Info for Future Missionaries

Congratulations on your call and your assignment to the Spain Barcelona Mission! This page contains important information to help you prepare for your assignment.

The first thing you should know about your call and your assignment is that the Lord is sending you here to baptize worthy converts. You may hear from some people that you won't have much success in Europe, but we encourage you to think of Spain as part of South America! Missionaries in the Spain Barcelona Mission baptize regularly and it is possible for missionaries to baptize weekly in this mission. We are entering a great "second harvest" in Spain (the first great harvest was in the 1970's when thousands were baptized, including most of today´s Church leaders in our stakes) and have been promised that this harvest will be greater than the first harvest. The missions in Spain, and particularly the Spain Barcelona Mission, are much more productive than the average mission in the United States. We baptize worthy converts. It is what we do. It is the only thing we do.

The most important thing you can do to prepare for your mission is to read the Book of Mormon from beginning to end. Study it as a text for missionary work, and learn from it how to do missionary work, and how to be a powerful missionary. It is your most valuable textbook on missionary work.

We also encourage you to study and read Preach My Gospel. This is an inspired document. The First Presidency has stated: "Preach My Gospel is intended to help you be a better prepared, more spiritually mature missionary, and a more persuasive teacher. We urge you to use it daily in your personal and companion preparation."

It takes about 6 months to receive a visa for Spain. Please submit all of your paperwork to Church Travel as quickly as you can so that you will be able to begin serving as scheduled. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! If you do not receive your visa by the time you complete your MTC training, you will be assigned to another mission until your visa is approved.

Also be sure to apply for your passport IMMEDIATELY after receiving your call.

A mission is a major athletic event. Missionaries in our mission typically walk 8-12 miles every day. This walking puts a tremendous amount of force on feet, ankles and knees. For a missionary who weighs 170 pounds the calculation is: 170 lbs x 3.5 (the force absorbed by the joints) = 595 lbs/step; 2000 steps per mile results in 595 tons per mile x 10 miles/day x 5 days/week = 29,750 tons per week x 95 weeks = 2,826,250 tons per mission. This is the equivalent of over 27 fully-loaded Nimitz-class aircraft carriers!

To prepare for this athletic event, begin training now. In particular, begin a running or walking routine with the goal of reaching a weekly mileage of 25-30 miles.

If you have experienced ingrown toenails in the past, have these resolved by a doctor before entering the MTC.

Please carefully follow the instructions you received from the Missionary Department. Our missionaries work hard to always look and act in a way that reflects their sacred calling.

Brief Cases
We do not use back packs in the mission, so do not bring one with you. Elders will receive a small briefcase upon arrival. Sisters may wish to bring a large, conservative handbag that will hold scriptures, iPad, pamphlets, etc.

Driver's License 
Elders should bring an international driver's license. These are available from AAA at a modest cost. Make certain that your U.S. license has been renewed and will remain valid during your mission. While missionaries are not assigned cars for proselyting, we do need drivers from time to time in the mission office.

Music Standards 
Each apartment has a DVD/CD player on which you can play music for a CD or flash drive. If you wish to bring music, be certain it meets the very high standards described in the Missionary Handbook.

"Listen only to music that is consistent with the sacred spirit of your calling. Music should invite the Spirit, help you focus on the work, and direct your thoughts and feelings to the Savior. Do not listen to music that pulls your thoughts away from your work, merely entertains, has romantic lyrics or overtones, or dulls your spiritual sensitivity by its tempo, beat, loudness, lyrics, or intensity.
"Listening to music must never interfere with your personal preparation or proselyting."
Please do not bring music that does not meet these standards. Most contemporary LDS music, including recent EFY music, soundtracks, popular renditions of hymns, and classical music usually meet the high standards set for missionaries.

Electronic Equipment
Do not bring DVDs or videos of any kind. Do not bring any device that has Internet access other than the approved Galaxy Tab S2 (such as an iPod Touch/iPad). These need to be purchased before leaving for the Missionary Training Center. 

It is difficult if not impossible to receive prescription drugs, vitamin pills or supplements through the mail. Most needed medications can be purchased locally, although a prescription is necessary for some. If you have required medications,
  1. Bring as much as you can with you.
  2. Discuss with your doctor his feelings about issuing you a prescription by email if needed later on.
  3. Bring a copy of your current prescription.
All missionaries have always been able to obtain needed medications, so you don't need to worry. However, be aware that it is not as simple as having someone mail you medications - they are generally either returned or destroyed by customs officials.

The list below updates the list you received with your call packet and provides some suggestions for the types of clothing to bring.

