begin (a course of action, especially one that is important or demanding).
D&C 4:2 "Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day." Sending off a Missionary is an act of Love - but it can also be hard to say goodbye to a child that you have cherished since the day they were born. Also, for each Missionary - it can be a time of anxiousness, excitement, reflection, and nervous anticipation. So, for both our Missionaries and for us - we wanted to help refocus our thoughts on the positive aspects of 'Embarking' on a Mission.
What a fun 'GREENIE' care package this turned out to be!
If you would like to send your own 'Embark' Greenie care package - check out this kit we put together to help you do just that!
★This 'Embark' Greenie kit is designed
to give you a Quick and Easy way to send Your Missionary a Spiritual & Fun
Care Package.The Box Flap Designs &
Printables have over 39 beautifully-coordinated pieces - available now on Etsy
from the Missionary Box Moms.
★This kit includes a 20-Page High-Quality PDF File Download for DIY Printables.
★ For Ideas to help you put together the perfect
Missionary Care Package, how you can use each Printable, to find links to print
General Conference talks and other stories to include in your box - look below!
Serve Him With Your Heart, Might, Mind, and Strength: ~ What a Great Idea for a Missionary Greenie Care Package! This turned out to be a really fun and spiritual way to start our Missionaries off on the right foot and it really was easy to find lots of 'GREEN' things!
Who's Ready For An Adventure! It's always so fun to see the pictures our Missionaries send home of them opening up their crazy boxes decorated in whatever the theme of box is. Most of the boxes we mailed were 12X12X5 which meant the flap size was just under 12X6 so you can simply cut one piece of 12X12 scrapbook paper in half for each flap. If your box is larger than 8.5X11 (Regular Paper Size) you will need to purchase 2 pieces of scrapbook paper to go behind (Back) your printables. You can choose any 2 pieces of scrapbook paper that you wish - but for this box I used 2 pieces of 12X12 scrapbook paper from the BoBunny Company from their 'Life in Color' collection entitled 'Discovery' plus two pieces of solid red scrapbook paper for backing. I then printed the MBM printables onto photo paper and attached it to our box with Glue Dots for durability.
We picked up the packing boxes for free from the US Post Office. We chose to mail this size of box simply for economy - since all of our Missionaries were serving outside of the United States - it was just a few dollars more for us to send a Large Priority Box (12X12X5) vs. a Medium Priority Box.
O Ye that Embark! As we decided on each 'Missionary Box Theme' which we based around a scripture or missionary teaching idea, we would then brainstorm fun ideas that could be included in our box. I often wondered if our missionaries realized how comprehensive we were in our themes! It honestly might have been just as much fun for us to build these boxes as it was for them to receive them! Depending on the size of the box you are sending - you could include or delete any of the following items - or come up with a few of your own. We tried to make sure that most of our items could be used to enhance missionary discussions, to be given away, to decorate their missionary apartments and left for future missionaries when they moved on, or simply eaten and enjoyed. But of course there were always a few that were just for fun!
You've Got Mail! One thing we always included in all of our Missionary Box Mom Boxes was a personalized letter to each Missionary from each Mother. Inside our letters we included our testimonies, the reason we chose that particular item to include in the box, along with uplifting messages filled with love. a lot of the items won't make much sense as to why you are including them in the box unless you explain how it specifically applies to your Missionary and to Missionary Work. Many times over I have received thank you letters from our Missionaries - but the things they thanked us for the most was the letters we included. It's just a little piece of 'Home' in a box! So don't forget to write! To dress up the envelopes in our Embark theme we used our MBM printable and added it to a plain white envelope.
Print out the following:
How to 'Be' a good Missionary Companion
Indeed one of the greatest
secrets of missionary work can be the effort that goes into getting along with
your companion. From planning your daily activities, to preparing meals, to
teaching, missionary work is very much a joint effort. And while you’ll have to
overcome your peccadillo's (a small mistake or fault that is not
regarded as very bad or serious) once you do
so, the reward of having a unified companionship will far exceed any troubles
that you went through. Ultimately, you won’t have any control over who
your companion is but, you will certainly have control over what you make of
Things You Can Do to
be a FABULOUS Companion:
1. Be Open: First and foremost - walk into your mission
with an open mind especially when it comes to your companion.Be optimistically open, you never know who
your soul mate companion will be.
