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  #61  
Old 03-02-2012, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by HomemakerTrish View Post
I do enjoy having the missionaries over for dinner. Here in the south, the same rules apply. The missionaries do have to be fed between 5:00-5:30. Because my Husband's schedule is so different from day to day we haven't been able to have them over much. In our ward we also have a sign up sheet not only to feed the missionaries but also to bring the missionaries groceries which I just find ridiculous. They have the basic food items like milk, bread, pasta sauce, pasta, but then they get into specific food requests like Apple Jacks cereal, and soda pop, and things like that. The funniest request on the sign up sheet is gift cards for local restaurants. Bringing them groceries is one thing, but having to bring in gift cards as well? In my opinion, $450 is more than enough to buy groceries each month. We have a family of six and don't even spend close to $300 a month on groceries. I realize that they do have other expenses such as gas and things like that but really I think they can buy the basic essentials at the grocery store. Just my opinion.
That does seem silly. It's like a "food registry" for missionaries. ha ha!
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  #62  
Old 03-02-2012, 07:19 AM
Pixelated Pixelated is offline
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Originally Posted by Karana View Post
This made me think.

Originally, I felt that the 5:00 time was simply asking too much. As many have said, husbands usually aren't home by then, etc. Then the thought occurred to me that maybe we are supposed to be making sacrifices too. That maybe we need to think outside the box and see if our husband's can leave work earlier that day, maybe making that possible by going in earlier that morning. I know that with a little bit of planning, my husband has almost always been able to find a way to attend a parent/teacher conference at school, or perhaps see a band concert, or come home a little bit early for someone's birthday party or etc. Not always - but sometimes. Certainly enough to arrange our schedule to feed the missionaries.

That said, there is no judgment from me. Lorrijoy's comment just reminded me of how many sacrifices our missionaries make and maybe we should be a little more willing to sacrifice for them. My husband isn't Mormon and doesn't like having the missionaries over for dinner. It's just something that he isn't comfortable with. We did do a pizza night once with them (basically my kids begged) - and they came over for a Church movie and pizza. We have also had several birthday parties where we have served dinner and I have made sure to tell the missionaries to just "stop by" (*surprise!*) during the party, and we just invite them in so they can eat with us. They usually love this because we grill a lot and it's buffet style so they can eat as much as they want. Any rate, no judgement from me. I think we all try to do the best that we can... I just think I might have to try to do more.

I never thought about this, but I like it. My DH works close and skips lunch so he can be home by 5:00. We seem to feed them often since there are so many people who can't. We get asked often. I don't mind helping them.
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  #63  
Old 03-02-2012, 10:54 AM
lauriec lauriec is offline
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Originally Posted by HomemakerTrish View Post
I do enjoy having the missionaries over for dinner. Here in the south, the same rules apply. The missionaries do have to be fed between 5:00-5:30. Because my Husband's schedule is so different from day to day we haven't been able to have them over much. In our ward we also have a sign up sheet not only to feed the missionaries but also to bring the missionaries groceries which I just find ridiculous. They have the basic food items like milk, bread, pasta sauce, pasta, but then they get into specific food requests like Apple Jacks cereal, and soda pop, and things like that. The funniest request on the sign up sheet is gift cards for local restaurants. Bringing them groceries is one thing, but having to bring in gift cards as well? In my opinion, $450 is more than enough to buy groceries each month. We have a family of six and don't even spend close to $300 a month on groceries. I realize that they do have other expenses such as gas and things like that but really I think they can buy the basic essentials at the grocery store. Just my opinion.
You do have to remember, they don't actually get $450 in their pockets each month to spend. They get an allowance that is supposed to fit where they live (someone earlier mentioned it as $45 a month, I think that's what they said). I know that's how it was when I was on a mission - but that was 15 years ago and I was in Brazil. We'd get an allowance and usually we had to pay for our rent, food (besides meals provided by members), personal items (toothpaste, deodorant, and such), and bus fare. And the allowance would be different in each area because the rent amount would be different (the other part of the allowance would be the same for each missionary). It wasn't a lot of money, but it definately was enough to cover the basics.

Beyond that, I think asking to provide meals and also groceries is a little much. Especially anything like what you mentioned that is considered a luxury not a necessity. I would think whatever allowance they are receiving should provide for their needs. If a member wants to do a little extra (which we've done before), it's because they want to do it - and it's their idea. I wouldn't like it if I was being asked to sign up to bring groceries, that would bother me too.
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  #64  
Old 03-02-2012, 11:32 AM
amy_ks amy_ks is offline
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I think members just need to be educated sometimes. Missionaries pay a certain amount (let's say 450.00) into the church mission fund. That goes into a fund where it is distributed by the right amount by country. A South American mission does not cost 450 a month. A Utah mission (with rent, utilities, transportation and food) I'm sure costs at least that much. The costs of the mission are taken out of that (rent, transporation, etc) and the missionaries are given a token sum for their personal expenses.

I was on mission right after they changed the system. It used to be if you got called to France you would have to come up with an exorbitant amount each month, while if you were called to South American it was really, really cheap. So they came up with a system so that everyone pays the same but it doesn't mean the missionary actually gets that amount in their hands.

We were given money for our carte d'orange (public tranporation) and for groceries/laundry/etc. We didn't eat well at all.

It sounds like you are in a wonderful ward that really gets how hard these missionaries work and how hard it is. I guarantee that most wards aren't like this and your ward is probably used as a reward for hard working missionaries. Good for your ward!


