Wondering what extras for missionaries will help your missionary be more comfortable, healthy and happy? I’m here with all of the 100 recommended extras to send with your missionary!
After your son or daughter get the mission call comes the momentous task of purchasing everything they need AND then packing it!
In the Missionary Portal, you will find a list of “What to Bring.” While these lists do contain the basics of what your missionary will need, missionaries and parents who have “been there done that” might recommend extras that make life a little easier for your missionary!
You can find specifics in Facebook groups for your missionary’s location…but I’ve looked through HUNDREDS of facebook posts and compiled a list of 100 recommended “Extras” that will apply to many missions!
Read on to see some amazing product recommendations for missionaries to make your missionary’s experience better.
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Technology Extras for Missionaries:
There are many technology products that will help your missionary communicate with you, keep records of their experiences and enjoy their mission!
Selfie stick/tripod: Most missionaries have phones on their missions, and many use their phones for photos. This combination selfie stick tripod comes with a remote and will help your missionary record all of those special moments with ease! It packs down super small as well.
Canon PowerShot 190: This camera has a feature that you can set up to automatically upload photos when it is near Wi-Fi. My nephews would even write notes and take a picture so their moms would get messages that way! You may want to purchase additional memory cards.
Having a Noise Cancelling Microphone Headset will make weekly calls home so much better for everyone!
Bluetooth Folding keyboard: This keyboard will let your missionary type notes, letters and even journal onto their phone. They can then transfer it to Google Docs or email on their P-Day. Anything that helps your missionary potentially write more is a definite win for missionary parents!!
Flash Drive for Photos: If you’ve sent a camera with an SD card with your missionary, this thumb drive will get the photos off their camera (or phone if compatible!) and onto the computer for P-day emails easy. (Have them practice before they head out!)
Speaker with SD/TF Card Reader: Music can make such a difference for morale! I love this idea of purchasing a speaker that has a SD card reader. You can download MP3 songs onto the SD cards and label them (Instrumental, Christmas, Sabbath music etc) so your missionary can pop the SD card into the speaker and listen to mission approved music! The cards are also so tiny that you can periodically download a new album and send it along! I would look for a speaker that includes a headphone jack. You can read all about how to get the music downloaded on this post How to send music with your missionary
Power Converter: A converter is different than a travel adapter.An adapter helps the plugs on an electronic fit into a foreign outlet. A converter changes the voltage in the outlet to fit the voltage your device needs. Please check they countries listed to make sure that it is the correct converter for your missionary’s country.
Watch: Missionaries need a simple watch for telling time. TONS of stateside missionaries recommend the Shark Leash Watch. If your missionary is going somewhere with a high rate of theft, go for something less flashy (and cheaper) like this Casio watch (it has a built-in calculator, which is strangely popular with the mission age set ha!!).
Logitech Web Cam: Your missionary might need a web cam to communicate with you on P-Days. This one is inexpensive but works well!
Sleeping Extras for Missionaries
Sleeping bag liner Occasionally, missionaries will do an overnight trade with another set of missionaries. This lightweight and compact sleeping bag liner works like a portable set of sheets for your missionary so he or she can sleep comfortably and clean!
Lightweight fleece blanket Depending on where your missionary is serving, they may or may not be able to purchase a comfortable blanket. Using compression bags, you can squish a blanket quite well so it is a great thing to send with! We have two of this exact blanket and they are cozy and have held up for years.
Compact Down blanket If your missionary is serving somewhere colder, this compact down blanket will be an excellent choice to keep them warm and cozy.
Bedbug mattress cover In many developing countries, bedbugs are something your missionary is sure to encounter. Having a bedbug proof cover should help them avoid bedbug bites. The bad news is, it isn’t super reasonable to send a new cover for each transfer…so you’re missionary will need to wash it on hot water and dry it in a hot dryer (if possible!) to kill bedbugs between transfers. I figure it is worth it to at least try to help!
Bedbug pillow cover You’ll want to send one of these as well!
Pillow This is definitely an extra..but if your child is serving a foreign mission this will be so helpful to have them feel cozy and comfortable in bed! There might not be similar pillow options like the ones they are used to in the U.S. This one is actually a decent size…it doesn’t compact down immensely…but the large size can be 13.5” x 5” x7”
Do I need to send bedsheets with my missionary?
Bedsheets can be easily bought by missionaries serving stateside, but they are an extra you should think about sending with your missionary if they are going foreign. For one, they might not be able to purchase sheets. My nephew was told he could purchase sheets at his foreign MTC, but they had run out when he got there and he had to sleep on a (not lovely) bare bed for three months before they could ship some to him. Poor guy!
