Updates to Missionary Clothing Guidelines

The Church recently updated the missionary clothing guidelines to give permission for missionaries to wear wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses to provide protection against the sun.

These changes are welcomed ones that will help missionaries to fight against the issues that could effect them. Sunglasses are known for protecting your eyes against UV light. Plus, if you spend 3 hours in the sun, it can effect your sight once you come indoors or move to a dark location.

Meanwhile, hats are definitely back in style! Wide-brimmed hats provide protection equal to an SPF of approximately 5 for your nose, ears and neck. Who doesn’t want a bit of extra protection to ward off a sunburn?!

Here are some examples from LDS.org:

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 6.20.25 PMWhile both the style of hats and sunglasses must be conservative, this change is a welcome one, especially when serving in areas where you spend a lot of time outside.

 

What You Need For Your Missionary Bag

A bag is a missionary’s best friend. You get to choose your bag before you leave and it will be with you every day. The missionary guidelines tell you that your bag should be simple, professional, and durable. Luckily, those guidelines don’t tell you specifically what you need so you have the freedom to choose a bag that fits your personality.

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With all the options available, it can be difficult to find just the right bag for your mission. Knowing what you will need in your bag can help you find the best fit for you. Here are a few essentials that are good to carry along during the day:

Agenda

001source: [lds.org]

This is your bread and butter (besides your scriptures). Missionaries use these planners during weekly and daily planning sessions. You will need to update it when you make contacts on the street. Luckily there are places to take notes for such things as phone numbers or addresses. Your will be lost without this agenda and it’s important you have this with you at all times to make sure you’re not missing appointments.

Pens

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One or two pens is essential to jot down those notes in your agenda or to add a new appointment. Clicky pens are best to use because you don’t have to juggle the pen cap or stick it in your mouth. They also can double as pointers if you need to highlight something in a lesson. Make sure that you have a pocket to hold these pens.

Notepad

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As much as you want people to always be at the set appointments, that’s not how things work. Other times, you may stop by someone’s house unannounced and they won’t be at home. Luckily, you can leave a note using your handy little notepad to let your investigator or friend know that the missionaries came by. Be sure to write your phone number and many times they will call to set up a new appointment.

Stickers

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Stickers are great to tack your note to the front door. Your investigator will be sure to see it and will appreciate the little decoration. Be careful to not select stickers that are too juvenile or small. You want it big enough to hold the note through wind or storms.

Chapstick

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No matter where you are, your lips can get chapped. Whether from dry weather or wind, keep yourself from licking your lips and making it worse by carrying some chapstick around. While you may want to keep the chapstick in your skirt pocket, you may forget about the tube when it comes to doing laundry. Keeping it in your bag will ensure that you always have it right when you need it. (And if I might add my own personal recommendation — Natural Ice Cherry Chapstick is my favorite!)

Water Bottle

Do not leave your place without a water bottle. Many times you’ll be away from your apartment the entire day. In some places around the world, there aren’t public water fountains. You need to be sure to carry some with you so that you don’t get dehydrated.

Scriptures

source: [ldsretailers.blogspot.com]

Many missionaries realize that they will need to use their scriptures, but when shopping for a bag, missionaries forget to consider the size of their scriptures. Especially when serving a foreign mission, the scriptures are a slightly different size. Consider purchasing a copy of the Book of Mormon in your mission language to test out in the bag. Make sure that at least two copies of the Book of Mormon can fit in your bag for those days when you have multiple appointments or you meet a golden investigator.

No matter what bag you choose, be sure to remember that what is going in your bag will help you be a more effective missionary.

4 Winter Hairstyles for Sister Missionaries

I don’t know about you, but doing my hair every day can be a chore — and I’m a hairstylist!

When I was a sister missionary, it was even worse because I had limited time to get ready and many of the essential hair tools that I now use were a luxury for my small missionary budget.

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Winter poses another problem of trying to keep your hair from frizzing and keeping your head warm as you move outdoors to indoors during your day. No one likes to get sick in the mission field — that’s for sure!

Here are my four favorite hairstyles that you can use for winter to keep your hair looking nice without wasting any of your precious time trying to get it just right.

Top Knot

My go-to hairstyle is a top knot. It’s easy to do and keeps it up out of your face. You don’t have to worry about your hair when there’s a strong wind or of trying to keep your hair out of your scarf.

Best part is? You can add a knit headband to keep your ears warm and dress up your style a little more.

Side French Braid

001source: [ thewonderforest.com]

A braid is always a favorite style for me. It’s elegant and you can do it with shoulder length to longer hair. This French braid takes it up a notch and does a side braid, so that it floats over your shoulder to make it a little more elegant.

Want to add something extra? This hairstyle will definitely look great with a beanie or another hat while you’re outside traveling from house to house.

