It’s crunch time! You’ve shed tears as family and friends gathered around while your prospective missionary opened his or her call. You’ve located the mission on the map and figured out how to pronounce it. In just a month or two you will be sending off your son or daughter to experience “The Best Two Years.”
But hang on a minute. You aren’t out of the woods yet! You thought making it through the medical/ecclesiastical appointments required for submitting the papers was tough—but shopping, packing, visas and more could push a mom over the edge…unless you follow these 5 tips:
1. Use the Checklists on the LDS Missionary Portal to Stay Organized
The Church has invested a lot into making missionary prep easy with its user-friendly Missionary Portal. From immunizations to passports to hair and grooming standards, you will find this site a lifesaver (but sometimes the countdown at the top of the page puts on the pressure!).
2. Join a FB Group for Missionary Moms
There are lots of Facebook groups for moms of missionaries, some being mission-specific and others for the country in general (if it’s a non-U.S. mission). These groups can be a lifesaver for those silly, but pertinent, questions like: “Do we send the shirts ironed if they will just get wrinkled in packing?”, “What kind of sheets are best?”, and “Exactly how much anti-diarrhea medicine should we pack?”
3. Use Amazon!!!!
…or any other online shopping site. You DO NOT want to have to trudge through fifty different stores looking for the right think in the right size, right color, etc. Reduce stress and focus on spending quality time (not in line at a store) with your missionary who won’t be around pretty soon.
4. Make YouTube Packing Videos Your Friend
This video may be a little dated, but it has some great info on how to fit everything in your suitcases in a pretty clever way. Other expert packing videos can be found on YouTube, but since this one is geared to LDS missionaries it gives the ins and outs of packing lots and lots of white shirts and slacks or blouses and skirts. Many of us are probably used to packing for a one-week beach vacation but not for two years of mostly wearing dress clothing.
5. Spend Family Time (Not Just Packing Time) with Your Missionary
It may seem like packing and prepping are the number one priority right now, but don’t let your missionary leave with an image of a stressed-out mom on his or her mind. Take time to plan family activities. Enjoy a family game night or even take a mini family vacation. The special memories that are created will help your missionary make it through the tough moments when he or she is really missing home.