So sign-up, don't sign-up, feed the missionaries, don't feed the missionaries, judge these young adults that are doing something really, really hard, don't judge them. Whatever you decide, I hope you all have a nice day!
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  #65  
Old 03-02-2012, 11:51 AM
hut hut is offline
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I talked to hubs yesterday. He has decided that he'll call ward members instead of passing around a sign up sheet so that more people have the opportunity to feed the missionaries. For those who have another conflict at 5 PM, he has decided that he'll call these members first and ask them if another day during the week would work better, like a weekend.

DH talked to the Bishop. He said that in the past, those who weren't able to feed the missionaries in the home, would just deliver dinner to the missionaries at their residence.
Update:

DH has told me that he notices that the best way to ask members to feed the missionaries is to call/talk to the wives. He says it's the most effective way for him so far.
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  #66  
Old 06-26-2012, 11:32 AM
Maryluvs2scrap Maryluvs2scrap is offline
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Originally Posted by lorrijoy4 View Post
Both of my boys just recently served missions. One to Argentina and the other Spanish speaking in Arizona. There were many times when they were short on money. They aren't given very much each month. Both of them at different times ended up short at the end of the month. They would joke that it gave them a good chance to fast.

My son in Arizona would ask when he emailed if I was helping out our local missionaries. He had one family where it was a single mother home and they didnt' have much, but she always bought them milk. She said that if she provided the missionaries with a gallon of milk each week, it made all the difference in the blessings she received. He told us to give the missionaries fresh fruits and vegetables as you couldn't afford those type of things on the amount of money they had. Neither of my sons felt entitled. My one son ended up giving his extra pair of Sunday shoes to a guy they were teaching because he didn't have any to wear to church and he was embarrased. I figured it out by something he wrote. He told me he could make his one pair work for one more year. He would get up a hour earlier than they were suppose to just so they could go over and sit and talk with an investigator who was trying to give up smoking. They man finally gave them his last pack and quit because of their support.

My son from Argentina used his money periodically to purchase materials for teaching because it was hard to get the stuff they needed because of how far out they were. He was robbed at knife point more than several times. Took cold bucket showers in the dead of winter because the hot water heater didnt' work. Walked to church in water up to their knees because of a flash storms. Had to reactivate the bishop of the new ward he was sent to.

I would say the majority of these young men are good young men trying to serve the Lord. They saved their money and put their lives on hold to do what their Heavenly Father asked them too. I think feeding them or bringing them little goodies is a small reward for what they are sacrificing.

I am very thankful to all the moms who took care of my boys while they were away and in turn I will keep an eye on their boys while they are in our care. For the small handful that might be stinkers and take for granted what you do for them, there are far more who really appreciate it.

It brings to mind this youtube video I saw. It still makes me cry when I watch it. But notice the bottoms of the shoes of the two boys who are kneeling. That is what my boys shoes looked like when they came home. These young men are working hard and serving and I am proud of every one of our missionaries

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQcSGVmXKNQ
I know this thread has sat quiet for a while but I read though it today for the first time and Wow that video is powerful! My son is in the MTC and leaves for Chili in two weeks.

lorrijoy4 I loved your post. You said it perfectly. Both of my sons have worked very hard to pay for their own missions and just before they left sold anything they had that was worth anything to help make up the difference. I am so thankful for those who help watch out for them while in the mission field. My first son never lacked for food but more important than the food he made some lasting friendships with families that feed and took care of the elders often. He also baptized extended family members of at least one of those families. I think having the missionaries in your home for dinner gives missionaries a sense of "family life" for an hour a day. Something they go for two years without.

I have to believe that even though not always convenient, the mission program and rules are inspired from above and even though they might not make sense to us there is a good reason for the way things are done.

Thank-you to every mom who has and will in the future feed the missionaries! Around here you have to fight to get a turn. I usually just leave a bag of cereal, granola bars, peanut butter etc on their porch every once in a while.
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  #67  
Old 08-24-2012, 05:46 PM
yungmom yungmom is offline
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I remember sitting in sacrament in 1990 with my companion when the letter from the church was read that members should start helping with meals. It wasn't really "start" because we were already being fed at times, but more of an expectation that members feed missionaries more. My companion and I hadn't heard this was coming and we felt a little embarrassed. I remember one of the things mentioned was the expense for the missionaries. This was back before the equal amounts around the world. We had $400 or $450 for the Houston area and most of the areas that made things very tight for us - I had a lot of potatoes.

It was a real blessing to us though. I spent a lot of days tracting on very hot, humid days. We really tried to work with members, but there is only so much you can do of that. But the physical part was the least of the problems. The fatigue of being turned down time after time after time was the hardest. After a couple of weeks and getting over our embarrassment I was so grateful that the church had asked the members to help.

Five is a difficult time for us as well. Sometimes DH is out of town. Sometimes he has a meeting. But we try to make it work. I was so grateful to be able to take meals to the missionaries when he was out of town because I felt I was paying back for all the meals I received and paying it forward for the meals my sons and daughter may receive. I also love that I can have the missionaries over now as long as I have son 16 or over in my home. With that change we just have dinner earlier and let DH eat when he gets home.

I'm betting that the wish list thing mentioned above doesn't come from the missionaries. I bet that comes from the RS pres. or the one who is in charge of getting the meals set up etc. You know, a cross stitching on potholders kind of thing and no one wants to mess with the tradition now.

Quote:
Our Stake President told DH (and others) in a training meeting that sign up sheets should NOT Be passed around for this reason. .
Ugh. Hate that. I've found over the past 20 years that most people do sign up for many things and then it makes much more efficient use of my time to make calls to fill in the blanks. There is less pressure to say yes when you can just pass it on and I actually get the opportunity to say yes if I have it in my hands - otherwise I rarely get called. Or other times it will be announced, "If you want to help see me after the meeting" and I will completely forget as I am thinking of rounding up children.
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