The Ultimate List of LDS Missionary Care Packages and Gift Ideas!
In our church, most young men and a lot of the young women serve missions at around the age of 19. Although I didnt serve a mission, Forrest did, as did two (soon to be three) of my siblings, and most of Forrests siblings did as well. Im grateful that they were able to sacrifice 18 months to two years of their lives to share our beliefs and the message of our Savior to people around the world.
Even though we havent had a missionary in our family in awhile, I remember how much fun it is to put together a package to send for Christmas. And as much fun as it was to put the package together, I can only imagine how great it must be for missionaries to get packages from home. I thought it would be fun to put together a list of gift ideas for missionaries, in case you are putting together a little care package for a missionary. While this gift guide is geared toward LDS missionaries, I know that many churches send out missionaries as well, so hopefully, youll find some fun gift ideas here as well.
But first off, here are a few things to keep in mind:
I love DearElder.com. Not only is it an awesome way and easy way to write letters to missionaries (free to the MTC and pouch addresses), but they offer some great pre-made care packages as well. They have tons of different options (from cookies to pampering, to nuts) that would be fun for any missionary to get.
Even though I didnt serve a mission, I think something that would have been fun was to get a stocking! Stockings are one of my favorite parts of the gift-giving part of Christmas. Deseret Book has a new line of Elder and Sister stockings (both in mini and regular size), that I think would be perfect to send to the missionaries in your life!
Another blogger told me know that her mother-in-law makes stockings for missionaries as well. Be sure to check them out. They are so cute!
Tie Tacks (such a temple tie bar or called to serve pin)
Bookmark (I love this Moronis Promise bookmark and the original Book of Mormon spine bookmark)
Return with Honor Dog Tags
I love you necklace or tie pin
Customized Jewelry My friend makes these customized necklaces, watches, and keychains, just for missionaries. These would be such a fun keepsake to have even after the mission! She also sells custom scripture cases and some cute shirts for missionaries!
Endure to the EndRing
Personalized Necklace a dear friend of mine makes these beautiful, customized necklaces that have the sisters name and mission in them. I think any sister missionary would LOVE one of these!
Rose Gold micro mini CTR ring
Salt Lake Temple cameo necklace
Scripture Marking Pencils
Set of Reflector Lights
Quarters: Most missionaries will have to use a laundry mat at some point during their mission, so rolls of quarters are an awesome idea.
Shoes (especially if they are in an area where they walk a lot!) Any missionary will tell you that having good shoes is essential. Some missionaries even go through a pair or two! The Mission Shoe Store is a great place to buy high-quality missionary shoes, because they were built specifically for missionaries and tracting! There are several different options, and I know any missionary would love them. They are built to last! Unfortunately they only offer shoes for Elders currently, but there will hopefully be some in the future.
Planner (This Know It planner from In the Leafy Tree Tops would be PERFECT for sister missionaries!).
Skirts and Dresses (sister missionaries get 15% off at ModestPop.comand Sorella Bella has clothes just for sister missionaries). Im a HUGE fan of Journey Five. They have tons of beautiful AND most dresses and skirts that I think most sister missionaries will love.
Topic Tabs for the scriptures (these seem really cool!)
Pens we bought my brother a stainless steel Parker pen, which Forrest says is the best. He also said Zebra brand is also popular among missionaries.
Water Filter Straw
Mini alarm clock
Missionary Pocket Reference Guide
Ties (you could even stitch a little message inside to make it more personal)
Bicycle Repair Kit
Universal Travel Adapter
Nerf Guns a friend said that one year, she sent one of her kids a set of mini nerf guns with extra ammo. There were four missionaries living in one apartment, and they all had a lot of fun. Missionaries can have a little fun every now and then!
12 days of Christmas I had a couple of people recommend this sending a missionary 12 gifts, or letters, or whatever, and they opened one each day leading up to Christmas. This can be a fun gift to do for both a missionary and their companion. Here are a bunch of 12 Days of Christmas ideas and free printables we did last year.
Any of the Nashville Tribute CDs We LOVE this band. Some of their songs are a little cheesy, but overall, they have done a great job portraying the Gospel and Jesus Christ in a unique way. We own these three:Redeemer(just recently released I love it so much), Joseph Smith, and The Work(perfect for your missionary!)
Digital Recorder this could be used in a variety of ways; sending messages home to family, recording thoughts and impressions, or, as Forrest suggested, recording funny conversations. I told him that I dont really endorse secretly recording conversations with people, but I guess there may be some good reason for it!
Expandable Bracelets Deseret Book recently launched a line of these beautiful charm bracelets some of them are LDS specific, but many of them would be great for people of any faith. I have this pretty one with a black gem and believecharm. However, for a missionary, this called to serve bracelet would be perfect:
Money Im not a big fan of just giving people money for presents. However, someone I know said he asked his parents to put the money they would have spent on gifts in his account for when he got back from his mission. Even if you just send cash, Im sure any missionary will appreciate it (especially if they often go over their food budget for the month!)
LDS Themed Calendar
52 Weeks of Recipes for Students, Missionaries and Nervous Cooks
Mormon Tabernacle Choir Missionary Collection
Ever Onward: Music for Missionaries
I wasnt sure if I should call this section thoughtful, because really, arent all gifts kind of thoughtful?! Anyways, I think it described my sentiments best gifts that have a little extra thought put into them!
Pictures in picture frame Deseret Book just came out with an awesome line of picture frames that would be fun to send.
Okay, this is something that you would give your missionary after their mission, but its best to start when they are on their mission for the simplest process possible. Missionary Memories is a company that was created to help create beautiful books of the emails sent home during a mission. My mom created one for my brother, and it turned out amazing you can check out her full review here.
You could do this in a variety of ways :
First off, I just adore these Captain Moroni note cards. SO cute and perfect for missionaries.
Gather letters from friends and family to send in a package.
Ask friends and family to write their testimony in a letter to send to missionary.
Put together a collection of letters with some pictures and bind them together or put them in a scrapbook. Project Life has some really great missionary sets that would be perfect for this:
A series of letters in envelopes that have a different purpose for when they should be open for instance, one could say on the front when you really need to talk to mom, another could say, when something super great happened, etc.
I think most missionaries will appreciate food. If they are serving far away, they may not have had a certain type of food in a long time, just because they dont have access to it! I remember sending my brother taco seasoning when he was in Bolivia! This goes back to the ask your missionary point I made earlier. You never know what theyve been craving for eight months! You should also ask what is locally available.
This site has a lot of great ideasfor missionary care packages.