Skyping on Christmas

There’s a log of planning that goes on to Skype as a missionary. I had to contact my family the p day before
Mother’s Day (It was the first Skype call I had on my mission), see when they are available and see if it matched with my schedule. Then, in my case anyway, My companion and I had to find a member who was willing to let you borrow their computer/phone/any other communication device at their house (usually this wasn’t that hard) AND everyone’s schedule needs to match! By the time I sit down to Skype, I had no idea what to talk about!

So here are some tips I created to help and ensure that you have a great Skype time with your family or missionary.

Ask Questions

One of the best ways to start and keep a conversation rolling is questions. This is great advice…Except, for most of us, out minds go blank during moments that seldom come to us like Skype your family twice a year. To combat this, I have written a list of question you can ask your family or your missionary to get the most out of your precious Skype time!

Questions the family can ask their missionary:

What is the best thing that has happened so far?

What is the funniest/most embarrassing thing that has happened?

What do you love about the mission area (culture, people, food, places, ect)?

What have you learned temporally (cooking, cleaning, laundry, driving in snow, communicating, ect)

What have you learned spiritually?

How have you gotten closer to Jesus Christ since you’ve been out?

What’s the best thing about being a missionary during Christmas time?

What miracles have come from participating in the #LIGHTtheWORLD event (or whatever the initiative is)

What is your favorite thing about being out in the mission field?

What is the Hardest thing about being out in the mission field?

What’s the weather like?

Have you eaten anything adventurous yet?

(For first Skypes) what was the MTC like?

describe the place you are serving in right now

What’s your favorite thing about the gospel?

What’s your favorite Scripture?

What’s the craziest thing that has happened?

How does it feel to have a companion 24/7?

There are so many other questions you can ask that are related specifically to each mission or just ones that you think up, this is just a list I started to help you have a great time with you family

Questions the missionary can ask their family:

What blessing have you seen in your life since I’ve been gone?

What’s your favorite thing about the gospel?

What’s your favorite family memory of Christmas?

Have you had any missionary moment recently?

(For RM parents and sibling) Do you have any missionary advice for me?

What did you get for Christmas (or what did Santa bring you?)?

What’s your favorite Scripture?

What’s the weather like?

What’s the most fun thing you have done for Christmas this year?

Any funny stories recently?

Again there are so many other questions that I can’t think of at the moment! I hope this list helps you to erase all of the long silent pauses and helps you to continue to focus on your mission and have a great Skype call with your family.

What else can we do?

Here are some other things you can do to create a fun and different Skype call. Some of these suggestions might be a little cheesy, but when you only get to Skype twice a year, you don’t really care how much cheese there is!

You can open present while on Skype. I did this my one and only Christmas, it was just my mom and I and we opening each others gifts while we Skyped, it was a lot of fun and it didn’t take to long. If you have a large family, each person can open one gift while you Skype or the missionary could open their presents only. It just depends on what you’d like to do!

You can sing Christmas carols together, Hymns would be best. I never did this one while I was out, however your this might been fun to do especially if your family likes singing.

If you are going to do any of these things, the number one thing that you have to do, is take a picture together! It’s fun to have a “Family picture” together even if you are not really together!

Lastly, (this one is a bit strange) you can “hug” each other, by hugging what ever device you are on. I don’t know when this came about in my family, I think it was when we were talking to one of the exchange students we had in our home shortly after she arrive at her own home, and we’ve done it ever since! I’m sure your little siblings would love it!

Things to know before you go!

1. have your parents, Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangout, or whatever communicating device you choose to use, on hand before you get on to Skype. It’s probably a good idea to add your family to your contacts before you leave on your mission. It’s also a good idea to let your family know what your current area code is, so they know what kind of phone number they are looking for.

2. Don’t stress out too much about the call, it will happen how it will happen!

3. It’s going to be hard to say good bye. So missionaries, get to work after your done calling, it will help you refocus on the work and stop you from getting too homesick! For the parents and family, go watch a funny Christmas movie or something!

I hope these tips will help you this Christmas! I hope you have awesome Skype this Sunday. Merry Christmas!

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