Be Prepared – A Newsletter for Prospective & Current LDS Missionaries (Feb. 2013 issue)

Be  Prepared  – A Newsletter for Prospective and Current LDS Missionaries ©   –  February 2013                                                                                                

 Welcome to the very first issue of BE PREPARED! 

Each issue will have a spiritual thought and information on a variety of topics to help you be as prepared as you can be before and during your mission.   Some of the topics I will address are basic cooking (including inexpensive, easy-to-make and delicious meals/desserts), cleaning, laundry, food safety, personal safety, first aid, time management, money management, conflict resolution, self-defense, how to stay warm in cold weather, how to stay cool in warm weather, simple car/bike repairs, physical & emotional health education (with a disclaimer) how to encourage members of the church to share the gospel with others, and more.  Beginning with the second issue of BE PREPARED, an index will be provided on topics covered in the current newsletter and all previous issues.  This will make it easier for you to find topics you are interested in.

It is important to note that if any information provided conflicts with any of your mission rules, you should disregard advice given in the newsletter.  I encourage you to always strive to follow the mission rules and the commandments and teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I want to personally thank each and every one of you for the sacrifices that you have and are making to serve the Lord.  I commend you, and I support you.  You have the love and support from many.


Valerie J. Fulmer


Spiritual Thought

Mountains to Climb by President Henry B. Eyring

First Counselor in the First Presidency

Many of you are now passing through physical, mental, and emotional trials that could cause you to cry out as did one great and faithful servant of God I knew well. His nurse heard him exclaim from his bed of pain, “When I have tried all my life to be good, why has this happened to me?”

You know how the Lord answered that question for the Prophet Joseph Smith, in his prison cell:

“And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

“The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?

“Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.”

“If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. In all conditions, we can choose the right with the guidance of the Spirit. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ to shape and guide our lives if we choose it. And with prophets revealing to us our place in the plan of salvation, we can live with perfect hope and a feeling of peace. We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord’s service because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up. And He always keeps His word.”

Editor’s note:  I hope and pray that as you read this newsletter each month, you will be encouraged and uplifted.  You will learn things spiritual and temporal to help you in different ways.

I appreciate each of you.  Your fellow Latter-day Saints appreciate you.  The Lord loves you more than you can comprehend.  Keep doing your best and the Lord will take care of the rest. 

Shopping Tips1. Make a list.  A grocery list speeds your shopping, ensures that you buy everything you need and limits impulse buying.2.  Plan list around a weekly menu.  Check store specials in weekly ads to decide which store has the best buys around your menu.3.  Hang a tablet or notepad in the kitchen to jot down things you need including staples (basic food items) that you might be running low on.4.  (If you’d prefer), Arrange your shopping list around the floor plan of the grocery store.

5.  Once in the store, stick to your shopping list (unless you see something else you really need)

6.  Shop stores you are familiar with so you don’t waste time searching for items.

7.  Avoid shopping during rush hour and on weekends if possible.

8.  Avoid shopping when you are hungry or tired (you may end up buying more food than you planned on or need).

9.  Take along a calculator to keep a running tab of purchases so you won’t go over your budget.

10.  Each month purchase extra food items for an emergency food supply kit.

Food Safety

Keep it clean!  Use clean hands, clean food, clean utensils and clean surfaces.

1.  Wash your hands with soap and water before handling food – especially after using the toilet.

2.  Wash counters, cutting boards and utensils after handling raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs.  Wipe with diluted bleach (1 Tbsp. of chlorine bleach in a gallon of water).

3.  Put pans under raw meat, poultry and seafood in the refrigerator to keep them from dripping onto other foods.

4.  Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables with water before eating or preparing them.

5.  Never put cooked meat or poultry on the same plate or in the same unwashed container that held the raw meat.

Cook it well!  Thorough cooking kills bacteria.  These are signs that your food is “well done”.

1. Ground meat is no longer pink.

2.  Poultry meat juices are clear.

3.  White fish looks milky and flakes easily with fork.

4. Clams look milky-white.

5. Egg whites are white and firm.

Cool it soon!  Bacteria grows fast when food is lukewarm.  Don’t keep cooked foods (like meat, casseroles, vegetables, ,pasta and potato salads) at room temperature longer than 2 to 3 hours.  (Source:  Oregon State University Extension Service


Creamy Chicken and Rotini Primavera

By Anne Coleman

This substitute sauce is as good as the real deal, but better for you and less expensive, about $1.35 per serving. Add whatever vegetable combination you like and feel free to use cheaper chicken cuts to make this even more budget-minded.

            Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


1/2 pound dry rotini
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast – cubed
1 pound frozen vegetable mix – thawed
4 ounces Neufchatel cheese (reduced fat cream cheese)
1/2 cup lite Italian dressing
1/2 cup 2% fat milk


  1.  Cook rotini per package directions to desired doneness. Drain well and keep warm.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken cubes and cook until no longer pink.
  3. Combine cream cheese, dressing and milk and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add thawed frozen vegetables to chicken along with sauce mixture. Stir well and heat through – about 5 minutes. Serve.

