Things I Wish I Would've Known: Part 2

Monday, January 21

I'm a little in shock I was able to go viral with that last blog post!! 

I know I needed all the advice I could get before I left!

And now that I know it helped over 18,000 of you ladies out there getting ready to serve the Lord I'd be happy to add some more!! 

Tide to go pen. 
If your anywhere near as clumsy as I'll feel like you bought clothes pre-stained. 
There are days you won't make it home or to a bathroom till 930pm. These little geniuses save your life..

Keep your "DORK DOT" you will soon learn what that is and the significance of it upon arrival in the MTC! 
This convenient neon orange dot will be placed on your name tag within seconds of arriving. Notifying everyone on campus 
" I'M NEW AND I'M FREAKING OUT". In turn you get 2,000 friendly waves and lots of help. Stick it on the back of your badge at the end of the day as a fun reminder of your first day! 

Or..... Re-stick it on the front of your name tag every Wednesday when new missionaries arrive feel special and get help from people like I did....every Wednesday...for 9 weeks. 

Purchase PREACH MY GOSPEL in your native language right away and begin studying. I'd like to introduce you to your new best friend for the next 18 months. 

This is one book that you can not put off studying and spark note the answers the day of the test like I managed to do through all of schooling. 
(there is also no Internet use as a missionary:) ) 

Study it. Learn it. Apply it. Love it

Memorize " Our Purpose" in the first chapter. You will be asked to memorize it on your mission! Get a head start 

Go to bed at 10:30pm for a month leading up to your mission to help your body adjust to the new time. It avoids you sitting staring at those MTC cement ceilings counting sheep, naming apostles and counting how many times the book of mormon says " and it came to pass" I did. You will appreciate every single second of sleep 

Be OBEDIENT...need I say more? EXACT obedience brings SPECIFIC blessings. 
We only have 18 months to serve..but eternity to think about it 

Dry shampoo... Better known as a gift from heaven for women none the less sister missionaries. Germany is humid.. or let's face it.. there are some mornings your desire to shower is that of laman and lemuels desire to be righteous. 

Spray a little Dry Shampoo on your roots and your set. FOOL PROOF.. What others know won't hurt em. 

When you go to the temple..bring a few dollars and eat in the temple cafe.. The food is way good and sometimes you'll need to mix it up

Go to the salad bar line in the MTC ...order a tortilla...just put cheese on it and microwave genius invention and life saver when they serve hamburgers ( which is 6 out of 7 days)

Hand Sanitizer.. Go to bath and body works and purchase a few mini hand sanitizers. You will shake on average of 100 hands a day in the field with NoOoOoOoOoOo idea where they've been. Keepin it clean

Icy hot..used as much as normal lotion

If your a caffeine/diet coke addict........begin the detox asap. This will avoid lots of problems with receiving packages that get caught in the mail room from friends trying to sneak you in your daily dosage.
And migraines 

If your learning a language and have a while to wait..start learning. Buy Rosetta stone, find a Russian for dummies book. The second you walk into your MTC classroom you'll wonder whether your in the Chinese or Albanian classroom and have no idea what's up or down. 

Go buy a small pocket dictionary in the language your learning. I started from page 1 and slowly put a dash through words I learn! 

Also... Find and download Disney movie songs in your language or Christmas music. You already know all the words in the English version.. It helps your vocab and grammar etc! And who doesn't love some Disney.. avoid love songs..= trunky

Buy a fresh new set of scriptures for your mission. I love my set I grew up with. But some days my Dr. Seuss looking flowers i drew in it and 8 year old thoughts don't really...move me. 
It's been inspiring to write down new thoughts and inspiration that I received from the second I was set apart as missionary. 

Forget yourself. This work isn't about's about the Lord and his children. It's not about learning a new language, going to a cool tropical place or getting an 18 month break from drama and boys...or are those the same thing? 

Moving on

A small to do..
My MTC teacher said something that really stuck with me. There will be no time in your life than RIGHT NOW that you are closer to God, and know better or more clear what you want to do. Write down somewhere ideas, dreams and goals you have for both mission and post mission life. Having such a list helps keep an RM busy and not going stir crazy wondering what to do next. I tried it and am already to 100! Don't worry mom...getting married made the list

You do not need to purchase anything on the allowed reading list ( unless you want to mark and personally own it). EVERY apartment I've lived it on the mission has owned 10 Jesus the Christ's.. 7 my heritage etc..

And how I look at it...less books more room for clothes. 

Lose yourself. This work is not one that you can wade your feet in. You'll soon realize that everyday demands your very best. Be prepared to give your all..and some. In doing so the satisfaction that will come I can promise you will be unmeasurable. 

Write in the back of your Book of Mormon the date of every time you began and finished it on your mission. A friend referred this tip to me. And I've loved also adding a sentence or two about how my testimony was strengthened each time. 

