Mission Call Process Overview

By on July 1, 2013

One of the most frequent questions I get on Mormon Mission Prep is about the process of starting the paperwork, getting the application in, and details about when and how the mission call comes. This article is designed to give a high-level overview of the mission call process, from meeting with the bishop, to fill out your mission papers, to getting your call letter from the prophet.  These steps are based on my own knowledge and experience as well as the officially publicized information from the Church in the March 2007 New Era article titled Your Call to Serve.

lds mission call process overview

The picture above is a good illustration of the step by step process for doing the paper work and getting the mission call. Below is more detail on each step:

Before the Paper Work

  • Prepare spiritually: Study the gospel, read the scriptures, pray and build a testimony of the Savior, His Atonement, and His restored Church including Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon (so be sure to read it!). Keep yourself spiritually clean and worthy to serve a mission.
  • Prepare temporally: Save money, stay physically fit, and remove any obstacles such as unpaid debts, legal issues, weight and health problems. Familiarize yourself with the requirements to serve a mission.

The Application Processmissionarymeetwithbishop

  • Meet with the Bishop: At least four months before you’re able to leave on a mission, set an appointment with your bishop for a personal interview.  He will give you the mission application form, or the information you need to log on to the online missionary recommendation system if the online system is available in your area. Your bishop will also conduct a thorough worthiness interview at this time. He will discuss the qualifications to serve a mission and help you through the repentance process if their are any sins you need to clear up before going on a mission.
  • Doctor and Dentist Visits: Make appointments with your doctor and dentist for evaluations. In the paper work the bishop will give you will be medical forms that they will need to fill out.
  • Missionary Candidate Information: There are several sections of personal information to complete, and whether you do it online or on the paper application it will be the same.  You’ll fill out background information about yourself, including your desire and ability to learn a language, your schooling, and how your mission will be financed. You’ll be asked to submit a photo (uploading it or mailing it in) with your application, so make sure that in this photo you are dressed according to missionary standards (i.e. conservative hair and clothing styles, etc. See my post on Missionary Dress and Grooming Standards).
  • Meet with the Bishop Again: Set another appointment with your bishop after all of the forms are completed, and he will review the application. He will conduct a thorough interview to determine your worthiness to serve a mission, your ability to serve, and your testimony of the Savior and the restored gospel.
  • Meet with the Stake President: After your interview with the bishop, he will tell you how to set up and appointment with the stake president.  Your bishop and stake president will complete some additional parts including their own written recommendations for your missionary service.  This will be the final step before the application is sent to Church headquarters (usually done by the Stake Clerk).

Receiving the Mission Callmissioncall

  • Assigned to a Mission by Prophecy: Your mission application is received by the Church and you are assigned to a specific mission by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who has been authorized by the President of the Church. The mission assignment comes after prayer and revelation. See my article about how missionaries are called by God for more information on this process.
  • Mission Call Letter: After the mission call is made, a packet is mailed to you.  It will contain information on your assigned mission, the date to report to the Missionary Training Center (MTC), a list of specific items you should bring with you, and other helpful information. See my article on the mission call letter for more information about what you’ll find in the mission call packet.

Each Call Is Inspired

Though there are a lot of mechanical steps to go through in the process of getting your mission call, it’s important not to lose site of the spiritual–the spiritual preparation by the missionary and the spirit of revelation in the issuing of the mission call.  Here is what President Henry B. Eyring said about the inspiration of each mission call:

“I have had [many] experiences feeling of the Holy Ghost…But I’ve never felt what I have felt as I have…participated in the assigning of missionaries…Because of technology, it is possible for us to have your picture and the information about you displayed. And then quickly, on that same screen, all the missions of the Church with all of their needs are displayed. Within minutes, and sometimes less than a minute, the impression comes so powerfully that it would be, if it were a single instance, something that you would never forget. Can you imagine sitting there for hours at a time, having that happen time after time without interruption? I testify to you that it is real…[The Lord] somehow not only knows you but loves you enough to ensure that your call is where He needs you to go to teach the children of our Heavenly Father.” (Pres. Henry B. Eyring, “Called of God,” address delivered at the Missionary Training Center, Aug. 26, 1997).

