Thursday, May 30, 2013

What is a Missionary and what do they do?

It has been a little over a month ago that I finally told everyone...outside of my family that I had turned in my mission papers and was waiting for my call. I was so excited to find out where I was going and what language I would be learning that I couldn't not share it. I posted on Facebook that I was going to Ecuador as a Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I was leaving in September! 

Since then I have been able to answer so many questions from people who have questions on what it means to be a missionary. It has been such an opportunity to share why I chosen to do this at this time in my life and it has been a great testimony builder and has shown me how much people are genuinely happy for me. 

This week I wanted to share what a missionary is, what it means to serve a mission, and what a missionary does on a daily basis?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Missionary Program:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' missionary program is one 
of its most recognized characteristics. Mormon missionaries can be seen 
on the streets of hundreds of major cities in the world as well as in thousands
of smaller communities.

Nearly 60,000 missionaries are serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints at any one time. Most are young people under the age of 25, 
serving in nearly 350 missions throughout the world. By Fall 2013, there is 
estimated to be 85,000+ missionaries reporting for service.

For more details, click here.

What is a missionary?

As a missionary, I will work with a companion of the same gender, and teach the gospel and baptize believers in the name of Jesus Christ. 

How long will I serve a mission?

Young Women are called to serve missions for a period of 18 months. I get to start my mission in September this year!

Do you get to pick where you go on a mission?

Every missionary who is called and assigned or reassigned to a particular mission is called by revelation through the Lord's servants, the prophets. A member of the Quorum of the Twelve assigns prospective missionaries to one of more than three hundred missions of the Church.

Who pays for my mission?

Missionary work is voluntary. Missionaries fund their own missions — except for their transportation to and from their field of labor — and are not paid for their services.  Yes, that is right. I am leaving my job, my career to do something that I will not get paid for monetarily. I will be paid with blessings for both myself and my family. I can't wait!

How do I get to communicate with family and friends while on my mission?

As a missionary I will communicate with family and friends through letters and email on preparation day (this is one day a week that I have time to prepare for the next week by purchasing food, doing laundry, cleaning our living quarters, and emailing home). Typically missionaries are also able to call home on Christmas and one other time during the year (usually Mother's Day).

What does a missionary do on a daily basis?

A missionary's day is filled with activities that help accomplish the missionary purpose of bringing souls to Christ. One way to understand day-to-day missionary activities is to watch The District. These video segments show real missionaries, members, and investigators in non-scripted, unrehearsed, actual missionary situations. 

Here is an example of a typical day:
  • 6:30 am - Wake up, pray, exercise (30 minutes) and prepare for the day.
  • 7:30 am - Eat breakfast.
  • 8:00 am - Personal Study: Read Book of Mormon, other scriptures, missionary lessons, and other chapters from Preach My Gospel.
  • 9:00 am - Companion Study
  • 10:00 am - Language Study
  • 11:00 am - Begin proselyting. Have lunch and dinner.
  • 9:00 pm - Return to living quarters, plan the next day of teaching, write in journal, prepare for bed, pray.
  • 10:30 pm - Go to sleep.

What do you get for going on a mission? BLESSINGS!

Here a blurb about what I mean by getting BLESSINGS for going on a mission. I can't even describe it so I thought I would just grab part of a talk by an Apostle of the Lord, M. Russell Ballard. For this full talk, click here.

"Dedicated missionaries who do their very best learn lessons as important or even more important than anything they can learn in university study. I’ll give you an example. Missionaries learn how to relate to people, how to talk to people, how to help people. Whether they are going to be doctors, lawyers, merchants, or something else, the ability to relate to people can be the difference between being successful or not in that career.
A second great blessing is that missionaries become doctrinally anchored to the reality of the Atonement. There comes to them a love for and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ that will absolutely bless them and their families in mortality and on into eternity. The most powerful learning experiences we can have are when we teach someone else. And that is what missionaries do. They internalize the doctrine; they internalize the reality of the Atonement. And this will bless them in all future Church assignments.
Another great blessing is that as missionaries reach out to rescue and pull into the light of the gospel families who are wandering in the darkness, they see what they don’t want in their own lives. The experience clarifies for them the values they want to live by, the kind of family they want, the way they want to teach their children, and the goals they need in order to claim the promised blessings of the temple. A mission is the greatest education in the world.
You know, President Gordon B. Hinckley has said many times that his mission is the foundation of his lifetime of service. He credits his mission for putting him on the course that brought him to lead the Church. I think you’ll agree that he is doing so in a magnificent way.
We’re at a time in the Church’s history when young men and young women all over the world need to rise up and serve as missionaries. They can’t assume there are enough young people in the United States to do all that the Lord needs. He needs the youth everywhere the Church is organized to prepare themselves to bring souls to Him. As they do, they will bless the entire earth and bring heaven’s blessings to themselves and their families now and forever." - M. Russell Ballard
So here is a little image that describes the life of a DEDICATED Mormon Missionary which pretty much sums it all up:

I am so excited to serve a mission and I can't wait to go. I know a lot of people will look at this and say wow how can you give up all of your stuff, your job, a paycheck, cell phone, family, friends, and your life here to go somewhere where you know no one. How can you do that?

My answer is simple. This is what I know is the right thing for me to do right now in my life. I am leaving my family for 18 months so that others can be with their families for eternity!  

If, you have specific questions, post your comments below and I will respond.


Hermana Weller


  1. I am so excited for you and the path you have chosen.. Your testimony is strong and will become even stronger as you serve in this important calling. You are truly a great example to me. Thank you!

    1. Camille, thank you so much for reading my blog and being someone who always has a smile when I see you in the lunch room! I am so glad that I have another member at work and that you always make a point to talk with me. Thank you for your support!