Thursday, August 8, 2013

"Greenie" Scripture Care Package

I'm back! ... but my boy is gone.  Bittersweet, isn't it?  Matt oops! Elder Brown arrived in Seattle last week.  He is in a new area with no investigators and he's loving every minute of it. 
Greenie /gree-nee/ :  An unofficial term used by missionaries of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
to describe the status of 'new' missionaries to the mission field.
Just like when my first served his mission - when I'm feeling sad I entertain myself by thinking up packages to brighten my missionary's day.  I wanted to send him a "Greenie" package.  There are a lot of ideas out there on the internet. I mean a LOT!  If you want to send your missionary a fun and quirky "Greenie" package just Google it and give your creativity a jump start.  For this package though, I opted for "spiritual."
I don't normally send very many "spiritual" packages.  Most of the time I try to just send fun things.  I figure they get LOTS of "spiritual" out there. missionaries are on a spiritual high.  They are just getting into the field and just starting to understand the work and the effort it takes.  I wanted Matt to remember some of the counsel that has been given to us through the scriptures and feel buoyed up by it.  I wanted him to remember that he is not alone in this great work. 

I tried to think back to my mission days and the things that I could have used some help with, then I found a scripture on that topic and then something to go with it.  The color scheme was already a given...GREEN!!... and I wanted to keep the style simple so as to not detract from the scripture so I just printed the scriptures on white cardstock, cut them out and then tied them together with cute stripy string.  Easy.  At the bottom of the package I put the framed scripture.  I plan on sending new scriptures or quotes occasionally and Matt can just change out the old for the new.  Easy.

Here's a helpful hint:  Leave the 'item' tag attached to the scripture until you are ready to tie the two together otherwise you have to strain your brain to try to remember which clever item went with what awesome scripture.  Learn from my experience. 
I make mistakes so you don't have to!

"And thou shalt declare glad tidings, yea, publish it upon the mountains, and upon every high place, and among every people that thou shalt be permitted to see."
Doctrine & Covenants 19:29

THE STORY:  I have never talked so much EVER!  At the end of the day my voice just hurt...

"And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man - Every herb [and] every fruit in the season thereof...yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving..."
Doctrine & Covenants 89:10-12

THE STORY: You HAVE to stay healthy.  It didn't take long for me to learn that I had to stay healthy
if I was going to give my all to the work.  You can't give what you don't have.  Eat right, exercise,
 stay hydrated and get plenty of rest.  It's all in the scriptures AND the white handbook.

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and their shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain."
Revelation 21:4

THE STORY:  I don't want to make you too sad or concerned for your missionary
and I know that everyone is different but...let's just say that I cried myself to sleep
my entire first month in the MTC.  My companions and I went through
lots and LOTS of Kleenex.  Don't worry.  It humbles you and makes
your prayers amazing.

"Be strong and be of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:
for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest."
Joshua 1:9

THE STORY:  Before my mission I was really pretty shy around people I didn't know.
I didn't like to do things that were out of my comfort zone.  As you can imagine...
nothing about a mission is IN anyone's comfort zone.  It's all a little freaky at first.
Knowing that God is on your side and that you are 'about His work' makes all the difference.
The antacid will also help if they are in a foreign land eating foreign foods.

"Therefore, gird up thy loins for the work.  Let thy feet be shod also, for thou art chosen,
and thy path lieth among the mountains, and among many nations."
Doctrine & Covenants 112:7

THE STORY:  Yup.  We walked, and walked, and walked. 
My feet have never been the same.  'Nuf said.

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint."
Isaiah 40:31

THE STORY:  Pretty much says it all.  Great scripture, huh?
"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

THE STORY:  Wow.  That's a great scripture as well.  Sleep.  There is nothing so bad that
it doesn't look better in the morning after a good night's sleep.
(FYI:  Melatonin is your sleep hormone that kicks in at night to help you fall asleep. 
You can buy supplements in the vitamin section of your grocery store or at a health food store.)

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings,
that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation;
that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!"
Isaiah 52:7

THE STORY:  Remember what I said about my feet?  Yup.  If your missionary has a problem with
dry, cracked heels (Why does this seem to effect sister missionaries only?)  get a foot cream that is high in Urea.
You can find it on the internet.  Mine is a prescription strength with 40% Urea.  It's wonderful.
If I was stranded on a desert island and could only take one thing this might even beat out the kiddos...
especially if they are being feisty that day.

"Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are,
and the things which shall be."
Revelation 1:19

THE STORY:  My journal was my therapist.  I wrote every single day. I needed lots of therapy.

"He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity,
nor sworn deceitfully, He shall receive the blessing from the Lord,
and righteousness from the God of his salvation."
Psalms 24:4-5

THE STORY:  I like the small bottles that can hang on your backpack/purse.  Handy.
You can find cutsie ones for the sister missionary or just plain, old, functional ones for the guys.
You never know when you're going to need it but you sure are grateful that you have it when you do!

"The path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."
Proverbs 4:18

THE STORY:  I sent Matt a headlamp.  He already had to have a flashlight. 
 It was on the list of 'things to bring' -  he's on a bike so I got a pretty good one.
A night light would be pretty good as well for when they have to get up during the
night in those unfamiliar apartments.  Might save them from stubbing a toe.
Gotta' save those FEET!

