Friday, April 4, 2014


Soooooooo......reading missionary blogs before coming out on my mission REALLY helped. Finding posts that began with "What I'd wished I'd known...."....................


Ever since landing myself as a sister missionary, I've started my own list of  THINGS I WISHED I'D KNOWN BEFORE SERVING. (yea, unfortunately ya can't learn e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. before you come out.....#rough). Buuuuuuuuuttttt....some of these can help out some! Enjoy!

What I'd Wished I'd Known

Before entering the MTC:

          - Bring mesh laundry bags. The bigger the better. Washing identical (wink wink:) laundry with multiple sisters in a small washing machine can get awkward real fast. Put your whites in, zip 'er shut, and you're good to go! (Comes in handy out in the field too!) 

          - Bring a retractable lanyard. The clip-on ones are the best. Between cafeteria meal scans and entry doors, being able to pull it right off your side and back again makes things WAY easier.

          - Bring a small notebook, not large. Hauling around a binder or large notebook can be a pain. Bring something you can take around to devotionals, to meals, to classrooms, and to your dorm......a small one that can easily fit in your purse/bag.

          - Bring and use scripture tabs! Being able to color-code your scriptures while reading so many every day in the MTC is SO helpful when you get out to the field. (More on how I color-code by scriptures later:) 

          - MINTS! Ahhhhhhhh....yes! Chewing gum in the MTC is not allowed, so use the mints to detox:)  They're a boredom killer and keep you awake during the long hours too!

          - Bring good pens/pencils. And bring A LOT. Somehow it's easy to lose pens in the MTC. Go figure. Bring highlighters too.......I prefer to use colored Prismacolor pencils since they don't bleed through pages. 

          - Use your workout time! It's easier to focus and study when your body has had it's time to de-gitter:) 

          - Tell friends and family to use to send you mail in the MTC. Same-day delivery.....can't compete:)

          - Invest in a mini Preach My Gospel. It's WAY easier to carry around places.

Before entering the field:

          - Use online outfit designer to put together your mission outfits! I used Polyvore and IT SAVED MY LIFE! Upload items that are similar to what you already have in the closet and then mix and max potential items to know what to buy that can go with every outfit! #lifesaver.......and money saver:)....................Keep it classy;)

          - Bring a pop-up hamper, one that collapses in your suitcase. It's easy to take around your whole mission and keeps your dirty laundry in one place......not on your companion's dresser:)

          - Bring a belt/scarf hanger. If they can hang in the closet, it's a space saver!

          - If you're going to an online proselyting mission, BUY AN iPad cover case/keyboard BEFORE you go out! It saves time and money once you're out! Make it cute, too:)

          - Familiarize yourself with the LDS Gospel Library, use the Notes and Tags features, and keep up on your Mormon Messages:) If you're going to an online proselyting mission, get a head-start by tagging all the PMG scriptures! When you sync out on the mission, everything will sync to your device!              

          - Get all family's emails and addresses written down for future reference

          - If you're going to a cold place, get Under Armor running leggings! They've kept me warm through Chi-town's coldest winter!  (And.....they keep you from having to wear sweats under skirts.....#tacky)

          - Bring generic gift cards. Every now and then, you'll find yourself in a bind, and having a back-up plan really helps:) 

          - Pinterest workouts! 'Nuff said. I brought 30 30-minute workouts with me on the mission in a binder. It's enough to keep me cycling through them for a whole month!!!! 

          - Bring some of your favorite quotes to put up around your apartment or to pull out when you need a pick-me-up. (Apartments can ALWAYS use more cute decorations anyways:)

          - Label your clothing

          - Bring light exercise equipment (resistance band, jump rope, etc.). It breaks up your morning exercise routine and offers more possibilities.

          - Bring a good first aid kit! Pain killers: must. Band aids: must. Cough drops: must. 

          - Bring a transfer journal!! At the end of each transfer, have missionaries, members, and investigators sign your transfer  journal! Then, by the end of your mission, you have a whole journal filled with notes and messages from everyone you've met and grown to love!

          - Make your suitcase recognizable.......there are WAY too many black suitcases out there:)! Use ribbons, duct tape, labels, etc. 

          - Email missionaries currently serving in your assigned mission questions, read their blogs, etc. Ask them mission-specific questions: approved music to bring, clothes, best shoes to wear, weather/temperature, etc.

          - Bring slippers.....old apartment floors...nasty.

          - Bring a recipe book with easy and fast meals to make. Healthy and on-hand ingredient-conscious recipes are key too:)

          - A sketch pad. If you're artsy, it can help you release stress when you're wound up. You also save glimpses of your mission to paper:)

          - Dry shampoo. Don't ask......just bring.

          - A flashlight. Walking home at night is a lot easier (and safer) when you have one

Hopefully, some of these help with the physical preparation of a mission. HOWEVER, the most important thing you can do to prepare is to focus on your spiritual preparation!

-Read and study your scriptures!

-Learn to recognize the spirit!

-Serve others around you!

-Share your testimony often!

-Go on splits with the missionaries in your area

-Set up a profile

-Talk with RM's


Getting your temporal bases covered is great, but if nothing else cover your SPIRITUAL bases! Your testimony, not your Topshop purse is going to convert. 

Be prepared in EVERY way. Also, being close to the spirit before your mission will allow the Lord to tell you what YOU need to do to prepare in the best way for you! The months before you serve can be crazy and hectic, but they are SO important! Don't let the spiritual prep slip between the cracks! It's the MOST important! Also, remember:

Breathe deep, and smile:)

Missions are a.m.a.z.i.n.g.! They're hard, but they're incredible experiences! Keep holding on! Keep going! Keep having faith! The Lord has great things in mind for each of us who joins His ranks!

Onward and upward!

Sister Anna Parker