Jimmy

About Jimmy

I served a Mission in Rosario Argentina from 1995 to 1997. An amazing experience! I work for the LDS Church managing websites, doing web analytics, and SEO. I am married to the lovely Heather, and we have five wonderful children. Read more about Jimmy Smith here.

87 Comments

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  4. Lyna Fe Gamba

    February 12, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    I am preparing for a mission right now and I am on process now. I will submit my papers next Sunday. And I am so excited about this. I hope I could be able to served outside the country.

    I am grateful for this site. It helps me preparing well for my mission. Thank you so much!

  5. Jared Hadlock

    April 22, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Hi, I just had the Stake Presidents Interview. I was wondering if you could tell me what day of the week do the Apostles meet to do the Mission Selection Process? You can write to my E-mail if you can’t say in Public. Please and Thanks

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      April 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm

      Sorry Jared. I don’t know.

      • Jared Hadlock

        April 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm

        That’s ok. Thanks Anyways and a Wonderful Website you have. It’s Awesome! =)

        • Jesse brown

          May 14, 2012 at 5:14 pm

          It’s crazy I got to meet elder Anderson about 2 months ago! I turned my papers in last Monday and I actually have then back now, just waiting for friend to cone over! They day they meet together is Tuesday and they send papesr out on Thursday :) hope I helped some.

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  7. Karen Stumpf

    September 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    My paperwork was submitted at the beginning of this week. This has been a long and stressful process but I am very excited to represent the Lord. I can’t wait to serve the Lord. :]

  8. jan

    October 22, 2011 at 8:39 am

    sir , give me a mission call software thanks

  9. metui

    November 15, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    I have two questions:

    1. I got my call to Vancouver Canada and I lost my application for Visa and I don’t know who to call. Do you have the number?

    2. I’m preaching in Mandarin Chinese Language and everyone’s telling me that I’ll be at the MTC for a VERY long time. Do you know how long I’ll be staying there?

    Please and thank you

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      November 15, 2011 at 8:38 pm

      metui,
      1. Regarding your lost Visa application, you can try to contact the Missionary Travel department at Church headquarters, 1-801-240-5111 or 1-800-537-3537.
      2. Regarding your length of stay at the MTC, as I understand it, for languages that have proven more difficult to master, they sometimes have the missionaries stay for 12 weeks, rather than the normal 9 weeks. And yes, this will seem like a very long time because you will be so anxious to get out into the field, preaching the gospel of Christ. But be patient. Your time will come. Take full advantage of the time you have in the MTC to learn your language. When you’re standing on someone’s doorstep, trying to speak to them in a new language, you’ll wish you had spent more time learning the language. But have faith in the Lord and he will help you.
      -Jimmy

  10. Derek

    January 1, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    I have a question after a apostle has chosen your mission how long does it take to arrive your mission call? thanks

  11. Joseph Quarez

    February 8, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Thank you for this useful information! This helps reduce a lot of anxiety, so thanks!

    • albina kilimo

      October 4, 2012 at 4:05 am

      i have like your points may almigthy GOD bless you and communicate to jimmy bye by

  12. Ervin Gatoloai

    February 29, 2012 at 3:30 am

    Hey guys,

    I am still waiting for my call but it should be in late this week or early next week.
    Can’t wait to get out there and start serving. Thank you for this site its been helpful with preparation for my Mission. Wherever I get called I shall serve 110 percent for the Lord.

    Cheers.

  13. Jim

    March 1, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    What do I write for my acceptance letter? Is it just like a short few sentences, or do I write my feelings? I’m just looking for a basic idea

  14. Hannah

    April 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I just met with my stake president and I am wondering about how long it takes him to go over my papers and submit them? I am so anxious!

  15. Matt Boren

    July 5, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Hey, I put in my papers about three and half weeks ago, and I had a couple of questions.
    My dad works for the church, and he’s been able to keep tabs on my mission paper status. According to his information, a committee convened to discuss my call last Friday. However, it is now Thursday and no call has been sent to me. Is it possible its lost I. The mail, or is this normal?

