Skype for Christmas calls and other online/digital updates

The Arizona Phoenix Mission is authorized to use Skype or Face-Time video-calls for missionaries calling home for Christmas this year (2016). Please understand the following directives that our missionaries are following when making their Christmas calls.

  • Missionaries "may telephone their parents or guardians on Christmas and one other occasion during the year, usually Mothers Day or another significant holiday" (Mission President's Handbook, p. 22).
  • Calls are to be "short (... no longer than 30 to 40 minutes) and should not distract missionaries from their service" (Missionary Handbook, p 37).
  • Rather than make a video-call, some missionaries are asking if they can make a traditional audio call from their cell phone.
  • If a missionary's parents are divorced or separated, they are allowed to divide up their 30 to 40 minutes among the parents as they chose.
  • Missionaries are not to place additional calls to other immediate or extended family members or friends, including siblings serving full-time missions.
  • Missionaries are not to use other video-calling services, including Google apps such as Google Chat and Google Hangout.
  • A week or two before Christmas, missionaries should communicate their their parents and schedule approximate dates/times to place these calls.
  • For missionaries using Skye or FaceTime, they are not to be using members' computer equipment.
A previous post on this site — "An online-proselyting mission" - detailed the directives given to the Arizona Phoenix Mission when it was authorized to use internet services including Skype, Facebook (including Facebook chat), email, texting,, and blogs in proselyting efforts.

Ten of our missionaries helped test digital devices - iPad minis and iPhones and Church-developed apps such as a digital area book and a digital planner for missionaries - starting back in late May 2013. And in late October, all Arizona Phoenix missionaries received their own iPad mini for the aforementioned uses.

We'd like to remind parents, family members, relatives and friends of some of the key directives regarding the digital devices and the online privileges that have been given to our missionaries. You can help them follow the directives by encouraging them to do so and to not put them in awkward or distracting situations online.

  • Missionaries can use their email account on Preparation Days to email family and friends. They are asked not to use that account other times during the week in their proselyting efforts.
  • Missionaries have a separate email account that they use for ward contacts and daily missionary and proselyting purposes. Family and friends should make their contact throughout their missionary's myldsmail account.
  • Missionaries are using Facebook pages, posts and message for proselyting purposes only - to communicate with investigators, contacts, converts and local members. It is not to be used to carry on non-proselyting conversations with family, friends, other missionaries or returned missionaries.
  • Your communications with your missionary should be done through the regular email process - or you can call the mission office with time-sensative or urgent information (such as financial updates, insurance or medical information, family emergencies/deaths, etc.) that in turn can be passed on to your missionary.
  • The missionary's Facebook page is not a place to post preparation-day photos or photos that don't reflect one's sacred calling. Missionaries have been asked to not post baptism-day photos with their converts.
Please understand if the missionaries hide or shy away from your statuses, your newsfeeds, your photos, your likes - they can be distracting to them. Help them stick to appropriate online activities. 

Please avoid posting inappropriate comments, links, likes, photos and tags for your missionary. Help them keep to appropriate online activities. 


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