“Idea List: Fit to Serve,” New Era, Mar. 2007, 35
Spiritual preparation is vital to a missionary’s success. But physical and mental preparation are also required. The Missionary Department Health Services Committee has these suggestions for physical and mental readiness.
Start at least 2 years before your mission, and work with your doctor and dentist.
Exercise regularly (5–6 times a week). Missionaries need to be able to walk 6 miles a day and ride a bike 12 miles a day.
Get enough sleep (7–8 hours a day). Make a habit of being in bed between 10:30 p.m. and midnight and out of bed between 6:30 and 8:00 a.m.
Maintain an appropriate weight for your height.
Eat healthy meals, and learn to prepare them using proper sanitary and cooking methods.
Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands, care for your nails and hair, wear neat and clean clothes, and keep an orderly room.
Resolve chronic problems. Treat gastrointestinal, heart, or breathing problems; headaches; and athletic injuries or other orthopedic problems.
Take care of your teeth. Brush and floss your teeth, make regular dentist visits, and repair cavities. If you need orthodontic care (braces), complete it before your mission.
Treat skin problems, such as extreme acne.
Some concerns may require evaluation by a mental health counselor. Where available, use LDS Family Services.
Emotional extremes may require professional help. These include excessive feelings of depression, anxiety, or fear; mood swings; or problems with anger or temper.
Obsessive thoughts or extreme worry, guilt, perfectionism, or repetitive behavior (like hand-washing) may also require professional help.
Treat extreme learning problems, such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Resolve eating disorders, such as excessive overeating or anorexia.
Learn to be comfortable away from home and parents.
Overcome extreme shyness. Learn to meet and talk to people, speak before groups, and be appropriately assertive.
Learn to work hard and well and be reliable.
For ideas on health, go to www.providentliving.org.