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      July 11, 2012 at 11:30 am

      Matt, Delays are normal. If there has been an unusually lengthy delay, talk to your bishop or stake president, and they may be able to call church headquarters on your behalf to find out what the hold up is. Good luck and God bless.

  16. Kim

    July 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Question…..My extremely responsible son kept track of his packet for two months while finishing school, then came home and gave it to me as I was so interested in getting to work on gathering needed things. I now cannot find it anywhere, and fear that it was thrown out by mistake! Luckily he has his call letter, as he put it on his bulletin board as soon as he returned home. I feel so sick about this. Do you know how I can get a new packet for him?

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      July 19, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      The best thing to do would be to call the missionary department at Church headquarters and I’m sure they can help you. Good luck.

  17. clint

    October 6, 2012 at 10:54 am

    he i just had the talk with my bishop a few weeks ago and i feel like i am spiritually ready to begin my papers now. my bishop said he would begin the process online. how do i get to my papers now? im on lds.org but cant find anything about it

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      October 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      The Missionary Online Recommendation System is located here: https://apps.lds.org/recentry/login.lds
      You should be able to get in if your bishop has indeed gotten the process started and enabled you to login. Good luck.

  18. jojo

    October 12, 2012 at 9:35 am

    so dissapointing. when i was younger i thought they did each one individually by hand. just a computer, with some prayer for “quality control”

  19. JJ

    October 17, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Up to what age can an LDS young men serve a full time mission? Any references? Thanks.

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      October 17, 2012 at 9:00 am

      The upper age limit for men is 25. I believe this can be found in the LDS Church Handbook 1.

  20. Emmanuel

    November 12, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Can someone be rejected not to go on a mission after applying? Can it be a very special situation where the Lord doesn’t want him to go?

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      November 12, 2012 at 10:42 am

      Emmanuel, I have never heard of someone’s mission application being rejected in such a way. Now I have heard of it being rejected for health reasons. In such cases, the young man is honorably discharged from the responsibility to serve a mission. But besides those health issues, and of course worthiness issues, no one’s mission application is rejected. The prophet has told us that it is the will of the Lord that all young men serve a mission. I hope his helps. God bless you.

      • susan

        October 1, 2013 at 11:34 am

        I know a worthy young man who recently sent in his papers and did not receive a call. Just a letter from the first presidency saying he was not to receiving an assignment, no other explication. He is very confused. I have never heard of this before either. His stake president advised him to continue to attend the temple and move on to pursue an education.

  21. Glen "Bear" Smith

    November 29, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    It is possible for us to chose the kind of work, i.e. serving at a visitor center? I am retired professional sales trainer, and love to talk. I am not good at door to door, but a visitors center would be perfect.
    Glennis “Bear” Smith

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      November 29, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      Glen, Senior missionaries, compared to the 18 and 19 year olds, are given much more flexibility in terms of the kind of mission they will serve. You still have to be willing to go where the Lord calls you to go, but generally, for older couples, it is for the type of mission they request. You can check out the current senior missionary opportunities on the Church’s website. Click on the link in the right side bar called “Learn about current opportunities” to see the openings and possible missions you could serve. Good luck, and God bless you.

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  23. john m. montemayor

    January 1, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    hello i already submitted my mission paper last november 8 2012 and until now i haven’t yet receive..

  24. Chris

    January 11, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Hi!

    I turned in my papers nearly 5 weeks ago, and I still have not received a call yet. Do you have any idea why it would be taking so long, or if there is anyone I can contact about this?

    Thanks,

    Chris

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      January 12, 2013 at 6:54 am

      It sounds like there might have been a delay. You’ll want to reach out to your stake president. He can call Salt Lake and find out what is going on.

  25. Brooke

    January 17, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Hello,
    I received my call to Utah and I just have doubts that I will be any good there. It’s to be excited about serving a mission when everyone around you is being called to Thailand, Ecuador, and France. I want to be in love with my call, but I just can’t seem to feel that way. I mostly feel guilty about this feeling. How do i fall in love with something I just can’t seem to love.

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      January 18, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      First of all, I empathize. I understand your feelings because I felt a little the same when I got my mission call. I went to Argentina, but at the time I got my call, my older brother was already there on a mission. I wanted to go some place different and more exotic. I wanted to learn a different, cooler language. But my mission was a fantastic experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world now.

      I think you have to go back to why you decided to serve a mission in the first place. You probably decided to put your papers in because you had gained a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and wanted to do what you can to build the kingdom of God. You didn’t decide to serve a mission so you could go to a far off and exotic land. You decided to go because you wanted to do the will of the Lord. Well, the the Lord’s will has been made known through his living prophet, and when you think about it, that’s pretty exciting.

      Someone, probably multiple people, in Utah are waiting for you. You will be able to connect with them in a way no other missionary can. The Lord needs you to be his ambassador and to further his work. Please pray about your mission call. The Spirit will confirm that it has come from God, and I’m sure your enthusiasm will return. Good luck and God bless.

  26. Mike

    January 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    I have a question regarding the Insurance section of the papers, I can’t seem to find a phone number to call and it has now been three days that I have been waiting for an email back. By any chance do you know a number I could call to ask questions about the application?

  27. Joseph Forbush

    February 1, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    My name is Joseph Forbush. I sent my papers last Tuesday but Salt Lake City received them on Thursday (1/24/13). I am so excited and can’t sleep a whole night without thinking about when mission call is going to come in the mail and what it says! I wondering when you guys think I might receive my mission papers in the mail. In your personal most exact opinion, what day or week do you think my mission papers will arrive in the mail?

    Example: Tell me the day, date, and week you expect my call to arrive. I live in Michigan…if this helps at all!

    • Samantha

      February 4, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      Chill. It took me about 3 weeks. I got it on Jan 2. Nice way to start the year.

  28. john montemayor

    February 3, 2013 at 8:31 am

    my mission assignment already completed last january 25.. I am very excited and im thinking it when my mission call arrive im in the phillipines…

  29. Samantha

    February 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    I am reporting to the MTC in Provo in 2 days. I am really nervous about the flight and finding my way around the airport and just the logistics of everything. I am leaving from FL. Considering that it is winter, it might snow in UT and flight could be delayed. What happens if I am late to the MTC?

    • Samantha

      February 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Also, is it still standard to stay 9 weeks to learn a language? I am serving in NV-LV Spanish speaking.

      • Jimmy

        Jimmy

        February 5, 2013 at 11:34 am

        I have heard that they are having Spanish learning missionaries only stay 6 or 7 weeks, due to over crowding at the MTC. But I don’t know for sure if that is true.
        As for being late to the MTC, if it is due to a flight delayed from winter weather, I’m sure they would understand. Good luck on your mission. May God bless you.

    • muli cocker

      July 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Hey samantha i was wondering how long it took for your call to get to you.i live in florida also and it has been 3 weeks ecactly today

    • muli cocker

      July 22, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      What day did you recieve your call also in florida

  30. Annemarie

    February 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

    My son set in his paperwork several weeks ago and already had a meeting with the bishop and stake president. His bishop and state president feel he is ready and prepared to serve, although he struggles with ADHD (he does not take medication). The Church requested my son see a counselor, which he did, and the counselor wrote a glowing report. Now Salt Lake is asking for a second counselor interview (which he has to meet with two times). Such delays have been very frustrating to him and us, as we are seeing his friends and cousins already receive their callings and everyone wants to know when he will get his.

  31. Cameron

    March 24, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Hi, my name is Cameron and I wondering when my mission call would be mailed because I live in NC and I sent my papers out 3/12/13 and also that same week I was issued a call, so I was wondering if you could give me a estimate time when I should receive my call in the mail?

    Thanks,
    Cameron

  32. Abby

    March 27, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    My papers have been submitted to salt lake. When I asked my stake president the status of my papers he said they were “ready for assignment”. What exactly does that mean?

