Username: Password: Help Type:
Help Remember Me:

Information For New Missionaries

[ Page Admin ]




·        Send and receive email only on preparation day.  Limit the time spent to 30 - 60 minutes  per week.


·        Send and receive email only to and from family.  Do not give your email address to anyone (in or out of Thailand) other than immediate family and please direct your family not to distribute your address.  Disregard and do not open any email from non-family, including commercial or unsolicited email.


·        Use computers in public facilities such as libraries or appropriate commercial outlets.  Find the facility with the most positive environment.


·        Use computers only with your companion present with you and at the immediately adjacent computer terminal, visible to each other.


·        Missionaries should not impose upon Church members who may have computers.


·        Cost for using email is to be paid by the missionary.


·        Exercise caution in the content and language of your emails (no confidential, sensitive information or derogatory remarks included).


·        Do not access any other internet sites and do not use Instant Messenger or other “chat” services.






ATM Cards - There may be an occasional need for missionaries to use personal funds for extraordinary expenses or emergencies during their mission.  We have found that the most efficient way for missionaries to receive personal funds from home is by use of an ATM card, from a bank in their home country, with access to the ‘Cirrus’ or ‘Plus’ network; these symbols appear on the back of the ATM card. 


Packages - When packages are sent from home, we suggest use of the regular postal service as we have found it to be reliable and result in lower customs fees and taxes.  Use of other carriers often results in extraordinarily high fees when packages are received.  Missionaries are responsible for payment of all customs fees attached to packages they receive.


Bike and helmet - New missionaries should bring $350.00 (U.S. dollars) in personal funds for a bicycle and a bicycle helmet, to be purchased shortly after arrival in Thailand.  Please bring cash only or funds in an ATM accessible account, as traveler’s checks and personal checks are very difficult to cash in Thailand.       


Vitamins - Missionaries planning to take a multivitamin are encouraged to bring a supply sufficient to last the duration of their mission as the vitamin prices in Thailand are very high.


First Aid Kit - Suggested items to include:  Fever reducer, headache/pain reliever, cold remedy (daytime use (non-drowsy) and nighttime use), antibiotic ointment, anti-itch cream, anti-fungal cream.


Correspondence - The mission office address is the address which all missionaries will use to receive correspondence throughout their mission.  The address is:







8 - 10 properly fitted, coordinated outfits of modest design and mid-calf length (dresses, skirts, blouses, vests, jumpers, suits). Skirts should have sufficient fullness and length to allow comfort and modesty while biking.  Lightweight, cotton blend, linen blend, or a rayon blend fabric is recommended for the hot, humid climate.


1 dark color, lightweight blazer or jacket is recommended but not required.


3 pairs of conservative, comfortable shoes for proselyting.


1 pair of dress (Sunday) shoes, comfortable and conservative style.


1 pair of rubber thongs or lightweight sandals for use at home.


1 pair of athletic shoes.


3 pairs of athletic socks.


1 set of gym clothes.


12 pairs of pantyhose, thigh highs or knee-highs.  (Knee highs should be long enough to be covered by your skirt).


12 pairs of garments.  Recommended fabric for the garment is cotton, cotton/polyester or other fabrics recommended for hot, humid climates. 


Lightweight pajamas.  Robe and slippers as needed.


1 set of casual clothing for work or ‘preparation day’ activities.  (Pants must be full-length).


Personal toiletries, small first-aid kit, sewing kit and laundry bag.


Battery operated alarm clock.


1 twin size bedding set (flat sheet, fitted sheet, pillow case).


1 bath towel, hand towel and wash cloth.


Slips and bras should be white or cream colored.

Jewelry is appropriate but should look conservative and professional.

The following is not appropriate missionary attire.

·                      Tight fitting, oversized or faddish clothing

·                      Wraparound skirts, sundresses with blouses

·                      Slits above the knee

·                      Patterned nylons

·                      T-shirts, sweatshirts, polo shirts, golf shirts

·                      Casual fabrics such as 100% cotton and denim, leather, unpressed or crinkled fabrics, sheer fabrics, fabrics which wrinkle easily

·                      Pants, above mid-calf or floor-length skirts or dresses

·                      Sandals

·                      Toe rings, thumb rings, ankle bracelets, friendship bracelets, multiple earrings).


Plan to look and feel PROFESSIONAL in your attire.  Plan to ‘dress up’ on Sundays in your Sunday best.  The Sabbath is a special day for missionaries; dress should reflect respect and love for the Savior and set a good example for the members.


