Your missionary is finally on their way home, and you couldn’t be more excited. When you meet them at the airport, you want to make sure that they feel special. Here are some fun ideas to make that first day home something truly remarkable.
Print a Vinyl Banner
Find a local store much like this one to print you out a large banner that says “Welcome Home!” and any other information you’d like to include such as mission location, missionary’s name, map of their mission, etc. A good sized banner for a project such as this is either a
1X5 or 4X10 depending on how many people will be there to welcome the missionary home.
Write Your Own Signs
Go to the store and purchase a poster board for each member of your family and markers. For family home evening the week before your missionary comes home, have every family member design their own personal banner for your welcome home party at the airport. Having this many signs at the airport is sure to make your missionary feel special.
Decorate Your Garage
Your garage is a huge canvas that you can use to welcome your missionary home in a unique way. Just remember by to open the door until your missionary sees it! Here are a few ideas for garage decor:
- A large suit, tie, and missionary badge that reads “Welcome Home Elder!”
- A large banner that says “Mission Accomplished!”
- A string banner made of ribbon and paper or burlap and twine that reads “Welcome Home!”
- The flag of your missionary’s country or state, or lettering in the country’s colors to avoid being disrespectful
- A map of your missionary’s mission with the areas they served highlighted in fun colors
- Streamers taped onto the door and ground with a cute “Welcome Home” sign taped behind them
Place Cups in Freeway Pedestrian Bridges
You’ve probably seen the red cups carefully placed in fenced pedestrian bridges that read “Welcome Home Elder ____.” This is an adorable way to welcome home a missionary without spending too much money. Always double check with local law to make sure that it is legal for you to do this project, but once you’ve verified, purchase red solo cups and packing tape and get to work. Put the cups in the holes and then tape 3-4 cups to the fence at a time to make sure that they won’t blown away, or you may be cited for littering. You will also need to come back and clean it up as soon as possible so that the cups don’t get stolen, blow away, or get rearranged so that they read inappropriate messages.
Cook Their Favorite Meal
Nothing says “Welcome Home” like a home cooked family favorite meal. Cook your missionary something that they love, as well as something that they couldn’t eat in their area. If you’re not sure what to make, ask them what they’d like to eat.
Tips and Tricks:
- Plan ahead. You never know how your missionary’s transfers are going to work out. They might get sent home a few days or even weeks earlier than anticipated due to a strange transfer schedule or how flights work out. Start planning your missionary’s homecoming 2-3 months in advance.
- Arrive early. If you are picking up your missionary from the airport, get there at least 30-45 minutes early. Their flight might arrive sooner than anticipated, and you wouldn’t want them to come home to an empty lobby. Of course, you can always keep an eye on the flights online, and you should just in case their flight is delayed.
- Think of your missionary. While you are just tickled to see your missionary for the first time in 18 months or 2 years, they have been traveling all day and will be completely exhausted. Don’t plan too many activities in the first few days of their arrival so that they will have plenty of time to relax and return to normal life.
- Keep it small. While it is fun to have all of your missionary’s friends and family at the airport, it can be overwhelming, and they’re not allowed to hug everyone anyway. Keep the actual airport scene small and personal, unless your missionary wants it as big as possible. Do be courteous of other travelers and do not block major walkways or be too loud.
Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you’re here you’ll find something that makes your #momlife easier!