Another reason it is a good idea to send sheets with your missionary is because of the variety of sheets available to purchase in the U.S. Sheets. There are cooling, wicking, and extra warm sheets…grab a few and send them with! Remember, compression bags are your friend for bedding, towels and pillows.
One (foreign) missionary’s mom recommended sending 4 full size flat sheets because beds aren’t always uniform in size. This way her missionary had extras during laundry day and/or to use for other reasons (curtains, changing area etc). Send them with 3M reusable hooks and plenty of the adhesive strips and they can get creative.
Cooling Bed Sheets: This is another extra most needed by missionaries going foreign, especially in areas where it is hot and humid. These will help wick sweat and keep your missionary more comfortable..
Jersey Bed Sheets: If your missionary is serving where it is cold, these jersey bed sheets are comfy and a little cozier.
Mosquito Net Cover for bed: If your missionary is serving in an area with mosquitos, this pop up mosquito net bed tent will be a lifesaver! I read reviews on all of the pop ups and this one (although slightly more expensive) had the best reviews with more comments on the high quality and ease of use. Another less expensive option is a mosquito net canopy that hangs from the ceiling (which could be hard to install and easy to get wrapped up in while sleeping).
Luggage extras for missionaries to bring
Besides the luggage itself, there are several items recommended by missionaries and their moms that will make packing and transfers easier!
Packing cubes: These cubes allow for segmentation and organization in the luggage so your missionary won’t have to dig through the entire bag. I purchased two different colors so we could separate things even more.
Compression Bags: These are a lifesaver for “fluffy” items that you need to be smaller like a blanket, pillow, towels and sweaters. They are easy to use and really help to save space.
TSA Approved locks: It might feel strange to purchase locks to protect your missionary from theft but unfortunately theft does happen. I remember when my parents were working in the temple the temple president said we have locks on temple lockers so people aren’t tempted. Missionaries will come from all different socioeconomic backgrounds. Although they might not have terrible intentions to steal, your missionary can (and should) remove the temptation others might have to steal from them by locking up their suitcases and valuables. You might also want to purchase a Backpack Lock for transfers or overnights.
Backpack for Exchanges: Many missions discourage backpacks for proselyting, but it is smart to send a backpack with for when missionaries do overnight exchanges. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy but it is nice to have!
Travel straps: You’ll want to send anything that makes travel and transfers easier! These straps will allow your missionary to attach two suitcases together so there is less to roll around! You could also send something like this bag bungee if it makes more sense.
Silicone moisture absorbers: Did you know that luggage can get moldy? If you are sending your missionary somewhere that is humid, the last thing you want is for them to have moldy/mildewing luggage! After reading through a lot of silicone moisture absorber options, this one seems like the best option to me! The color of the beads change so your missionary will know when they need to “reset” the absorber by either placing it in the hot sun, baking it in an oven or putting it in the microwave. These can also be used in shoes to help dry them out.
Ziploc big bags to keep things dry: If your missionary is somewhere rainy, humid or both, it might be a good idea to put their packing pods or clothes INSIDE these giant ziplocs to keep their clothing dry during transfers. That way, if their suitcases are put on top of buses they don’t have to worry about everything getting wet.
Laundry extras to send with your missionary
There are several things that you can send with your missionary to make clothes washing a less stressful process.
Mesh bag for MTC laundry: Send a simple mesh laundry bag for laundry day at the MTC!
When they are in the field, this sturdy laundry bag is lined and has a zippered pocket and backpack straps to make it easy to carry laundry to a laundromat OR just keep their dirty clothes contained like a hamper.
Laundry soap sheets: This is such a cool invention! This container has 60 loads worth of laundry soap in sheet form! They just toss a sheet into the washer and are done! Plus it weighs only SEVEN OUNCES (woot!)
Tide Stain Stick: Wearing dress clothes and eating means inevitable spills. These sticks are miraculous and easy for your missionary to carry in their bag.
Clothes extras for Missionaries
Labels for clothes: The Church recommends labeling missionary clothing…there are a few different options for labeling. One is a permanent ink name clothing stamp that can be customized to your name, the other is 100 personalized iron on labels.
Mini Sewing Kit: A sewing kit is important for missionaries so they can fix clothing if needed. This kit is small and has everything you’ll need.
Lint Remover: This is essential for clothes that are pilling! It is small and easy to pack.
Travel Clothesline: Many countries don’t have clothing dryers, so having a clothesline will make it easier for your missionary on P-Day. Ask in your specific mission (I know Brazil typically doesn’t have dryers!). This clothesline is a bungee cord that stretches, includes 12 clips and stoppers to keep the weight of clothes from all sliding to the middle.