It is important to note that Thailand has 220 voltage.  Please bring only items (hair blowers, curling irons, etc) with the appropriate voltage capacity.  These items are available for purchase in Thailand.


Clothing sizes available in Thailand are small to medium.  Shoes larger than size 8 are difficult to find.  In addition, many sizes of sanitary napkins are available in Thailand, however, tampons are available in small to medium sizes only.  If large or super size tampons are needed, it is recommended a supply be brought with you to the mission field.






1 Suit, traditional style and cut, professional look, conservative, dark colors (black, charcoal gray, navy, brown).


8 - 10 White shirts (short sleeve), cotton/polyester blend, business-like style.


4 - 6 pairs of dress slacks; dark, single color with a conservative cut.


2 belts, black or dark brown with conservative buckles.


4 - 6 ties, conservative in color and design.


24 pairs dress socks; solid, dark color socks.


3 pairs athletic socks


3 pairs of shoes; black or brown, slip on style recommended; conservative, comfortable shoes which can be polished.  Any light colored string above the sole should be blackened with a permanent dye or marker.           


1 pair of athletic shoes


12 pairs of garments.  Recommended fabric for the garment is cotton, cotton/polyester or other fabrics recommended for hot, humid climates.


1 set of baptismal clothing.


Lightweight pajamas.  Robe and slippers as needed


1 set of casual clothing for work or ‘preparation day’ activities.  (Pants must be full length).


1 set of gym clothes; shorts, T-shirt, supportive undergarments.


8 - 10 handkerchiefs.


1 pair rubber thongs or lightweight sandals for use at home.


Shaving equipment as needed.


Personal toiletries, small first-aid kit, sewing kit and laundry bag.


Battery operated alarm clock.


1 twin size bedding set (flat sheet, fitted sheet, pillow case).


1 bath towel, hand towel and wash cloth.


The following is not appropriate missionary attire:

·                      Sports coats

·                      Baggy pants

·                      Extreme or faddish styles

·                      Tan or other light color pants or suits

·                      Casual fabrics such as denim or 100% cotton

·                      Fabrics which wrinkle easily

·                      Braided leather, metal studded or canvas belts

·                      Ties with characters or pictures, bow ties or string ties, extremely wide or narrow ties

·                      Cowboy boots or other boots, casual or faddish style shoes, canvas, suede or any other style which detracts from the missionary image.


It is important to note that Thailand has 220 voltage.  Please bring only items (shavers, etc) with appropriate voltage capacity.  These items are available for purchase in Thailand.


Also, please note that ready made clothing in Thailand is available in sizes small to medium.  Large size clothing and shoes larger than size 10 are difficult to find. 





You are a missionary  "...called of God..."  and encouraged to "respect the local customs and traditions where you are laboring." (Missionary Handbook, pp. 7, 12-13)  Therefore, it is important that you know and understand the customs and traditions of Thailand and the Thai people.  Brother Ken Watanabe said, "Unless you know ...the culture of your area, it is hard for you to help people understand the gospel in its full perspective...."   Living in a foreign land includes learning customs, traditions, and cultures that are different than our own.  Some common rules of etiquette are universal, but there are many additional customs and elements of society in Thailand, which must be heeded.  The following advice has been given by Thai members of the church:


1.      Thailand is a constitutional monarchy.  The King and the Queen are highly respected by the people of Thailand.  Never criticize the King or any member of the royal family. There are laws against such behavior.   Do not disrespectfully treat, step on, or sit on a picture or poster of the King or queen.  When the King's anthem is played in a public place, stand up as a measure of respect.  Never leave before the anthem starts or until it is finished.  In many areas, the national anthem is played over radios and loudspeakers.  When the anthem is played, pause and face the flag.  Treat the Thai flag respectfully and do not let it touch the ground.


2.      About ninety-four percent of all Thais are Buddhists who worship the many Buddha images. These images have been cast in order to preside over their various religious ceremonies. Buddhists of all ages deeply revere and cherish these images.  It is, therefore, strictly forbidden to abuse these images in any manner.  Do not touch, climb on, sit on, or make negative comments about any Buddhist religious object, image, practice or culture.  Do not stand by a Buddhist image and make light of it by striking a pose with arms or fingers uplifted.  Do not sit on a Buddhist image, lean against it, substitute your head for its absent head or any similar action.  In Thailand it is a crime to criticize the Buddhist religion, even by implication.  In the past, Elders in this mission were imprisoned for such conduct. The utmost caution and respect must be observed whenever you are around any type of Buddhist image, artifact, or idol.


