Tuesday, March 13, 2012

To take or not to take, that is the question...

Well that time to hit the road is quickly approaching! James and I are very excited to begin this journey of deputation. This last Friday, we were blessed to buy a 2007 Honda Pilot with only 68,000 miles on it. (We plan to add a few more miles to that number.)  We praise the Lord for providing a vehicle within our budget! So now that we are very spoiled in our new SUV with heated seats and a sun roof, we are even more excited to travel the country. 

On March 28th we start deputation! This excites me for a few reasons. One reason is that will mean all of my "to-do's" of packing and organizing will be completed. Packing, what an ugly word. Now for those of you who are missionaries know what I mean when I say it is much harder to pack when you are leaving the house for a few months at a time. ( I can't even imagine packing with children!!) It is even harder to sort through all of your treasures and decide what to store, what to give away, and what to send over to Russia. Thankfully, I haven't quite pulled out all of my hair yet. I take it one day, one tub at a time. So far not so bad! And I still have some time left! 

My husband is afraid I will want to take the bath tub and kitchen sink along with us, when really all I want to pack are my twelve pairs of shoes. 

Some of the lucky chosen few. 
Yes, that's right only twelve.  I was so excited to tell him I narrowed down my shoes for deputation to only twelve! You would have thought I told him I was taking the whole house with his reaction. Sheesh... Does he even consider all those other pairs of shoes that are stuffed in a tub completely forgotten about until August? It was a difficult choice but it had to be made. I think this will only make me a stronger woman. There should be an award or certificate for those who successfully pack for deputation. Men just don't realize the sacrifices we make. :) 

I plan to pack for about 2-3 weeks and rotate clothing. And believe it or not I am trying to pack conservatively, even though to my husband it may not seem like it. But after all we did just buy a new  (BIGGER) car, and if he packs light that mean I can pack extra! Right?! 

I know I'm not alone in this packing for deputation/furlough obstacle course. And I am sure it gets easier and there is a science. But I'm a newbie. I would be interested to hear any stories or strategies that anyone has! 

Until next time, good night and good morning to all those on different time zones! 

From the Heart of my Closet,
Amber Pranger

P.S Thank you ladies for the helpful comments! Maybe I will be more careful as to what I pack :). In my defense though, those twelve pairs of shoes include some flip flops and flats. Haha Maybe I'll put a couple more pairs away and go with a solid ten :). I will definitely use all your tips! We can't wait to make lots of memories on our trip! 


  1. Oh wow! JUST twelve pairs of shoes!? Ha! I would love to be a fly on the wall as you two pack. :) You are right, you are a newbie. I believe the most pairs I ever took were four or five. Just keep reminding yourself that at the most you will only see one group of people (one church) for a week of a mission's conference. Make sure you have enough outfits for an entire week. It's tough switching to that mindset but you can do it! Also, it helps to pack along as many "pull it straight out of the bag and wear it" articles you have. They will definitely come in handy! Also, get in the habit of rolling your clothes up into small tight rolls as you pack them to give you more room for all those cute shoes you want to bring! :)We are so excited that you two are hitting the deputation trail. :) Love you!

  2. You know that material that you can stuff in a suitcase, pull it out, and it's wrinkle free? It's amazing and a must for the trail. We used a plastic tote to organize stuff and small suitcases to take to the room. That worked well for us. Like Mrs. Sterling said you can wear the same clothes since you see different people every week. It does get old, but it makes getting to field sweeter when you can pull clothes out of the shkof instead of the suitcase! :) Skirts and shirts are nice because you can mix and match. This helped my sanity on those days I was so sick of wearing the same thing over and over again. :) You will pick up a lot of stuff along the road. Churches are giving and loving and often take you shopping. Cute shoes by the way. :) I started with several but the number dwindled down to 5 after the first 6 months. Have fun! Deputation is what you make it! :)

  3. I have to agree with these other ladies. I believe I only had four pairs of shoes and a little over a week´s worth of clothes maybe a little more. Take your very favorite outfits. You will probably pick up things or be given things along the way. It is better to have too little that to have too much. Remember that car is your home and it can only handle so much. Congrats on starting deputation. Take time to stop and enjoy the roses. Because you never know what you will end up seeing. Take lots of pictures they will be little reminders later of what God did along the way.

  4. You should talk to my sister, she's the expert light packer! I thought I was good, but she takes a book bag to camp for a week! I agree with the others - you only see the people for a short time, they don't know you are wearing the same # of outfits over and over.
    Enjoy deputation! Some of your greatest friends can be made during this time! No, I've never been on deputation myself, but I've done a far share of traveling! ;) so you guys coming to Alaska sometime during deputation? Sure hope so!!! (and I hope its while I'm there!)

  5. You do accumulate things along the way whether you want to or not. But I purposed to! I was thinking kids clothes and shoes for a four year term, and so I hit thrift stores everywhere I went. Yes, we had a packed out minivan, but you do usually make trips back to your home base every few weeks so I just unloaded it all and started over again. It was fun and what's more, it saved us tons of money in Seth's clothes. Only do that though if you will be sending over a container or will be able to take lots of luggage on the plane.