Many wards and branches lack members with music skills, so you may find yourself leading the music and playing the piano, even if your skills are rusty or almost non-existent. Do take CDs of Church music, especially primary and young women’s music to help you support your members.
It’s difficult to miss uniquely American holidays such as Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July when you are serving in a foreign country. However, if you celebrate American holidays in noisy or expensive ways, local people can feel resentful. Best to keep your American celebrations subtle and quiet.
Senior Missions: What to Expect and How to Prepare would make a great Father’s Day gift! You can get a copy at Deseret Book or Barnes & Noble, or you can order a copy from Amazon.com.
Video streaming systems such as Roku don’t work well in foreign countries because the broadband system is too slow to stream. Moreover, if you use a lot of streaming time, the provider will charge you greatly increased fees.
Prescriptions for medicine usually won’t be accepted in other states or countries. You will need to find a local doctor to issue your prescriptions.
Foreign countries have a different DVD format that the US does, so bringing DVDs is a waste of space unless you also bring a US DVD player. If you plan to rent DVDs from a store, buy your player after you arrive on your mission. Frequently, your apartment will already have a local DVD player that a previous senior couple purchased and left.
You pay your mission living expenses to your home ward using a donation slip. The online donation slip will have your name listed under Ward Missionary Fund. Just click the Select a Missionary box, select your own name, and pay your regular monthly mission expense.
If you want to serve your mission in a foreign country, apply for a passport as soon as you can. Passports last many years, so applying early won’t cause you any trouble and will save you the stress of waiting for a delayed passport.
If you have a family emergency while you are on your mission, you can request a short leave of absence to return home. You will, however, need to pay for the transportation costs you incur. Family emergiencies do not include family reunions or vacations to Disneyland, though.
Being together all day, every day can put stress on your marriage. Before you leave on your mission, practice doing projects together, such as gardening, cooking, or studying, and discuss what you learn from your experiences.