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!!! Continue reading

76 Things to Know About the MTC

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I’ve seen a bunch of lists and things about the MTC. Well, the blog ain’t named one stop for nothing. Here you will find everything you need to know about the MTC in 76 lovely little points. Feel free to comment with any other tips or suggestions!

  1. The MTC is sacred ground. Think of all the people there, with a purpose exact to yours. It is an experience unlike any other.
  2. Study chapter three of Preach My Gospel. Be ready to teach those lessons asap!
  3. Pack all you need for at least your first day (or your entire MTC stay if you’re really good at packing/will only be staying there two weeks) in one suitcase. Much easier.
  4. If you’re taking three suitcases, think about how you will manage them all by yourself? I would recommend taking two large suitcases and one duffel bag (good for overnighters on the mission anyways:)
  5. Mark your suitcase handles with ribbon, duct tape, or something noticeable.
  6. The food ISN’T THAT BAD. And there’s always several options to choose from.
  7. You WON’T die if you drink the orange juice.
  8. ALL YOU CAN EAT ICE CREAM ON WEDNESDAYS AND SUNDAYS!
  9. Take the district cereal challenge and see if your whole district can finish one container of cereal in one morning.
  10. Elders, take the jello challenge-slurp the whole thing of jello out in one gulp. Just don’t do it too many times…
  11. While waiting in line at the cafeteria, practice introducing someone to the Book of Mormon, etc!
  12. There is an option for sack breakfast if you have gym or temple or something in the morning.
  13. On P-Day eat at the temple cafeteria:)
  14. Bring/buy snacks at the bookstore – you might want them and there’s no taking food from the cafeteria!!
  15. They’ll tell you to just make it to your first Sunday-and that’s true! But even if you have a breakdown after that-that’s normal too!
  16. You get money on your card (which they’ll give to you on your first day) every week. Elders-$6. Sisters-$8. You’ll use this card to get in the buildings, for the cafeteria, and for supplies you need to purchase, which the $6/$8 is used for.
  17. Buy stuff at the bookstore-it’s super cheap! My fav was the Pentel scripture marking pen with 7 or so different colors in one-it’s like $7 at the MTC but $20 anywhere else.
  18. Purchase the slidey-clip things at the bookstore for $2. They’re awesome for your card, etc. and much easier than a lanyard.
  19. Bring a little bit of string to attach your room key to your slidey-clip.
  20. Buy a MTC shirt or water bottle. When else are ya going to get one??
  21. Don’t worry, anything you forget you can get at the bookstore.
  22. There are usually a lot of leftover hangers in the rooms already.
  23. It’s not absolutely necessary that you bring your own sheets for the MTC. Yes…some do have stains but you can find spotlessly clean ones:)
  24. Bring flip flops for the showers. No need to expand further.
  25. Sing hymns in the showers.
  26. Be careful about singing anything else … (even if you know your mission allows Disney or whatever) be sensitive to others.
  27. When missionaries leave the MTC, they usually leave some stuff behind. There will be a donation table somewhere on your floor or at least building. Check it out and donate as well.:)
  28. Put your orange dot (that you get to wear on the front of your tag the first day) on the back of your tag when you’re done with it.
  29. Bring a shoulder bag to fit all your books (snacks) into that you can carry around campus.
  30. You can leave materials in your classroom at the MTC, only your district uses it the whole time you’re there:)
  31. Hot or cold-adjust the room temperature right as you get there because it takes a while to kick in!
  32. If you walk into class your first day and your teacher is only speaking your mission language, don’t panic. I think all of them do that!
  33. Your language material will weigh at least 12 pounds.
  34. Your MTC companion is one of the best. You’re both scared, excited, fired up, taking on a whole new adventure together! Make the relationship count.
  35. Be ready to teach an investigator right off the bat.
  36. Yes, your teachers will pretend to be investigators and you and your companion will teach them over a period of time.
  37. I don’t think any likes role playing at first. But eventually, you will come to love it, if you allow it:)
  38. Your first or second night you will be in a group with all the new missionaries and be able to be with some missionaries teaching an investigator. They pass the mic around and you’ll have a chance to address the investigator’s concerns, answer questions, etc.
  39. They give you pamphlets covering each of the lessons but don’t really use them. Familiarize yourself with them anyway! They are so handy to teach from and will probably be very used in your mission (if they aren’t, use them!!)
  40. Be best friends with your district. Those can be some of the best relationships.
  41. Serve your zone, district, roommates, and companion.
  42. You attend regular Sunday services as a zone.
  43. Elders – be gentlemen. Sisters – let them.
  44. Do fun things with your companion and district…match on Wednesdays, take a picture of all of your tags together, anything!
  45. Tuesdays-decorate a door for incoming missionaries! (If they’re in your zone you can get their names and everything).
  46. Write notes to those around you! Do it as a room, companionship, district, anything.
  47. Don’t worry. Just like the temple, there’s lots of people there to help you along the way.
  48. Remember and take the contact information of your MTC instructors-they really do wanna hear how your mission goes.
  49. Develop a relationship with your branch/district presidency. They are your mission president for the time you are in the MTC!
  50. Of course, take a picture by the huge world map outside the cafeteria!
  51. And find your mission president and wife across the hall from the map.
  52. Throughout the MTC there are pictures of missionaries/members throughout the world. Find one from your mission! (and take a picture)
  53. Take so many pictures!!!
  54. Tuesday and Sunday night are devotional nights. They are the best:)
  55. If it’s there, listen to Elder Bednar’s talk “The Character of Christ”. Maybe even twice.
  56. Join the choir🙂 It is a great experience, even if you don’t like to sing!
  57. If you are a musician, you can perform at the various meetings for the whole MTC. They have instruments and music you can borrow there, but start practicing!:)
  58. Your second Wednesday, enjoy yelling “Welcome to the MTC!!! To all the new missionaries (who can be identified by the bright orange dot on their tag:)
  59. Use your gym time well…
  60. You have about 10 hours of classroom time a day!
  61. Sisters, the early morning sisters-only gym time is totally worth it.
  62. During gym time, hit up the gym in the basement of the bookstore, as well as the main one, and the field across the street if weather permits:)
  63. Sisters, just say no to yoga pants.
  64. It’s okay if you get lost.
  65. Tell your friends and family to use Dearelder.com!
  66. No music allowed at the MTC:) save your iPods etc. for the field!
  67. You get to go to the temple on P-Days and have a temple walk on Sundays:)
  68. Bring a fold-able laundry bag so you can transport your clothes on P-Days!
  69. Email while you’re doing laundry on the computers down there – saves time:) (and I believe it’s the only place you can send pictures from)
  70. You get one hour to email.
  71. Exact obedience brings miracles!
  72. You can engrave your scriptures here for free!
  73. You can get your clothes altered, but give them about a week!
  74. The barber shop is good!
  75. Milk those 15 minutes of quiet time at the end of the day. Take off your tag. Look at it. Remind yourself why you’re here.
  76. Set goals ahead of time for the MTC. Whether it’s to memorize the first vision, D&C 4, read through all of PMG once, whatever. Also set goals for your mission as a whole:)

