Long before you receive your call, there is a lot you can do to prepare to serve the Lord as a missionary. Spiritual preparation to attend the temple, teach the gospel, and share your testimony is very important, but you should also prepare in a few other ways. Here’s some practical advice that will be valuable to you on your mission:

  • Learn how to iron, do laundry, and shine your shoes.

  • Pay attention in your language classes at school. Learning a new language usually makes it easier to learn another, a good skill to have if you need to learn a language for your mission.

  • Practice your letter-writing skills. Writing to missionaries in your family, ward, or branch is a great way to practice.

  • Stay physically fit and eat healthy. A missionary’s life can be very demanding.

  • Go to bed early, and get up early. Get used to it now.

  • As a missionary, you’ll have limited space for your personal items. Learn to pack a suitcase efficiently.

  • Learn to keep your living space neat and clean.

  • Learn how to cook a variety of foods—unless, of course, you want to eat the same thing (or worse, your companion’s cooking) for two years straight!

  • Learn to do minor mending jobs on your clothing, like sewing on buttons, hemming, or patching holes.

  • Know how to work hard. Get a job, serve others, do your best at school, or participate in some other activity that takes great effort. Missionary work is just that, work.

  • Learn how to manage money as you pay tithing and save for your mission.

  • Learn to tie your tie. You can’t ask your dad to do it for you on your mission.

  • Volunteer to teach with the missionaries in your area, and learn what their lives are like. They can help you get some more ideas on how to prepare yourself physically and spiritually to serve a mission.

Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh