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LDS Missionary Service (4)

How much is a missionary paid?

LDS missionaries serve at their own expense.  They are not paid nor compensated for their service.  Most missionaries have saved their own money and their families will often provide support as well.  If a young man or woman wants to serve a mission, but cannot afford it, they are often supported by members of their home ward or branch, who contribute monthly to their mission expenses.

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How long does a missionary serve?

LDS missionaries serve for 24 months (men) or 18 months (women).  Some senior couples who serve missions may serve for shorter periods of time.

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Can you sightsee while on your mission?

Since we live in and among the people in Italy, we have a lot of chances to see the country.  On our preparation day (one day a week), we can see the local sights.  We cannot take long excursions, however, that would be more than day trips.

We are not allowed to leave the boundaries of our mission, so visiting sites elsewhere in Italy can only be done after we have completed our two years service.  For example, in my case, Rome, Sardinia, Naples, Salerno, Sicily, Pompeii, Malta, and many other interesting locations are within my mission boundaries.  Florence, Tuscany, and Venice are in the Italy Milan Mission, so we cannot visit those areas during our missionary service.

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Do missionaries get to choose where they go?

No.  When a young man or woman wants to serve a mission, he or she submits a comprehensive application.  Some weeks after the application process is completed, a packet arrives in the mail.  The first page of that packet indicates where the missionary has been called to serve, along with a date the missionary is to report for training.  The missionary then accepts that calling.  Missionary assignment requests are not part of the application, and specific requests for assignments cannot be made.

Once a missionary arrives in the mission area, he or she is assigned to a missionary companion and a certain area to work.  Every 6 weeks, missionaries are moved around (these are called “transfers”).  Generally a missionary will remain in an area for at least 2 months, but rarely more than 4.  Area assignments are made by the mission president.

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LDS Church Teachings (1)

Do you teach out of the Bible?

Yes.  We teach from the Bible.

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Italy (3)

How long do you study Italian before going to Italy?

All U.S.-based LDS missionaries headed for Italy enter the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, where they spend 6 weeks in an intensive and immersive program in Italian.  At the end of the training, they report to their mission headquarters in Rome or Milan.  From there, they continue to learn Italian “on the job,” devoting time each day for language study and learning by conversing and interacting with the people of Italy.  Most missionaries return home from Italy quite fluent in the language.

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Does your mission include all of Italy?

No.  There are two LDS missions in Italy.  The Italy Milan Mission encompasses about the northern 1/3 of Italy and the Italy Rome Mission has the southern 2/3, plus the island nation of Malta, where Maltese is spoken.

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What is the time difference between Charleston, IL, and Rome, Italy?

All of Italy is on Central European Time (CET) from the last Sunday in October to the last Sunday in March.  This time zone is UTC+1.  The last Sunday in March, Italy switches to Central European Summer Time (CEST), which makes the time zone UTC+2.  That lasts, again, until the last Sunday in October, when CET returns (UTC+1).

In Illinois, we are on Central Standard Time (CST) from the first Sunday in November to the second Sunday in March.  During that time, Illinois is UTC-6.  On the second Sunday in March, Illinois switches to Central Daylight Time (CDT), which is UTC-5.  That lasts until the first Sunday in November.

Since the switchover is not at the same time in Italy and Illinois, the time difference will vary like this:  Most of the year there is a 7 hour time difference.  However, during the last week of October (when Italy has switched back to UTC+1 and Illinois is still UTC-5) there is a 6 hour difference.  Likewise, from the second Sunday of March (when Illinois moves to UTC-5 and Italy is still at UTC+1) to the last Sunday in March (when Italy moves to UTC+2) there is, again, a 6 hour difference.

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