" the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet."
Proverbs 27:7

THE STORY:  Yeah, this one needs NO explanation.  What missionary doesn't love candy?

"For this is a great and the last commandment which I shall give unto you concerning this matter; for this shall suffice for thy daily walk, even unto the end of thy life."
Doctrine & Covenants 19:32

THE STORY:  Here's to the feet and to their everlasting comfort!
Man, if your feet hurt there ain't nothin' right with the world.

"He hath filled the hungry with good things..."
Luke 1:53

THE STORY:  I so sent chocolate.  There is nothing that chocolate can't cure.
It's like a Band-Aid.

"That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
Ephesians 5:27

THE STORY:  I sent a Tide Stick spot remover pen.  Should help with those accidental spills
that might long as they remember to carry it in their backpack.

"And thou must open thy mouth at all times,
 declaring my gospel with the sound of rejoicing."
Doctrine & Covenants 28:16

THE STORY:  Pretty self-explanatory.  Make sure that your lip balm has a high SPF.
There's nothing worse than sunburned lips.  Can you say, "Instant Botox?"

"And speak freely to all; yea, preach, exhort, declare the truth, even with a loud voice,
with a sound of rejoicing, crying - Hosanna, hosanna,
blessed be the name of the Lord God!"
Doctrine & Covenants 19:37

THE STORY:  Pretty self-explanatory as well.  Always grateful that you have them when you
need them and wish you had them when you don't.  If someone offers you a breath mint...
you should never say, "No, thank you."  Seriously.

"For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."
Doctrine & Covenants 25:12

THE STORY:  There is nothing that brings the spirit faster than music.  Check with your mission to see
what their rules are concerning music.  We could only listen to instrumental or 'church' music on P-days.
Mason could listen the same but any day of the week.  Some don't allow music at all.
If you can send music, you can't go wrong with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir or most anything
that Deseret Book has to offer (except for maybe some of the 'rocked out' Primary CD's that are out there. 
Totally cool, but probably not missionary appropriate.  Matt loves Country music so I sent
The Work by the Nashville Tribute Band.  It was Mason's favorite.

"And from thence, whosoever I will shall go forth among all nations, and it shall be told them what they shall do; for I have a great work laid up in store, for Israel shall be saved, and I will lead them withersoever I will, and no power shall stay my hand."
Doctrine & Covenants 38:33

THE STORY:  GPS.  Probably not too long before this is on the 'need to bring' list. 
Mason was in Ohio on a bike and he had to have one.
Matt is in Seattle and his first email from the field said, "...I have to go buy a GPS..."

"As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country."
Proverbs 25:25

THE STORY:  It doesn't take a missionary long to learn that you have to write letters to get letters.

"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or,
Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For your heavenly father knoweth
that ye have need of these things."
Matthew 6:27-32

THE STORY:  It's always fun to get a little surprise and to remember that the Lord is aware
of their needs and will take care of His servants.

"Let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare,
and also for the welfare of those who are around you."
Alma 34:27

THE STORY:  Ok.  This one definitely has a story behind it.  When I was in the MTC...
I had a really hard time.  Chinese is HARD!...and I thought I could do it myself, and wasn't really
relying on the Lord like I should...and He was trying to teach me something...sorry, that's a story for another day.
Let's just say that I prayed a LOT.  I started to do this 'thing' where I would plug my ears with my thumbs then put my
hands over my eyes but on my forehead - kinda' like you're shading your eyes from the sun.  Hard to explain and even harder to picture from that lame explanation I'm sure.  I did it to block out distractions.  My prayers were better and more focused if I couldn't hear or see anything else going on around me and there was ALWAYS stuff going on around me.  Anyhow, the habit stuck and  that is still how I pray.  There are times when my kids walk into the bedroom at night when I'm saying my prayers so they've seen me plugging my ears and doing the hand thing.  Well, that was a long story just to say that I sent earplugs and my son will get it but yours probably won't.  Now you know the rest of the story. 
You could just send callous cream for their knees.  Yup, you better hope they get callouses there.

 So, there you have it.  Your box will be pretty full with what I've listed but I'd love to hear any ideas that you come up with...along with the 'story' behind it.  Everyone loves a good 'story.'  Marcie, one of my mission companions said that I should send Romans 16:16 "Greet one another with an holy kiss..." and attach it to some Hershey Kisses.  Funny!  Yeah,  I didn't send that one.  Way funny though.  Wow, I hope that every missionary comes home with at least one best friend like I did.  Whatever would my life be like without Marcie.  Love that girl.  Story for another day...
Line your box with green tissue paper.  Place some padding on the bottom i.e. shredded paper or something similar to protect the glass in your frame then just pile it all in and top with a letter.  Neatly fold your tissue paper over the contents and then place the Pièce de résistance ...

May we ALL stay green...


  1. From her son Mason-

    Greet each other with an Holy kiss. My littlest sister sent me Hershey kisses for a present she bought me. I started bringing them to church and giving one to little kids. One of my goals for my mission was to show people, mostly kids, you can be yourself and be a missionary. I wanted kids to be comfortable around us, in hopes it would be easier for them to set the goal to serve now. Candy seemed to work great. I'd carry maybe ten with me to church and hand them out. Also not bad for when your head starts bobbing in sacerment meeting. Quiet sugar rush.

    1. I love it! What a brilliant idea. Thanks for sharing, Mason. I'm feeling another package coming on...