While I was doing a little homework on the article preceding this one, I found a delightful article from the Ensign (the LDS church’s official magazine) from 1972. At the end of the article is this list of suggestions for young women who are serving missions. I can’t decide if we’ve come very far from that or not.
Suggestions to Sister Missionaries
Exercise for a few minutes every morning; then eat a good breakfast and do not piece before lunch unless you want to put on weight.
In some places you can save a lot of time by eating your hot meal in an inexpensive restaurant or boarding house.
Make weekly menus and shop for as long a period as possible. This saves time and money and you will not buy as many high-calorie treats.
When cooking, make enough at one time for at least two meals.
Do not have a food fad where you eat the same things every day.
Eat at least one hot meal per day.
If you are one pound overweight, it is too much. Take it off!
Instead of stopping at a bakery for a quick lunch, stop at the store and buy a yogurt, some cottage cheese, or some such prepared, healthy food. Carry an apple or raw vegetable to tide you over until dinner. (We always carried a spoon in our handbags for meals away from the apartment.)
When invited to dinner you do not have to say you are on a diet; just take small helpings, no seconds, and cut down the next day. This way you do not offend the host, and you can still accept invitations to dinner.
Never, never eat late at night! When you come home late after a discussion and you have not had time for dinner, eat a little salad or fruit and then go straight to bed and think how much skinnier you will be by not eating a large meal until morning.
Chew gum only in the privacy of your apartment.
Elders’ most frequent complaints are about sisters’ hair. Have a neat and easy style—not too short or it will look like the elders’, and long enough so that it can be curled on Sunday and for special occasions.
Sleep on a satin pillowcase; this preserves hair style and also femininity.
Do not feel that because you are a missionary you cannot wear makeup. Do wear a minimum, but do not go completely without it.
Buy clothes that are easy to care for.
Whatever your wardrobe or climate, put on clean underclothes every day (even if it means taking five minutes the night before to rinse them out).
Do not carry one of those suitcase handbags that sister missionaries are so notorious for. Carry only the essentials in a medium-sized one, and put pamphlets or books in a separate plastic or leather case. (They will not get dog-eared this way.)
Carry a combination rain-wind bonnet, some tissues, and a couple of disposable, scented towels in your handbag. (The towels are nice for freshening up during a day away from your flat.)
Spark up those drab colors with scarves and bows.
Learn how to make those quick, no-bake chocolate cookies for branch picnics.
Do not ever slap or poke an elder.
Expect and then allow elders to open doors, help into cars, put on wraps, and start your motor bikes. Do not ignore their efforts, but do not be obnoxious if they should forget sometimes.
Have a BNTE Week (Be Nice to Elders Week) where you either cook something good or do something nice for your district. If you do this, remember that this week especially you must work like a whirlwind so no one can say that you borrowed the Lord’s time. Make it a top week in service and in work also.
Always participate with the elders on preparation day. If it is something you cannot do, then at least be there to watch or cheer. This does wonders for mutual respect between elders and sisters.
If you get depressed, set aside a little time that day to do whatever raises your spirits. For example, spend extra time on your hair, take a long shower, schedule a time for meditation, and then pray earnestly for help from the Lord. Lose yourself in the Spirit and work very, very hard.