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Why Be A Missionary, A Perspective From An LDS Mormon Missionary's Mom

Updated on December 29, 2011

My Mormon Missionary Son

Two years of LDS Missionary service has helped him become the person he is today!
Two years of LDS Missionary service has helped him become the person he is today!

My 19 Year Old Son- Mormon Missionary!

As a mother, and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, when I see those cute boys in white shirts and ties riding their bikes on the streets of my city I can't help but have a profound love for them. Yes, these young men you see, that certainly stand out in the crowd when compared to others their age, are the Mormon Missionaries.

Mormon missionaries are typically 19 year old boys, or 21 year old girls who have decided to sacrifice, (two years for boys, and one and a half years for girls) by dedicating a portion of their lives in full time service to the Lord. Most have been planning and preparing for this moment in their lives from the time they were little children and have looked forward with both excitement and anticipation. However, some have only had a short time to prepare due to their recent exposure and conversion to the gospel and now have a desire to share their conversion with others.

What ever the case may be, each are dedicated to serve the Lord the best way they can. The Lord himself has instructed us about the importance of missionary work when he declared unto His apostle Mark, " Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

Certain requirements or conditions including, but not limited to, those of good health, finance preparedness, and spiritual worthiness must be met before an individual can even submit their "papers" or application to be considered for service in the area of a full-time Mormon mission.

Once these conditions are met, the application is sent to Salt Lake City to the Church Office Building and they are personally reviewed by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It is here that the missionaries assignment it made, and he receives "his call" to serve.

The potential Mormon missionary is sent notification through the mail informing him where he will serve and some of the details of the area. This place of service is given by assignment, they do not choose for themselves where they will be going. When their papers are submitted they consent to go anywhere they are asked to go.

Mormon Missionaries Work In All Types Of Weather

Just like the mailman, Mormon Missionaries know that the message must be delivered.
Just like the mailman, Mormon Missionaries know that the message must be delivered.

Suggestions For Preparing For LDS Missionary Service

Finances

  • 1. Start a savings account if you do not already have one, and establish a program of regular savings. Set aside some money today, no matter how little it may be. Then, whenever you receive money, put at least part of it into a savings account for your Mormon mission.

  • 2. Get a part-time job, and save the extra money you make.

  • 3. Practice self-discipline. Make yourself a budget, and stick to it.

Physical Health

Social Skills

  • 1. Learn common rules of etiquette.

  • 2. Learn to like a wide variety of foods.

  • 3. Be punctual.

  • 4. Make a point to remember the names of people you meet for the first time.

Work and Study Habits

  • 1. Do something each day that you don't want to do that day or would otherwise put off. In this way, you can develop self-discipline.

  • 2. Do your schoolwork when you first get home from school, rather than put it off until later.

  • 3. Carry out your Church responsibilities faithfully.

  • 4. Apply yourself in seminary and in school. Do more than the required reading.

  • 5. Get in the habit of reading the scriptures daily.

  • 6. Memorize some scriptures from the Mormon missionary discussions.

  • 7. Spend some time each week setting goals and making a plan to reach your goals.

Language Skills

  • 1. Take a language class at school.

  • 2. If you are already studying a language, study it more diligently.

  • 3. Learn about the culture of the people whose language you are studying. Have the young men read Doctrine and Covenants 90:15.

Household Skills

  • 1. Learn to cook and plan menus. Do the shopping.

  • 2. Learn to sew, and mend your own clothes.

  • 3. Learn to wash and iron your own clothes.

  • 4. Collect recipes for dishes that are nutritious and simple to prepare.

Grooming and Cleanliness

  • 1. Learn to practice principles of personal cleanliness and good grooming.

  • 2. Begin now to observe Mormon missionary standards with respect to such things as Sunday dress and hair length.

  • 3. Keep your room clean without having to be told.

Mormon Missionaries at work around the world.

The Mormon Missionary Training Center or MTC

Next, the Mormon missionary takes the next couple of months becoming prepared to enter the Missionary Training Center or MTC. This time is used to acquire the proper clothing and receive all the needed preventative medical and dental treatments that will allow them to serve for their alloted time. After that, all that they are required to take with them is loaded into two travel size suit cases and they set off to enter into the MTC.

