The Forgotten Missionaries

I’ve been absent for a while because I am on holidays with family (loving every minute of the sun and surf here in Queensland, Australia). But just wanted to share something quickly with you.

For the last week I have been involved in a conversation with some other missionary mums about the many missionaries who don’t receive any gifts from home over the Christmas season. For example, here in the Brisbane Australia Mission, as off Monday this week, there were 45 elders and 12 sisters who had not received a gift through the mail. As a result, I am in the process of delivering 3 gifts to the local mission office here in Brisbane to be given to any missionaries who haven’t received one.

I know it’s rather late, but I would encourage all of you out there to do something similar if you are in a position to. There are many families who just don’t have the means to send their missionary something for Christmas. There are also missionaries who don’t have family to send them anything. So, if you are in the position to, contact your local mission office and ask if gifts are needed. I know it is very close to Christmas, but most missions have the ability to deliver gifts to their missionaries right up to the last minute.

Let’s not forget them…

I would also like to wish you all a wonderful christmas and an amazing new year. Lots of new things to discuss in 2013. I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts…



Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas – Under $20

I’m sure right now our US friends are all enjoying a needed break from their busy lives, and  spending time with family and friends giving thanks for all the blessings they have. I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving over this weekend.

Today I am going to jump the gun a bit and push your attention to the upcoming season. By the end of this weekend I know you will all be starting to focus on the next big celebration ahead…Christmas (did I hear a groan?). We all love this time of year don’t we? Well, I do…

Here I’ll be exploring some gift ideas for our serving missionaries. The first 6 ideas I found on the LDS Online Store – all items purchased can be delivered worldwide, directly to your missionary free of postal charge. The last 4 are taken from other LDS stores and may involve a delivery fee. Also, don’t forget to check out my previous post ‘You’ve Had a Birthday, Shout Hooray’ for some other gift ideas.

So here are my Top 10 Christmas suggestions:

1.    Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD.

Most missions will allow missionaries to listen to wholesome music (but please check with your missionary before buying). There is a huge range of Mormon Tabernacle Choir CDs on offer at the LDS Online Store, all at very reasonable prices; music that is both uplifting and inspirational. If your missionary loves the sounds of Christmas then this is the perfect gift.

2.    Journal

Missionaries love to keep a record of everything they experience, which means they will probably go through more than one journal in that time. The LDS Online Store has both hard cover and loose-leaf journals available. Loose-leaf journals are a great way for them to record their experiences and then mail them home for the family to read.

3.    LDS Magazine Subscriptions

Most mission apartments will have at least one Ensign subscription delivered each month. However, when you have up to 3 companionships in an apartment, it can mean survival of the fittest when it comes to having your turn to read a current magazine. Sending your missionary their own copy every month will help to solve this problem. They can then hand them on to investigators once they have finished reading them.

4.    LDS General Conference CDs

Most mission cars have a CD player. Your missionary can use travel time listening to the inspirational words of our prophets and apostles while they travel from place to place. DVDs are available too, which might be a good resource for teaching investigators as well.

5.    A New White Tie

Most Elders will have a white tie in their luggage when they go out, but it may be worth asking if the tie still looks white and fresh. Towards the end of a mission, especially if the missionary has performed multiple baptisms, it may need to be replaced.

6.    LDS Gifts for Investigators

Missionaries love to have things they can give their investigators that will help them understand the simplicity of the Gospel – especially for children. So things like simplified scripture readers, and Friend subscriptions, will help them in their teaching, and help their investigators understand Gospel principles.

7.    LDS Tie Tacs and Pins

Let’s face it, Elders are pretty limited in the extent of their wardrobe. So a tie tac or tie pin is a great way to introduce some variety and personality. There are some really unique tie tacs and pins available with appropriate messages for missionaries. Deseret Online Bookstore offers a large assortment.

8.    CTR Earrings

Ok, this one’s for the sisters. They can’t be outdone by the Elders, so these CTR Earrings are a cute way to express yourself as a missionary. Other jewellery items available from Deseret Online Bookstore are rings and charms with LDS themes.

9.    52 Weeks of Recipes

I know it is hard to go past all my amazing Food Friday missionary recipes. But if you have to then this sounds like the perfect way to do it – especially for a missionary who doesn’t have a whole lot of dinner dates (believe me, there are missions out there that don’t offer regular dinner appointments for the missionaries). There’s enough recipes for 52 weeks of the year, so they will never run out of food ideas.

