LDS Mission Cost

By on June 25, 2009

Many of my readers have wondered: how much does an LDS mission cost?  The current LDS mission monthly cost for young men and women in the United States is $400 a month. That comes out to a total of $7,200 for 18-month long missions for sisters, and $9,600 for young men who serve two-year missions.

mitt romney missionary 2Mission Costs Vary for Some People and Places

I specify that the figure above is for young men and women in the US, because mission costs vary for senior couples and for young people outside the US.  To find out the current cost of an LDS mission outside the United States, please see your bishop or other Church leader in the country.  For senior missionaries in the United States, the average cost of a mission for couples who do not live at home is approximately $1,500 per month. Mission costs for senior missionaries range from $800–$4,000 per month (which includes expenses for housing, utilities, food, and transportation), but about 80% of all missions cost less than $1,800 per month.

Missionaries Pay Their Own Expensesfamily dinner table

Missionaries are expected to pay their own expenses while on the mission.  When my parents were young, each missionary paid his or her own actual living expenses.  So a mission to Japan, for example, could have been much more expensive than a mission to Argentina.  In 1990, though, a new program was introduced to equalize the financial responsibility for each missionary. Now, all young missionaries pay a flat monthly rate into the Church missionary fund.  Each missionary, then, is allocated what he or she needs for the expenses in that mission.  This approach has reduced the burden on the missionary, and his or her family, who may have been assigned to work in a more expensive area of the world.

Expenses Covered

The monthly allowance missionaries are given is designed to cover food, lodging, transportation, and other mission related expenses. Missionaries are asked to bring extra personal money for additional items they would like to purchase such as souvenirs. Church members around the world are asked to invite their local missionaries to meals to help reduce the overall cost of the missionary program.

mission saving piggy bankStart Saving Early

Young people in the church are encouraged to save money throughout their childhood and teenage years to pay for as much of their mission as they can.  Parents, family, and friends may also contribute financially to pay for a missionary’s expenses.  Missionaries who cannot save the required funds may also obtain assistance from their home ward or stake, though personal and family sources of funds should be exhausted first. In some cases it may be better to delay a mission for a time and earn more money to pay for your mission rather than to rely heavily on others to fund your mission. The Lord expects that sacrifices, of both time and money, will need to be made in order to serve a mission. You, or anyone who makes such sacrifices, will be richly blessed by the Lord for doing so.

Supplemental Financial Assistance

For many countries outside the US, if authorized, there is supplemental financial support available from the Church.  If the missionary candidate cannot be supported fully from personal, family, ward or branch, or stake or district funds, then a request can be made for this financial assistance. Missionaries are asked not to request this special assistance until they, their family, and ward or branch and stake or district have committed themselves to provide all the financial support they can.

Source of Funds Section of Mission Paperssacrament meeting hymn

When filling out the mission application form, missionary candidates are asked to indicate the source of the funds that will pay for their mission.  They are asked how much money will be contributed per month in support of the mission from: Self, Family, Ward or Branch, and other sources.  So be prepared to answer that question.

Do all that you can to save for your mission.  Start saving at an early age so that you can serve a faithful mission for the Lord and not be a financial burden on your family.  The Lord will bless you many times over for the sacrifice of time and money you make to go on a mission.

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.

98 Comments

  1. Pingback: Additional Mission Expenses « Mormon Mission Prep

  2. Pingback: Saving for a Mission « Mormon Mission Prep

  3. Ryan

    March 17, 2010 at 1:55 am

    I like this the 400 a month for me so much and with no jobs in my city like at all ive tried saving as much as i could which is about 1000 from working job to job and im 19 but i already turned in my papers and just need that last interview,i cant wait to serve the lord thats number 1

  4. Jimmy

    Jimmy

    March 17, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Ryan. I’m sorry it’s been so hard for you to find a job to save for your mission. I’m sure the Lord will bless you for your efforts. I wish you good luck and much success on your mission.

  5. Sister Luatua to be...

    March 17, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Shux this is awesome! my question is. When are the funds needed? at the time of submitting your papers to headquarters? or the time of your availability date?…please comment back asap!…

    this answer is going to determine whether or not my goal is achievable…wish i came across this site earlier…shesh!

    • paige

      February 4, 2013 at 1:11 am

      Haha is this the sister luatua who served in Harbord ward??

  6. Jimmy

    Jimmy

    March 17, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Sister Luatua. You do not need any funds at the time you submit your paperwork. The $400 per month is needed from the time you enter the MTC.

    • Vicki

      May 19, 2011 at 9:13 am

      I disagree. We submitted my son’s papers and received his call April 20th, and we were IMMEDIATELY required to pay several hundred dollars for things needed for his passport and visa. I was not expecting this because it’s been the general concensus that the money is not needed that soon; however this is not true. It does depend on where you are called (my son is going overseas obviously) but be prepared to spend that just in case. If you do not get that paperwork done immediately then your mission will be delayed, perhaps by several months. We were told a minimum of two months delay if we didn’t get things back to the church office in time.

      • Stephanie

        June 8, 2011 at 9:57 pm

        Don’t let this discourage you too much! My roommate has worked in the missionary travel office at Church Headquarters for the past three years. I know that she takes care of all the missionary visas for her region. I asked her and, as I thought, missionaries do not have to pay for their visas. If they get called somewhere that requires physicals and things for visas, then they do need to pay for that, but insurance usually covers it. If you are uninsured, you can speak with the missionary offices at church headquarters and I am positive they can help you figure everything out. If you want to serve a mission, don’t let anything hold you back! I planned on serving and it felt like everything kept crashing down around me. The week I was to send my papers in with my bishop I last-minute moved across the country. That was five years ago…and here I am, looking up this website in the middle of the night five years later at the age of 28 because a mission is still on my mind…

        • Melissa M

          July 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm

          Stephanie, you and me both…I just turned 28 as well and samething I’ve had mission service in my mind the first time i met the missionaries, before and after i converted. But i’m sure that Our Heavenly Father knows whats goin on and has a plan for all of us who has faith in the work that missionaries do. For me becoming a missionany , is like joinning the Army of Heavenly Father’s . And the MTC is our base where we train the technics and how to use our weapons which is The Book of mormon ect and The Bible… And we have a mission to complite, and that is to Rescue back the others.
          I wont give up, I will continue to pray and ask for guidences on how I can make Clean money fast so I can Start my Mission. as we all know we cant gamble, so…the Lotory is not an option…loll… hope to see you on the mission, you never know! :+ )

    • Ketoni

      August 18, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      Hey just wanted to know something about the missionwork.
      in any apparent reasons, have you seen or met missionaries with tattoos. just wanting to know.