2. Learn Something From Your
Companion:You will have all sorts of companions - so the best
thing you can do is to let them teach you something. That’s how you learn how
to respect them.If nothing else
learning from someone helps you be more humble. We should all approach every
companionship as an opportunity to learn something new, something that we may
need help with. It’s like they say, “ Often times the Lord blesses us through
3. Learn to Laugh At
Yourself: Laugh, laugh a lot. Smile, you will make
mistakes.When things get rough,just laugh and remind yourself that practice
4. Put Things into
Perspective: When times get rough - remember
to remind yourself that this mission that seems so long, and this transfer that
is eternal alongside your not so favorite companion will come to an end sooner
than you think. You won’t be able to go back and set things right, so set them
right now. Hold your tongue when you don’t have anything nice to say. Don’t
harbor ill feelings, because you don’t want any regrets when you go home.
5. Do Comp Inventory: You may not feel you need to do comp inventory,
but you aren’t your companion. Do it and be sure to be open and listen.
6. Speaking of Listening,
LISTEN: Often times when
things aren’t really going as we think they ought to be in our companionships
it’s because we aren’t listening to what our companion is trying to tell us.
Just because they aren’t talking doesn’t mean they don’t want to. You may just
be chattering too much to let them get a word in. So be considerate, wait for
your companion to say something before you do even if it means silence for a
7. Build Memories: While you are
learning traditions or taking pictures - build memories. Bring out and
encourage your companions wonderful qualities.Love your companion - do things with them that let them know how special
they are. Contact to Krispy Kreme, workout to EFY music, do pedicures, it
doesn't matter - just do something together.
8. LIVE this Moment:Allow your
companionship to have things that are unique to just you. Don’t spend your time
talking about what a wonderful area your last one was, or what an amazing
companion your trainer was. Focus on the now, and creating this your most
wonderful transfer. Every companion is a wonderful opportunity!
9. Be the B’s:Grateful, True, Humble, Positive, Kind, Courteous, Thoughtful, Considerate, Clean and
10. Be Clean:Be tidy. Just
because you don’t mind mess, doesn’t mean your companion won’t either. Wash
your dish, clean your area, especially common areas. Companions can forgive
your desk being cluttered but not the sink. If you see your companion cleaning
something up, join them, dust another area, vacuum another room. This isn't
your house, and they are not your mother. This is the Lord’s time and place and
your companion’s too.
11. Stop Thinking You're
a Mind Reader: If your
companion does or says something off beat. Don’t take it personally or assume
they are trying to offend you. Don’t presume to have a 7th sense
that can get into their mind and read and interpret what they are thinking.
Sometimes it is better to ask and then just listen. They may be having a bad
day, they may be worried, you should always care enough to find out.
12. Compromise: You may feel your investigator needs to see your
Plan of Salvation, but your companion really likes their version. Who cares,
meet in the middle, use theirs this time and yours the next. Talk about it
together so that it does not become an issue between you.
13. STAND UP for You: If your companion has a disobedient moment, be
brave and stand up for what is right. This mostly applies to breaking rules,
not matters of opinion; For example, if you don’t see eye to eye with something
your companion said during the lesson it is usually best to wait it out and
discuss it after the appointment. There is a huge difference between being a
good companion and being a push over, or dictator. Now, if your companion wants
to do something not fitting into the mission rules, this IS the time to knock some
sense into them and explain that it’s not the brightest idea. Never compromise
the sanctity of YOUR call.
14. Love Your Companion
Now- So what if they are
totally different from all of your previous companions. They have a hard time
getting up in the mornings. Not much of a planner. Guess what, the Lord wants
you two together. So suck it up and love them for that reason alone, you’ll see
how quickly you love them for all the things they are different for. Love your
companion now, not tomorrow when they get up on time, not when they stop
singing in the shower, today, now, just as they are.
15. Share your Talents: Use your strengths to build your companion. Whatever it is that you are good at or that
you enjoy - share it with your companion.
