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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


  • 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

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


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    • William15 profile image


      7 years ago from America

      I appreciate your thoughtful and insightful article. My mission continues to influence me every day.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Miriam, you are in a very tough situation, but I would like to point out that uallmtteiy you are responsible for yourself and your self-fulfillment first and foremost. As a convert, I can tell you that my conversion 12 years ago was the best thing I ever did. The way you describe your situation, you would be, in effect, breaking an implied agreement by converting. The question you must answer for yourself is: is that commitment more important than your own self-fulfillment? In my opinion, it is not reasonable for a member of a marriage to prevent another person from making a religious conversion. Yes, it does mean that the relationship will change. Relationships change for a lot of different reasons all the time. People don't want children and then they do. People want to live in the city and then realize they want to move to the suburbs. A religious conversion is obviously the most personal thing possible, but uallmtteiy you are responsible for your own decisions about your personal life. Your husband is not.It seems clear to me that your converting to the Church would cause a lot of stress in your relationship. But if your husband truly sees you as a valuable human being with your own personal goals and desires, he should honor your choice even if he does not agree with it. Over time, people change and he may learn to accept your choice and perhaps eventually embrace it. It is worth pointing out that very often spouses are able to convert their husbands after they join the Church. This happened to my father-in-law after my mother-in-law joined the Church with my wife. He hated the change for about 10 years and now he loves the church. They were married in the temple and he is a loyal temple worker. It can happen.Good luck on your journey.

    • Wakerra profile image


      7 years ago

      I have less than 4 weeks and I finish my mission. Its been a very unique experience, both in spirit and the work itself

      I got the usual call as most missionaries do, I was called to serve in the Minneapolis, Minnesota mission. I left for the MTC in 2 months from the time I received my call. I got the luxury of being in the MTC for 3 weeks, (before the standard of ages was lowered and the center time shortened) before taking the plane out to the northern state. I served diligently, while struggling, for 6 months.

      My mission president was always getting the feeling that perhaps I just wasn't cut out for the mission field, as I struggled with my companions, rules, and various behaviors. But I knew that God had called me to Minnesota for a reason, and if I couldn't handle the mission, I wouldn't have been called to it. My mission president and I both learned, that in fact, there was someone I needed to be there for. While I have my ideas about who it could have been, I have not had it verified. About the middle of my fifth transfer, my mission president brought up the idea of an early return home again, but this time it was more of a choice, than an option.

      This hit me hard, and I really had to think about it. I knew I could handle a mission, and I wanted to finish. My release home would not be the end of my mission, but rather a transfer to service activities in the area, as designated by my stake president. I waffled over the idea for a long time, before finally making my choice and feeling good about it. I returned home at the end of that transfer and have found myself serving in more aspects of a mission than most would ever know existed!

      While most service missions run part time, I have been fulfilling my full time calling, and find myself busily filling the usual missionary scheduled time of 6:30 am - 10:30 pm. It has been stressful, tiresome, and difficult, but somehow I've managed to get through. Before I know it I'll be released and returning to "normal life", but what do I hope to take from my mission, that it might not be a waste of time, money, resources, and effort?

      I hope I can carry on more of a sense of responsibility of my duties to the Lord, the areas I will be called to serve, and those around me. I hope to continue in faith and humility, and to manage my time more tactfully between pleasures and the important things in life. Most of all, I don't want to forget the differences I've made in the lives of others, and the work that I've been able to move forward

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I think Family Home Evening is a great tool that can be used to prepare young men and women in the church for a mission. You can use fhe as an opportunity to share scriptures, your testimonies, and great lessons that will build a solid gospel understanding.

    • profile image

      Proform Pete 

      10 years ago

      A mission is definitely a life changing experience. My dad and all of my brother's have gone. I wasn't able to go but i admire those that serve diligently and honorably. Its going to be so fun to hang with my friends once they get home. We are all going to be so grown up. I can't wait.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      The training at the MTC is so efficient, I learned how to give a short testimony in Spanish after the first week.

    • TJBaruch profile image


      11 years ago from Clearwater, FL

      Goodness! In your list of 27 suggestions for how to prepare for missionary service there is not one suggestion related to prayer. Why is that?

    • liswilliams profile image


      11 years ago from South Africa

      Amen! I'm a missionary in South Africa, I have never experienced so much growth

    • Sp4rk1e profile image


      11 years ago

      This is a truly lovely hub! One which i'd like your permission to use as a family home evening lesson with my children if i may?

      Whenever I see one of our missionaries out there i smile, i feel so proud of each of them, no matter what the weather, or time of year they are out there doing what the Lord wants of them!