Updated List of Items Specific to Your Mission

  • Baptismal clothing – bring a pair of white pants, white socks, and a white tie.
  • 2 suits that match the requirements under “Suits and Slacks.”
  • 4-5 long-sleeved white shirts and 4-5 short-sleeved white shirts.
  • 5-6 ties that match the requirements under “Ties.”
  • 1-2 pairs of conservative dress slacks that match the requirements under “Suits and Slacks.” Wool, wool blends, and artificial fabrics work best; avoid cotton slacks.
  • 8-10 pairs of garments. Thermal garments are optional (it gets cold in winter!)
  • 2 pairs of dress shoes that match the requirements under “Shoes, Boots, and Socks.” Walking is the primary form of transportation – be certain that shoes fit properly and are comfortable for walking.
  • 8-10 pairs of socks that match the requirements under “Shoes, Boots, and Socks.”
  • Rain coat – bring a warm raincoat in a dark, conservative color that can be worn over a suit jacket. A rain coat with a zip-in thermal liner is most useful. Many areas of the mission are very cold (below freezing) and damp in the winter.
  • 2 V-necked sweaters that match the requirements (dark color, no pattern or design) under “Shirts and Sweaters.”
  • 1 pair of pajamas.
  • Exercise clothing – bring a pair of knee-length shorts, T-shirts, athletic shoes and socks as needed for physical activity.
  • Casual/work clothing – bring one set of clothing (including full length pants or jeans) for work/service projects and preparation day activities where regular missionary attire is not appropriate.
NOTE: Most of these items (except a warm raincoat or overcoat) can be purchased in the field.

  • 4-5 outfits as described under “Types of Clothes.” This should include a couple of jackets or blazers, a couple of sweaters, and appropriate blouses and skirts that enable easy walking.
  • Knit tops with capped sleeves to be worn under sweaters and jackets for layering.
  • 3 pairs of comfortable shoes as described under “Shoes.” Sandals with a strap around the heel are useful in summer, no flip-flops or sandals that go between the toes. Walking is the primary form of transportation – be certain that shoes fit properly. 
  • 1 pair of dress boots (optional). These should be comfortable for walking and keep your feet and legs warm and dry in cold, rainy weather.
  • 5-6 tights, warm leggings, or knee-highs (no pattern).
  • 6 pairs of peds (for hot weather).
  • 8-10 pairs of garments. For all types of weather.
  • Raincoat and umbrella - bring a raincoat that can be worn over a jacket or sweater.
  • Coat – bring a warm winter coat as it snows in some areas of the mission.
  • Fleece lined tights
  • Gloves
  • Scarves
  • 1 pair of pajamas. Robe and slippers are optional.
  • Exercise clothing – modest work-out clothes, good athletic shoes and socks as needed for physical activity.
  • Casual/work clothing – bring one pair of jeans and a few modest T-shirts for work/service projects and preparation day activities where regular missionary attire is not appropriate.
  • A very sturdy purse that zips up and that will hold a mini iPad and scriptures with a shoulder strap.
  • 2 suitcases and 1 overnight shoulder duffel bag. You will need to roll your two suitcases while being able to carry your carry on.
  • Feminine Hygiene- It is different here and while some of our Hermanas use the ones they have here, many others prefer to have their normal ones from home. 
NOTE: Most of these items (except possibly the raincoat) can be purchased in the field.

  • First-Aid Kit – bring a small kit with the following items:
    • Thermometer
    • Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or similar medication to relieve pain, swelling and fever
    • Antibiotic cream or ointment
    • Antifungal cream or ointment
    • Benadryl
    • Pepto-Bismol tablets or similar medication
    • Hand sanitizer (such as Purell)
    • Sunscreen
    • Lip balm
    • Other medications which you may use occasionally
Additional Information

  • We encourage you to put your parents on your banking account and tell the bank you will be in Spain for 1 1/2 to 2 years.
  • Always have $200 on your bank card in case of an emergency or if you need for medication. This will be reimbursed when you submit your receipt.
  • Transfer Journal- a small notebook for missionaries to sign like a journal.
  • Lined paper- there is very little lined paper in Spain and paper is a different size.
  • Binder (to hold papers and talks if wanted)
  • A supply of all current prescription medications
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses if needed
  • Small sewing kit
  • Alarm clock (battery or wind-up)
  • Laundry bag
  • Small flashlight and batteries
  • Inexpensive watch
  • Deodorant- the deodorant is different in Spain and many of our missionaries don't like it.

