A few months ago I sent my missionary son a cake mix for his birthday. I asked him about the cake and he replied, “I loved it! We mixed it up and just ate the batter. Never made it to the oven!” A dedicated missionary, but still a kid.
Here’s 10+ ideas for less than $10 to send your Elder or Sister:
FUNNY CARDS: My daughter served stateside so it was easy to send her a funny card every month. For my son’s birthday, we handed out pre-stamped and addressed birthday cards and invited close friends and family to write him a birthday message. It was the favorite part of his mission birthday!
JELLY BELLY PACKETS: Fun for Easter! I found small individual $1 packets (like the size of a pack of M&Ms) at Target that have 20 different flavors. Fun to pop in your mouth and make a guess. One for him and his companion. (Or, let’s be honest, the perfect size to fulfill your Easter candy jelly bean craving.)
THANK YOU CARDS & POST IT NOTES: My daughter loved to write thank you notes for families that fed them and helped out the missionaries. Post It Notes are great for leaving a quick message at a door to say hello if no one was at home and an appointment was missed.
TIDE STICK AND SMALL LINT BRUSH: Help your missionary stay looking nice with these.
PED EGG: This is a pedicure foot file (kind of like a cheese grater for your foot – but it doesn’t hurt). You’re thinking this is for the sister missionaries, but my son used one while he was playing basketball and his feet were roughed up (and stinky). Any missionary that walks a lot would love this.
JUMPROPE OR EXERCISE BANDS: Help your missionary stay in shape.
$3.00 TIES ON EBAY: My husband buys inexpensive ties to send my son for his birthday and Christmas. We know there is a good chance he may lose it, trade it, or spill on it so we buy the cheap but nice looking ones. We always send one for his companion.
SCARF: It’s lightweight to ship and adds some fun to your sister missionary’s wardrobe.
FOOD MIXES: I buy the simple rice or pasta packets so my missionary can add some chicken to it and have a meal in less than 10 minutes.
PICTURE CARDS: Your missionary can give away these small (3×4 inches) beautiful prints by Greg Olsen of the Savior to investigators and members. I got this pack of 15 at Deseret Book. You can find them here.
EARPLUGS: Good for missionaries with snoring companions or as a peace offering if you are the snorer. (But hey, lots of times they are so exhausted they just fall into bed and can sleep through anything. My son sent a picture of his companion climbing out of bed in the morning in his suit! He was too tired to change.)
CHAPSTICK OR EOS LIP BALM: It’s always good to have one in your pocket. And: EOS Lip Balm (looks like an egg) is THE. BEST.
These things are all great, but I have to tell you that one of my favorite things I’ve sent our Hungarian missionary though is a copy of this talk, Reach Out and Climb! by Elder Oaks. It’s a powerful reminder-to our missionaries and to ourselves- that “…when we are involved in the work of the Lord, the obstacles before us are never as great as the power behind us.” Read it! Send it! You’ll both love it.
You could also put together a Missionary Newsletter for your missionary and his or her close friends who are also serving.
And remember the best thing may just be a weekly encouraging message from you in his/her inbox!