Serving a mission requires your whole heart, mind, and soul – it can be the most wonderful years of the life, but also the most difficult. Here is a great Latter-day Saint missionary list of things to learn and do before serving a mission – whether you are 19 or 70!
This is a guest post written by my friend’s sister, Ally.
As a child of two returned missionaries, I was raised on stories of my parents’ adventures and experiences in foreign countries.
Later I was called and served a mission of my own and gained firsthand knowledge of the demands placed on missionaries as well as the great joy in service of the Lord.
I felt reasonably well prepared and was extremely grateful for loving parents with the forethought to give me spiritual and practical experiences that served me well during my 1.5 years.
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Through church membership and missionary service, I have been able to observe many different missionaries with different capacities and strengths.
I firmly believe the Lord joyfully accepts our service and appreciates our efforts regardless of where we are in our development.
After a lifetime of observing missionaries, I have noticed those missionaries who are most prepared often seem to find the greatest joy and success, creating an atmosphere of positive energy wherever they go.
They are able to gain the trust of the members, the people they teach and most importantly the Lord. A prepared missionary is confident (not proud) in God, and His ability to work through them, as was Ammon:
“Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.”
Prepared missionaries are a great resource to their wards.
Mission presidents can call on them to contribute powerfully to the mission in any way needed, and they are able to truly give 100% of their time to the Lord.
I pondered on the qualities and capabilities in those missionaries I most admired and started compiling a list of what I hope to teach my children.
While the choice to serve a mission will ultimately be their own, should they choose to go I hope to prepare them the best I can so they can use the time to its fullest and be a finely tuned instrument in the hands of the Lord.
I believe the most important factor in missionary success is a deep and abiding testimony of Jesus Christ and there is no easy guide or short cut there.
How to nurture and guide children to spiritual strength will be the work of a lifetime, however once committed to serving the Lord, there are many skills and capabilities that will allow them to focus on the work suffering fewer struggles with daily missionary life.
What follows is my list of those skills and capabilities (things to do, not necessarily things to be) that served me well (or I wish I could have been more capable of) as a missionary and into the rest of my life.
For a PDF version of this, download it with the button below:
Latter-day Saint Missionary List
- Learn exercises that can be done at home with no equipment
- Meal prep – know several basic and healthy foods easily prepared
- Learn how to make 1-2 desserts that could be given away
- Basic bike care – find a hole in tire/change a flat, etc
- Change a flat tire in a car
- Play 1-2 hymns on the piano (Piano Marvel has an awesome “hymn boot camp” that would be perfect for someone to use in preparation for serving a mission”
- How to make your own doctor appointment
- Call people on the phone/leave a message
- Be able to meet and introduce yourself to new people
- Invite people to an activity and introduce them to your friends
- Become familiar with and appreciate other cultures and backgrounds
- Try new foods even if they don’t appeal to you
- Bike riding skills
- How to pump and buy gas
- Budget money
- Come up with the idea for and carry out a service project
- Know the difference between talk and testimony
- Write your own talks
- Prepare a message with short notice
- Be able to teach a primary, a youth or an adult class
- Help teach with missionaries
- Memorize meaningful scriptures
- Learn to set and achieve goals
- Read the Book of Mormon
- Be familiar with Bible/other books of holy scripture
- Have a temple recommend
WHEN VISITING A HOME:
- Take off your shoes (they may say you don’t have to but start by taking off)
- Compliment the food no matter what!
- Thank the host for the food
- Clear your plate to the sink
- Happily offer to do the dishes
- Plan your message with the family in mind and try to include the children especially
- Carry on a conversation with adults and kids
- Wait to eat until the host is seated
What would you add to this list?