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 How to send music with your missionary

Wondering how to send music with your missionary? In this post, we will go over the guidelines for music for missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and step-by-step of how to load mp3 songs onto an SD card.

Music is a much bigger part of your life than many people realize, and its absence is felt by missionaries! I loved getting music ready for my missionary son on his mission because I knew that it would offer peace, inspiration and enjoyment in his off time. 

But how do you send  music with your missionary? I’m here to walk you through the steps!

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What do the Missionary Guidelines Say about Music? 

Here is an excerpt about music from the Missionary Portal:

Selecting Music 

Appropriate music can be a powerful source of inspiration. You should select music that meets mission standards and is sacred, dignified, and suitable for missionary work. 

Music Playback Devices 

Generally you are required to use speakers when listening to media. Headphones are used only for approved missionary activities such as communicating with family or taking missionary courses. 

Musical Instruments 

If approved by your mission president, you may bring a musical instrument to the mission field. For instructions on this policy, see Missionary Standards for Disciples of Jesus Christ, 3.6.4.

How do I find out Mission Standards for Music for my mission? 

The best way to do this is to have you son or daughter send an email to their mission asking what their mission’s music standards are. These vary from mission to mission, with some presidents being more strict and some being a bit more relaxed. 

You can find the mission email in the Missionary portal under “General Instructions Checklist,” then scroll down to “Email” and “Mission Email Address.” 

An office Elder responded super quickly to our email!

What devices are best to send music with? 

There are two ways to send music with your missionary. 

  1. Saved on a shared Google Drive that they can play from their smart phone
  2. A bluetooth speaker with an SD or TF Card Slot
  3. Both

Depending on where your missionary is serving, they might have their own phone or a shared companionship phone. In Brazil, where my son is serving, they share a phone so we opted for a Bluetooth speaker since he doesn’t always have access to the phone. 

As months went by, he began to ask for even more songs to be loaded onto a shared Google Drive. Then he would connect their companionship phone via bluetooth to the speaker, so we ended up doing #3!

A photo of a speaker, SD Cards, SD Card Holder and SD Card Reader on a blue desk

What kind of speaker should I send with my missionary? 

There are a few features that you should look for in a missionary music player:

  1. It needs to play music like a speaker (not with headphones) per instructions above. 
  2. It needs to be as small as possible (trust me, packing space is precious!)
  3. It needs to have an SD or TF Card Slot (this will be how your missionary stores and plays their music)
  4. It needs to be durable! One of the options listed below says “shower speakers”…not because your missionary will use them in the shower but because this means they are waterproof which is reassuring when your Elder or Sister is serving in humid and wet environments!

Thankfully there are many amazing options available on Amazon that fit all these requirements! Here are our favorites. 

This MANTO Speaker the bluetooth speaker we sent with our Elder to Brazil. It is a great size and has held up really well! He uses it often (he is a music lover!). This particular model has a TF card slot (which is the same thign as a Micro SD, they work interchangeably!) It also has a Caribiner so it could be hooked onto a bag or bike (if that was okay in your mission?). 

SBOSENT Bluetooth Speaker has both a Micro SD card slot and radio capabilities (which could be great in a natural disaster?). 

This LENRUE Bluetooth Speaker is the biggest of the three and is a cylinder that measures 3” x 7”. It might be the best choice if your missionary is an audiophile who cares a lot about the sound of the music coming out!

What is an Micro SD/TF Card

These are like teeny tiny disks (for all you old people like me! Haha! ) that are inserted INTO the speaker. They hold music on them and can be taken in or out depending on the type of music your missionary wants to listen to. 

They are completely interchangeable…so if your device says TF Card you can use a micro SD Card and vice versa. 

These cards come in different sizes…be sure to check the speaker you purchased to ensure you don’t buy a Card that is too big for the device 32 MB seems to be a standard size! 

And guess how many mp3 format songs you can fit on ONE 32 MB SD/TF card? 8000! EIGHT THOUSAND!

You might be thinking, great! I only need to buy and send one card! Well, you can do that but the speakers make a it difficult to move between songs (you basically toggle to the next song using a button). The best option is to buy as many cards as categories of songs you are sending and limit (and label!) each card for that content.

For example Card A: Christmas Songs

Card B: FSY/EFY Songs

Card C: Instrumental Songs

Card D: Church Hymns

Related Content: 100 of the Best Extras for Missionaries

Here are a few purchasing options for Micro SD/TF Cards

Lexar 3 pack of 32 MB SD Cards

Amazon Basics 2 pack of 64 GB Micro SD Cards These are the cards we bought two of (on Amazon Prime day so on sale!) and they worked perfectly with the MANTO speaker. They are bigger in size so they might not work with others! 

Gigastone 32 MB SD Cards FIVE PACK 

Music Accessories for Missionaries

USB SD Card Reader: This attaches to your computer through a USB slot and makes it so you can transfer the music from your computer to the micro SD/TF Cards super easy!

Micro SD Card Case to hold all of the SD Cards we sent. The cards are SO TINY and this gives your missionary a specific place to store them so they won’t get lost.  

How to find music for your missionary

This is where it gets a bit tricky (and can get expensive!). 

The music for these speakers/SD Cards needs to be in MP3 format. This is the digital format for music. 

You can get Mp3s by purchasing the DIGITAL VERSIONS of songs from Apple Music or from the artist’s websites! 

I asked my son which music he wanted, then started going artist by artist to find digital music we could purchase and download. 

If you have a computer with a CD slot and Music CDs you’d like to get songs from, you can learn how to “rip” CD music to Mp3 format in this article

Websites to purchase MP3 Songs for Missionaries (Select “mp3 download or digital download)

Free Music Options for Missionaries

There are a few websites I found with free music for missionaries! Also, many artists will have one or two free songs on their personal websites.

You also might enjoy: The Best Dress Shirts for Missionaries: Performance Shirt Reviews

Do you know other websites that offer free music or music for missionaries? Share that information in the comments!

Step-By-Step How to Put Music on SD/TF Card

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of how put music onto a speaker for your missionary!

You’ll need a computer, a USB SD Card Reader and as many SD/TF Cards as music categories you have (Ex: one for instrumental, one for Christmas, one for EFY Music etc. 

  1. Talk to your missionary about categories of music that they might enjoy. 
  2. On the computer, create a file folder for each type of music.
  3. Download or rip MP3 song and save them into corresponding folders. 
  4. Attach the USB SD Card Readerto the USB port on your computer
  5. Use a permanent marker to label each SD card with a letter (A,B,C,D etc) and make a document that lists which card goes with which type of music (A-Hymns, B-Instrumental etc). 
  6. Insert the labeled card into the USB SD Card Reader
  7. On your computer, open the “Finder” (Mac) or File Explorer (Windows). Now open one more of the same so there are two! 
  8. In one Finder, open the USB SD Card Reader  (it will show on the Finder’s Sidebar). 
  9. In the other finder, go to the corresponding file of music you want to transfer. Click on the folder and drag it to the USB Card Reader in Finder. 
  10. DONE! Now do the same for every other music category and SD/TF Card. 

Key Takeaways

Music can bring the spirit, give peace and bring joy! Although compiling music on SD/TF cards might sound intimidating, it really is pretty simple.

I hope this information makes it feel like something doable for you! You’ve got this!

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