidents don't like it because many times missionaries families suck time out of them expecting attention including picture taking or going out to dinner etc. Having mission staff take them to bus, train or plane stations. It is a great distraction coordinating more people's travel. Many parents insist that they won't interfere with the missionaries or mission leaders but it is hard for a mission president not to talk to the parents who are there. The elder has to have his father or a sibling act as his companion or a mother or sister if it is a sister missionary. Being companions both are supposed to adhere to missionary rules which is hard when you go to exotic places like London, Paris, Rome, or even Salt Lake City. Families who pick up their missionaries want to visit the sights. Not being released an elder or sister can't do things like go to the beach or snow skiing which makes it hard on them. Not to mention they go back in to areas where they might have served and can have a positive or negative effect on the people they worked with. Many parents who pick up their kids might have served there years earlier and expect members to remember them that they have spoken to in thirty years. It can be embarrassing to the missionary they are picking up since their parent may or may not be welcomed. Other people insist it is the greatest thing to pick up their kid and that it bonds the family together. I have a daughter in my mission field in Rome Italy that my wife things we as a family should go and pick up. I wonder if it would be better to let the kid come home and be released and plan a trip later. I wonder what other parents experience has been in picking up their kids.

President Reid Robison of the West Indies Mission gives this advice on his blog:

"Many parents ask us questions about coming to pick up their sons. We thought the directive we have been given in the mission president's handbook would be of assistance to you.

"The Church discourages parents from picking up their missionary. However, if they do request this privilege, make sure parents understand that:

1. Their plans must be based on the release date.

2. They should not request a change in release date to accommodate other travel plans or commitments.

3. They should inform the mission president and the Church Travel OFfice at least three months in advance if they plan to travel with their missionary.

4. They are expected to make their own arrangements, including travel, lodging, and meals. They are not to be hosted in the mission home or have the mission make arrangements for them.

Returning missionaries should understand they are not to impose on members, missionaries or other missions as they travel and that they are to dress and conduct themselves as missionaries."


Bookslinger said...

I vote for parents _not_ going to pick up their children in the mission field. And for missionaries to wait at least a full year before going back.

Back in my day, the white bible said to not go back, and I took that mean to never go back, or for at least a long time.

kevin hill said...

Good Job
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