Your son has arrived in the England Manchester Mission (EMM) safely and is ready to go to work as a missionary. We held a training session Wednesday morning where we covered many things including their mission finances, their first three month training schedule, becoming a “Christ-like Missionary” and the EMM vision and guiding principles. We concluded with a testimony meeting and afterwards Sister Preston fed the group a warm hearty meal. I held a personal interview with each missionary and we then transported them to the Manchester Stake Centre where they were introduced to their first companion and trainer.
As parents, the most important thing you can do for your son is to be supportive and encouraging. The first month or two can be challenging for a missionary with many adjustments having to be made in their life. But it normally does not take long until they capture the full vision of their calling, gain a love for the people of the United Kingdom and lose themselves in the work.
Please be supportive of the Church’s policy on communications which allows missionaries to send and receive emails only with family members which, in addition to the immediate family, includes grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Anyone not part of the family must communicate by letters. Occasional efforts by some to circumvent this policy, such as family members forwarding personally directed emails from non-family members, are outside the spirit of this principle.
We often talk and train on the principle of “Becoming a Christ-like Missionary.” While it is good to be an Honorable Missionary, there is a higher principle and that is becoming a Christ-like Missionary. This involves many things but it primarily is a commitment by the missionary to purify and sanctify their life and fully commit their heart and soul to their mission. The happiest and most effective missionaries are those who limit thoughts of their pre-mission life, put the world behind them and get completely lost in the work of serving the Lord. Your encouragement and support of this principle will help your son grow personally, gain a greater depth of spiritually and more easily affect for good the lives of others.
Attached you will find a picture of your son with Sister Preston and me in front of the mission home and also a picture of his first companion and trainer. Sister Preston and I have three sons who have served missions, so we fully understand the emotions and joys that you are going through right now. Please know that we love the missionaries in the England Manchester Mission and we watch over them with great care. May the Lord bless you during this time of sacrifice in the lives of both you and your son.
With warm regards,
England Manchester Mission