Missionary Exercise

Of the 419 missions (as of March 19, 2016) in the world, some are very expensive, some are very cold, some hot, some humid, some dry.

But some are just plain DIRTY.

This list is by no means comprehensive and doesn’t mean that there are unsanitary conditions even in some of the mission apartments in Provo, Utah. Ahem…P-day cleaning! However, we wanted to come up with a list to help missionaries who are preparing to serve in some of the least sanitary countries so that they can know what to look out for and how they might avoid getting sick.

If an elder shakes hands with 20 people per day (on average) and has a 23 months in the mission field (after their time in the MTC), they have shaken hands with 13,800 people by the time their mission ends. For sisters thats 10,200! That’s a lot of hands! We don’t want to make moms nervous or anyone nervous for that matter, but there are things you can do to make sure you are keeping yourself healthy during your mission. But first, here are the missions in the countries with the least overall sanitation:

The Least Sanitary Mission Countries

  1. Brazil (There are 34 Missions)
    • I listed Brazil as #1 because not because there are 39 million people without proper sanitation, but because there are 34 missions. That’s more missions than any other country other than the US (124 missions) and Mexico (tied at 34), but both the US and Mexico have much better sanitation than Brazil.
  2. India Banaglore and India New Delhi Missions
    • 818 million people in India don’t have access to a toilet connected to a septic tank. That’s a lot of squatters. Toilet paper? I don’t think so. And without a toilet are there places to wash hands?
  3. The 6 Nigerian missions (Benin City, Calabar, Enugu, Lagos, Owerri and Port Harcourt)
    • 103 million people in Nigeria don’t have access to proper sanitation
  4. Indonesia Jakarta Mission
    • 109 million people lack access to sanitation in Indonesia
  5. Vietnam Hanoi Mission
    • 22 Million don’t have access to proper sanitation in Vietnam
  6. All the Philippines Missions (There are 21)
    • 22 Million don’t have access to proper sanitation in the Philippines
  7. Democratic Republic of Congo (3 Missions)
    • 50 Million don’t have access to proper sanitation in DR Congo
  8. Ghana (4 Missions)
    • 20 million in Ghana don’t have access to proper sanitation
  9. Kenya Nairobi Mission
    • 27 Million in Kenya don’t have access to proper sanitation

This information came from takepart.com (see the infographic at the bottom of the article).

What can you do to stay healthy in these missions?

  1. Keep your hands clean with HAND SANITIZER.
    • PureBioGuard is the best hand sanitizer we have found. In countries where running water is not clean or is not available, hand sanitizer is absolutely key. PureBioGuard is way inexpensive and one pack can last an entire mission (per missionary). You can read more about it here. With just one use, it is engineered to keep your hands clean all day long no matter how many hands you shake and even if you wash your hands. PureBioGuard is alcohol-free, Triclosan-free, non-toxic, and completely safe for kids, pets, and the environment. It will last 12+ hours and has been proven to maintain effectiveness through up to 10 hand-washings! It will then shed naturally as the skin regenerates a new layer. This brand is actually used by many missions around the world already who buy it in bulk (but is not officially endorsed by the Church).
  2. Just say NO to meals that are not sanitary.
    • Be kind to members who cook, but if it comes down to it, it really is okay to say no to a meal that you know was not prepared with properly sanitized hands or in a sanitized home. This can be very difficult because you don’t want to offend the members or investigators. However, remember that over 10,000 hours of proselyting time were lost in just 4 months (according to one study from the BYU department of health sciences) because of illness/injury. Prayer does work, but God expects us to be as wise as serpents so we shouldn’t eat food that we know is not clean.
  3. Keep YOUR apartment clean.
    • Even in these countries, mission presidents do all they can to find apartments that are in good places and that have access to sanitation. Take advantage of that! You don’t have to live like the people to come to love the people. Yes, the Lord will bless you, but you need to do all you can to be part of the answer to your parents’ prayers to keep you safe and healthy. Do your laundry, shower, keep the mission rules about hygiene.
  4. Exercise!
    • Obedience. Yes. It works. If you take the time to exercise each day, your immune system will be much more prepared to fight off anything you do pick up while shaking hands or using a random bathroom while in a pinch in your area.
  5. Pray
    • Yes, please keep asking for help to stay healthy and strong. You are being prayed for in every temple around the world. You are being prayed for in your family’s and friend’s and ward’s prayers. Add your prayers to theirs.

Elders and sisters, please, be wise. The Lord needs you to be healthy and strong and you can do your part by staying clean. We hope this helped you.

Top Countries Without Sanitation
Via: TakePart.com

Infographic and information from Takepart.

