So glad they called him on a mission,
He’s leaving in a week or two,
I hope by then we will be ready,
With shoes, shirts, suits, socks, ties, scriptures in a bag or two…
Here are 10 of our best tips to get your missionary ready and you feelin’ steady!
TIP #1: Purchase a domestic/international calling card for your missionary to use when they call from the airport on departure day. Put it in their wallet.
TIP #2: Get all information from your missionary about bank accounts, passwords for email, social media, university contacts, etc. Many parents have their missionary sign a power of attorney so they can access medical and school records and take care of anything needed while they are gone.
TIP #3: For Elders, gently unpick the basting stitches in the chest pocket of their suit coats so they are ready for a missionary tag. Check out this link for photos of appropriate missionary clothing and grooming standards for all missionaries. Don’t forget to bring hangers to the MTC – you will need them!
TIP #4: There is not enough time at the MTC curb to say those very personal and important things to your missionary. So, about a week before our missionaries leave we have a special Family Home Evening where all my kids and and their spouses are present. Everyone has an opportunity to share their feelings, their love, appreciation, and testimony with our departing missionary. It is such a special time for us. (We’ve also done this Family Home Evening right before each of my kids has gotten married.)
TIP #5: After our son was set apart, a few of us wrote down in generalities the counsel given in the blessing and the promises mentioned. I typed those up and sent that to him the first week at the MTC. He really appreciated those inspired words just for him, and keeps it with a copy of his patriarchal blessing.
TIP #6: I bought a 6.5 x 4.5 inch photo album at the dollar store and personalized the front insert for my missionary. I put in photos of our family and his close friends. It is nice for them to have photos of those who love and support them, plus it is great to show to investigators who ask about your home and family. This photo album would be a fun Valentine’s Day gift or Easter package for a missionary already serving!
TIP #7: “Think of the power of our future missionary force if mothers considered their homes as a pre–missionary training center. Then the doctrines of the gospel taught in the MTC would be a review and not a revelation. That is influence; that is power” (Sister Julie B. Beck, Mothers Who Know) .
These words obviously refer to the years and years of learning and growth that lead up to missionary service, but we did our own Pre-MTC nights to help my son get ready to go and had some amazing experiences doing it. Daniel had his mission call for 5 months before he entered the MTC. We had 5 returned missionaries in our family and one very close friend that each planned a separate FHE lesson for him, sharing experiences, lessons learned, and things they wished they had known before their missions. Those evenings were great mission prep!
TIP #8: Before you get that precious phone call from the airport, write down questions to ask your missionary. It can be an emotional time, so it is good to have some ideas jotted down so you can really enjoy your time connecting. (We also do this before every Christmas and Mother’s Day phone call too!)
TIP #9: After I purchased a small hymnal for my son, I wrote down quotations from general conference in the margins that related to the general topic of the song. A book of instant devotionals for district meetings or dinner appointments! If your missionary is already out, get one ready for a Valentine’s Day or Easter package!
TIP #10: Get a mission map from Latter-day Mission Maps. Areas of the mission are identified by current wards and branches and there is a place to record companions and converts. So cool! We love being able to see these places on a map and track where Daniel serves and travels!
Specific maps of EVERY mission are available, and because we like you so much, we’re giving one away! That’s right. The giveaway will run through January 14th and we’ll email the winner on January 15th. Here’s what you’ve got to do to enter the GIVEAWAY (GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED):
1. Like Latter-day Mission Maps on Facebook.
2. Follow Let’s Get Together in at least ONE (only one, so easy!) way:
3. Your entry is complete when you COMMENT below, letting us know where your missionary is, where they’re headed if they’re preparing to go, or that you’re expecting a call within the next 6 months!
All entries will be verified, and the winner will be announced on the blog and on Facebook on January 15th.