Continue reading

The Return! + 4 simple tips for a great mission

Hey guys, after 18 awesome months, I’m baaaaccck!!

It’s been a whole transfer since I got home from my mission but let’s be real, I’m just getting back into this whole technology thing.

Can I just say (and I’ll say it quickly) it’s true. All of it. THE BEST 18 MONTHS OF LIFE, so far:) But it’s also true they won’t be the only ‘best months’.

So I’ll be posting lots more now that ‘I really know’ (jk, you never really know) and have experienced it for myself. But last week in my YSA ward a couple kids announced their mission calls ( 😀 ) and I offered them some things I learned while on my mission before I started my talk. So here are my

Four Simple Tips for a Great Mission:

  1. Never delay a prompting. Make that decision now or you’ll chicken out in the heat of the moment. No joke.

  2. Write in your journal everyday. Everyday. You’ll regret doing it any other way:)

  3. Expect to baptize. A LOT. No matter where you are. “The field is white” only means one thing. HARVEST.

  4. Finally, don’t just work hard. Learn real growth and consecration. More on that coming soon.

Serving a mission has been the best decision I’ve ever made, (so far:) Nothing is better than being a full-time, consecrated servant of the Lord. And nothing is sweeter than learning that that can happen anytime, anywhere – meaning that once you’re released, it doesn’t end. He calls us all.

