Elder Jackson, our two transfer missionary, receiving his call to serve
in the California Modesto Mission
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve said prospective missionaries should not begin their service before they are ready spiritually and temporally.
As you may already know a missionary’s training does not begin when he or she enters the doors of the Mission Training Center, MTC. Well before that, each missionary’s mother (father and grandparents) can begin laying the groundwork that will prepare her child to diligently and wholeheartedly serve the Lord and His children.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
TEACH THEM TO-Study Daily the Gospel and Its Teachings
If they are going to share the gospel they first have to become familiar with it.
If they haven’t read it already, it is a good idea to start reading The Book of Mormon at least two years before their mission. It is, after all, the key stone of our religion. Two years allows them time to read it and gain their own testimony of it.
TEACH THEM TO Learn to Try New Things
Their fears will not be the same as someones else’s.
As a missionary, they need to become comfortable with and learn to try new things.
A mission in and of itself is a new thing for each person that will go on one. It is a new schedule, a new lifestyle, a new culture, new foods, and in many cases a new language. Because of this, they need to become comfortable with trying new and scary things.
TEACH THEM TO Do Something They Don’t Want to Do Daily
Successful missionaries learn to do things they don’t want to. In fact it becomes a habit.
To prepare for this, they should find something they don’t like or want to do like making their bed and cleaning their room and do it daily. This will help them develop self-discipline that will serve them well on a mission.
TEACH THEM TO Learn to Work
One of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy.
A summer job or even a part-time job is a good way to learn to handle more responsibility. Showing up for work on time, learning to take and receive instructions from someone over you other than your parents or grandparents is an important thing to learn.
Additionally, each missionary should memorize their social security number. It is often required when moving in to an apartment as part of the background check process.
Not to mention getting a job will allow them to have some money to develop a testimony of tithing and to save for their mission. We have found that missionaries who help pay for their missions are more committed and are better able to overcome the challenges that they are faced with.
TEACH THEM TO Learn to Budget Their Money
As a missionary, some of their expenses are managed by others, like rent and utilities, but there will be extra money that they will have to budget. To cover these costs, they will receive a certain amount of money ($140/$150) that has to last until the next time they are given more money.
When the money runs out, they shouldn’t just ask their parents for more money. Learning to budget will help them to learn the difference between needs, and wants and to save for those wants.
TEACH THEM TO Start to Exercise Regularly
It is important for them to be physically prepared for the rigors of missionary work.
The schedule of a missionary, as well as the work, can be demanding. Because of this, if they do not engage in regular exercise, especially riding a bike have them start doing it at least a year before their mission to give their body time to become capable of handling more physical activity.
Aside from that, missionary work can be very stressful. A great way to relieve stress is through exercise. This will help them as a missionary to stay in good mental, emotional, and physical health.
Keep in mind that most of the time going to the gym is not an option. In the MTC, they will teach them some ways to workout. But, if they want to do something else, they will have to come up with alternative workouts on their own.
TEACH THEM TO Become a Problem Solver
They need to learn to think through many of their problems without your help because unfortunately you cannot accompany them on their mission.
To be an effective missionary in some instances will require them to find solutions to problems or situations at the moment without being able to seek help from others. They need to trust in inspiration, to learn how to manage stress, disappointment, and frustration, basically how to find peace in an ever-demanding world.
Have them attend a Semester of College before they go and plan NOW for future college enrollment
If possible, attending a semester of college will allow them the opportunity to experience living on their own before become a missionary. Separation anxiety is a very real problem! If they struggled at Scout Camp they will struggle on their mission.
While at college, they will be able to develop the necessary habits to take care of themselves while in the mission field. College also allows them to be on their own while still having the ability to call home when needed. Something that you will go without on your mission.
Six weeks before they return home is not the best time to gather up all the necessary college application information. It is a stressful time and communicating once a week via e-mail is not always productive. So, please plan to make your college plans before he or she goes to the MTC.
Elders are called for 24 months, sisters for 18 months. Do not expect to obtain special consideration requiring an early release date. You will know the expected release date within a few days once his or her mission call is received.
The best advice we can give you to help prepare your children for missions is simple, "Stop enabling them!" After serving two full time missions in the past four years and having the privilege of getting to know and serve with hundreds of young missionaries we have come to the conclusion that unintentionally we are raising a generation of spiritually strong, but emotionally weak young men and women. Many who become emotionally paralyzed when faced with life’s challenges. Basically, they don’t know how to pick themselves up when they fall because Mom (out of love) has always done it for them.
We cloth them in the armor of God, but don’t give them the necessary tools to fight the battle. Satan is clever, he is using their lack of life skills to conquer these stripling warriors. They have been taught why they should serve, but not how to overcome the challenges while serving.