See more recipes from Anne Coleman (aka Short Order Mom).

Laundry tips

  Wash and wear

Separate white and colored items.  If you wash your whites with colored clothes, over time they will take on a gray tinge.  Lint from light clothing also will stick like glue to your dark clothes.  You’ll want to sort our delicate items too.  A thin nightgown can be torn to shreds by a zipper on a pair of jeans.  Wash delicate items on a delicate cycle or by hand.  To make your clothes last longer, wash clothes with care.  Never overload the washing machine; clothes that are stuffed too tightly into the washer tend to rub together and cause pulling.  To prevent snags, close all zippers and fasteners before washing.  Turn pockets inside out to make sure they are empty; one ball point pen left in a pocket can ruin a whole load of clothes.  And I can attest to that….LOL!!!  Remove wash as soon as it is done, and either hang it up to dry or put it into the dryer.

  Presoaking and pre-washing

If clothes need presoaking, put clothes, soap and water in the washing machine, let it stand for several minutes, then turn off the washer.  You’re saving time, water, and soap by not using a separate pre wash cycle first.  Treat stains with a pre-wash spray or squirt a little detergent on them.  Mix small and large items in each load to circulate and distribute the load evenly around the wash basket.

Soap solutions

Most laundry detergents are highly concentrated.  Experiment with the brand that you use.  Many times you can use about 1/2 to 3/4 of the recommended amount and still get your clothes just as clean. If you have an extra large capacity washer or very hard water, you may need to use little extra detergent to get clothes clean.  If you use a powdered detergent that comes with a measuring scoop, make sure you are not using more than the recommended amount.  Some scoops are made to fill all the way to the top, while others have a “fill to” line much lower.  Don’t use more detergent than you need.        After adding detergent, read the label on the package.  You want to use enough detergent to make a few suds, but making a mountain of suds will not get your clothes any cleaner.  Usually, you’ll need to add 1/2 cup or a scoop of powdered detergent, or one capful of the liquid detergent for a full load.


When you need to bleach clothes, add 1 cup chlorine bleach diluted in 1 quart of water to the machine a few minutes after it has been running.  This will allow the detergent some time to do its job and ensure that the bleach gets evenly distributed quickly.  If the machine has an automatic bleach dispenser, follow the manufacturer’s directions.  To give bleach more time to do its job, let the machine run for a few more minutes after adding it, then turn off the machine and let the clothes soak for 10 minutes.  Start the machine again and let it finish the wash cycle.

 Lint Hints

Lint is usually caused by one of these five problems:  Overfilling the washing machine.  Not using enough laundry detergent to hold lint in suspension.  Using a dirty lint filter (lint trap). Using too much bleach.  Washing light and dark clothes in the same load.  To avoid lint, follow these guidelines:  Fill the washing machine no more than about two thirds full.  Always measure out the amount of detergent for each load.  Look on the box or bottle to see how much is needed.  Clean the dryer’s lint filter after each use.  A clogged filter will restrict air flow, and your dryer will use more energy to get the clothes dry.  Keep a small trash can near the dryer so you can quickly remove and dispose of lint.  When using bleach for a load of laundry, don’t go crazy.  One cup of bleach per load of laundry is plenty to get the job done.  The old saying “if a little is good, then a lot must be great” does not hold true here.  Sort laundry before washing.  Wash light colored clothes separately from dark colored ones.  Turn dark colored garments inside out before washing so light colored lint won’t show if it gets on the dark clothing.  When you turn it right side out any traces of lint will be on the inside.


Shake the clothes before you put them into the dryer.  This will separate them and speed up drying time.  And don’t overyou’re your clothes; this makes fabric stiff and wrinkled and shortens its life.  Remove clothes as soon as they are dry, and hang them up immediately.

Super duper stain remover

1/2 cup ammonia                      1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup baking soda                2 tablespoons liquid soap
2 quarts water

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a spray bottle.  Spray the solution on the stain and let it soak for a few minutes before washing as usual.  Shake the solution before each use.

Smart solutions

Instead of buying an expensive all color bleach product, try adding either 1/2 cup of white vinegar or 1/2 cup baking soda to the wash load.  Either one will help clean and brighten clothes–and both are priced right.               To cut down on pilling, wash synthetic fibers separately from terry cloth & other fabrics that tend to rub.  When possible, line-dry items that are likely to pill.

Wash your delicate clothes in a pillow case instead of buying a special lingerie bag.  Place the clothes in the pillow case (an old, thin one works best), & tie a knot in the end.  Running your washing machine on the delicate setting or the shortest wash cycle.  To eliminate static electricity, add 1 tbsp. white vinegar to the final rinse waster if you choose not to use fabric softener.



Simple Bike Repairs

 1. Check cassette tightness:   Most of the bikes I’ve worked on during my years in shops have had loose cassettes. This can damage the freehub body, slop up your shifting, and cause one of those mystery noises you can never quite track down and eliminate.

The Procedure: First, you need a tool–the cassette lockring remover–specially made to fit your cassette. They’re inexpensive: $6-$10 at most shops. Remove the rear wheel from the frame, then remove the quick-release from the hub. Fit the cassette tool into the grooves of the cassette lockring.

