I know this is really anecdotal, but almost everyone I know is serving a stateside mission. I have wondering about this situation and wonder (if its true on the aggregate) why this is the case. It would only make sense when you think about it to keep missionaries native. As the church grows and expands, I think it’s probably inevitable. Undoubtedly there are benefits to sending Elder Junior to Africa or South America (important optimal Americanism, and multiculturizing the missionary), but there are some benefits to staying home as well. Here are a few:
Money – Plain and simple, it costs most to send someone out of the country, albeit there is a benefit going to a country where the cost of living is lower.
- Problems – Easier to relocate a missionary to a service mission if he’s an anxious case if he’s only in North Dakota. Problems with culture shock are also allieviated.
- Language – Let’s face it, people learn better in when they can be taught and teach in the same language. I served a multilingual mission, both Enlglish and Haitian. Teaching Americans who spoke English – much easier.
- Security – As worlwide security gets more scrutinzed, as America becomes less popular, better to keep the American missionary home where he doesn’t have the potential of ticking off the local socialist activits or Muslim cleric.
- Health & Safety – Insurance costs, poor American diet, diahhrea in South America, poor law and order. Easier to send missionaries from Africa to Africa. They’re used to the local flora and fauna.
We all know of horror stories of battle wounds from missionaries over these things. We’ve put up with it in the past. With the availability of Latin, European, and African missionaries, why risk the Utah/California boys in other lands? I don’t mean this to sound racist; I don’t think the policy would be that anymore than it would just be more practical.
What think ye?