16. Finally, Trust in the
LORD and have fun: If you don’t
remember any of these tidbits, remember to turn to the Lord for help, TRUST
HIM. Take what you can handle, and trust that the Lord will take care of the
is always new, free of mistakes.
Make a Missionary Folder - Print Off the Following Conference Talks and Stories:
I printed extra copies of the tags I used for the Box Flaps and attached
them to a manilla envelope for both my missionary and one for his
companion. Then I included the following Conference talks and stories
plus some printables and bookmarks inside.
D&C 4:2 “O ye that embark…” The part of this scripture I like the
most is the admonition to “…serve him with all your heart, might, mind,
I put together four badges that you could use to emphasize these four important qualities while on a Mission. I decided to keep “might” and “strength” separate. They overlap, of
course, as all four of these qualities inevitably do. I think you could
emphasize the importance of consistency, effort, and focus for a
disciple of Christ during a study of “might.” Strength could be more
about muscular Christianity and the power afforded followers of Christ.
And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.
"And thou shalt declare
glad tidings, yea, publish it upon the mountains, and upon every high place,
and among every people that thou shalt be permitted to see."
BEEF JERKEY /
DRIED FRUITS / NUTS
"And again, verily I say
unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature,
and use of man - Every herb [and] every fruit in the season thereof...yea,
flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained
for the use of man with thanksgiving..."
HANDKERCHIEF / ASPIRIN
"And God shall wipe away
all tears from their eyes; and their shall be no more death, neither sorrow,
nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain."
TUMS / ANTACID
"Be strong and be of good
courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with
thee withersoever thou goest."
"Therefore, gird up thy
loins for the work. Let thy feet be shod
also, for thou art chosen, and thy path lieth among the mountains, and among
GRANOLA BAR /
"But they that wait upon
the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint."
"He hath filled the hungry
with good things..."
LOTION / FOOT
"How beautiful upon the
mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth
peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith
unto Zion, Thy
/ TIDE TO GO SPOT REMOVER
"That he might present it
to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing;
but that it should be holy and without blemish."
STATIONERY / PENS
"Write the things which
thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be."
"He that hath clean hands,
and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn
deceitfully, He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness
from the God of his salvation."
/ HEADLAMP / NIGHT LIGHT
"The path of the just is
as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."
"...to the hungry soul
every bitter thing is sweet."
LIP BALM / LIP GLOSS
"And thou must open thy
mouth at all times, declaring my gospel with the sound of rejoicing."
"And speak freely to all;
yea, preach, exhort, declare the truth, even with a loud voice, with a sound of
rejoicing, crying - Hosanna, hosanna, blessed be the name of the Lord
"For my soul delighteth in
the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me and
it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."
COMPASS / GPS
"And from thence,
whosoever I will shall go forth among all nations, and it shall be told them
what they shall do; for I have a great work laid up in store, for Israel shall
be saved, and I will lead them withersoever I will, and no power shall stay my
"As cold waters to a
thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country."
MONEY / GIFT
"Consider the lilies of
the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say
unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of
these. Take no thought, saying, What
shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For
your heavenly father knoweth that ye have need of these things."
"Let your hearts be full,
drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the
welfare of those who are around you."
