Friday, October 10, 2014

Christmas is coming again!

Every year as Christmas approaches Betty and I hear of efforts urging someone or other to "Adopt A Missionary For Christmas" which we did for years and years and had some great things happen, and a few not-so-great things, too. But that's not for this blog post.

It's natural for us to want to help others, and especially missionaries who are giving up two years of their young lives to serve. We can't stand the thoughts of a missionary going without when Christmas comes. We love them and want them to have something a little nicer for Christmas.

You may or may not know that some years back Betty and I organized a huge effort every year, complete with its own domain and web pages. Then in 2006 we were contacted by the church and asked to stop. At that time I posted the written policy on the web page, and wanting to be obedient in all things, stopped and shut down the web site. We still pay for the domain, however, because on it is the policy the Missionary Department shared with us back in 2006.

In short the policy is: parents, family, and friends are not to send Christmas Gifts to missionaries (or "adopt missionaries for Christmas") unless:

 1. The missionary is their own, or
 2. The missionary is their missionary's companion

This is Church policy.

Our hearts are touched because many are so very poor. However the Church has made a policy regarding this issue for a good reason. We know what that reason is because the policy, which I quote below, tells us what it is.

Some wards put together small packages for missionaries serving from their ward (not those IN their ward). It might surprise you to learn that most missionaries would prefer a letter or a short note rather than a gift. It is more meaningful to them.

It is best to save hundreds of dollars on shipping costs and donate that surplus to the Fast Offering fund. Products can be purchased by the Church in the countries where they are needed at a significant discount which helps the economy in those countries, and the people and members where items are purchased.

The past 2 years we've asked the Missionary Department if the policy has changed and had the policy reaffirmed each time. So we ask again that you heed this counsel, and tell others, too.

So you don't have to go looking, here is what I got this morning from Brother Jenne, the director of the Missionary Department, and which is still posted at our LDS Missionary Care site from 2006, unchanged and still in force, kind of like the 10 commandments:

The established programs of the Church provide financial assistance for worthy members and missionaries through Church priesthood leaders, who are familiar with their circumstances and can prevent duplicate assistance or abuses. Therefore, members who desire to assist those in need, are encouraged to contribute to the Fast Offering, General Missionary, Humanitarian, or Perpetual Education funds in their local ward or branch.
Mission presidents are instructed that under no circumstances should they solicit nor accept contributions or donations from friends, family, Church members, or missionaries. Funds for charitable assistance to missionaries in need are readily available to the mission president. 
Occasionally someone may offer to contribute money, equipment, clothing or other items to be used at a mission president's discretion. They should be kindly directed to contribute to the General Missionary Fund or another approved donation category, either through his or her ward or directly to the Missionary Department. 
Missionaries are instructed to not ask family members or friends at home to donate to local causes where they are serving.

We hope you understand that Betty and I are just the messengers. If you choose to ignore this counsel, do so at your own risk, and not to "show us" anything. Seriously. You don't really care what we think. But you do, or ought to, care what God thinks. There's a scripture that says that same thing somewhere, but I'm not interested in looking it up. You can, then you'll know I've written something true, and worth knowing.

With kind regards,

(and Betty)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Winners of the Cookbook Give-Away

We have selected the winners from the contest using the RaffleCopter page, which is the best we know of for being fair and unbiased (Yes, as much as I hate to admit it, better than my own random selection scripts on our server --Karl).

So who are the winners? They are:
  • Jill G.
  • Nancy J.
  • Paula S.
  • Rene L.
Be sure to check your email for our new give-away for this week, which will be sent out Tuesday evening!
    If you have a product or service that you'd like have in our give-away, please contact us.

    If you want a copy of the cookbook, you can get it on Here are links to both the Kindle edition (For Android, download the Kindle App from the Play Store), and the Paperback edition:

    Carrie's Cooking for Keeps in Paperback

    Thank you to everyone for participating. We are going to take the comments on the "Store" blog page. They are wonderful. We will contact the advertisers and then use one of their products in the next give-away.

    Monday, February 10, 2014

    We Have An LDS Missionary Store

    We know a lot of our MMs visit just to register for an email group, or check out what help topic interests the most.

    But, we have a "Store" site, too, where advertisers have asked us to post their wares.

    We want you to visit that store (but not all at once because, hey, we run this out of our house on an old computer), and tell us what you'd like to have offered in a give-away like this one.

    We are no longer going to be having one big give-away every year. It's just too much. Instead, we are going to let you choose what we should offer, contact those advertisers, and do this every month or so all year long.

    So, visit and come back here, and in the comments, tell us which products you want to get free.

    Go Advertisers!

    Sunday, February 9, 2014

    LDS Missionary/Military Moms Give-Away Rules

    This information is for commercial vendors
    who have something to donate for one of our give-aways.

    In the past we held 2 give-aways per year, then because of the number of items being offered, changed to one each year. We have decided to discontinue annual or semi-annual give-aways and hold them during the year. We hope this will alleviate a lot of pressure on our time.

    So, to the rules:

    I. Your Part

    If you have never participated in our Give-Away, you'll need to follow-through on these things so we know you are committed and won't rescind your offer to participate. That hasn't happened often, but enough so we need to protect ourselves and our group members from disappointment.

    • Send us the product or coupon for your service. We've had donators not follow-through. This is very difficult for the winners. In some cases the donor was repeatedly contacted without response. This can't happen, so we ask for the product up front. Please discuss this with us if this raises concerns. We understand that some prizes must be customized for the winner, such as bicycles, shoes, or other clothing.
    • We charge a $25 "entrance" fee for advertising your product. We are certain you understand what a great deal that is considering how many targeted recipients will receive information about, and an opportunity to win, your product or service. 
    II. Our Part

    We will send an email to our 12,500 subscribers announcing the beginning of the give-away, and one reminder a couple of days before the Give-Away expires to remind everyone. Your product or service will be discussed in those emails with a link to your site (please refer to our advertising page for advertiser rules at Give-Aways will typically last one week. We will offer one or more prizes per give-away.

    If you have a product or service and would like to participate, please SEND EMAIL to Karl or Betty.

    Thank You!

    Karl: karlp AT OurLDSFamily DOT com
    Betty: betty "ditto"