10 Practical Ways to Prepare for a LDS Mission

Advice for Prospective Missionaries and Their Families

Being able to serve an LDS mission is a marvelous and life-changing opportunity; but it is also difficult. It is likely to be one of the hardest things you will ever do.

Properly preparing to become a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will greatly help you in adjusting to the work and lifestyle of serving a mission.

This list gives practical advice for young prospective missionaries. It is also useful for the friends, family members, leaders of those preparing to serve an LDS mission, as well as older couples and sisters who desire to apply for a mission and enter the Missionary Training Center (MTC).

01
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Learn the Basics of Living on Your Own

LDS missionaries doing laundry
Mormon missionaries at the Provo MTC do laundry during their preparation day. Photo courtesy of © 2013 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

If you have never lived on your own, this step is an excellent one to start with. Some of the basics of becoming self-sufficient include:

  • how to do laundry
  • how to cook several simple meals
  • how to manage your money
  • how to clean (your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, etc.)
  • how to sew on a button and mend a tear
  • how to  fix a flat tire on a bike
  • how to change a flat tire on a car

It is not that hard to find the help you need to learn these basic skills. Practicing these skills will increase your confidence and ability to be self-reliant.

02
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Develop a Habit of Daily Scripture Study and Prayer

Sister Missionary at the MTC studying scripture
A sister missionary at the Provo MTC studies the scriptures. One MTC president describes the MTC as a place of "peace and tranquility,” where “it’s easy for them to focus on the gospel and feel what they need to feel here.”. Photo courtesy of © 2013 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

One of the most important aspects of missionary daily life is effectively studying the word of God.

LDS missionaries study scriptures daily on their own, as well as with their companion. They also study with other missionaries at district meetings and zone conferences.

The sooner you develop a daily habit, learn how to more effectively and study the scriptures; the easier it will be for you to adjust to missionary life.

Studying the Book of Mormon, other scriptures and the missionary manual, Preach My Gospel will be especially beneficial in preparing for your mission.

Habitual daily prayer and scripture study will be one of your biggest assets in developing your spirituality as a missionary.

03
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Gain a Personal Testimony

Woman In Prayer
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LDS missionaries teach others about the gospel of Jesus Christ. This includes

If you are not sure of these things, or have little nagging doubts, then now is the time to gain a strong testimony of these truths.

Strengthening your testimony of each principle of the gospel will greatly help you to be more prepared as a missionary. One way to get started is to learn how to receive personal revelation.

04
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Work with Local Missionaries

LDS sister missionaries local member new convert
Sister missionaries with a local member and new convert. Photo courtesy of the Mormon Newsroom © All rights reserved.

One of the best ways to understand what it means to be a missionary is to work with your local full-time missionaries and ward mission leader.

Going on splits (team teaching) with them will help you learn how to teach investigators, approach new contacts and focus on the work. Ask the missionaries what you can do to prepare for your LDS mission as well as how to help them in their current work.

Becoming involved with the missionaries will bring the spirit of missionary work into your life and will help you learn to recognize and discern the influence of the Holy Ghost- one of the most important parts of serving an LDS mission.

05
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Get Regular Exercise and Eat Healthier

world out missionary shoes
Missionaries, after 18-24 months of service, often completely wear out their shoes. Photo courtesy of the Mormon Newsroom © All rights reserved.

Serving an LDS mission is physically rigorous, especially for missionaries that walk or bike the majority of their mission.

Be prepared by becoming healthier by following the Word of Wisdom and through regular exercise. If you have extra weight, now is the time to lose some of it.

Losing weight is very basic, eat less and work out more. Even if you begin by just walking 30 minutes each day, you will be so much more prepared when you enter the mission field.

Waiting to become more physically fit until you start your mission will only make it harder to adjust to life as a missionary.

06
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Receive Your Patriarchal Blessing

Key and keyhole against sky
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A patriarchal blessing is a blessing from the Lord. Think of it like your own personal chapter of scripture that is specifically given to you.

If you have not yet received your patriarchal blessing, now would be the perfect time.

Regularly reading and reviewing your blessing will greatly help you before, during and after serving an LDS mission.

After receiving your blessing, learn how to use it as you personally apply the counsel, warnings and guidance it contains.

07
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Early to Bed, Early to Rise

What an amazing night's rest
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LDS missionaries live by a strict daily schedule. The day starts by arising from bed at 6:30 a.m. and ends by retiring at 10:30 p.m.

Whether you are a morning person or an evening person, it will most likely be an adjustment for you to wake up and go to bed at such a specific time each day.

Adjusting your sleeping pattern now is a wonderful way to prepare for your mission. The less you have to change later, the easier it will be to adjust.

If this seems impossible, start small by picking one end of the day (morning or night) and go to bed (or wake up) an hour earlier then you usually do. After one week add another hour. The longer you consistently do this the easier it will be.

08
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Start Saving Money Now

Stack of one hundred dollar bills
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The sooner you start saving money for your LDS mission, the more prepared you will be.

Begin a mission fund by setting aside money you earn or receive from employment, allowance and gifts from others.

Consult with family and friends about opening some sort of savings account. Working and saving money for a mission will benefit you in many ways. This is true during your mission and afterwards.

09
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Share Your Testimony & Invite Others

Truth
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One of the basics of serving a mission is sharing your testimony and inviting others to learn more, attend church and be baptized.

Step outside of your comfort zone and share your testimony with others every chance you get, including at church, at home, with friends and neighbors and even with strangers.

Practice inviting others to do things, such as

For some, this will be especially hard, which is why this step will be especially important for you to work on.

10
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Live the Commandments

Ten Percent
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Serving an LDS mission involves following specific rules, such as always being with your companion, dressing appropriately and only listening to approved music.

Obeying mission rules and additional rules from your mission president are essential to serving a mission. Breaking rules will lead to disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the mission.

Basic commandments you should be living now include:

Being obedient to the basic commandments now is not only an excellent way to prepare for your mission but also necessary to be able to serve a mission.

Updated by Krista Cook with assistance from Brandon Wegrowski.