A missionary’s purpose is to “invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.”1
Returned missionaries share their advice:
Gospel Knowledge and Testimony
Your most important preparation will be spiritual. Find out how you can prepare to help others receive the restored gospel and come unto Christ.
Katie Jones: I attended institute classes to help strengthen my testimony and learn the gospel to be prepared to teach others. Taona Jiri: Attending seminary and institute classes helped me develop a stronger testimony. Joey Hehir: I think a big one, which I wish I had done myself, is pay attention in seminary. Geofrey Kafeero: Faithfully participate in seminary and institute programs. It will help you gain and retain a testimony.
Smanga Billiat: I started to study the Book of Mormon with real intent to gain a strong testimony of it. I wanted to tell people I meet on my mission that it IS true without a doubt. Reace Roeloffze: Read the Book of Mormon through at least once, study the other standard works, serve a mini mission, spend a lot of time with the missionaries, attend mission preparation classes.
Nomthandazo Donsa: Firstly I attended seminary and institute, then I fellowshipped with the missionaries. All this was accompanied by studying my scriptures more often. Morongwe Kgotobane: Besides reading the Book of Mormon, I went out to teach with missionaries, learning from them. Fitzgerald Kagisho Sidumo: Study the Book of Mormon
Richard Mutuku: I prepared spiritually by saying my daily prayers, and scripture study.
Abuti Kaizer: Reading from Preach My Gospel manual. Nigel Blessings Ndlovu: After high school, I devoted a year to the study of the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel, then I had the opportunity to open a new area in my stake for missionary work under the direction of the then mission president before I even began my full time missionary service. A testimony of the Book of Mormon and understanding of the principles in Preach my Gospel are good preparation as well as practically helping missionaries in your area.
To teach others the gospel, you must have the Holy Spirit with you (see D&C 42:14). To have the Spirit, you must be worthy. Learn what standards are required for full-time service to the Lord, and enjoy the blessings of being worthy to serve.
Henry Bogere: I stopped dating, and concentrated on my scripture study. I spent more time with the fulltime missionaries.
Vusi Nkwe: I did everything to make sure I lived like a missionary, even before my mission. I read, taught the gospel wherever I was, and regularly went out with missionaries. I took every opportunity to serve, and stood in holy places.....in other words, I sought the Lord and to obtain His word.
Work and Self-Reliance
The work of bringing souls to Christ requires “all your heart, might, mind and strength” (D&C 4:2). Missionaries need to know how to work hard, set goals, and plan as they seek to serve the Lord.
Taona Tariro Tendai Jiri: Going out on splits with missionaries as a ward missionary helped me prepare for my mission. Abuti Kaizer: I did mission work every day with missionaries who served in my area. Mholi Mthembu: I remember going out with the missionaries as much as I could to learn and get comfortable with teaching the gospel.
Luyanda Msane: Be a missionary at all times.
Physical and Emotional Health
To be an effective servant, missionaries need to be able to endure the physical rigors of mission life and learn how the Lord can help them overcome disappointments and challenges.
Elias Haingura Katjotjo Jr: I prayed daily to develop love, to serve and love the people I was called to serve, and did my scripture study prayerfully.
Valerie Keuning: Gaining your own testimony of the gospel is important and comes first. But you need to prepare yourself in other ways as well. Cooking. Cleaning. Keeping fit physically. And learning how to handle any stressful situations which may also arise whilst serving a mission.
A mission is a financial sacrifice made primarily by the missionary and his or her family. Learn how you can meet all financial obligations for a mission and the blessings that come from sacrificing for the Lord.
Kamalandua Tigana: Before my mission, I quit my job, because it was not allowing me to serve a mission. Then I started immediately with what I had in cash to prepare for my mission. I served as a ward mission leader. I sacrificed my job for the Lord’s sake, so that I could be a kingdom builder.
Melodie Gren: This is very practical, but learn to cook, do laundry and clean house. And of course, everything on the spiritual side. I did go to seminary and I paid attention. Knowing the scriptures is invaluable. On a practical side, learn how to shop for food.
“If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:30).
1 - Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service , 1.