Create Your Own Decorations

Create Your Own Decorations

There is no right way to “heart attack” someone for Valentine’s Day. These hanging hearts are simple and fun: all you need is pink and red paper and several lengths of string. Or apply the hearts horizontally on one longer piece of string for quick and easy decoration in the missionary’s apartment. Other items you can mail include heart-shaped confetti, Valentine candies, paper plates and napkins, doilies, etc. Remember, sister missionaries will probably be excited and decorate, but elders probably won’t go to too  much trouble — one way to cater to both groups is by sending a Valentine’s Day breakfast-in-a-box. Very easy: measure out an appropriate amount of dry pancake mix (I love Krusteez brand), and include a ziplock bag full of chocolate chips. Mail with instructions on how much water to add. Even if the chocolate chips melt on the way, they can be broken up again and thrown into the batter. The result: delicious chocolate chip pancakes — a perfect Valentine’s Day breakfast!

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Paper Snowflakes

January 5, 2009

Paper Snowflakes

Paper Snowflakes

You remember these, right? Snowflakes are a great way to send love during winter months such as January, when holidays are over and it’s just plain cold! When my husband (“sort-of-boyfriend” at the time) Reed was in Brazil, I sent him a manila envelope with about a dozen snowflakes that I’d made for him, each with a cute message of love or a scripture written on it.

If sending to an older brother or sister, have the young kids especially get involved — with glitter or markers, maybe — and your missionary will love it, whether he’s in Brazil or Romania!

Valentine Cookies

January 5, 2009

Send Some Love!

Send Some Love!

My cousin loved this! One Valentine’s Day, I sent her cookie cutters, just-add-water sugar cookie mix, pink frosting, sprinkles, and a few plastic knives, and she and her fellow sister missionaries actually made them! Make sure you get a very simple mix, and maybe double check to see if your missionary has a cookie sheet, or even an oven in their apartment! If not, you can always send pre-packaged Valentine cookies!

Address Labels

January 5, 2009

Make Mailing Letters Simple!

Make Mailing Letters Simple!

You can can make life a little easier for you missionary by sending him or her a sheet of address labels.  Missionaries are really cramped for time on their Preparation Day, so why not save them the hastle? My husband’s return address was 5-6 lines long, and when I sent him a sheet of return address labels, he used one on his next letter with a note on the envelope that said “Very, VERY helpful. Thank you.” You might even think about sending a sheet of labels with your address — it’ll only make sending letters home more appealling!

Here is just one site where you can order these labels:

http://stamps-n-labels.com/address_labels.html

You can also homemake them with label paper and a printer!

Stay Fresh

January 5, 2009

The Antidote for a Humid Climate

The Antidote for a Humid Climate

Baby Powder was a lifesaver when I volunteered in the Dominican Republic a few summers ago. In a humid climate, baby powder is one way to feel clean and refreshed, instead of sticky and sweaty. I don’t know if it ever caught on with the boys in our group, but by the end of the summer, every girl had her own bottle, and the boys just mooched from us. If your missionary is dealing with high humidity, baby powder is manna from Heaven.

Homemade Popsicles

January 4, 2009

Unique Trays for Cute Popsicles!

Unique Trays Make for Cute Popsicles!

You may not be able to send her favorite ice cream, but here’s one way to mail a refreshing treat to warmer countries.  You remember homemade popsicles, right? Fill an ice tray with juice, freeze with toothpicks inside, and enjoy.  This cool treat is ideal for hot afternoons in the mission field, and festive ice trays (you can buy them cheap at IKEA) make it even more fun.  Include crystal light powder (or another dry drink mix) in the package, as well as a bit of wax paper or seran wrap (if you pour the juice in and then poke the toothpicks through the paper, the popsicles won’t be crooked when you try to eat them!). Your missionary will love this chilly (and simple!) treat.

Simple Sun Protection

Simple Sun Protection

Sunscreen may not be the first product that comes to mind during the Christmas season in the Northern hemisphere, but remember, south of the border it’s hotter than ever!

My mother-in-law sent my husband Reed this very suncreen: Coppertone Sport SPF 30.  In Brazil, he needed sunscreen everyday, and he said that the spray-on kind was the best because it could be applied quickly, on the way out the door to an appointment. Be careful that you don’t buy an aerosol spray bottle, though, because they are not safe to ship to all places. A manual-pump sray bottle works just fine, and will keep your missionary protected. Also, consider sending an SPF sport lip balm.  Any missionary serving in the sun will appreciate it!

Freshen Up!

Freshen Up!

Surprising as it may sound, one of the packages that my husband claims as a favorite was one that included a new toothbrush! All I did was pick out a bunch of small, dental-hygeine-related products — floss, toothpaste, listerine strips, and breath mints…then I mailed it with a cute letter and a wish for a “fresh start” this new year. He loved it, and my missionary cousins have asked for similar “dental care” packages since then!