What is the communication policy?
See Missionary Standards for Disciples of Christ (3.9 refer to it often—found in Gospel Library)
Summary and Adjustments provided below:
Calls, messaging and video chats are to be made to family members only. The mission department defines immediate family as mother, father, or siblings. Please follow the windows of approved time and be respectful of the duration of the communication as stated in the standards. Missionaries should initiate all communications.
All other communication to those not of the immediate family should be by email or letter only.
As you contact people from other areas in your mission (including other missionaries), be sure that your communication is focused on fulfilling your missionary purpose. Follow the standards in section 3.5.1, “General Standards for Interacting with Adults,” and in Safeguards for Using Technology, and remember to include your companion as you participate in these communications.
TFWM Adjustment: Missionaries who have parents who work and who would not otherwise be available on Preparation day, may call/video chat Sunday evening after Seal It Sunday. The call needs to be completed and the missionary in bed by 10:30 pm. If the missionary takes advantage of this, they should not call/video chat with family again on Preparation Day. It is one or the other. All communications need to be completed by 6pm (the end of Preparation Day) when proselyting resumes.
Dress and Grooming
When do I wear a suit coat?
Elders wear suit coats at all church services including: all Stake Conference sessions, Sacrament meetings, baptismal services, MLC, Zone conferences, temple sessions, interviews.
*During the summer months (June-August) Elders do not need to wear suit coats to zone conferences, MLC’s nor interviews
See Dress and Grooming guidelines below:
Can I wear a blue shirt and or a white shirt without a tie?
If you are working on a college campus you may wear a blue or white shirt without a tie. You wear a name tag. Once you are off campus you should not attend other appointments or meetings without wearing a white shirt and tie.
See Dress and Grooming guidelines below:
As determined by the Area Presidency and mission president, Elders in select teaching areas may wear a blue, collared, button-up dress shirt, with or without a tie, or a white dress shirt without a tie.
Can I have weights on my mission?
No heavy weights or large weight sets in apartments. A set of interchangeable (Bowflex SelectTech) dumbbells may be used. Please be very courteous of neighbors around and below you. Acquiring a lot of excess equipment including workout equipment, makes transfers more difficult and will not be allowed.
- Get different kinds of exercise during the week, including cardio, strength, and flexibility training. For your safety, avoid lifting heavy weights.
Can I teach members of the opposite sex?
When teaching in YSA wards, if both Elders and Sisters are assigned to a YSA, Elders need to teach Brothers, and Sisters teach Sisters. Even when you can have a member present.
What is “mission approved” music?
Appropriate music can be a powerful source of inspiration. Missionaries should select music that is consistent with the sacred spirit of their calling—that edifies, not just entertains. Music should be used to invite the Spirit, provide spiritual motivation, help focus on the work, and direct thoughts and feelings to the Savior (see Alma 37:36). Missionaries should not listen to music that distracts, that has romantic lyrics or overtones, or that dulls spiritual sensitivity by its tempo, beat, loudness, lyrics, or intensity. Listening to music must never interfere with personal preparation or teaching.
As a reference point, Hymns, the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, non-vocal classical music, and music available through the Church websites are approved.
*REMEMBER it is illegal to have google drives of music, videos etc, on your phones that you did not purchase yourself. Per the mission department, please delete them!
Leaving your area
Can I leave my area?
You may leave your assigned area for companion exchanges (see 2.3.1) or transfers (see 2.3.2). If you need to leave your area for another reason, request permission from your district leader to leave your area within your district or from your zone leaders if you need to travel outside of your district. You need permission from your mission president, or a person he designates, to leave your zone.
Can I attend a baptism of one of my friends in a past area?
Attendance at Baptisms, Planning Baptisms
The Lord is blessing this mission with so many baptisms. It is evident that He is hastening His work! We are so thankful for these souls who, one by one, are willing to make this first covenant with the Lord. As we see this surge and continuation of momentum throughout this mission, we need to be wise and vigilant. As missionaries who represent Christ our perspective should be longterm—we want our friends to make connections with members who will reside with them in their journey.
We would strongly encourage the friend to be baptized to include members in the baptismal service for prayers, talks, witnesses, and ordinances. The members are crucial for our friend’s retention. They need those connections. As you help plan the baptism service please explain this and encourage friends to involve those members with whom they can form these connections. Missionaries in the same zone as the area of the baptism, may attend if they have a friend they are personally teaching that comes to the baptism. Missionaries outside the zone, who formally taught the friend, may and are encouraged to tune in via zoom to watch and offer their love and support. Missionaries should not ask to attend in person nor accept an invitation to participate if they are serving outside the zone.
