The Top 4 Most Important Things You Can do to Prepare for a Mission

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Any successful missionary wants to learn as much as he/she can before heading out into the field.

Some questions I have heard being asked are:

How do I prepare for a mission?

Where do I start?

What should I focus most on?

How will I know when I am ready?

You probably have asked one or all (or more!) of these questions (if you have more questions, please comment down below!) So let’s talk about them!!!

  1. How do I prepare?

First, understand what a missionary does-they invite others to read, to pray, to come to church, to fast, to keep the commandments, and to become like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They do the simple things. There will be absolutely zero power behind your message and invitation as a missionary if you are not doing those things yourself. On a mission, obviously you will be doing those things, but you need to do them because you want to, not because you have to.

I think a lot of members of the church-myself included-sometimes look for ways to improve themselves other than doing the above mentioned things, not intentionally or because they think they’re not important, but because they are so simple. “The primary answers” right?

Well those who do these things consistently, can testify of their power that exceeds anything else. I could go on about this, but I’ll leave it by quoting my friend and fellow missionary who said “Once you love the truth, you never get tired of hearing it”. I’ll beg if I have to, please do these simple things-they are the most important things you can do to prepare. If you already are doing these things, bless your heart. If you aren’t that’s okay! You can start when you are ready.

And remember no one is perfect, only the Savior.

Awesome:) Now, it’s also ok to feel like you can be doing more than you already are, there is no limit to how much you can learn. So now that you’ve done those steps, let’s talk about a few extra things you can do.

  1. Where do I start?

Get your phone. Got it? Good. If you have the local missionaries number, call or text them. Tell them you are preparing for a mission and want to go out teaching with them (even better, find a friend you want to introduce to the missionaries and tell the missionaries that, they’ll love you!). If you don’t have their number, get it.

I can’t think of any better hands-on learning experience than this.

Wanna know one of my biggest regrets? I didn’t know the missionaries in my area before I went on a mission. I chalked it up to the excuse that, living in a predominately LDS area, you just didn’t see the missionaries that much because they covered such a large area; and, I tried, our schedules just never worked. How much more prepared I would have been!

But, having worked with many preparing missionaries while in the field, I can testify that those young men and women who went out teaching with the missionaries and later served their own missions, where months ahead of those they were in the MTC with who didn’t.

If you try your hardest and for whatever reason don’t make it out with the missionaries, don’t worry, you will be blessed just the same for trying your best. But I promise the missionaries are dying for members to come teaching with them!

Second, enroll in a mission prep class if one is available to you. If not, keep attending institute or seminary or hold a class just for yourself! There’s plenty of resources (Preach My Gospel, Missionary Handbook, The District, etc. all available on lds.org)

  1. What should I focus most on?

Another thing I wish I would have done more in preparing to serve a mission-read The Book of Mormon. You will meet people with real, raw, honest questions. Most of them you will be able to answer from memory because you’ve gone to primary. Some you won’t know. But when you have studied from the Book of Mormon, the most correct book on earth, you will know not only what to answer but how. Inviting an investigator (which could be a random person on the street) to read something directly as the Lord or the prophets has spoken it is infinitely more powerful than saying it yourself, even if you do know the answer. Let them have their own spiritual experience! And you will be able to when you feast daily on the “words of life”. Not because you’ll have every reference memorized or because you read that exact passage that morning (though that happens) but because Heavenly Father will trust you enough, because you have proven to Him that you love His word, and He will put into your mind what to say and do. Your main source of teaching will come from The Book of Mormon. Read it!:)

Secondly, Preach My Gospel. What a gift from heaven. Study it, study it, study it. Chapter 6-Christlike Attributes, Chapter 2-How to Study, Chapter 4-Recognizing the Spirit. ALL SO GOOD!!! The one I wish I would have studied more before my mission? Chapter 3-What Do I Study and Teach. This is what you’ll be teaching 10 minutes into the MTC and your first day on the mission!:)

  1. How will I know when I am ready?

This may be the shortest segment of them all-you probably won’t. Honestly, I hope you never feel completely ready. I hope you all have a sense of “I can’t do this” or “I’m not good enough” because you can’t, you aren’t, neither am I, no one is. Not even the prophet can do it. Alone that is. When you feel this way, learn to lean and rely on the Spirit-he is the only one who can really do missionary work. If you ever feel comfortable, you probably aren’t growing enough. I would always tell new, panicky, freaking-out missionaries that they are so lucky. Over the next few months they will learn to rely on the Spirit like never before. And what power comes when you do that! Always remember, before your mission, in the MTC, 6 weeks in, 9 months in, 18 months in, that you can’t do it alone.

So there you have it, the 4 most important things you can do to prepare for you mission:

  1. Do the simple things (read, pray, keep the commandments, become like Christ).

  2. Go out teaching with the missionaries and take mission prep.

  3. Feast on the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel.

  4. Learn to rely on the Spirit.

I want to make a side comment. While not as important, this is something I did that helped me a lot.
Before my mission I read TONS of those missionary books written by people like John Bytheway and Clayton Christensen, etc.  I’m telling ya, Seagull and Deseret Book ain’t never seen a more loyal customer in their missionary section.
All of these books were so fun to read and got me even more siked for the mission. But you just can’t read all of them in so short amount of time.
For that reason, my next post will be a book review on all the missionary books I have personally read (which is a lot). I’ll talk about which ones helped me the most, so you can prioritize your time, energy, and money!

But remember, the best things you can do to prepare are the things you already know, and are probably already doing:)

Best of luck,

Klair

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