With the announcement regarding how mission calls will be available online, students said they liked the idea of getting their mission calls faster, but they will miss getting the large, white envelope to open with friends and family.
According to a press release issued by the Church, prospective missionaries in Utah and Idaho will now receive an email telling them their call is ready to open online instead of waiting for the letter to come in the mail. This method has been tested in various parts of the world over the last several months. There are plans to expand this method to all areas with reliable internet by the end of 2018.
One advantage of the new email mission calls, described by students, includes no longer having to wait for the mail to come from Salt Lake City. Shelbi Rigby, an HTM freshman from Utah who just submitted her missionary application, described the excitement of knowing she is only days away from her missionary assignment. “When I first read about online calls, I was kind of disappointed because I wanted to receive the big white envelope. After submitting my papers though, I’m really excited because I will be able to get it online really soon. I will be able to read it to my family within the next one and a half weeks”
An advantage, especially meaningful to students living in Hawaii, is how they no longer have to worry about where to get their mission call mailed. This is especially true for those who will be receiving calls near the beginning or end of a semester.
Mikayla DeMaio, a junior from Wisconsin majoring in psychology, who is currently waiting for her mission call, discussed how the process would have been different if she could receive her call online. “I didn’t know where I would be, since I have been travelling a lot. I had the call sent to my mom’s house, but since I’m here in Hawaii, my mom is going to get my call and read it to me. I won’t even be the one opening it. I think it would have made things a lot less complicated if it was online.”
There are some students, however, who said they will miss receiving a big, white envelope in the mail. Kelsey Nay, an undecided freshman from Utah who plans to serve a mission, discussed how it will be harder to memorialize an email. “It’s kind of lame because you don’t get to open the iconic white envelope. It’s like the difference between getting a letter and opening an email. Also, you can’t save the email forever unless you print it out. It’s a lot easier to save the big envelope forever. I wish I could get my call by letter.”
Although she thinks the online process would be easier, DeMaio shared similar feelings about opening a physical letter. “I have to say I think there is something special about getting your call sent in the mail that you just don’t get online.”
While the method of delivering calls is being streamlined, church officials emphasize how the process of missionary assignments continues to be a sacred and thought out process for general authorities.
Elder Ronald A. Rasband shared in a talk from April 2010, “He [President Eyring] said that it is by the great love of the Savior that His servants know where these wonderful young men and women, senior missionaries, and senior couple missionaries are to serve. I had a further witness that morning that every missionary called in this Church, and assigned or reassigned to a particular mission, is called by revelation from the Lord God Almighty through one of these, His servants.”