Thursday, October 3, 2013

My Missionary is Going Where? What Do I Do Now?

It was only ten months ago that my oldest child rode from Provo to Boise for Thanksgiving with a large white envelope perched on his lap. I bet not opening it proved an excruciating challenge, enduring the six-hour drive with the official call (and revelation of his new two-year home) at his fingertips.

Later than night, after the soon-to-be Elder Hoagland opened and read his mission call to the gathered and Skyped family and friends, the Googling began: El Salvador Santa Ana/ Belize mission boundaries. We wanted to know the size, the customs, interesting things about the area, information on the local members. Was there a temple nearby?

Unfortunately, we couldn't find any definitive answers. Seriously? Over the course of the next few months, we learned as much as we could through various sources, and in the end, it was true that where he served was not as important as being as prepared as possible to serve the best he could. I must note that recently, I found I could access some of the mission information on and I wonder if there might be more I just haven't found yet. If you're interested in what I did find, I logged into my account and looked at the top right side of the page. I clicked on Tools/ Missionary (from Ward Directory and chose my son's name), but presumably that information won't be available until your missionary boards that plane.

Although we got my missionary ready and sent him off fairly confident that he was prepared for his area, in some ways, I wondered if it might have been easier to make sure he was indeed ready if we'd had access to more information, but we made do. For that reason, I am excited to announce that Deseret Book is launching a new website with official information on each of the 400+ missions throughout the world. Even being a part of several missionary moms groups online through Facebook and email systems, I hadn't heard of this until I was emailed by Deseret Book directly. Today I clicked on the link and I'm looking forward to reading through everything on the site, even though my missionary has been in the field for almost six months now. It looks like it will be immensely helpful.

Mission Home
can be found at

Picture from the home page banner of
Here's a little more information about the website: provides new resources for missionaries and their families
Where you serve is not as important as how you serve.

Salt Lake City, UT (September 17, 2013) – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints currently operates over 400 missions with more than 75,000 missionaries serving throughout the world. When the missionary age change was announced in the October 2012 general conference, a new wave of prospective missionaries began preparing for the moment they would receive their call.

After receiving the call, missionaries and families often begin their search for specific information on that mission. Until now, there has not been a centralized site to learn about the culture and people of each mission area.  On October 1st, 2013 Deseret Book Company will launch an online missionary website, focuses on each phase of missionary service—prepare, serve and return. It includes helpful hints to prospective missionaries including tips for how to pack efficiently and how to prepare to leave as well as inspiring and authentic experiences from former missionaries.  A complete mission directory, created by missionaries who themselves have served in that area, provides information about local customs, food, transportation, safety, and many other insights.

“We saw a way that we could provide a gathering place for missionaries and the families of missionaries to become acquainted with the area where they would be serving as well as provide other unique resources,” said Laurel Christensen Day of Deseret Book Company, “and was born.” is easy to use and provides a library of information for prospective and returning missionaries as well as help to families of those currently serving (a section for senior couples will be coming soon). Familiar LDS authors as well as recently returned missionaries and past mission presidents will be regular contributors to the site.

In addition to great free content and resources, families will be able to send care packages directly to their missionaries with guaranteed delivery from Deseret Book. Service is available to most missions.

For more information on Mission Home, visit

About Deseret Book:
Deseret Book is committed to support the mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by providing scriptures, books, music, and other quality products that strengthen individuals, families, and our society. For more information go to