Monday, August 26, 2013

The 30 Day Countdown Begins

Well, here it is! The last month of my life as a pre-missionary! It's... difficult to describe these feelings. It's kind of like this....

My thought process: ONLY 30 DAYS LEFT!!!! ....oh my gosh.... only 30 days left.... I'M SO PUMPED GET ME OUT THERE!!!.... I'm not going..... I'M GOING TO BE THE BEST MISSIONARY EVER!!!!....I'm going to be the worst missionary ever....

Ya, that's pretty much it.

But, in honor of my 30 days until I report I thought I would post 30 things NOT to procrastinate on while preparing for a mission!

30 Things NOT to Procrastinate on While Preparing for a Mission:

1. Immunizations. Seriously, I'm leaving in 30 days (!!!) and still haven't gotten one of my Hep shots, I'm so worried I won't be able to go...
2. Shoe Shopping! As soon as you get your call, start asking around and finding out the best shoes for that climate. Go find them where you're going to buy them, if they're already on sale, buy them. If they're not on sale first ask for a missionary discount, if that doesn't work then keep watching the shoes until they do go on sale. If they don't go on sale and you're like a month from leaving just suck it up and buy them.
3. Bag Shopping. A mission bag has been one of the hardest non-clothing items to find. It's worth the time to look around and find good quality, good sales, and good fashion ;)
4. Reading the Book of Mormon. I was already reading the BOM consistently, but I only recently committed myself to reading it cover to cover one more time before leaving.
5. Reading Preach My Gospel. Just starting reading it! Please!
6. Going through the temple. Go as soon as you can! Seriously, it is the most beautiful place and the most important work. Go and go often.
7. Taking Mission Prep classes. Even if you're just thinking about a mission, sign up for an institute mission prep class and go. It will give you good pointers and might tell you if you're supposed to go or not.
8. Sending in your Acceptance Letter. Try to send it as soon as you get your call. The sooner you send it in the sooner you'll hear from your mission president (in most cases).
9. Watching The District. Start watching it now so you can re watch it and re watch it as many times as you want! And believe me, you'll want!
10. Starting Family History work. I'm not a huge family history person. I feel bad, but it's really not my strong point. Get started early so you're not rushing to get it done before you go.
11. Compiling a complete packing list. No matter how long you have until you report, start your list. This way if any family asks you "what do you need? I want to help!" you can look at your list and say "I need a mini PMG, or a mini hymn book, or a travel size alarm clock!"
12. Memorizing important scriptures. This is will bless you on your mission. Start memorizing early so you can really get the words and the meaning behind them ingrained into your mind.
13. Getting a driving record and have your license renewed. The DMV sucks sometimes. Scratch that. The DMV sucks all the time. Just get it over with.
14. Start collecting addresses. Tell your friends and family that you want to leave with an address book full of addresses so you can start telling them about your adventures right away!
15. Settling bills/debts. I had a doctor bill up until a few days ago that I was really worried about because I was trying to pay for mission stuff, not doctor stuff! Get all debts settled so you can peacefully save up for the important stuff!
16. Working out who will be in charge of your finances while you're gone. It could get awkward if you're a week from leaving and your parents or whoever is incharge of money doesn't know how/what to do for financing the mission! Meet with them and your bishop at the same time so you can work it all out.
17. Figuring out your health insurance for while you're gone. Cause it's not fun to be on the phone with an insurance company a week before you leave trying to explain your situation.
18. Waking up earlier. I know. I'm not ready to get up at 6:30 AM everyday for 18 months either. But any preparation for this is better than none.
19. Getting in the habit of DAILY study. You may study the scriptures and PMG consistently 4 or 5 days a week, but that's not enough out in the field. Just try to get in the habit of studying at least a little bit every single day. Without fail. And no. I'm not good at this. But I try.
20. If you have a job, settling when your last days will be and if you'll be able to come back after your mission. It's so nice to know you'll have a job after being away for a year and a half. Managers will most likely want to know if you plan on coming back and when you plan on leaving pretty early on. And make sure you don't tell them your last day is going to be the day before you report. I'm leaving my job about 2 weeks before I leave so I have more time to prepare and say goodbyes.
21. If you're going to school, making an official deferment. This is SO important. I go to BYUI so they are pretty easy going about this sort of thing, but if you don't go to a church school make sure the school knows exactly when you'll be gone and why and all that jazz.
22. Telling your bank where you're going. You'll want your debit card to work while your gone (providing you're going somewhere where you'll be able to use it) so make sure you let your bank know where you're going so they don't deactivate your card because they think someone stole your identity!
23. Start following any mission rules feasible to your daily life. Preparing to follow these rules will help you transition a little more easily into the missionary life. But hey, I am not by any means saying you should give up dates before you go! Fill your canteens girls! ;)
24. Getting ready to walk/bike A LOT. Ya. I'm not so excited to have to bike everywhere. But refusing to believe it's going to happen and blocking it out of my mind will only make it more difficult when the time comes.
25. Start talking to people who live in/have lived in/served in your mission. I'm serving in Arizona. Without fail, every single time anyone finds this out they say "oh my gosh look out for my cousin that lives there!" or "ah! my missionary is serving there! Look out for Elder so and so!" or "I used to live there!" or "I have family down there! If you meet any generic-last-names tell them I say hi!" Every. Single. Time. And you know what? I don't remember a single name anyone has told me to look out for. Sorry, not sorry. But in all seriousness, if you know anyone who served in your mission ask them questions! Ask them about the weather/climate, ask them about the president, all that jazz! Getting advice from someone with first hand experience is priceless.
26. Starting a mission journal. As soon as you get your call. Or even as soon as you start your papers. Dedicate a journal to missionary-related journal stuff!
27. Start writing all the missionaries you know for advice. Even all those guys in your ward that you don't really know all that well but you have their address anyway (you all know there are so many of them!) send them a card and tell them where you're going and ask for one piece of advice!
28. Trusting the Spirit. Acting on prompting from the Holy Ghost is such a big part of missionary work, start that right now! Pray and ask for missionary experiences and act on ALL prompting you receive! Practice makes perfect.
29. Starting your missionary work! Like I said above. Pray for missionary experiences. Before your mission is the perfect time to tell people about the church, they will more than likely be curious about what a mission is and why you're going. Tell them and bear your testimony to them.
30. Making memories with family and friends to last you 18 months! You won't see these people for a year and a half! Take pictures! Make memories! Have fun! These fun times will carry you through your mission when you are missing them like crazy.

Well, there are my 30 things not to procrastinate doing while prepping for your mission. Hopefully it's been at least a little informative! If you have anything to add please comment below or email me! Thanks for reading and come back soon for more!!

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