SLEEP MASK /
"Come unto me, all ye that
labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
* Keep every single rule - every single time! Show the Lord (and your Mission President) that you can be trusted to always do what's right. * Pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you. * Be an example to every Missionary - even those who have been there longer than you. * Be dedicated and devoted to your study time. It will make a HUGE difference in how much you grow spiritually the next two years. * Things may be hard sometimes. But that's OK... because YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS! * Remember: things always look brighter in the morning. * Support your Mission President in everything he does. Imagine if he were your Dad... and remember... he is doing the very best he can. * Write LONG emails home to your family. Tell us every detail. We need to hear from you... it keeps us going! * Just look at everything as a Big Adventure! Enjoy the Journey! * Believe in Yourself. Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies. * Be loyal to your Mission President first - your Companion second. If your Companion (or any other Missionary) is doing something wrong, you have an obligation to tell the Mission President. * If you ever get robbed, do NOT be brave. Just give them everything you have. * Avoid the Missionaries who will pull you down. The Spirit will tell you who they are. * Forget yourself - that is the quickest way to adjust on a Mission. * Start a list of your favorite scriptures and read over them often. * Don't look too far ahead. Just look at today. YOU CAN DO TODAY!!! * If your thoughts are turned outward (toward others) and not inward (towards your own needs, feelings, etc.) your Mission will FLY BY. * Trust your instincts. You'll know what to do in different situations. Your instincts are really the Holy Ghost... pay attention to those inner feelings. * If anything is wrong or if you aren't happy, don't just let it fester. Email home. Talk to your Mission President. Do something about it so it doesn't grow and get worse. * Things will be hard sometimes. But you are a strong person. You have a strong spirit. You can do it! * Be yourself as you serve the Lord, but also remember to be the Missionary the Lord wants you to be. * Be respectful. * Sustain your Mission President. Don't second guess his rules. Believe me, he has a very good reason for every rule he makes, even if you might not know what it is. You don't have to know the reason for everything. You just have to be obedient. * I remember interviewing a Missionary when he first got to Boston. He said, "President, I don't care where I serve or who I serve with. Just put me wherever you feel the Lord wants me to be. I'm here to work. I'm not here to mess around." That was about the best thing a Mission President could hear. Have that attitude when you have your first interview with your Mission President. He will love you forever! * Be nice to girls in the ward and the Sister Missionaries, but don't get too friendly. Just a little attention and they will think you are flirting - and so will your Mission President. Keep your distance. Make sure your companion does, too. * A mission is designed to focus your dependence on the Lord. It is the reason you leave your family and friends and also leave the world, so to speak. Go to Him often. He listens. He answers prayer. A mission forges a relationship between you and the Lord like nothing else. * See the bright side of things. See the funny side of things. There is always a silver lining. * A mission is about 99% attitude. It is exactly what you make of it. * A missionary in Boston once asked President Boyd K. Packer, "What is the most important thing I can learn on my mission?" President Packer answered, "Obedience. If you don't learn obedience your mission will never start. When you learn obedience, your mission will never end." * Shine your shoes. * Work to keep new members strong. Keep them focused on going to the temple. * Learn the language of the Spirit - the way the Holy Ghost speaks to you. Once you hear it, have the courage to follow it. * Sometimes there is nothing you can do in the hard times except to wait them out. Just try to relax and don't worry about so many things (companion, district, etc.) * When times are hard, just think of it all as an exciting adventure that you will remember the rest of your life. * Be friends with the people you meets. * Always try to do things you don't know how to do. Be willing to embarrass yourself. * If you have a companion that doesn't want to work, just drop hints and keep giving suggestions. If it becomes a problem, though, you need to tell your mission president. * Don't worry about numbers of baptisms. Measure your success by how hard you work and how tired you are at night. The best feeling in the world is coming home after a hard day of work... all sweaty... taking a shower... putting your P.J.'s on and sitting around with the other Elders or Sisters and talking about your day. * Make working hard the cool thing to do. * Remember - working hard makes your mission go faster. * Keep your mind occupied with good things all the time. * Do things that make your day different than yesterday was - go on splits, etc. Find ways to bring variety into your days. * Focus on baptizing - not just planting seeds. Be bold. * Don't become a robot - be yourself! * Be friends with everyone. * Just be yourself. Don't carry on a conversation out of a grammar book. As you talk to people, think more about the quality of your conversation. If the quality of your conversation isn't good, they won't take you seriously. * It is a little awkward at first to talk to people, but you just have to force yourself to do it. That's how you progress - by constantly pushing yourself to do things that are uncomfortable. * Don't hold back or be self-conscious. The best thing is to just dig in and get going. The sooner you do that, the