Physical and Temporal Well-Being

“Physical and Temporal Well-Being,” Missionary Handbook (2010), 43–53


“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God” (D&C 88:119).

“All things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created” (D&C 29:34).

Finances

The funds you receive from the mission are sacred. They represent sacrifices by you, your family, and others. Budget your money. Be thrifty and wise in how you spend it.

Use funds from the mission for rent, groceries, personal grooming items, laundry, cleaning supplies, haircuts, postage for weekly letters to family, fast offerings, and transportation. Limit how often you eat at restaurants, including fast-food restaurants.

Any funds remaining after these expenses should be returned to the mission. Do not save money received from the mission from month to month to purchase personal items, such as clothing, cameras, or souvenirs. Mission-related telephone expenses should be submitted to the mission office.

Use funds from home for other necessary expenses, such as replacing necessary clothing, bicycle purchase and repairs, approved telephone calls home, and medical expenses not paid by the mission (medical care for preexisting conditions, co-payments, and normal eye or dental care).

Keep other expenses to a minimum and pay for them with funds from home, including expenses for film and film developing, souvenirs, gifts, traffic and parking fines, and any damage that you cause to apartments or vehicles by abuse or failure to maintain them properly. Talk with your mission president if you have questions about what expenses are appropriate.

Avoid collecting too many personal items and souvenirs. You should not have more than two suitcases and one carrying bag. If you serve outside your own country, you will have to list items obtained during your mission in your customs declaration and may need to pay customs duties when you return home.

Never loan or borrow money. If you need additional money, talk to your mission president.

Reserve Fund

Keep a reserve fund with enough cash that you could travel to mission headquarters if you were not able to obtain money through the normal way.

Tithing and Fast Offerings

You are not expected to pay tithing on funds you receive for your mission. You should pay tithing through your home ward on any other income. Contribute fast offerings each fast Sunday in the ward where you serve.

Housing

Your mission president must approve all missionary housing. Housing should be safe, clean, and economical. It should allow you to maintain privacy and the dignity of your calling. Report to your mission president any changes in your housing that would make it no longer in harmony with approved standards.

Never live in a home where unmarried people of the opposite sex live or where the spouse of your own sex is frequently absent. Never teach investigators or members in your living quarters or accept visits from them there. Do not give your address to nonmembers or make your address publicly known.

Clean your living quarters each preparation day and daily as needed (see D&C 42:41; 90:18). Follow maintenance guidelines established by your mission president and your landlord. Inform the mission office of needed repairs. You will need to use personal funds to pay for any damage you cause to your apartment.

Your mission president, his wife, or others he assigns will inspect your quarters regularly.

Do not keep pets of any kind.

Transportation

Bicycles

If you ride a bicycle, learn bicycle safety rules, use caution, obey all traffic rules, and use proper hand signals. Avoid riding after dark, in heavy traffic, or in bad weather. You may need to adapt travel to weather conditions or even cancel some activities in severe weather.

In many situations, you and your companion should not ride bicycles side-by-side or follow too closely, but you should always stay within sight of each other.

Always wear a helmet that is safety certified by a recognized industry group. Keep your bicycle in good working order. Make sure it has a working headlight and taillight, a clearly visible rear reflector, and reflectors on both sides. As appropriate, wear reflective gear on your clothing.

Lock and secure your bicycle when you are not riding it. If it is lost, stolen, or damaged, you will need to replace or repair it from your personal funds.

Automobiles

Use of a mission-owned vehicle is a privilege. If you do not obey the rules or if you cause a serious preventable accident, you will lose this privilege for the rest of your mission. To drive a vehicle, you must:

  • Be legally licensed.

  • Be certified by your mission president to drive.

  • Be assigned by the president as the “designated driver.”

  • Be thoroughly familiar with the rules and procedures for using a vehicle.

Drive only mission-owned vehicles. You are not authorized to drive any other vehicles, including motorcycles or scooters. Do not drive vehicles assigned to other missionaries unless authorized by your mission president. Do not drive vehicles owned by members or nonmembers.

Do not give rides to anyone other than full-time missionaries. The only exception is for a member who is going to or from a teaching appointment with you and cannot drive his or her own vehicle.

Use mission vehicles only for approved purposes in your assigned area. Stay within established mileage limitations.

Pray for the Lord’s protection. Be safety conscious at all times. Drive defensively. Everyone in the car must wear an individual seat belt whenever the vehicle is moving. If a cellular phone has been approved for your area, only the missionary who is not driving may use it in the car.

Both companions share responsibility for safety and vehicle maintenance. The companion not driving must remain alert to assist the driver. One missionary is to stand outside the vehicle and direct the driver whenever he or she is backing. Drive with headlights on day and night.

If you are involved in an accident, refer to the “What to Do If You Have an Accident” packet, which should be kept in the glove compartment. The mission vehicle coordinator must authorize any repairs.

Never tamper with the vehicle’s odometer. Tampering is dishonest and in many places is a criminal offense.

Health and Safety

“Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

“Watch, therefore, that ye may be ready” (D&C 50:46; see also Proverbs 1:33).

Health

Your health and safety are of great importance. Maintain your health so that you can serve with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. Frequently study the Missionary Health Guide. Exercise daily according to guidelines in it. Always stay with your companion during exercise.

If you need medical care, call your mission president immediately. He will know where the best medical care can be obtained. Visits to a physician or other health-care professional should be authorized in advance by your mission president or his representative. In an emergency, get help immediately and then inform your mission president as soon as possible.

Safety

Follow safety rules for pedestrians, vehicles, bicycles, appliances, heaters, and anything that is potentially dangerous.

Fuel-burning heaters that do not work properly can be very dangerous. Follow instructions in the Missionary Health Guide for using these heaters. Do not risk your health or safety for any reason, including to save money.

Security

Listen to and follow the promptings of the Spirit, which can warn you of danger. Be sensitive to anything that is out of the ordinary, especially anyone who watches you closely or asks probing questions. Immediately report any possible problems to your mission president and to your district leader or zone leaders.

Stay away from unsafe areas. Travel after dark only in lighted areas. Vary the routes you travel. Walk quickly and with purpose. Do not fill your carrying case with too many items or with materials that are heavy or bulky, which could create the impression you have items of value. Do not resist if you meet thieves. Carry a little cash with you so you have something you could give to thieves.

Avoid situations that could lead to confrontations. Stay away from public demonstrations and from locations where those seeking to cause trouble might target you. Because of the close association in some people’s minds of the Church with the United States of America, in some countries you may need to avoid locations or institutions associated with the United States and avoid areas where large groups of people have anti-American feelings.

Be careful what you say and write in public and in private. Do not make negative or offensive comments about political or cultural circumstances, even in letters or e-mails home. Never become involved in political or commercial activities or in discussions or arguments on political or economic topics.

In some countries it is illegal to photograph government buildings, including embassies, airports, military installations, and other city, state, or national buildings.

Do not take pictures of civil unrest or demonstrations. Do not photograph sacred objects or statues.

Never take part in pranks or joke about terrorism or terrorist acts. Such actions may lead to serious problems.

In all ways be wise and mature in your conduct.