Missionaries receiving their postal mail

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Missionaries receiving their postal mail


Post by jeffszone »

I'm wondering if there is anything we could do technology-wise to make sending mail to our missionaries a bit easier. I tried to write a letter to one of ours and found the whole endeavor to be about impossible. I kept asking his parents if they knew of his address. They were allowed to keep in touch with him via e-mail which he would check from a library or somewhere on P-day. But the rest of us in the ward were told we weren't suppose to send e-mails but to only send real paper mail. Unfortunately his mom kept saying that according to his e-mails he was temporarily staying with local members while they searched for more suitable housing, so he didn't have an address to give us that would last long enough for the mail to actually get there before he and his companion moved again, and again, and again. I finally just had to give up. :confused:

Another friend of mine who is in a different ward recently left to serve a mission as well. Unfortunately I'm not in his unit so I don't get the privlidge of reading the most recent address his parents will keep posted on their ward bulletin board. I'll be leaving on my own mission soon as well, and won't have the opportunity of calling his parents up to inquire if I have the most recent address they last heard about when I want to write a letter.

It would be nice if the mission itself were to update a directory of their Elders' current mailing addresses through a website or something that friends / family back home could login and check, perhaps through the local unit websites for their home ward. Of course the clerk back home can update it in MLS and have it show up on the website, but how would the clerk discover when the address changed if even the parents can't always keep up with it? There needs to be a better way.

I'm also a bit concerned about being able to receive my own mail while I'm on my mission. Unfortunately I'm going into this on the virge of the age 26 cut off deadline, and already have pleanty of complications in life that I have to be responsible for. I was running a business when I was 19/20, but finally decided to close that down and put in my papers. I own a house, and decided to rent it out to pay for the mission. So, this is going to be a little more complicated than most of the 19 year olds serving. I arranged with the local bank to let the tenants make their rent payment there. The taxes, insurance, mortgage payment, water, sewer & garbage bill (included in the rent), and even payments to the local ward mission fund are all setup through the bank's online bill payment service. But, I still have to make sure that the rent actually got deposited and funds are available before allowing all those electronic payments to come out of the account.

Between going off to college for different semesters, moving out on my own, later buying a house, and the joys of running a business for 4 years amdist all of that, I believe I have changed my mailing address 10 times since I left Mom & Dad. It's an absolute nightmare to notify every possible person or company you've ever been aquainted with as to your updated address. I still would be receiving occasional mail from people or accounts that got overlooked at my old address 3 addresses ago while most of it was going to the new one. Every once in a while such a missed piece of mail turned out to be important enough to cause grief.

Last year I grew frustrated one day when it (again) occurred to me that I had missed getting up to the post office before they closed. On a whim of frustration I just wildly typed in "I wish I could get my postal mail online" into Google, and suprisingly discovered that such a service actually exists. Since then I've been using Earth Class Mail (www.earthclassmail.com) to get all of my postal mail delivered through a website as PDF files. This has really helped me cut through all of the clutter and get organized. I have been hoping to keep my Earth Class Mail address as my permanent mailing address for the rest of my life, as it's just way too much hassle to keep changing when I move (and I can easily see myself moving at least a few more times in the next few years, even if I weren't going on a mission.)

Now I'm going on a mission and don't know what will become of my mail. I hope that I am called to serve somewhere in which the mission president would allow me to use a library computer or something of that variety on P-day, especially considering I need to know if the money is in the account yet in order to pay for the cost of the mission itself.

The idea of having a website or something where members back home could look up the current address of their missionaries in the field would be helpful for personal coorespondence, but that wouldn't really work for those of us serving that have several accounts / statements to attend to from various businesses back home. Really if access to computers were more prevailent in the mission field, something similar to what I have now would be the ideal solution -- just have it all scanned and available online as PDFs. Your thoughts?

-Jeff Phillips
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Post by jkarras-p40 »

I don't know how it is for every mission but, I went state side we were told to send our mail to the Mission Office. The Mission office would then distribute it to the elders by either labeling the mail with their current address and marking it "Forward to" and putting it back in the mail or delivering it at zone meetings and the such.
Email was not an option at the time I was out. It came into being at the end of my mission. Everything worked great except when the Anthrax scares were happening in Washington DC. Because they were taking the DC metro area mail and radiating it somewhere else letters from my family were out of order some times for about a month.

My sister was in Thailand and it was much the same there. Except she had email by that time. Other people emailed the mission office and they forwarded or otherwise delivered the mail to her.
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mail to missionaries


Post by HaleDN »

I agree that it is best to just distribute the mailing address of the mission office to most people who want to send you mail. All missions are set up to be able to forward your mail. But people who keep up with you weekly (family) can send your mail to you directly and avoid the extra couple of days that it takes to forward. If all your mail was sent via email, you would certainly miss out on the extra goodies!

Because representatives from Church Headquarters travel to mission offices all over the world and some countries have insecure mail services, there is a "mail pouch" address in Salt Lake City you can refer people to as well. (This is limited to paper letter rather than packages because of the difficulty of asking a church official to carry a sack of mail with them as they travel)

I don't know the address for pouch mail, nor which missions are available through this system. I'm sure that someone on this list can probably forward this information. Anyone?
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Post by WelchTC »

I agree that you should use the mission office as your "base". They should be able to handle forwarding your mail to you in a timely manner.

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Post by russellhltn »

jeffphil wrote:I arranged with the local bank to let the tenants make their rent payment there. ... But, I still have to make sure that the rent actually got deposited and funds are available before allowing all those electronic payments to come out of the account.
This is a bit off the subject, but since the other replies already covered what I would have said about mail ......

I sure hope you've arranged for a managing agent for your house while you are gone. Two years is way too long to be absent and difficult to reach. A managing agent would have taken care of much of what you've described.
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Post by lajackson »

haledn wrote:I don't know the address for pouch mail, nor which missions are available through this system. I'm sure that someone on this list can probably forward this information. Anyone?
Pouch service now consists of either a post card or a single sheet of paper folded in thirds (no envelope) and sent to a specific address in Salt Lake City. Only 38 countries have pouch service. Pouch service to Brazil has been discontinued.

Bishops got a list of missions with available pouch service late last year. I do not have the letter, and the list of countries changes from time to time anyway. When a missionary receive his/her call, if pouch service is available, instructions are included.

A Church News article about pouch service, including the address (but not a list of missions) is at
http://deseretnews.com/cn/view/0,,49500 ... 01DBC.html
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Post the Mission Offices and addresses for members to use


Post by GreatLakes0928 »

There are webpages from the Church for Temples which list their addresses and directions.

There are webpages from the Church to find ward and stake meetinghouses.

Suggestion: include the current mission office addresses for us to access somewhere on www.lds.org or www.mormon.org or a similiar site. This would allow us to send our cards and letters to missionaries we know -- even if we do not live in the same home wards they do. It would also be less confusing and more efficient.

The Church Almanac has the mission office addresses but it requires us to buy a new book every year because of the changes which could happen. (This happened to me recently when I sent a letter to a particular mission office but the address had changed.)

The website www.mission.net is very helpful but not all missions have the most current information on their pages. In fact, many of the information is rather outdated.

Thank you for considering this idea.


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Post by kd7mha »

Mission office addresses are available at maps.lds.org
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