Life in a Suitcase

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“I hate packing!” We heard this many times over a course of a few days. Trying to decided what things you will need for the next year and a half is hard. A list of what to bring comes with your mission call, your mission president might have an additional list of items, and then you will have spent hours reading blog posts, emails, letters from current missionaries and Facebook statuses on what else you should bring.

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Now to pile all that up and pack it into no more than 2 suitcases and a carry-on that have to weigh less than 50 lbs makes for a great challenge! I should mention that the items on the chair (right side of pic) were shipped to the mission home. It included a super soft blanket, a sheet set, oven mitts, and some stationary.

IMG_2971Of course in the end, it all miraculously works out! And there you have it – all the “things” you will need for life in a suitcase.

Booklet that came with her mission call said she should bring:

  • Record of your immunizations (submit it online, but also take a printed copy with you)
  • $ for a mobile device (not to be purchased before your mission, no set amount was stated)
  • Towels for MTC (laundry facilities are provided without charge to missionaries, bedding is also provided)
  • Government-issued photo id (driver’s license, passport, state identification, etc.)
  • Driving Record (around $10 at your local Driver License Division)
  • Current temple recommend
  • Scriptures in your native language
  • Completed 4 generation pedigree chart
  • A few stories about your ancestors
  • Journal
  • Pens, pencils, highlighters, notebooks and any other materials needed for taking notes and writing letters
  • Shoulder bags (conservative, no apparent logos or insignia – backpacks are no longer allowed)
  • True to the Faith book
  • Jesus the Christ book
  • Our Heritage: A Brief History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints book
  • Our Search for Happiness book
  • Personal debit card
  • $200 in cash for travel expenses (baggage fees, meals, and personal needs)
  • $50 cash for MTC (personal expenses – study supplies, snacks, personal items, etc.)
  • Clothes hangers
  • Umbrella (sturdy, solid color)
  • Towels (1 bath, 1 hand & 2 wash cloths)
  • Sheets (1 set – twin size – may be purchased in field)
  • 2 Pillowcases
  • Blanket (may be purchased in field)
  • Personal supplies (makeup, toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, shampoo, deodorant, hand lotion, shaving supplies, combs, shoe polishing supplies, etc.)
  • First-aid kit (current prescription medications (enough for MTC and 1st month of mission), multi-vitamins, cold and allergy medication, decongestants, thermometer, fever reducer, pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medication, antibiotic ointment, anti-itch cream, anti-fungal cream or spray, band-aids, 25-35% DEET mosquito repellent, and medical bracelet, if needed)
  • Sunscreen (30+SPF), lip balm (30+SPF), and heat rash ointment, if serving in a warm climate
  • Prescription eyeglasses, if needed (contacts are discouraged)
  • Miscellaneous: small sewing kit, wind-up or battery alarm clock, foldable laundry bag, small LED flashlight, batteries, inexpensive watch, moleskin for blisters, and extra eyeglasses or contact lenses and solution.
  • Simple, inexpensive camera (optional)
  • If assigned to drive a mission vehicle, you will be required to obtain a local driving license and may need these items: social security card, certified birth certificate, or valid passport
  • Music, music playback devices, and speakers (no headphones & device cannot receive radio signals, play video, or access the internet)
  • If assigned to an area where bicycles are used, you will need to have $400 for a bicycle, helmet and lock
  • Medical insurance card (if you are able to maintain medical insurance
  • Outfits – professional suits, skirts, blouses, jackets, sweaters & dresses (attractive, colorful, fit well & conservative)
  • Outerwear – coats, hats, gloves & scarves, dark leggings, boots
  • Underclothing – white or cream bras, slips (coordinate with color and length of skirts), spandex shorts, nylons & tights (not required), no-show socks, knee-highs
  • Shoes – closed-toe & closed-heel, flat-soled or low heels, shoe inserts, dressy pair for Sunday meetings
  • Accessories – handbags, jewelry, and belts need to be simple and conservative (earrings cannot hang lower than 1 inch below earlobe
  • Preparation Day, Exercise & Other Activities – casual clothing (1 pair of jeans or pants, a few modest T-shirts, loose-fitting exercise clothing, a pair of gym shoes, and pajamas)
  • 2 pieces of luggage
  • 1 carry on bag

Mission Specific Items:

  • Outfits (6-8)
  • Sunday shoes (1-2 – boots and heels no higher than 2″)
  • Proselyting shoes (2)
  • Garments (10-12)
  • Sweaters (2)
  • Winter coat (with zip-out liner for warmth)
  • Winter boots
  • Overshoes, warm boots, thin sock liners, and heavier socks (all optional)
  • Gloves, scarf, ear-bands, winter hat
  • Thermal underwear (2 pair)
  • Raincoat, neck scarf, and gloves
  • Exercise clothing
  • One set of clothing for activities where regular missionary attire is not appropriate (pants must be full length)
  • Pajamas, robe and slippers
  • Shower sandals
  • Jackets or cardigans sweaters (must be worn at church and all official mission meetings)
  • Warm blanket or two
  • $50-$100 in cash to use for emergencies and any incidentals you may need that is not covered by Missionary Support Funds*

Items to Bring not mentioned Officially:

  • Nail care items (clippers, file, polish)
  • Conditioner (only Shampoo mentioned in booklet)
  • Brush
  • Mini Preach My Gospel book
  • Mini scriptures (paperback and sold individually or as a set of 4 different books)
  • Stationary, stamps and envelopes
  • String/ribbon, scissors, tape, permanent marker (you are supposed to write your name on everything), plastic baggies, sticky notes
  • CTR ring
  • Young Women’s Medallion necklace
  • Snacks for MTC (6 hour classes and starving by bedtime)
  • Calendar with family birthdays (no daily planners are allowed)
  • Extra journals/blank notebooks (for firesides & conferences, personal study, notes from companions and other missionaries)
  • Address book (for home and mission people’s info)
  • Sleeping pills (Ibuprofen PM or Tylenol PM)
  • Lanyard for MTC or slide-clip (can be purchased at MTC – used for door access card)
  • USB drive (store pics from mission)
  • Small photo book with family pictures
  • Room fresheners
  • Decorations for walls (cute quotes, etc.)
  • Small recipe book of favorite recipes and room to add to while on mission
  • Book of 30 minute workouts
  • 2 copies of Patriarchal Blessing (one to take notes on)
  • Mini laminated copy of Patriarchal Blessing (can be done at the MTC) to place in your scriptures
  • Scripture case
  • Luggage tags
  • Shower caddy
  • Mini hymn book
  • Under shirts and underwear
  • Q-tips, bobby pins, mirror, lint roller, Tide-to-Go
  • Space bags
  • Garbage bag (for clothes not washed when leaving the MTC)
  • File Organizer
  • Face cleaner and makeup remover
  • Soap & soap holder
  • Feminine hygiene supplies
  • Calling card for the airport
  • Rain boots with fleece lining
  • Light coat (something like a pea coat)
  • Pencil skirts (especially for windy areas)
  • Plan of Salvation Visual Aid

*Missionary Support Funds do NOT cover clothing, luggage, eye care (new glasses or contact lenses), dental visits, co-payments for doctor appointments and prescriptions, cameras, film, souvenirs and traffic fines/penalties. It DOES cover groceries, personal grooming items, laundry, cleaning supplies, haircuts, postage for weekly letters home, fast offerings and transportation.

[written by Sammy’s mom]

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