      Thanks

      • Jimmy

        Jimmy

        August 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm

        I am not aware of any rule banning people with tattoos from serving missions. I don’t think I have ever seen a missionary with tattoos, but it would be pretty easy to cover up most tattoos considering the missionary dress code. Also, you probably don’t seen tattoos on many missionaries because most LDS youth are taught not to defile their bodies with tattoos. Regardless, if you have tattoos, that shouldn’t stop you from being able to serve a mission.

      • Spencer Morse

        September 25, 2013 at 6:54 am

        I had a missionary companion with tattoos. He is Samoan, and was a tattoo artist pre-mission. He did some work to remove some of the most visible ones, but still had quite a few. The long-sleeve white shirts covered things, but you can imagine that people could see that church members and missionaries are real people. This is becoming more and more the case as the membership of the church diversifies. I love it.

  7. DumbDumbs

    May 28, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Would be smarter to save money for college, and why is it that god always needs MONEY! money money money! You people are gullible.

  8. Joshua

    June 20, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    God doesn’t need money. Living has a price tag attached to it. Plus the “money” god gets goes towards better things and helps others.

    I can’t wait till I go on my mission, next year.

    • Steve

      December 9, 2012 at 11:34 am

      Temples temples temples…and a wealthy one, and two…and 12….and 70. Mormon Inc….

      • Tub

        April 19, 2013 at 5:51 pm

        Better get on board brother, time won’t wait for you!

  9. Kel Reichelt

    June 22, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Don’t do it! The worst 2 years of your life, I promise.

    • DntMessWithAMissionaryMan

      February 27, 2011 at 9:55 am

      If you truly went on a mission and this was all you had to say about it, then I guess you truly didn’t “get it.” Feel for ya. I’ve heard from a number of people that have left the church after their missions and even they loved their missions. I guess there are seldom few that don’t enjoy it. Usually cause they don’t understand the blessings involved.

      • ruby b

        March 15, 2011 at 9:16 pm

        Haha i bet Reichelt was kidding..and got a reaction.

      • Vicki

        May 19, 2011 at 9:17 am

        I agree. This person truly didn’t get it. Anytime you serve another human being it is an amazing experience. I do not only mean an LDS mission either; I had a brother in law who served a Catholic mission and he worked hard serving others. He says it was the best time of his life even though he had hardships. Service is the key.

        LDS missionaries are there for service. They are required to do service every single week; so many who are not LDS misunderstand the purpose. It’s not about sales pitches, it’s not about numbers, it’s not about self pride. It’s about service. It’s about doing the Lord’s work and serving others. What did Christ do? He left his family and served the people. He taught His gospel but never forced anyone to accept it. Our LDS Missionaries follow His example, serving and teaching. Any who do not accept the gopsel are never forced, and if they need help we still give it to them. They are true disciples of the Lord.

        • Hoffman

          August 1, 2013 at 5:59 pm

          Yes. No dissent is serious. The person is speaking in jest. Please don’t take dissent seriously.

    • Sam

      October 11, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      Wow….I’ve NEVER heard that in my life. Literally. I’ve always heard the “BEST” 2 years. I wonder where you get your information. Even people who have fallen away from this faith still admitted to LOVING the experiences their mission gave them. haha. What does that tell you?

  10. wvw

    July 18, 2010 at 6:10 am

    Great site with alot of info
    to those who say don’t do it! I ask, do you suggest the same to those who go to college and don’t have a good experience or if you have a bad experience on a date, never date again.
    Like all things in life we usually benefit from an experience in accordance with what we put into it.
    For those who seek to serve their fellow man this is one of many great opportunities life offers. The 2 years I served were the best and the worst up until then. The same can be said of my 30 years of marriage since then. With age and life experiences comes wisdom. I am now wise enough to recognize that the bad times are necessary for my personal growth. ( and that most of the time the bad experiences were brought on by my own selfishness
    Thanks Jimmy for taking the time to set up this site

    • nn

      September 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm

      awesome comment! Thanks for posting. It is always nice to hear the good and bad, that you loved it despite the hardships. Isn’t it true though? The best things are the things that you have to work the hardest for? thanks :)

  11. Yesua Patrick

    August 12, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I am prospective missionary and currently on Medical examination for my Mission. My both parents deceased ( Father left me when I was one year old and my mom left me when I was 14. I was and still brought up by my elder brother. My family members are all strong catholics and am the only one who join the lds church. Am unemployed and my relatives are agaisnting me for financial support for my mission. Now the time has come to submit my mission form and I am really in doubt because I dont have any money for my mission. With no doubt I will really rely on Book of Alma for mission.

    • ruby b

      March 15, 2011 at 9:13 pm

      Elder Patrick,
      Your amazing. You really need to come over to Australia, bishop has told us
      pretty much that they have the budget for 4missionaries but noone in our ward
      is worthy enough or no motivation to get out into the field. Even with expenses
      paid, sad really.
      But i know that through your hard work and dillegence, your mission will mean so much more with all your blood sweat and tears! Lol Best of luck to you!
      Kristen A so true. Somehow i find myself being more broke when i miss paying my tithing! Go figure but so true.
      Goodluck Bobby, srick it out. Be patient, filling out your papers really test ya and its only the beginning.