sooner you will feel comfortable. * Don't get discouraged when you look at missionaries who are, say, a year ahead of you. You will be able to do all that they do by the time you've been out as long as they have. Don't let them intimidate you. * The most important thing in the MTC is getting along with other missionaries and being friends. Just be friendly and nice to everyone. * Everything you do, look at it as a big adventure. Imagine you are in a movie or something. * Laugh at yourself. Every situation will be bearable, but will even be easier if you keep a sense of humor. Don't let anything get you down to the point that you forget how to laugh! * Accept people's idiosyncrasies. No one will be just like you and that's OK. * Don't Look Too Far Ahead! Just take one day at a time. * Don't try to be "cool"... just leave the world behind... give up on the style. Don't be afraid to look like a nerd. * Throughout your mission - sometimes even at the end - you are out of your comfort zone. You are constantly adapting to new situations. But learning to do this might make you more able to handle that when you get home. It makes you more able to get along with all kinds of different people. * A mission is a lot of hard times with some really great moments mixed in that really keep you going. I had a companion who used to quote Dickens: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." It is one extreme and then the other. But as you go through these extremes, you find yourself. * Sometimes you might not think you can do it. Sometimes you might even feel like crying. But you CAN do it. You just have to wait it out and things will get better. * I know it's hard, but you have to try not to think about home. You can't be worried about what is happening at home. You might think there's all this fun stuff going on at home. Be careful not to build it up too much in your mind because there really isn't anything exciting going on at home. There isn't anything that you're missing at all! Sometimes you have this image built up in your mind that when you get home there will be elves throwing candy up in the air or something.. You are not missing ONE THING by being on your mission. After you actually do go home, after a couple of weeks you think, "Well.... this really isn't so great after all." * Mom used to tell me: "This too shall pass." Just concentrate on studying and working. The bad times will pass. Your mission will go so fast. Just enjoy it! * Some missionaries think the fun thing to do is to go hang out at member's houses and watch their kids play Nintendo and try to avoid working. Those are the longest days. They really aren't fun at all. I remember trying to work 70 hours one week. That was so fun! It made the time go fast and it made us all feel so good to work so hard. * The best days are the ones you come home and say, "I really did something meaningful today." * The best days are the ones you come home and say, "I really did something meaningful today." * When teaching people, focus on their needs. Listen to the spirit. Don't just try to get through a discussion so you can say you did it. Ask yourself (and the Lord) what this particular family really needs from you. * Being happy on your mission is all about perspective and attitude. * Be outgoing and it will be more fun. * Missions are so much more fun than you think. * Make it your goal to be every one of your companion's FAVORITE companion. * Be fearless... why not? You have nothing to lose. * Don't punch anyone in the face. (Ha Ha.) * Be willing to be a dork. * Hard things help you grow. They really shape who you are. You just have to face them with a good attitude and realize they are making you a better person, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time. * Be bold but not overbearing. You want to leave a good impression with them about the church. You must find the middle ground between being bold and having common sense. * If you know someone who is breaking rules that could get them sent home, you have to talk to the mission president about it or you'll be in just about as much trouble as they will be. If you feel uncomfortable being around your companion after you've had to tell the president something about him and you really can't handle it, tell the mission president and ask him what to do or ask if he can transfer you. * Be yourself. * Remember: you CAN be happy and obedient at the same time. * Your main goal -- ALWAYS -- is to serve people. If you always look at your mission that way, you will always have something to do. * Be bold but don't care if you get denied. So what. * Have Fun. It really will go SO fast. * Become interested in others - that's the way to get to know them the fastest. The best way to show them that you are interested in them to ask them questions. * There is peer pressure on a mission too. You cannot care what others think as long as you are doing the right thing. * You can get sent home for something someone else did if you knew about it and didn't tell your mission president. Don't keep any secrets from him. * When you get to the mission field, you have to change your mindset and let your primary motivation be the fact that you want to help people and change people's lives. * It's hard at first. Hang in there - it gets better. It even gets fun! * Make yourself important to people. Make an impact on their lives. * Take pride in being obedient. * In the MTC, get involved in anything you can (choir, etc.) It will break up your day and be more fun than you think it will. * Don't let yourself feel inferior to any missionaries at the MTC.... everyone is new there! Some of them may have been there a few weeks longer than you have and try to make you feel like you aren't as smart as them or something. Just ignore it. * Let people who aren't like you just entertain you. Don't worry if you don't relate perfectly to other missionaries, companions, etc... just find something humorous about things they do and say.