 

Til next time,

Klair

 

18 Ways to Beat the Heat When Serving Your Mission in a Hot Climate

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In 2 days, I leave for the MTC. After just 12 short days, I’ll fly out to the Jamaica Kingston Mission. And I’m stoked.

Here’s the deal, I totally thought no way was I going somewhere hot and humid (like my brother who just got home) because I HATED sweating and all that nasty stuff. I loved winter and fall. Not that I didn’t love summer, I just thought 3 months out of the year enough. Then I got called to Jamaica – tropical, humidity at 80%+, 75-85 degrees, summer all year round. AND IT WAS PERFECT. I totally didn’t care that I didn’t get called to Alaska. Jamaica’s for me, I know it without even being there yet. GO HUMIDITY!!! ❤

But I have learned some things about how to die a little less in the heat. So, here’s

18 Ways to Beat the Heat When Serving Your Mission in a Hot Climate

1. Don’t take shirts you have to layer under.     It’s totally possible to find cute shirts that aren’t see through and require an undershirt. Check this out for some examples of what I got and this out for a complete list of where to shop.

2. Don’t take too many dark colors.     I think we all know this – dark colors absorb more of the sun’s heat.

3. Put on deodorant AT NIGHT and in the morning.     (Let the salts absorb and start working while you’re sleeping.)

4. Wear men’s deoderant.     :0 that’s what I said-it’s the same exact thing, just stronger.

5. Bring a bandana/cloth of some sort or two to wipe off some sweat when you’re out walking.

6. If you’re going to wear foundation – make it powder, liquid will just slide off. I’ve found THE BEST foundation right here, L’oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder that applies like a liquid but feels and stays on like powder. TIS MY FAV.

7. If you’re going to wear mascara – make it waterproof.     My fav? Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Waterproof Mascara. Stays on like a champ and makes your lashes extra long. BONUS: for a more natural look and to not worry one bit about black getting all over your eyes: clear mascara. I love this one.

8. Get some oil blotting sheets that will get rid of that excess shine but not remove your makeup.

9. Lots of sunscreen, make sure you get a good chapstick with sunscreen.

10. Carry a little makeup bag around with you with deoderant, makeup to touch up, etc.

11. DRINK WATER. LOTS.     Ok, one of my absolute fav things – I found a MISTING WATER BOTTLE at WalMart and I tried to find a link for you guys but couldn’t. (Here’s a link to a misting fan though.) But look for one of those. Drink, mist, drink, mist, drink, mist, drink, mist. Yeah, absolutely worth the money a million times over.

12. Take a mini fan(s).     I took a handheld fan and a necklace fan to California in June and they were heaven. Once again, no links (boo WalMart) but I found a couple similar ones here and here (this one really cool – it mists too!). I’m also taking a small desk fan, found here.

13. Maybe try out those neck coolers kinda like this. Haha hey, comfort and hydration before style.

14. GARMENTS – I have researched this and researched this and researched this. What’s the answer? Personal preference really. I would dare venture, however, that the best garment material for hot weather is either mesh or dri-lux (I mean, that’s what the dri-lux was made for.) But you won’t die if you’re in love with another kind and want to take it. My fav is a spandex bottom and a dri-lux top and that’s the majority of what I plan on wearing. I’m taking mesh and a few other fabrics too though. So that’s that!

15. Use Febreeze instead of perfume.     It eliminates odor better and is less sticky.

16. Don’t over pack on the necklaces and other jewelry – you’ll probably not wear a ton when it’s way hot anyway.

17. Baby powder.   So those shoes don’t smell so bad.

18. To remove armpit stains: Sorry for potentially grossing you out, but every time I see a boyfriend's collection of sweaty, armpit stained undershirts, I always ask myself if there is a way to get rid of those ugly stains without having to purchase packs and packs of shirts. Voila!

 

I’m trying to think if there’s anything else I’ve learned but I think that’s all; if I think of any I’ll add em. Pretty much, if you’re like me and would have preferred the cold til you totally fell in love with the place: just embrace it!  You’re so lucky. Comment with any other tips for serving in the heat and/or humidity!!

 

 

Klair