    • Vicki

      May 19, 2011 at 9:19 am

      No one who desires to serve is turned away. xo

  12. future sister missionary

    September 7, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Elder Patrick (to be),

    It is so amazing that you have such faith and devotion to this church! I love hearing of others who have been through so much and are willing to sacrifice even more in order for the work to go forward. You are an amazing example to all of us and I wish you the VERY best of luck on your mission! I’m sure things will work out financially for you if you just have faith and rely on Heavenly Father. That’s what this life is all about right? I love this gospel and I know it’s going to be a lot of work but slowly I’m saving up for my own mission and I hope to be able to serve the Lord. Good luck to everyone else out there trying to do the same!

  13. Jeri Schoppe

    September 9, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I love to see you young people so eager to do something right. I pay into the missionary fund every month so that ALL of you who desire to go on a mission can! Do not ever worry about HOW you will pay…just prepare yourself to go and do the Lord’s work. Trust always in the Lord…

    • Sister Baum (to be...)

      May 9, 2011 at 9:04 pm

      Thank you Jeri, for your faith! I am a convert to the church (will be three years this coming Wednesday!) so I didn’t have the option to save up during my childhood. It will be difficult for me to save up enough money to purchase the things I will need to take with my on my mission, let alone the cost of the mission itself. It is because of faithful members like you that I will be able to serve a mission for the Lord. I know that the Lord wants me to serve a mission, and that he will open the necessary doors for me to be able to do so. ~Sister Baum, to be.

  14. Kristen A.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:54 am

    To everyone out there wondering how you are going to pay for your mission, I would like to share my own experience. I am a convert to the Church and decided that I wanted to serve a mission. I was in school full time and trying to save as much as I could while paying off debts so I wouldn’t have to worry about them while I was gone. The best thing I ever did was to pay my tithing. I promise you that if you pay your tithing and do your best to save, the Lord will take care of the rest. People (like Jeri) are paying into the missionary fund. Or for me, I showed up at the temple one day and someone offered to pay for my entire mission. God blesses those who desire to serve Him. I don’t regret for a moment my decision to serve a mission.

    • nn

      September 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      Kristen! Thank you for sharing this! What a beautiful story of faith and the blessings that followed! xoxo

  15. Pingback: Mormon Beliefs: Missionary Work | Boston Mormon Temple

  16. Bobby Cameron

    February 24, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Im 18 and will be 19 in a couple of months and im so excited to serve a mission. i wasnt sure i wanted to until recently but now its all i can think about. i have a question though if anyone has an answer it would be greatly appreciated. I take two psych meds and i was wondering if that prohibits me from serving a foreign mission. i will be happy wherever im am called i just want to know if that restricts where i go

    • Zuriel

      May 23, 2011 at 12:43 am

      I know what you are talking about. I wasn’t sure either, I wasn’t sure if I was good enough to serve a mission and now I know that I am good enough. I actually have a meeting with my bishop soon for my patriarchal blessing and i am looking forward to it. Now I know that if I am worthy for a patriarchal blessing, I am worthy to go on a mission as well. I wish you the best of luck to you when you go on your mission. God Bless.

    • Jakey Tee

      June 21, 2013 at 8:40 am

      From my understanding(which admittedly is slightly limited), it depends on if those meds are available in the specific country. For example: the meds you take are likely available almost anywhere in the U.S., and would therefore not cause an issue to serving in the U.S. However, if the meds were unavailable in, say, Chile(just to spurt out a name), then it’s likely that you wouldn’t be able to serve a mission there due to the unavailability.
      Also, if you are taking psych meds it’s likely that they’ll do an interview specific to what your psychological condition is to determine your ability to go through the stresses inherent in a mission.
      But as far as prohibiting you from going on a mission? No, not that i’m aware of.

  17. Jimmy

    Jimmy

    February 25, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Bobby, In your missionary application forms, your will be asked to provide many details on your health, including medications you are taking. Your doctor will also fill out a portion of the paperwork, and his or her recommendation about whether or not you can serve abroad will be taken into account by Church headquarters. The Church missionary department also has doctors who will review your medical information and make a recommendation whether or not you can serve a foreign mission. If the doctors say you can serve abroad, then that won’t be a restriction when the apostles meet to determine your mission assignment. I hope that helps.

    • Jamie Ann

      April 9, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      Thanks for this reply Jimmy, I was about to ask to be notified if he got an answer as it has been on my mind too as far as my medications go. I only have one that I take twice a day so it shouldn’t be a problem for me but I am glad you answered and that I found this answer.
      My dad says he thinks they will keep me in the US as I have medical appointments through the Veteran Hospitals but I suppose all will be revealed in due time. I feel if I am truly on the right path in choosing to serve the Lord will prepare the way, correct?

  18. Allan

    April 4, 2011 at 1:11 am

    I am wanting to go on a mission myself but I have heard so many negitive things about the church that I doubt the truth of it and I begin to wonder if I really should go…

    • Michael

      April 4, 2011 at 6:48 am

      Allan, you know that you are a child of your Heavenly Father. With human frailty, it becomes difficult at times to have confidence in your worth. Especially when it comes to decisions that have eternal outcomes. The diabolical one knows what you are capable of, and will do everything in his power to make you feel doubtful and weak. YOU ARE NOT WEAK. Your Heavenly Father knows of your potential. I don’t know if this will help you, but I feel that you should know that if you’re being attacked by what others say about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and whatever the devil may throw at you, know this:
      It’s not that you’re that weak.
      You’re simply that valuable.
      In war, you take out the leaders of the opposing side. Satan made his choice, and he lost, you can still win, just let the Atonement take over.
      Give Him your fears, he’ll guide and comfort you far better than any worldly idea or ideology.
      With Him on your side, YOU CAN’T LOSE.
      At the risk of sounding self-righteous, I know that if the Atonement wasn’t real, if it didn’t happen, WHICH IT DID, I would not be here today, I would not feel a desire to serve the Lord of my own accord.
      You have your agency to choose.
      I can testify that as soon as you decide to serve, the Lord will immediately bless you for that decision.
      You are loved by Heavenly Father.
      Don’t forget it.

