So! You’ve gotten your mission call–what next?
There’s a lot to do in preparing physically and spiritually for a mission, so it can be overwhelming in trying to decide where to start. Maybe the best place is with the least-appealing aspect of physical preparation (and one which may take a few months to complete): the shots.
If you’re serving in another first-world country, or even State-side, YOU STILL MAY NEED ADDITIONAL SHOTS. My brother, who is serving in Japan, made the mistake of not checking up on his immunizations (he had visited Japan before, and you wouldn’t particularly think of Japan as being somewhere that you would be particularly susceptible to a certain disease) and was almost unable to have them completed in time for him to leave. SO, to save you stress and scrambling later, do yourself a service and check up on your immunizations now. 🙂
One shot that all future Mormon missionaries should be caught up on is the hepatitis A series. No matter where you are sent, you’re going to need this immunization, and most young adults do not already have it since it isn’t one of the major ones required for attending school. The hep. A series consists of three shots, and will take about six months to complete. I got my first shot in December, my second in January, and will have to get my third shot in May before leaving for the Mission Training Center. While you may be able to finish up the shot series in the MTC, you don’t want to count on it or wait so long that it prevents you from being able to transfer to your mission area on time. The more of these immunizations that you take care of before leaving on your mission, the better off you’re going to be.
If you’re serving an abroad mission, check the booklet that came with your call for special instruction on immunizations. Your new mission president will make sure you have access to all the information you will need to successfully prepare for your mission. There’s also a helpful government website which lists what immunizations are recommended and/or required for abroad travel. You can find that here:
Shots aren’t fun, and neither is the paperwork that comes with them. However, the sooner you get started on your immunizations, the sooner you will finish. Your chances of being caught unprepared when it comes time to enter the Mission Training Center will diminish greatly, and you’ll be able to breathe easier knowing that the worst of it is over (after all, preparing for a mission is a primarily fun thing!).