Things I wish I would've known before my mission
When we first get our calls we feel like we need all the help that we can get no matter where we are.
Before the mission:
Strengthen your testimony of the gospel by reading your scriptures, saying your prayers, going to the temple. (Go as often as you can)
READ PREACH MY GOSPEL AND DO THE ACTIVITIES!
Especially Chapter 1 'My purpose'
^ this was the biggest lesson that I learnt on my mission and I will be forever grateful to Elder Schmidt and Elder Butikofer for helping me truly understand my purpose. I was out a year and I WISH I understood this sooner.
"I cannot live with a missionary who doesn't know his/her calling" - Elder Jeffery R. Holland
GO OUT WITH YOUR LOCAL MISSIONARIES!!! They are living the life that you will be living, go out with them as much as you can! Ask them questions! They are there to help!
In the MTC:
"When you are set apart by your stake president, you are blessed that you are able to do the work." <~ never forget this.
When you talk to people about the MTC they either say "I loved the MTC" or "I hated the MTC and couldn't wait to get out"
^ the MTC is a 'what you put in is what you get out' kind of a place. If you go Ito the MTC thinking you're going to hate it then you will. I LOVED the MTC because I had an open mind, but haters gonna hate I guess...
"If you make it to Sunday, you've made it" <~ you will understand how true this is when you get there. Just make it to Sunday in your first week.
On your name tag you're going to be given an orange dot known as the 'dork dot' which basically the whole of the MTC will say "WELCOME TO THE MTC!!!" Brace yourself, it's like Disneyland except the rides are all emotional and mental.
You're probably going to feel overwhelmed and that you can't take everything in, that's okay! Just take notes and you're gonna make it. THERE IS LIFE AFTER THE MTC
In the bookstore you can buy lots of stuff, you get discount too so go wild!
- buy the black extendable clip attached (super hand for keys!)
- by the shader shirts if you're serving out of the states, they are life savers!
(Get your fellow sisters to be your mirror too! They can see things you can't, it saves embarrassment)
Whatever you forget to pack at home, don't fret because you can buy it in this place. IT HAS EVERYTHING!
Be patient with your companion, remember they are adjusting too.
Have a personal study journal! It's always great for when you can't remember things
Take as many pictures as you can! You're only in the MTC once! #YOLO
Set a each day to a member of your district and shower them with compliments, this really improves district unity.
Ice cream is served on Wednesdays and Sunday's, it's to die for.
"Everything you do makes history" - Elder Jeffery R. Holland
Never underestimate the effect you will make on your mission.
"I want you to dream dreams and see visions" - Elder Jeffery R. Holland
LOVE LOVE LOVE the members!!! When they love you they will trust you with their friends. The work is just a million times easier when the members help you.
When helping the members to do missionary work..
"Be what you want them to be. Feel what you want them to feel." - Elder Jeffery R. Holland
When people slam their door in your face or are just unpleasant don't take it personally. It's not you as a person that they have a problem with, it's just what you stand for. We don't know what experience they have had with the church.
"Im not interested."
"What is it that you're not interested in?" <~ helps you understand where they are at.
"I was a member of the church, but I don't go anymore"
"If you don't mind us asking, what made you leave?" <~ opens up into a conversation to resolve their concerns. Less actives are just as precious as your investigators, some of the sweetest memories of my mission involved less actives.
Utah missionaries -
when you're walking down the street and somebody honk their horn at you 99% of the time it's a member saying hello, it will alarm you for the first couple of times.
"Sister, who was that?"
"Just smile and wave Sister, just smile and wave"
Utahans sometimes think that Utah isn't the mission field because of the high member population and when they talk about out of state or something they would refer that as the mission field.... It had me confused for a while.
Back to everyone...
Be unified with your districts and zones, some weeks or days they will be your saving graces. But they will definitely provide you with times to remember.
Have a lanyard for your car keys! Since you have everything but the kitchen sink in your bag it makes them easier to find, I had a cute red polka dot one from Cath Kitdson.
You get sent to every area for a reason, pray to know why. You will see miracles.
If you have the paper planners (my mission got the iPads in the latter part of my mission) write a miracle that you have seen in the day.
WRITE IN YOUR JOURNAL EVERY NIGHT! Don't sacrifice that, I wish I wrote in my journal more, I had one companion that would write in it every night, I admired her for it. You will thank yourself or regret it later.
Don't move on from the first lesson until your investigator has a testimony of it, this is what makes us stand out!
Make sure you treat yourself on Mondays! Whether that is buying something sweet, beauty product, taking a nap! Life gets pretty stressful as a missionary sometimes and you just need a little bit of TLC.
Mary Jane shoes are not the only shoes that last in the world. I can promise you that there are cute and comfortable shoes that last! I got mine from www.hotter.com and they lastest me my whole mission. They also have an American sight for those of you across the pond.
"Pray as though everything depended on God, work as though everything depended on you." ...or whatever that quote is, you get the idea.
Well, that's a wrap! There are a couple bits of advice. Another blogger that I found helpful was 'Bella in Berlin' with her post. Here is her link www.bellainberlin.blogspot.co.uk/p/things-i-wish-i-wouldve-known.html you should totally check her out.