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Cedar Fort
"Senior Missions: What to Expect and How to Prepare" is by Marnae B. Wilson.

"SENIOR MISSIONS: What to Expect and How to Prepare," by Marnae B. Wilson, Cedar Fort, $13.99, 176 pages (nf)

For many, serving a senior mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may seem to be out of the question — if only because there can be so many questions. In her recent book titled "Senior Missions: What to Expect and How to Prepare," author Marnae B. Wilson takes out the guesswork and gives seniors the answers they need to make educated decisions and successfully navigate the unknown.

Sharing what she learned — mainly through trial and error — while serving three LDS missions on three continents, two as a senior missionary, Wilson provides details about everything from making the initial decision to serve a mission, to filling out the application correctly, to how to handle financial decisions and what clothes to take, and the ins and outs of what to expect when it comes to using computers and cellphones in the mission field.

She teaches what to purchase, how to pack and how to put preparation priorities in order. Her comprehensive handbook helps readers learn how to handle health concerns and medications and what should be considered before leaving home. She also discusses spiritual preparation, even answering the question of what to do if scripture study has not yet been a focus.

Such a complete collection could have easily read like a laundry list. Instead, Wilson's treasure trove of tips is mixed with the "whys" behind her recommendations and short anecdotes, making it neither condescending nor trivial — and helpful for senior Mormon missionaries whether they will serve abroad or from their own home. In a style that is upbeat, friendly and even entertaining, she conveys the idea that there can be great joy in serving a senior mission, especially if some simple preparation is done to avoid the pitfalls.

Wilson served as a young missionary in Brazil and she and her husband have served in Portugal and the Africa Southeast Mission.

Cecily Markland Condie is a freelance writer, editor and author of "Hope: One Mile Ahead" and the children’s book "If I Made a Bug." She owns Inglestone Publishing and produces The Latter-day Signal, a newsletter of family-friendly events in Arizona.