    • profile image


      12 years ago

      I loved the whole thing about this page! Simple and yet complete! Good example to us all!

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      My brother leaves for the Long Beach California Spanish Speaking mission in 2 weeks and he can barely contain his excitement:)

    • profile image

      Jaime Contreras 

      12 years ago

      Im going to be servin in ogden utah, soon nov. 19 2008 i have to report to the mtc, i cant wait, im so exited!!!!

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      12 years ago from California


      A mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is truly an experience of development and growth that can be learned in no other way. How awesome it is that both of your sons have had that opportunity to experience missionary work as a full time missionary. I will most definitly check out the blog that you left a link for. Thanks for stopping by.

    • TLC Grandparent profile image

      TLC Grandparent 

      12 years ago from Maryland, USA

      Nice article Diana. I know my mission had a life-changing effect on me. My first son went to Long Beach, CA on his mission. My second son is in Mexico City now. Last year he completely changed his life around. Now he loves serving the Lord and sharing the Gospel with the people of Mexico. Here's his blog my wife and I created for him:

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      12 years ago from California


      They do have some pretty incredible gifts because they are serving the Lord full time. I believe that being able to recall what is important is one of those gifts.

    • profile image

      Scott Chester 

      12 years ago

      I think the hardest part of the whole mission would be remembering the names of all the people they come in contact with. The fact that they are able to remember them is huge and a testimony to me that the Lord is on their side!

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      13 years ago from California


      It is probably the most rewarding experience in the world to see the growth of your own children and to see them find joy and happiness in their own lives. My son was a Mormon Missionary for two years preaching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to the wonderful people in Texas. He not only shared with others what Mormons believe, but he gained a stronger testimony of it himself. It was indeed work, very hard work, that took dedication and faith. As a Mormon Missionary Mom, I am truly blessed to have such a beautiful son and daughter who love the Lord.

    • solarshingles profile image


      13 years ago from london

      Diana, it have to be an amazing experience, full of joy and happiness watching your own son how he is changing into a young successful man! He looks so happy, positive and smart. I've worked with catholic missionaries from all over the world for many years and I admire their extremely hard working lives, which are totally devoted to people in need. Thank you for this wonderful hub about the Mormon's mom and her young missionary son.

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      13 years ago from California

      Hi Donna,

      I am glad you enjoyed the Hub. I am also glad that you have found the missionaires to be polite and pleasant people, after all they are really still "boys"! They are trained for this job from birth in most cases. lol That said, they do receive training at the MTC also. My son actually grew so much as he served, I can't even explain the difference that I saw. Thank you for your kind comments, and I hope your friend enjoys the Hub.

    • donnaleemason profile image


      13 years ago from North Dakota, USA

      I have met quite a number of missionarys on my travels and have always found them to be polite, well brought up young people. The training that they receive is obviously exceptional. I wish that more young people could learn the life lessons that they are. It would certainly make our world a better place. I am going to email this to my friend, I am sure that she will enjoy reading it. Thanks.

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      13 years ago from California

      Although in Hawaii, he is

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      13 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      lol just kidding around. Doesn't really matter what car a person drives. But thanks for the thought though, that's sweet of you.

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      13 years ago from California

      No, I am sorry...he drives a Scion!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      13 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      hahaha a date on a bug too lol

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      13 years ago from California


      If you were in Hawaii, I would set you up on a date! lol

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      13 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      By the way Diana, your son is very good looking. I also noticed that those that I have met are truly all good looking too. Hahaha Is there something I should know? hehe And do you know, I may have not mention it to you but one of my auntie (a catholic chinese who became a mormon) married a mormon from Utah. They lived there for awhile and now they are in Florida with 4 kids. They have visited the PHilippines a couple of times and I have enjoyed their company very much. :)

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      13 years ago from California


      Thank you for helping them out. I know that they were blessed by your kindness. They are simply young men trying to do what they believe to be right. It is so encouraging to have kindness shown to them. Thanks.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      13 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Diana, when i was working as a dentist, I had the opportunity to take care of a Mormon patient. As missionaries, I know they come in pairs so I got to talk to both and I found them to be really kind and sweet. Indeed there is much joy in missionary work. It is a blessing to be able to share His love to others.

    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      13 years ago from California

      Bocadike and JDM

      I love missionaries, that is for sure.

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      Missionary Work is AMAZING! But being in the MTC is also amazing but torture all at the same time. Be a missionary!!!! You will never find greater joy.

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      The experiences of a missionary not only benefit those investigating the church but they help prepare the young man for "life."

    • MrMarmalade profile image


      13 years ago from Sydney

      A Great hub

      Son three has started doing all this. He left home a boy for two years teaching indigenous children and came back a man.

      Thank you


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