The first Mormon Missionary Training Center was located in Salt Lake City,Utah, but was called the Salt Lake Mission Home. It was soon moved to Provo, Utah and became the training location it is today. The MTC is sometimes referred to as "boot camp" for Mormon missionaries. The main purpose of the MTC is to instruct future Mormon missionaries in ways to teach the gospel effectively. Visit the Provo MTC at http://www.mtc.byu.edu/

The first MTCs outside the United States were established in Brazil and New Zealand in November 1977. There are now 16 international MTCs located in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, England, Ghana, Guatemala, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, and Spain.

The Mormon missionaries length of stay in the MTC depends on the type of Mormon mission they are to serve, English speaking Mormon missionaries stay for three weeks while foreign language Mormon missionaries stay for up to twelve weeks. Not only do the Mormon missionaries learn to teach, they are also given language instruction. It is hard work but a large amount of information is learned in as little time as possible.

Inside The Mormon MTC

Working in the referral center, this is where Mormon Missionaries follow up on leads that they are given from other Mormon members and friends.
Working in the referral center, this is where Mormon Missionaries follow up on leads that they are given from other Mormon members and friends.

The Mormon Mission Field- Where the Mormon Missionary Actually Ends up!

After the Mormon missionary is finished with their training in the MTC, they embark on the adventure that they have been assigned to. Each Mormon missionary is assigned a Mormon mission companion when they arrive at their destination and they are to remain with that companion at all times. One of the reasons for this rule is for safety, but it is also to fulfill the requirements of the law of witnesses as it instructs in Matthew 18, "that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." Here the Mormon missionary now begins working full-time teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. This not only involves finding those who would be willing to listen to them, but also teaching those already referred to them by members of the church in that area.

One may ask, why do they send boys out to teach and instruct when so many others may be more qualified? The answer is simple "Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." (Doctrine & Covenants 64:33) It is also recorded in 1 Corinthians,

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

A day in the life of Mormon missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. See what "Mormon" missionaries do every day!

Why Do They Do It?

I think Elder Thomas S. Monson, of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints, expressed the reason for all this volunteer work when he stated:

"The message is divine. I think our keynote was sounded by our Lord and our Savior, who stands at the head of the great army of missionaries worldwide. After His Resurrection, He appeared to His 11 disciples. He could have given them any counsel, any expression, any warning that He chose to give. But what did He say? It's recorded in Matthew 28:18-20. He said as follows:

"All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

What a promise! If we respond affirmatively to that sacred call, that binding authority, "I will be with you always, even unto the end of the world." I can't think of a greater promise.

The Prophet Joseph Smith said simply this: "After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel" What is the gospel? It is the message we take, a message that declares that an angel flew in the midst of heaven and that the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored."

Their belief in this wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ influences every aspect of their lives. It affects every decision they make altering the course of their lives because of these insights, especially with regard to things of eternal nature and fills their hearts with feelings of the spirit and their minds with increased understanding. That is why they do the things they do and say the things they say. They believe in a gospel that is dynamic, based on continuous revelation and eternal progression. Theirs is not a passive belief, but one that requires action. They sincerely believe they have an important message about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and believe it is a message of great gladness and joy, and that the Lord expects them to share it with the entire world. They do not feel that they are any better than anyone else, they just desire to share this precious gift of testimony they have with others.

LDS Converts Share Testimony

Leave As A Boy Come Home A Man

My son left for his Mormon mission as a boy who loved the Lord very much, but he returned home to us as a man, with the following gifts:

1. A knowledge of and love for God his Eternal Father and His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. A knowledge of and love for the scriptures, the word of the Lord.

3. An increased love for parents.

4. A love for the people among whom he labored.

5. An appreciation for hard work.

6. The assurance that the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is available to each of us when we live for it.

7. An understanding of the importance of teamwork.

8. The value of personal virtue.

9. The faith to act.

10. The humility to pray.

Although he was truly missed for the two years he spent in service of the Lord, it was a sacrifice for all of us, I would never trade that opportunity he had for anything in the world.

Mormon Missionaries

working

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