While submitting your papers is tough, the documents in your mission packet detail work for you that is specific to your exciting new call. Here are a few tips for keeping ahead of the deadlines and staying on track.
First, make a copy of your mission packet. If you want your original packet for a keepsake, get a working copy of each page in the packet before putting the original away. As an initial step, go through the instructions and highlight every number, email, and mailing address. Find the deadline dates listed for any requested documents. Look for amounts, log-in codes/passwords, etc. This should draw your eye to the important information at a glance.
Physically organize what documents you have and what you still need. Bishop Bartley Beckert of the Greenfield Park Ward in Mesa draws on his time as an educator when advising missionaries to keep organized. He has them label separate folders for their major preparation needs – medical/shots, travel papers, packing and supplies, etc. At all times, have a running checklist with a place to record the deadline for each item and the date it’s completed. Keep everything together as much as possible to avoid being caught without something essential.
Investigate each process before beginning. Some items on the list will have hidden delays you can anticipate if you just take a look before starting. Some shots, for example, have to be done in stages with waiting time between. There will be costs that should be considered before just plowing ahead. Official documents have to be paid for, with additional costs if they need to be expedited. Give some thought to whether your documents have to arrive by the deadline listed, or just have to be in the mail by that date, and adjust your lists accordingly.
Working through the mission packet effectively can mean dodging unfortunate, sometimes lengthy, delays. There are many things out of your power, but carefully reading and intelligently planning your post-call preparation are in your control.
Reading, understanding, and reviewing formal documents like your call are all life skills, ones that will come easier with help from your adult support system. Seek help, but don’t be surprised if they take a supporting role and expect you to do much of it yourself.