Missionary Email Problems

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wendyhickman
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Missionary Email Problems

Postby wendyhickman » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:13 am

We've long suspected that our missionary has not been getting all of his email so we tracked it this week. He should have received 17 emails, but only received 8. None of those messages had pictures and many were only one sentence comments. It was completely random. If you were to put all of the emails in order of sent times/dates, he'd get one or two and then miss one or two. We've double and triple checked to make sure his email address was correct in every one (it was). Most emails were sent via gmail addresses. Several were sent from BYU (those were proportionately most likely to be lost, but many gmail messages were never received also).

We're concerned that so many messages are being lost, especially because he is really struggling right now and could use the support.

Do you guys have anything to do with this? Any suggestions?

russellhltn
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Re: Missionary Email Problems

Postby russellhltn » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:30 am

Has checked his spam folder?

When you say you're sending via GMail, just how are you sending it? Via a GMail web page or a email client?
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wendyhickman
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Re: Missionary Email Problems

Postby wendyhickman » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:40 am

They are not going into the SPAM folder - we checked.

I'm logging onto a web-based gmail account to send email. My husband was sending email via the BYU system, but switched to his web-based gmail account (but still sending through BYU servers) once we figured out that the emails from BYU were most likely to be lost (or slow - see below).

We are also trying to determine if the emails are actually lost forever or just so significantly delayed that he doesn't see them until the following week (which would also be a problem).

lajackson
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Re: Missionary Email Problems

Postby lajackson » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:49 am

wendyhickman wrote:We've long suspected that our missionary has not been getting all of his email so we tracked it this week. He should have received 17 emails, but only received 8. . . .

We're concerned that so many messages are being lost, especially because he is really struggling right now and could use the support.

Do you guys have anything to do with this? Any suggestions?

No one here at the Forum has anything to do with this. But I may certainly comment and suggest.

First, since a missionary only checks email for a short time on preparation day each week (30-60 minutes, depending on the mission), it would be surprising for him to receive 17 emails from his family, unless you have an extraordinarily large family. Nevertheless, I am not aware of any restriction placed on the email system by the Church that would keep them from getting through. And if this is a situation where some weeks he does not receive any email at all from home, the situation is not normal.

I would suggest that you counsel with your bishop, who may ask your ward clerk or the stake clerk to look into the matter. You may also wish to email his mission president and let him know of the problem. Either of the clerks will be able to provide you the mission president's email address.

Your son's mission president is very interested in the well-being of your missionary. Although he will not want anything to detract from the work your son is doing in the mission field, if he is not receiving email from home each week, I expect he will be more than happy to look into the situation. And he certainly needs to know that your son is struggling and you are having trouble getting communication through to him.

From the home front, your clerk will be able to contact the Missionary Department to see if there is a problem with the email system at present. I suspect that if there is a general problem, others would have mentioned it.

If he is not getting email some weeks, you might even wish to write a personal letter the old fashioned way and mail it to him. That worked for the last 100 years or so.

Every missionary needs to hear from his mother every week, and every mission mother needs to hear from her missionary every week. Although there is no one at the Forum who has any effect on the missionary email system, I hope some of these suggestions will help you get started in resolving the problem.

wendyhickman
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Re: Missionary Email Problems

Postby wendyhickman » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:06 pm

Here is where we stand at this point (we're still tracking several missing emails - I'll update if there is additional information).

1 - We received his email around 6 to 10 minutes after he sent it.
2 - Out of 18 emails sent to him, 8 were received within 8 to 10 minutes (similar to his send-time).
3 - 4 additional emails were delivered to his account with a 1-hour delay.
4 - 2 additional emails were delivered to his account with a 2-hour delay.
5 - 4 emails have still never been received.

The significantly delayed and missing emails are completely random in order and from sender as mentioned above.

wendyhickman
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Re: Missionary Email Problems

Postby wendyhickman » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:08 pm

lajackson wrote:No one here at the Forum has anything to do with this. But I may certainly comment and suggest.

First, since a missionary only checks email for a short time on preparation day each week (30-60 minutes, depending on the mission), it would be surprising for him to receive 17 emails from his family, unless you have an extraordinarily large family. Nevertheless, I am not aware of any restriction placed on the email system by the Church that would keep them from getting through. And if this is a situation where some weeks he does not receive any email at all from home, the situation is not normal.

