What an exciting time! Now that your missionary has received their mission call and you know where they will be spending the next 18-24 months, you get to start planning and preparing for their mission.
That can seem a bit overwhelming, but I’m here to help! Here are the first 10 things to do with your son or daughter after they open their mission call.
- Explore the missionary portal: The missionary portal has a WEALTH of information that you need to know right away. The portal will tell you important information including:
- MTC Information: (Click on General Instructions and scroll down to MTC Experience). Currently, missionaries participate in one-two weeks of home MTC before heading off to their respective MTCs. Right now there are 10 different MTC locations including Provo, Brazil, Mexico, Ghana, Colombia, England, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, and South Africa. Some MTCs (including the Mexico MTC) train missionaries to speak a language in their stateside mission. Make sure you check out this important info!
- Vaccination Info: (Click on Medical Information and scroll to the bottom). This will tell you what vaccinations your missionary needs to have completed before they go into the mission field
- Packing List (Click on What to Bring): This gives specific items and amounts of clothing and other products your missionary will need to pack.
- Travel Info: (Click on Missionary Travel): This section will tell you what documents you need (i.e. Passport, Visa) as well as acceptable luggage sizes.
- Announce to friends and family where your missionary will be serving: Not only is this a great opportunity to explain what a mission involves and do some missionary work of your own…it is also a great “network” to establish. Chances are good that someone will know someone who has experience with the mission your child will be serving in! Hopefully, you can establish helpful friendships that will provide you with information specific to your mission.
3. Start the process to apply for a Passport + Visa if needed: If your missionary is serving out of the country OR will be reporting to a foreign MTC for language training before serving stateside, you need to get the ball rolling on Passport first…then the Visa if needed (you will need passport information to fill out Visa paperwork). Have your missionary check their mission email (should be sent within a week of their mission call) for the Visa email. It will give a detailed list of necessary documents and paperwork as well as how to submit it. This needs to be done as soon as possible so there is no delay in leaving the MTC for the mission.
4. Learn about where your missionary will be serving: This might mean asking on a Facebook page, reaching out to friends/family that have served in that mission or doing a good ol’ Google search. Some things to look at: population, primary religion, type of government, main trade, tourist attractions, languages spoken, average temperature, food/recipes etc.
5. Learn about Church History in the country they will serve in: On the church website type in the name of the mission and see what articles pop-up. Is there a temple there or close by? In the Global Histories section on the Church website, you can read about the history of our church in specific countries including church chronology, stories of faith, by the numbers and additional information. It is fascinating and so informative!
6. Talk to your Bishop or Branch President about scheduling for your missionary’s endowment session, Priesthood Ordination (Elders), and Mission Farewell: Getting these things on the calendar will help your family members make necessary arrangements to support your missionary AND help you prepare for these momentous occasions.
7. Join Facebook Group(s) for your son or daughter’s mission: These groups are a wealth of information from missionaries and/or parents who have “been there done that” in regards to sending off a missionary. Even though the church sends a packing list, there may be items that current missionaries recommend or say to leave at home.
8. Start pricing and purchasing items your missionary needs to purchase: Go through the packing list and figure out which items your missionary needs. Look at specific product recommendations (that I research and share on Missionary Square) and start writing down approximate costs for the clothing and other items your missionary will need. Create a budget and start shopping sales.
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9. Plan family time/vacation: Now that you know the date your missionary reports to the MTC, it is a great time to be deliberate in planning quality family time. Plan some weekend getaways, schedule family dinners or even plan a bigger vacation. Use this precious time to strengthen your family bond!
10. Start praying for the people in your son or daughter’s mission: Not only will praying for your missionary’s area help your family feel connected from far away, it will also help people that your son or daughter will be teaching very soon!
There you have it…the first 10 things to do after your son or daughter receives their mission call! Is there anything you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!