When you decide you're going on a mission, everybody and their dog has advise for you. But there are some things everyone seems to somehow leave out of their novels of advice. Here are a few facts about putting in your papers that I wish someone had told me.
- So you've decided to go on a mission, but you're not quite of age yet. That's awesome! But just sit back and relax for a while. You can't turn in your papers until 100 days or 4 months before your mission, and there isn't much you can do until about two weeks before. So chill.
- Everyone talks about mission papers taking FOREVER! Your part usually doesn't. All you have to do is meet with some people, and the forms can be filled out in less than an hour.
- READ THROUGH YOUR PAPERS! I cannot stress this enough. I didn't and my papers were sent back three times just because a little box wasn't checked or a signature was missing or something small. Check and double check unless you want to wait an extra couple of weeks for your call.
- You will probably turn your papers in to your bishop and think YES! My papers are practically in!! Don't. Before you can submit your papers, they have to be reviewed by your bishop, a member of the stake, and your stake president before you can even schedule your meeting to turn in your papers. Be patient. It will take a couple of weeks, not usually a couple of days.
- Patience is a reoccurring theme. Once you have submitted your papers, you will wait 2-6 weeks for your call to be assigned, and then it's usually 1-3 weeks for it to get there after that. So if you plan to sleep by your mailbox till it comes, you might want to bring a tent.
- If your papers are submitted and it still feels surreal, don't feel guilty. Some people don't feel like they're actually going on a mission till they are IN the field. You're completely normal.
- Before I opened my call I felt a mixture of nausea, excitement, and terror. Like the feeling before starting a race. Apparently that's normal
- Once your call has been assigned, you will not sleep. We had 5 people in my ward get their calls the same week as me, and none of us slept until our call was opened.
- People will cry. Some before you even open your call.
- You won't sleep the night after, and if you do, you won't sleep well. It's the excitement. Enough Said.
- You may think you have thought of going to EVERY. SINGLE. MISSION. in the world, but you haven't. Most people that I know agree that their mission was the last place they thought they would go. The other percent? Those lucky people who just KNOW where they're going to be called.
- You need to pray for a confirmation that this is where you are supposed to go. I would recommend at least every other week. Satan works on you extra hard before your mission, so this will help you keep your head in the right spot.
- Do not buy ANY mission clothes before you get your call (especially if you're a sister). The clothing rules vary so much from mission to mission that you will most likely be wasting your money if you buy yours before hand.
- If your mission is a new mission (like mine) there will be practically NO information on what you're supposed to really bring. Be prepared
AFTER I GOT MY CALL:
- You know how when you're putting in your papers time just DRAAAGGSS on? Yeah. That stops. I got my call almost a month ago (3.5 weeks) and it feels like I just opened it! and i'll be gone in 3.5 months?! What?
- There are a BILLION things you need to get (at least for the sisters) and no time to get them! i got my call 4.5 months before my departure date, and I have no clue how I am going to find everything I need by then.
- Sister missionary mall (or missionary mall if you're a boy) is heaven on earth! It is impossible to find skirts that are long enough, let alone warm ones at this time of year, and they had everything! AND (unlike sister mac) the clothes are cute! Plus an added bonus all of the workers are RM's and have so much great advice! Love it!