So what are the best gifts for missionaries?
Before I offer some suggestions, here are some parameters to keep in mind:
- Missionaries are people, so a lot of what you consider when giving anybody else a gift applies here.
- More expensive gifts can be too auspicious for many missionaries; they might be embarassed to let others see their relatively expensive belongings. Others won’t know it was a gift. (We’ll talk about some exceptions later, though).
- Many missionaries have to move a lot, so think about how well something packs or how easy it is to move.
Taking those into consideration, here are some suggestions.
If you know the missionary has an iPad or a Kindle, get them a gift card for Amazon or iTunes.
Don’t get gift cards to restaurants unless you know they will be in your home country for a while. Otherwise, they might go unused. Also, if you get them a Starbucks gift card in one country, in my experience, it won’t work another country.
iPads and Kindles are the hottest electronics right now, and they make great gifts. Although expensive (especially the iPad!), they are small, useful, and move well. You have to know the missionary well enough to know if they already have one, or if they could use the latest one, or if they aren’t interested at all.
If you know enough to know what kind of electronics they have, but don’t want to spend all that money, you can get them a nice case or cover for it. Another useful item is a charging cord of AC adapter to charge the device. Accessories like that can add up dollar wise, but they can be a huge help.
Everything but the Kitchen Sink.
There are also lots of random items that work well.
- DVDs usually work well because they are so light and easy to travel with.
Missionaries share them with other missionaries, so your gift may be a blessing to many! Also, bad internet can limit how well they can download movies or use streaming services.
Even if the missionary wouldn’t normally read the magazine, it can be fun to see what’s going on back home. Sometimes, the advertisements can be the most interesting!
- Instant Starbucks Coffee.
Yes, many missionaries are coffee lovers, and many do not have a good coffee shop nearby. This can hit the spot.
Of course, I have to suggest Be a Fully Funded Missionary. A lot of people who buy it do so as a gift; it helps missionaries raise and keep the financial support they need. Get Be a Fully Funded Missionary.