There is no surefire way to get a recalcitrant missionary to pick up a pen and paper; however, here are some ideas that might help get your missionary over the hurdles.
[idea sent in by Sister Barb Venema]
The thing that has helped us keep family members actively involved and writing is simply our missionaries' journal pages. Each week my missionaries send home a week's worth of journal pages. I put them in a journal binder for them, but first I type them and email them to the grandparents (who are also on a mission), siblings, aunts, uncles, friends—anyone who is interested in sharing this wonderful, difficult, challenging, rewarding experience. We all feel a part of the work. I know what my children are doing and facing. The missionaries don't have to write much letter-wise, because we have all the news from the journals—one less thing for them to do. And we are all "prayer specific", I think that has been the best part, I can pray for amis and companions by name.
[idea sent in by Brother Paul Black]
I printed sheets of return address labels and family address labels on my computer and sent them to my missionary. That way he can write home by just slapping on some labels. It also saves him a little time writing to his friends.
International Reply Coupons
These coupons are available at your local post office. You buy them and send them to your missionary. In turn, when your missionary goes to the post office in France, he/she can exchange each one for postage for one 20g (2/3 oz.) airmail letter back to the USA or Canada.
French postal rates have no effect on the value of an IRC. Even if stamps go up in price, your missionary's coupon will still be worth one 20g airmail stamp.
The French on this image of an IRC reads:
- This coupon is exchangeable in all the countries of the Universal Postal Union for one or more stamps representing the minimum postage for a priority (first-class) letter or of an ordinary letter sent abroad by airmail.