Ponytail

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The ponytail is always a popular no-hassle style. It’s easy to pull your hair back and put it in an elastic. I know it gets a crimp in your hair, but at least it’s out of the way so you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day. This is also a great style if you haven’t had time to wash your hair that day. Just slick your hair back and viola!

The only problem is that a ponytail can look a little boring. Dress it up by adding a braid that hides the elastic. Or curl the ends so that your ponytail has a little bounce.

Tousled waves

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This is my secret. I love when I can make my hair wavy. It might take a little more time than the other styles, but I promise, it will look great no matter if you decide to wear a hair accessory or leave it alone.

This wavy look is easy to do with a curling iron and some hairspray. Just curl away from your face, leaving the bottom 1-2 inches uncurled. Run your fingers through your hair and then spray with hairspray to keep in place.

Since you have some time before you enter the MTC, you can spend some time perfecting your technique. That way you’ll be a pro and the other sisters might start asking you for tips!

What Returned Sister Missionaries Want

Going on a mission can be a difficult decision. Coming home from a mission can be even more difficult.

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I completed my mission and returned home after the semester had started at my university. I planned to re-enroll that fall, but it meant that I have six months of time that didn’t fit into my plan. I had to do something that I hadn’t done in awhile — I had to make a plan for myself and my life.

Many returned sister missionaries experience these same emotions. Recently, the Women’s Services and Resources Office on Brigham Young University campus surveyed recently returned missionaries and learned that the post-missionary life transition can often be more difficult than many assume. Young women expressed their challenges from using their time wisely to maintaining a level of spirituality to even how to get back into the social scene.

It’s hard to make that transition. Luckily, you learned the skills to handle this change while you were a missionary.

As a missionary, you met weekly with your companion to set goals. You thought about your investigators and what they would need to do to progress that week. You created a plan so that they could reach those goals.

Within a few weeks of returning home, you should take a minute and take inventory of your life. Think of yourself as if you are your own investigator. What do you want to accomplish in your life? Write these thoughts down in a journal or somewhere that you can continue to make a plan. Make sure you’re considering all aspects of your life — spiritual, educational, practical, and emotional. Once you have the large goals, starting writing down the tasks that you need to do to reach that goal.

Here are just a few ideas to help you get started:

Spiritual

  • Attend the temple weekly
  • Study scriptures for 30 minutes a day
  • Ask my bishop for a calling

Education

  • Take classes that fit my interests
  • Talk to someone I trust about my course of study
  • Read books, newspapers, magazines

Practical

  • Listen to music that uplifts
  • Make time to exercise
  • Track your spending and make a budget for food, clothing, and school.

Emotional

  • Set aside time to meditate
  • Schedule time to do something for me.
  • Serve one person each day.

These are just a few ideas that can help you as you make the transition. Many people struggle to fill their time with good activities. Others struggle with doing too many things and become burnt out. Your life is now an infinite series of personal choices instead of the structured life you lead. You can take what you’ve learned as a missionary and become better than you were before.

Welcome to the Sis-Miss Blog

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Many people remember where they were when President Thomas S. Monson stood in General Conference and announced that sister missionaries would be able to serve at 19 years old. In all the excitement, they may have missed this important thought from him:

“We assure the young sisters of the Church . . . that they make a valuable contribution as missionaries, and we welcome their service.”

Deciding to serve a mission takes lots of prayer, fasting, and counsel with parents, family, friends, and trusted leaders. Then there is the weeks of doing the paperwork and visits to the doctor and dentist. Add a few more interviews, paperwork submitted and then finally the envelope arrives.

You open it to read:

“You are hereby called as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

After that letter, you are pretty much stepping into the unknown. No matter what people tell you, there’s nothing that really prepares you for the mission. You may buy a bunch of clothes that just don’t work when you get to your area. Or maybe you leave in July, but by November there is snow on the ground and you are wishing that you had some scarves. That is just the start. You won’t know how to react when you have a door slammed in your face or when you are trying to teach a mother and her baby starts crying. It’s just something you learn.

No matter how crazy it gets, it’s an amazing opportunity to serve a mission. The contributors to this blog know it because we are a group of returned sister missionaries. We also convinced a few of our amazing moms to write a few things to help you prepare.

We’ll not only provide you tips to prepare for your mission, we’ll also give you some ideas of what to write home and some advice from a former mission president’s wife. We’ll also show you how you can rotate your wardrobe to make sure you’re getting the most out of your limited options.

Most of all, we want to hear from you. We want to know when you’re leaving on your mission and where you’re assigned to labor. We want to celebrate this milestone and support you. There is a sisterhood among sister missionaries — no matter where you serve. We want to be there with you.