  • Using “Refined, Dignified Language”

    “Using refined, dignified language will clearly identify you as a servant of the Lord. Avoid slang and inappropriately casual language, even in your apartment with your companion or in letters to your family.”
    Missionary Handbook, p.8

    “How you speak and the words you use tell much about the image you choose to portray.”
    President Thomas S. Monson

    “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
    1 Corinthians 13:11

    Below are some examples that will help you develop your vocabulary and use language that reflects your sacred calling as a representative of Jesus Christ. As you are prayerful and aware of the power of language, you will find many additional examples of language that is appropriate as well as language that is inappropriate. In the Spain Barcelona Mission we want to be known for being refined, articulate, and appropriate in our speech.
      Words to Avoid
      Build your Vocabulary
      Preparation Day
      Zone Leader
      District Leader

      awesome, cool, sweet, sick
      splendid, breathtaking, tremendous,     remarkable, amazing, awe-inspiring, astounding, humbling, inspiring, neat, overwhelming, exciting, fun, impressive, stunning, incredible, wonderful, marvelous, magnificent, superb, astonishing, great, extraordinary, outstanding, significant, notable, fabulous, phenomenal, special, spiritual

      guay, chulo
      estupendo, increíble, súper, maravilloso,    memorable, emocionante, divertido, impresionante, magnifico, extraordinario, fabuloso, fenomenal, especial, espiritual

      Calling missionaries by their last name or                     by nicknames
      “Refer to other missionaries, your    companion, and ward members as ´Elder´,   Brother, or ´Sister´ and their surnames.”  Missionary Handbook, p.9)

      Dude, guys, (especially “you guys”) bro,           man

      Elders, Hermanas, Hermanos
      ¿Qué pasa tío?, tome (as in take that!),     chaval, hombre

      Slut, sucks, stupid, jerk, retard, pissed,       freaking, crap, fag, idiot, shut up, screw, butt, B.S., frick, frack, shiz, blow, D or douche, D-bag, what the junk

      These words and phrases should be eliminated
      Apostate- referring to a disobedient   missionary
      Boy,greenie- referring to young/new missionary
      Dead or Bad Area- referring to a hard        proselyting area
      G´s-referring to garments

    Frases Españolas

    These are phrases very typical of Castellano as spoken in Spain – they may be of some help as you continue to study this beautiful language!

    a lo mejor - as luck may have it; like as not
    a partir de - from, starting . . .
    así es la vida - such is life
    caerle a uno bien - to suit one, to have a liking for
    con razon - no wonder
    cuanto antes - as soon as possible
    dar ánimo - to cheer up
    de hoy en adelante - from now on
    de verdad - really?
    de vez en cuando - once in a while
    despues de todo - after all
    echar a correr - to run away
    echar de menos - to miss someone or something
    echar una siesta - to take a nap
    en serio - are you serious
    era hora - it was about time
    estar mal - to be ill, sick
    estarse tranquilo - to keep still
    hacer falta - to need, to be necessary
    hacer gracia - to amuse, to make someone laugh
    le queda bien la camisa - the shirt looks good
    llevar a cabo - to carry out, to finish
    matar tiempo - to kill time, to waste time
    me da asco - it makes me sick
    ni hablar - I don't want to talk about it
    ni idea - no idea, to not have the foggiest
    no me da la gana - I don't want to
    no me diga - you don't say, don't tell me
    parecer mentira - to appear to be impossible
    poner en duda - to question, to doubt
    poner la mesa - to set the table
    por si acaso - just in case
    puesta del sol - sunset
    punto de gracia - funny side, sense of humor
    qué aburrido - how boring
    qué pena - what a pity
    qué tontería - how stupid
    qué va - you've got to be kidding, nonsense
    qué verguenza - shame on you, or "how embarassing!"
    salida del sol - sunrise
    salvo y sano - safe and sound
    sin fin - endless, numberless
    sin querer - unintentionally, not on purpose
    sobre todo - especially, above all
    solo me faltaba eso - that's all I needed
    sonarse - to blow ones nose
    tener alergia - to be allergic
    tener presente - to bear in mind
    tomar en cuenta - to take into account
    trabajar como loco - to work like crazy
    volver a (verbo) - to do again
    volverse loco - to go crazy
    ya lo creo - you bet, certainly

    Different countries often use slightly different words – here are a few basic words that you will need to know in Spain.

    Latin America
    autobús, bus, autocar
    camión, micro
    coger (el bus)
    to catch (the bus)
    tomar (el camión)
    auto, carro
    to anger
    ticket / tiquet
    echar de menos
    to miss (someone)
    to return
    suit jacket

    You will often hear the word "vale" in conversation. It is somewhat equivalent to "OK" and is one of the most frequently heard words in Spain. It is unique to Spain - when you hear someone say "vale" you know they have lived in Spain!

    1 comment :

    1. What a great preparation page! The phrases are especially helpful!