To: Owners of RMs
From: Canada Edmonton Mission
Dear Brother and Sister,
Congratulations!!! You will shortly become the proud owners of one of the most fascinating creatures ever to have walked the Earth-- a returned missionary. She will be a source of entertainment and joy for hours on end as long as you follow a few simple guidelines and are aware of some of the oddities that come with the return of your daughter. Follow the directions outlined here and we guarantee a lifetime of enjoyment.
Your returned missionary will most likely introduce herself as "Sister Thompson" to everyone she comes in contact with for at least 4-6 weeks. You should also not be alarmed if she addresses you as "Elder" or "Sister" during this time also. It is also likely that she will speak in the plural form whenever she relates a story about what she has done (ie "we did" or "we are") and will probably look to her side as if searching for agreement from an invisible friend. This is a result of her having been with a companion constantly during her last 18 months in RM training.
Be patient if she repeatedly arises at 6:30am, showers, exercises, dresses in a skirt and tights, and starts studying. Also don't be surprised if she asks ward members who visit your home for referrals. After concluding family prayer she may insist that everyone recite D&C 4 before anyone can leave the house. Or may pray before driving the car or getting out of the car to visit someone. When she answers the phone don't be surprised if she does this by announcing the name of the Church and her name in Canadian, this is very common.
Also, important, don't take it personally if she shies away from any male members of the family of male visitors who may come by. She will probably prefer to stand at least arms length away for the first little while. ***WARNING*** Be aware that all men are cute to an RM and if she finds out that it is okay to be with them it would not be safe to leave her unattended until she has had enough time to adjust.
Never ask how many people she baptized while in RM training (since she doesn't hold the priesthood her answer will always be none). Avoid serving her roast, potatoes, and carrots. She has had enough to last her a lifetime. Don't let her drive the family car without first reminding her that the numbers written on the signs are in mph not kph. Don't let her carry a missionary daily planner after her arrival, no matter how much she tries to convince you that her week will fall apart without it. Do not discourage her from trying to hand out copies of the Book of Mormon but remind her that she must turn the referrals over to the missionaries in your area.
She has become accustomed to being with a companion all the time, so don't mind her following you around the house, stores, church or anywhere else for that first few weeks. Let her know, though, that it is okay for her to use the washroom in public places without having you or anyone else in the family come with her. Tell your RM that it is okay for her to relax on Sunday afternoon and that she doesn't need to go tracting. It may be necessary to explain to her that Monday is not her day off and that she has to go to school/work. Be patient with her if she gets confused when $200 doesn't magically appear on her allotment card each month and make sure and explain that gas and all car repairs are not free.
Be willing to look at pictures of her mission 2 to 3 times a week and listen with patience to all her mission stores, no matter how many times she has already told them. Don't make fun of her if she uses the words "Oh For Sure", "Eh" or "Hey" frequently. Also, be advised that there will a lot of words that she'll pronounce a lot differently now.
Be aware that this is not a complete list. Each RM is different and will react differently depending on the conditions she encounters upon arrival. One thing is sure, though, she is returning with a deep love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She has seen it change people's lives and has felt it change her own. She has been through the greatest trials of her life and has also experienced her greatest joys. In many ways she will resemble the daughter whom you sent off to RM training 18 months ago, but in others she will be quite different. She is returning with an increased appreciation for you, the owners, and is excited to prove it by supporting you as much as she can as she goes on to complete her formal education and start her own family.
If you have further questions regarding your RM, please contact other RM owners in your are. They will gladly share their own experiences with you and serve as a support group when you don't quite know what to do with her once she is there. Thank you for sending her into RM training and good luck breaking her into life in Babylon!
The Canada Edmonton Mission