Will my missionary be okay without me? Is my missionary prepared to go out on his own for 2 years? If you are like me, these are the questions I had before my oldest son left on his mission. I was worried about what to send with my son so he had what he needed for 2 years. We had the packing list that was included in his mission call but I still always felt I was missing something.
In this article we will break down that huge packing list into 5 easy categories. We have worked closely with The Missionary Store in Ogden to simplify the list so you can rest easy knowing your missionary will be just fine. These suggestions are specific to Elders but this list could be adapted for Sisters as well.
The 5 Categories to pack are:
- The Essentials
- Climate Considerations
- Travel Needs
- Hygiene/First Aid
- Care & Maintenance
The Essentials are the things you know and love about missionaries. These are the things they use every day and they need to be tough. Missionaries have unique needs from their clothing: they ride bikes, they walk for miles, they do service in a suit and they get caught in all kinds of weather. You want to find items of quality in this category. If these items wear out too quickly it will become a burden as well as an unnecessary expense to your missionary in the field.
The essential items include:
Once you have the essentials you then need to consider the climate your missionary will be in. Will your missionary be in the rain or snow? You will start with the essentials and add the climate items to your list. Careful considerations with these items will add to your missionary’s comfort when they have to be in the elements all day.
- Rain jacket
- Make sure the shoes are waterproof
- Wicking socks are also helpful
- Teflon treated suits and ties will help keep him dry
- Dress winter coat
- Winter hat
- A compression bag can help when you pack these bulky items.
Missionary Travel Needs
You now have the bulk of your items. The next step is to have a place where they can be stored and transported. Remember, missionaries get transfered often. In most missions transfers happen every 6 weeks. Your missionary with be moving by taxi, train, bus and possibly airplane. The wheels on his luggage may need to go through mud, over cobblestone and dragged all over.
Travel items include:
- Suitcase set (2 wheels are much more durable than 4)
- Day bag (remember missionaries can’t wear backpacks)
- Security pouch
- Luggage locks
- Luggage tags
Hygiene/First aid Items
These items are easily overlooked. We take it for granted that we have band-aids in the medicine cabinet or insect repellant in the closet. This category list could be extremely long but realize that many things like soap and shampoo will be purchased as they are used. Your Missionary should take those things that are either hard to get or inconvenient to get when they are needed.
This is a “most important” items list
- First aid kit
- Insect Repellant
- Manicure Set
- Alarm Clock
- Sun block
- Antifungal cream
Care and Maintenance
Now the goal is to keep all that stuff in good condition so they will last the full two years. Small tears or stains can be fixed if they are caught and dealt with early on. Shoes that have been taken care of will last twice as long as a pair that has been neglected.
Items that will keep things in good working order:
- Shoe shine kit
- Extra Shoe laces
- Shoe repair kit
- Sewing kit
- Laundry supplies including stain stick
Peace of Mind
If you follow these categories you can be sure you will have your bases covered. This list is not meant to supersede the list from the missionary department but it is meant to make it easy to think about your list.
Now you know you can send your missionary into the field without worry. Let him go and have all the amazing, hard, rewarding and spiritual experiences that missionaries are meant to have.