10.    LDS Missionary Pillowcase

Just imagine your missionary resting his/her head on their pillow at night, with words of support and love to cushion them. This pillowcase is a fun way to remind your missionary each day how much you love them and support them…such sweet comfort 🙂

The Ultimate Gift

The more I searched online, the more I found. So there are multiple gift ideas for missionaries out there. But most of all, I think the ultimate gift you can give your missionary are words of support, love and encouragement. A simple hand written message to your missionary that is sealed, stamped and mailed can mean more to them than any kind of commercial gift.

I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas season. May the Lords blessings be distilled upon you like the dews from heaven.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

The Perfect Gift

Kangaroo Skin Scripture Covers

I want to share with you something that I thought would be the perfect gift for a missionary. With Christmas not far away, this might just be what you are looking for – Kangaroo Skin Scripture Covers.

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to choosing an appropriate gift for my missionary it is REALLY difficult. I want to recognise her special day, but I don’t want to take focus away from what she is doing. You know…avoid losing sight of the bigger picture.

So when we started to discuss this in one of our Missionary Mom Email Groups – the South Pacific  group to be exact – I was really excited to discover what I thought would be just the right gift for a missionary. In fact it was staring me right in the face, as I actually had had one of these for more than 20 years myself.

Instead of having me tell you about it, I thought it would be fun to have Bruce Harlow, the owner of Australian Skins and Souvenirs, tell you about this fabulous and unique idea.

But before I do that I want to assure you that these scripture covers are available to anyone, worldwide. Bruce makes and mails them regularly all around the world (he will even deliver to your missionary if you provide the mailing address), so don’t feel that you do not qualify to order one for your missionary. I will supply details of how you can order these scripture covers at the end of this post.

Anyway, enough from me. Here is what Bruce has to say about the history of this business and the unique products he makes and sells:


Our company Australian Skins & Souvenirs Pty Ltd has been manufacturing sheepskin, kangaroo skin products and selling souvenirs since 1968.  We have our own retail stores under the name Skinnsy Pty Ltd in Brisbane, Sydney and Toowoomba, Australia.  We currently manufacture about 200 different products eg Ugg boots, sheepskin seat covers, medical sheepskin products etc.

As our business in the 1970 & early 80’s was located below the LDS church mission office in Brisbane, we donated a kangaroo skin to be presented to Pres Kimball when he was in Australia in the mid 1970’s and we sold a lot of souvenirs and scripture covers to the missionaries.

My parents and their 5 children joined the church in 1974 due largely to the constant missionary contact from the mission office being upstairs.  My wife and I have 20 grand children and my brothers and sisters also have lots of grandchildren.  The church has been such a wonderful influence in all of our lives and has kept our family close together.

Australia is overrun with kangaroos – most species are protected but a couple are culled under government supervision to control their numbers as the sheep, cattle and grain farmers could not survive otherwise.  First grade skins are selected for their fur, cut out and sewn together in our factory.

Our business offers members 10% discount off all products unless they are on sale, however scripture covers are already sold at member price. We have made scripture covers in sheepskin, calf skin and kangaroo leather but the most popular is kangaroo skin with the fur on.

We make a mini quad $39.00, standard quad $54.00 and large print $69.00.  Both the standard quad and large print have zippa pockets as well and all covers are kangaroo skin with a suede carry handle.  We can make other sizes if given dimensions.  Missionaries also purchase a lot of souvenirs – we stock over 2000 lines.

—Bruce Harlow


I just want to add that I purchased a ‘Roo’ skin scripture case from Bruce back in the late 80s and it housed my precious scriptures for over 20 years. It was hardy, long lasting and so soft to handle. I would highly recommend his products.

As promised, here are your options if you are interested in purchasing one of these scripture covers:

1. Bruce’s company has a website. However, this website doesn’t include the scripture covers yet. But you can visit the Australian Skins & Souvenirs website and send them a contact email with a request to purchase one. Let them know the size (eg regular quad, regular bible, triple of compact), and what colour and kind of skin you want (grey or red, long or short fur).

2. Go to my Contact Me Page and send me a request for Bruce’s email address and I will forward it on to you.


I have not received compensation or benefitted in any way from this post. It is shared purely out of the love for this product and a desire to share all that is good for our amazing missionaries