Since it is getting close to Christmas I imagine some of you are trying to think of gifts for missionaries. Whether you are just sending a nice care package or sending a gift especially for Christmas, I will give you some ideas!
First of all being a missionary you move a lot, you are on the go a lot and so to me, getting things that were useful were the greatest gifts. I loved the fun or funny things as well but with such a tiny budget, when you got things that you would have bought anyway..it really made me happy.
Not just any snacks, but snacks that you can take with you on the go and that will help sustain your energy throughout the day. On my mission I never worked so hard in my life, every day I was dog tired because you are out doing so much. The best snacks to me were beef jerky, trail mix, or nuts and protein bars. You may be thinking granola bars and those are great but those are mostly sugar. If you want to really make that snack last, make sure it’s packed with the protein! The best jerky is from a local shop called Papa Jays, it’s a tad pricier but they do have missionary discounts and ship anywhere. Their jerky is good meat so there are no fillers and crap in it that don’t add any substance. These snacks are great to carry along with you in your bookbag while tracting or biking.
Now that your breath stinks from all that beef jerky, mints are very handy! Gum was not allowed while you were out of the apartment so mints are perfect to carry around with you. They are small, light weight, and you never know when you may need htem. My favorite were the tiny altoid mints because they were powerful and didn’t effect the way I spoke so I wouldn’t have a big mint rolling around in my mouth if we stopped to talk to someone. If you don’t like minty flavors there are fruity ones mints too!
Now although you don’t want to carry a lot of stuff around, you are ALWAYS in need of something. Clothes for a missionary can be a big purchase and also take time out of your precious p-day. It was nice to be sent tights (because in the winter you freeze as a sister missionary) in the mail in the winter time or extra socks or a new cardigan because man you wear those things out fast. It’s nice to also have just one new thing to add to your wardrobe because your clothing choices are limited and you wear them A LOT. I am a girl so I cannot say what boys would want to say about this. I imagine most of them have plenty of ties (at least my husband did) but I do know they could always use a new white shirt that isn’t turning yellow and socks that don’t have holes. Better yet, just ask them what clothes they need. They could probably even tell you the store and what color and size so they don’t have to return it because buying clothes is tricky.
Sister Missionary Girl Clothes Items I remember needing: Mittens, hats, scarves, tights, (my mom bought me really thick warm oens that were amazing in the cold rain/snow) socks, (athletic socks or warm socks..I would wear warm socks on top of my tights and then under my boots in the winter and would stay nice and warm!) boots, and cardigans and wonder tees all day every day. You could always splurge and get them a new skirt or top or dress or jewelry or a watch (just make sure it’s within mission standards) too which is always welcomed!
My mom also bought me a cool Mission Shirt which was fun to wear on P-Day.
4) Stuff for kids
This may come as a surprise to some of you but this was probably my favorite thing my mother would send me. She would send me LDS stickers in english and spanish that would say things like, I’m a Child of God or a Future Missionary tag. Whenever we were out and about kids were run up to us and ask us if we had any estickers. (yes, estickers) Of course we always did, sometimes I had Bob the Builder or Disney Princess stickers (the dollar store is a great place for kid stickers!) as well. You kind of feel like Santa Clause and it feels great. I also loved the Future Missionary tags because it inspired kids and they would wear them to church.
5) Pens and Sticky Notes
You go through pens like crazy. You write in your planner, in your journal and always seem to be losing them.Color coding the areas helped me stay organized and pay attention better in weekly planning. Pens are great, especially the ones that will write whether it’s raining, or freezing cold. I loved to carry around the skinny sharpies because those would write well on cards without bleeding. The pass-along cards are very smooth and some pens will smear easily. As for sticky notes..I loved having them. You leave notes for people on their doors, around your apartment, in your scriptures and so on. They are really handy and as a girl, I loved having different shapes and colors. However, post it notes are really the best ones because other cheaper brands don’t stick as well, especially on a door on a windy day!
6) Gift Cards
This was the gift of all gifts. A gift card was a gift from heaven. One of my companion’s parents sent her a 5 Guys card with $50 on it! It was beautiful because we would go get lunch there once a week and we truly appreciated it. It of course depends on if they are State-side or foreign, but if you’re state-side then you lucked out! (As long as you have that place in your area) Walmart gift cards were probably the most useful to me because I could buy groceries or toilet paper or clothes that I needed all in one place that we would be going to anyways. But of course, it is always nice to get the occasional gift card that is just to make you happy. Free food always makes me happy.
7) Scripture Stuff
I love the Scripture Mastery Stickers that have pictures on them to put throughout my scriptures. It was easy to find a scripture, especially for a visual learner like myself. You can get them in smaller sizes too for smaller scriptures. I don’t know what the kids are buying these days but I LOVED my Little PMG (Preach my Gospel). They are so handy and light and perfect to carry around. Scripture Highlighters are great as well because you are always in need of those. I personally highlighted my scriptures just in basic colored pencil and actually loved the roseart colored pencils because they were softer on the pages then crayola.
8) Home Baked Goods/ Stuff they Can’t get where they are
There’s nothing like having a taste of home while on your mission! My mom was really good about sending me treats that they made at home, especially around the holidays so I didn’t feel left out. If they are serving foreign I know they love getting candy they can only get in the states.
9) Random Fun Stuff
One of my favorite gifts was a nerf gun! I loved sititng on my bed and shooting darts around my room, it just was a nice stress reliever. My other favorite stress reliever was to blow bubbles. I know I am a child. We would nightly plan and I would sit and blow bubbles and just clear my mind and calm down. Basically you can send anything to a missionary and they will be thrilled they got something!
Music is something that as a missionary I always wanted. You get sick of music fast. I only listened to The Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Sundays because then it made Sundays more special..and I didn’t get sick of MoTab constantly. It depends on your mission president and the rules, but we were allowed to listen to EFY cds and Nashville Tribute which were probably my favorites. They are like soft pop songs for Mormons. My favorite Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD, The Missionary Collection cds, Reflections of Christ cd, EFY CDs, Nashville Tribute the Work (My favorite album) Their Newest Album: The Redeemer. Marie Osmond‘s cd is kosher as well. (But my companion HATED Marie haha)