      • Jeff

        May 9, 2011 at 2:59 pm

        Allan, I to had that same problem. I had a testimony in the church, wanted to go on a mission, and do the lords will. But as I grew older and the time grew closer for me to go I slowly turned away from the church. For one reason or another I did not want to believe anymore. I went down a path that I am very lucky to have been able to come back from. A mission is a very personal choice, and sometimes we as young men in the church and feel bery pressured into going. No offence to anyone here meant. And I am not trying to pressure you into it I promise. But as a son of our almight Lord and Savior, I testify to you that the gospet can do wonders. It heals broken homes, brings happiness, blessings, and testimonies. I TESTIFY THAT THIS GOSPEL IS TRUE. and if you embrace it you will find what you are looking for and you will believe. Best of luck to you my friend, and remember we are all part of the Kingdom of God. A God of truth and right who wants nothing more than for us to return to him. I turn in my papers on June 18 and it is the best choice I have made in my life to date.

        • Sister Baum (to be...)

          May 9, 2011 at 8:48 pm

          First, Congratulations Jeff! I want to thank you for your exceeding faith! The Lord needs missionaries who have been dragged through the mud and muck of life and who have come back with a strong testimony! By enduring through those trials, you will find that someone on your mission will be touched because you went through the same thing that they are going through, and you BEAT IT! While we all need to repent for the mistakes we make, we should never forget them. It helps us to remain humble, and in the case of serving a mission, will help us to relate better to the people we will teach. I am a convert to the church; this coming Wednesday (May 11th, 2011) will be three years since I was confirmed a member of the church. I will eternally be grateful to those two Elders who didn’t simply give up and go home because everyone else that day had slammed the door in their faces; that they followed the prompting of the spirit to knock on my door, and didn’t give up on the stubborn, hard-headed girl that I used to be. Because of their faith, I have enjoyed three amazing, wonderful years of peace and joy in the knowledge that I am a Child of God, and NOTHING that the world or Satan can throw my way can take that from me. Because of their righteous influence (and many other wonderful members I have met) I will serve a full-time mission so that I might share the light and peace that I have found. Never take your eyes off of your goal, my friend, for that is when Satan can blind us with his temptations. I wish you the best of luck on your mission! ~Sister Baum, to be.

  19. Sister Baum (to be...)

    May 9, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    For the past two weeks I have been praying fervently (after a meeting with my Branch President about going to the temple yielded a gentle nudge to serve a mission) to know if serving a mission is what the Lord would have me do right now. This past sunday I received my answer, and I officially started personal preparations for serving a mission today. I know with all my heart and soul that this is the Lord’s true church and that there is someone out there who needs to hear that from me. I have a bit of work to do before I can put in my papers, but I know that through my hard work and diligence, the Lord will bless me and my family. I can’t wait until I have one of those sacred black name tags that reads “Sister Baum, Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints”!

  20. carlin

    May 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    WOW!! i am waiting for my last interviw to send out my papers ! i am so excited! to serve, it s not about money it is about faith, just let’s do it god knows evething a,i just have the faith and corage to go on my mission no money at all just to pay my bills and buy my cloth to gon on my mission,that i though when my bipshop told me sister some of the members of the ward are going to pay you mission i realize god has control on my life to take away and give me. jesua patrick thank you for be an great example for me i though it was hard that my father and mom can not help me with my mission because they jus has money to pay bills and thing, but i cant see i cant not be unthanksful with the lord there are more people in really wors cituations with a most bigger croos on the back more bigger then mine and you and encorage me with you testimony! for all people whos are always thinking about just money! read mathew 6:33 and dont worry God knows your good heart! serve to the lord is the best thing ever! i cant wait to serve!

    • Brenna Morgan

      June 3, 2011 at 10:01 am

      Thanks to you all for your strengthening comments. Something inside me has suddenly changed the last several weeks. I have considered going on a mission before, but have always been held back by th thought of being called somewhere simple or not serving foreign. With the recent departure of my closest friend to her own mission, I found myself on my knees begging for comfort. I found myseslf consumed by the idea of serving a mission myself but continued to have doubts with my being “okay” with my call. I’m SO excited to say that I have come to the decision that no matter where I’m called or what language I speak, if I am serving the Lord I am where I need to be!!! I know this gospel is true! I know it with every fiber if my being!

      Kristen A., thank you so much for your testimony about struggling with money. I am in a similar situation at the moment. I just finished college and am trying to pay off the last of my student loans. I’ve found that even with putting all the money I have towards those debts and anything extra to a mission, I fall the entire amount short to get out into the field and serve the Lord. I am a bit discouraged due to my family’s inability to help me out at all, but I pray that the Lord will see the desires of my heart and will send an answer to my prayers. I plan a trip to the temple tomorrow and an added measure of money to go towards fast offerings and the missionary fund. Thanks again for your testimony!! It’s what I needed to hear to give me hope!

      I know that if I put my trust in the Lord and have righteous desires, I know that He will guide me in the right direction! D&C 6:33. “Fear not to do good…” :)

      • Stephanie

        June 8, 2011 at 10:03 pm

        Brenna, you sound like my twin, seriously! Get out of my head. :) Everything you said – especially the first part of your comment – is exactly things I’ve been thinking on and off. I’m about 18 credits from graduating college and I’m almost 28 years old, and now the whole ‘will it be Nebraska or Namibia’? about the mission call is on my mind on top of it all. When I feel the full fire I once felt when my bishop had my papers, and I know it’s for the right reasons, I’m there (student loans aside!).

