In the United States, we are accustomed to eating processed food that has been augmented with flavor enhancers and other chemicals. As a result, at first, the natural food in other countries may initially taste very bland to you. But that natural food is so much better for you, as long as you wash it carefully and cook it thoroughly. Before you know it, your taste buds will begin to reject artificial foods and flavors and crave the goodness of wholesome, natural meals.
At first, you may be quite surprised that you aren’t having spiritual experiences every day, or even every week. You may think you are wasting too much time. You may drive your poor spouse mad fussing about not reading the scriptures enough, not exercising enough, not fasting enough, not being a missionary! Relax. You are a missionary. This experience is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. You will figure out a flow and a balance that both you and your spouse can live with, and you will have spiritual experiences—just not on demand.
The MTC provides transportation to the Salt Lake International Airport. However, if possible, it’s a good idea to have family or friends pick you up at the MTC and take you to the airport so that you have more control over your schedule.
Bring pictures of your family to enjoy and to show members and investigators. People love to see your children and grandchildren. To save luggage room, you can get frames after you arrive in your mission.
Because you are a senior missionary, you will probably be assigned to one apartment for your entire mission, and that apartment will be furnished not only with furniture, but also with basic supplies. You can purchase any improvement you want for your apartment.
Senior missionaries have different schedules and rules than junior missionaries. There is absolutely no way you can be on task sixteen hours a day. So you are going to have some downtime—time when you must rest, but you don’t need to sleep. In this downtime, you are allowed to read novels that are not religious, listen to nonreligious music, search the web, and even watch movies. Media, however, can be uplifting or destructive, so you must take care to feed your soul with the media you choose.
You have several options for dealing with your home while you serve a mission: 1. You can have a family member or friend live in your home. 2.You can lease or rent your home to someone. 3. You can sell your home and plan to buy something else when you return. or 4. You can leave your home vacant and have someone care for it and the yard.
If your driver’s license is going to expire some time during your mission, you will need to renew it before you leave the country. Trying to renew your license from abroad is just overwhelmingly difficult and takes a great deal of time and effort. So look at your driver’s license right away and see if you’ll need to renew it before you start your mission. Telephone ahead and make sure you have all the documents your DMV will require for early renewal.
You will need to include a photo of you and your spouse in your application, and this photo is fairly important. It will be used by the General Authorities when they decide where you should be called to serve. Your photo will also be posted on your mission president’s missionary board along with the photos of all the other missionaries in your mission.
Actually, there isn’t a “mission kind of person.” We tend to think a good missionary is a salesman type, a high-energy cheerleader, or a driven goal-setter. And we know we are just regular, quiet, insecure volunteers. So we decide to let some other high-profile couples do the senior mission thing. You’d be amazed to learn that your unique talent set can be just as effective as that of a high-powered person.