A nice water bottle..or if your going somewhere where the water is skeptical buy a water bottle with a filter! I have a " bobble" water bottle or " Purita" also works great! You can find them at target, bed bath and beyond etc..

The name of the store I mentioned in last weeks post is in Draper, Utah is called The Sweetest Thingz (416 East 12300 South) this is where you can find the extender slips with lace to add length to any dress or skirt! 

Stickers....lots of stickers. Children flock to you every Sunday and on the streets asking for stickers. Deseret book, scrapbook store

If you wanna get fancy get a stamp for your return address of your mission home for your letters you send. 

A photo a day. I take a photo a day on my mission. Fun way to know what happened

A sister gave me this tip.. If you have a difficult companion sometimes, speaking up or having a dreadful comp inventory can seem impossible. Carry around tic tacs and every time your companion gets a little stressed, irritated, mean,  just offer her a tic tac and she will eventually catch on! And everyone likes good breath 

Put sticky notes in the back of your planner. Every time you make out an appointment, give an investigator a reading assignment or commitment write it down for them! Ive had companions do this one and now I do. Some people forget the second you walk out the door, they show up on Tuesday at 1 when you told them Saturday at 7. 

Put chocolate in your mailbox when you leave in the morning... So that you never walk away unhappy! And at the end of the day when you reach inside your mailbox there is always something in there for you! Whoever said happiness cannot be bought...has never eaten German chocolate. 

Exercise in the 2M gym under the bookstore. It's a little more private and alot nicer! With treadmills etc! They also play the Joseph Smith movie on repeat! You can run and get in a workout or lay lifeless on a yoga mat like me and enjoy the show with some popcorn!

David A Bednar " Revelation"
Turning outwards

Begin your profile. It's a requirement to make one in the MTC. It would've been helpful to get started earlier and have time to really say what I wanted. 

If your name is Marlin...please do me a favor and write: name Is Marlin.. I'm a clownfish..and a Mormon  
Stay away from the MTC orange gives everyone crazy nightmares and makes ya ill 

When in a crowded group of missionaries at the MTC yell out " ELDERRRRR" and just watch...and enjoy. 

Find missionaries in your area and request to be a joint teach! They will not say no! We beg for joint teaches! The best thing to do... Is DO IT

I've noticed on my mission..Satan truly works the hardest on those that he knows is capable of making the biggest difference in building this kingdom..but you know who also knows that?

Your father in heaven. He called you to do his work because he TRUSTS YOU 

A few years back I was someone who would have bet everything I owned that I would not be where I am today. I made so many mistakes...spent more time running from seminary teachers ( literally) than learning from them. But I know the atonement is REAL. My words I felt would never be enough to describe what this beautiful message deserves...

God does not ask us to be perfect. But to give our best..and he fills in the rest. 

Last...don't freak out!!! The set preparation isn't accomplished by packing perfectly or being prepared with everything from bandages to 18 months worth of toothpaste. 
The best preparation you can do for your mission is prepare spiritually..

Girls we runnnnnn thiss...


  1. Hi my name is Larissa and I'm leaving in March for my mission. I was also called to Berlin Germany! I just wanted you to know that your advice is really helpful and I would welcome any more you might have. :) Thanks!

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  2. This is seriously the best thing I have ever read. I was called to Salt Lake City South, Spanish Speaking for my mission and I have just been freaking out over the little details, so thank you for telling me to breath and remembering the big picture. Also, I cannot wait to yell " ELDERRR" like everyday at the MTC. You're the best.

  3. Love this and love you for making your list! Thanks so much. I was a sister missionary 24 years ago and wow!--things have changed and soooo much for the better. My oldest daughter will be leaving in a few months and we are so appreciative of your list. Sister missionaries are beyond amazing! You will serve your mission for 18 months but you will love it for the rest of your life!! Xoxo

  4. You are a super cute girl! I live by Jenny Diederich and served my mission in France and Belgium 14 years ago and loved it...even when it was hard. Good luck to you!!

  5. Hey I'm Sammy-jo and I'm planning on going on a mission and have been doing my papers so hopefully will be sending them through in February. I love your blog, it's so funny and I love how you have your own personality and not just a "robot" haha. You've inspired me to do my own blog from my preparation to when I will be on the mission field and after. So thanks for the inspiration! And your wardrobe looks fab! Xoxo

  6. Ummm... I'm not a sister.... But I have really enjoyed this blog ( I was reading it before it was cool). I enter the MTC in two weeks and am going to the so-called "Greatest Mission in the World", the Berlin Germany mission. Your advice has been priceless, and the way that you have delivered it has been very entertaining. Keep up the good work!

  7. My brother is in the Berlin Germany mission!! He's in Bremen right now. If you run into an Elder Adams you should tell him hi :)

    And I looooove your blog! It's an inspiration for me who's thinking about going on a mission or not. Keep up the good work!!

