Wednesday, May 18, 2016


This is a how to/advice list of sorts, with a packing list tailored specifically for missions in Honduras, especially the Tegucigalpa mission and CCM Mexico. When I was preparing for my mission I had no idea what kind of things to pack or what type of clothes would be best for the weather. So hopefully anyone with the same problem will find this blog post and it will be helpful in some way. *smile emoji*

Note: THIS IS NOT A COMPREHENSIVE PACKING LIST. Follow the packing list given to you in the mission call packet! This is just advice on what type of things work best for a mission in Central America based on my personal experience.

Key:
Green – luxury items: great but could live without
Red – essentials: would never go without
Blue – personal favorite: glad I brought it

Shirts/Sweaters

  • Shirts that won't require an undershirt/other layer are great because its going to be very hot.
  • Make sure they fit well. A shirt that is too small/tight isn't going to be very comfortable.
  • One cardigan – I brought a navy blue one and it worked great for almost every situation. Just one is fine if you get a color that will match everything! It never got cold enough that I needed something bigger.
  • A very lightweight rain coat – very necessary/an important lifesaver

Skirts

  • with pockets!
  • solid colors are great (will match more shirts!)
  • no pencil skirts that are too form fitting (at the CCM they will tell you this same thing)
  • flowy skirts that are thinner are great for the hot weather
  • Don't forget to bring a few slips

Dresses

  • Dresses with built in slips/liners are great and very convenient
  • Make sure that your dresses go below the knee!
  • Dresses with pockets

Exercise/Pday Clothing

So when will you use exercise clothing? In the mornings if you go out running, hardcore exercising in the house, playing futbol/volleyball/basketball with the Zone on Pdays, and for activities like pday hiking and service projects. 
  • Okay so I brought clothes I could use for exercising, hiking, and pajamas. 
  • A few t-shirts (functioning for exercise, pday, pajamas)
  • Yoga Pants (one pair. I used these for pday activities like hiking/soccer with the zone)
  • Yoga knee length leggings (2 Pair. I used these for in-house excercise and for pajamas)
  • Basket Ball Shorts (2 pair. I took two pair just because I love them so much. Used for pajamas and pday.) HINT: Buy the largest size in the youth boys section because they're longer/proportional than women's or mens' for some reason)
  • Pants – I took one pair of jeans and a pair of cargo pants and it worked out great. the cargos are awesome for hiking and service activities. The jeans I only wore one or two times, to be honest.

Shoes

Shoes are super important because walking is just what happens all day. 
  • You only really need four/five pairs of shoes: 
    • Everyday shoes – good for walking
    • nice shoes – for meetings, conferences, interviews with the mission pres.
    • "flip flops" – one pair for shower, and another for using around the house
    • shoes to wear when it rains
    • Tennis shoes for exercise/pday
  • Bring no-show liner socks 
  • Make sure shoes are durable and comfortable
  • Rainboots (possibly useful- sometimes i wish i had brought a pair)
  • Kadee Crocs (these are great for rainy days) HINT: They sell them at Marshalls for 9.99!

Hygiene & Hair

Bathroom conditions vary but I went from showering by dumping buckets of cold water on myself every morning in my first area to showering in a normal shower with warm running water in my last area, so you never know. In only one of my houses was there a full length body mirror, and only one my bathrooms had a mirror in the bathroom. 
  • I followed the list and packed everything in the mission call booklet and it was a lot, but it all came in handy
  • Facial cleansing wipes (they're very expensive in Honduras)
  • Don't worry about bringing more than one of any of the main brand toothpaste or shampoo items you can buy them at the grocery store once yours runs out
  • Plan a few cute hair styles because you'll want to put your hair up everyday because of the heat
  • It's hard to find a box of good tampons so bring a mission's supply of your favorite brand unless you want to get stuck paying an outrageous price each month for a box of four.
  • I never curled or blow dried my hair (lack of time/no need) but a lot of my companions did so if you want to, bring curler/hair dryer/straighten if you think you'll do that a lot.

Bedding

  • a protective mattress cover – goes over the mattress but under the sheets- a lot of the mattresses have been well used and honestly, I was so glad I had something to go between the bed and my sheets
  • TWO sets of sheets – the mission packing list will say one set of sheets but two is better because most likely you'll be hand washing your sheets and it will take while to dry so if you have two it just makes the whole process easier
  • Blanket – I didn't take a big comforter or blanket, just a throw and it worked great while I was in the south. In the city it did get a bit cold at night, but I purchased a blanket from Hna. B at the mission house so it was fine

Study Stuff (this is where your bag gets really heavy):

Books

  • English Scriptures – You won't be using these anywhere except inside your house. Personally, the smaller the better because it will be easier to travel with. Soon into your mission, your Spanish set will become your primary set even during studying, anyway. 
  • Spanish Scriptures – If you're learning Spanish for the first time and going to the CCM for the whole six weeks then you will be given a set of Spanish Scriptures when you get to the CCM so don't worry about buying any before your mission. 
    • Scripture Case – If you really want to you can buy a case to fit the Spanish scriptures you'll get at the CCM, but I bought my case in the store at the Mexico City Temple and they are still in great condition. They also sell black plain ones at the Tienda in the CCM Mexico
  • Preach My Gospel – I took a mini-PMG in English and Spanish and I'm so glad I did. They're really portable and easy to travel with, plus you'll be asked to take your PME to district and zone meetings almost every week, so the minis make life super easy.
  • Missionary Reference Library – Okay this one is tricky. These books weigh a ton. Having in English and Spanish is a good idea. I think you can buy them through the mission office once you get to Teguc. but I'd bring the English versions just to be sure. I went without any of these books and somehow picked them up slowly throughout my mission from left-overs of other missionaries, but they were so useful for personal study and assignments given to us at zone conferences
  • Mini-hymn book in Spanish – I got one of these before my mission and took it with me. They also sell them at the store in the CCM if you want to buy it there