Some tools are made with a skewer that fits inside the axle to secure the tool on the cassette lockring. (If it backs out while you’re applying pressure, it can strip the lockring.) If yours doesn’t have the skewer, slide the QR through the axle then through the tool, and hand-tighten the cone nut onto the threaded end of the QR. With an adjustable or box wrench, cinch the lockring tight by turning the tool clockwise (righty tighty). If the lockring makes more than half a rotation, take your bike to a shop for evaluation; the cassette, freehub, chain or dropout may have been damaged as you rode.

2. Silence a creaky handlebar:  This is one of the most maddening minor maladies in cycling. During climbs, sprints or hard efforts, a noisy handlebar will drive you and your riding friends (or missionary companion) nuts.

The Procedure: Loosen the bar clamp bolt or bolts. If your stem has a removable faceplate, simply take the bar out of the clamp. If not, slide the bar over enough to expose the entire clamping surface. Sometimes you can do this by simply peeling off a few rotations of bar tape on the opposite side; if you have to remove more tape, and the brake and shift levers, you’re looking at a 15- to 20-minute job.

With a clean rag and degreaser, wipe off the surface area on the handlebar and the clamping surface of the stem. For stems without a removable faceplate, spray a penetrant such as WD-40 or Tri-Flow into the small gap between bar and clamp. Lightly grease the clamp portion of the bar and stem, plus the clamp bolts. Reinstall the bar, adjust the position so your levers are in their original spots, and double-check bolt tension. Following the manufacturer’s recommended torque is safest. Also note that grease might not be recommended for some bar and stem combos, such as carbon. Check with your bike shop or the manufacturer’s spec sheet.

3. Quiet a squeaky saddle:  This is even more annoying than a chatty handlebar, because the noise from a squeaking seat is nearly constant.  The Procedure: Note the fore-aft position and slant of your seat (to make reinstallation easier) then remove it by loosening the bolt or bolts on the seatpost clamp. With a clean rag and degreaser, wipe the seat rails and clamping surface of the seatpost. Apply a light layer of waterproof grease to the clamping surface, then reinstall your saddle. If this doesn’t work, talk really loud when you ride.

4. Grease the brake bosses on cantilever brakes:  Ignore this for a season or two–as most mountain bikers do–and the bosses, or posts, that your brake arms are mounted on can rust or become contaminated with grit, which decreases the efficiency of your braking action.

The Procedure: Release the straddle cable so there’s no tension on the brake arms. Loosen the bolt that fits through the brake and into the boss. Remove the bolt, noticing which post hole the brake spring sits in. (There are usually three.) During reinstallation, you want to return the spring to the original hole so the braking force and spring-back remain the same. Pull the brake arm off the fork. With a clean rag and degreaser, clean the surface of the bosses, as well as the inside of the cylinder on the brake arm that fits over the bosses. Wipe off excess degreaser, then apply a light layer of waterproof grease to the bosses. Reinstall the brake arms, tighten the boss bolts, and reconnect the straddle cable.



Money-Saving Tips

(Adapted from an article featuring Teri Gault, founder of and author of “Shop Smart, Save More.”)

1. Cut down your food bill
Food is the second-biggest expense for many households. Instead of buying groceries when you run out and paying full price, stock up on things you like to eat when they are on sale. You’ll save about 50 percent, and if you add a coupon, about 67 percent.
2. Take your lunch
You don’t even have to “make” a lunch to take your lunch to work. When delicious frozen meals are on sale, stock up. Packing lunch just three times a week, instead of buying it outside, can save you more than $100 a month.
3. Pack a handkerchief! 
Packing a simple item like a handkerchief can prevent so much!  An appropriately-produced handkerchief can be used as a barrier to keep bicycle grease, dust, runny noses, and even your own dirty hands from messing up your clean slacks and crisp white shirt.  Not to mention wiping the sweat off your brow when teaching your tough investigators.  Also functions as a towel, mini-umbrella and magic trick facilitator. Pack a fresh one every day!
4. Less linens, and cheaper 
Linens, including bedding and towels, have styles that go out of season. Search for the best deals on clearance items, because a Christmas towel will get you just as dry in February, or even July.  Learn to use one big towel, and keep a separate handtowel/washcloth, and it will cut down on your laundry bill.
5. Hit post-holiday sales for dishes and apartment supplies
Year-round post-holiday clearance sales are a great time to buy for great savings on everything for the kitchen.   Garage sales are another way to do the same, and you can meet a captive audience.


Note:  If anything advice in this newsletter conflicts with any of your mission rules then disregard the advice/info.  This newsletter is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  A website for this newsletter will eventually be made available.  More information on that to come soon!  Have a great month!

One thought on “Be Prepared – A Newsletter for Prospective & Current LDS Missionaries (Feb. 2013 issue)

  • If you would like the free newsletter emailed to you each month, please contact me at
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    Valerie Fulmer
    Editor of Be Prepared: A Newsletter for Prospective & Current LDS Missionaries

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