Missionary Advent Calendar

 
Well, today is the big day. I am going to say goodbye to my little brother for 2 years while he serves an LDS mission. He will be serving the people of Bogota, Colombia. He is 5 1/2 years younger than me. To most people, that seems like kind of a big gap, but I think it is just right. We have always been pretty close. It is hard to think that I won’t be able to talk to him whenever I want and that I won’t be able to see him for 2 whole years, but he will be an incredible missionary and I know he and my family will be blessed for supporting him.
We wanted to have a little Christmas night with him before he left, so we all got him gifts that he could use on his mission etc. I wanted to give him something for Christmas that would really mean something to him, so I made him an advent calendar. I want him to feel like he gets to celebrate Christmas too. 
I got 12 pieces of scrapbook paper and I cut them in half. I folded those pieces in half and taped the sides shut to create little pockets. I decorated each of the pockets with the number of each day he would have to open them and a little extra glam cause I can’t really do anything without a little glam! 
In each pocket is a slip of paper. On the odd days, they are random facts about how the celebrate Christmas in Colombia. In the even day pockets they are some of our favorite scriptures along with an explanation of why they are special to us. On some days, he gets an added bonus. I got 6 wallet sized pictures and put them in random pockets as an extra surprise for him (including my husband ultra funny/dorky school picture this year).
On Christmas, I wanted him to get something extra special, so I wrote him a letter for Christmas Day. 
He was really excited when he opened up this gift because he could tell that I put a lot of thought into it and it is something that he can really look forward to doing each day. It is something that could be easily made for missionaries all over the world too because it is pretty light weight and would be easily shipped. He was also excited that they were all flat and could be crammed into a suitcase pretty easily. 
Wish us luck as we drop him off today! I know it will be tough, but totally worth it. I am so proud of him and the choices that he has made to be worthy of serving a mission.
I am interested in what kind of gifts you have sent to missionaries. I will have quite a few other holidays that I will send him gifts for, so tell me what your missionary gift ideas are!
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McKenzie
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Comments

  1. We will be thinking about you guys today!! Such a hard but incredibly neat thing to drop off a missionary. My brother has been on his mission for 8 months already and it’s just been wonderful. We made him a calendar through Shutterfly as a Christmas gift. We put pictures of our entire family throughout the calendar and included each family member’s birthday. We also put grandparents’ birthdays in there. Tyson says he would have loved something like that on his mission so we’re glad we chose to do that for Christmas this year!

  2. M. Jorgensen says

    So by now Carson is already at the MTC, probably getting ready for bed, but I hope you had a good day! Your advent is awesome, and so sweet! And so thoughtful!! Good luck in the coming days, the first 6 months tend to drag a little, but then it flys by!! Elder Grover will be an amazing missionary!!

    I know this isn’t a gift idea but I did this with mike, and then had my mom do it with my brother…we printed off all of his emails and kept every letter he sent and then made a book from them. I love my book with all of mikes letters! It’s so fun to watch him get older and dive into the work!

  3. Meredith @ Wait Til Your Father Gets Home says

    What an amazing person your brother is! I’ll say a prayer tonight for him for a safe journey and an incredible two years. I love this advent calendar you made for him, and I’m sure he does too!!

    Thanks for partying with us @ Keep Calm & Link Up! Have an awesome week 🙂
    xo, Meredith @ http://www.waittilyourfathergetshome.com

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