Dallas Lloyd Stanford football Returned Missionary
image via deseretnews.com

Upon returning from two years of missionary service in Chile for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Stanford football player Dallas Lloyd began to wonder if his mission was a setback for his football career. A quarterback, Lloyd watched from the sidelines during the 2012 season and struggled in limited playing time during his sophomore season.

“It was really frustrating,” Lloyd, a Pleasant Grove native, said in an article published by The Stanford Daily. “I was upset at myself and I let these thoughts of doubt come into my mind, like, ‘If I (hadn’t) gone on a mission, then I would have been able to come straight to Stanford.’ … I realized they were all just excuses. They were justifying the fact that I wasn’t getting it done.

“It’s really sad that those two years, the best two years of my life, became an excuse for why I was so frustrated. Looking back, it had nothing to do with those two years. I was a better person and football player because of those two years.”


via MissionGeek

Have you ever felt like something was impossible to change about yourself? Something so deeply ingrained in you, that you simply could not ever see it going away? Have you ever slipped into thinking that the Atonement was good enough to change everyone else, but that something was just too hard for you?

If you’ve had these feelings, as I’ll admit to having in weaker moments, then this story is for you. As I tell this story, I want you to think about the thing that seems nearly impossible for you to change, because that’s exactly how Elder Riley felt trying to get on a mission. This wasn’t a difficult journey for him, it was nearly impossible.

On a Tuesday afternoon I called a recently returned missionary named Riley Murdock, he sounded calm, converted and hopeful for the future. I asked him to tell me a bit about his story. Riley began by explaining that he spent his formative years quite overweight. At the peak of his size he weight over 460 pounds, (208.6kgs).

Riley turned 18 just as the church was ‘raising the bar’ (qualifying standards) on missionary service. These raised standards included, among other things, tighter regulations on a missionaries weight due to the physical demands of missionary service. However, when Riley submitted his papers he was not aware of these changes, so it was a huge disappointment to have his mission application declined.

To read the full article on Mission Geek, click here

7 Popular Workouts for Missionaries on Pinterest
(Image via ahealthieryoumag.com)

Missionaries get 30 minutes in the morning for a little physical fitness. Using this time for a quick workout helps missionaries feel better, inside and out. What are some workout regimes that can be done on a mission, with limited time and resources?

We turned to Pinterest for a few quick ideas. Future sister missionaries on Pinterest LOVE to create boards with ideas for their missions. (Pinterest is getting more popular with guys, but it’s still mostly gals) These boards include scripture study tips, quotes from prophets, suitcase packing advice, modest cute fashion ideas, and workout plans! Below are a few workouts that came up frequently in our searches.

Although these workouts aren’t specifically designed for missionaries, they can be done in 30 minutes or less, and don’t require equipment or a gym. These can also be done inside the apartment, which is helpful if your companion isn’t up for going on a run or walk outside.

Yes, we discovered these on Pinterest, but they’re not just for sisters! Elders will find these helpful too. Which one is your favorite?

Found on tipsforsistermissionaries.blogspot.com

Most Popular Missionary Workouts from Pinterest
Image via tipsforsistermissionaries.blogspot.com


Found on mommieswithstyle.com

Most Popular Missionary Workouts from Pinterest
Image via mommieswithstyle.com


Found on ahealthieryoumag.com

Most Popular Missionary Workouts from Pinterest
Image via ahealthieryoumag.com


Found on fitmommydiaries.blogspot.com

Most Popular Missionary Workouts from Pinterest
Image via fitmommydiaries.blogspot.com


Found on twitter.com

Most Popular Missionary Workouts from Pinterest
Image via @BestProFitness on twitter.com


Found on wholeheartedlyhealthy.com

Most Popular Missionary Workouts from Pinterest
Image via wholeheartedlyhealthy.com


Found on huffingtonpost.com

Most Popular Missionary Workouts from Pinterest
Image via huffingtonpost.com



5 ways that serving a mission is good for your mental health
(Image via mormonnewsroom.org)

LDS missionaries receive tremendous mental and emotional health benefits when they serve missions. Many of the mission rules are ‘small and simple things‘ that strengthen and support mental and emotional health, both according to Church doctrine and according to mental health professionals.

It’s important to note that some young men and women do have emerging, recurring, or worsening mental and emotional health issues that disrupt or prevent full-time missionary service. Despite faith, prayers, and strict obedience to mission rules, some missionaries return home early because of severe challenges with issues such as anxiety and depression. It’s so important to not judge or criticize early returned missionaries or young adults who couldn’t serve a traditional mission.

This article isn’t intended to imply that a mission is ‘a cure’ for mental health challenges such as depression or anxiety, and prospective missionaries should strive to have any health issue well-managed before applying for a mission.