Tie Hanger This is compact and will keep all of their ties looking nice!
Hanging Closet Organizer: Many missionaries serving in developing countries live entirely out of their suitcases because they have no drawer space. I think this is a genius idea that 1) doesn’t weigh very much and 2) can give them organization that they need! This all folds down super compact and can be hung in their closets. It has six cubbies and comes with three drawers (including one that would be perfect for socks and/or ties!
Travel Jewelry Organizer: There are a lot of travel jewelry options, but I love that this one has a hanger so it can be a more permanent part of the room (send 3M hooks!).
Shoe extras for Missionaries
You spend a good amount of money on shoes for your missionary so their feet are comfortable and dry! These shoe extras will help keep their shoes in tip-top shape so they last longer.
Extra shoelaces: It is such a good idea to pack some extra shoelaces for your missionary! Then if a shoelace breaks they are ready to go.
Boot dryer: For humidity and wet snow boots, these boot dyers will help prolong the life of their shoes. You could also go for dryers that do NOT plug in like the charcoal bags below.
Moisture absorber/deodorizer: These charcoal bags can be put into shoes to absorb moisture and deodorize.
Shoe shine kit: If your missionary does preventative care, their shoes will last so much longer. This kit is amazing, it has brushes, shoe polish and shoe leather conditioner (and comes in the coolest little leather bag!).
Superfeet Insoles: Superfeet insoles come highly recommended by missionaries! These will provide extra support and comfort for our missionaries who can walk 12-15 miles a day in some areas. They can be taken in and out of shoes easily each day. If you can purchase two (one for now, one for later), I would recommend doing that. They can fit in envelopes for shipping later but they are expensive to lose in the mail! Read the descriptions to decide which is best for your missionary’s foot issues.
Shoe Goo: This is a quick and easy to use adhesive especially made for shoes! Your missionary will be able to fix simple shoe problems easily and get back on the road again.
Extra Hygiene Items to Send with your Missionary
You might be wondering what types of products will be available for your missionary to purchase where they are serving. If they are called to a foreign country, there are some hygiene items you might want to send them with!
Mesh Shower Bag: This will come in handy especially in the MTC when your missionary is sharing showers. This handy little bag is made of mesh but has lots of pockets for holding shampoo, conditioner, body wash and razors. It has a handle that can be hung up and will dry quickly!
Deodorant: Some countries carry only deodorant, not anti-perspirant. If you want your missionary to have the deodorant they are used to, stock up on about 18 sticks for 2 years, and 15 sticks for 18 months.
Hair cutting tools: Whether you have an Elder who will use Hair Clipper set or a sister who might benefit from having a good pair of hair scissors for trims and cuts, this is a valuable and time saving product to send.
Microfiber towels: If your son or daughter is serving somewhere humid, a microfiber towel will be such a wonderful thing to have! They dry faster and are more absorbent than normal towels. The first towel I’m linking is really fluffy almost like a blanket. This set of microfiber towels is more thin but also very absorbent (we have both types).
Makeup Removing Cloths: If you have a sister missionary, I highly recommend these cloths! They are amazing, and I use them every day to get my makeup off. I just wash my face as normal and then wipe off my eye makeup with these towels o’magic. They wash up great and are reusable, I’ve had mine going on two years and they are in perfect condition.
Extras to keep your Missionary Healthy
Besides prescription medication, there are some extras you can send with your missionary to (hopefully!) prevent sickness and get them feeling better quickly if needed.
First aid kit: This is included in most missionary packing lists, but if you are looking for a great first aid kit this is the one we purchased. It is a good size and has all basic first aid equipment as well as some helpful instructions inside.
Moleskin: Most missionaries do a ton of walking. Supplying your missionary with a roll of moleskin (and explaining how to use it before they go!) will help keep their feet healthy. I would also send pre-shaped moleskin pads for fast application.
Probiotics: If your missionary is heading to a foreign country with questionable water sources, sending them with probiotics can help balance their digestive system.
Diarhhea medicine: Immodium (or it’s cheaper equivalent!) would be good to have on hand for times when food or water doesn’t agree with them.
Sinus Infection Medicine: This would be another important med for your missionary to have on hand that might not be available everywhere.
Cough Medicine: A cough suppressant will come in handy on a late night!
Hydrocortisone Itch Cream: This will help with both rashes and mosquito bites. I know it isn’t available in Brazil so we sent some with our son.
UV Protection Chapstick: A supply of UV protectant chapstick is so important for missionaries who spend a lot of time outside. This has SPF of 44 and comes in a handy three pack.