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      March 27, 2013 at 5:33 pm

      That means that your paperwork is ready for the meeting where an Apostle of the Lord will assign you to a specific mission. Read my article called Missionaries Are Called by God, that explains this more. That assignment should happen this week, and then your mission call packet should be mailed to you next week. Good luck and God bless.

  33. adele

    April 17, 2013 at 5:35 am

    Hi, my son is due to leave on his mission for Brazil on 5th June but we havent heard re his travel plans or visas etc. What would happen if all paperwork isnt ready before he is due to go. We live in England.

  34. Awolowo Lawrence Ogheneochuko

    April 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    hi Brenden am rill in serious trouble. i became a member of the church when i was 12yrs old, i2yrs latter i left that area where the church was located. living the church for allmost 6yrs. at those period of time when i was 19yrs old i was dating a girl. for the fact that i dont rilly know much doctrine off the church. the dating now lead to a son. after coming back to church i made my confession to my branch president. after a year i apply to go on amission. go true an interview with my stake president but did tell him. due to our interview. i went on a mission, i pass true MTC ,i was already on my mission field. my mission president ask me to tell him about my life so i told him about my past. for the fact that i was honest. i was sent back home. i rilly want to serve the lord plz help me talk to my stake president so that i can return back to my mission field. am from Abuja Nigeria stake please help me am rilly confuse .

  35. James

    May 14, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    My papers will be officially submitted on a tuesday. Does that mean my call will be assigned that Friday or will they be held until the next Friday?

  36. Julie

    June 30, 2013 at 12:02 am

    Hi, I wanted to go on a mission but I have transgressed considerably in the past. I have repented the last 6 months. But I have fathered a child out of wedlock. I do not see the child as she lives with her mother. My bishop said I have completed repentance and I just received priesthood. He said it may be possible for me to go on a mission. Is that true? Has there ever been cases where people that have fathered children can still complete a mission?

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      June 30, 2013 at 11:27 am

      While it is possible that someone in your situation could go on a mission, it is highly unusual. The Church Handbook, which gives guidelines to priesthood leaders, specifically says that men and women who have had a child out of wedlock are not normally recommended to serve missions.

      I’m glad to hear that you have repented, and I applaude your righteous desires to serve a mission. While a full-time mission may not be possible for you, there are still plenty of ways you can serve and help the kingdom of God grow. There are Church service mission (non-full-time mission) opportunities, you can serve diligently in a calling in your ward or stake, and of course you can share the gospel with your friends and neighbors.

      Good luck and God bless.

      • Julie

        June 30, 2013 at 1:03 pm

        That’s what I’ve always thought that I would never be able to do a mission. So then why did my bishop say it might still be possible? Thanks!

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  38. Karsyn

    July 15, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Are Sister Missionaries supposed to get a second package a few days after their call from their mission president?

  39. Brenda Lee

    July 15, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    I am 62, divorced, retired, and have a temple recommend. I would love to serve a mission, but the only information I can find for senior mission opportunities seems to be for senior married couples. Can senior single women go on missions?

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      July 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      Senior single women can go on missions, though I don’t think senior single men can. The Handbook says that older single women are usually called to serve for 12 or 18 months and that these sisters are usually only called to nonproselyting missions. I hope this help. Good luck and God bless.

  40. Castalia

    July 18, 2013 at 11:35 am

    So… I don’t know if you’ll know the answer to this, and I won’t be able to talk try bishop about it until Sunday, so thought I’d try. So this last January I had my papers all done and ready to turn in, but the day they were going in, my stake president found out there is a rule that anyone who had an eating disorder (I did for a few months last year) had to wait a year. So this October is my year, but it was never clear to me; do I have to wait until October to resubmit my papers OR does it mean I just couldn’t leave until October, and can turn my papers in before then? (My availability date would be the first of December) any info you have would be VERY helpful!

    Thank you!

