With young adults around the world anxiously awaiting the arrival of their mission calls, a number of returned missionaries were asked what advice they would give the next generation of elders and sisters. Learn what they had to say about missionary preparation below.
Gospel Knowledge and Testimony
Personal conversion and a sound understanding of the doctrine of Christ are key elements of preparation—not just for full-time missionary service but for a lifetime of service in the home and in the Church. Learning and living the gospel can be facilitated by studying the scriptures and Preach My Gospel and being actively involved with seminary, institute, and Sunday instruction.
- “Read and love the Book of Mormon as much as possible before you leave. It will bring you closer to the Savior than you could imagine!” — Jaxon Peterson, Texas McAllen Mission, 2008–2010
- “Become converted to the Lord long before you leave. Be a Christlike missionary months before you enter the MTC.” — Jeremy Davis
- “Seminary is important!” — Mamie Schultz Coffey
- “Study the scriptures inside and out. And if you’re still in seminary, memorize the scripture mastery scriptures. They also happen to be the missionary scriptures.” — Kim Siever
- “Know the Bible. A lot of people know the Bible and will understand the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon through it.” — James Fraser, Ohio Cincinnati Mission, 2006–2008
Living a virtuous life is critical to your success in being guided by the Holy Ghost throughout your life. Your personal experience seeking the blessings of the Atonement in your life through righteous living and ongoing repentance will be essential as you invite others to do the same.
- “Be clean and worthy to attend the temple.”— Sheila Foraker
- “Live clean. Pray, repent, and follow the Spirit.”— Oli Smith
- “Above all, be exactly obedient. Obedience brings blessings; exact obedience brings miracles.” — Eva Dominga Nelson, Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission, 2011–2012
- “Practice 100 percent obedience in those things required of you now (curfew, house rules, etc.) so the structured life of a missionary is an easier fit.” — Ben Willis, Philippines Manila Mission, 1998–2000
Work, Self-Reliance, and Financial Preparation
Having learned how to work and how to take care of yourself is vital. You will need to be able to organize your time, manage your finances, cook your food, clean your living space and clothing, and more.
- “Work. Work, work, work, work, work, work, work. Then work some more.” — Becca Riding, Switzerland Zurich Mission, 2001–2002
- “Learn to cook and to budget money!”— Nathan Carlsen
- “Rely on the Spirit and work hard.” — Miranda Klein, Canada Toronto Mission, 2011–2013
- “Work hard, be bold, be obedient, and have fun.” — Dustin A. Wiggins, Australia Perth Mission, 2002–2004
- “Be open-minded to new cultures, people, and food. Learn how to cook, clean, and wash.” — Nikilie Osbourne King, Jamaica Kingston Mission, 1999–2000
Physical and Emotional Health
Missionary work requires physical and emotional strength. Because everyone is different, each prospective missionary should set realistic goals and strive to be in the best shape possible.
- “Prepare your mind and body for early mornings. Get yourself into shape for doing a lot of walking or bike riding.” — Melanie Kelly
- “Prepare, but also be happy and enjoy the experience. Have faith and not fear. Be optimistic and not pessimistic. Watch the hand of the Lord guide you as an instrument. Never be too serious to smile—it’s the best approach ever.” — Tom Hester, Texas Lubbock Mission, 2006–2008
- “Have patience with yourself. Remember that you were called by God, and He knows what He is doing!” — Wendy Leveret, New Hampshire Manchester Mission, 1997–1999
- “Missions are emotionally intense. Learn to be emotionally tough. Know signs of anxiety and depression, so they can be treated or avoided and not ignored. Trust and have hope!” — Calista Burbank, California San Diego Mission, 2002–2004