  21. Refugia Snelson

    July 21, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Hi,I dont know how I happend to get on this site and read about all you wonderful young people wanting to serve the lord,I retired as a teacher in May and am waitlng for my mission call from Salt Lake,I am excited about my mission and whereever I am send I know that its where the Lord needs me.Good luck to you all prospective missionaires,dont give up,Heavenly Father will be there to help you.

  22. Lydia

    August 8, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I just figured out how much i can have saved in 9 months from now it’s about a little over 2200 euros which is about 3300 dollars atm… it discourages me knowing I still can’t pay even half of my mission around the time I can leave… i know my bishop will only ask me to save as much as i can… but I want him to keep that money he was about to spend on my mission for a someone who can’t come up with the money and is a guy, someone who was commanded to go by the Lord himself.
    I know my parents can’t help me like they helped my brother 9 years ago, since they have financial problems themselves… what can I do?? i am willing to do almost everything…

    • Brenna Morgan

      August 12, 2011 at 7:41 am

      Lydia,
      I have been feeling the full weight of financial struggles myself. When I made the decision to start preparing for a mission, I realized I was thousands of dollars in debt, let alone not able to make enough money in the time frame I wanted to leave! Neither of my parents are able to help, and I felt so discouraged… The two things that have helped me in the same situation you’re in are: A) Deep, sincere communication with your Heavenly Father about your situation, and B) An increased amount in fast offerings! I have such a testimony if both at this time…MIRACLES HAPPEN!!! :) :) :) Whether that’s the Lord guiding you to a second or third income or being blessed with Angels that come into your life who are willing to help fund your mission! ;) Don’t give up hope! I promise you that as you live faithful to the commandments and take your struggles to the Lord, he will bless you beyond anything you could have ever imagined! :) D&C 68:5-6. :) :) I’ll keep you in my prayers!

  23. Bonjwa

    September 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Might as well throw in my two cents here too. Turning 22 in 3 days and will be having my 2nd interview in 2 days. I’m excited, scared, and humbled. I’ve worked my tail off all summer. 2 jobs – 60 hours a week and I only have over half the money. I was told my ward would help me and that is so amazing to hear. I barely know these people and they want to help me. I should mention I’m also a conversation to thechuch of about 3 years and the only member of a non-active catholic family. They said they can’t support me financially and are pressing on me to not go, but I know the Lord wants me out there and I know I want to be out there to help others know of the things I’ve come to know. It is true. God does live. He does love us. This is Christs church and I know it to be true. I hope any others out there in similar shoes as me will pray to know if its right for them to serve.

  24. Therese

    September 27, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    With all the young people out there, I feel a little like a duck out of water. I’m a widowed sister in my early 50′s, my eternal mate went home about two years ago. The spirit has been prompting me to inquire about a “Senior Mission”; perhaps with another sister. I’ve heard there are such mission available for sisters such as I. I’m not sure if the cost would vary and I guess the Bishop is the first to discuss this with. Although, there are so many young brothers and sisters out there that need financial assistance for their missions, that would be a worthy cause as well. However, the Holy Spirit has testified to me so strongly regarding a mission…….

  25. (Sister) Brenna Morgan

    October 13, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    wow…I am writing on this site once again! Only this time it is several months later and with some great news! :) After all of the struggles with money and loans and debt…I am so excited to say that I received my call this past week! Washington, Spokane Mission! Not at all what I anticipated or expected, but I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord. :) I leave fairly quickly for the MTC (7 weeks) but I know the Lord will take care of me. :) Thanks again for all of your comments…they truly strengthened me when I was feeling down or worried about my situations! :) This gospel is TRUE! I know it with all of my heart! :) Miracles DO come to those that have the desire to serve! :)

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      October 14, 2011 at 9:41 am

      Brenna, Congratulations on your mission call! You will be a great missionary. Thanks for sharing your story and your testimony with us.

  26. Charles

    January 31, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    hey I am almost 19 and until this last summer I have been doing chemotherapy every year. I only have a measly 1,500 dollars saved what can I do? Do I need to wait and earn money for a while. My family can pay, but is that a lack of dedication on my part?

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      January 31, 2012 at 8:54 pm

      Charles, It doesn’t sound like a lack of dedication or anything of the sort. You’ll have to work out the financial situation with your parents and bishop. But if you and your parents can assure the bishop that the money will be there each month to pay for your mission, I’m guessing there will be no reason to delay submitting your papers and going on your mission. I’m glad to hear you are well enough to serve a mission. May God bless and be with you and your family.

  27. Jeffrey Loper

    February 23, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    My best advice to anyone out there concerned with going on a mission for whatever reason: Go. do not fret or worry about the things you THINK are keeping you from it. the lord knows your trials and will prepare a way for you to overcome them and serve in the gospel (1 nep 3:7 says, “…for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”).

    there are people waiting for you to teach them the gospel, even if they do not know it themselves. there will be people on this earth that the lord knows will only be able to learn the gospel properly from you. if you do not, those people may never know of god, and if they do they may never become converted to the true and everlasting gospel. So go. help those people that only you can help.

    I had a rough life spiritually in my teen years, i have no money to my name, and i am almost two years late filling out my papers, but i am not letting that get in my way, because the lords will is stronger than any earthly force. if i live on the street for being poor, so be it, as long as the lord lives in my heart and I do what i know to be true and right, i will continue on. ETTE, Endure To The End.