The main intent of this article is to point out that many of the mission rules and practices are in keeping with standard professional advice for managing most existing mental health challenges. For missionaries who don’t struggle with any significant mental health issues, these practices will only make your mental and emotional health even better!

1.  Missionaries are early to bed, early to rise

During a phase of life when many young adults aren’t practicing the best sleep habits, missionaries are going to bed at 10:30 pm and getting up at 6:30 am. Getting enough sleep (but not too much!) is standard good health advice, as is the practice of going to bed and getting up at the same time everyday. For individuals who have struggled with mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety, staying on a good sleep schedule is crucial.

2.  Missionaries exercise

While some missionaries have a car for parts of their mission, most missionaries are walking or biking every single day. Missionaries are also supposed to exercise for 1/2 hour in the morning. There are piles and piles of research supporting the benefits of regular exercise to combat stress, depression, and anxiety. Whether a person has struggled with mental health issues or not in the past, there’s nothing quite like getting moving to promote good mental, emotional, and physical health!

3. Missionaries connect with others

Some very standard good mental health advice for everyone, and especially for those who struggle with anxiety or depression, is to continue reaching out to others. The tendency to isolate oneself and play hermit when under stress is associated with increased depression and anxiety. Connecting with others and engaging in volunteer work are usually recommended for good mental health. If there’s one thing missionaries always have, it’s opportunities to serve and connect with others.

4. Missionaries avoid alcohol, nicotine, and coffee/tea

Missionaries follow the guidelines of the ‘Word of Wisdom‘, which includes not drinking alcohol, coffee/tea, or using products containing nicotine. All of these substances interfere with quality sleep, and have other deleterious mental and physical health effects. For individuals without any significant health issues, avoiding these substances only improves their well-being. For those who are maintaining recovery or managing mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, keeping the Word of Wisdom is doubly important.

5. Missionaries pray

Prayer provides a means to communicate with Heavenly Father. During prayer, missionaries (indeed, all of us) can connect with God, and feel his love. It’s a time to ask for help with problems, and to feel reassured of God’s support. Scientists who study mental health don’t comment much on whether God exists or not, but they do acknowledge prayer as a form of relaxation, which is crucial to good mental health. Relaxation practices such as prayer can lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, ease depression, and reduce insomnia according to the American Psychological Association.


Missionary Handbook

Campus Mind Works

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

APA: The power of the relaxation response



LDS Missionary Expo
Worldwide Missionary Benefit Fun Run This Saturday

On April 25th, Missionary Mommas, LDS Missionary Expo and MissionaryStrong Foundation are hosting a fun run to benefit missionaries around the world. It is the first annual Lengthen Your Stride – Hasten Your Shuffle 5K, 3K, 1K benefit run. It will be held in Orem, Utah at 7:30 am. All proceeds will benefit missionaries around the world who are financially unable to serve a full-time mission.

Special VIP Guests
Sister Kendal Levine and her mom, Melody Levine 

Kendal had been a Sister Missionary serving in Australia for 13 months and was hit by a car. She is getting better every day, and plans to participate with us!

Kendal Levine
Kendal Levine was cheered on by her former basketball fans after returning from her mission after the car accident. PC DeseretNews.com

If you didn’t read Kendal’s story, check it out on Deseret News.

LDS Missionary Expo Fun run

The main missionary benefit fun run will be in Orem, Utah, but anyone who wants to join the run all over the world can do so and is invited to sign up and run and take a picture of themselves with the T-shirt on. All pictures of runners will be posted later on the Missionary Mommas and LDS Missionary Expo Facebook page. All who register (whether in Orem or elsewhere) will get a T-shirt and a wristband (outside of Orem will get their shirts and wristbands shipped). We will choose some of the best pictures (from all the runs including Orem) to post as a symbol of our support of missionaries who need help to get on a mission.

Many preparing LDS youth do not have the funds to serve. As was mentioned above, proceeds from this event will directly benefit those missionaries who would otherwise be able to serve, but who are financially unable.

To sign up for the missionary benefit run, sign up on the Eventbrite page or on the LDS Missionary Expo event page.



Missionary Exercise Video

Shared by President David Cook (mission president of the Chile Santiago South mission), this video was made to motivate the missionaries to exercise during their scheduled exercise time each day. These missionaries are serving in one of the most challenging parts of Santiago, Chile – an area called La Pintana. It would be the equivalent of South Bronx or Compton.



The caption says “This video captures the exercises needed to survive La Pintana.” I served in Santiago in areas similar to this and I personally know what these areas hold. Everything from dog doo doo, to cuddly drunks, big dogs and people with guns. Missionaries are definitely protected in areas like this.
Make sure you stretch before trying these at home!Missionary Exercise Video