Buy them an alarm clock, and bite your tongue and let them suffer the consequences. Chances are they won’t be late again. Provide them with plenty of experience behind the wheel of a car and on a bike. They come with a brand-new Driver’s License and no clue on how to navigate in unfamiliar territory. Many young men and women arrive in the mission field with the knowledge of how to ride, but have forgotten bicycle safety and the physical exertion riding a bike can cause. Teach them to clean and establish chores then hold fast to the consequences if they fail to perform. Listen when they complain about a challenge they are facing and ask how they intend to resolve the problem but DON’T OFFER TO FIX IT. If they forget their lunch or homework, do not rescue them. If they feel depressed, frustrated or disappointed you can certainly validate their feelings then STEP BACK and help them learn to manage it on their own. NEVER TAKE SIDES REMEMBER YOU ONLY HAVE HALF OF THE STORY.
Prospective missionaries should not begin their service before they are ready spiritually and temporally. Turning 18 is not the “Perfect Time”. Immediately following their high school graduation is not the "Perfect Time".
When they are ready is the perfect time. Everyone is different! It is up to you, their righteous parent, to help them determine if they are really “ready” or if they need a little more time to prepare. Sometimes it will not be an easy decision, but the consequences of going before they are prepared will have a lasting effect. Not only on them, on their family, but on their companion, their district, their zone.
Missions are hard, boot camp for the real world. But we promise you that if properly armed with confidence that comes from being both spiritually and temporally prepared your prospective missionary can and will see miracles!
Idaho Boise Mission Stripling Warriors:
Elders Erwin, Price, Burgess and Hawkes
Preparing to split this companionship of four into two
by moving two of them into a new apartment.
Elder Posadas and Elder Ruesch
Rupert Zone Leaders, Elder Willis and Elder Duran
Sister Somppi and Sister Hansen
A special shout out to the Rupert Zone!
They passed their housing inspections with flying colors!!!
Elder Wade Elder Busath and Elder Yarber
Long story short, we had a bazillion things to do in Burley so we decided to drive up from Boise to Burley on Wednesday, which turned out to be a very cold, windy, and snowy day in May??? Then proceed to get it done and spend the night in Twin Falls so we would be ready for the special conference scheduled there the next day. First on our list, the Elders assigned in Emerson, Elder Wade and Elder Yarber, had surplus furniture they needed to get rid of. We loaded up the trailer, finally located a land fill in the area and proceeded to empty out the trailer. Unfortunately we lost the truck keys in the process! After searching everywhere, in between the constant flow of huge garbage trucks emptying their trailers of "stuff" on top of our "stuff", we still could not locate the keys. We even resorted to cutting off the lock to the trailer in hopes of finding the wayward keys. After breaking a set of bolt cutters and finally grinding off the lock, thanks to the help of the landfill workers, we still were no closer to finding the keys. So we were resigned to wait patiently for hours until our rescuers, Elder and Sister Rees, who were all the way out in Buhl conducting inspections could come get us. Once they arrived we were able to rent a car at the Twin Falls Airport and off we went to complete our long list of things to do and prepare for the special conference the following day.
Elder Christensen brought the extra set of truck keys the next morning, so we were able to retrieve the truck and trailer from the dump site and still make it back in time for the Mission Tour Conference.
Elder Busath trying to corral the missionaries in Twin Falls and the outlining areas so that we could get a good picture to capture this historic conference.
We were instructed to provide a "grab and go" luncheon for the missionaries so that they would have an opportunity to practice some of the proselyting skills Elder Bennett had taught them.
On Friday the Boise area missionaries had the opportunity to receive inspired counsel from Elder Bennett. Their "grab and go" luncheon was provided by Chick-fil-a.
On the Home front
Kahlen on her first birthday!
Kahlen helping Grandpa prepare to install floating shelves.
Thanks to the Bacchus and Gibson Chance families for my Mother's Day gift
of floating shelves!
The pitch is good. He swings and Dax gets a base hit!
Something or someone seems a little fishy.
Charles ThomasWilliam Lily
“The Lord loves you and watches over you”, said President Henry B. Eyring. “He is all-powerful, and He promised you this: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you’ (Matt. 6:33). That is a true promise. When we put God’s purposes first, He will give us miracles. If we pray to know what He would have us do next, He will multiply the effects of what we do in such a way that time seems to be expanded. He may do it in different ways for each individual, but I know from long experience that He is faithful to His word” (Ensign, Oct. 2002, 20).
We personally know this to be true!
We testify that He lives! He knows each and every one of us and loves us! Satan is real and he will do anything to frustrate the Lord’s work. Joseph Smith really did see what he said he saw and we have a duty and a privilege to share the good news of the restoration to everyone. The Book of Mormon is truly the word of God.
Obedience does indeed bring miracles.
We miss each of you, but know that we are where we are supposed to be
doing what the Lord would have us do!
Wishing you a great week of sunny skies and happy smiles!