  8. Hey, I was just called to Germany! Your blog is the best mission blog I've seen! The German chocolate line, priceless. Anyway, thanks for sharing all this information. It's REALLY helpful!

  9. Thankyou so much for the Advise. I live in New Zealand and am going to the Canada vancouver mission and have been freaking out a bit. Your list has put me at ease and made me realise what i wear and pack doesnt matter as much as what im doing there. Thankyou. I cant wait to yell elder! :) Plus thankyou for the gym advise. I love my sport and exercise but tere is alimit to how many people i want there :P

  10. I've sent your blog to so many of my girlfriends who are preparing to go and serve! they LOVE it and wish they had found it first! haha thanks for all the great advice and fun writing voice!

  11. Ww, this helped me out a ton. I love it. Thank you! :)

  12. I love your posts! They make me laugh so hard and that seems to make me remember your advice better! Thank you so much!

  13. This blog is fantastic! I was recently called to Perú Lima West. I took three years of French and don't speak a lick of Spanish. So the language advice is helpful for me. Thank you for sharing your experiences, Bella, and thank you for posting them, Olivia! Reading a firsthand account has been unbelievably useful in my preparation.

  14. I just stumbled across your blog and just want to say thank you. Not for the advice, since I am a mother of three young children now and went on my mission to Texas ages ago, but to thank you for reminding me how amazing and wonderful and HARD a mission is. As I went down your list I found myself crying uncontrollably, like the ugly cry. I cried because I missed it and cried because I needed a reminder that I DID that. I DID that. If I can do that, I can do anything. Take advantage of this time, sisters, you will never, ever know what it will do for you even 20 years later.

  15. I am leaving this may for my mission in Korea Daejeon! Thanks so much for all your advice! I am nervous, especially to learn the language. But, I know it will just take practice. I am so excited, though!!!

  16. Please keep the advice coming!! I've never had anyone be this blunt about what I need and don't need on my mission! I leave for Brazil in July and I absolutely can't wait! Your advice definitely setting me out in the right direction! Thank you!!

  17. Ladies/Sisters/Warriors..........yes Warriors, modern day stripling Warriors.

    As I peruse the plethora of blogs, composed by the many different, brilliant, inspired and insightful Sister Warriors, committed to Christ and committed to the thousands upon thousands of fellow Sister Warriors, willing to stand tall and answer the call to serve. I have yet to read, one suggestion, recommending, that, as an emissary for Christ, you, become extremely acquainted, with the body language of your fellow human beings.

    The following "FACT" known and taught for decades, is this......... 97% of all we communicate is via, our body language, not our words.

    Think about how many words, you, speak each and every day, yet, what you, are "communicating" is via your, body language.

    Corporations, around the planet, every branch of the military, as well as our CIA our FBI, every law enforcement agency spends hundreds of millions dollars, to ensure, they understand and detect, whom is lying, being deceitful, or hiding pertinent information, whether, it be, for the protection of our Nation or in closing a multi-billion dollar contract.

    As you are invited in to the homes, across this planet, by those seeking answers, by those searching for the truth, it is "vital" you have a crystal clear understanding, whom is being truthful, whom is being closed off, whom are no longer dialed into your message.

    This church, The only true and living church on this planet, sending 18-21 year old, young women and men out, into the world, not having a clue, unless they have been trained, what to look for.

    You must understand, we are born into this world, where lying is foreign to us, to our very spiritual DNA..........we are made to not lie......lying is foreign to us........our spirit objects to us lying and our bodies, have an immediate knee jerk reaction to lying........if we are closed off, not willing to accept what is being said to us, if we are rejecting what is being said to us...........our bodies, will react, without us thinking of is a knee jerk reaction.

    I have spoke to countless of missionaries, currently serving and returned missionaries, who freely admit, they do not, they did not, have a clue, as to what was really being communicated to them...................and every missionary, especially those currently serving, have all, stated adamantly, understanding the body language, of their investigators, has proven invaluable, cutting the time lost, wondering, really wondering if a connection has been made and how the investigators are or are not embracing, the truths, you, have all, dedicated your very life force, to share.....virtually in half, at least in half. They have felt empowered in addressing, more of their investigators concerns, being able to read their body language, versus trying to read their minds.

    Being worthy, obedient, diligent, yoked with Christ, warriors, endowed with power and authority from on high.........literally, armed with the companionship of the holy ghost, are the virtues and character of young women of Integrity..................adding the tool, being fluent in body language, will enhance every other virtue and characteristic.................being able to read and understand, to whom you are teaching, is as every bit as important, as knowing how to speak the language to the mission you have been called..................I would add, it is more important, because, without knowing a single syllable, you can sit down across from anyone and still understand what they are communicating to you, via their body language.

    I promise you, this is an extremely valuable tool, a valuable tool, to help you, be a better, in tune communicator.

    Stand Tall...........continually....................Hold fast

    go with God

    God bless you all.

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