A bonus post from Claire this week!
The few weeks before leaving on my mission, I would randomly scream out the number of days I had left before leaving and then take a few frantic laps around my house to get some energy out. And then there was the intense stalking of all things related to the Germany Berlin Mission and of other missionary-related things that added to pre-mission excitement. At the request of my friend Shay (peacing out to Germany as well), here are some things I'm glad I brought and knew/wished I brought and knew, for those of you in that pre-mission excitement phase.
- Bring tons of uplifting music. Music can be a really powerful source of inspiration and comfort on your mission. I brought an ipod. I support that choice. But other formats are acceptable too.
- Bring your own converters for the country of your choice (preferably the one where you will be serving).
- Don't bring bed sheets. Unless your mission told you to. The MTC has sheets for you to use (they are old, but definitely usable). If you decide to bring sheets to the MTC, leave them there. Germany has different bed sizes. Other countries probably do too.
- Bring OFFICE SUPPLIES of all sorts and varieties. Bring yo' sticky notes, sharpies, paper, folders, scissors, white-out, tape, hole punchers, and thank-you cards. You could also buy them here, but every missionary needs a good storage of such items in order to decorate planners, advertise activities, prepare object lessons, thank people, remind people, uplift others, decorate your apartment, keep things nice, etc.
- An American calendar from home. Possibly with pictures. It brightens the room and helps you remember American holidays (Father's day, Memorial day, or the hardest of all...Fourth of July).
- Pictures of family and friends. For show and tell all the time.
- Recipes from home (especially a good cookie recipe).
- An address book (I brought a piece of paper with addresses written on it and I wish I would have had an actual book to get peoples' addresses from the places I serve and to keep other family and friends' addresses).
- Stuff the corners of your suitcases with feminine products.
- Write down a bunch of pick-me-up scriptures and quotes in a book. It can help you. It can help others. It can help you teach a dang good lesson someday.
- Bring some favorite General Conference talks. Printed out or electronic format. They help your brain. And your converts and your investigators and your members.
- Bring a blanket. Even if it's small. My apartment is always a bit chilly. But that's also because our heating is broken. Not that you need it in June (usually). Just be prepared (insert singing from the Lion King).
- A hoodie. I only brought one jacket and wish I would have brought a hoodie and pullover or something for p-day activities and when it's cold in your apartment that has no heat (keep singing the lion king "Be Prepared").
- Buy a dictionary in your country. The MTC gives you one that is only a 4/10 in quality. Germany has many that all rate 10/10. Also bring the 500 German verbs book. I love that yellow book of wisdom and use it regularly in language study to learn new words and review conjugations.
- Take pictures. And bring thumbdrives and multiple memory cards. Just in case (still singing?).
- Tide to go sticks save lives. And shirts from terrible eating appointment accidents.
- Mini hand santizers (handshakes: friendship frenzy or germ fests? you tell me)
- Learn names of everyone you meet and write them down and then call people by such names. There is power in remembering names.
- Some pictures of temples (your favorite or local ones).
You may now resume the typical pre-mission excitement of dancing around your house listening to music in a foreign language you don't understand or wondering how people eat alligator in your mission area. Live the dream.
Sister Claire Michelle Woodward