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.
Expensive jewelry, particularly a diamond wedding ring, can be an invitation to get robbed in poor countries or cities. Many senior missionaries leave their wedding rings home and replace them with a CTR ring during their missions.
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.
In many poor cities and countries, senior missionaries are not allowed to work outside their apartments after dark. Using some creative thinking and careful planning, however, the apartment hours can be used productively rather than be idled away watching movies or playing games. Family history, indexing, telephone contacting, and personal history records are just a few of the evening possibilities.
Senior couples may want to adopt children who are abandoned or suffering in poverty-stricken countries. However, these adoption attempts can result in serious legal problems for the Church and should be avoided.
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.
Some common spices in the U.S., such as cream of tarter or taco seasoning, are not available in other countries. Since these spices weigh very little, it may be wise to take them with you on your mission. Check with your mission office or search online to see which spices are not available in your mission.
You should apply for your mission four to six months before your availability date, and be aware that if you serve a foreign mission, you may not actually leave for the field for many more months because of visa delays.
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.