Acquiring and Setting Up a Missionary Smartphone
A majority of missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at the writing of this article in 2022, will use a smartphone on their mission. When you receive your mission call, the Missionary Portal, pictured in the gallery above, will provide you with all the information you need about acquiring, setting up, and using a phone during your mission. This article summarizes Church policy and procedures for missionary smartphones based on 2022 information, and even includes many screen shots from when my missionary daughter set up her phone at the start of her mission. Please be aware, however, that the mobile device topic is dynamic and may change from year to year, so be sure to check the Missionary Portal, or speak with your mission president, to get the most up-to-date information.
Determine if You Will Need to Smartphone as a Missionary
First, you will need to determine if you will need to bring a smartphone for your mission. You will need to bring a phone if you answer yes to both of the questions below:
- Are you leaving on your mission from one of these countries? Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, The United States, Wales
- Is your mission assignment in one of these locations? Australia, Asia (excluding the Philippines), Canada, Europe, Eastern Europe, Micronesia/Guam, New Zealand, United States
If you answered “no” to either of the questions above, then you should not bring your own smartphone. You will be loaned a Church-owned device to use during your mission.
Acquire an Approved Samsung Android Cell Phone
Next, you will need to buy a smartphone model that is approved by the Church. All smartphones (whether previously owned, even by another missionary, or newly purchased) must meet the following requirements:
- Brand: Samsung
- Carrier: Factory unlocked
- Operating system: Android 10 or higher
- Knox version: 3.4.1 or above
You may purchase the phone from a variety of local or online retailers, as long as the device meets the requirements above. If you are purchasing from and shipping to the United States or Canada, the Missionary Portal has links to a variety of convenient and recommended online stores that offer a large selection of reasonably priced, approved missionary smartphones.
Here are a few more things to remember when buying a phone for your mission:
- Do not bring a phone that was purchased from or is locked to a specific carrier. It is important to have an unlocked phone because different missions use different carriers (or multiple carriers).
- Purchasing your phone from a major, well-known electronics retailer is your best option. Major retailers are more likely to provide a warranty and have an efficient return policy.
- It is not recommended to buy or bring a used phone from a returned missionary because phone requirements change every couple of years. A phone from a previous missionary is more likely to run slow, have poor battery life, or be unable to receive needed updates.
Setting Up Your Smartphone
Most missionaries who have been asked to bring a phone with them will need to set it up before starting their MTC experience (home MTC or in-person MTC). When setup is complete, you will have access only to apps and websites approved by the Church for missionary use.
If you bought a phone that has never been used before or just had a factory reset, you can skip this step. But if the phone was in use previously, by you or someone else, and you want the data from the phone saved, then do this before setting up your missionary smartphone:
- Ensure that you are in a location with accessible Wi-Fi.
- Back up data from the phone that you want to keep. All data stored on the phone (photos, texts, etc.) will be deleted in the subsequent step of the process of performing a factory reset.
- Delete all accounts from the device
- Perform a factory data reset
When you first turn on a smartphone that is new or has just undergone a factory reset, you should see a screen that says “Let’s Go!” (or “Start”). Follow the instructions below and any other on-screen prompts (self-explanatory steps, such as accepting terms and conditions, are not specifically listed). Some screens may take several seconds to process or load as setup occurs.
1. On the “Let’s Go” (or “Start”) screen, tap the arrow icon.
2. Connect to Wi-Fi.
3. Google Sign-In:
Enter “afw#maas360”. (Important: Do not enter an email address , or you will need to perform a factory data reset and begin again.)
4. Android Enterprise Installation:
Tap Install to download and install MaaS360. After downloading MaaS360, Tap Install again to confirm. On Set up your device, Tap Accept & continue.
5. Add Device:
For Email address, enter your @missionary.org address. For Corporate ID, enter: “mymission”. Tap Continue.
6. IBM MaaS360 Authentication:
For Username, enter your Church Account username. For Domain, enter “churchofjesuschrist”. For Device ownership, select “Employee”. Tap Continue. For Password, enter Your Church Account password.
7. You will know you are enrolled in Maas360 when you see a blue “IBM MaaS360”screen.
8. Your phone will prompt you to bring your device into compliance by completing the following settings:
Choose Agree if asked, “Improve location accuracy?” and Follow any prompts to set a passcode.
9. Confirm that your device is in compliance:
Launch MaaS360. Tap Settings. Tap Compliance Status.
10. Adjust important settings.
Open your phone’s Settings app, and use the search feature there to fi nd and adjust the following settings:
Screen Timeout: Change how quickly your screen times out and locks, according to your preference.
Accounts (Go to Accounts & Backups, tap Accounts, tap Add Account): Add your individual and teaching area missionary.org Google accounts. (If you are not yet in your mission, just set up your individual missionary.org account, and you will receive a teaching area account when you arrive in your mission.
Contact Information: Enter your name and your mission office phone number.
Phone Name: Enter your name (go to About Phone and select Edit).
Date and Time: Tap General management. Tap Date and time. Uncheck Automatic date and time. Tap Select time zone. Choose the region and time zone for your current location. Go back and turn on Automatic date and time.
Power-Saving Mode: Do not turn on power-saving mode because that would prevent important software from running on the phone.
Biometrics & Security: Fingerprint log-in and Smart Lock are recommended, if available. (Even if you set up an alternative way to unlock your phone, such as a fingerprint, you’ll need your password to unlock your phone after it restarts and occasionally at other times.)
11. Install approved apps.
Once your device is enrolled in MaaS360, verify that your device can install approved apps. Follow these steps:
Open the Google Play Store app.
Tap the account circle to the right of the search bar.
If not already selected, select the @android-for-work account (it starts with several numbers).
After closing out of this screen, you should be able to find and download approved apps from the App Catalog (in the MaaS360 app) or the Google Play Store.
You will see that some apps on your home screen are grayed out; you are welcome to remove these.
12. Set up your default browser and text messaging apps.
If not already installed, download the Google Messages and Google Chrome apps.
Set Google Messages as your default text messaging app
Set Google Chrome as your default browser
13. Create “Technical Support” and “Missionary Portal” web clips.
By creating these web clips, you can easily find technical support resources, give feedback on your missionary smartphone experience, and access Missionary Portal. To do this, open the MaaS360 app, Tap App Catalog, Search for “Technical Support” or “Portal”, tap on the icon, tap the arrow in the green Open box, then Tap Add to Home.
Technical Support: If you have difficulty with these instructions, you can submit a help request through the Missionary Technology Support website.
A Note on SIM Cards
A SIM card is a small, removable smart card that gives your smartphone access to phone services and cellular data. The Church asks missionaries to not bring a SIM card with them on the mission. If missionaries do arrive in the mission with a SIM card, the Church will ask you to remove it and store it safely until after your mission. Your mission office issues each teaching area one SIM card that remains with a phone in that area. This card provides a phone number, phone services, and cellular data to one smart phone per companionship. At times, you will need to move that mission area SIM card from one phone to another.
Since only one smartphone per companionship has cellular data, the other companion’s smartphone will use Wi-Fi to access the internet and communicate with family on p-day. In many cases, the smartphone with service can be set up as a hotspot, as needed, to connect a companion’s mobile device to the internet. However, missionaries should use Wi-Fi where possible to reduce the need for and cost of cellular data.
If you have questions or problems with your smartphone that you are not able to resolve on your own, please reach out to your mission’s technology missionaries or the mission office staff. In addition, you can search for answers to common technical issues and report problems on the Missionary Technology Support Site (https://servicenow.churchofjesuschrist.org/missionarysupport) or email email@example.com to report your problem.
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