Friday, April 25, 2014

Parents of RM's Do's and Don'ts

For the Parents of Returned Missionaries
Do's and Don'ts
Full article here

1. DO remember your purpose and their purpose - it is the same. The overarching purpose is the same.
Though they leave from the mission and come home into a new life. We all still have the same purpose. To invite others to come unto Christ and become more like Him. Remember that this is what they eat, sleep and drink as a missionary and it should be the same for us. Don’t be surprised if they still eat sleep and drink it. Embrace it. Be humble and learn from what they have learned. They have so much to teach.

2. DO be the kind of adult you want them to be! The bar was raised for them but it was also raised for you.
Understand Preach my Gospel because that is their language. If you know the language of Preach My Gospel, you’ll know their language. If you haven’t already, don’t be afraid to pull out the manual and read through it. If you do, it’s guaranteed that your communication with them will improve when they get home.

3. DON’T treat them like you did before their mission. DO let them be something better and greater than they were before.
Ask them how they think they have changed. Ask them to teach you what they have learned. Remember, they are not the high school kid who you knew before. They have been through a rigorous program for 18 months to two years and there is no way that they are the same. The worst thing you could do is let them lose what they have gained on the mission. This may be uncomfortable, but love them enough to let them rise above who they were before their mission. Feel free to share this article with your recently returned missionary about how they can keep the missionary “glow” forever:

4. DO encourage them in their daily personal prayer and scripture study and DO hold daily family prayer and scripture study and weekly family home evenings with them.
Support them to keep the same standards they kept when in the mission. And when they are ready and the circumstances permit, encourage them to go to the Family Home Evening activities in their YSA wards. Until then, do the best you can to support the standards they lived in the mission. This will bless your home.

5. DON’T let them have a long vacation, but DO strongly encourage them to become anxiously engaged after a short rest.
A happy returned missionary is a busy returned missionary. If you do decide to go on a short family trip or vacation after their mission, this is fine. But when you get back, help them to stay busy! Provide a list of things that they can do that will keep them busy. They are used to working longer hours than a full-time job in the regular world. If they don’t get working soon, it will be quite a shock to them. Don’t be afraid of rest, but help them to keep working hard. Hard work is a good thing. You know this.

6. DO use a balanced approach in encouraging them regarding dating and marriage, finding a job, getting an education, church service, family responsibility, etc.
Encourage them. Don’t pressure them. They are already used to setting goals and achieving them, but this is a brand new world for them. There will be more articles on this website that will cover many of these subjects such as dating, marriage, employment, education, etc. Just make sure they know they are loved and above all help them remember the highest in themselves, that they are born to be great, and that the best always happens after the mission.

7. DO lovingly help them to become functioning adults, dressing and acting the part.
They are expected to be adults for two years or 18 months. They budgeted for themselves, shopped for themselves, did their own laundry, cleaned their apartment, paid rent and utilities, went to the doctor and everything else. Don’t take that away from them when they get home. Let them be functioning adults again. Though you should make sure that they get all the medical and dental help when they get home. You also may suggest a new wardrobe for them when they return, but don’t be offended if they don’t want your style advice. Here is a quick post from our blog about why it is a good idea for RMs to refresh their wardrobe, if possible.

8. DO encourage them to pick one ward to attend and to have a calling in that ward as soon as possible, rather than float between YSA ward and your home ward.
From the church handbook: “Eligible members may, in consultation with their parents, choose to be members of the YSA ward or to remain in their conventional ward.” (Handbook 2, section 16.4) If you can, encourage bishops to call them immediately as ward missionaries and as temple workers (where possible). Returned Missionaries need the same things as new members: (1) A friend, (2) a calling, and (3) nourishment by the good word of God.

9. DO encourage them to attend their sacrament meeting and other meetings as well as the temple and institute, every week.
10. DON’T encourage them to participate in worldly media, movies, or video games they missed while on the mission. DO strongly encourage them to follow the standards and guidelines found in For the Strength of Youth and Preach My Gospel.

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