LDS sister missionaries typically get to bring two full-size pieces of luggage and a carry-on bag. That doesn't sound like much for all the things you'll need over the course of 18 months! Check out this list for the essentials you'll need as you enter the MTC.
- 8-10 pairs of garments – See this article for choosing garments for your mission climate .
- At least 2 bras
- 5-7 skirts
- 5-7 tops
- 2 dresses (if not bringing dresses, bring additional skirts and tops)
- 2 cardigans or blazers – See this article for tips about choosing cardigans that will match your whole wardrobe.
- 1-2 pairs of work pants for P-days and service projects
- 1-2 T-shirts for P-days and service projects
- 1-2 pairs of pajamas
- 1 set of comfortable but modest workout clothes (sports bra, pants or shorts, and T-shirt)
- 1 bag to keep dirty laundry in (2 if you want to separate whites and colors)
- 5-7 pairs of no-show socks and/or 3-4 pairs of sheer tights
- 2 pairs of regular socks for P-days and service projects
- 1 waterproof coat for rainy days
Additional Items for Cold Weather Missions
- 2 scarves
- 2 pairs of warm gloves – See this article for choosing the best winter accessories for sister missionaries.
- 3-4 pairs of warm tights
- 1-2 warm hats
- 2 sweaters
- 1 warm jacket
- 1 heavy winter coat
- 1 pair of waterproof boots
If you are headed to an area with seasonal weather (especially if you'll be arriving during summer months), consider only packing some of these winter items in your suitcase and bringing extra money to purchase warmer clothes when it's seasonally appropriate.
Additional Items for Hot Weather Missions
- Hat to keep the sun out of your face
- Sunglasses (if allowed by your mission president)
- 2-3 pairs of proselyting shoes – See this article for a review of some of the most common shoe brands for sister missionaries . You may want to have a nicer pair especially for Sundays, but a very low heel or flats are best.
- 1 pair of tennis shoes for P-day and service projects
- 2-3 belts
- 4-5 necklaces as desired
- 4-5 pairs of earrings as desired
- 2 fashion scarves if desired
- 1 watch
- CTR ring (of course!)
- Hair accessories such as ties, ribbons, clips, and bobby pins
- Small case to hold your jewelry and accessories
- 1-2 purses/bags for carrying items around each day – See this article for some pointers on what to look for in a sister missionary bag. It's a good idea to have bags of different sizes; when you go on exchanges for a day and need an overnight bag or when you'll be away from your housing all day and need to pack lunch, you'll be grateful for the extra room in your bag.
- Wallet with debit card and cash
You can bring an umbrella if you wish, but it may be easier to purchase it when you arrive in the mission field.
- 3-4 pens and pencils
- Scripture marking pencil/highlighter
- Tape, scissors, sticky notes, and other items for staying organized
- 1 pack of stationery for writing letters home plus colored markers if desired
- At least 1 blank journal – You may want to bring 2 journals and dedicate one to scripture study and one to your personal experiences
- Any books in the missionary library you plan to read (highly recommended!)
- 1 notebook if studying a second language
- Scriptures in your native language
- Address book (get addresses of family and friends at home ahead of time, and add names as you meet people on your mission)
- Mini hymn book if desired
- Photo book – See this article for how to make your own photo book cheaply .
If you already have a copy of Preach My Gospel and/or the scriptures in your mission language, feel free to bring them. If not, the MTC will usually supply these for you. You can always call the MTC in advance to ask.
In most countries, toiletries will be easy to purchase in the mission field when you and your companion go shopping on P-day. If you don't want to bring full-size bottles to the MTC with you, at least make sure you have travel-size versions of the following:
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Dry shampoo
- Body soap
- Face wash
- Contact lenses and solution or glasses if needed – You'll want to bring a full 18-month supply of contacts and solution in case your parents can't easily refill your prescription.
- Any other oral care products you need such as mouthwash or a retainer
In addition, bring the following items:
- At least enough feminine hygiene products to last through your time in the MTC (ask other sisters who served in your mission if they recommend bringing a full 18-month supply)
- Body towel
- Bathrobe if desired
- Shower shoes or flip flops if desired (usually required at the MTC)
- Hair dryer if desired
- Flat iron or curling iron if desired
- Any other hair care products you need such as mousse or hairspray (in travel size if you prefer)
- Small makeup bag with your go-to essentials like foundation, mascara, blush, eyeshadow, and lip balm – Suitcase space will be at a premium on your mission, so stick with a travel-size makeup case and only the basics. You can always buy more makeup in the field if you wish.
- Nail polish (a few subtle colors), nail polish remover, a nail file, and nail clippers
Most missions around the world encourage missionaries to bring their violin, flute, or other easily portable instrument. However, you should definitely contact your mission president for permission. If you bring an instrument, make sure to bring any equipment necessary for carrying and cleaning it. You should also bring a book or two of music you're already familiar with that is appropriate to play in church.
As for CDs to listen to on your mission, you should contact your mission president for guidelines about what music is allowed, as this varies depending on your president. If you need a list of some missionary-appropriate music, check out this article . Note that headphones are not allowed for missionaries, so you'll need to bring speakers if you plan on bringing an mp3 player. You should have easy access to a CD player on your mission, however.
- Gifts from your hometown or country , such as candy or small items that your companions and friends would enjoy
- Digital camera, a cable for connecting it to a computer, an extra memory card, and a charger or rechargeable batteries
- Small battery-operated alarm clock
- A transformer if your mission country uses different wattage from your home country
- A reusable water bottle
- A copy of your patriarchal blessing and all mission-related documents
- Your passport and driver's license
- Temple recommend
- Personal pedigree chart
- Any prescription medications you require on a regular basis as well as standard medications like painkillers, anti-itch cream, cold medicine, allergy medicine, etc. If you have concerns about refilling your prescription on your mission, talk to your mission president and parents.
- Small first aid kit in a case
- Small sewing kit in a case
- Recipe book from home with your favorite dishes
Are there any essential items you loved having as a sister missionary that didn't make it on this list? We'd love to hear your input! Leave us a comment below or on social media and we'll add to this list!