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.
My son, Elder Chandler Nielson is in the Ghana Accra West Mission. What a fun giveaway!
Yay! Elder Ryan Skalla’s papers are in the hands of the Bishop! Final interviews on Sunday! YIKES! I will let you know the location as soon as we know!
Alison Bodily says
Elder Kevin Bodily has been in the Georgia, Macon mission since April of 2013. He was actually called to the “Florida, Jacksonville mission (subject to change)” and change it did. The new mission was created soon after he arrived and his President is from Logan!
Elder Ruger Dutton will be serving in the South Dakota Rapid City Mission. So exciting!!!!
My son Elder Tad Behunin is going to the Tampa, FL mission.
Sara Newman says
Elder Joseph Newman is halfway through his service in the Mexico City West, and Jacob Newman is submitting his papers this month 🙂
Elder Zak Browning, headed to the Texas McAllen Mission Feb. 12. Spanish speaking (that makes 4 in our family)!!
Danelle Aguilar says
Our son Elder Vicente Aguilar is serving in the California Redlands Mission!
Lisa Casey says
My son is in Kobe, Japan!
Cathy Ray says
Elder Brian Ray is serving in the Illinois, Chicago mission (spanish speaking) since December 19, 2012.
Sister Rebecca Ray is serving in North Carolina, Charlotte while waiting for her Visa to Brazil, Fortaleza East. She left August 21, 2013.
JaNae Brady Sullivan says
Our girl is serving in the Jacksonville, FL mission and her younger sister is submitting mission papers in February! Hurray for missionaries!!!
Alexis Rich says
Our oldest daughter is serving in the AZ Tempe mission, our oldest son is also out serving in the Peru Piura mission and our next son just completed his paperwork to hopefully leave in June! I loved your tips. We have done many of those with our two that are currently out. I love the devotional idea of writing quotes in a pocket hymnal. A map would be awesome!
Aaron Carter says
I just got called to the Arizona Tempe Mission! I leave July 30!
Koleen Howe says
SO cute!! I would love a missionary map!! Hermana Allie Howe is serving in the California, Redlands Mission :)!!
Dani Edmunds says
My son will be leaving for the Atlanta Georgia North Mission on February 5th. We’re so excited!
Leisa H says
I have one son serving in the Argentina Buenos Aires West mission and another son will send in his papers in the next couple of months to leave this summer!
Jayne Barnes says
Sister Lindsay Barnes will serve in the England London South Mission beginning April 2014.
Elizabeth Briney says
Sister Rachel Briney will be serving in the Hungary Budapest Mission! She reports to the MTC on May 21st!
Our brother (and son) is currently serving there! He is loving every second!
Jennifer Hall says
I want to win a nap of wherever Ryan is going to go! : ) or maybe Sao Palo where my boss will be MP so I can still keep tabs on him since we aren’t not sure what he we do without me!
Tricia Pease says
Chris is in Ghana Cape Coast and loving it!
Stephanie Paget says
My son is in the California Carlsbad mission!
Our blue-eyed red-headed daughter will fly to the England MTC May 7/8. She will serve in the Scotland-Ireland Mission. That’s where she wanted to go!
Jill Hebdon says
LOVE LOVE LOVE these tips! My son leaves in about 6 weeks for the MTC and then on to the Jackson, Mississippi mission. You already have me in tears just picturing these moments you speak of in your article.
I have a company that assists missionary moms, dads, family and friends send packages to their elders and sisters internationally and there are some countries that require the US Passport number in order to clear customs. So I would suggest in tip #2 include their passport number if the missionary is going to a foreign country.
Thanks again for the wonderful article!
So good to know!! Thanks for adding that tips about the passport number. We wish you and your missionary the best-it’s such an adventure!!