  28. Stephanie C

    April 5, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Hi, Everyone, I know this is a super long post, but…..I am needing some advice, please. I have been SO amazingly blessed in my life, I can’t believe how much! I am so very thankful for all of these blessings and I make sure I pray diligently when I get a blessing to thank Heavenly Father for everything. Well lately I have been thinking, “Wow, God has give me so much and yet I feel like I haven’t been, well in a sense doing anything for him to fully thank him for it all”. I mean I go to church and love it so much, I pay my tithing, I honor my church callings, try really hard to do my visiting teaching, but sometimes my partner’s and my schedule conflict, but we are constantly trying to work out our schedules to match so we can go teach….I love visiting teaching. I study the scriptures and search very hard trying to understand it…..I grew up in a less active family so I don’t fully understand the scriptures like most people my age do.
    Well I decided to pray and ask God what he would like me to do, because i really wanted to show my gratitude to him…had an impression that maybe a mission would be the place for me. I fully know that this gospel is true, i love the gospel and want to share it with all. but the thought frightened me!!! I am no where near financially ready to go, i have an amazing job as a nurse that i worked so hard to accomplish this dream of being a nurse that i can’t imagine leaving it, I desire to be married and be a mom so so so much, I’m 21 and just getting the feeling for being on my own after almost 3yrs, and the biggest hurdle of all is…I don’t feel anywhere near knowledge wise ready to go…I am confused most days in church and institute and have tons of questions to still ask and alot more studying to do before i can even feel a little bit ready knowledge wise to go. I know i am probably being selfish feeling like i can’t go on a mission because i don’t want to leave my job and i really want to get married, and i am probably lacking in faith that God will help me to know what to say when the time comes to teach even if i don’t feel i have sufficient knowledge yet of the gospel.
    If you have read this whole entire post I thank you so much!! I am needing some advice, thank you again for taking the time read this and help me out

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      April 6, 2012 at 7:35 am

      Stephanie, You are wrestling with a question that can be difficult to answer, and ultimately, it is up to you and the Lord. Joseph Smith is reported to have once said that he makes it a rule: when the Lord commands, I obey. If you feel that the Lord has prompted you to go on a mission, or if you feel the prompting is to explore the possibility of going on a mission, then you will want to follow that prompting. Of course, mission preparation is best if you can do it throughout your life, but you can still become well prepared in a few months with the help of the Lord. In fact, regardless of one’s knowledge of the gospel, a good missionary is one that relies on the Lord, not on his or her own understanding.
      My advice is to continue to pray and seek the direction of the Lord. Talk to your parents, family, and friends. Talk to your bishop or other church leaders. Perhaps sign up for a mission prep class in your stake or in a nearby Institute program. I know that, with faith in the Lord, you will receive the guidance you need and you will know whether or not you should go on a mission. Good luck, and may God bless and be with you.

  29. James

    April 16, 2012 at 12:59 am

    When is the 400 need by every month? And where do you find that answer?

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      April 16, 2012 at 7:51 am

      The $400 is pulled out of your ward’s bank account by Church headquarters each month. I do not know on what day, but your bishop should know. When you find out, please let the rest of us know. Thanks.

  30. Dee Still

    May 1, 2012 at 3:03 am

    I am being baptized into the church in one month and one day. After reading along and seeing all of these wonderful posts it has caused me to ponder if I will ever be able to go on a mission someday. I am 24 and married. My husband is in the military and not a member of the church. We are currently stationed overseas. My question is what does a married sister do for mission? My sister missionaries are so lovely and wonderful but I noticed they are all young ladies and not married. Will I be able to serve the same type of mission they are or would mine be different due to being a married to a non church member.

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      May 1, 2012 at 8:24 am

      Congratulations on your upcoming baptism! I hope it is a wonderful day. I’m sure it will be. I still remember vividly my baptism.

      With perhaps only a few exceptions, young married people do not serve full-time missions for the LDS Church. The primary reason for this is the importance of the family; Church leaders want young married couples to focus their time and energy on the vitally important task of raising a family up unto the Lord. As you know, the Church has a large force of young people who do missionary work before they get married. And older couples, once their kids are grown, often go on full-time missions as well.

      While a full-time mission may not be in your immediate future, you there are still many ways that you can serve God and serve your fellow beings. You can do missionary work by sharing the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with your family, friends, and neighbors. Once you are a member of the Church, in your congregation, you will be given a “calling” or assignment to help and serve in some capacity. You can prepare now to serve a full-time mission later in life by studying the scriptures, and learning more about the gospel. You can also prepare to go to the temple some day, and do much great service there.

      I hope this answers your questions. Let me know if you need anything else.

  31. Mike

    May 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    A couple of remarks about money for those thinking about a mission.

    I was blessed to have the opportunity to work hard and save enough money for my mission to Japan. I also gave up a scholarship. At one point I had a lazy companion who didn’t have to work to pay for his mission. He was not just wasting his folks money, he was not just wasting his previous companion’s folk’s money any more, HE WAS WASTING MINE! You can fill in the unpleasant details with your imagination, how that worked out…

    If you have to sweat a little or even a lot to earn the money for anything , it will make you that much more motivated. But there is a limit and sometimes economic reality prevents you from reaching your goals. Do not give up when it comes to financing missions.

    Many people may not understand how money in the church works. For example, the tithing collected in my ward more than doubled when one guy I will call Bro. Deep Pockets moved in. How? Bro. Deep Pockets owns a profitable company he had built himself. He made $20 million dollars in one year and paid more tithing than the entire rest of the ward. Something like 5-10% of the church membership pays 90% of the dollar amount of tithing, I don’t have exact figures, but you get the picture.

    if you happened to live in Bro. Deep Pockets ward, he would gladly finance your mission, working through the Bishop. You might never know who he was. Every time he makes another $40,000, he sends $1 to the ward missionary fund and he’s got you covered. The LDS church has more Bro. Deep Pockets in the wings quietly willing to finance missionaries than it has members in the Tab Choir. Seriously.

