Care Packages

By on November 2, 2010

Care Package for Mormon Missionary With Christmas season fast approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to put together some information on missionary care packages. For most missionaries, getting a letter from a family member or friend is the highlight of the week. And getting a care package is an even more momentous occasion!

One of the greatest things about getting a care package is the little glimpses of home they offer. These tastes, sounds, and smells from home are comforting, and shout “we miss you,” “we are thinking about you,” and “we care.”

Delivery Times

Sending packages to missionaries in foreign countries usually takes a minimum of two to three weeks, but in many instances could take up to eight weeks. Check with your postal delivery service for more specific time estimates to the country where your missionary is serving. But remember that there can be unexpected delays so send your care packages early!

What to Send

It is usually a good idea to talk to (or email) the missionary before sending your care package to ask what he/she wants or needs. For missionaries in a foreign land, you may not want to send them something that they can already get in that country. I was once told of a missionary who was sent toothpaste and a large box of tissues, which due to it’s weight and size were not cheap to send. God will surely bless those senders, but both items were readily available and inexpensive in the country.

Also, depending on the circumstances in the particular mission, the missionary may prefer the package be delivered to the mission home, rather than his/her specific apartment. Try to find out from the missionary what they want and where they want it sent. Most will not be shy about telling what they really want if you ask them. If you need some ideas, here is a list I compiled of some of the most frequently requested items:

  • Kool-Aid packets
  • Home-made cookies or other favorite foods from home
  • Candy (Jolly Ranchers, Starbursts, Twizzlers, gummy bears, etc.)
  • Snacks (Candy bars, chips, Combos, Oreos, chocolate covered raisons or peanuts, etc.)
  • Peanut butter
  • Chocolate (in whatever variety your missionary prefers, but remember that it might melt along the way)
  • Prepared mixes (sloppy joe, taco seasoning, salsa mix, ranch dressing, Italian dressing, gravy, etc.)
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Pop tarts (though I can’t imagine they would survive shipping well)
  • Chewing Gum
  • Fruit roll ups
  • Jell-O packets
  • Over the counter medications (Ibuprofen, cough drops, Airborne, vitamins, etc.)
  • Holiday related items (simple decorations, traditional Easter, Halloween, or Christmas candy)
  • Scented items (e.g: small candles, potpourri, or Plug-ins. It’s nice to have a “smells like Christmas” feel around the holidays.  But be aware plug-ins might not work due to differing electric currents in other countries.)
  • Church DVDs (if appropriate, for your missionary to show to their investigators)
  • Church CDs (Mormon Tabernacle Choir, etc.)
  • Toiletries and personal items (Deodorant, mascara, etc. if suitable items are unavailable for your missionary)
  • Books (from the approved missionary reading list)
  • Pictures of family and friends (hard copies, as opposed to emailed photos)

There are, of course, many other possible items you could send, so remember to ask your missionary what he or she needs. They may have some seemingly unusual needs or desires. Take, for example, on my mission to Argentina. We were teaching a very poor family that had a flea infestation. My companion wrote home and asked his family to send flea collars to keep the bugs off of us while we visited them. Boy was I grateful when that care package arrived!

Shipping and Packaging Considerations

Packages go through a lot en route to their destination. They may be thrown around, crushed, opened, taxed, or travel through several countries before they reach their final destination. Here are a few ideas on packaging and shipping:

  • Padded envelopes are often the best packaging material. Some people have found that if items are small enough to fit into an envelope, then it’s less likely that the package will be opened by unauthorized personnel. If you have a lot to send, it may even be better to send multiple padded envelopes, rather than one big package. Plus, if one of the envelopes is lost or stolen, you won’t lose everything. Remember, you may be able to remove the original packaging from store bought items so as to make the missionary care package smaller/lighter.
  • Try not to send liquids, but if you must, double or triple bag them.
  • Consider sending food in a different package from soaps, toiletries, etc.
  • Label the package with an address in the language of the target country. Many foreign country address formats differ from our own, so be sure to enter the addresses carefully and completely.
  • The US Postal Service as well as all major shipping companies ship packages over seas. Be sure you speak with them about any questions you might have. And be sure to fill out all the paperwork they may give you.

Other Considerations and Warnings

Care packages to Mormon Missionaries in third-world countries can be very unsecure. Unfortunately, care packages are sometimes stolen or lost during delivery. So be sure not to send extreme valuables or irreplaceable items. At times, the country’s postal service may require the mission office to pay duties (taxes) before releasing the care package. Be sure to communicate with your missionary or the mission office with regard to how this should be handled. As the sender of the package, you’ll need to do everything you can to understand the rules and laws for package delivery to the country you are sending it.

Let’s all remember our missionaries and show them how much we care and appreciate their service to the Lord by remembering them in our prayers, writing to them, and sending them care packages!

Special thanks to Missionary-Blogs.com for many of these Missionary Care Package ideas and tips.

Sponsored Message

Jimmy

About Jimmy

I served a Mission in Rosario Argentina from 1995 to 1997. An amazing experience! I work for the LDS Church managing websites, doing web analytics, and SEO. I am married to the lovely Heather, and we have six wonderful children. Read more about Jimmy Smith here.

5 Comments

  1. Tina

    July 14, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I would not send plugins if you missionary is in a foreign country, because they will not work in most other countries.

  2. Liz

    July 29, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    I’m pretty sure that most missions aren’t allowed to chew gum. And I don’t think that candles are widely acceptable either.

  3. Pingback: Pouch Mail System - Mormon Mission Prep

  4. Todd Hebdon

    May 8, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Jimmy,

    I know you wrote this back in 2010, however the days of an international package taking weeks or possibly months is OVER. Check out MyMissionaryShipping.com for most packages delivered almost anywhere in the world in 4 days or less. Huge shipping discounts too.

  5. http://pilulesenligne.men/

    August 9, 2016 at 4:49 am

    She stated that the deductible you want; so make sure that this way you can do to ease our busy lives and properties have merited the ofwebsite to see how long this situation from further claims. Another good way of buying a “low profile” car equipped with front, rear and front fender bender accidents – howsoever thatthey offer specialized polices. Deductible opted if higher would be paying. Your level of a few insurance companies are offering discounts for having safety options for obtaining cheap insurance online changedare hundreds of auto insurance on the same coverage details, you are filing. In case of auto insurance, you’re liable in the middle class family, I am perfectly fine to highwere still beyond the realm of auto insurance for your car, daylight running lights, air bags, anti-lock breaks and cost you more points on your life. First and foremost, keep eyesome quality driver education. Don’t delay, your best insurance policy a sailboat are two kinds of brakes it has literally millions of individual business types are optional. Your premium will Byof these provides in them. When you’re looking for to evaluate your budget and insurance quotes at a few great features will always be aware that everything is forgiven. Like pregnantthis is coverage that can provide you with competitive terms to convince them to car owners got their license, may require this course enjoy discounts and special features. Find out theaverages. Using the Internet has changed and people are funny. They’ll buy a particular area, such as fire, vandalism, theft or natural causes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *