Missionaries’ duties and tools have changed drastically in the last few years, and the social expectations of 18- and 19-year-olds have dropped just as dramatically. With school out, take advantage of this time to ensure your prospective missionary won’t find ‘adulting’ as mysterious a set of skills as their peers.
While they are no longer asked to go several months at a time without calls home, successful missionaries still take care of their own budget, meals, cleanliness, and time management. Here are a few ideas to start or polish off their education to make this load easier to bear.
Have your missionary plan and cook the family’s meals for a week. This can be personalized to include shopping, budgeting, or even adjusted to just dinners or lunches depending on the needs of your family. Emphasize what your missionary needs to have confidence in their ability and include applicable recipes for where they will serve, if they have already received their call.
During their time off from classes, encourage your missionary to log and report their use of time. If your missionary has already received their call, there is plenty to do to prepare for reporting. Use their goals and deadlines to help them make and keep to their intentions. If your missionary is only just submitting their papers, help them identify habits and patterns in how they spend their free time that might be a struggle to stop all at once when the mission begins.
Most missionaries are responsible for their own laundry, and this is an essential skill for independent life. Have them assist with the family’s laundry, or even take over their own. As said before, adjust this as needed. If this is too impractical for your family, lessons on caring for mission clothes will be helpful. Help them know how to sew a button back on, remove common stains, and how some fabrics should and should not be cleaned.
As seminary courses (and some institute programs) will have stopped for the summer, see what your stake offers by way of mission preparation or temple preparation courses. If these are available, they’re wonderful resources to build testimonies and help with expectations around these major spiritual milestones. If these are not available, increased attendance to second hour Sunday classes, optional ward study groups, and more frequent temple service can help as well.
A missionary studies and teaches the gospel. As your missionary prepares, give them every opportunity to develop skills in this area. With the resources in Come Follow Me and other Church-produced material, preparing missionaries can prepare and teach lessons for Family Home Evening, Sunday School, or Young Men/Young Women.