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      July 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      Only your bishop can answer this for sure, but I would assume that you can put your mission papers in very soon, much earlier than October. Since the process of receiving the call and entering the MTC can take several months, usually people are allowed to do this, assuming the remain worthy to serve throughout the process. Good luck and God bless.

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  42. Eli

    August 18, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Hi, I am preparing to serve my mission in Auckland New Zealand. I am wondering if you could tell me what will happen if my travel visa isn’t cleared by the time I am supposed to report to the MTC in New Zealand.

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      August 20, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      If you don’t get your visa by the time you are scheduled to travel to New Zealand, then one thing for sure is that you won’t be going to New Zealand at that time. You’ll have to talk to the Church missionary department regarding what you are supposed to do in that instance. (You can call the Church at 801-240-1000.) I suppose they will either send you to a different MTC or delay your arrival date in New Zealand. I hope everything goes well. Good luck and God bless.

  43. Son

    August 21, 2013 at 2:48 am

    Hi!I’ve been planning to serve a mission after my graduation in college. It was just happened that after the said event in my life, I practiced my profession away from my family. I am 22 now and fully decided to end up my career and serve mission. Can I undergo the necessary actions going to mission such as interviews on the stake that my family used to attend church meetings? This is because I am working miles away from them…Thank you in advance!

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      August 21, 2013 at 8:50 am

      I highly encourage you to go and talk to your bishop. It is wonderful that you have the desire to walk away from your profession and go on a mission. I don’t think you’ll run into any problems filling out your paperwork and getting the necessary interviews. But again, your bishop is the key person to guide you through this process, so please make an appointment to go talk to him. Good luck and God bless you.

  44. Daniel

    August 21, 2013 at 3:35 am

    I will most likely be 25 when my papers are submitted is this too late?

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      August 21, 2013 at 8:46 am

      You should be okay, but be sure to talk to your bishop. The handbook says you can be 25, but not 26 years old, when you receive the call to serve a full time mission. Good luck and God bless.

  45. Ted

    September 14, 2013 at 1:03 am

    If you want to serve a mission, talk to your bishop. Period. As well meaning and good intentioned as they are, it is very irresponsible and unhelpful for anyone other than your own bishop to try to answer questions about the process of obtaining a mission call. The process is far more dynamic than most people can imagine. In my church service I have the opportunity to work closely with those who have their calls and are preparing to serve and those who are just starting their missions. There are pilot programs and other R&D that is being conducted on the process of issuing missionary calls and pre- and post- call preparation of which few people are aware. And they totally throw off the accuracy of the silly speculations I hear being advanced. Just recently several missionaries had their MTC locations changed only days before their MTC report date due to some of this R&D activity. The missionaries are suddenly going to entirely different countries than what there original call specified and now have to meet different visa and immunization requirements. It has them scrambling. But they were chosen exactly because they are the type that can scramble and make the change. No one would have predicted that this sort of thing would have happened and if you generalized that what is happening to them is going to happen to others you’d be totally wrong. The reasons are complex and beyond the scope of this posting. What is relevant for anyone preparing to go on mission to know about that situation is that the missionaries’ stake presidents and bishops were involved throughout the process and they kept the preparing missionaries and their families informed on what they needed to do. From the very first step of the process things can change dramatically. Even a missionary who just left his bishop’s office and watched his bishop enter the information on the internet form to start his application moving forward cannot advise the guy walking into that same bishop’s office. Because whatever the first guy tells the next guy about the process could be outdated and wrong in the time it took for the second one to enter the office. ONLY your bishop (and later in the process your stake president)can be relied upon for any information related to your serving a mission. Dynamic does not begin to describe the fluctuating nature of the mission call process before, during and after a call is issued. And no aspect of it is trivial or can be generalized. I have seen applications take as little as 3 days and as long as 3 weeks between the stake president’s final submission and the call letter arriving — and the length of time was not due to anything that can be identified such as insider contacts, mail delivery variables, clerical errors or anything that could be explained to anyone — it just went super quickly for one and super slowly for the other. BTW both of the extremes I mentioned received “ordinary” calls to established missions. And it is not true that calls are always issued on a particular day of the week and sent out on a particular day. Although there is an apparent pattern that can be ascertained in certain areas where many people are receiving calls at the same time, the pattern is anecdotal. Speculating about any part of the process is not helpful and is ultimately irresponsible. If you want to serve, get with your bishop. Period.

