I have to admit, one of the biggest reasons for this blog (my sister) left for the MTC a couple weeks ago. So my motivation has gone down a little. BUT, I know there are still plenty of you out there who want missionary advice, either for yourself or for a friend/family member, so I will be thinking of more things to post. I am always open for suggestions so let me know if you think of anything!
Anyways, on to today's post. I got an email from my sister today with some "live from the MTC" advice. Cool, eh? Here's what she suggests for the MTC:
-Bring a robe. Showering without it is a right pain. You've got to bring your clothes into the showering area and make sure they stay in a little dry spot. If they fall on the floor, they're goners! But if you bring a robe, you can just bring a set of garments and not have to worry about bulky skirts n such.
-Bring a bathroom bag that you can hang on a hook. It's a lifesaver for the reason above
-Bring Airborn or vitamins or *something.* We're rubbing elbows and shaking hands with hundreds of people over here! Colds travel faster than Professor Snape confronted with shampoo.
-Wake up a little early to beat the shower rush. It's worth it.
-Love your bag--you'll be taking it *everywhere.*
-Use the planner they give you! It's a total lifesaver!
-Don't use others' disobedience to excuse your own. I was somewhat surprised to see that not all missionaries here follow the rules with exactness. Just remember that their obedience (or lack of) has little to do with your own. 100% obedience will bring blessings for you, and that's all you need to focus on.
-Not everyone loves the MTC naturally. In fact, there are bits of it that drive everyone nuts. (For me, it's laundry. Urgh.) It's important to pray for help and decide to love it. You'll have a much better time if you do.
-Be humble. You'll receive lots of helpful criticism here. There is so much to learn, being unteachable and easily offended would severely limit you.
-Eat healthy! It's reeeally tempting to eat all the yummy desserts they have here, along with the soda pop and hamburgers... but really. Their salads are delicious and water keeps you extra healthy. Take care of yourself! It'll pay off!
-Study *before* the MTC. Not only will it be less of a culture shock when you have to come here and study for a long time, you'll get a lovely head start. You'll be glad you did. Trust me on this one. S-T-U-D-Y. Become familiar with the Preach My Gospel. It's *amazing.*
-Don't always believe the rumors. There's a lot of news going around. But unless it's from the mouth of a leader you trust, take it with a grain of salt.
-Practice being worthy of the spirit. Everything you could possibly learn is *useless* and a waste of energy without it! You could be the best teacher ever, but without the spirit, you will convert no one.
-Be patient with yourself and others. You'll be doing so many new things and learning in so many new ways... it's *perfectly normal* to feel overwhelmed. It's perfectly normal to feel discouraged. Just remember that the Lord is on your side! He wants you to succeed even more than you do!
-It's not about you. If you come to give, you will gain. If you come to gain, you will waste your time. Get your act together early so that you can make the most of your time here.
UPDATE: To read Advice from a 6-month-old missionary (from this same sister) click here
Hi! I served a mission in the Sweden Stockholm mission several years ago and am now married to a returned missionary and starting a family.
Please share this blog with others so we can help as many future missionaries as possible. Feel free to add your own advice. I hope this can help many young people preparing to go on a mission, but most specifically, sisters.
Have fun and let me know if you have any questions or any post ideas!