It is often very difficult and expensive to get books written in English in a foreign country. Before you leave for your mission, set up an online library account with your local library. Test the account before you leave to make sure you can check out online books, and then make sure to bring your library card with you on your mission.
Clothing requirements vary from mission to mission. The general clothing guidelines that you receive with your original mission information packet are just that—general. Your mission will send you more specific clothing instructions that will meet the needs of your mission climate and culture.
To avoid spousal contention, bring two laptop computers with you. Otherwise, you will constantly be competing for computer time. You will each want use the computer as a phone, as a library, as a movie theater, as a research tool, as a translation machine, as a blog resource, and much more.
Even though young missionaries receive their calls two to three weeks after their stake president submits their application, senior missionary calls take five to six weeks to process. That’s because senior mission applications have much more detailed health and experience information.
In November 2011 General Conference, Elder Holland exclaimed, “We need thousands of more couples serving in the missions of the Church. Every mission president pleads for them. Everywhere they serve, our couples bring a maturity to the work that no number of 19-year-olds, however good they are, can provide.”
US cell phones are too expensive to use in foreign countries, so your mission office will often provide you with a local cell phone. The mission will not, however, provide you with a computer or with Internet access.
All senior couples must have health insurance while they are on their mission. Medicare does not work in foreign countries, so the Church has made health insurance available for senior missionaries to purchase during their mission.
Take clothing that is loose and comfortable. Chances are that you will gain a pound or two on your mission, so clothing that just barely fit when you started your mission will soon become tight and unattractive.
Most senior missionary couples attend the Missionary Training Center for one week of orientiation. However, for couples with specialized callings, such as office couple or humanitarian service, they are given an extra week of training for their specific calling.
I’m going to start a weekly or bi-weekly feature that gives prospective couple missionaries preparation tips. So here is the first Tip of the Week:
Missionaries are limited to two fifty-pound suitcases plus a carry on bag. So the weight of the bag itself is critical. Even if you vacuum pack your clothes, they still weigh the same amount. So get the LIGHTEST weight bags you can find that have wheels and will hold 50 pounds.