I think our mission program needs re-vamping (well, along with the visiting teaching and home teaching). Total overhaul.

Here are some of my suggestions:

1. Allow the missionary to specify the length of their service. Some are not up to two years, but might kick butt for six months.

2. Strive to have American missionaries serve out of country. Or at least across the country. Only send American missionaries to Utah who request it. Otherwise, have missionaries from Germany, Japan, Guatemala, etc. serve in the US. Particularly Utah and Las Vegas.

3. Make it a firm policy that if a loved one dies while the missionary is serving, the missionary MUST be given time to attend the funeral and to grieve, with counseling. Unless the missionary says “hell, no, I never liked my brother anyway.”

4. Recognize that many (no clue on statistics here) young women who want to serve a mission might have been molested or otherwise abused. ASK THAT QUESTION before they are called on the mission.

5. On the same note as number one, allow the missionary to specify what kind of mission they want to serve. A missionary who hates proselyting in New York might do very well helping farmers in Africa. For six months. In other words, consider the personality of the individual. Rather than forcing a square peg into a round hole and making the square peg feel bad that it’s square.

6. Change the focus to service and friendship and screw the damn numbers and competition. Make it a serving Christ experience instead of a business-like “meet the quota” experience. Stop with the salesmanship crap.

7. Have every missionary read the entire Bible. Not only the Book of Mormon.

8. Soften the boot camp approach to the MTC. Start there with emphasizing Jesus and true love of fellow man. Have a few revivals.

9. Let them listen to some music with a beat in the morning.

10. What’s with not letting them tell their first names? Draconian. Weird.

Anybody else have suggestions?