  46. Corey

    September 14, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Hey Jimmy,
    I’ve been struggling badly with an addiction which has stopped me from serving, and now I’m 25. Any tips for someone in my situation? This has been something I’ve struggled with even before my joining the church.

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      September 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      You haven’t quite reached the age when you can no longer go on a mission. You may still have time to do it. See my post on Missionary Age Requirements. But not knowing the details of your addiction, it’s impossible for me to say whether or not it will be able to happen. My advice is to go see your bishop as soon as possible. He will be able to tell you if going on a mission is still possible. He will help and support you. Good luck, and God bless you.

  47. chaylan j

    September 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    My stake president say the status of my papers say “in Process” what does that mean?

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      September 18, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      I’m not sure. According to my information “In Process” isn’t a status. Of course, my information comes from a stake clerk view into the system. Perhaps bishops have a different view.
      According to my information, there are 13 status options:
      1 Candidate(s) Completing Forms
      2 With the Bishop
      3 Incomplete Forms at Stake
      4 Ready for Stake President’s Action
      5 Returned to Stake
      6 With Church Headquarters
      7 Assignment Made
      8 Postponed Mission Start Date
      9 Entered the MTC
      10 Entered the Mission Field
      11 On Leave
      12 Released from Mission Field
      13 Canceled

      Perhaps “In Process” means it is “With Church Headquarters”

      • ThaddeusQ

        March 19, 2014 at 4:09 pm

        My Stake President said that my son’s also shows “In Process”

  48. Gillian

    September 28, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    If I currently attend a YSA ward, would I go to that bishop or my home ward bishop? They’re both in the same city, I wouldn’t have to travel far for either.

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      September 28, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      You can do it either way. Most people fill out their mission paperwork in their home ward, if they can. If that is possible with you, that’s what I would recommend. Good luck and God bless.

  49. Cindy

    March 9, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    When it says the Bishop and Stake President will make their own recommendations for your missionary service. What does this mean exactly? Do they put in a recommendation that you should/ should not go foreign, etc or where they feel you should serve? Thanks.

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      March 10, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      The content of the Bishop and Stake President recommendations will vary. Some will write a paragraph or two, some will only write a sentence. They could put recommendations to go foreign or not, but if so that is usually something they would have discussed with the candidate. They usually write about what they have learned and felt through the Spirit as they interviewed the young man or young woman. They may comment on how spiritually tuned the youth is or what kind of leadership potential the youth has. I hope this helps.

      • Cindy

        March 11, 2014 at 9:07 am

        So then is it a better idea to be interviewed by a bishop/stake president who knows you well vs. moving and getting interviewed by a new bishop. I was not aware at all that a bishop/stake president put in any comments at all other than the missionary candidate is worthy to go.

  50. Cindy

    March 11, 2014 at 11:44 am

    and sorry one ,one question, but why do they ask if your parents/grandparents served missions and where they served? What does that have to do with my application?

  51. TH3SHUR1F

    April 7, 2014 at 12:58 am

    Hey, I have a quick question. After months of going through interviews and getting prepped for sending my papers in, I finally had the privilege of meeting with my stake president and submitting my mission papers.

    3 weeks go by with nothing, and my bishop is notified that my papers are being held by the mission center because an anonymous caller decided to call in to a hotline and report me for something I didn’t do. My S.P., current bishop, and previous bishop can all vouch for my worthiness and readiness to go, but somehow, my call is being held up by someone with no evidence against me other than word of mouth.

    Now someone by the name of “Cathy Oakey from LDS Family Services is requiring me to shell out $300 for a polygraph test and to go through a psychiatric evaluation before they release my papers. Have you guys ever heard of something like this happening? Someone basically just called in, lied about me, and now the whole mission department has me on lockdown.

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