LDS Missionaries - Elder Taylor Garrett

Anziano Taylor Garrett
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LDS Missionaries

The Purpose of Missionaries

The purpose of a missionary in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to "i
nvite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."

Missionary Service

To accomplish that purpose, those serving full-time missions (voluntarily and at their own expense) are assigned to one of over 400 missions around the world.  They do not "choose" a mission.  Rather, the President of the Church, or his designee, prayerfully considers each missionary assignment and then issues a "call."  Missionaries serve wherever they are called.  Each mission has a specific area that it encompasses, a full-time Mission President (also serving on a voluntary basis for 3 years), and one or more mission languages, depending upon the area.  Generally, a mission will have 150-200 full-time missionaries at any given time.  Young men who are serving will generally serve for 24 months, beginning when they report to one of the missionary training centers in the world.  Young women will generally serve for 18 months.  At the missionary training center they learn how to be a missionary, become spiritually, intellectually, and physically prepared, and learn the basics of a new language, if required.  They remain in the MTC for anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months (or longer), depending on the language they are learning, if a language is needed.  After that, they travel to the assigned mission and begin their service "in the field."  They will first report to the mission president, who will assign them to an area and a companion.

All full-time missionaries carry the title of "Elder" (men) or "Sister" (women).  These titles are translated into the languages of the country in which they serve.  In Italy, for example, the Elders are "Anzianos" and the Sisters are "Sorellas."  The missionary's name and the name of the Church is embossed on a name tag which each missionary wears throughout his or her mission.

All full-time LDS missionaries must adhere to a strict set of rules, designed to keep them focused on their work.  For safety and other reasons, all missionaries are assigned to work in pairs, called "companionships."  A missionary is with his or her companion 24/7.  Companionships can change every few weeks and missionaries generally spend 2-4 months in an area before being reassigned somewhere else.  Between study, service, proselyting, and teaching, a missionary may spend up to 60 hours a week working.  One day a week is set aside as a preparation day (often called "P-Day" by the missionaries).  This is generally Monday.  On that day, personal errands can take up some time, as well as sightseeing, writing letters (or email), recreation, or other activities.

At the end of a missionary's service, he or she travels back home from the mission field and is released from being a missionary after meeting with his or her stake president.   
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