I would suggest that you counsel with your bishop, who may ask your ward clerk or the stake clerk to look into the matter. You may also wish to email his mission president and let him know of the problem. Either of the clerks will be able to provide you the mission president's email address.

Your son's mission president is very interested in the well-being of your missionary. Although he will not want anything to detract from the work your son is doing in the mission field, if he is not receiving email from home each week, I expect he will be more than happy to look into the situation. And he certainly needs to know that your son is struggling and you are having trouble getting communication through to him.

From the home front, your clerk will be able to contact the Missionary Department to see if there is a problem with the email system at present. I suspect that if there is a general problem, others would have mentioned it.

If he is not getting email some weeks, you might even wish to write a personal letter the old fashioned way and mail it to him. That worked for the last 100 years or so.

Every missionary needs to hear from his mother every week, and every mission mother needs to hear from her missionary every week. Although there is no one at the Forum who has any effect on the missionary email system, I hope some of these suggestions will help you get started in resolving the problem.


We are able to email "chat" with our son when he emails on p-day. This is allowed by his mission president (I know that it is not allowed by some). This is why there is a larger number of sent messages in a small amount of time.

We also send him snail-mail letters once a week, so he is getting some communication. But the email chats are a wonderful chance to reassure him. Our son has communicated with his mission president that his is struggling. So, the problem isn't a lack of communication generally, but frustration with the email system in particular.
Last edited by wendyhickman on Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

wendyhickman
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Re: Missionary Email Problems

Postby wendyhickman » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:09 pm

lajackson wrote:Although there is no one at the Forum who has any effect on the missionary email system, I hope some of these suggestions will help you get started in resolving the problem.


If you guys don't deal with the email system, who can I contact to see if there is a way to resolve this problem?

lajackson
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Re: Missionary Email Problems

Postby lajackson » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:28 pm

wendyhickman wrote:We are able to email "chat" with our son when he emails on p-day. This is allowed by his mission president (I know that it is not allowed by some). This is why there is a large number of sent messages in a small amount of time.

Ah, very good. It is hard to "chat" when even the fast emails are taking that long to get through.

I am not sure there is a solution. So much depends on the routing of the specific email. I wonder if it might be a country specific problem once the message leaves the servers here. Even though the message is gmail to gmail, it still has to travel over the Internet to get to his location.

When a message does not get through the first time, it is not immediately resent. If you get a return note that a message is delayed (which often comes quickly), you might just want to resend it again, even though the message will tell you you do not need to send it again, and the original may eventually get there (with a 1 or 2 hour delay).

And, alas, some emails never do make it to their destination. Email is not always as instant as we have come to think.

russellhltn
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Re: Missionary Email Problems

Postby russellhltn » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:29 pm

wendyhickman wrote:If you guys don't deal with the email system, who can I contact to see if there is a way to resolve this problem?


Last I heard, the missionary email system was a version of GMail. All I can suggest is working though the Mission President and Missionary Department.

But one thing you might want to look at first: There's been a recent crack-down across the Internet on emails that are being delivered by servers other then the one the email claims to be "from".

For example, if you send a email from a GMail account using Outlook (or other email client), and it's delivered via the BYU SMTP servers instead of going though GMail, it may be discarded because it's going though the wrong server.

For the time being, I'd stick to using the GMail webpage for all sending. It cuts down the number of servers involved. See if that improves things.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

wendyhickman
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Re: Missionary Email Problems

Postby wendyhickman » Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:03 pm

Thanks. I'll have to be patient. Somehow, I think this is an LDS server issue (filter bottleneck, perhaps) because we don't have problems in any other situation (email chatting between me and my husband, for example). We didn't have any problems either when our son's p-day was on Tuesday (and he was in the Mexico MTC). The problems started when he his p-day switched to Mondays (which is also when every other missionary in the world is trying to use the same email system at the same time). I'm also hearing many other parents that are having the same frustration.

He is serving in the United States, just two states away.

By the way, of those four still-undelivered emails, two have gone through now. Both had three-hour delays. There are still two that are undelivered.


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