I never realized how much I would miss going to school with my siblings! Can you believe Meagan is a senior?! My little baby sister! All grown up! And Noah a freshman?! I can't believe by the time I get home he will be dating and driving! I am not sure which one scares me more.....plus, he is almost taller than me as it is! I will be looking up at a giant when I return home! And then of course, Gabe & Eli....my little munchkins....getting smarter and bigger every day. (Well except Gabe.....let's hope he hits a growth spirt soon!) And then my big sis, Ezra! Who works hard and is a great example to me of patience! No, but really....I am going to miss my siblings and parents like crazy on my mission and I am already getting used to the change just having them go back to school without me. I mean, don't get me wrong....being graduated is GREAT! But I feel like that is the issue when some missionaries go out....they get overwhelmed because after they graduate high school they are just lazy coach potatoes until they leave!
I have read so many articles, blogs, emails of friends/family on missions, etc. lately explaining how strainious and absolutely exhausting missions are on your body. And I have made a commitment to myself and my Heavenly Father that I will physically and spiritually prepare to the best of my ability these last 4 months (less than that now), before I leave for the field. I WILL NOT be a coach potato graduate who then just gets out into the mission field and DIES the first couple weeks because of physical and spiritual exhaustion. I feel the more we take care of ourselves, the more the Lord will bless us to be more in tune with the Spirit. Therefore, we will be better prepared for leaving and serving him and his children!
So....here are some tips that I have come to love and cherish while getting ready for my mission! Whether you choose to take heed is your choice, but I promise they will make a huge difference! I am already being blessed and feeling the effects!:)
#1. WAKE UP AT 6:30 EVERY DAY AND GO TO BED AT 10:30 EACH NIGHT!
Yes! Daily! No, not just Monday-Friday! Saturday and Sunday count too! Not only will this get your body used to waking up early on your mission, but why waste a beautiful day sleeping! Heavenly Father gave us daytime and sunlight for a reason! So use it!
#2. EXERCISE! EXERCISE! EXERCISE!
Yep. The unspeakable word to most people. (Luckily, I love to do it.) But exercise! For at least a half hour right after you wake up! This will make the transition into mission life so much easier! I know because I have asked friends/family that are on missions. Your body will get stronger, healthier, less stressed, and you will even feel happier!:) And who doesn't want all of that?! I workout Monday-Saturday morning after I wake up and the difference it makes is HUGE! It is preparing me to be strong physically in the field and I am showing Heavenly Father I care about the body he has given me! On a mission you exercise for a half hour right after you wake up, so why not start now? Believe me....your body will give you a BIG thank you later!;)
#3. EAT HEALTHY!
Not only do we need to exercise to take care of our bodies, but we need to eat right too! You are going to be out on your own for a year and a half girls (two for boys)! No mommy or daddy to tell you to eat your fruits and veggies! Take initiative now and start watching what you eat! Make your plate colorful, drink TONS of water (at least 8 cups a day+more since we live in AZ), portion yourself, and love your body! You really are what you eat!
#4. READ THOSE SCRIPTURES DAILY!!! (AND PREACH MY GOSPEL!)
You are going out to teach people about the gospel of Jesus Christ! What a beautiful thing! But you need to know it! And know it well enough to teach it to someone who may not even have a religious background. Reading and studying the Book of Mormon daily, along with the other standard works and Preach my Gospel, will prepare you so much spiritually. I have a strong testimony of that! This is probably one of the most important things to do while preparing for a mission! Being spiritually prepared to go serve the Lord is more important than you think! And you can never learn enough about the gospel!:)
#5. SPEND EXTRA TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY!<3
Honestly, they are going to be the ones constantly in your prayers and on your mind. And that is good! But homesickness goes away as we serve and also as we spend quality time with them before the mission! Love them, serve them, and have fun with them! It will make going away a little easier because you know you gave them the attention and love they deserve before you went away!:)
#6. STAY ORGANIZED! (OH PLEASE...)
The worst thing ever would be to go out in the mission field and get a companion who is so unorganized she can't even find her badge! So don't be that missionary! Work on staying organized and tidy (that includes your room) before you leave so it will be second nature when you are out in the field! Your companion will love you for it....well, most of them!
So there's my shindig and tips that I work hard at to help me get ready for my mission! Of course there are so many more, but these are just some of my main ones! I hope this is of help to any future Elders or Sisters out there! Good luck adjusting!!!:) My heart goes out to you!