In 1992 my son Billy was called to serve a mission in Merida Mexico, leaving behind all of his friends, his family, music and television to serve 2 years of his life as a humble missionary in the Lord's vineyard.
Some of the biggest Mission Training Centers in the world is inside the realms of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In the Mission Training Center (MTC) thousands of young men and women ages 19 through 23 enter the MTC doors to prepare themselves for their 2 year mission. The boys serve 24 months and the girls serve only 18 months. In just 6 to 8 weeks these missionaries will learn the new language they will speak for the next 2 years in their new country. They will also learn the entire missionary teaching guide and format that will enable then to teach efficiently throughout those 2 years.
This sacred calling is not an obligation. It is a desire and a privilege for each young man and young woman who enters the mission field. This immense desire to serve a mission has been growing inside their hearts since they started primary.
Requisites to Serve a Full Time Mission
Everything in the church functions with a properly set of rules to follow, guidelines to sustain and and conduct. Every young man and woman in the church who wishes to serve a mission has certain requirements that permits them to do so.
"Line upon Line, Precept upon Precept"
***The new missionary must be single, unmarried and without any children.
***He cannot have any prior criminal records.
The prosperous missionary must first have a face to face interview with their Ward Bishop. After the interview is over the Bishop will hand the new missionary his mission papers. These papers are to be filled out and returned to the Bishop when the young man or young woman feels it is time to go on their mission.
Then once his mission papers are filled, an interview with their Stake President is then scheduled.
Mission papers are signed by the Bishop and the Stake President before they are sent to Salt Lake to be processed.
It takes about 5 to 6 weeks before the mission papers come back. Once the mission papers arrive the missionary is extremely excited to know that his long awaited day has finally arrived.
Note*** The new missionary can be called to serve anywhere around the world.
Then a few days or a week later a large manila envelope will arrive at the missionary's home with a list of all the things he or she need to serve their mission. A spiritual preparation list is included in this packet to help prepare the new missionary for his mission including a list of books they must take with them and the clothes required to serve in that region.
About a month before their departure day another large envelope will arrive from the travel agency with the missionary's departure date and airplane tickets to the Mission Training Center.
A complete physical by a medical physician is required along with a complete dental exam and dental care must also be completed.
Before their departure date all immunization shots the missionary needs for the country they will be serving in. Dental & physical exams must also be completed before their departure dates.
A list of clothes, books, important documents and passport must be gathered before leaving.
The new missionary prepares to attend the temple for their very special endowments.
The new missionary will be set apart by the Stake President as a missionary for the Church of JesusChrist of Latter Day Saints.
The new missionary begins to live the life of a missionary after attending the temple, they must also try to follow all mission rules and intense scripture study and prayer to prepare him for them for their sacred call.
Departure day arrives and the new missionary say their farewell's to family for 2 years.
The new missionary enters the Missionary Training Center for about 8 to 12 weeks where they will learns the new language spoken in the country they will be serving in. If they are serving in the United States then they will be taught for about 6 weeks before leaving the MTC.
Throughout the 2 years in which they will be serve their missions, they cannot receive or make any personal phone calls, no music is aloud...only church hymns are permitted, no worldly information like newspapers, media news, radio or television is allowed in order to keep the missionaries focused on their mission. They cannot attend any parties, they must go to bed by 9:30 pm and he must rise up every morning at 6:30 am. Their complete devotion to the Lord and mission rules are required in order to allow the Spirit of the Lord to guide, inspire and protect the missionary in their teachings of the gospel.