• Encourage friends to involve members in the baptismal service
• Missionaries outside the ward may only attend in person, if they are serving in the same zone and bring a friend whom they are teaching.
• Other missionaries who taught the friend but are serving in a different zone may participate via zoom
When can I attend the temple?
You have the opportunity to attend the Temple every transfer with your zone. You must make an appointment at least a week in advance. You will need to arrange rides with members and no Elders and Sisters in the same vehicle. This is your Preparation day which ends at 6.
You may attend the temple with a recent convert (who you directly taught) who is performing baptisms for the first time, receiving their own endowment or being sealed. Please get a ride with a member. Please get permission from the Assistants.
What is Preparation Day?
Preparation day is a day to prepare for the week including: cleaning your apartment, grocery shopping, doing laundry, writing letters/emails, communicating with family, getting haircuts, taking naps, etc! Please make sure you complete these temporal duties before you “Play”. Preparation day is a break from normal missionary duties but not a break from being a missionary. All standards and guidelines should be followed.
Please wear proselyting clothes. when you are out and about in public, including grocery shopping, lunches, haircuts etc. The only time you will be wearing casual clothing is when you are in your apartment, working out, or doing service.
Can we gather as a zone on Preparation day?
You should not gather in groups larger than a district with the two exceptions:
Multi-zone Preparation Day at the mission home with the John’s.
Meeting at a church to play sports and games in the window of 12-4. To be clear, churches are only open to missionaries from 12-4 on Preparation Day. If you choose to participate please consider the following:
Remember it is Preparation Day. (See above, make sure you complete duties before you play)
You must stay within sight and sound of your companion (see MSDJC 2.2.2) This also means, when talking or video chatting with family members on the phone.
An Elder and Sister should never be in a room together, sitting out on the couch in the foyer by themselves, going on a walk around the building, etc.(see 2.2.2, 3.5.1, don’t flirt with anyone)
Respect must be given to the building and the members and member leaders of the local units. Please do not leave trash, go into family history centers, or use the lock box keys. Make sure to leave the building clean, locked up and better than you found it!! This policy will be shared with the stake presidents and members.
No Zone crossing! You must still stay in your own zone!
If any of these guidelines can’t be followed we will no longer allow this privilege. Help each other be successful and follow these guidelines. Unfortunately, even if one person can’t abide by these rules, it will ruin it for everyone. (see Joshua 7, the story of Achan). A humbling but true principle.
Reminder: meeting as a Zone on preparation day is allowed ONLY at the church from 12-4 NOT anywhere else, especially public places.
Can I go to a Rangers game?
Yes, you may go to 1 (only one) Rangers game during your mission. You need to be serving in the Nazareth (Arlington), Bethlehem (Burleson), Jerusalem (Fort Worth), Jericho (Hurst), or Samaria (Colleyville/Alliance) zones or the equivalent Spanish districts located in those areas. You will need to attend with a member and get a ride with them. It needs to be a Monday game. You need to have 3 hours of proselytizing in the morning and be back at your apartments by 10 pm. This may mean you leave before the game is over. Please explain this to your members with whom you are riding. Please get permission from the Assistants.
You can learn to more fully love the people you serve by taking sincere interest in their culture, history, land, and traditions through visits to local places of interest, generally on preparation day (see 2.5).
Ask those you meet to recommend appropriate and safe sites to visit. Choose activities that are uplifting and that help you relax. Appropriate places to visit may include (but are not limited to) the following:
Historical and cultural sites
Museums and galleries
Zoos and parks
Are Zoom meetings mandatory?
YES! We know we have many zoom meetings throughout the transfer. (First hour Zone Conference, Worth It Weds., MLC Connect, Trainee Comp Study, Trainee Orientation, Seal it Sundays.) These meetings are an opportunity for us to get important information out to our missionaries. Please make it a priority to attend. *Also, Zoom etiquette is very important. Please be in Pros., attentive, sit at a table/desk, take notes, with video ON. Remember we can see you and so can everyone else.
When are District Councils?
District Councils are every Tuesday from 10:30-12:30 unless it is your week to attend the temple and then they are on Monday 10:30-12:30. Exceptions or changes need to be personally approved by President John. These meetings are mandatory.
Do we use Facebook in the mission?
Facebook has been suspended indefinitely for personal finding use by missionaries in the Texas Fort Worth Mission and for personal use. It has not been effective. The mission still runs Facebook ads and paid advertising from which we receive referrals. Facebook should be deleted from missionaries’ phones. The only exceptions are personally approved by President and Sister John. It was approved by the mission department to be a finding tool and never intended to be a communication tool with friends and family.