You might spend six weeks or six months with a companion, and you only get one chance to make a first impression. On a hectic transfer day, the first few hours with your new companion can lay the foundation for your entire relationship, so you want to make the experience as positive as possible. Here are some tips I’ve picked up from talking with other returned missionaries.

Prepare a Gift

When I was in the final week or so preparing to enter the Missionary Training Center, my mother suggested that I pack a few small gifts in my suitcase to give each companion. Back in the 1980s when she served a mission, she’d brought a handful of nice handkerchiefs from California to South America. I thought handkerchiefs were pretty old fashioned, but I did find small lotion sets that I packed with some of my favorite candy. Over the next 18 months, I presented each of my nine sister missionary companions with a set, and they were all pleased by the unexpected gift. It was a small gesture, but I would definitely recommend bringing something small from home to share at the beginning of each new companionship.

Get to Know Her

Depending on your schedule, you may be tempted to jump right back into missionary work as soon as you switch companions. However, the transition will go much more smoothly if you take a break from proselyting and get to know your new companion. Ask her questions about her family, her mission so far, her favorite things to do on P-day, etc. Getting to know more about her right away will help the two of you approach the transfer as friends rather than as co-workers. The people you talk with and teach will feel the difference, and your new companion will appreciate your efforts to learn more about her.

Read the full post at She Traveled.