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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Preparing a Missionary for the Philippines

This post could also be subtitled: "What I'm Learning as We're Going Along."

image: mormonnewsroom.ph
A friend sent me a message this morning. Her daughter will be going to the Cebu East Mission very soon. She asked about everything from Permethrin to umbrellas, so here's how I answered. As I did so, I thought this might not be bad information to share here for others who are preparing daughters to serve in Filipino missions and happen across this blog, so here you go....

My daughter has been a week in the mission field now, but it's just a fact that as the time gets closer to send a missionary off, it gets to the point where there are so many things to think about. 


#1 purchased a big container of permethrin through Amazon. It was a concentrate. I believe she did soak her sheets as well. She ruined one of our measuring cups during this venture, so you may want to purchase one of those as well.

Missionary Moms

If you haven't joined yet, Missionary Moms is a great thing to be involved with. If you want to know more, message or email me.

Power Converter

image: ebay.com
My daughter took a camera with batteries. I didn't send a converter. I'm assuming that if she needs one, a former missionary would have left one behind. That's one thing you probably wouldn't take home with you and when it comes time to leave, believe me, you leave as much as you can. I remember taking home one pair and shoes, the clothes on my back and just a few other things. I bequeathed the rest to those who would follow.


#1 chose not to take her iPod. She didn't take anything music-wise with her. I did, however send her sheet music. She asked for it; no, begged for it. I sent it to her while she was still in the MTC.


I'm sorry to say that I can't remember where we purchased her umbrella. I believe it may have been someplace like Fred Meyer, so it's probably not that sturdy. Being an Oregon girl, I'm thinking that umbrella might just stay packed. Rain is her friend.


Okay, I need to revisit the package-to-the-MTC idea here for a moment....
image: hip2save.com
I sent #1 two packages while she was in the MTC. The first cost me $16 to send. The second, $22. They were full of all kinds of thingsand were in boxes that you'd purchase cases of paper in. They were huge.

I sent my first package to the Philippines last week. It was dinky. In it, I had placed, two deodorants, a new toothbrush, and a 16 packages of the thinnest pads you can find. Needless to say, this package was SUPER light. The price to ship....$57.

image: postcalc.usps.gov
Last Saturday, just following a baptism, I mentioned this to a woman in the ward who has sent children on missions to Chile and Brazil. She shared that the best thing to do is use a flat rate box, the longer, flatter one. I guess there are two sizes that can be shipped at the same price, but that longer, flatter one (like the size a dress shirt might be packed in), she did the math, is better volume-wise. You can put anything in it up to 20 pounds, and it will only cost $40 to ship anywhere....HaHa, "only."

In the email we received from him, #1's mission president said to use USPS to ship things. So, that's what I'll do next time. My friend also said it takes FOREVER to get there, so Christmas items will need to be shipped by the end of October. #1's birthday is in November, so it sounds like I may be sending a monthly package for the next little bit. Fun stuff!

In short, if at all possible, send as much as you need to while your missionary's in the MTC.

Emails on P-day

For the Olongapo Mission, P-day is Monday. That means #1's emails come in on Sunday night. With the time difference, it was about 7:30pm. They had to go to a town north of where she's serving in order to find an internet cafe, so whatever day P-day is, expect emails at about that time of night the night before.

I happened to be sitting at my computer with my email inbox open, so when her email came through, I was able to respond quickly. We were able to send emails back and forth for a bit before she had to go and get on with her laundry and grocery shopping. It was wonderful and very reassuring. She answered all of my questions. I was happy to learn that she wasn't overly hot (94 degrees but with humidity, 120 and not hot?!), there is no flooding, that they had filtered water and she has a filtered water bottle, and that she had already written her letter to her mission president (something I was TERRIBLE at when I served all those years ago and totally regret).

Technology is Your Friend

Technology being what it is, this really has become an adventure to be shared. A phone call from the Salt Lake airport, flight trackers, and an email from the Mission President the next day have taken a lot of guess work out of the whole experience.

One last important detail...
image: essentialapparel.com

Clothes and Shoes

In our little email "chat" the other night, I asked #1 about her
image: romystyle.com
shoes and clothes. The shoes (Crocs) are awesome, she said, but she took some Shades-type shirts with her. The short sleeves are considered "sexy," so they're inappropriate. She purchased two" very light cardigan-type t-shirt material (I don't know what you'd call them) jackets? Cardigans? at Romy's before she left. She's been wearing those over her shirts. So, she was going out to buy some new tops on P-day.

In regard to those cardigans, one of the last things we were warned about by a friend who served previously in the Philippines, was that sometimes the churches are air conditioned and when you've acclimated to the heat, it's a good idea to have a light sweater or blazer on hand for such cases. Thus the purchase of these cardigans.

There you have it. I'm sure I'm not done learning yet, but if this information can help somebody else out there, so you don't have to make the same mistakes I have, I'll be a happy woman.

Best of luck as you prepare your missionary!


P4 said...

My nephew is headed to the Cebu mission later this month and it has been so fun hearing about all the things he is doing to prepare. They were actually told by a missionary who just got back to not send very many packages because their Filipino companions get jealous and think of you as a rich American. Interesting right? My nephew is pasty white and a red head so I'm excited for the Filipinos to see him! He will stick out like a sore thumb. He is so excited for the adventure! So fun hearing about Q! I can't believe she is on a mission. Wasn't I just baby-sitting her?

LeAnn said...

A fun read; I liked learning about what you did to get her prepared for a mission. Mailing items can be very expensive; I hated that part.
I liked the cardigan.

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