    J. Golden Kimball (died 1933) once advised a young man to sell his team of two white horses he needed for his freighting business in order to finance his mission. Kimball promised him that the Lord would provide. After the mission, with no horses in sight, the young missionary paid Kimball a visit to inquire what he was to do next. Kimball took him out to the barn and gave him two horses, not quite as good but adequate. When Sister Kimball asked her husband what he was doing giving their best horses away, Golden replied: “If the Lord won’t keep his promises , by H&!! I will.”

    When you have done everything you can do, the help will come. Yes, miracles might happen. But even if they don’t, many Bro. Deep Pockets are there and even a few J Golden’s might still be around, you never know. It is done in a way that won’t destroy your self-respect and decrease your motivation. So that you can look Bro. Deep Pockets in the eye at the end of the day and say: I did my part, did you? And he can say: my part was easy, moreso than yours.

  32. Jenifer Atkin

    May 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Need some guidance here please, mother of son trying to prepare for mission. I just called to make the appoitment for his medical and found out our insurance won’t pay it- nor will they pay for the dental. I am unable to pay out of pocket and need to know if there are other resources. I never thought this would be an issue and am so disapointed. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  33. Ebony

    June 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I want to go on a mission,but I am scared to lose everything I have. My apt, my things,and if I go am not sure where I would live when I return. I want to go,but I guess im holding myself back. I literally have 60bucks to my name and barely enough food on thd table. I am unsure of what comes next but im sure I want to go on a mission. I need help and guidance. My email is ebony1true@yahoo.com

    • Steve

      December 9, 2012 at 11:23 am

      Jimmy….comment?

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  35. richard

    July 5, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Guys please i want an honest answer to the experienced ones.Is it possible to choose where you want to serve.I mean i would love to have a new experience in another continenent.Although i have sent my application for over a month now.Thnaks

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      July 10, 2012 at 9:54 pm

      Richard, when you send in your missionary application, you agree to go wherever the Lord sends you. It may be to a far away continent, but it may be in your home country. You may want to read my my post called I Will Go Where You Want Me to Go. Good luck and God bless.

  36. Olivia

    August 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! My mother was the first mormon ever in my family. My father is not a member but supports my siblings and mom and I. I have one brother, who did not serve a mission. I’m thirteen, almost fourteen, and have been raised my whole life in a very small branch. There’re are a total of three LDS kids in my school district, one of them is my younger sister. I am the only young woman. Lately I think very often about maybe going on a mission, and now I’m sure. I know I want to, I know I need to. Now it’s a constant thought lingering in my head. I just need strength now to mentally, physically, spiritually, and financially prepare for this. And if anyone could share with me advice, or just say a little prayer for me, I would more than appreciate it.
    -sister Olivia Murray jr.

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      August 26, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      Olivia, We’ll be praying for you and your family. May the Lord bless and be with you.

  37. Kenny Johnston

    August 30, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Hi! I love this site lots of information. I’m a convert to the church for 2 years and 3 months ago. I decided to serve a mission last year and I have tried to save up as much money as I can with job to job and I live in a place where there is not many jobs and now that I have sent my papers in and got my call and I leave in 6 days to enter the MTC I dont have even half of my mission money. I don’t want this to go onto my parents cause I’m the only member in my family and I don’t know what to do. I mean I’m going to talk to my bishop tonight about a plan but will they delay my mission cause of the money. I only have 1300 dollars saved up from paying car insurence, gas for the vehicle, paying on the loan for my car and buying my mission stuff thats how much i have. I feel horrible and I feel like i have let my heavenly father down for not saving enough money.

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      August 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      Kenny, Talk to your bishop as soon as possible. He should be able to help you work out the financial situation. And I’d be very surprised if this caused a delay in you entering the MTC. Good luck and God bless you on your mission.

    • Steve

      December 9, 2012 at 11:22 am

      This story makes me so sad. Does this really sound like this is what God wants for his children?

  38. Dakota Crisp

    September 9, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Well I get to start my papers on october 1st and the anticipation is killing me!!! I am more and more excited each and every day although I have only been a member for a little over a year. I believe that even though I am young in the church I will be able to speak with the power of the Spirit on my mission. I am super excited to go and to start my papers and what not. My only fears are not being able to pay for a mission or even for the dental or medical paperwork. You see, my parents pretty much disowned me for becoming LDS and they told me that they would never support me in my choices in being LDS and they dislike the fact that i am going on a mission even more. So if there are any return missionaries that could speak to me about their experiences on their mission or help that they can provide about preparing to on a mission please email me at dakotacrisp@charter.net. Thanks!!

  39. Megan

    October 8, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Well as for my parents, their parents or before that for the history, no one didn’t serve a mission because they weren’t members, and they didn’t know nothing about it. My Mum, got sealed with her family at the Temple when she was 4 years old, and as for my Dad, he is a convert and got baptised when he was 19 years. So anyway, I will be the first person to become a missionary out of my family history for both sides of my Mum and Dad’s side. So I am excited to serve a mission in less than 2 years and a half. So please email me on meganfb4@greenaus.com if you want to reply, what you think about that.

  40. Krystal

    October 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I am so glad I found this post!! I am just now finishing up my paperwork to serve my mission and I am rediculously excited! Thinking about going takes up 90% of my thought process each day (to the point that I picked up my papers and had them completely finished, including physicals and interviews within 2 weeks). I had recently read some posts about how horrible mormon missions are and tons of peoples horrible experiences of people going on missions and leaving the church. When I first read these I became very discouraged and had a hard time with my preparations. Now if you knew me, you would know that in no way will I EVER doubt the church or its gospel. So this was wierd for me. While reading my scriptures I read over D&C 12: 7-9 and recieved my answer once again. I also realised that those doubts were obviously being caused by satan. Right then and there I pledged that nothing was stopping my from going on this mission because if there is something satan does not want me to do I will most certainly do just that. I figured this may help those who have also been reading these things around the internet and doubting.

