By Kent Larsen
New Website Eases Letters To Missionaries
PROVO, UTAH -- A new website launched by two BYU students hopes to
make it easy to send letters to LDS missionaries. DearElder.com
allows users to address and write a letter to an LDS missionary
on-line, which is then printed out and mailed to the missionary. But
the nascent service is currently limited to "pouch" missions and to
the MTC, expansion of the service depends on advertising on the
Dave Bateman says he got the idea for the service from other websites
that currently deliver goods to LDS missionaries at the Provo
Missionary Training Center (MTC). "I thought about that for a little
bit, and I realized that you could open that up and expand the idea
and actually create an Internet interface where people could log on
and write to people in all the missions," Bateman said. He then got
his roommate, Ben Zimmer, to help.
Zimmer, an information systems major, wrote a program to print the
letters out. The two roommates then stuff the letters into envelopes
and deliver them to the MTC and to the LDS Church's mail system.
"Pouch" mail refers to that system, used by the Church to speed
delivery of mail to its missions when local mail services are
Bateman says that the partners plan to expand the service in February
to cover all missions. Their idea is to cover the costs of the mail
through advertising on the website. They are seeking advertisers
looking for an LDS audience.
Zimmer says he thinks the website will prove a great help. "We
consider this a service for families. For pouch mail and the MTC we
are only talking pennies in terms of costs to mail letters. This will
enable anyone in the country, anyone in the world, to mail letters to
missionaries without any cost."
BYU students connect families and missionaries with new Web site
Excite News 6Nov00 I4
By Tina Thorley: The Daily Universe