3.      When older people sit on the floor, do not sit on chairs or anything else higher than them.  It is appropriate to sit on cushions but not on sleeping pillows. When sitting on chairs or couches, do not sit with legs spread widely apart and do not sit cross-legged by placing one ankle on the opposite knee.  Do not shake or wriggle your foot.  Do not expose the bottom of your foot to another’s view.  Do not use your foot to point or open a door.


4.      The head should be treated respectfully and the foot should be kept away from the head.  Never touch the head or shoulder of another.  Do not throw or pass things over anyone's head.  The foot should not be pointed at any object or be used to open a door.


5.      Avoid stamping your feet on the floor.  Those who pass the sacrament should walk quietly and respectfully.  Walk quietly up and down stairs during meetings.


6.      Fingernails should not be clipped in public.  All personal grooming should be taken care of in private. If necessary to pick your teeth in public, always cover the mouth with the opposite hand.


7.      When you are served water it would be impolite to refuse.   If you are unsure of the quality of the water, pretend to sip a little to acknowledge their graciousness.


8.      When eating food offered by members or investigators eat modest amounts of food.  Thais sometimes respond to a clean plate by feeling obligated to offer more food, even when they cannot afford it.


9.      Personal dress and grooming standards should be in accordance with your calling as a representative of Jesus Christ. Thais are very aware of behavior and appearance.   Hair should be neatly combed, shoes should be shined and hands and face clean.  Bathe daily and always use deodorant.


10.  "Conduct yourself with quiet dignity and avoid loud speaking...."  (Missionary Handbook, p.14)  Do not whistle or snap your fingers on the street or on buses.  Do not spit.


11.  Licking stamps in public is not acceptable.  Sponge water wells are provided at all post offices.


12.  Carry tennis shoes, towels, gym clothes, etc. in a bag.


13.  It is improper to wear long-sleeve shirts with the sleeves rolled up.


14.  Thais show respect in two areas: people, and things. They are called, puuchaniiya bukkhon (respectable people, such as teachers and monks) and puuchaneeya sathaan (respectable places, such as the King's palace, monasteries, and temples).  Thais have a high attitude toward these respectable people because of the good role that they play in their lives. Teachers teach them worldly knowledge and monks teach them spiritual knowledge.  These people also set good examples for them.  As a messenger of the gospel, you deserve their respect.  Respect brings about faith and  trust.  Your appearance and conduct should be respectable and dignified.


15.  When entering a room or an area where there are many age levels of people, the elderly and adults should be acknowledged. Then proceed to talk to the younger people.


16.  Thais are brought up differently than people of western societies. One of the most important and visible characteristics of Thai society is the reserved relationship between young men and young women. Do not tease or play with members of the opposite gender.  Any business with members of the opposite gender should be conducted quietly and professionally.   Always be aware of the impressions you give.  Nicknames should never be used.  These may carry romantic connotations and are improper.   In addition, members should not call you by your first name or by a nickname.  They may need to be reminded that your name is Elder or Sister.  Avoid relationships that are not dignified or worthy of your call as a missionary.  Greet all members and investigators when they come to church and make them feel welcome. However, do not sit by investigators or members of the opposite gender.


17.  Unless you are a branch president, don't get involved in the personal lives of the members.   Members should be advised to counsel with their priesthood authority.   Every effort should be taken to encourage dependence upon on their priesthood leaders and fellow members rather than the missionaries.  Never loan money or promise financial assistance from you or the church to members or investigators.


18.  Before participating in any activities with members or investigators, missionaries should determine if their actions will strengthen the members’ testimonies and contribute to the progression of the church.


19.  Members should be encouraged to fellowship and take a special interest in investigators.


20.  Missionaries should wai people of his own age or older and it is acceptable to wai them first.  Younger people should be allowed to wai missionaries first.  Missionaries should wai investigators and in most cases, members will wai the missionaries first.    Waiing is usually done at the level of your mouth.


21.  Missionaries should address investigators as brother and sister as soon as is appropriate .


22.  Always use proper language and do not use slang or idioms.  When speaking to people, look them in the eye and speak very politely.


The Church is growing rapidly in Thailand because of the tremendous efforts of missionaries. In the sight of the Thai people, missionaries are teachers of religion and are admirable and deserving of respect.  It is important to conduct yourself with quiet dignity,  to display proper manners and to respect Thai customs.


Part of the LDS Mission Networksm · The mission home of the World Wide
Copyright © 2002 - Dale C. Fritchen - All rights reserved.
"Site-in-a-Box" (SIB) is a service mark of the LDS Mission Network. Version 2.1