Supplies

  • Journals – I took some journals I bought at Barnes and Noble (that had a built in envelope at the back and had the elastic band to wrap around the journal to keep it closed). I loved them. plan according to how much you write.
  • Notebooks – I took three notebooks with me to the CCM and it was great to be so organized. They were Mead compositions notebooks with the plastic covers and they were great. I am an over-planner so I actually took six with me (3 for CCM, 3 for when I got to my mission). This isn't necessary because you can always buy notebooks on your first pday in the field
    • Personal Study
    • Language Study
    • Companion Study
  • Writing Utensils
    • Pens: I took a pack of new pens, a pack of new mechanical pencils, and a 24 pack of crayola colored pencils (for scripture marking).
    • Highlighters – these are good for organizing notes. I took a variety of colors.
    • Markers – the Paper Mate flair pens are my favorite. I took the 20 pack from Sam's Club. I mostly used them to organize notes in my study journals and for writing letters. they're a bit dark to use on scripture pages
  • Post-It notes – regular sized and the tabs. As many colors as possible. (I coordinated tab colors used in my scriptures with the colors I used to mark verses based on teaching topic)
  • Envelopes – just a good idea so you don't have to look for them on pday
  • Stickers – I took stickers for letters and to give to kids during lessons to keep their attention/make friends

Documents & Important 

  • Passport – A copy of your passport. When you get to the mission house on the first night they take your passport and keep it at the mission office so it's safe. So it is important you always have a copy of your passport on you
  • License
  • Copies of your Mission Call – I didn't bring my original copy because I didn't want to risk losing it or it getting destroyed so I brought three copies; one for my scriptures, one for my important documents, and one extra
  • Immunization records – trust me, if you get sick they'll want to see this or you'll probably have to get them all over again.
  • Family history back at least four generations (or as many as possible if less than 4 generations) – the Teguc. mission is BIG on family history. All the teaching and leading techniques are centered around introducing family history and the blessings of eternal families to others.
  • Debit Card – A really good idea. I didn't have one for majority of my mission and it sucked not having a personal card. You'll have a mission one that gets filled every 14 days but with your personal funds you can buy other things like souveneers, new clothing or shoes when you need it, stuff like that. Also when you go home you have to pay the fee for any extra check bags or overweight bags out of your own money.
  • Copy of patriarchal blessing – like the mission call, I didn't bring the original. only copies

Bags

  • Backpack – Small, sturdy, and just wide enough to fit the Spanish Scripture size. the mission packing list says bring a shoulder bag but you can use backpacks and they are much more comfortable. It's hard to find a good backpack in Honduras... trust me. This is the backpack I used and it was the best purchase of my life, I bought it at Sam's Club for 12 dollars. 
  • Overnight bag – This is good to have for divisions. I took a small black duffel bag and it worked great for lugging a days worth of clothes, shoes, supplies from one area to another for an overnight trip. (And then when I went home it was small enough to use as my "carry-on purse" in addition to my backpack.)

Accessories

  • Water bottle – a good sturdy water bottle that won't leak, if you want. I took a Camelback. In the CCM they give everyone filtered water bottles. They're super great and outside of the mission cost like, $200 per bottle or something like that. So keep track of that too because it's an amazing water bottle. I lost mine in my first area :(
  • Umbrella
  • Laundry bag
  • Yoga mat – I loved my yoga mat. nuff' said.
  • Clothing Iron or wrinkle spray– If you have space bring an iron, if not don't sweat it because if you're in the city you can find one at Diunsa for pretty cheap. I brought Downey Wrinkle Releaser instead and it worked great when I was in the south without an Iron
  • Bleach pen
  • Business Cards w/ fb/email/at home contact stuff – throughout the mission you're going to meet a lot of missionaries and make lots of friend, i think making business cards with your contact info for outside of the mission is a useful thing so you can just hand them out to your missionary companions/friends.
  • In Honduras they use the same type of power outlets so no power converters are needed

Electronics

  • Camera – I'm really picky about picture quality so I made sure the camera I was going to used took great pictures. The Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 is amazing. The quality is super, it takes HD video, and it's super quiet and customizable. I put stickers all over the front to cover the brand name just to make sure it wouldn't attract too much attention as a Canon. It's well used but I'm still using it everywhere I go today!
  • Memory Cards – I took four 16 GB cards...I love to take pictures. I also filmed a decent amount too. If you ever need more, it's easy to find memory cards in photo printing shops around Honduras
  • Watch – I had two watches during my mission. The first one was a classic analog leather banded watch and I loved it. once the strap broke I used my Neff digital watch which is amazing. 
  • Alarm Clock – wireless and small is a good idea
  • Flashlight – very good idea. I can't even count the amount of times the power went out and we were dependent on flashlights to find our way around the house once we got home
  • USB memory card reader – a lot of computers you use on pdays don't have a built-in slot for memory cards so this is an easy way to always have one. This is the one I have.
  • USB Drive – I took two. They have multiple uses such as saving letters to print, pictures to print off, or saving whatever documents. I never needed them to back-up pictures because I took a lot of memory cards but I hear that is a good idea in the event that your camera ever gets stolen, you'll still have your pictures. 

...TO BE CONTINUED

Comment with any suggestions as well!

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