Earplugs: A handy product to have on hand so they can sleep better if they are living in a noisy area or have a snoring companion. This is a higher end reusable earplug that has a lot of different sizes (I can’t ever get earplugs to stay in!). You could also purchase less expensive disposable earplugs like these.
Fitness Extras to send with your Missionary
Exercise is a part of our missionaries’ daily schedules, but in some locations it is easier than others to get good quality exercise in! Luckily there is fitness equipment that is small enough to pack but super helpful for getting a good workout in, no matter where they are serving!
Pedometer: Although this isn’t necessarily for their “fitness,” sending your missionary with a pedometer to track daily miles is such a great idea! They can attach it to their belt or use the included lanyard. Have them write down how many miles they have trekked each day in their journal. At the end of their mission, calculate up the miles (it is astounding!). You could also get this pedometer with a built in clip.
Jumprope: Jumping rope is one of the best exercises you can do and can be done inside or out! This jumprope can be used with the rope or cordless and it has a jump counter.
Exercise bands: This is another great pick for missionaries! This set comes with bands and a door anchor so they can get resistance exercise inside of their apartment. Make sure to check the maximum combined weight on each listing…this is “middle” range so the bands can be combined to create 150 pounds of resistance. If you have a missionary who needs more or less weight resistance there are other band options by this brand.
Extras to send that will make your missionary more comfortable
Even though your missionary will be serving far away from home, you want them to be comfortable and happy! Here are some products I’ve seen recommended by missionaries that have helped them be more comfy.
Cooling towel frogg toggs: There are other brands out there, but this one was most highly rated! This size is a neck towel and can be re-used. Just get it wet, ring it out and it provides HOURS of cooling for your missionary in a hot environment! Make sure to wash this per directions before your missionary leaves so it is all ready for them to use!
Neck Fan: Full disclosure, I have seen this recommended but worry a tiny bit about how much they look like headphones in an area with high crime? (Let me know if you’ve had good or bad experiences with neck fans and your missionary in the comments below!) They look spectacular though, your missionary wears it around his/her neck and it blows cool air. This is rechargeable with USB.
Massage balls We can all agree that our missionaries work hard physically! This set of massage balls will let them rub out some of the stress from their day.
Rechargeable Hand Warmers: If your missionary is headed somewhere cold, these will help keep their fingers from freezing! They last 12 hours and have three levels of warmth.
Cleaning extras to send with your missionary
Sending your missionary with equipment to clean their apartment is so important! Obviously, you won’t be sending actual cleaners, but getting them set up with some essential equipment might make them more likely to tackle a big cleaning project! These are some cleaning extras that missionary moms suggest sending.
Cleaning rags This 12 pack of microfiber cloths is affordable and colorful! Have your missionary decide on a color for each area of the apartment to avoid cross contaminating (for example, yellow is kitchen, blue is bathroom etc).
Scrubbing Brush: I would also recommend sending a few scrubbing brushes. Label these Kitchen or Bathroom so they don’t get mixed up!
Cooking Extras for Missionaries
One of the biggest adjustments for our missionaries revolves around FOOD. Not only will they be preparing food, but they also may not have access to the food and seasoning they are used to! Here are some cooking extras that you haeer moms recommend to send with you rmissinoaries.
Favorite Seasoning: Ranch seasoning and Taco seasoning are two of the most highly recommended to send with your missionary. You can do bigger containers if you have extra weight and space in your suitcases or ranch seasoning packets or taco seasoning packets that you can squish inbetween things.
Collapsible Measuring cups and spoons: Send a set of collapsible (and colorful!) measuring cups and spoons that they can use for cooking
Peanut butter: This is the number one most requested item for missionary’s serving outside the U.S.A.! It just isn’t available everywhere. One great option are these peanut butter pouches. They can squish in the suitcases, contain 6 ounces of PB and have a lid so they can close it up. These don’t last forever though…so you will need to resend PB in future packages!
Mac and Cheese flavoring: If your missionary loves mac and cheese, sending cheese powder is an easy way to help them get their fix! Some form of pasta is usually available in most countries, then they will just need to add some flavoring!
Drink Mixes for Water: Sometimes the water in other countries doesn’t taste great, but you want your missionary to drink plenty of H2O! Send some drink mixes for water and possibly with electrolytes to help them stay hydrated. Mapleine Flavoring: By mixing this with a simple syrup (water + sugar in saucepan), they can have maple syrup for pancakes or waffles.
I hope these product recommendations for missionary “extras” are helpful! I know we all wish we could package up everything and send them with our missionary, but pick and choose those things that are most important for your missionary in particular. And remember…you can send packages as well when you know what your missionary needs!
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