  41. Luis Pillot

    November 25, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    I was thinking about going on a mission but i didn’t know it was so much money. so this is my question how much should i have save before filling out my papers?

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      November 25, 2012 at 8:38 pm

      Luis, There is no set amount you have to have saved before filling out your papers.
      You will need to be prepared to talk to your bishop, though, about how you plan to fully pay for your mission. Good luck, and God bless.

  42. Steve

    December 9, 2012 at 11:15 am

    “Missionaries who cannot save the required funds may also obtain assistance from their home ward or stake, though personal and family sources of funds should be exhausted first.”

    Thanks mom and dad, sorry you’re broke. By the way don’t forget to pay your 10% every month as you have for years. Why does this just seem wrong to me? With the significant financial resources of the church you would think they would be more supportive financially. But, like any corporation…Oops…I mean ‘religion’ it’s all about the bottom line.

    Invest in your education, not getting more church customers.

    • Jamie

      July 11, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Steve,
      I know this is late, but this is the first time I’ve found this site.
      Do you know what tithing really is? We do give up 10% of our income, but it’s to the Lord. No members of our church get paid for their service. The money we donate is given to those in need. And the members who pay their tithing are always blessed for it. It’s a part of faith. You have to trust enough to give without seeing the consequence. “Ye recieve no witness until after th trial of your faith” Ether 12:6.
      My grandparents ( my mom’s whole family) are of a different faith. They pay their preachers every Sunday. They are doing what they know, and I commend anyone who still believes in religion. But it is different in our church. It’s not about getting gain. It’s about giving. It’s about serving. :)

  43. Jade

    January 31, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Can i help a friend who is a mormon with a donation to him when he goes on his mission even though im not of the mormon faith?

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      January 31, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Absolutely. The best thing to do would be to coordinate this with his family and/or his bishop. But if you’re looking for a website or something to make a donation in his name, I don’t think there is one.

  44. Jade

    January 31, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I havent spoken to him directly regarding a monetary gift for him, he has his interviews and applications to sort through still. I was just enquiring whether it is allowed in your religion to recieve cash gifts for religious purposes. Im unsure whether he would accept or not but i would like to do this for him.

    I havent met his family yet and dont know who his bishop is, ive worked with him for over a year and hes spoken to me about mormonism and recently his wanting to complete a mission.

    Thank you for your quick reply it is appreciated.

  45. Elder Damron (To Be)

    June 20, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I converted to the church in August of last year, and I have felt the spirit so strongly that I’m going to be serving a mission within the next few months! I have never been more excited in my life, knowing all of these blessings are coming this way. I have some money saved up, but my parents have refused to pay for any of my mission (They’re anti-religious) and I’m so afraid that I won’t be able to meet the 400 a month that I need. But I know that Heavenly Father will find a way to provide for me!

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  47. Rick

    July 7, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Hi, I was wondering how long the mormon prep process is? My bishop told me I still might be able to go on a mission even though I have Fathered a child I don’t take care of, but it depends on the stake president. How long does it take to meet him and how long does his response take after I have met with him? Does he tell you on the spot if you cannot serve a mission or do I have to submit my papers and everything first? How often do people get declined for missions? Thanks!

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      July 8, 2013 at 9:41 am

      While it is possible for someone who has fathered a child to go on a mission, it is highly unusual. I applaud your righteous desires to serve a mission. I believe, if an exception is to be made, your bishop and stake president would have to make an application to the First Presidency. You’ll have to talk to them about that process.

      If a full-time mission is 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.

  48. Colin

    August 16, 2013 at 12:34 am

    I am a member of a little less than a month and I was thinking of going on a mission. Can you still serve a mission even if you can not contribute at all?

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      August 16, 2013 at 9:01 am

      The prophet has said that he doesn’t want a lack a money to prevent anyone from going on a mission. Still, he has asked that each person do their best to pay for their own mission. This means saving all that you reasonably can and asking your family and friends to help contribute to your mission fund. If you have done all of that, and still don’t have enough to pay for your mission, talk to your bishop. You should still be able to go on a mission and your bishop will help you through the process. Good luck and God bless.

  49. Madre Pobre

    August 22, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    We thought it was a great idea to have children one after the other but didn’t expect all boys! Our first leaves in a week and the 2nd will be going next May ( we think). Anyway, I was SHOCKED to hear that missionaries pay $400 for 25 months, not 24! My son enters MTC on August 28th and has to pay $400 for August though he’s only serving 3days that month. He is ALSO expected to pay in August two years from now too. I wouldn’t get so anxious about this but it adds up to $1600 extra we’re paying for our four boys. Is this really true?! Everybody is saying that but I don’t want to believe it.

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  51. Sister Helms

    October 1, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Can you go on a mission if you have a government student loan? I can defer it until I get home and return to school but will the church allow that or will I have to pay the loan in full before serving?

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      October 1, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      Yes, you can still go on a mission if you have an outstanding student loan. You will need to make sure arrangements are made so you are not delinquent on the loan while you are gone on your mission. That can be done either with a deferment or by making sure your parents are making the payments for you while you are gone. Good luck, and God bless you on your mission.

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  53. Nancy W

    April 18, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Great post! I have a technical question. We have a young friend who is preparing for a mission but worried about money. We would like to help him with some of the monthly cost, but we live in a different ward (same stake). How can we do that? If we contribute to the ward mission fund, it will help those serving from our ward who are not nearly under the same financial constraints. Should we write checks to him directly?

    • Jimmy

      Jimmy

      April 19, 2014 at 7:06 am

      Nancy, You have a couple of options.
      1. You can make a donation to the ward mission fund of the other ward where the missionary in need is from. Just give the check and donation slip to that bishop.
      2. You can give the money to the family of the missionary in need and they can pay it to his ward’s missionary fund.
      I hope this helps.

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