After being with a lot of missionaries and watching them closely in their missionary efforts, we have come up with our top ten list of reminders that parents can do to help their son or daughter prepare before the mission.
1. Teach them that the Holy Ghost is a member of the GODHEAD and can be their constant companion. The Holy Ghost has all Knowledge, all Power, and all Wisdom. They need to be worthy and spiritually prepared to always have this gift with them. And then learn to carefully listen and follow the promptings. What else will they need?
2. Give them opportunities to discuss and talk out loud about the Gospel with you and with others. Let them testify of truth at Family Home Evenings, Father’s interviews, with mom in the kitchen, at the dinner table, church activities etc….
3. Have Family Home Evening lessons from “Preach My Gospel.” Let them prepare and give the lesson.
4. Remind them to have quiet time without music, TV, videos, games, or friends. Have them feel comfortable by being still and listening. Teach them that the Lord is always trying to communicate with them. He does this through the Scriptures.
5. Teach them how to work. They need to work like a farm boy from morning until night. They need to be self-motivated and know how to work hard. They should feel uncomfortable just sitting around.
6. Moms cut some strings. Toughen them up. Let them do things for themselves. Teach them how to iron, cook, & clean. We need men and women in the mission, not little boys and girls needing their moms. And Mothers, please don’t cry for them when they are away. They are growing spiritually and Serving and Saving others. It's exciting!
7. Teach them how to greet people with a firm handshake, and look them in the eye and smile. Teach them how to speak with adults comfortably and have a conversation by asking them questions.
8. Manners are important. Teach them how to eat correctly. Teach them how to treat others. Teach them to be kind and put others first and give service to someone everyday.
9. Help them feel our Saviors love. Create spiritual experiences in the home. Testify to them of the things that are true. And then when you write letters to them in the mission, be optimistic and uplifting and bare your testimony.
10. Teach them that they will represent Jesus Christ at all times and in all things. It is a glorious privilege. They will never be able to repay our Heavenly Father for what they are about to receive on their mission... It truly will be some of the greatest years of their life.